The expression “coo like doves” was invented for a reason. The pigeon is so devoted to its partner that in the event of their separation they will remain faithful for many years. Postal pigeons saved the lives of many people during the war. Man learned not only to breed these birds at home, but also to train them.
Breeding wild pigeons
The nesting period begins, as a rule, at the beginning of spring. The female builds a nest, and the male gives her the necessary materials. When the nest is ready, the female can safely lay eggs. For almost the entire period the female incubates the eggs, but sometimes it is replaced by the male.
Young and inexperienced couples can throw their nests, the same goes for old pigeons. Since pigeons mate several times throughout the year, they need good nutrition and fat reserves. But in the wild, the search for food is a problem, so every stash is at risk.
Features breeding domestic pigeons
Domestic pigeons became popular for quite some time. Dovecote can be found in every city and district. Some breed these birds for themselves, some train them and earn money. Everyone knows the tradition - to let out a pair of pigeons at a wedding or on the last bell at school. Quite important breeding pigeons, which are eaten. To keep pigeon house is quite a painstaking matter. It is necessary to monitor the cleanliness, to feed the pigeons in time, and also to pair correctly.
Mating domestic pigeons
Experienced breeders who breed purebred pigeons carefully approach this process. Before choosing a pair, make sure that there are no relatives between pigeons. For this, before buying pigeons, you need to recognize their ancestry.
Since pigeons mate under the supervision of a breeder, his task is to choose the right pair. The optimal age for the first mating is older than a year; by this time the pigeons should be moderately well-fed. Do not allow for the breeding of obese and old pigeons. The best period for mating is spring. Wild pigeons have the right to choose their own pair, they are quite responsible approach to this issue. But the choice of a pair for poultry is a pigeon breeder care.
Before starting the pairing you need to prepare an aviary. It must be disinfected, bedded fresh straw, hang shelves for nests. There should be more places for nests than the number of pairs in order to avoid fights and conflicts. This issue should be approached quite seriously, because each species of pigeons has its own type of nesting. It is necessary to prepare the landscape, bushes, hollows - all that is needed to recreate how the pigeons of this breed breed in nature. At the beginning of winter, it is better to spread the females and males, this will help the birds to gain weight and not to survive in the presence of the opposite sex.
You need to feed a balanced diet, adding vitamins and minerals. It is also necessary to introduce into the diet of plant products. This is all done so that the birds are prepared and able to produce strong offspring. The addition of calcium in food to females is especially important, it will strengthen future eggs and protect them from cracking. All these nuances need to be considered when breeding domestic pigeons. Preparation of pigeons for mating is the most crucial moment in this matter. After all, a strong and strong offspring is the key to the success of the golubevoda.
Choosing a pair
First you need to determine the sex of the pigeon. This is not as easy to do as it seems at first glance. As a rule, females are smaller than males, more graceful and graceful. Their beak and paws are not as powerful as the males. It seems that everything is clear, but there are cases when females grow larger or, conversely, males are smaller than usual.
If two males are in the same cage for mating, it will result in a fight. And if two females are in the cage, then they behave calmly enough, but in rare cases they can mate. An active female takes on the role of a male. Since pigeons mate of the same sex, they will not have offspring. Both females will lay eggs, but they will not be fertilized. A breeder recognizes his mistake only when the time comes for the chicks to hatch. But such cases are extremely rare. The main criterion for choosing a pair is a similar temperament. This, again, will protect a couple from conflicts. If the pair was chosen correctly and the pairing was successful, the pigeons will start building a nest together. Pigeons try to keep couples throughout life.
The resulting pair carefully chooses a place for the future nest. The male diligently demolishes materials, and the female spreads materials in a convenient way for her. If the mating and laying was the final stage, the pigeons were parked successfully. Females lay two eggs at intervals of forty hours. After all the eggs have been laid, incubation begins. An interesting fact that the male is directly involved in this.
This process takes up to twenty days, after which the chicks hatch. At this time it is important to observe the temperature and light conditions. Since pigeons mate in the warm season, there may be problems with the chipping of the chicks. Allowed for a couple of days before this moment sprinkle masonry with warm water. Inexperienced doves, having demolished the first egg, are taken to hatch it, without waiting for the second. This may lead to the fact that one chick will hatch earlier and will develop faster, and the second will be weaker and younger. In such cases, pigeon breeders make the substitution of eggs.
Pigeon meat since ancient times of the Romans and Egyptians was considered a delicacy. Already then they created whole farms, where they raised pigeons not for beauty. In our time, there are about 70 species of pigeon meat. These specially bred birds can reach a weight of 1.5 kg per month. As a rule, mating, breeding pigeons of meat breeds is not a laborious process. A breeder with good care can get up to 10 clutches of eggs per year. A special diet, which includes all the necessary nutrients, is a guarantee for the growth of pigeon meat.
Meat pigeons breed in almost the same way as ordinary domesticated ones. To facilitate the work, pigeon breeders give birth to an equal number of females and males. This will allow the birds to choose their own partner. It is necessary to take into account the great weight that pigeons have. Mating should take place in prepared enclosures, only nesting sites are located lower than usual.
The female pigeon lays up to three eggs, with an interval of more than a day. These birds hatch their birds from two weeks to a month, depending on the breed, also changing each other. For the first two weeks, the darling feeds chicks with goiter milk, and then the breeder introduces special food for them.
Breeding new breeds
A large number of breeders are engaged in breeding new breeds of pigeons. This is quite an interesting thing, because the way pigeons breed at home is a fascinating sight. Sometimes crossing existing breeds leads to unusual results. Carefully selected individuals that lead among the rest, to obtain even better offspring. The breeding and breeding of ideal pigeons is the dream of every pigeon breeder.
Pigeons are fairly common birds around the world. Scientists have found that these individuals came to us from Europe or North Africa. They live in the wild for about five years, and at home can live up to fifteen. A very rare occurrence when pigeons live to be thirty years old, but this happens.
All pigeon breeders are interested in how pigeons mate, breed and feed their offspring. Since the success of this process depends on whether the offspring will be strong, healthy, and whether it will be possible to breed new breeds. Therefore, first of all, you should find out what these birds are fascinating about, how they behave in the wild, and how to create pairs. We will tell you in detail how pigeons mate and breed, as well as all the features of this process.
Mating pigeons can take place in different periods depending on what the climate in the region. In our climatic latitudes, the crossing occurs in the spring. Before proceeding to the question of how pigeons mate, it is necessary to determine which sex. Very often sexual signs are not clearly expressed, the main one, of course, is body size. Pigeons are usually bigger than doves and rougher. Females are fragile, tender and refined. But the most accurate method for determining the sex of a bird is to observe its behavior in a normal environment.
Ready to breed
Usually, pigeons start puberty from 6 months, but the best age for breeding is 1-2 years. By the time all the organ systems are formed, strong immunity, the bird is ready to perform parental duties. The fecundity of the bird increases every year to 5 years.
The age of the pigeons can be determined by the wax flask, which increases annually. The highest fertility rates are in birds that are well fed, strong and already molted. If they are kept in captivity, then for the winter, pigeons and pigeons are divided into different houses, fed with grain and vitamin supplements, so that the eggshell and bones of babies are strong.
Like any animal, the pigeon also has feelings and, of course, witnessed its “marriage ceremony”. Therefore, further we will talk about how pigeons breed (photo in the article). Males, having chosen the vending female, begin to coo near her. They swell the goiter, spread their tails, whirl and loudly coo. Doves at this time bow to the males, show their willingness to breed and swim up to them on the tail. If the dance took place between two males, then it ends in a fight. Similar happens in the case if the female is more active than the male, then they will not be able to mate.
An interesting fact is that pairs consist of pigeons that are similar in temperament. Therefore, an inactive pigeon with a very active female will not be able to successfully mate and breed, as well as a weak female with a brisk male. If the pairs are matched correctly, then the marriage is quickly made.
After that, they nestle together, gently pluck the feathers and kiss their beaks. It is important to know that pigeons are monogamous birds, so if you release the real pair again in the pigeon house to the rest of the bird, you can be sure they will stay together forever. These birds are able to remain faithful, new couples most often remain not for a couple of seasons, but for a lifetime.
A very important point in the breeding process - this device nests. Those pigeons who live in a wild environment are independently searching for secluded places for hatching, and for domestic ones they are helped in building their home. If you have a big dovecote, then you can put a couple of large branches on the floor, and then the pigeons themselves will find a convenient and comfortable place.
In the question of how pigeons mate (see photo in the article), consider two types of intercourse: natural and forced. In the first version, the male chooses his own partner, and in the second, the person does it for him in order to breed a certain breed.
Those couples that have been formed naturally, strong, faithful to each other all their life, successfully multiply, lay eggs. And those couples that were created forcibly, often aggressive, males are inattentive to the female, and after mating, they are quickly forgotten. After that, they can still form alliances with other females.
How pigeons mate: anatomical process
When the female begins to prepare the clutch, all sorts of changes occur in all her organs and tissues. An increase in the amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins is observed in the blood. A female has one ovary and oviduct, the male has two testicles. Fertilization of eggs on the funnel of the oviduct occurs upon completion of mating. After the pigeons make a mating flight. Then later the female arrives in the nest and lays an egg.
Hatching eggs and the birth of chicks
If mating went well, the female is prepared to lay eggs. The behavior of the bird will say whether it will become a hen or not. If she moves a little and sits for a long time, then eggs will appear soon. Two weeks after mating, the clutch will begin, lasting for several days. Usually the dove takes down one egg each, which weighs 20 grams with a break of 40-45 hours. After the hatching begins. It can be carried out by both female and male for 20 days. After laying the bird is undesirable to disturb throughout the week, and when time passes, the eggs must be ovoskopirovat. As a rule, the young pigeon successfully hatches 65% of its chicks, and the mature - 95%.
Nestlings hatch on the 18th day after laying. From the middle, the chick pecks at the shell and is freed from it after a couple of hours. Sometimes this process can take up to a day. Chicks are born without feathers and with closed eyes, so parents very carefully protect them and warm them.
When the chicks are born, the parents feed them with goiter milk for the first two weeks, and after the softened grains. The first hatchling chick receives food from its parents in 3-4 hours, while the second one gets in 15-16, so they develop unevenly. After 45 days, the pigeons are already similar to their parents, and in the pack they can no longer be distinguished.
Why don't we see the pigeons on the street?
It may seem to city dwellers that the number of pigeons is increasing miraculously, all the birds on the street are adults, but nowhere do we see chicks. It follows a logical question, do they exist? We can assure you, there are chicks, but there is an excellent explanation for not seeing them. In some ways, this is due to where birds nest: pigeons usually build their homes in places that resemble caves and rocks. And in big cities, houses are built under window sills, on roofs, under bridges. There is another reason why pigeons do not appear on the streets. They do not leave their nests from 4 to 6 weeks after birth, until they grow up.
Residents speak of pigeons as flying rats, but I want to note that these birds are very good and responsible parents. The male and female together feed and incubate babies, and if one parent dies, then the second will do everything to raise their offspring, even if it is very difficult for him. So, as a rule, chicks survive.
When they become old enough to live independently, they begin to ignore their parents and feed themselves. Young pigeons are adjacent to a flock of birds and live close to their families. Also, pigeons have their own territory, where they constantly spend time, and if a bird is carried away from there, it will try to return to its usual place.
Interesting facts about pigeons
- In Christianity, the dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, peace, baptism and brings the gospel. According to the Bible, the pigeon sent Noah to find dry land after the flood, and he brought an olive branch.
- Simple urban pigeons perfectly hold a reference point in space and always find their way home. First of all, birds on their way remember certain features of the landscape, secondly they remember smells well, and they have an “internal compass” that helps them navigate the Sun.
- There is another interesting fact that researchers encountered just a few years ago. It turns out that pigeons can discern the habits of people. The experiment was conducted as follows, two researchers of approximately the same build treated the pigeons differently. The first was kind and courteous, and the second during the feeding chased them around the cage. Some time later, scientists stopped appearing in front of the pigeons, but when they came again, the birds recognized them. They avoided the one who offended them, and they flew up to the second one, who was good with them, and if with hands.
- There are about 300 species of pigeons in the world. They live in all corners of the earth, except in too cold areas. But most of them live in a tropical climate.
- Urban pigeons have a very interesting body. At first they fill the stomach, and when the food does not fit, they send it to the goiter, which consists of two bags. First, the left and then the right pouch gradually fill up. Principle like a hamster.
- Drink in an interesting way. Pigeons put their beak into the water and suck the liquid through it as if it were a straw.
- Interestingly, pigeons can reach speeds of up to 70 km per hour and can fly up to 900 km per day.
In this article, we told you how pigeons mate, where their offspring live, and why we don’t see little pigeons on the street. In the end, I want to say one thing: pigeons are a symbol of peace, goodness and love, and therefore we must treat them accordingly, feed them and, of course, do not offend.
Pigeon age determination
Pets live 15–20 years, but only for 10 years can breed. After five years of life, pigeons are not capable of producing strong offspring, they have very weak chicks and are capable of contracting various diseases. But it happens that you want развести редкую породу, тогда к старому самцу подбирают молодую самку.
Возраст у них определяется довольно просто. Basically it is determined by wax; after five months it becomes white — this is like an indicator of maturity in these birds; it can be used to determine the age up to three to five years. Every year it increases.
Males and females and their differences
The pigeon is slightly larger than the dove and has a rougher build, and the dove is smaller, softer and more graceful. Before breeding it can be difficult to distinguish. Even experienced pigeon breeders, before mating, are often mistaken in choosing the sex of young pigeons.
To correctly determine the sex of a bird, it is necessary plant in drawers with a lattice front wall supposed male and female. With the right distribution, the male will begin to coo, his goiter will inflate and he begins to care for the dove. If two males fall into the box, the case will end in a fight. Approximately also end if two females coincide. But there are cases that doves imitate a couple, and a mistake will be revealed only when there are four unfertilized eggs in the nest.
Active birds form a marriage union quickly. They will sit tightly pressed against each other, and gently pluck the plumage on the head and neck. And it will mean that pigeons really "got crushed". Such a pair, especially if they started kissing with their beaks, can be safely released back into the pigeon house - they will no longer disperse, they will always be together.
Dove breeding - mating
Must only need young and purebred pigeons, so that there is no mixing of blood. In nature, there are two types of mating:
With natural mating, the male chooses a female for himself, and when forced, a man chooses a female for him according to the necessary parameters and qualities. But if there are birds of the same breed in the house, then there is no point in forced mating.
But if the male himself picked up a femalethen a strong pair is formed. They all start laying eggs earlier and in greater numbers, and their fertility and hatchability is the highest. With forced mating, the picture is completely different - the male becomes aggressive and pays little attention to his pair, and therefore the creation of the family is delayed and, of course, the chicks appear much later and the hatchability of such pairs is much lower than with natural mating.
Forced mating.The poultry breeder selects pairs of healthy, not very large and with good flight qualities. Picking up, he puts them in a closed box, usually do it at night. After mating, the birds are released back to the dovecote.
Young birds, most often quickly mate and conclude an alliance among themselves. To determine whether the pairing or not, just look at them. If the pairing was, then the pigeons are sitting huddled together, and begin to care for their companion. After that, you can safely release them in a common poultry house.
The box in which pairing took place cannot be removed, since they will nest there. If pigeons for nesting choose another place, then the box should be put in the place chosen by them.
Natural mating. If the house is breeding birds of the same breed, then it is not necessary to plant them in a box, because the male will pick up the female himself. Pigeons will fly together and lay eggs. In such cases, it turns out very strong family, high hatchability and strong chicks. Such a family, in most cases, converges the following year.
Chicks from the same litter may have different development rates. This is due to the fact that one of them hops and gets food before the other. It was observed that one chick receives food four hours after birth, and the second only after fifteen.
Pigeon chicks with different levels of development
The nutrition of the offspring is the main task of the newly-minted parents; they feed the pigeons with so-called bird milk, which has a high content of fat and protein. This mixture is produced in the craw of the dove and consumed by chicks up to 14 days. After two weeks, crushed and softened grain is added to the diet of chicks, which they can eat on their own.
The female feeds the baby pigeon milk.
After reaching the age of two weeks, the chick's beak becomes fully formed and is not inferior in size to the beak of an adult bird.
Residents of cities, most likely, have never seen pigeon offspring. The fact is that juveniles do not leave the nest until 40-46 days have passed from the moment of their hatching. And in two months, chicks are already difficult to distinguish from their parents, as they acquire the size, appearance of adult individuals and become completely independent. After the offspring learns to fly, it leaves the nest and never returns there.
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Forced, that is, solely by the will of man, pigeon breeders mate in cases where they wish to engage in selection or breeding of purebred chicks. For breeding birds with new properties, males and females of different breeds are selected, whose best qualities they wish to combine in the new breed. And to improve a particular breed, a male and female are chosen from this group, who have the most advantageous characteristics from the breeder's point of view. With the forced method, the selected couple is placed in a cage or a special aviary where it spends the night, after which the birds are released back into the flock. The most crucial stage during the artificial creation of a pair is to correctly determine the sex of the pigeons. Since these birds do not have clearly visible sex differences, it is not very easy to do. However, there are some characteristic features by which you can distinguish a pigeon and a dove, yet there are:
- pigeons are almost always more massive than pigeons, have a higher forehead and bright plumage,
- the doves are “dressed” less catchy, their heads are sloping, and their bodies are smaller.
In the world of pigeons, the duty to build a nest lies on the male. He is engaged in the search for building materials in the form of twigs, straws and blades of grass, transports them to the site of construction of the nest and builds it. The female, on a purely female basis, designs the family nest, trimming it and making it more comfortable and cozy for future offspring.
When nesting in the dovecote, it is necessary to help the birds and perform the following actions:
- before the birds start building nests in the pigeon house, general cleaning is carried out, for which winged residents are temporarily resettled in an aviary,
- each compartment in which birds live is divided by a partition into two parts and put there boxes for nesting, which are usually made of wood or wire,
- To make it easier for the males to find building materials, a pile of twigs, hay, straw or mowed grass is put on the floor of the pigeon house. Usually birds build their nests from two to three weeks.
Care for offspring
Doves hatch and free themselves from the remnants of the shell not immediately, but for almost twenty hours, appearing to the light blind and almost naked. However, after only a couple of hours after birth, they are able to eat. To this end, a caring mother in her goiter prepares for them a special blend rich in protein and fats - the famous bird's milk. This mixture pigeons feed for two weeks, and then transferred to the crushed and softened grains.
They are already able to peck on their own, since by this time they have a fully formed beak. Pigeons do not leave the native nest until they are 40-46 days old. After two months, the chicks in appearance is almost impossible to distinguish among adult birds.
How many times do pigeons breed each year
As already mentioned, the mating pigeon period lasts from the beginning of March to mid-September. A healthy adult couple is able to give offspring for a season up to seven times. However, golubevody not recommend pairing birds in the summer, since the hatched chicks may not have time to get feathering and die before the winter cold.
Breeding pigeons at home does not require excessive physical effort from a person, but presupposes in him the presence of patience, accuracy, observation and, of course, great love for these wonderful birds.
- Pigeons are fairly widespread throughout the Earth. It was possible to establish that their original homeland was Europe or North Africa.
- In nature, these birds live for about 5 years, and domesticated individuals live to 15 years. There is even evidence that the pigeons were up to 30 years old!
- The success of the mating of pigeons depends on whether the chicks will be healthy, whether it will be possible to breed a new breed.
- First of all, you need to find out what the doves are interested in, how they behave in nature, how to create pairs to breed.
- Puberty pigeons comes in six months, but they prefer to multiply upon reaching a year or two. By this age, all the organs are formed, the immunity is strong, and the depth is ready to become a parent.
- Fertility increases annually to 5 years of age. The age of the birds is determined by the wax, increasing from year to year. The highest fertility rates are noted in fattened, strong and molted birds.
- If pigeons are kept in captivity, in the winter they are lodged in different houses, given grain and vitamin supplements, so that the eggshell and bones of the chicks are strong.
Anatomical mating process
When the female starts preparing the laying, in its tissues and organs corresponding changes occur. The blood increases the content of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as well as vitamins.
The female has one ovary and one oviduct, and the male has two testicles. In the oviduct funnel, the eggs are fertilized at the end of mating. Then the pigeons make a mating flight, the female flies into the nest to lay the egg.
Incubation and birth of chicks
After successful mating female preparing to lay eggs. By the behavior of the bird, you can determine whether it will be a hen. If the dove is inactive and spends a lot of time in a sitting position, it means that it will soon carry the eggs.
Masonry begins two weeks after mating, and lasts several days. As a rule, the dove takes one egg, weighing 20g, with an interval of 40-45 hours. Then it begins to hatch chicks. Hatching can be engaged and male, and the process lasts for 20 days. After laying, the dove is not recommended to be disturbed for about a week, after this period the eggs are ovoscoped. Usually the young bird successfully incubates 65% of the chicks, and the mature individual 95%.
Where do the pigeons hide from us?
A city dweller may be perplexed about the increase in the number of pigeons. After all, on the street, he sees only adult birds.
This is partly due to the peculiarities of nesting: as a rule, pigeons build dwellings in places resembling rocks and caves. In cities, nests are built under window sills., under the bridges, on the roofs.
Also the reason is that the pigeons do not leave the nest 4-6 weeks after birth. They adjoin the pack already grown up.