Pigeons have long been stereotyped by people as common, smelly, or pest birds because of their common occurrence in America. Truth be told, pigeons have many likable qualities that are unlike any other bird. Pigeons have a great since of direction known as homing instincts, which makes them excellent pets. Taking care of a pigeon is easy as long as you follow the appropriate ramifications consistently.
- Skill level:
Construct or buy appropriate housing. Just as any other animal, pigeons need a shelter for security. They also serve to give them a place to know as home when you are keeping them as a pet. Coops make a great place to keep your pigeon and can be bought at pet stores or constructed using a kit. Adding extras like a perches and lining the coop with materials to keep your pigeon warm will make living more comfortable for them. If you have other pets like cats or dogs, ensure that they can not enter through the gaps in the wiring.
Feed your pigeon on a regular basis. Most pigeons eat grain based food. Foods like rice, barley, peas and popcorn will suffice when feeding your pigeon. These foods can be purchased at a grocery store or bird seed (preferably canary) can also be used and bought at pet stores. Make sure that you do not cook any of the food you give to your pigeon, however. All of it should be given in a raw form.
Give your pigeon water in an accessible container. Fill a coffee cup sized container (at least an inch deep) with water for your pigeon regularly. Anytime you notice the water is dirty or undesirable, change the water out to encourage your pigeon to drink it. Pigeons generally drink immediately after eating and use suction in order to drink water. If you are having problems in getting your pigeon to drink at first, then simply take a couple of drops of water and let them splash into the water container to allow the pigeon to become oriented. It is likely that in the aforementioned case, that the pigeon is not familiar with the container that is being used and needs some time to get used to it.
Allow your pigeon to fly away after you are comfortable with them. Chances are if you have had the pigeon for awhile and have been taking good care of it, it will consider the prepared housing as its home. After you feel comfortable with the pigeon, you may want to let it out and leave the cage open for awhile, since pigeons have a strong homing instinct, it is likely it will return soon.
Keep the living area clean. Lining your pigeon coop with newspaper, will help when it is time to clean the cage out. This should be done regularly depending on how many pigeons are in the coop and how much mess is made. Visually inspect the pigeon's living quarters for fecal matter and spills on a regular basis to keep it clean.
Tips and warnings
- Taking your pet pigeon for regular checkups to the veterinarian will help keep it healthy and give you more insight on personal care tips. Try to use a mixture of different foods to keep your pigeon happy and interested in eating.
- When lining your bird cage ensure that you do not use materials that the pigeon will swallow. Stay away from small and shiny materials as young pigeons will not distinguish what is edible from what is not in all cases.