Utility Pigeons

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mackie1000
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Utility Pigeons

Post by mackie1000 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:12 am

Does anyone here breed or keep utility pigeons?

am interested in them and just wanted to get an idea of how easy/difficult they are to keep/breed.

any info, hints & tips welcome. also any contacts in the Cambridgeshire area most welcome :D

many thanks Stu
animartco
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Re: Utility Pigeons

Post by animartco » Sat May 11, 2013 4:26 pm

I@ve never heard of them! Do you mean you want to breed them for the pot? Squab pie? The most usual type to have in a dovecot are the white fantails. I would like to start a campaign for keeping turtle doves in cots as domesticating them is the only way to preserve the species in Britain. It means they would not be afraid of man { At the moment, If there is any human disturbance within fifty feet of their nest they WILL abandon it.} and would over winter here, visiting bird tables, and not go off to Africa to get shot on the way. PS there is some evidence that they were once domestic i'e' the Christmas song - Three French hens two turtle doves etc.
Lordcluck
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Re: Utility Pigeons

Post by Lordcluck » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:51 pm

There are some strains of Runt, Carneaux and Mondain Pigeons available in the UK for Squab production, but they are not widely kept. Domestic Pigeon is a more popular dish on the continent.
Check some of the Smallholder/Self Sufficiency Magazine's classifieds, I have seen table Pigeons offered there, or Contact the NPA or the Runt and Mondain breed clubs, they will probably have contacts for Squab producers.
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Marigold
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Re: Utility Pigeons

Post by Marigold » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:11 pm

Is it possible to domesticate wood pigeons? We have a garden full of them, and they are very tame, hardly bother to move away when we go out there and impervious to the dog. I wold think they are a bit bigger than ordinary pigeons if you wanted to eat them. Aren't they the ones that you buy from a butcher when someone has shot them?
Lordcluck
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Re: Utility Pigeons

Post by Lordcluck » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:12 pm

Indeed they are Marigold! I assume Wood Pigeons were never Domesticated due to their wandering ways! Rock Doves, unlike wood Pigeons, are very attached to a Home area, with a pronounced ' Homing' instinct, and they live in Colonies, whereas Wood Pigeons are more nomadic, they go wherever there is food, travelling hundreds even thousands of miles in certain instances, and although they flock happily, they are far more intolerant towards other nesting Woodpigeons and will not breed in close proximity to another pair, unlike Rock Doves.

Our Wood Pigeon population Explodes over the winter with Millions of them flying in from all over the continent to escape the Big Freeze and to find food on our warmer Island. They will sometimes hybridize with Domestic Pigeons in Captivity, as will Barbary/Java Doves and Collared Doves.
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Marigold
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Re: Utility Pigeons

Post by Marigold » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:17 pm

Back in the 1970s, we were delighted when collared doves began to visit our garden and pond, as then thy were rare visitors just beginning to infiltrate the South of England from the Continent. By the 1980s thy were plentiful, we often had a flock of them in the garden. But these past few years they seem to have become rare again and I can't remember when I last saw one here in Hampshire. But the wood pigeons seem to have pushed them out - they used not o come into the garden and now they're always around.
Lordcluck
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Re: Utility Pigeons

Post by Lordcluck » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:03 pm

This may have something to do with the disease trichomoniasis Which has swept through the Wild Bird Population decimating whole populations in recent years. Collared Doves and Pigeons in general are Very prone to it.
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