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Hi All,

My son and I are interested in getting a rescued pigeon or two. We have been learning everything we can before diving in and have some questions.

First off: I'm wondering whether these birds can be truly happy if they are not in a bonded pair.
If we do get a bonded pair, would that extinguish all hope that they would want to interact with us? Even if a single bird bonds to one of us, wouldn't it be sad while we are away during the day? Finally, would two females be happy together keeping each other company?

Part two is regarding breed:
We saw the Kings video and my son, of course, is thinking we'll get a "dog with wings". He is 12 and is wonderful with our own pet dogs (rescues), but I want to manage his expectations. He seems to be thinking that whatever bird we get will just snuggle right up to him and be ready to learn tricks and eat out of his hand. I'm expecting that it will need time to adjust and learn to trust us and may never be tame in the way he is hoping. What is your take on this?
I assume every bird is different, but is there also a difference in the breed, e.g. Kings, Fantails, Homers, etc? Or is it mostly just a difference in how often and how well you work with them? Perhaps the bonded/unbonded question above also answers this one a bit?

Thanks for being such an open, sharing bunch. We've already learned so much!
 

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pigeons are not cuddle bugs, they love being around you and coo to you if it is a lone pigeon but shoulder perching may be all you get, it really goes against a prey animal to be held. they can be messy in the house, but if you don't mind tidying up everday then it may not bother you. the only way to get some interaction or control is through feed, they pay attention to food and when they are going to get some, and if they do not have a mate and see you as their mate you can get some interaction with them. two hens would work great, usually. I love my pigeons but they are in a loft, they are too messy for me in my house, I kind of look at it as like keeping chickens and other poultry, most times they are outside in an enclosure. I do have some ringneck doves( three hens) in the house, they are not as messy and are very gentle and sweet, males can be loud though. also they do poop alot, but there are diapers for birds, just would have to put it on, so he/she would learn to be handled that way, but all of them are different so you may end up with one you can tame real well or one that will have nothing to do with it.
 

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Kings are making great pets, as they are tame and bond easier. You did answer most of your questions.:) Birds need time, patience and attention. Every pigeon has different character. They are better in pairs. Get mated birds if you can. If you get single bird it is still fine. Disabled birds are also very good option as pets as they cannot fly. Pigeon who bonds to you will beg for your attention, but will not mutilate himself as parrots do while you not around. It will just be happier when you are close.
Check under adoption section of this forum to see what is available.
 

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Kings are making great pets, as they are tame and bond easier. You did answer most of your questions.:) Birds need time, patience and attention. Every pigeon has different character. They are better in pairs. Get mated birds if you can. If you get single bird it is still fine. Disabled birds are also very good option as pets as they cannot fly. Pigeon who bonds to you will beg for your attention, but will not mutilate himself as parrots do while you not around. It will just be happier when you are close.
Check under adoption section of this forum to see what is available.
I just wanted to add that Im not in agreence of the "Kings are Tame and Bond eaiser" part...

Journey is a King and he is also a pigeons-- pigeon. He doesn't mind when I put his daiper on , because he knows that he can then, roam at free will. But he does not like to be held AT ALL. And would prefer if you observe him from across the room. AT this point I must mention that I spend a LOT of time in my bird room daily and have been trying to "tame" him with no such luck since last Feb. I respect that he wants to be a birds bird.... and so with the exception of putting on his diaper- I love him from a distance!:rolleyes:

On the other hand, I do have a homer who just LOVES to be right next to me at all times... She loves to be cuddled and will settle right down on my lap for a nap... SO:confused:

For me- I honestly think its just the bird. Some just like the human interaction and some are just all pigeon!
 

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AND...another viewpoint...

I found Mr. Squeaks as a young (hence the name) racing homing pigeon with a badly broken wing. So badly broken, that half his one wing had to be amputated.

I had him for for a couple of years before getting more non-releaseables. Mr. Squeaks considers me his mate and will not tolerate any other pigeons in his territory...and that includes a hen. He rules the apartment with an iron beak, which also includes two cats!

So, bottom line, there is no blanket statement about pigeons. They are their own bird and have their own personalities. For those who have a "love pij," you are indeed, fortunate!

PATIENCE is a key word with pigeons...

ALL THE BEST WITH LOVE, HUGS and SCRITCHES

Shi/Mr. Squeaks/Dom/Gimie/WoeBeGone :)
 

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I have been lucky enough to get "love" pigeons. I have had a few....
I have also had some that were tame, but did not cuddle.

Show breeds tend to be friendlier and easier to tame. The fantails, satinettes, mookees, etc... are show breeds and are a bit more calm.

Expectations, in truth if you get a bird that will eat from your hand, fly to you with out being scared, coos, and allows you to pet it..then that IS tame.

Some can be worked with to get this, a show breed is what I would recommend, or one with a disability. One that is already tame needing a home is another option.

Yes, every pigeon will need adjustment time.My bonded pair are just as friendly as ever and do include me in their little flock. I have had both for a while and I spend a bit of time with them. Two females would get along...
It just depends on your commitment, the breed, the pigeons personality,age, etc. The out come could go several ways...

Is there member local to you?? Maybe you could spend some time at someones loft or even home before, actually getting one. That way you and your son could get a feel for it..or not.

-Hilly
 

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Lots of excellent comments here. One point I will add is that pigeons are prey animals so have a different perspective than a predator like a dog. If you son is expecting a feathered dog, I think he will be disappointed. However, I believe that getting to know a prey animal has it's own rewards. They are generally more subtle and more cautious in new situations. Another difference is that most domestic dogs retain a somewhat "puppy" mentality and behaviors. Adult pigeons act more mature - they may love cuddling or not, but they feel entitled to their rights and opinions. I have one absolute cuddle-bug, who is quite happy being held and petted for hours. The rest tolerate my attention, except when I am handing out treats. ;)

Good luck with your research!
 

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I have similiar situations as the above. I had 2 rescued feral nonflying female pigeons. Walt (named before sex was determined) was a cuddler. She would climb up and nap, sit in my hand, on my shoulder, head, etc. She just wanted to be near. She was the Alpha animal in my house of 3 cats and 1 dog. About 3 years later along came Brute (same name situation) She wanted NOTHING to do with anyone. She would wing slap you in a heart beat. She didn't socialize with Walt either. About six months ago Walt pasted away and it was like an overnight transformation. Brute now follows me all over the house. Doesn't want to go outside unless I am near her and will now perch on my head and preen me. But she will not hop on my hand. She uses my foot and waits for the elevator to go up and then walks across my leg. One thing they have in common, they are both spoiled rotten and want for nothing. Neither has or had any desire to be with the pigeons that stop to visit in the yard. I consider them great additions to the family that managed to find me.

Gina
 

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I also have a "love" pigeon! It took Stanley like a month before he really bonded with me though and even longer for my boyfriend. He will climb into my lap and would have me pet and cuddle with him for hours if he got what he wanted :) He also follows me everywhere around the house and will perch on my shoulder while I am performing my daily tasks. He does let my boyfriend hold him and even ride on his shoulder but he will not cuddle with him as he does with me.

Again, it took him awhile to get this comfortable with me but it was DEFINITELY worth it :)
 
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