Pigeon farming is a very interesting, profitable business and pigeons are very popular as domestic birds in Bangladesh. Almost all types of people who have facilities and interest love to raise and pet pigeons in their home. These birds have been raised and nurtured in our country for a very long time and are also considered as a symbol of peace. Unlike many other domestic animals and birds, pigeon farming requires less labor and a low investment. If you have a good amount of free time and love for birds, you can easily raise and take care of them on your rooftop of even in your balconies.
The meat of baby pigeons (squab) is very tasty, highly nutritious and revitalizing for our health. Squabs also have a huge demand and price in the marketplaces. Also, pigeons with good bloodline and quality have high demand in the marketplaces for various other purposes, such as- racing, breeding etc. That is why, pigeon farming can be a great source of some extra income and recreation for people in Bangladesh.
Modern methods of raising pigeons are much more profitable than the traditional way. So, to properly start and succeed in the pigeon farming business, you have to use the modern rearing techniques and take good care of your birds. Today we are going to talk about the advantages and different aspects of pigeon farming and also the basic steps for starting this profitable business at home.
Advantages of Pigeon Farming
Pigeon farming can offer some great benefits in both financial and recreational ways. Some of the notable advantages of this business are as follows-
- From around six months of their age, they start laying eggs and produce at least two baby pigeon per month on average.
- Pigeons can be raised easily in the your yard or rooftop of the house.
- It takes about 18 to 20 days to hatch the eggs.
- The cost of pigeon feed is very low. In most cases, they collect food by themselves.
- Pigeon and squab meat is very tasty, nutritious and has a great demand and value in the marketplaces.
- You can get maximum profit out of them, by investing only some small capital and labor. Their price depends on their breed, quality, egg and squab production rate. Most people are likely to see profit in their business within 3-4 months. But sometimes it takes time to actually gain a significant amount of profit per month.
- Chances of disease are comparatively low in pigeons.
- Faeces of pigeons is a good fertilizer for crops, garden and household plants.
- Pigeon feathers can be used to make different types of toys.
- Pigeons help to keep our environment and crops safe by eating different types of insects.
- The squabs have a great demand in the marketplaces as a nutritious diet for patients and old people.
- Pigeon farming is also very fulfilling and entertaining altogether. You can have a wonderful time watching the pigeons roam around you and sitting on your shoulder or lap.
Pigeon farming can be a great source of income for the people of poorer countries, such as Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Pakistan etc.
Pigeons are generally raised in pairs. A pair of male and female pigeons tend to spend their whole life together. Also, they can survive for up to 12 to 15 years. Male and female both collect straws together and build a small nest for raising their family. Female pigeons start laying eggs around the age of 5-6 months. Each time the couple lays two eggs and they can keep breeding with consistency for about 6 to 8 years.
Both male and female pigeons take turns to hatch their eggs. Usually it takes about 18 to 20 days to hatch the eggs. The stomach of the parent pigeons produces crop milk 2 days before the eggs hatch, which they feed to their babies for 4 days. Female pigeons feed their babies ground semi-solid food for ten days with their mouth. After that, the babies start taking supplementary food on their own. At the age of 26 days, they become fully adult.
Popular Pigeon Breeds
There are around three hundred pigeon breeds available around the globe. The two most common purpose pigeon breeds in Bangladesh are:
- Breeds for Meat Production: White king, Silver king, Texona, Gola, Lokkha, etc. are the most popular meat productive pigeons.
- Breeds for Beauty and Recreational Purpose: Moyurponkhi, Shirazi, Lahori, Fantail, Jacobin, Frillback, Modina, Trumpeter, Trubit, Mukhi, Giribaz, Templar, Lotan etc. are most popular recreational pigeons. Some of them are popular for their beauty and the others are kept for sports.
Generally, the core purpose of pigeon farming is their meat. The meat of baby pigeons or squabs is softer and tastier than the adult ones. But most of the people in our country admires the beauty of pigeons and buy them as pets.
Housing for Your Pigeons
Housing is a very important factor in pigeon farming or keeping. Keep the following factors in your mind before making houses for your pigeons:
- Try to build the house in a higher place. Thus you can keep your pigeons safe from dogs, cats, mice and many other harmful ground predators.
- Ensure proper access of light and air flow inside the house. Keep them in a specific direction to avoid rainwater and cold winter breeze from entering the potholes directly.
- Ensure proper drainage system to keep rainwater away from the house. The pigeons can drink from it too.
- The house can be built from thin wooden boards or tin, bamboo or even with cardboard packing boxes. Each pigeon requires about 30 cm long, 30 cm wide and 30 cm high space in the pothole.
- You need to keep a wooden plank of at least 4 cm width in front of the potholes, so that they can land on that surface then enter their house easily. It is difficult for them to enter the small pothole gate directly from the flight.
- Each room of the pigeon house needs to have the capacity of inhabiting two pigeons at a time.
- The houses should be connected to each other and multi-storied.
- Each room should have a door measuring 10×10 cm.
- Always try to keep the houses clean and dry, clean them once or twice per month. Otherwise the eggs might be spoiled and the pigeons might fall sick easily.
- When the pigeons lay their eggs, they tend to move out of the houses in the morning. Open the cover from the potholes each morning, otherwise the eggs might get crushed under their feet.
- Keep their food and water pot near the pigeon houses.
- Keep some straw near the houses, so that the pigeons can make their nest for comfort and laying eggs.
- Keep some water and fresh sand near the houses, as they clean themselves using water and dust.
Housing Style vs Price
Another fact about pigeons in Bangladesh is that their price changes with season and environment on a regular basis. If you wish to rear your pigeons in the rural areas of Bangladesh, then you should know that their price is the highest during winter and rainy seasons in the villages. It is because most people keep their pigeon houses in the ground level and their pigeons walk on cold and wet grounds. Which leads them to spoil the eggs by stepping inside with a wet feet. Also the adult pigeons are easily snatched and infected during winters and rains.
On the other hand, the price of pigeons in the urban area is the highest during summer time. Because most city people tend to keep their pigeons in tiny cages to avoid losing them. The hot weather causes the birds to fall sick and die easily. So, how and where are to planning to raise your pigeon farm is a very important matter in this business. It is always safe to build their houses higher above the ground level, keep their houses clean and big enough, and also keeping them away from direct rainwater or cold breeze in the rough seasons.
Pigeons usually eat wheat, maize, paddy, rice, enamel, legume, gram and mustard seeds etc. Keep foods in front of their house or scatter them on your rooftop on a regular basis and they will collect and feed by themselves. For healthy growth, good health and proper reproduction, you have to serve them a mix of balanced feed. You can also give them balanced chicken feed, but their nutritional needs are much greater than the chickens. Pigeon feed should contain up to 15-16% protein.
Each pigeon can consume 35-50 grams of feed grains daily. For growing baby pigeons faster and for nutrition of the adult pigeons, you can feed them oyster shells, limestones, bone powder, salt, greet mixture, mineral mixture etc. with their regular feeds. Along with all of these, you can try feeding some green vegetables if they like it. A basic chart of balanced pigeon feed is given below.
|Feed Ingredients||Amount (kg)|
Feeding Baby Pigeons
Baby pigeons (squab) don’t need any kind of special feed for upto 5-7 days. They can get all the nutrients they need from crop milk that their parents produce. Which is also known as pigeon milk. Male and female pigeon feed their babies processed ingredients from their stomach for upto 10 days. After that, the babies are strong and learn to fly. Since then, they can collect and eat basic feed mixes by themselves. Always remember to keep fresh feed and clean water near their house.
Keep a large pot full of fresh water near their house. Pigeons and their babies will drink and bathe in it. Clean the water pot in a daily basis. Try to provide a proper amount of clean water always.
Generally, a male and a female pigeon live their lives in pairs. During their laying period they collect straws from nearby and build a small nest in their pothole. The female pigeons start laying eggs when they reach about 5 to 6 months of age. They can lay a pair of egg in every month since then. Both male and female pigeon hatch their eggs by taking turns. It takes about 18 to 20 days for pigeons to hatch their eggs. Sometimes you might feel the need of making artificial nests for them. Also sometimes, the pigeons show lesser interest in hatching their eggs. That is when you will need to foster the eggs to a different pigeon couple. Squab production is much more profitable than consuming the eggs, as the eggs are very small in size.
Diseases in pigeons are comparatively much lesser than any other poultry birds. But sometimes these minor diseases can cause great damage to their health and spread quickly among the rest of the flock. Pigeons can suffer from TB, Paratyphoid, Cholera, Pox, Newcastle, Influenza etc. Besides, they can also suffer from different types of lice and malnutrition causing diseases. In order to keep many fatal pigeon diseases away, you can try some prevention techniques from the very beginning. Such as:
- Follow the advices of an experienced veterinarian thoroughly.
- Keep the pigeon houses clean and germ free, try to clean them every day.
- Separate the infected or sick birds from the healthy ones.
- Make sure to vaccinate them timely.
- Keep the worms away by giving them antiseptic solution wash. Whenever you bring a new bird in the group, bathe it properly and carefully avoid their eyes and mouth.
- Give them balanced feed and liver tonic courses to prevent malnutrition causing diseases.
- Use proper medicine to remove lice from their bodies.
I hope all your questions about pigeon farming has been answered here today. If you are thinking about giving a farm for business or you are just a peace-loving person and interested in keeping some beautiful pigeons for yourself, this article might come in handy. Also, now you know about the different types of pigeons based on their purpose, so it will be easy for you to choose.
Whatever your cause, buy your favourite breed of pigeons, their feed and any type of equipment required for them today by visiting Bikroy.com. Start slow, love your pigeons like your own children, follow all of these steps and precautions that we discussed today, keep patience and you will be successful in pigeon farming business in no time.