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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently gotten into pigeons. Ive been doing alot of research on keeping pigeons as pets. I wanted to know if i could capture an adult feral pigeon and tame it to be a pet. I know it would be easier to take a very young one and tame it but its winter now and most pigeons wont be laying eggs until spring except for the ones that can produce a sort of milk but i doubt ill find any of those. I know a place where a small flock of feral pigeons (oddly enough one of them has a blank ring on its foot) is roosting and I've been leaving food out for them almost daily. They are very shy and will fly away if i get too close but my hope is that they will get used to me leaving the food out and eventually i can do the old box and stick trap and catch an adult. Will the adult pigeon bite me when and if i capture it? and will I ever be able to tame it enough to be a pet? If so, how do I tame it? I don't have a loft or anything fancy i was planning to set up in old dog cage that i have (its big enough). I am not stupid i know alot about animals. I know what im doing. ive been researching pigeon care for weeks, and although this will be my first bird I currently keep and breed reptiles (snakes lizards turtles ect.) and fish and also have raised and orphaned baby rabits until old enough to be realesed. Can someone who knows more about pigeons answer my questions and tell me if i should try this or not.
thanks.
 

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My first pigeons were wild caught pigeons. Wouldn't do It again. I just feel bad knowing I'd be separating mates. If I were you, I'd wait until spring, find a nest of squabs, band them, and then when they're about ready to fledge, take them and begin to Hand rear them from there. They'll be a bit wild, but will calm down and more likely to live.
I'd simply avoid from catching adults as to not separate adult pairs. If you want to get a breeding pair I'd find 2 nests and get 4 babies.
 

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Oh boy,
Please do not do this. I beg you. Wild pigeons should remain wild. Yes the streets are a cruel life for them, but they also mate for life so you would be taking it away from it's possible family as well as it's choice to be free or not. How about just feeding a wild flock in your backyard?
All pigeon produce their baby feeding milk by the way.
There are hundreds of domestic and crippled ferals needing homes all over the place. Hundreds die in shelters, many more are euthanized because they can't be rehabilitated for release. How about we find you one of these rather than take a healthy wild one away from having a normal life.
As well as a dog cage is not a proper home for a pigeon. Whether it be a large kennel, or small crate. It's not about keeping the bird in, it's about keeping rodents out which requires small mesh wire, solid floors, and weather protection.
If you want to get into pigeons, please get your set up prepared first, then locate a rescue or wildlife center who have birds with no home.
Noone thinks you are stupid, I am sure you have a good knowledge base and just want to share love with a new pet, but please think about the well being of bird and what's best for it to.
 

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The one you see in the flock with black ring in the leg could be an escaped/lost domestic turned feral. If he's is interested to stay around you,you may attempt to catch him if he's not doing well in the wild or is a white bird that can become hawk food

Well,there are so many pigeon breeds that cannot survive in the wild. Why not keep them instead capturing a wild bird. Rest has been said above.
 

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I agree with the above in that an adult feral may not be the best choice but if you got youngsters it may be easier to tame then and more rewarding for you. You might also try contacting a 'pest removal" company as they may have squabs they are "evicting" that would be better going to you or even adults that they may otherwise harm. Depends on the guy running it and how you approach him/her. Are you going to keep them inside the house?? Some folks here do but be warned there is a lot of dust (along with the poo) although they also have a lot of personality. If you are keeping them outside the dog pen will have to be made predator proof and that means the cage spacing will have to be small enough to exclude mice and strong enough to prevent the bigger and smarter predators (racoons, kids) from getting in. Good luck and enjoy....they are really great birds!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I will be keeping it indoors with my other animals. However i cannot get it from breeders rescues or anything else. If i am getting one it will be from the wild however if it dosent work out i can always realease it. I just wanted to know if I could tame it, and how to tame it. Maybe i can try to catch the one with the ring and it will be easier to tame. can wild pigeons be tamed enough to be pets.
 

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If you want to post what city or town you are in, there is a good chance that there is a PT (Pigeon Talk) member near you. Some members are rescuers with unreleasable rehabs who need homes, some members are pigeon breeders and racers. I've rescued and raised and rehabbed a number of pigeons since 2004, but since I'm in Antwerp I can't be of direct use to you. I have, however, connected a number of people who come onto the site for the first time, needing help with a pigeon they decided to help and knowing little or next-to-nothing about pigeons (or other birds) and connected them with someone who had some degree of experience. Knowing and being able to call upon someone nearby with experience can be very useful, because on a pigeon website you sometimes have to know the right question to ask before you know you need an answer.

With my first pair of baby pigeons, for example, in 2004, I didn't even know what kind of bird I had. Someone had taken a plant pot with two baby pigeons in it from their balcony and set it on the street during the cold days of April, since they wanted to start using their balcony again after the winter, and considered the pigeons an expendable nuisance. Were they crows? Jaybirds? I looked at bird books in the local German library in Cologne, but they generally showed an adult male and female bird of the species, and a photo of an egg. After a week or so I found out they were pigeons, from this pigeon website, during a twice-weekly internet cafe session for senior citizens at a local community center (I didn't have internet at home, then. My old laptop wasn't capable of it). By then, thirteen days after rescue, one of the babies had developed a serious digestive problem (crop stasis, which could have been remedied with apple cider vinegar with the "mother" in it, and probiotics), and it died.

Potentially, in person, someone with experience can take a quick look at your bird and spot problems before or as they arise. On the internet, we need to provide photos, et cetera, et cetera. On the internet, however, you can often find an expert who has had "hands on" experience with your particular problem or situation.

I've suggested potential connections for people all over the world. I generally PM the PT member first, who may or may not want names or phone numbers made public. Sometimes I'm up when most working people in the U.S. are generally asleep, or someone in Australia or New Zealand or India is about to hit the sack .

If you do an advanced search and look for someone near you, you may find whether that person is active and has posted a lot lately, whether they have birds needing adoption, and so on.

In the San Francisco area, for example, there is Mickacoo pigeon and bird rescue. They have their own website. Mickaboo deals with companion birds needing rescue and rehab and adoption.

There are many birds out there needing help. A healthy feral won't appreciate being captive. I don't think many of us would appreciate a passing bear or wolf or whatever picking us out of a local coffee shop and taking us home to their den to be used for a hobby. It might be an interesting experience, but they couldn't satisfy all our needs. Maybe good bloody raw meat meals, free ticks and lice, comfy leaves to sleep on, nice wolf-howling sessions under the full moon, bear hugs, and such, but no internet, no TV. LOL.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I really think that I should capture one from here. Its not a very good place for them. I have found dead squabs on the ground there in previous years and there is this staircase that is closed in and locked most of the time but opened very rarely. When it is open pigeons often fly in and whoever locks it again dosent bother to chase them out. In the weeks that Ive been going there to feed and observe the birds Ive been leaving food and water for a bird that was trapped in there and I don't know if he noticed it or not but for the whole time he was trapped in there another bird (probably his mate) was clinged to the metal gate watching him and wouldn't leave until I got close enough to tough it and when i walked a couple of feet away he went right back to watch his mate. Today when I went there he was dead with his mate still watching over him. Ive seen cats there, sometimes if I go later than usual, and once, about a year ago, I saw a red tailed hawk circling the roost. Ive been yelled at recently by a man in charge of the property, for feeding the pigeons and he said that he was going to call an exterminator. And he wasn't just threatening. I wish someone could just answer my original question. Can wild caught feral pigeons be tamed as pets. And if so how do I tame them? maybe I could try to observe which pigeons are mated with which and try to catch a mated pair. There is one with a ring around its foot, so it cant be that bad for that one to be back to captivity. besides if it dosent work I could always just release them back to the wild.
 

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Long Island!! Well there are lots of pigeon fanciers not too far from you! There are also probably some good supply stores around (for feed etc.). Someone here may chime in on that. We are in NJ. PT is a good group of "pigeon people" and everyone is trying to help you here. As far as your original question.......Wild pigeons can be tamed as pets....some of them maybe, and many not. They are descendents of domestic birds, so live well with man. You will see, however, even among closely related pigoens and just like people that each individual bird has its own personality. Some are very bold, some more daring, some more flighty. If they have been smart enough to survive for some time in adulthood they are probably already learned to be wary of being TOO close to people. They are used to flying each day to thier food spots and roosting spots. A few may adapt quickly to domestic life but some may never. Ones that have been around for a while know the keys to survival but young birds just out of the nest have a tough time while climbing the learning curve. If you keep feeding the flock they will come to recognize you and you may get some to eventually eat from your hands. If they are at risk you could get one of these. If you are in that area regularly you will probably eventually come along another squab fallen from the nest or a bird that was injured and needs lifelong care....these are better choices IMHO but you know your situation better. Does the ring on the one have letters/numbers on it?? Does it look like a homing pigeon (or roller or flight or??)? If so it probalby was born in a loft somewhere. The band will have its year of birth. I don't know how long you have seen him but he/she may be a 2013 bird. That is a shame about the one locked in the building......that is almost certainly his/her mate outside and it was a very cruel way to die in there. Are your parents ok with this endeavor? Be sure to keep your new birds area clean (for thier health and for the enjoyment of everyone). You will want to worm and any new birds and treat them for feather lice/mites. This is easy but it would be good to start collecting all of this ahead of time. Keep posting and asking questions. In the future you may want to fly or race or show pigeons too.
 

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So, putting "Long Island" into the Advance Search, I found that on 27 July 2010, PT member Jemmus asked for help in finding a pigeon for her 10-year-old autistic son.

Hi,
Sorry for this geographically-local post, but I haven't had any luck with web searching. I live in Long Island, New York and my 10-year-old autistic son and I would like to find a young rock pigeon to hand tame. (Actually I'd like maybe a fantail instead, but little Alex has his heart set on one of the guys you see around parks and train stations... ). Does anyone have any ideas on where we might be able to buy/adopt a rock pigeon around Long Island? Thanks much!
PT member Patty Duke replied:
Hi

My name is Pat i do rescues at the train stations and encourage you to adopt
you can contact me through pigeon talk I live on the south shore of LI and
would be glad to help you find a bird
Patty Duke joined in 2007, and was last active in November 2012 (info taken from her Public Profile), so she may have something for you. But people's situations and interests change from time to time, and she may not be available. I have sent her a PM. If you can't contact her, or don't hear from her, try using the advanced earch option under SEARCH on the menu above. Type in "Long Island" or some nearby location, and see what comes up.

And PT member NYBoy answered:

Hi and welcome! This is a great place to learn about pigeons. I live in White Plains Ny , if your son enjoys having his pigeon and wants a 2nd I will give him a Fantail. Also Alex.
And PT member Elviradane lives in Floral Park.

There are a lot of pigeon racers and breeders and fanciers here in Belgium. My neighbour has a large two-story brick pigeon coop at the far end of his backyard (although the original owner built it many years ago, and the current owner from India uses it as a laundry room). Yesterday there was an elderly pigeon racer on the news who was selling his pigeons and getting out of racing because over the years he developed "pigeon lung" from being around a lot of pigeon dust (from pigeon feathers, and poop). He was wearing a pollen mask, on TV. You need to have a place for your pigeon that can be kept clean, and ideally should not be located too close to where you and others live and eat and sleep. A single pigeon usually does not present too many problems for housekeeping, but daily cleaning is necessary for your health and the health of others.
 

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Oh boy,
Please do not do this. I beg you. Wild pigeons should remain wild. Yes the streets are a cruel life for them, but they also mate for life so you would be taking it away from it's possible family as well as it's choice to be free or not. How about just feeding a wild flock in your backyard?
All pigeon produce their baby feeding milk by the way.
There are hundreds of domestic and crippled ferals needing homes all over the place. Hundreds die in shelters, many more are euthanized because they can't be rehabilitated for release. How about we find you one of these rather than take a healthy wild one away from having a normal life.
As well as a dog cage is not a proper home for a pigeon. Whether it be a large kennel, or small crate. It's not about keeping the bird in, it's about keeping rodents out which requires small mesh wire, solid floors, and weather protection.
If you want to get into pigeons, please get your set up prepared first, then locate a rescue or wildlife center who have birds with no home.
Noone thinks you are stupid, I am sure you have a good knowledge base and just want to share love with a new pet, but please think about the well being of bird and what's best for it to.
Exactly!

Freedom is most invaluable! Just imagine you were the birds, a man catch you on the street by trap, then he gives you a lot of food everyday but you have to live with him in your rest of the life, no other mates with you onward. And you have to stay in a cage and can't fly outside the set area. What do you feel?

People like living with a sound bird but not the crippled ones which are really in need of being taken care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
If anything happens like if the bird is afraid of me and never tames down I can just realease it. I just realy want a pigeon with the colour of a feral pigeon. Gray blue colour maybe checkered or bluebar. Something that anyone can see and recognise as a pigeon. I like other breeds I just realy favor the wild gray pigeons
 

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I don't think you could just release either one of those. Are you in a hurry? I'll bet if you just go to where you feed the birds and spend a few weeks feeding them a young bird would follow it's parent to you, then you could make a friend out of it to the point that it would come and eat out of your hand.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In reply to Woodnative's post. The ring was pink it blended in with the birds foot. Oddly enough, the ring was compleatley blank. not a mark on it. The bird didnt look live a racer or anything. It was just a normal looking feral pigeon. It was a checkered. Mabey I can get a picture of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
how do I tell if a pigeon is young or old. I know a very young pigeon has no cere on the beak but other than that I dont know a 1 year old bird from a 20 year old bird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a pigeon. I went today and Found a baby that had fallen from the nest. It wasnt tiny It has all its feathers but it can barely fly. The nest was way too far up for it to get to and it was very easy to catch, therefore it would have been just as easy for a cat to catch. It seems to have all its feathers but it has the beak of a squab. It is in a dog cage now with a plate of food and a bowl of water and a shoebox ti hide under. Is there anything else I should do? How do I tame it? Pigeon owners please help me!
 

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Remove the water. Go out and buy kaytee exact for parrots, or a parrot rearing formula. Follow the directions- for an older pigeon, it should be somewhat creamy and lukewarm. Then google various feeding techniques - do one according to your current supplies.
Just to confirm - it is pigeon food,right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
the bird has all its feathers but has a squab beak. Are you sure I should be feeding it kaytee extact. Is kaytee exact a solid food? Because i think he is old enough to bee eating solid food. If it is a solid food then can i just use the pigeon and dove food that you buy at the petstore? why do i have to remove the water it is only a very small container he cant drown in it. I thought pigeons need water at all times.
 

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No no, that's fine for now.

Can you post a picture? If we can get an idea on his age via pic that'd be great. Depending on the age exactly, you can wean early (I did with a squab of mine). Getting him to eat from you'll be hard
 
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