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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For lack of a better term, is it possible to "house break" or "potty train" a pet pigeon? Not completely or like a dog or cat, I don't mean that, but if I kept a pigeon as an indoor pet, allowing it to fly freely during the day, am I looking at a real mess to maintain or will it tend to say, go to its cage and do its business?

Thanks for any advice.
 

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This is a bird, not a puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Like I wrote, NOT like a dog or cat. I know it's a bird, just simply wondering if they might be prone to going in, again, like I wrote, in their cage versus everywhere.
 

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They poop where and when they feel the need, really. Their preference is to be perched on something, be it a house-brick in their cage or box, curtain-rail or your best armchair, and stick their butts out over the edge. Females tend to store it up overnight and really let loose come morning.
 

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One thing I will say is that I had 2 pigeons a few years ago that I let out every single morning, quite early, and let them free fly and come back to roost, and locked them back up again at night.

Once this routine was settled into their system I found that they no longer pooped inside their dove cot. Both the male and female held it in all night long. So it was great for me, as I barely had any cleaning to do.

But kind of opposite of the situation you want, since you want them pooping inside the cage, and NOT outside.

Pigeons are not really potty trainable in my opinion. But they are clever and they like routine (like most animals). I think it is all about timing and learning to read your animals. Pigeons have incredible memory skills.

Once things settle you should get used to their natural rhythm and they to yours. You might be able to create pooping 'time-outs', lure them back to the cage or poop area with treats and make them hang out there for a while. Once it comes to a rhythm they might even start going to the poop area themselves at a specific time to wait for their treats.


They're still going to poop 100 times a day, but if you stick to a regular routine with everything, feeding, letting out etc their body will also follow a regular rhthym. I have a ring neck who I used to leave roam my room all day when he was younger. I got so used to him, I had an internal timer in my head and ended up grabbing a tissue before he even pooped because I knew it was coming.

Of course this only is a possibility if you hang around them for the entire day.

Another possibility is just to make one particular area super attractive as a hang out and have some kind of poop catcher underneath it.

It's not potty training but it is poop management.
 

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Yes, they usually pick a favorite perching area. So they often will come out of the cage and go to that area. Then they poop. So by having something under that area to catch it, it does help. But you can't train them on where to poop. I guess it's more that they are training you. :D
 

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As Jay3 says, they pick their favorite places and basically train you. DeeDee's favorite places are on top of the wall unit (naturally, I have to stand on something to clean it every day), on top of my husband's computer monitor (fairly easy to clean and at least it's easy to see!) and on top of a ups paper box my husband has on top of his hutch (again, easy to see and clean). He also drops some on top of the refrigerator and does drop some other places, but not as often. Basically, I do "poop patrol" every day or at most every other day. I use a vacuum with a long attachment and just vacuum it all up, and once in a while I get up there and with a disinfectant and wipe stuff down. It's really not too terrible, and knowing that the poop is there forces me to clean those places more often than I would normally, which is really a good thing. The only place I really hate for him to poop is on my keyboard. That's just yucky...but he DOES love to chase my fingers while I type. <sigh> I COULD put down papers in some places, but that's more trouble than it's worth.

We do use the bathroom as his sleeping place at night because my husband stays up all night and DeeDee's cage is in the living room. I have a ceramic-tiled vanity that I have a plastic shower rod over (I use it to restrain dogs--I'm a dog groomer). We bought some restaurant-style roll out paper towels and have the roll on that rod. We take the paper and put it under the rod across the vanity, and it catches 98% of the poop. He does sometimes like to nest on a towel we keep on top of a small bookcase in there for him, and that we just pick the stuff up after it's dry and wash it once a week.

That's OUR system, for good or ill. DeeDee seems to feel he's trained us well.
 

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My male, Rocky, is somewhat potty trained. When I first let him out of his cage, I have him perch on my hand and hold a little tray lined with a piece of folded newspaper. I tell him "do your business" and he does. It doesn't eliminate all of his messes, but it keeps him from immediately flying to the top of the tall bookcase and pooping there because he's already done it before he flies over there.

The first couple of times, I just had to keep him there (not by force, just by holding my hand at chest level where it was hard for him to fly off right away) until he got the idea.

Adrian, on the other hand, is not interested in this at all. However, she spends so much time on her nest that when it's time to come out for a fly around, I can usually feed her some treats in the cage for a minute and that gives her time to make her gigantic, saved-up poop there. She doesn't usually need to go again for quite a while after that.

Like Jay said, they train us.
 

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I believe, at some point, I came across and posted on a thread showing a safe, non interfering pigeon nappy that fitted across the vent, and how to make it. I will try to find it for you
 
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