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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did my research and would like to add a couple of pigeons to my apartment, but still have a few questions.


1) I don't plan on ever releasing them outside but I do want to let them out each day in my apartment for exercise. I understand indoor birds should have access to Vitamin D3 to absorb calcium, and I see on the Kaytee fortified dove diet there is cholecalciferol which is labelled as D3. Is this enough to absorb calcium or would I still need to buy a supplement? Recommendations if so?

2) I found a "bird gravel" for parrots (I'm guessing it's soluble "grit") that has oyster shell and charcoal, would this be acceptable until I find the black Kaytee hi-cal grit or red pigeon grit? If I can't, would a crushed granite/chicken grit be okay or are the pieces too big? I'm still mapping out the local feed/ag stores so I haven't been able to look for the red grit yet. My parents have chickens so I have an endless supply of eggs to crush for their calcium, at least.

3) I probably will be working on hand-taming and won't be able to measure them for pants for a while. How would you pigeon-proof a kitchen? I was thinking of laying towels on everything I don't want poop on and making sure nothing was hot.

4) Any ideas on making a water bowl? I found a plan on here to make a food bowl using a tupperware container, but I was wondering about making/repurposing a tip-proof water bowl too. Otherwise, what waterers are recommended?

5) Anything that I should have on hand for emergencies or medicine, treats, etc? Like putting garlic cloves or ACV in their water, or the raw chopped peanuts.

6) Vet bewares; I'm still looking for an avian vet, what are the signs of a good or bad one? What would you consider an average price in the US for basic checkups so I can avoid being ripped off?


The irony here is that I've just about gotten everything together with little problem... but the bird sanctuaries here very rarely take in pigeons and I'm not sure if regular shelters ever have any surrenders. Craigslist seems to be the only place I've reliably seen pigeons so far, but I'm not sure if I would trust those birds to be healthy or social towards people. When I'm completely ready I'll probably turn to this forum first for a pair of birds.
 

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The kitchen is really not a good place to keep them. If you use teflon pans, that is toxic to birds. Microwaves are really bad for birds also.
Yes, they should have a calcium and D3 supplement, as the female laying eggs uses a lot of calcium, and can run into problems. Chicken egg shells can be used, but should be boiled first, or microwaved for a few minutes to kill any bacteria. Still would need extra D3 or sunlight, without window glass or screen, as those block the rays they need to make vit. D3.

Grit for chickens is too big for pigeons. They need a good Hi-Calcium pigeon grit. You may have a feed and grain place around that has it or can get it.
Avian vets are not cheap no matter where you live.

As for a drinker, go to a pet store and buy a heavy crock that they will not spill over, and not large enough for them to bathe in.
A cage should be more wide than high.
No matter where you get the birds, nothing will guarantee that they will be tame. That takes time.
Pigeons are not usually cuddly. They don't normally like being picked up and petted. They like to come to you when they want to. They need to learn to trust you and get used to having you around. It takes patience, and they all have different personalities. Some become friendlier than others. They are also messy in a house. They throw seed when eating, they molt, and they are dusty. Some people can have sensitivity to the dust. A good fan to pull the stale air out, and bring fresh air in is important. Or maybe an air cleaner. I don't really think that pigeons are the best house pets one can have. I wouldn't want them in the house 24/7. I do have them inside if they are injured, sick, or new and need to be quarantined for a month before introducing to the flock. But I wouldn't really choose a pair of pigeons for a house pet. It can be a long commitment, as they can live over 15 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you for the reply. I'm not keeping them in the kitchen, the floor plan is open aside from the bathroom and bedroom so they could easily fly over there if they wanted to, and I'm sure they will. And the only nonstick pan I have is ceramic and that type of pan does not let off any fumes harmful to birds.

What kind of D3 would you recommend then? Something I can add to their food or water, I read about giving them a pill every so often and that just sounds stressful for everyone. When I can I'll check into the local feed stores for proper grit, I was worried the chicken grit would be too large.

As for vets, I just want to know enough to avoid being ripped off. I plan on calling around and seeing if anyone has experienced avian vets and if they can quote me for a basic checkup.

The cage I've bought is a 42" wire crate, which some sources I've found seemed to recommend them due to the width since pigeons like to walk and not climb. I'm working on getting some flat perches for it, I'm sure we have some scrap wood from building the coops and I'm hoping it's untreated.

From reading through this subforum and other pigeon/dove websites I fully understand they likely won't be tame initially, or aren't cuddly and do as they please, and live up to 15 years. I plan on getting an air filter for the dust as well.


EDIT: I also see that it is possible for birds to overdose on D3, which is why I'm leery of adding too much to their diet if their food already contains it. How would you control how much D3 they take in, and how much is too much for pigeons?
 

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Where do you live? Maybe someone can recommend an avian vet near you that is knowledgeable, kind, and reasonable.
 

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Thank you for the reply. I'm not keeping them in the kitchen, the floor plan is open aside from the bathroom and bedroom so they could easily fly over there if they wanted to, and I'm sure they will. And the only nonstick pan I have is ceramic and that type of pan does not let off any fumes harmful to birds.

What kind of D3 would you recommend then? Something I can add to their food or water, I read about giving them a pill every so often and that just sounds stressful for everyone. When I can I'll check into the local feed stores for proper grit, I was worried the chicken grit would be too large.

As for vets, I just want to know enough to avoid being ripped off. I plan on calling around and seeing if anyone has experienced avian vets and if they can quote me for a basic checkup.

The cage I've bought is a 42" wire crate, which some sources I've found seemed to recommend them due to the width since pigeons like to walk and not climb. I'm working on getting some flat perches for it, I'm sure we have some scrap wood from building the coops and I'm hoping it's untreated.

From reading through this subforum and other pigeon/dove websites I fully understand they likely won't be tame initially, or aren't cuddly and do as they please, and live up to 15 years. I plan on getting an air filter for the dust as well.


EDIT: I also see that it is possible for birds to overdose on D3, which is why I'm leery of adding too much to their diet if their food already contains it. How would you control how much D3 they take in, and how much is too much for pigeons?



It is actually possible for them to get too much calcium too. If a calcium supplement is given once or twice a week, then they should be fine. Without enough calcium or D3, they will have all sorts of problems, and some of them can kill them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
get some homing pigeons , young ones let them out side. if your keeping them in get ring necked doves but they are loud cooing fun fellows.
I only have space for a pair and that doesn't make a safe flock. I doubt the landlord would appreciate me releasing birds either. I looked into ringnecks but absolutely don't want anything that could potentially be heard through walls, and reading on here some males have a habit of cooing at night.

Where do you live? Maybe someone can recommend an avian vet near you that is knowledgeable, kind, and reasonable.
Southwest Missouri

EDIT: I found fake eggs at Hobby Lobby, which size is best and should I bother painting them?
 

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Yes, they would need to be painted. But those are probably too large. Kind of hard to tell from pictures.
You can buy solid plastic pigeon eggs from pigeon supply places, or ebay, or probably Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, they would need to be painted. But those are probably too large. Kind of hard to tell from pictures.
You can buy solid plastic pigeon eggs from pigeon supply places, or ebay, or probably Amazon.
I went and found a picture of a rock pigeon egg measured in cm and a perfect match is the second bag of wood eggs, which I thought might be too big. And I saw for some people's birds they can "catch on" with using plastic eggs. Sorry if it seems like I'm overthinking this by asking twenty questions, but thank you all for answering them.
 

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Well their eggs are white, so brown won't do. You also need to be able to wash them. So will have to paint them. The paint may peel off eventually. Just easier to buy the solid plastic eggs. They are very inexpensive.
 

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if pigeons nest in a box you made on your window sill and they happen to be homing pigeons and or a rock dove of some form that are kept clean and out of harms way? they could very well be up to any one guess wild or tame? its up to how you sell the idea to the land lords. pigeons can be loud too. there are other kinds of doves as well from diamond doves to giant runts ( a breed of show pigeon) .
 

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You can't just keep them in a box outside. They wouldn't be safe unless enclosed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
if pigeons nest in a box you made on your window sill and they happen to be homing pigeons and or a rock dove of some form that are kept clean and out of harms way? they could very well be up to any one guess wild or tame? its up to how you sell the idea to the land lords. pigeons can be loud too. there are other kinds of doves as well from diamond doves to giant runts ( a breed of show pigeon) .
I'm not sold on the idea of keeping the birds outside like that, at all.
 

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pigeons like to come and go have freedom a small loft, a box if you will where they can come and eat be safe from hawks cats and wild life. i m sure if you look into pigeons you will love the idea of a small loft where your birds come to you with a call out side. you have more freedom with pigeons and dove than you do with other birds. really you get what you put in to this hoppy the more time the more your pigeon or pigeons do for you
 

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Jay3 your right you can dress the box up how ever you like but a pigeon loft is a safe box, Jim Jenner has a little video on a small loft its easy not alot of money it is a box no bigger than a rabbit hutch, of corse the is a size of box you need a how you do it is up to you. For me keeping a pigeon in side your house might not be the best either but, hey people do it.
 

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Roger, 2 pigeons aren't safe outside by themselves. That is why they are in flocks. A small box outside your window sill is not a loft. It's a box. The birds would be doing nothing but sleeping in it. Why get the birds to begin with? That isn't having a pet. That is getting 2 pigeons and pretty much turning them loose.
 

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two pigeons are safe out side just like 100 of them in a loft where they are safe key words were safe, i m not saying leave your pet out with out being safe. every thing we build is a box for the most part having a loft where you can let them out or close the door keep them in on your deck, window sill or roof top, living room or shop how ever you keep them. keeping them dry, out of the wind and away from predators they will live 20 + years.
 

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But if you only have 2 birds, why put them outside in a box? They are pets, so you would keep them inside in a large cage. I guess I'm just not understanding what you are saying. Letting them fly outside isn't safe, so why would you keep them outside in a box?
 

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point of view i guess, pigeons out side free works for me, if you keep them in your house and that works for you , who am i to say? it is safe to say we are pigeon people, and i love mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I wanted to let you know I haven't up and vanished, I just didn't think I could add anything to the discussion. As for the eggs we already have some white paint left over from a project, I just need to check if it's bird safe/low VOC. And the sellers I found on Amazon and Ebay for those plastic eggs just seemed really off to me, so I think I'm going to pass on that. Been too many credit card thefts going around. But thank you for that suggestion, I hadn't thought to check there.

Does the smell of the anise oil in red pigeon grit ever go away? Because it smells great, like black licorice. I could think of worse smells to have 24/7, haha.
 
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