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Could pigeons be kept and considered somewhat essential like bees?

 
pollinator
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Skandi Rogers wrote:They do at least taste nice, but for the amount of meat on them and the price of a shotgun cartridge, it's not worth it.


Why waste ammunition? Just take some stale bread and a slingshot to your local park or plaza.
 
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One of my favorite places in the entire world is Cappadocia Turkey.  It's a beautiful and mystical place, inhabited for almost 1700 years by Christian monks, beginning in the third century.  If you tour there today, there are thousands of cave dwellings cut into the sides of the hills.  The monks would dig into these soft sandstone cliffs and make their homes and churches.  Cappadocia was isolated and not a desired region for conquest, so their communities lasted century after century, well into the Ottoman empire and almost up to the founding of modern Turkey.

As you crawl around inside these ancient churches and homes, you continually see carved into the walls row after row of pigeon holes.  They are no deeper than 3 inches or so -- just room enough for pigeon to roost.  Almost every home has these carved into the walls.  They also had bee hives carved into the stone as well.  The monks would use to the birds as a source for fertilizer and meat.  The birds fly out during the day, feed themselves, and then come home every night to roost.  What's not to love about that?  Like bees, they are productive and relatively maintainance free.  With the poor sandy soil in that region, the pigeons were absolutely essential for their gardens and orchards.

If you've never seen any images of Cappadocia, Google it.  Amazing.
 
pollinator
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I live in town and have feral pigeons in the area. If I built nest boxes on the side of a shed, would I be very likely to attract any?

Can anyone give me the rough dimension for nests boxes when the birds are free to fly whenever they want?
 
pollinator
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The chiefly language spoken by Matai in Samoa is largely allegorical references to a pigeon based sport of pre-colonial aristocrats. I feel like I just plagiarized Tom Robbins in that last sentence.
 
pollinator
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Old thread, I know. But I'll put my two cents on record.

I raise pigeons and I would consider them essential to the ecology--but I live in an arid ecology. They reproduce every two months, are delicious, and don't scratch stuff up like chickens.

Maybe it's the breed, but they never touch my garden. In fact I've never seen them eat a live leaf. They like to feed in wide open spaces on flat bare ground where they pick up all manner of seeds. I also feed them just to maximize production. The nice part is they produce meat for next to nothing but the cost of housing, while cleaning up weed seed and fertilizing my land. When I clean out their house I have premium tree fertilizer. I can't think of a better deal in all of agriculture.

It's an ancient and beautiful African breed that comes in all patterns of plumage and has feathers on its feet. They're VERY domestic and likely would not go more than 100 feet from home of I feed them well enough.

Get yourself some pigeons.



 
pollinator
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I definitely want to start keeping pigeons ASAP, but I can't find an affordable pair of meat pigeons for breeding. If anyone can help me source a pair, I'd be grateful.  The prices I've seen online (like $700 for a pair) are just outrageous!  I'm strongly considering trying to domesticate some wild/feral park pigeons.  They are plenty big and meaty, pretty birds, peaceful and pleasant. Within a couple of generations, I should be able to isolate and remove any that are unhealthy.   I'm still trying to figure out the "how to" of that plan though, both practically and legally.   The easiest thing to do would be to go down to the railroad tracks with some dry corn and a net..... but that is totally illegal here!
 
Nathanael Szobody
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Carroll,

I googled King Pigeon, which is a common meat breed, and you can find some for $75 each.

However, for our permaculture purposes we want to make sure we have a breed that won't fly away. I would look for people who raise pigeons and tell them what you're looking for: a free range pigeon that will always come home to roost. Start with craigslist,  like here: https://atlanta.craigslist.org/eat/grd/d/pigeons-for-sale/6541963989.html
 
Wj Carroll
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Thanks!  That was a type-o in my previous post - I meant $100, not 700!
 
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Nathanael Szobody wrote:Carroll,

I googled King Pigeon, which is a common meat breed, and you can find some for $75 each.

However, for our permaculture purposes we want to make sure we have a breed that won't fly away. I would look for people who raise pigeons and tell them what you're looking for: a free range pigeon that will always come home to roost. Start with craigslist,  like here: https://atlanta.craigslist.org/eat/grd/d/pigeons-for-sale/6541963989.html



very good point.

Pigeons make the most sense when they free range for most their food, but come home to roost. I keep a couple dozen homers, though I don't eat them I just fly them for fun. They used to be the most eaten bird though and I know the best tasting meat I've ever had was pigeon.

for personal consumption I'd just raise homers and accept the fact they wont be that large and you'll need a couple for a meal. Raising them to sell would be a different story as restaurants would want decent sized birds.

 
Greg Hamilton
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Ken W Wilson wrote:I live in town and have feral pigeons in the area. If I built nest boxes on the side of a shed, would I be very likely to attract any?

Can anyone give me the rough dimension for nests boxes when the birds are free to fly whenever they want?




doubtful, you'd probably have to raid nests and steal older babies, feed them and keep them enclosed for a month and then let them start flying.
 
pioneer
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    Maybe someone already mentioned this, but I think the reason pigeons are so useful is that they range over a huge area collecting nutrient, and then come home and dump it right where they live. They are feltility gathering machines.
 
Myron Platte
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Greg Hamilton wrote:

Ken W Wilson wrote:I live in town and have feral pigeons in the area. If I built nest boxes on the side of a shed, would I be very likely to attract any?

Can anyone give me the rough dimension for nests boxes when the birds are free to fly whenever they want?




doubtful, you'd probably have to raid nests and steal older babies, feed them and keep them enclosed for a month and then let them start flying.


    I’m going to try this with adult pigeons this spring. I’ll feed pigeons for a while, get them sitting on my feet, then grab one. I’ll put them in a pigeon house and give them excellent food for a few days, maybe a week, then I’ll open the house and rub the inside of the small circular exit with seed oils, they will hopefully like the food and housing and bring other pigeons who smell the seed oils and see that they’re well fed with them. Then: babies and my own breed of domestic pigeon! That’s what I hope, anyway.
 
Myron Platte
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Marco Banks wrote:One of my favorite places in the entire world is Cappadocia Turkey.  It's a beautiful and mystical place, inhabited for almost 1700 years by Christian monks, beginning in the third century.  If you tour there today, there are thousands of cave dwellings cut into the sides of the hills.  The monks would dig into these soft sandstone cliffs and make their homes and churches.  Cappadocia was isolated and not a desired region for conquest, so their communities lasted century after century, well into the Ottoman empire and almost up to the founding of modern Turkey.


    Those are Eastern Orthodox monks! I’m Orthodox, it’s the original Christianity. Check it out!
 
Myron Platte
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Ben Zumeta wrote:The chiefly language spoken by Matai in Samoa is largely allegorical references to a pigeon based sport of pre-colonial aristocrats. I feel like I just plagiarized Tom Robbins in that last sentence.


Darmok and Chalad on Tanagra!
 
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