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Hello all! My son (10 years old now) has been interested in pigeons for a long while, getting library books about them and asking to start a hobby. So about a year ago, in total ignorance, we got him two pigeons at an auction. One escaped when we got home and disappeared. :( We didn't want the other one to be alone, so we contacted a local man who gave us a young bird from his flock and we kept them in a big flight cage in our barn. Well, some time later one of the kids let them out and surprisingly they both stayed here in the barn. We got so fond of them, seeing them fly around the farm, we finally caved and bought some more (18 total) at an auction an hour from home a few weeks ago. It is fast becoming MY interest! I've been trying to rapidly learn as much as I can by reading. We were given an old shed 8x10 that we turned into their loft. They seem pretty content there. We have some Birmingham rollers (according to the legbands that say NBRC) and 12 young all white pigeons with blank orange legbands. These may have come from different owners than the rollers. They were in different auction lots. At least I'm pretty sure they are quite young - their ceres are still pinkish and they have dark eyes, although they are all feathered out. None of them have started exhibiting any male/female characteristics yet, while the ones I'm sure are older are pairing up. The white ones had feather lice, but some DE took care of that fast.

Does anyone here have any experience using colloidal silver with pigeons? We actually make our own and have used it on rabbits and chickens with no problems. I wondered if it could help their general health - they all seem to have rather green poop whereas I think I've read it should be more brownish.
Also, one of our two original pigeons (he's a blue bar homer, I think) is wooing one of the new roller girls. What can I expect if they mate and produce offspring? Or can they at all? I figured it'd like having two different breeds of chickens mate (which we have had happen here too). You just get a mixed breed offspring, yes?

I really hope we can fly them someday. I'm not interested in racing for competition, but I'd like to be able to release them away from home and see them come back. It's just cool! I realize the older ones are much less likely to return so I don't plan to do that soon. Hope we could get some babies from them before we try it at all. The younger white ones I think we have a better chance. Any idea how we could guess their age?

What can I do about the legbands? I'd like to be able to put our phone number on all the pigeons in case any are ever lost. Some have no bands, the white ones have the blank orange bands. Looks like they are plastic and just snap on. A few have permanent bands from former owners like the NBRC and AU kind. How could I put our phone # on all our birds?

At this point we have all the birds together in the 8x10 shed. How important is it to separate the younger ones from the older ones?

Thank you for any help you can give me. I have really enjoyed reading lots of posts here and appreciate the amount of time, wisdom, and accumulated learning this group represents! I can see how pigeon-fever can become a very time-consuming hobby. :D

By the way, my son does just the most authentic sounding pigeon noises. :p We thought there was one in the house the other day but it was him! It's so funny! Plus the other day he came out of the loft yelling and running to me (I wondered what the heck was happening). It was because one of the hens laid an egg. lol He loves our new birds, but I think I love them as much or more. We may be hooked! ;)
Rebecca
 

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Hello all! My son (10 years old now) has been interested in pigeons for a long while, getting library books about them and asking to start a hobby. So about a year ago, in total ignorance, we got him two pigeons at an auction. One escaped when we got home and disappeared. :( We didn't want the other one to be alone, so we contacted a local man who gave us a young bird from his flock and we kept them in a big flight cage in our barn. Well, some time later one of the kids let them out and surprisingly they both stayed here in the barn. We got so fond of them, seeing them fly around the farm, we finally caved and bought some more (18 total) at an auction an hour from home a few weeks ago. It is fast becoming MY interest! I've been trying to rapidly learn as much as I can by reading. We were given an old shed 8x10 that we turned into their loft. They seem pretty content there. We have some Birmingham rollers (according to the legbands that say NBRC) and 12 young all white pigeons with blank orange legbands. These may have come from different owners than the rollers. They were in different auction lots. At least I'm pretty sure they are quite young - their ceres are still pinkish and they have dark eyes, although they are all feathered out. None of them have started exhibiting any male/female characteristics yet, while the ones I'm sure are older are pairing up. The white ones had feather lice, but some DE took care of that fast.

Does anyone here have any experience using colloidal silver with pigeons? We actually make our own and have used it on rabbits and chickens with no problems. I wondered if it could help their general health - they all seem to have rather green poop whereas I think I've read it should be more brownish.
Also, one of our two original pigeons (he's a blue bar homer, I think) is wooing one of the new roller girls. What can I expect if they mate and produce offspring? Or can they at all? I figured it'd like having two different breeds of chickens mate (which we have had happen here too). You just get a mixed breed offspring, yes?

I really hope we can fly them someday. I'm not interested in racing for competition, but I'd like to be able to release them away from home and see them come back. It's just cool! I realize the older ones are much less likely to return so I don't plan to do that soon. Hope we could get some babies from them before we try it at all. The younger white ones I think we have a better chance. Any idea how we could guess their age?

What can I do about the legbands? I'd like to be able to put our phone number on all the pigeons in case any are ever lost. Some have no bands, the white ones have the blank orange bands. Looks like they are plastic and just snap on. A few have permanent bands from former owners like the NBRC and AU kind. How could I put our phone # on all our birds?

At this point we have all the birds together in the 8x10 shed. How important is it to separate the younger ones from the older ones?

Thank you for any help you can give me. I have really enjoyed reading lots of posts here and appreciate the amount of time, wisdom, and accumulated learning this group represents! I can see how pigeon-fever can become a very time-consuming hobby. :D

By the way, my son does just the most authentic sounding pigeon noises. :p We thought there was one in the house the other day but it was him! It's so funny! Plus the other day he came out of the loft yelling and running to me (I wondered what the heck was happening). It was because one of the hens laid an egg. lol He loves our new birds, but I think I love them as much or more. We may be hooked! ;)
Rebecca
wow, congrats on your new birds. first the homers are the only ones that you take away from home to come back home. the rollers are for just flying around the loft and home. so if they did inter breed you would breed the homing instinct away. so if you want homers they would have to breed with another homer to keep the homing ability in them, all pigeons home some what, but homers have been bred a long time to improve this instinct. you can get dummie eggs for population control, and if you wanted to breed some homers, you could seperate a pair and let them hatch a few rounds, and then train the babies. Im not sure if you have homers in the mix, the young white ones may be.?? they will show their sex when 4 to 6 months of age, but it is still hard to tell sometimes. sounds like your about in capacity for an 8x10, you could perhaps fit 10 more birds in there, but that is the max, I like to keep below the max....ha ha easier said than done! anyway, you won't have much room for babies soon, so that is something to think about. as far as thse bands go, you can order clip on bands with your info on them, I think global pigeon has them as well as a few others, they take about 5 or 6 weeks to get. you can put them on the oppisite leg of the permanant band, or with the whites, take off the orange clip on and repalce with yours. some pics would be good so we can see your set up and what you have, plus we just like pics! we have serveral members that use the colloidal silver, I have not yet, but I thought it was good for wounds and such. here is a link that has wonderful care info in it, she also uses the colloidial silver. http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f14/prevention-amp-nutrition-for-racing-homing-pigeons-10859.html
 

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collodial silver is handy stuff to have around!never had ocassion to use(so far)but its a good thing to have in the meds box)as for bands,yes you can get phone number bands(i live in uk but im pos you can order them online in the usa too)great to see youngsters getting into pigeons,its a good thing for kids,my 7 year old daughter is pigeon crazy too!good luck with your new pigies
 

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Yes, you can use colloidal silver. The white homers are probably still young so their ceres are still pink. That is perfect time to resettle them. You can order address snap band or seamless band in many pigeon supply websites. Rollers fly around locally to your loft. Don't fly them with homers else they might follow those homers and if they can't keep up, can get lost. If you breed rollers and homers together you will get a cross. Their homing result is not that good and their rolling may also get affected. But you add homing instinct to those rollers. I would not recommend it if you want to enjoy each bird's unique abilities. If you don't mind, then that is ok, too. Just don't expect too much from the result. They will be less rollers and less homers.
 

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Yes, I use it but mostly for rehab purposes, for infections and for cleaning wounds, topical application for pox and other lesions. It is wonderful to use as it doesn't have any strong odors and can also be used internally, as well. It works for eye infections and issues too, a drop goes a long way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your replies! Spirit wings, I never even thought about the fact that... I don't even know if I have homers!!! :eek: Except for the couple that have legbands that say they are and the banded ones that say they are rollers instead. Nuts, well, I guess time will tell.

I noticed the white birds are mostly still squeaking. I think I heard one who's voice is breaking - could that narrow down their age to around 3 months?

Glad to see I can use colloidal silver. Now, can anyone point me to a good set of instructions about using chapparal tea for worms? (I also have piperazine, although I understand it's effectiveness is decreasing in general.) I don't know if our birds have worms, but I'd like the knowledge in any case. Today I finally got the Kaytee red grit I ordered and they went nuts for it! I'd like to mix a little DE in with that - anybody else do this or know a reason I shouldn't? It's food grade.

RodSD, thank you for clarifying the cross breeding thing. That makes sense to me; that the traits of each would be diluted, kind of, by the other. Hmmm, as much as I'm curious to see babies, I may take the eggs and put in dummy eggs under that pair that's cross breeding. The kids will be disappointed though. At what point will they give up on the dummy eggs, if ever? Also, I love the homer male of that pair and wish he'd mate with another homer. Will he always stay with that one hen?

I won't post loft photos for awhile I think. :eek: It's a very humble dwelling! We have lots of adjustments to make. I need to try some new ideas for nesting boxes, and we are trying to get an idea of how to make a settling pen on one side of the loft. We still need to order a trap and make a landing for it too. The shed is not lined on the inside. This makes for lots of odd nooks and crannies for the birds to sit in, which they seem to like as well or better than the perches we put in, but it's going to be hard to clean. But if we line it with plywood or something, how do we maintain the air movement in there? What's the difference anyway between 'drafty' and 'well-ventilated'??

We have so much to learn, but we're enjoying it. :) Thanks for your help.
Rebecca
 
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