Pigeons are one of the most common bird species in the city. They live next to a person and cohabit with him. In parks and squares, pigeons are often fed bread crumbs, cereals or other products.
Birds calmly eat any kind of food. However, pigeons are not omnivores. And eating everything they can find, they harm the gastrointestinal tract.
An uncontrolled diet can lead to some diseases. Life expectancy in urban conditions in birds does not exceed 5 years. Forest pigeons can live up to 20 years.
With the advent of cold weather, the diet changes due to a decrease in the volume of fresh greens, and also because during this period the birds are preparing for breeding. The chicks that were born in the cold have little chance of life, therefore, they keep separate breeding birds until spring, not allowing mating. When the males and females are kept together, they are fed with products with a relatively low protein content to reduce their sexual activity. Legumes are replaced by oats and barley.
To replenish the body with vitamins, birds are given:
- mashed carrots
- dried parsley with dill,
- herbal flour.
At one of the feeds, the dishes are filled with potatoes boiled in salted water and mashed mixed with wheat bran.
We must not forget about mineral nutrition. They are bought at a pet store or prepared on their own. To do this, take:
- on the 1st part of sand, meat and bone meal and eggshell,
- 4 parts of red brick powder,
- 2 pieces of frayed old plaster.
Everything is thoroughly mixed, after which it is poured with a 2% solution of edible salt.
Of particular note is the diet of carrier pigeons, which should be highly nutritious. It is recommended to give such birds a grain mixture consisting of 4 kg of oats, the same amount of barley, to which 1 kg of ground corn and lentils are added. The volume of components can be changed, while maintaining their proportionality. The composition is based on 35 g per head.
In order for the winter plumage to remain soft, add flax seeds and rapeseed to the feed, 4 g per individual.
What doves eat
Most people think that feeding pigeons is necessary with bread and seeds. These products are indeed the basis of the diet of urban pigeons, but the birds need good nutrition.
Growth requires a variety of feeds. This is especially true for domestic pigeons of rare breeds. It is precisely because of the need for a variety of nutrition that the life of an urban pigeon is reduced.
Under natural conditions, in summer, pigeons eat grass and plant shoots, seeds, and grains. Due to adaptability to food in parks and squares from human hands, birds do not receive the active substances they need.
Especially their body suffers due to the lack of enzymes that are necessary for the digestion of bakery products. Because of this, food stays in the stomach for a long time, begins to rot.
This can lead to an inflammatory process of the mucous membrane (gastritis). Non-digestible food stored for long periods in the digestive system makes it difficult to consume other foods.
Feeding pigeons living on the street
Animals living on the street, most often feed on shoots and herbs. In the absence of additional feeding, birds will find food on their own. These will be seeds, grains of various cereals, leaves of grass.
For thoroughbred pigeons, such feeding will be quite balanced from spring to autumn.
However, often in cities, workers in housing and communal services and beautification bodies cut grass, cut leaves of trees, removing the ability to feed an adult livestock of birds.
Therefore, feathered city dwellers can starve by eating crumbs of bread or rolls, cereals, and other products from human hands.
Minerals are essential for the birds as well as feed or water. The main ones are calcium, phosphorus and sodium.
Calcium contained in bones. It is necessary for the normal functioning of the heart, is involved in the regulation of muscle and nervous activity. The process of calcium absorption takes place under the influence of vitamin D.
Calcium deficiency leads to rickets and bone changes. In the diet of pigeons, it is necessary to introduce crushed and sifted limestone, chalk, eggshell.
Phosphorus in the body is in the form of a phosphate compound with calcium, mainly in the bones. Deficiency of phosphorus also leads to deformation of bone tissue, thinning of the egg shell.
Sodium and potassium necessary for the body to regulate the reaction of blood, water, nitrogen, mineral and fat metabolism, affect the absorption of nutrients, are part of some enzymes. The source of these trace elements, in addition to plant tissues, is table salt.
To improve the processing of grain components in the muscular stomach of a bird, it needs to feed fine gravel, coarse sand.
To provide the bird with minerals, the manufacture of so-called clay cakes is recommended.
The composition of the clay clay mineral mixture includes: red clay - 10 kg, slaked lime - 5 kg, coarse sand - 5 kg, charcoal - 2 kg, table salt - 1 kg, eggshell - 2 kg, hemp seeds - 0.5 kg, caraway seeds - 0.2 kg, flax seeds - 0.2 kg, anise seeds - 0.2 kg, sulfur - 50 g, meat and bone meal - 1 kg.
All components except salt mix well. Salt is introduced as a saline solution. Small cakes are molded, after which they are dried in the sun or on a stove. Such cakes can be prepared for future use and stored in a dry place. Before feeding, they are crushed.
Veterinary pharmacies sell mineral premix. If he is constantly present in special feeders in the dovecote, then the pigeons will be fully provided with the necessary substances.
Pigeons are birds that are highly dependent on the availability of water. The body of an adult bird contains about 65% of water, the body of young animals - up to 75%. Water is necessary both for participating in metabolic processes and for transporting nutrients. It is known that the lack of water affects the bird much more sharply than the feed. If the bird is not given water, then for some time the body replenishes its needs by oxidizing nutrients. A longer lack of water, and even at high ambient temperatures, leads to overheating of the body.
Pigeons drink from 30 to 60 ml of water per day, and during the feeding of chicks - more. The optimum water temperature is 10–15 ° C. An indispensable rule for pigeon breeders should be the constant presence of clean, fresh water in the drinkers.
The topic of feeding pigeons is covered in sufficient detail in the literature. Here we will try to give the beginner pigeon breeders the most necessary information to feed their, as a rule, fairly simple pigeons. It should be noted that the more complex and gentle the bird, the higher demands it makes on food, and the better and more extensive knowledge of the pigeon breeder should be.
The main food for pigeons is grain: barley, wheat, corn, millet, peas, lentils, vetch, etc. Virtually any grain group culture is used to feed these birds. The best of them is barley, it contains a set of nutrients necessary for the body of a pigeon (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) in a good combination of them. Therefore, barley in the feed ration should occupy the main place.
However, it should be said that pigeons are reluctant to eat barley, and if there is grain more delicious for them, they leave the barley or throw it out of the feeder. In this regard, many pigeon growers believe that pigeons do not eat barley, and therefore exclude it from the diet. This is a deeply erroneous opinion. Pigeons must be accustomed to barley. And to do this is simple: you need to leave the birds that do not peck barley hungry several times, removing the remaining barley grains from the dovecote, and then they will readily eat it.
Wheat is considered a good food, and many pigeon farmers prefer it to all others. In general, this is correct, but feeding wheat alone is not recommended: pigeons quickly grow fat, become heavy, lazy, can carry fatty eggs, especially if they are overfed. Therefore, it is better to mix wheat with barley in a ratio of 1: 3, that is, give one part of wheat three parts of barley. Such a grain mixture for flying breeds of pigeons can be considered the main. It is good to add to this mixture another grain available from the pigeon breeder. Moreover, these additives must be done taking into account the time of year and the physiological state of pigeons. In the autumn-winter period, it is recommended to add oats (but always crushed), corn, peas, and in the spring-summer season - millet, vetch, lentils.
Oilseeds - rapeseed, flax, hemp, sunflower - a tasty food that pigeons eat very willingly. But it is necessary to give it in a small amount, and mainly - during the molting period.
Foods such as buckwheat and pigeon rice are also eaten, but it is not recommended to feed them constantly, especially with one species. If necessary, they can be added to the grain mixture.
Pigeons willingly peck weed seeds when they fly to the ground, but this, of course, cannot serve as the main food.
It is not recommended to give rye, since the bird has diarrhea from it. Last year’s grain is considered the best for feed. You can not feed chilled, musty and, especially, pickled grain, because this can lead to poisoning and death of the bird.
There are many recipes for feed mixtures. And, as a rule, each pigeon breeder has his own. But we give an example of a few. So, in winter you can give this mixture: barley - 40%, crushed oats - 40%, lentils - 10%, corn - 10%. In the spring season: barley - 20%, wheat - 10%, sunflower - 10%, corn - 10%, peas - 20%, vetch - 10%, millet - 20%.
In addition to grain feed, pigeons need to be given green feed and mineral supplements. Green food serves as a source of valuable vitamins and minerals. As such feed, finely chopped carrots, cabbage, green onions, radish leaves, spinach, salad, alfalfa, clover and other herbs are used. In winter, it is useful to feed pigeons with sprouted grain of barley, oats and wheat, sowing them in boxes, as well as onions and radish leaves grown in the room. In summer it is advisable to sow different crops at different times, then pigeons can receive green food throughout the summer and autumn.
Giving green food should be fresh, as pigeons do not eat wilted food. If pigeons have the opportunity to fly to the ground, then the need for harvesting and giving them green food disappears, since they themselves find the grass they need.
All feeds are composed of organic and inorganic substances. Inorganic feeds include water and mineral salts. Organic substances that are more complex in structure are proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Not a single feed separately contains all the nutrients necessary for the body of pigeons. Therefore, a variety of feeds should be included in their diet (Table 1).
Main nutrients and their sources
Proteins are the most important component of plants and animals. Having entered the digestive system of an animal, feed proteins break down into its component parts - amino acids, which are absorbed by the body and are used to build organs and tissues. Without protein, a living organism cannot exist. Excess protein taken with food is not absorbed, which adversely affects the state of the bird. Grains of legumes are rich in protein (peas, beans, lentils, etc.). There is less protein in the grains of cereal plants.
Fats, like proteins, are part of the plant and animal organisms, but are used by animals as a source of energy. In plants, fat accumulates mainly in the seeds. Most fat in the seeds of sunflower, hemp, flax and other oilseeds. Of the main feed for pigeons, corn and oats contain the largest amount of fat. Fat stores are deposited in the body of the animal (under the skin, in muscle tissue, near the internal organs). To avoid poultry obesity, it is necessary to feed fat-rich feeds very carefully. With insufficient intake of fat in the animal’s body, an increased consumption of proteins and carbohydrates occurs.
Carbohydrates, like fats, are used by the body to produce energy. Plants are mainly composed of carbohydrates. Juicy forages (green forages and root crops) are especially rich in them.
The carbohydrate group includes fiber, starch and sugar. Fiber is poorly digested in the body of a bird, so the less it is in the feed, the higher its quality. Few fiber (2%) in corn and wheat. Starch is a valuable ingredient in grain feed and potatoes. After digestion and absorption into the body, starch and sugar provide muscle function, are used to generate heat, and serve as a source of fat formation.
Vitamins - These are complex organic compounds present in feed in very small quantities. They participate in many biochemical processes that occur in the body, therefore, with a lack or absence of vitamins in the feed, the animal is disturbed in metabolism. They are contained mainly in green plants, germinated seeds, root crops. The source of vitamins can be fodder yeast, fish oil and vitamin preparations produced by the industry.
Minerals are part of all cells and tissues of the body. They are divided into macro-micronutrients. Bird diets should be balanced in three macroelements: calcium, phosphorus and sodium, and six microelements: manganese, zinc, iodine, iron, copper, cobalt.
Gravel. Along with minerals, pigeons require tiny pebbles (gravel), which settle in the muscular stomach and grind food.
Gravel should have a rounded shape, particle diameter - about 2-3 mm. Chalk, shell cannot replace it. Sometimes gravel is replaced by coarse river sand. The amount of gravel consumption is regulated by pigeons. In the stomach of an individual bird, from 10 to 100 stones are found. Gravel should always be in a separate feeder, it is recommended to add it to the feed mixture once a week. In the absence of gravel in the pigeon’s stomach, feed intake is reduced by 25–30%. Gravel not only grinds food, but also has a beneficial effect on the development of internal organs. With a lack of gravel, weakness, depression, intestinal upset, plumage of plumage appear. In its absence, pigeons die from atrophy of the muscular stomach within 20-30 days after the onset of the disease (with clinical signs of general underdevelopment and increased thirst).
To provide pigeons with mineral substances and gravel, mixtures are usually prepared, which are given in the form of placers or so-called bread rolls. A mixture of mineral feed can be prepared from four parts of crumbs of red brick, two parts of crumbs of old plaster, one part of eggshell, one part of meat and bone meal, one part of coarse river sand and one part of a mixture of calcium carbonate, copper and iron sulfate and cobalt sulfate . All this is mixed well and watered with an aqueous solution of sodium chloride (in a ratio of 20 g per 1 liter of water) to such a state that it is possible to sculpt small flat bread rolls. They are dried in the sun or on a tile. With underdrying, they mold from the inside and become unusable.They store bread in a dry place and, if necessary, give pigeons in crushed form.
You can make clay bread for feeding pigeons, the composition of which is given in table 2.
The composition of the mineral mixture for the manufacture of clay bread
Water. She participates in all metabolic processes as a solvent and carrier of nutrient, mineral and active substances in the body. During the life of the body, water is constantly consumed and, accordingly, must be replenished. The body of the pigeon contains from 60 to 80% water, depending on age. They drink relatively much - from 30 to 60 ml of water per day, and lactating chicks - sometimes more. The need for drinking water for pigeons depends on the temperature and relative humidity of the air, body weight, type of food (some foods require a lot of water for swelling) and the work performed (hatching eggs and feeding chicks). Lack of water affects the pigeon worse than hunger.
In pigeons, in contrast to other types of poultry, the intestines are short, its ratio compared to body length is 1: 7, so the need for food and its quality is very high. Due to the special arrangement of the intestine, plant fiber is not sufficiently absorbed, and the diet should contain at least 15% protein and not more than 5% fiber.
Food for pigeons is largely similar to that used for chickens and turkeys. However, there are a number of features in the feeding of these birds. In addition to traditional cereals (corn, wheat, barley), pigeons are fed with legumes and oilseeds (Table 3).
Feed and feed additives for pigeons
Green and succulent feed essential for pigeons as sources of vitamins, carbohydrates and other nutrients. As these feeds, they are advised to feed finely chopped lettuce and cabbage leaves, spinach, sorrel, clover, germinated oats and barley, carrots, young nettles, and alfalfa.
In winter, they receive green fodder, sowing oats in boxes with the earth, and they give the removed greens to pigeons. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that along with the sprouts, the sprouted seed does not get into the trough.
Sometimes pigeons are fed potatoes. Peeled potatoes are boiled, kneaded and mixed with grain feed. Such feeding has a good effect on the pigeon's body.
Cereal grains - The main bird food containing many easily digestible nutrients. On average, cereal grains contain protein - 9–13%, fat - 1.5–8%, fiber - 2–9%, starch - 65%, minerals - 2-3%. Cereals can serve as sources of B, E, K vitamins (there are few other vitamins in them).
The fed grain must be dry, free from harmful insects, fungi, mold, dust. It is not recommended to use cracked grain for feeding, as it absorbs moisture and molds quickly. Feeding pigeons with freshly harvested grain should be avoided, as it causes diarrhea. It is better to feed grain from last year's crop.
When buying grain, first of all, it is necessary to verify its dryness; for this, lower your hand into a bag with it: if it slides easily and the grain does not adhere to it, then it is dry.
There are several ways to check grain quality. Using a magnifying glass or a magnifying glass with a 3–5-fold increase, a suspicious grain (especially along the seam) with husky husk is examined. The presence of black spots indicates its defeat (for example, fungal diseases).
In another test method, a small portion of the grain is dipped in a saturated aqueous solution of sodium chloride. The affected grain, the larvae of beetles float to the surface, they are drained with water, the remaining grain is viewed as in the first case.
Some pigeon farmers practice immersion in a saline solution of all grain to be fed, especially peas, unaffected grains are washed and dried.
Wheat pigeons eat willingly, but it is recommended to feed it in small quantities, as it contributes to obesity. It is recommended to feed the pigeons hard wheat varieties, as their grain contains more protein and less starch than soft varieties.
Barley is the best food for pigeons, as it contains all the nutrients in the required amount. It does not cause sexual arousal, therefore it is especially appreciated in the winter. Pigeons, accustomed to another feed, at first are reluctant to eat barley, leaving it in the feeder. In this case, the feeder should be removed, and the remaining grain fed to starving pigeons in the next feeding.
Corn. Although the corn grains have a hard shell like a cornea, nevertheless they are easily digested, and pigeons eat them with great greed. Corn grains are too mealy, from a large number of pigeons grow fat, become lazy, inactive, with loose muscles. Feeding one corn causes diseases of the digestive system, which often end in the death of the bird. Small amounts of corn in the diet enhance the activity of the sex glands, especially the ovaries. It should be fed in fragmented form.
Millet considered a very good food for pigeons, especially its brightly colored varieties rich in vitamin B2 and carotene. Millet belongs to light feeds and is especially recommended for young growth, who prematurely left the nest. A disadvantage is its hard, hard-to-digest shell. Pigeons of large breeds spend a lot of time and energy to fill the goiter with one millet.
Oats. Whole grains of oats with an intact shell are not allowed to give pigeons. Shelled oats (oatmeal) is a very good food, which is given to them in feed mixtures. A high percentage of fat and minerals makes it especially useful in the winter. Despite a significant percentage of fat, oats do not cause obesity.
Rice contains more starch and less fat than other cereals. In pigeon breeding, rice is used mainly as a fixing agent for indigestion. With diarrhea, pigeons are given half-cooked rice grains sprinkled with chalk. Giving peeled rice in large quantities and for a long time is not recommended, as this can cause a disease that affects the nervous system - vitamin deficiency B.
Buckwheat can be included in the feed in small quantities, but rye is not recommended for pigeons, as it causes diarrhea.
Oilseeds. Seeds of rape, hemp, flax, colza, sunflower contain a lot of fat. Pigeons eat them more readily than other grains, but they must be used very carefully and moderately.
As a rule, oilseeds are mixed with other foods in small quantities and only occasionally.
Hemp seed strongly excites pigeons, and frequent use causes inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nostrils. It is recommended to give it in small quantities before mating and during molting.
Colza and colza are also recommended to be given during molting; they accelerate the process of its passage.
Aniseed seed is a treat for pigeons. It is considered an aphrodisiac. Aniseed seeds are added to the feed mixture to weakened pigeons for appetite.
Legumes in terms of protein content superior cereal grains. Bean grains in sufficient quantities include calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for mineral metabolism in birds. Legumes need to be fed from last year's crop, seeds must have a natural luster, if it is not there and the seeds are shriveled, then their nutritional value is negligible.
All legumes, especially beans and peas, are fed during steaming and molting. Legumes need a lot of moisture to swell, so it’s best not to feed legumes during the transportation of pigeons.
Beans quickly saturate the pigeon, this is especially beneficial during the period of feeding the chicks.
Peas mixed with cereal grains - the best food for pigeons. This feed contains all the necessary nutrients. Usually fed pigeons field yellow peas, the grain of which should be bright yellow and shiny. Feeding freshly harvested peas causes diarrhea, greatly weakens the body of pigeons.
Vika contains more protein than other legumes, and is perfectly eaten by pigeons. It is recommended to feed it in the second year after harvesting from the field, otherwise it causes gastric diseases. Feed the vetch in feed mixtures.
Lentils - good food for pigeons. It is especially recommended to feed lentils to young growth. It should be remembered that its flat grains can stick to the palate of young pigeons. Adhering grain irritates the palate, makes breathing difficult. Therefore, when feeding lentils, it is recommended to inspect the young animals daily and, having discovered the grain adhering to the palate, remove it with the blunt end of the feather. Lentils flat, small and well ripened are used as food for pigeons.
Beans also feed pigeons. It is only necessary to choose small-grain varieties, too large beans are crushed.
Acorns. In Belgium, pigeons have long been fed acorns in the winter months (20–30% of the total amount of food). Before use, they are cleaned and, after complete drying, crushed.
Cereal waste. Pigeons better than other birds digest weed seeds. Therefore, grain waste, in which there is often a lot of seeds of wild herbs and weeds, is a valuable feed for them.
Compound feed. In industrial poultry farming, compound feeds containing all the elements necessary for the body are widely used. Pigeons are reluctant to peck mealy compound feeds due to the peculiar structure of the beak and oral cavity, adapted to receive grain feed, so granular compound feed is used for their feeding. A complete feed contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, amino acids, but such a feed can contribute to the obesity of pigeons, so it should be used in limited quantities. Some pigeon farmers give mixed feeds as a feed additive only during the growth period of young animals and molting.
Yeast. Yeast is used as a feed additive. They are especially useful during molting, rearing chicks.
Fish fat. Necessary pigeons and fish oil. It is added to cereal mixtures with weekly cycles (one week is given, the other is not). It is possible to replace fish oil with trivit (vitamins A, D, E), multivitamins, give them with water or food. During the heat, pigeons should not be given fish oil.
The nutrient content in the feed of pigeons are shown in table 4.
Nutrient content in 10 g of feed
Rations. A set of feed consumed by an animal for a certain period of time (day, month, year) is called a feed ration. If the diet fully satisfies the animal's needs for nutrients and energy, then it is called balanced. Feed components have certain properties and can make up any percentage in the feed mixture (table. 5).
When composing diets for pigeons, they take into account the time of year, breed, age, physiological condition, living conditions (free or aviary) and work processes for a given period (egg laying, feeding of chicks, molting). With unbalanced feeding, with a lack of nutrients, minerals or energy, pigeons are more susceptible to diseases, especially those that are kept in large cities in open-air cages.
Pigeon ration components as a percentage
The main food for pigeons is a diverse grain mixture of yellow corn, millet, wheat, barley, oats, peas, rice, buckwheat, soy, lentils, sunflower seeds, flax, rape and colza. 100 g of this mixture should contain 15% digestible protein, not more than 3% fiber and 110-115 g of feed units.
Feeding one type of grain not only does not meet the protein needs of birds (there is little grain in it), but it also significantly increases feed consumption.
In meat pigeon breeding, they recommend a grain mixture consisting of yellow corn - 35%, millet - 20%, peas - 20%, wheat waste - 5%. One pigeon per day accounts for about 50 g of the mixture. It is recommended to feed meat pigeons with large grain: beans, beans, large peas, corn, crushed acorns.
Feeding in the warm season
This is the time of active breeding of pigeons and feeding of chicks.
During mating, pigeons should be fed high in protein and vitamins. With their shortage, one cannot count on the high sexual activity of couples, the reproductive value of laid eggs and hatched young animals.
When feeding chicks, parents should receive nutritious feeds that can quickly feed them. In addition, growing young animals for the formation of bone tissue is especially necessary for mineral nutrition.
The feed mixture of the main diet in this period may consist of 20% peas, 10% wiki, 20% millet, 10% wheat, corn and oats, 20% barley. For one pigeon, 40-60 g of such a mixture will be required. You should not forget about the young greenery, which is an excellent vitamin top dressing.
In the summer period, the diet will fully provide such a ratio: 10% for wheat, oats, corn, vetch, lentils, peas, 20% for millet and barley.
2-3 weeks before mating, hemp seeds are added to the main feed.
In July, active molting begins in birds, which lasts until October. This period is associated with increased body intake of nutrients, mainly protein, for the formation of feathers. Feeding pigeons nutritious food, you should monitor the physiological state of birds, so as not to cause sexual excitability. By increasing the amount of protein feed, you can add more oats and barley, less wheat. As an additional top dressing, it is advisable to use rapeseed and colza seeds. Of green and succulent feeds, green cabbage leaves should be preferred. The diet of a moult bird can include 20% oatmeal and 10% each of vetch, millet, wheat, corn, and barley.
The daily norm for an individual is 40-50 g.
Cold season feeding
With the onset of autumn cold pigeons should be transferred to winter feeding. It consists of a moderate content of protein in the diet, which reduces sexual activity and prevents possible egg laying.
Based on this, legumes are almost completely excluded, and more are added to oats and barley. A nutritional need will be provided by a mixture of cereals with potatoes cooked in salted water.
To maintain softness and elasticity, the plumage of birds is fed with seeds of rape and flax 3-4 g per individual.
Egg formation is a complex process that requires functional restructuring of the whole organism. Feeding pigeons should be aimed at obtaining eggs with high incubation qualities, i.e. ensuring the normal development of the embryo. The result of proper parental feeding is a quality hatching egg.
Along with a feed mixture of cereals and legumes, feeding with vitamin green or concentrates of oil vitamins, mineral dressings is mandatory.
Lack of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D in the diet leads to weakening of the shell or its complete absence.
Vitamin A deficiency leads to a decrease or cessation of egg production, low hatchability or non-viable chicks.
Feeding pigeons during transportation
Pigeons, prepared for transportation and on the way, should not receive large doses of food, requiring a lot of water to soften, such as beans, peas.
In such cases, a diet of this composition is recommended (%): wheat - 50, corn - 20, vetch - 30. The daily feed mixture per head is 50 g. Pigeons should be provided with fresh clean water throughout the journey.
Feeding young pigeons
Young pigeons taken from their parents in the first weeks after planting need a large amount of feed. Starting from the time when the iris of the eyes becomes the same color as the parents, feed houses can be slightly reduced. Young pigeons should be fed 3 times a day, giving small portions in the morning and at noon, and a large portion in the evening. It is recommended to wet the grains with a few drops of fish oil. At first, after being left from their parents, young pigeons are reluctant to eat legumes, preferring wheat to them. At this time, so that they do not lag behind in growth, they are given in large quantities wheat, a bit of vetch, peas and barley in a mixed form. When young pigeons begin to fly in packs, the rate of wheat should be reduced by half, and instead give peas and vetch in equal amounts.
The composition of the diet (%): wheat - 20, peas - 10, vetch - 10, barley - 20, corn - 10, millet - 30. Later, you can mix beans, respectively, reducing the cottage of the wiki.
The daily norm of feed mixture per head is 40 g.
Weakened pigeons are given prepared food: wheat, corn, peeled rice, fodder yeast, millet porridge, 3-5 drops of fish oil, 5% glucose solution is added to drinking water.
Feed consumption per 1 kg of poultry mass varies depending on the reproductive ability of a pair of pigeons and the method of their maintenance.
Feed consumption per pigeon with an average weight of 600–700 g is 50–65 g of grain, with the addition of mineral and succulent feeds up to 10 g per head per day.
Pigeons do not eat bread, boiled potatoes, porridge badly, it is better to give them in the form of additives to grain. Often in the absence of grain feed, the pigeon breeder begins to feed these feeds without grain, which leads to intestinal upset.
In spring, pigeons are born and nursed offspring, and training breeds begin in sporting breeds. All this is associated with high energy consumption, which should be offset by proper nutrition. Feeding in this crucial period requires the inclusion of components rich in protein and vitamins.
As a basis for the spring-summer menu, fit:
- vetch and oats,
- peas and barley
- millet and corn.
- the share of peas with barley and millet is 60%, and the remaining 40% is corn, vetch and oats taken equally,
- the daily amount of food for an adult pigeon is about 50 g.
In addition to grain mixtures, birds need young greens. Grasses give plenty, but it should be collected away from the highway and the railway.
It is necessary to feed the pigeons at a strictly defined time, in the summer - 3 times, in the winter - 2 times a day.
During the feeding period, pigeons are fed very early - at 5 a.m. so that parents can have time to prepare gruel for the chicks. The second feeding is carried out at one o'clock in the afternoon, the third - before dusk, at 7–7.30.
In winter, with two meals a day, respectively, at 7-8 in the morning and 3-4 in the afternoon.
They feed the birds on a specially equipped platform in front of the dovecote, in the aviary or indoors. The feeding area is kept clean. Before each feed, it is cleaned of litter, sweeping and sprinkling with sand. Food is always put in the feeder, as feeding pigeons from the floor leads to an outbreak of infectious diseases.
Pigeons are fed 2-3 times a day, at a strictly defined time. Experts argue that it is better to slightly feed the bird than overfeed, and recommend feeding the pigeons so that they pounce on the food.
In the summer, feed should be set 3 times a day. During the hatching period, the first feeding should be very early, at sunrise, at 4-5 hours, because young pigeons, chilled during the night, usually sit with empty goiters and parents have nothing to fill them with. It must be remembered that due to late feeding, a hungry chick freezes and can catch a cold. The second feeding - at 13 o’clock, at which time doves usually fly off their nests, and the third feeding — about an hour before dusk (at 18–20 hours).
In winter, the food is set 2 times, avoiding in any case one-time feeding, since until the next pigeon will have time to get very hungry and therefore eat much more grain, overloading the digestive organs, which can lead to death. In winter, feeding hours are as follows: the first at 8–9 hours, the second at 16–17.
By carefully observing the pigeons, you can determine the right amount of food: it should be exactly as much as the pigeons can eat at a time without a trace. After feeding, they should not be allowed to dig in the grain, scattering it from the feeder, or, conversely, remain hungry, looking for food.
The pigeon's fullness can be established by a grain-filled goiter, which should be soft, not full to the limit. At the time of feeding, when a pigeon grower appears with food, pigeons should quickly go to the owner, this is the first sign that they are not overfeeding. At night, feeders should be removed from the dovecote and cleaned of the remaining grain to avoid the appearance of mice.
Overfeeding of birds negatively affects their condition. Pigeons grow fat, become inactive and often lose their ability to reproduce. In winter, in unheated rooms, the need for pigeons in feed increases by 10–20%, which is necessary for heat generation.
In the hot season, the development of pigeons is often delayed, because adult birds drink a lot of water and young animals get less nutrients when feeding. Therefore, nursing pigeons are fed as early as possible in the cool morning. It is not recommended to feed pigeons with peas in the heat, since its digestion during heat is difficult.
In a separate feeder it is recommended to put salt, pigeons with pleasure peck it.
Feeding and feeding meat pigeons
The average daily norm in meat breeds is 60–65 g of feed per individual. The diet should consist of 30–35% of peas, 25% of corn and wheat, 10% of sorghum or millet, 7–8% of sunflower seeds, 3–6% of colza, 1-2% of mineral and vitamin feed. Consumption of grain mixtures can be increased if its usefulness is insufficient.
Unacceptable as obesity of the bird, and its depletion. It is known that obese doves lay unfertilized eggs, depleted - weakly feed the chicks.
When rearing young animals, to prevent obesity, they use limited feeding or feed it every other day.
Pigeons intended for slaughter (4-6 weeks old) are selected for forced fattening. The duration of the feeding is only 10-12 days. Selected birds are placed in cages or baskets in groups of 10-12 heads. The cell bottom is lined with soft litter, which is periodically updated. Pigeons are fed 4 times a day from 5 to 20 pm, that is, every 5 hours. Feeding is compulsory: they enter food into the mouth before filling the goiter. After that, give some water. The temperature of the water and feed mass should be close to the temperature of the body of the pigeon.
The main food is freshly cooked pea porridge. A small amount of salt, sand, crushed shell and meat and bone meal is added to it. 3-4 days before slaughter, they are fed with seeds of anise, dill, juniper berries. This gives the meat a piquant taste.
To feed pigeons requires 55-60 g of dry food per day - 10% of its live weight.
Before the next feeding, make sure that the goiter of the bird is empty. The porridge is introduced into the goiter from a syringe with a wide opening and an extended rubber tube, slowly pressing the piston. In the absence of peas, it is possible to fatten boiled grain of cereal crops.
This organization of production is called the intensive breeding method.
Book Title - Decorative and meat pigeon breeding
What not to feed pigeons
The following products should definitely be avoided:
- Black and rye bread. Lead to fermentation, bloating, diarrhea. In turn, it provokes the appearance of problems with the gastrointestinal tract. In the worst case, a lethal outcome of the bird is possible.
- Meat food. Pigeons are not birds of prey, they do not secrete enzymes that digest meat in the stomach. Therefore, this type of food gradually rots inside the body, which leads to gastritis, ulcers and death.
- Milk and Dairy Products - substances lead to the death of microflora of the gastrointestinal tract, dysbiosis. Calcium is also excreted from the body of a bird.
- Fish. Due to the high phosphorus content in the product, such food is prohibited. Birds are unable to digest fish.
- Sunflower seeds. Feeding with this food leads to mechanical damage to the goiter, the peel causes problems in the liver of birds. In addition, the sharp parts of the peel cause damage to the intestinal mucosa. In the worst case, peritonitis begins and the bird dies.
Features feeding pigeons
Under optimal conditions, nursing chicks for feeding can be planted from adults at the age of about a month. After sitting out of the nest, the breeder must follow them carefully.
Abandoned doves are fed with a syringe and a thin rubber tube directly into their beaks.
The baby must be taught to feed by hand or at home.
Chicks living separately should be given free access to liquid and feed.You can feed them with small grains suitable for feeding thoroughbred pigeons.
Water should be given warm, without additional additives. It is undesirable to allow fluid to stagnate. It is necessary to regularly change the contents of the drinkers.
Sometimes adult birds can leave pigeons in the nest. If it is impossible to plant them with other representatives of pigeons, you can try to feed them yourself.
A hatched chick is unable to survive for more than a day without food and water. In addition, young growth often freezes. In order for the chick to survive, you need to take it to warm conditions, feed the first week with a mixture of yolk and diluted milk.
Abandoned doves are fed with a syringe and a thin rubber tube directly into their beaks.
After a week, you can start feeding cereals from chopped peas, lentils, milk. It is also allowed to supplement the diet with bread dipped in milk.
Number of feedings
The required number of meals depends entirely on the season. In the summer, pigeons need three meals a day. In winter, you need to feed the birds twice. In winter, you need to feed the bird sutra, and then with an interval of 12 hours.
However, if pigeons feed the chicks, you need to give them food at dawn, then at noon. The third time feeding is carried out at sunset.
How to feed pigeon chicks
Making a diet for pigeons will require a special approach. If you choose the wrong food, then the chicks will receive less nutrients, in particular proteins.
Without the necessary substances, the growth of birds greatly slows down. Proper feeding of birds will require the use of compressed types of feed, which contain a large amount of raw proteins and proteides.
You need to follow such a diet before changing fluff to full plumage. It is advisable to feed exclusively with fresh food, at room temperature or above.
How to feed pigeons in winter
In the winter season, a special feed composition is required. It is advisable to reduce the amount of feed protein, otherwise the females may lay their eggs too early. Legumes are completely excluded from the winter diet. They are replaced with oats or barley.
It is advisable to add cereal cereals cooked in salted broth. To improve the condition of the feather cover, rapeseed and flaxseed should be added to the diet.
In the winter season, a special feed composition is required
Vitamins are included in the diet of birds along with dried bunches of greens or grated vegetables.
How to feed pigeons
The main components of the diet of poultry at home are grass and cereals. It is necessary to diversify the nutrition of birds with easily digestible food, which will provide the body with enough energy and building material.
Dosage depends on the breed, age, gender of the bird. The basis of the cereal diet is barley. Up to 10% can be diluted with millet. Be sure to include legumes.
Diet of adult pigeons
Adult pigeons need to be provided with a special grain mixture.
The main components of the diet of poultry at home are grass and cereals
When cooking at home, the mixture contains:
- up to 40% of barley or pearl barley,
- up to 10% millet,
- 30% wheat
- the remainder is distributed between vitamin and mineral supplements, legumes, oats and other cereals.
Vitamin and mineral feeding for pigeons
To feed the birds, you can use mineral fertilizing. Substances contain all the necessary macro- and microelements required by an adult bird.
It is important to use top dressing during breeding, molting, and feeding offspring. Due to the content of calcium and phosphorus, mineral fertilizing improves the strength of the shell.
Breeding and feeding of birds during this period
During reproduction, the body of males and females requires an increase in the content of proteins and trace elements in food. A decrease in their number leads to a decrease in reproduction and weakening of offspring.
In addition, a deficiency of certain vitamins completely stops the development of the embryo. Beans become the best diet. The composition of plants will allow birds to quickly get enough.
Pigeons are far from omnivorous birds that can be eaten with bread crumbs or seeds. When breeding them, you need to provide them with a balanced diet.
With improper nutrition, street birds significantly shorten their lifespan.
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Feeding in the winter months
Each pigeon breeder should know how to feed pigeons in the winter. It begins in October, when the birds stop laying eggs. From that moment on, they need to feed them grain with a moderate protein content. This is done so that sexual arousal does not occur.
It is also necessary that the feed contribute to the formation of subcutaneous fat. This will help the pigeons maintain internal heat and serve as the starting material for building down and feathers when the time for molting comes.
Based on the above facts, we conclude that in winter, the best food for pigeons is a mixture of barley with collapsed oats (70% / 30%). Another mixture of barley, oats, crushed corn and lentils is also great (40% / 40% / 10% / 10%).
Useful in cold weather for feathered beauties peeled and boiled potatoes in salt water. It is recommended to add clover flour, wheat bran and crushed lime to it. After a day, they give flax and rapeseed seeds as a top dressing, about 45 grams for 15 pairs.
How to feed pigeons during the breeding season? You must know the answer to this question. Indeed, at this time, birds need special attention. They should eat foods that are rich in minerals and protein. If pigeons feel deficiency of the latter during the breeding season, this can lead to a decrease in the reproductive function and vitality of pigeons.
The best food at this time is legumes. It is from them that the diet of birds should consist to a greater extent. Beans are bulk feeds; with their help, birds quickly become saturated. Be sure to include peas in the menu of pigeons during the mating season.The following feed mixtures are recommended:
1. Peas - 20%, vetch - 10%, wheat - 10%, millet - 20%, barley - 20%, corn - 10%, oats - 10%,
2. Vika - 20%, corn - 20%, wheat - 15%, millet - 10%, peas - 15%, barley - 10%, oilseeds - 10%.
How and what to feed young animals?
Another important point in pigeon breeding is the question of how to feed a pigeon chick at home. Depressed babies from their parents in the first weeks need enhanced feeding. Only when the iris of the eyes in the cubs becomes the same color as that of the parents can the food portions be reduced. Young people are fed three times a day. In the morning and in the afternoon - small portions, and in the evening the chicks receive the bulk of the daily allowance.
It is recommended to moisten the grains with fish oil, at least a few drops. So that the chicks do not lag behind in growth, they are fed large quantities of wheat, adding a little vetch, barley and peas to it. When young people are already flying, gathering in flocks, wheat can be given in smaller quantities, replacing it with peas and vetch.
Vitamins for pigeons
Like all living things, birds need healthy supplements to the main feed. Vitamins for pigeons should be given based on the weight of the birds, what is their state of health, and what physical activity the birds will face. In addition, the life cycle period is taken into account: growth, molting, egg formation, feeding of chicks.
Strengthening supplements are a must for sports pigeons. Feathered athletes are recommended multivitamins in the form of dragees, you can also dissolve them in drinking water. You need to give before and after the competition. In winter and under stressful situations, vitamins for birds are needed.
What is not allowed to feed pigeons
It is impossible to feed pigeons so that the birds do not get sick and die:
• fish contains a lot of easily digestible phosphorus, pigeons are not able to process it,
• the poultry organism cannot digest meat products; after eating meat, it can die,
• pigeons in the body have few sour milk bacteria, if you give them milk, this can lead to a decline in calcium and dysbiosis,
• cheese contains a lot of preservatives and fat, they are contraindicated for birds,
• The most forbidden product for pigeons is bread, especially black. The fact is that it causes fermentation in the stomach, which can cause digestive problems. Unique templates and modules for dle
The menu of birds experiencing great physical activity should be rich in carbohydrates. There are many in corn grain, wheat, barley and rice. To achieve the maximum possible results at competitions, pigeons are given sugar, and then fed with rape or sunflower seeds.
The composition of the grain mix for birds-athletes includes:
- 35% peas
- 20% of barley
- 40% of oats, millet, corn and vetch taken equally,
- 5% wheat.
The daily feed rate is at least 45 g per head.
Transportation is very stressful for birds. To make them feel better, worry less, it is important to take care of proper feeding.
During this period exclude foods that cause heavy drinking. An ideal option would be a feed consisting of 50% of wheat grain, 20% of corn, 30% of wiki.
During the breeding season
In order for the breeding females to give quality offspring, it is important to feed them correctly. Deficiency of elements such as A, D and B2 can lead to egg defects, as well as the emergence of non-viable chicks. If a bird collects pebbles, pecks clay or chalk, it lacks minerals. That is why, in addition to grain and legumes, special vitamin-mineral premixes from a veterinary pharmacy are introduced into the diet of breeding pigeons.
We make a diet for birds
Pigeons, like people, need a balanced and varied diet. The basis of the diet is oats rich in various microelements, and pigeons from green fodder receive vitamins. As for the serving size, it depends on the size of the birds. Meat breeds, for example, are much larger than sports, respectively, they need more food.
The diet and serving weight varies depending on many factors. In winter and spring, birds, for example, are fed differently. Flyers who are preparing for competition also have a specific diet. Well, and, of course, during the feeding of poultry for meat special feeds are used. Let us consider in more detail how to organize meals at home, how the diet changes depending on the situation and what forms the basis of the diet in each case.
Allowed Products for Pigeons
Since the bird eats almost everything with pleasure, before compiling a ration for birds, you should find out how to feed pigeons, but not what. The list of allowed products includes:
- all cereals
- granular food.
Consider each group of allowed products individually.
There are no restrictions on cereals. Feathered can safely be fed any grain. Grain crops should be alternated, which diversifies the diet of birds. In addition to cereals, birds give seeds. Be sure to have buckwheat in the diet, which cannot be replaced with anything. Feathered hemp is also spoiled. But as for wheat, which pigeons eat with great pleasure, it should not be abused. Excessive use of wheat in birds leads to obesity, which negatively affects the state of health and flying qualities.
Legumes are a treat for pigeons, but this is quite heavy food, so you need to give it infrequently. On hot days, it is better to remove legumes from the diet altogether.
Sometimes the grain is partially replaced by stones, which act as a mineral supplement for birds. But not any stones are suitable, but mineral ones, which can be purchased in specialized stores. Before giving pigeons stones, crush them. You can also give feathered crushed red bricks.
Granulated feed for pigeons, which also need to be included in the diet of birds, are sold in specialized stores. No matter how you try to pick up food products, they will not contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Granular feed will make up for the deficiency of certain trace elements in the body of the bird.
Amount of food consumed
It is very important not only what doves eat, but how much. Each poultry breeder, focusing on the behavior and state of birds, selects the optimal dose of feed on their own. But there are general points to be aware of.
When choosing crops, preference is given to barley. It should account for 40% of the daily norm of grain crops. According to the norms, a pigeon consumes from 30 to 50 g of feed per day. But do not feed the birds with one grain. This amount includes green feed, which can be grown independently at home. Periodically replace barley with pearl barley. Also included in the diet is millet. But this grain should account for no more than 10% of the daily norm of grain crops. About 30% should be in wheat. The remaining 20% are seeds, peas, flax, rapeseed, sorghum.
During molting, the diet changes slightly. During this period, you need to strengthen nutrition. This is due to the fact that for the formation of new feathers, the body needs more nutrients than usual. This is especially true for protein. During this period, it is advisable to increase the amount of barley and oats in the diet. But the amount of wheat consumed should be reduced. Necessarily feed pigeons seeds of rape, and as a green feed give feathered cabbage, or rather, its leaves. During this period, the pigeon eats more than usual. The daily norm during molting increases by 10-15 g.
Diet in winter time
Feeding pigeons as well as in summer is not possible. This is due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to get green food in the winter, and in some months it is generally impossible. Have to look for an alternative. It is also worth taking into account the fact that in winter the birds are preparing for breeding, which also leads to a change in diet.
So, what do you need to feed the pigeons in the winter? First of all, high protein foods are minimized. This must be done in order to reduce the sexual activity of birds. Pigeons hatched in winter have little chance of survival. Records for the content of protein legumes. Accordingly, they are excluded from the diet. The place of legumes in the diet is replaced by barley and oats. Also in winter, potatoes previously boiled in salt water are added.
We should also make a reservation about feeding carrier pigeons. Their diet should be more nutritious than the diet of other feathered types. The basis of the diet of the carrier pigeon in the winter is a grain mixture that can be made at home. To do this, take 4 kg of oats and barley and 1 kg of lentils and pre-chopped corn. By changing the number of components, a proportional relationship is maintained. Birds need to give this mixture at the rate of 35 g per adult.
To plumage in the winter time was soft, rape and flax, or rather, the seeds of these plants are added to the diet of birds. The rate of flax and rapeseed per day is 4 g.
Food for pigeons during this period should be more nutritious than in winter. This is due to the fact that in spring and early summer pigeons are engaged in feeding pigeons. Also, during this period, birds spend much more time in the air, which takes a lot of energy and effort, and sporting pigeons begin training and competitions.
Feeding pigeons during this period involves the use of foods high in protein. Also, a large amount of vitamins must be ingested. In addition to the fact that there must be a lot of protein and vitamins in the feed, they must be nutritious, otherwise the pigeons will not be able to feed young growth as it should, and this will have a negative impact on the health status of pigeons. And in order for the young to form a strong skeleton, vitamin complexes and top dressing are additionally included in the diet.
The basis of the diet during this period is a mixture of vetch, peas, wheat, corn, millet, barley and oats. As for the percentage, barley, millet and peas are taken in equal parts. Their total mass in the finished mixture should be 60%. The remaining ingredients are also taken in equal amounts. But they account for 40%. During this period, the daily feed rate for an adult is an average of 50 g.
In addition to the grain mixture, the birds give young greens. In this case, there are no restrictions, but you need to collect grass away from the roadway. There, the plants are filled with toxins. The use of such plants can lead to eating disorders in pigeons.