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My name is Carina and I joined this forum because I was very interested in birds. And I love to talk. A lot. Especially about topics I am interested in. At first, I was deadset on a parrot, mostly because I honestly did not even know you could keep pigeons as pets. I knew about doves being kept as pets but never really looked into them since the only idea I had about doves was that you released a flock of them at weddings. Turns out those are actually homing pigeons, but I digress.

I was doing my due diligence, researching about my future pet and seeing if we would be compatible. It was coming along well and I was heavily considering them. There were just a few problems with parrots that kept me from truly pursuing a purchase:
  • They are extremely loud. I took the advice of parrot owners and watched some youtube videos of macaws screaming at full volume. I could not even handle full volume, it was far too loud and really hurt my ears. Plus, the pitch was very high, even among the smaller parrots. In fact, the pitch bothered me more than the volume!
  • They are destructive. "A busy beak is a happy beak" is a catchphrase I heard all the time. I figured it meant as long as you have toys they would only destroy those. Even though it would be very expensive to constantly be buying toys (someone mentioned spending $700 a month on toys), I was ok with the expense. But no. Even with all the toys parrot owners were adamant that you must expect the bird to eventually chew on something it's not supposed to: doorframes, furniture, windowsills -- anything they can get to. This was rather discouraging to me, as I do not want my home chewed up and destroyed
  • You can only pet them on the head and neck otherwise you will arouse the bird and since they think you are their mate, will become angry that you are not having inappropriate sex with them. This anger leads them to rip out feathers, gouge themselves with their beaks, and become aggressive and dangerous to hold.
  • Parrots will bite and when they bite it will bleed. I get light headed and dizzy at the sight of blood
  • They will poop everywhere and there's really nothing you can do to stop them. You can potty train them to only go in one spot but that is not very effective. The expectation is for me to simply clean up after them. Which is fine, until they poop on top of the fridge, where I need a ladder to reach.
  • They are very expensive. Could I afford one? Yes. Would it be a hefty load on my finances? Also yes.
  • If they like you, they can be jealous. I am currently dating and we would like to get married one day. Unfortunately, parrots see you as their mate and when that happens they might try and bite other people in the house that get too close. And if you put the bird in its cage so you can go snuggle with your boo, they will simply start screaming. Not the most romantic setting.
  • They are complicated to feed. You have to make them chop and make sure not to give them too many seeds and nuts and you have to be sure they eat a certain amount of very specific types of vegetables with not too many fruits otherwise they will become sickly. If they don't like vegetables, you must make them eat it or they will get sick and die.
  • You can't show them mirrors because they think it's another bird, will try to attack it, and will hurt or kill themselves slamming into the mirror.

So after learning all of this, I was very sad because I was looking forward to having a bird, but thought that I simply could not. I was lamenting about this to one of my friends, and she asked why I don't just look into doves or pigeons instead. I was very confused and did some googling and guess what!? Pigeons (and doves) are pets. In fact, they are domesticated, not wild like parrots. I was elated when I learned the following about them:
  • They are quiet. I watched several videos (at full volume) to hear how a pigeon sounded. I did the same for ringneck doves. I don't mind the ringneck dove cooing but I absolutely love the way a pigeon sounds. This made them better in my eyes, as I don't just want to tolerate my pet I want to love them!
  • They are not destructive. They do not even want to rip things apart with their beaks! Apparently, they are soft billed and they can't even climb. So I don't have to worry about the bird climbing up the curtains and shredding them. Also, this makes cleaning their cage easier because they won't climb the cage walls to poop on them. And I don't have to get a heavy duty wrought iron cage because the bird can't chew through the bars like parrots can.
  • You can pet them anywhere! As long as the pigeon is imprinted to pigeons, they will never see humans as potential mates. More space to pet! And they can relax on and near you all day long with no adverse effects. Parrots cannot stay on your shoulder for too long or it arouses them. I don't have to worry about that with pigeons!
  • Pigeons smack you with their wings when they get upset and even when they bite it does not draw blood. No passing out for me!
  • Pigeons poop every half hour but you can put on adorable pigeon pants for 3 hours at a time! Then give them a break then put them back on again. The pants catch their poop. Very convenient, because I heard potty training can make a bird's cloaca fall out from over straining. I can still try and encourage my bird to go to his cage to poop, but strict potty training does not sound like a good idea at all.
  • They are not very expensive. I do not have to spend $700 a month on toys! Instead of demanding both my money and time, these adorable birds only need my time and a little money! This is excellent that their needs are so low because I can afford to splurge on my bird and that $700 a month can go towards more than just toys that will be destroyed. It can go to highest quality food and enrichment and cute pigeon pants!! Not just one thing.
  • Pigeons have to bond to either another pigeon or a human to be happy, and as long as they are imprinted to pigeons, they can pair bond to a human with no ill effects!! It's a win win. The bird gets the satisfaction of having a best friend, and I do not have to worry my bird will hurt himself because he thinks we should mate. Since he won't see me as a mate, my pigeon will not be aggressive to people close to me. He'll understand.
  • Pigeons are simple to feed. Apparently all they need is a high quality seed mix with tons and tons of variety. Sprinkle on some colorful veg and a tiny bit of fruit and don't forget the oyster shell reinforced grit! Dinner is served!!
  • Pigeons enjoy looking at themselves in mirrors. They know how pretty they are.

All of this to say why I am here. I have a positive view of these birds but before I buy any pet, I need to get intel from current owners to make extra sure we would be compatible. So far, I think a pigeon would be very happy living with me, but it does not hurt to do some research and talk! Besides, I want to make sure everything is set up for my new pet before he comes home.
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