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Tell Me About Your Pigeon/Dove! Good, Bad, and Ugly!

sweetybirb

Moving in
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4/30/19
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13
So I'm a newbie to the bird world that's contemplating various bird species and what might be right for me! I've been thinking about a cockatiel, conure, or a pigeon (particularly the King Pigeon). I think I'd like a cockatiel (still have plenty of time to figure this out), but I'd like to know more about pigeons and doves.

I've done online research on how to keep a pigeon, but it's surprisingly scarce to find much information on what pigeons are really like in terms of personality and what it's like being around them. Most description just say they're gentle bird, enjoy affection, and need a mate (you or preferably another pigeon).

Maybe the resources are scarce because pigeons aren't as popular as pets as they used to be?

Tell me what kind of pigeon or dove you have. What are the good, bad, and ugly about them?
 

fashionfobie

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Qld, Australia
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Natalie
King pigeons are wonderful! Very large and a calm temperament. My friend has two rescue pigeons. They are very wonderful pets. They are charming, sweet and very affectionate.

I think pigeons are more popular than you might realise. I went to a local pigeon show before and I had NO idea how many people are in the pigeon community. I also met hundreds of different breeds. Pigeons have been domesticated for a very long time. There are so many different kinds.

King Pigeons | Beauty of Birds

I will say this next resource in fantastic, but I don't 100% agree with her opening statement. Rock pigeons have been domesticated so long that they don't know exactly where the wild ones came from, there are theories. In my opinion we are responsible to care for pigeons because us humans are the ones who brought them all around the world as a food resource...simply to abandon them to fend for themselves. Ever wonder why you see so few rock doves/pigeons in the "wilds". They are almost all in feral population in urban areas.. they are very dependent on us.
How to Care for a Rescued Pet Pigeon (for Newbies) |

I hope this link works for you :)

 

Lincee

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Arnhem, Netherlands
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Jan
I used to have tame pidgeons, there is something about seeing them fly high in the sky right before they dive down for your shoulders :heart: you can enjoy them as much as any parrot, i am sure of that :)
 

sweetybirb

Moving in
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4/30/19
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13
I know I haven't replied in weeks, but I've just been having a rough time at work and being pretty depressed cuz of it. :(

Thank you, guys, for the reply and resources!

I didn't mean to imply that pigeons weren't popular! I've seen a lot of videos of pigeons in pigeon shows, but I guess I struggled to find ones that were treated as normal day pets, so I guess they seemed more popular as show birds or racing birds. I wanted to know what they're like as regular house pets! I imagine pigeons may be more cuddly as they've been domesticated for many years to be okay with handling. From the few videos I've seen of them as house pets, they seem to be pretty calm and not quite as playful as parrots?
 

Serin

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453
Location
Indiana
I have a house pet pigeon and am happy to answer any of your questions.

My bird is an Old German Owl, a breed bred for tameness. She is extraordinarily sweet, loving and affectionate. She is VERY calm, and is not afraid of anything - I have never seen her spook or act nervous of any new thing she sees, and she is very curious. She accepted a harness without training and wears it without complaint, likes to go outside and for rides in the car. She is very bonded to me and wants to snuggle and preen me, and she follows me around, but she also entertains herself well if I shoo her away when I am busy. Loves to look out the window, and walk around the house - she only flies to move from one spot to another. She is very quiet too, but coos quietly when excited, usually when I pet her or when I come into the house after being away for a time.

She is out about 6 hours every day, but is happy in her cage and will go back often on her own to rest, eat etc. She has a 30 inch wide, 18 inch deep, 32 inch tall cage set up with two wooden shelves and one branch, with a little fleece pet bed on the top shelf which she sleeps in all night and goes home to nap in throughout the day. Diet for pigeons is very simple, just seed with a vitamin D supplement if they don't go outdoors, or a good pelleted diet. They can have a little bit of greens but mine only nibbles them, and too much causes wet droppings. Which on that tangent, are not very bad and usually small. They're biggest in the morning and usually released when the bird flies out of the cage, you can control mess by putting a newspaper under their favorite perch outside the room but the mess wipes up easy in a tissue and in my experience does not stick or stain.

They are better suited to be a single pet than a parrot if you are home enough as they will not scream, or pluck, but if you are not home most of each day they need a mate of their own kind. But just one, bonded to you, is an amazing pet. I have a female, and she is very easy to care for. I hear males can be more boisterous and bitey, especially when they first get to know you.

The only downside to a pigeon is dander and feathers. They are dusty birds, and during molt they make a mess, but nothing a vacuuming each day doesn't take care of.
 

sweetybirb

Moving in
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4/30/19
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Thanks, Serin! :)

I've noticed from a lot of pet pigeon videos, that I could find, that they're very calm birds and not as energetic as you'd expect from a parrot. They're sort of like old souls in a bird's body. I imagine them to be the closest to a lap bird out of all the species of birds (poultry or parrot) there can be since they've been breed to tolerate handling.

While them being very cuddly and affectionate is very appealing, I think I may still like a bit of a goofball, but I'm still not sure.

I've been finding myself sort of bonding with conures in parrot shops lately, and I'm thinking that if I get a bird, I may just fall for a conure. D: Only time will tell!

Still going to look into the pigeon rescue in my area though!
 

Lincee

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Arnhem, Netherlands
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Jan
She is gorgeous!! I had a few of those, i never harnassed them, they would just fly a few rounds over the city and return home :)
 
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