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Recently, more and more people are breeding pigeons. These birds can be aesthetic pleasure and a source of real income. There are several types of birds - decorative, meat, sports, flying. Depending on the specific type of birds, the purpose of their cultivation and the characteristics of their content depend. For pigeons to develop well, it is important for them to provide proper care.
Why do pigeons are bred
People are raising pigeons for different tasks. In most cases, birds are bred for aesthetic pleasure. Many of the birds are attractive in appearance and have beautiful feathers. There are also breeds that are bred for competition. Poultry is often bred for delicious dietary meat - it contains many vitamins and minerals that are needed for health.
Which breed to choose?
For pigeon rearing to be successful, it is important to choose the right breed and determine the purpose of keeping birds.
This category includes special birds that are distinguished by beautiful plumage. Such pigeons take part in all kinds of exhibitions. They are often released at weddings. The most common decorative breeds are the peacock pigeon, barb, and Saxon priest.
Previously, these breeds were considered postal. Today, pigeon mail has lost its relevance. At the same time, competitions for the speed of summer are constantly held all over the world. Popular breeds in this group include the Belgian postman, Russian postal, English quarry.
This bird species is characterized by certain flight characteristics. They are bred precisely for the sake of a beautiful summer. Moreover, birds are able not only to fly quickly, but also to perform various tricks - falls, somersaults, turns. The most common breeds include the Nikolaev pigeon, the cross monk, and the Berlin thurman.
In many countries of the world, the meat of these birds is very popular. Moreover, the first breeds were bred specifically for meat production. In pigeons, it tastes great and includes fine fibers. Representatives of meat breeds include king, carno, Roman pigeon.
Features of keeping at home
The cultivation of pigeons has a number of features. In order for the birds to develop normally and not get sick, they need high-quality care.
Arrangement of a dovecote
You cannot breed birds in the apartment. The birds need to build a special room. It is important to provide everything you need in it. The house should have roosts on which the birds can rest.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
Birds need nests for comfortable breeding. The structures are used for breeding and nesting of birds. Each bird must have an individual cell. They are placed in several rows.
The presence of feeders and drinkers is of great importance. At the same time, it is important to ensure that no droppings or debris fall into them. The number of feeders and drinkers is selected taking into account the number of pigeons. There should be at least 60 centimeters of the length of the feeder for 1 bird.
Pigeons love to take baths. Swimming is especially important in the warm season or during molting. For water procedures, it is recommended to use small containers. The dovecote must have an entrance. It is an opening for birds to escape. Its size should correspond to the dimensions of the birds. As a rule, 1-2 entrances are made in a dovecote.
It is important to keep pigeons correctly. For this, it is recommended to control the parameters of temperature, illumination, and the flow of fresh air. The health of birds and their ability to reproduce depends on the temperature regime in the room. In winter, the temperature should be at least + 5-7 degrees, in summer - a maximum of +20. In this case, the humidity parameters should be 65-70%.
In the heat, pigeons should not be released to fly, as this will lead to increased stress on their body.
In the dovecote, you should definitely organize a ventilation system. At the same time, there should be no drafts in the room. At a height of 10-15 centimeters from the floor, it is recommended to make an air hole and cover it with a grate. A hood should be made near the ceiling. Adequate ventilation prevents the appearance of dampness, infections, mold in the room.
Illumination is of great importance for birds. With a lack of light, a slowdown in the development of young animals is observed. At the same time, birds develop better physically. Daylight hours should be 13 hours. To control this parameter, it is important to provide artificial lighting in the room.
In the dovecote, you should definitely provide a bedding. It is permissible to make it from hay, straw, dry peat, sawdust. The layer thickness should be 5 centimeters. Thanks to the presence of bedding, it is possible to simplify cleaning. It is important to keep the bedding clean. It is recommended to completely change it twice a year - in autumn and spring. This is done during disinfection. In the event of dampness or decay processes, it is recommended to change the litter immediately.
Meat and decorative pigeons require an open-air cage. At this point, birds can get used to the outdoors, bask in the sun or enjoy the fresh air. It is permissible to equip the aviary on the ground or from above by installing supporting structures.
How to care for birds for beginners
In order for birds to develop normally, they need quality care. In a dovecote, it is important to systematically remove droppings. It is recommended to pay special attention to this procedure in nests with chicks. It is also important to consider that the eggs must be clean. If they are dirty, the shell will not allow air to pass through. As a result, the embryo may die. Light cleaning should be done every day, and more thorough cleaning should be done once a week.
Birds are required to be inspected daily. This manipulation should be performed while feeding. Under normal health, pigeons quickly fly up to the food and show appetite while eating. With the development of diseases, birds bite poorly or completely refuse food. It is recommended to isolate sick pigeons immediately.
Pigeons' claws are often covered with clumps of droppings, which lead to impaired motor activity. Carefully remove these balls.
How to feed pigeons
For birds to grow and develop normally, they need a balanced diet. In this case, it is important to follow certain rules and take into account the age of the pigeon.
It is recommended to make the basis of the bird's diet vegetables, fruits and barley. Birds are allowed to give apples, carrots, potatoes. On average, the daily feed intake for 1 bird should be 50 grams. If you plan to feed pigeons for meat, it is recommended to include boiled eggs in their diet. They also need crushed peas. To maintain the elasticity of feathers in birds, it is permissible to introduce flax and rapeseed, which contain many vitamins, into their diet. The availability of clean water in the drinking bowls is of no small importance.
The development of young animals depends on a balanced diet. Young birds are considered more susceptible to pathologies than adults. In the presence of a sufficient amount of vitamins and useful elements in the feed, the risk of developing diseases is significantly reduced.
In the first few weeks after separation from their parents, young birds need a lot of food. In this case, it is worth considering the appearance of the iris. When it becomes the same as in adult birds, the portions are allowed to be reduced. When compiling a diet for young birds, it is recommended to consider the following:
- in the morning, portions should be smaller than in the evening;
- grains should be mixed with fish oil;
- in order for the birds to grow better, they should be given a composition based on peas, barley and vetch.
Subtleties of reproduction
Pigeons breed in the spring. For this, it is recommended to prepare a separate aviary in the poultry house. It should be thoroughly washed and dried. It is also recommended to install jacks.
The birds reproduce in the following ways:
- related mating;
- random pairing;
- linear method;
- crossing of similar pigeons.
In nature, random mating dominates. When self-breeding, it is better to use other methods. Mating of related pigeons is called inbreeding. At the same time, parents are crossed with offspring. Also mating of brothers and sisters is possible. With this breeding option, it is possible to improve the quality of the breed and preserve the advantages of birds. Inbreeding is allowed to be used for a long time, mating with each other for several generations.
At the same time, poultry farmers most often use mating of similar pigeons. In this case, 2 healthy individuals are able to transfer their qualities to the chicks.
Crossbreeding with unrelated pigeons is considered the opposite of inbreeding. At the same time, foreign genetic material can convey qualities that are not inherent in the breed, which will help improve it. This method should be used very carefully. With the advent of new genes, there is a risk of developing negative characteristics, which will adversely affect the genus.
Linear breeding helps to accurately assess the consequences of crossbreeding and inheritance of characteristics. It differs from inbreeding by a more distant relationship of parental birds.
Possible diseases and methods of their treatment
Pigeons are susceptible to various pathologies. The most common are the following:
- Trichomoniasis - spreads through water. Trichomonas is considered the causative agent of the disease. The disease leads to the death of birds.
- Psittacosis is an acute infection. It often affects young birds, which leads to their death.
- Campylobacteriosis is considered a consequence of the activity of bacteria that live asymptomatically in the body. For treatment, antibacterial drugs are used.
Breeding pigeons is considered a complex process that requires adherence to a number of recommendations. In order for the birds to develop normally, it is important for them to create suitable conditions and choose a balanced diet.