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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I've been lurking here for a while and thinking about getting a pair of pigeons. I want to be completely ready before I get anything so please let me know if I'm forgetting anything. I likely won't be considering anything until after July.

Is there a particular season that's good to get a pigeon? I'm in the Toronto area and I've only seen a pair of doves at a shelter once (sort of what sparked my fascination). It's very likely that if I got a pair I'd want to get them young.

I've got an old rat cage that I'd be using as their cage while I'm at work. It's the two story critter nation cage. It easily can fit a human my size in it...not that I got locked in there for being an annoying drunk at a new years party or anything like that....

Aside from that I'd be able to let them out when I get home from class (I'm in uni right now for animal biology). What is the minimum amount of time per day I should do this? I don't want to aim for the minimum (obviously) but they'll be time sharing the area with my crepuscular and nocturnal species. I wouldn't want any of my animals to lose out on the proper amount of socializing and free time.

I also was wondering about food. If I'm understanding this correctly they will need grit is something like this what I'm looking for? (http://www.crpu.ca/product/beyers-grit-extraversele-laga-gritredstone/)

I'm also not certain about food. I'd like to be able to stay in the city to pick up food. Would any of these be good?
(https://www.renspets.com/search?q=pigeon)

Also are there supplements that I need? I'm assuming d3 if they aren't going to be outside. Would they benefit from a UVB strip or is this unnecessary?

I've checked my by-laws and everything seems good here and in the city I'll be moving to in the next 4 years. I've also realized that there is a AVA certified vet at my reptile clinic which is awesome news to me. I'm not too worried since they're closely affiliated with the vet college so I'm expecting excellent care.

Other than that, I'm hoping that this works out for me. They really seem like awesome animals. The last thing I want to do is neglect an animal in any way.

Thank you and I'm sure I'll have a million more questions!
 

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Why are you interested in pigeons as pets? There are easier birds out there that aren't as messy to keep inside. Also, unless it is a rescued pair, and they are living in better circumstances than a cage, then putting them in a cage seems unfair.
 

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We had an indoor single nonreleasable former feral. We let her out at least an hour in the morning and an hour early in the evening. She loved to shoulder surf while we used a desktop computer an loved tv. However, i moved our subsequent pigeons outside because you have to clean constantly due to pigeon scuff and feathers and make sure you are not hypersensitive like pigeon scuff like i was. Ours live outside now in flight cages in a heated and air conditioned shed. If you have a pair they arent as interested in you as in each other and you will need to get fake eggs to prevent more pigeons ( we are up to six who we love dearly but want to keep the number down). Welcome to Pigeon Talk!
You can probably get nonreleasable rescue pigeons from a shelter or pigeon rescue or squeakers from a local racing club n the spring. Also try Craigslist. The grit and food are fine. We give ours acv and calciboost and probiotics too. Pigeons are great but are pretty messy birds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why are you interested in pigeons as pets? There are easier birds out there that aren't as messy to keep inside. Also, unless it is a rescued pair, and they are living in better circumstances than a cage, then putting them in a cage seems unfair.
Hm, I've actually been thinking about this on a lot in general. I really would like more experience with birds, but I'm having difficulty finding one the suits me and my lifestyle. In general, I know I'm not comfortable with tiny canary sized birds.

I do see the occasional ringneck dove in need of rehoming like the pair at the shelter. Or is it better to look at the parrots and cockatiels?
 

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You need to think about what it is you want in a pet bird, and ask people that own them, or read on them to see if they are what it is you are looking for. they do have little green cheeked parrots that are very cute and smaller than a large parrot. any bird you get will need out of cage time daily. No bird was meant to just sit in a cage for his life. and won't be friendly if not interacted with.
 

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I personally think pigeons don't make good house pets. They are happier in an outdoor coop / aviary and allowed free flight outside.

Inside the house they are one of the messiest birds to keep in terms of feather dust, dander, huge amounts of poops. When they flap their powerful wings the dust, seeds, feathers go flying everywhere!! And, many people develop an allergy to the dust... apart from all your furniture being covered in the stuff.

However, if you like pigeons and want a house pet, then other dove species are much better. Ring Neck doves are small and not messy. They get super tame and have a very placid and gently personality (not feisty like the pigeons).

Also diamond doves are very small and pretty and have a beautiful call. But they are quite shy and don't usually like being petted.
 

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I personally think pigeons don't make good house pets. They are happier in an outdoor coop / aviary and allowed free flight outside.

Inside the house they are one of the messiest birds to keep in terms of feather dust, dander, huge amounts of poops. When they flap their powerful wings the dust, seeds, feathers go flying everywhere!! And, many people develop an allergy to the dust... apart from all your furniture being covered in the stuff.

However, if you like pigeons and want a house pet, then other dove species are much better. Ring Neck doves are small and not messy. They get super tame and have a very placid and gently personality (not feisty like the pigeons).

Also diamond doves are very small and pretty and have a beautiful call. But they are quite shy and don't usually like being petted.
^ Agree with this post.
 

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I disagree somewhat with some others in the thread. I think pigeons can be great indoor pets. Your list of needs is right on. They don't need UVB light, especially if you have a large window they will be next to that you can open to a screen. There are a couple conditions to be met to make it a good match, though!

- You need to commit to cleaning frequently. Healthy pigeon poop is easy to clean generally and doesn't smell, but it should be cleaned away before it builds up. Same with seeds (they WILL toss seeds around, which can draw mice or bugs if left sitting on the floor), dander, and dropped feathers.

- Know the bird you're getting! If you want a friendly pet, they need to have grown up with humans and been handled gently from a young age.

- Some breeds are more docile than others. Show-bred birds are more docile than performance/flying breeds, as a rule of thumb. Ferals are usually energetic but friendly and curious.

- They need free flight time. As much as you can provide, really. They can be harness-trained, to come outside with you, but that should always be carefully supervised and is never risk-free.

-Offer a bath about once a week. They like to be clean.

- If you do get a pair, you will need to replace their eggs with fakes to control breeding. Don't just take the eggs away without replacing them! The hen will probably try to lay again as soon as she can, which depletes her calcium. Laying hens should get calcium supplements.
 

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Actually, both window glass AND window screens block much of the rays from the sun that they need to make vit. D., so an inside bird won't get enough of the UV rays needed unless he spends time outside, which is impossible if you live where you have cold winters. You would need to supply the vit. D with a supplement like CalciBoost or similar.
 

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Using no-spill bowls cuts down so much on the spilled seeds, I use one with my indoor bird and rarely if every have to sweep up seeds! I find pigeon food more annoying/difficult to sweep up than pigeon dander.
 

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Actually, both window glass AND window screens block much of the rays from the sun that they need to make vit. D., so an inside bird won't get enough of the UV rays needed unless he spends time outside, which is impossible if you live where you have cold winters. You would need to supply the vit. D with a supplement like CalciBoost or similar.
Definitely! I meant that providing a UVB lamp along with vitamin D isn't necessary, since the original post already mentioned supplementing vit D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We've started looking at the ring neck doves, still in the considering stage of things looking at other birds too. As far as the vitamins I'm really just used to reptiles so I get worried about vitamin d and calcium. I wouldn't want to overdo it, and probably would chose the vitamins because making sure they get the right kind of exposure would be difficult.
 

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I think pet pigeons are great pets! they are cute, funny and very smart! it's so entertaining to see all the little things they do, like building their nest, taking a bath, stretching, communicating to each other, etc.

They can also be very affectionate... when they want to lol... One of my pigeons (I have 2) flies to my bed every morning and sleeps next to me until I get up, and when I come back from work he flies to the door to greet me! he will dance and coo until I pick him up! he will then bite me lol but I don't mind! it amazes me that a pigeon (that once lived on the street) can do those things, you would expect it from a cat or dog, but not a pigeon!

If you do get one (or two), be prepared with a good vacuum! whenever they preen they drop a lot of dandruff, and when they molt there are feathers everywhere! I think a vacuum that uses bags is better as you can just throw the bag out without breathing in all the dander and tiny down feathers that you have picked up. You may also want to cover some parts of your furniture (they will pick up spots where they like to hang out) so that it's easier to clean or you can get them pigeon pants when they are out of the cage.

Can't advice about the food because I'm still experimenting with mine! for many months I've been feeding them Kaytee Dove Supreme, which is easy to find at pet stores, but a few weeks ago I got them a pigeon mix that I got at a pigeon supply store called Jedds. They were nice to explain to me that pigeons that get daily exercise (flying outside) need a high protein diet, while indoor pigeons (pets) need less. You also need a calcium supplement that has vit D3, I've learned that it's important, especially for the females when they lay eggs.

well, good luck! let us know what you decide :) and I suggest adopting instead of buying, there are so many unreleasable birds that need homes! even if they are adults they can still make great pets.
 

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Another consideration would be Fantails. They are very sweet, docile and entertaining. They're not very good flyers, so they don't need as much exercise as the flying breeds. They need more ground space in a cage. They do need to be let out in a room for exercise, but their flying is usually confined to getting from point A to point B........the ground to a table or perch. They don't fly around like the other breeds. A dog crate works good for them. You can make some type of a 'skirt' around the bottom to keep the seeds from being thrown out. I've also seen some rehabbers keep them in the portable mesh type dog crates. Those have screening to keep the mess down around the outside. Just a suggestion.

 
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