Do Pigeons Make Good Pets?
How Much Do They Cost?

Are you wishing to adopt a pigeon as your new pet? Can you keep pigeons as pets? Explore this post to find out all you need to know!

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Iñigo Navarro

November 21, 2021


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What’s This Post About?

Pigeons have long been perceived as dirty birds, known to spread filth and parasites. However, people often fail to note how meticulously clean these birds are, preening and bathing themselves daily.

Wild pigeons, living in huge flocks, can undoubtedly be unhygienic due to a lot of defecations around them, being boisterously noisy and extremely messy at their roosts.

But this is not the case with lone tamed pigeons that are unacquainted with their peer’s wild life.

Pigeons can make great pets. Many people would be amazed to learn that pigeons are one of the most affectionate, loyal, and friendly species to adopt as pets. They are neither too loud, demanding, nor too gritty. With a well-equipped cage, you can accommodate them both indoors and outdoors.

Do Pigeons Make Good Pets?

In general, the incredibly affectionate and loyal nature of pigeons makes them amazing pets. More than you can imagine, pigeons are not only one of the smartest birds but have quite a calm disposition without being too problematic.

These peaceful birds tend to be the safest to be around without being too aggressive. Such tender are the pigeons that they typically don’t bite, chew or scratch, keeping their owner in tranquility.

So, if you’re wondering whether pigeons make good pets, the answer is definitely a yes!

Pigeons make fantastic pets, not just outdoors but also indoors as part of a family.

Pigeons are subtly gorgeous birds, and their gentle, tender-hearted nature, along with the extraordinary degree of smartness that they possess, makes them one of the best pets.

Great efforts go into selectively breeding and taming the pigeons that cannot survive in the wild. Instead, they can only thrive as pets due to the way they’re raised.

While keeping them outside, it is imperative to ensure they stay safe in rodent and predator-proof aviary.

Why Do Pigeons Make Good Pets?

Often being maligned as dirty, unhygienic, and propagator of diseases, our society tends to view pigeons in a dark light.

However, these slanders regarding the pigeons have been denied. With the many extraordinary traits that the pigeons’ exhibit, it’s no wonder that they make great pets, making their owner fond of their affection and companionship.

Affectionate Personality

Known to be extremely compassionate, loyal, and affectionate, pigeons are tender-hearted birds that would spend good time with you and relish your company. Having quite a mild deposition, they would hang around with you in the house without causing much trouble.

Quiet and Peaceful

If you’re among those people who love tranquility, then pigeons are the right choice of pets for you. Unlike the boisterous parrots, cockatoos, and parakeets, pigeons only produce gentle cooing sounds.

Longevity

Even though pigeons have an average lifespan of only 3-5 years in the wild, they can live an even longer life for more than 10 years if you diligently look after them.

Intelligence

Pigeons are remarkably smart birds that know how to tackle unusual things and find their way out. They just need some time to get accustomed to you, and you’ll be surprised to see how they can even recognize words.

Easy Going Birds

Most pets are quite demanding. On the other hand, pigeons are quite complacent and easy to look after, all the while staying calm and friendly. All your little buddy needs is some attention and time from you.

Where To Keep Your Pet Pigeons?

Pigeons are one of the few pets that can flourish both inside the house as well as outdoors, as long as they are given adequate attention, affection, and care.

Pigeons in the Outdoor Aviary

Of course, pigeons best prosper in the natural, outdoor environment, where they are meant to be. But since these are not wild pigeons, they lack the potential to protect themselves from predators and even to fly around safely.

Thus, you need to make sure they are confined in boundaries where your pet dog or cat cannot approach them.

Pet pigeons need to be protected in an aviary. However, before you lock up the pigeon in here, make sure it’s a pleasant space for the pigeon to spend most of its time.

It must be a predator-proof cage securely built from all sides as well as top and bottom. The wires need to be extremely sturdy and rigid so that they cannot be twisted and wrested by predators.

More so, it must be rodent-proof with a specific 16-gauge hardware mesh with very minute openings and narrow spacing between bars. A raccoon-proof latch would be ideal.

Size Of the Aviary Is Paramount

Make sure to make it as spacious as possible to accommodate at least four birds at a time. The recommended ideal size is 6x6x4 feet. Your pigeon will become disconsolate if it’s locked up in a small cage with hardly any space to move about.

Location Of the Aviary

The location needs to be considered. If your aviary is placed in an area with direct sunlight, make sure to include a sheltered corner. The bird would shield itself from the extreme sun during the hottest days and keep itself dry during the rainy days.

Cover The Bottom Of The Cage

The bottom of the cage must be covered with grassy sod or paper, so it’s easier for the pigeon to walk around.

Include Shelves

You must include shelves in the enclosure to provide various spots for nesting and perching. Pigeons prefer small and raised platforms to stick perches around and construct nests.

Install Bird Baths and Water Containers

Pigeons are fond of preening, bathing, and lounging in the sun. Make the aviary homely for them by installing a bathing station that the bird can use to clean itself. Make sure to clean the water regularly.

Pigeons as Indoor Pets

Pigeons are one of the heartiest birds that we know, and they can easily adapt to the indoor routines of humans. Though easy-going and not too fidgety creatures, they need a certain level of emotional connection either with their owner or another pigeon.

They become desolate if they remain company deprived. But, of course, you wouldn’t want your buddy to feel lonely, so make sure you give it sufficient time.

How To Accommodate Your Pigeon Indoors?

Luckily, this wouldn’t be much difficult if you wanted to keep your pigeon inside your house. Pigeons can become a lively part of your family. They would certainly need a cage as their home base, and this should be big enough to enable the bird to move around a bit.

The cage should be partially or even completely enclosed, but make sure the holes are nominally sized to prevent the pigeon from peaking its head out. We recommend using a double flight cage for a pair.

You can explore the Plastic Pigeon Cage

Plastic Pigeon cage

This plastic pigeon cage is made of high-quality plastic that is very strong and durable.

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The site where you set up your cage should have optimal conditions. Make sure you keep it in an area where natural light falls, or the pigeon is exposed to some light but not under direct sun.

If some light falls on the cage even during the night, it can be overwhelming for the diurnal bird, so cover the cage to prevent light from entering.

DID YOU KNOW?

Do not keep your pigeon in the kitchen. This can be a hazardous space for the pigeons, as the fumes given off by the non-stick utensils are toxic for the birds.

Make Your Pigeon A Companion at Home!

To stay cheerful, your pigeon would need to spend some time out of the cage. Staying locked up in one place can be daunting for anyone, right? So instead, give them the chance to stretch their legs, flutter their wings a little, and explore around the house freely.

You might notice that your tamed pigeon prefers to hop around more rather than fly. It would find its favorite spots to perch and hang around in the house and have some fun.

It’s not hard for pigeons to settle indoors. They are quite calm birds that become accustomed to the house they’re living in. They wouldn’t even prove bothersome for the other pets that you have around, and can get along peacefully with cats and dogs if kept safe.

Use Pigeon Pants for Indoor Pigeons

Keeping the pigeon caged up indoors is fine, but what is worrisome for many potential pigeon pet owners is how to control the nasty droppings of the pigeons all over the house if you let them roam around freely?

This can undoubtedly be an inconvenience, but the good part is that healthy pigeon droppings are almost odorless. Of course, droppings can sometimes be a mess, but in the case of pigeons, placing liners strategically on the surfaces can considerably solve the problem.

Moreover, they can be easily wiped off the hardwood or tile floors. An even better solution is to dress up the pigeon in pigeon pants. Relatively easy to put on, the pigeons also willingly wear them as they don’t hinder their mobility.

These cute little harnesses with a diaper, lined with a panty liner, to collect the droppings can be of great help to you while at the same time letting your pigeon walk and fly around the house freely, and even enjoy some cuddling in your lap.

Just make sure to change the diaper within a span of 3 hours; otherwise, it might be infectious to the pigeon.

Can You Keep A Single Pigeon As A Pet?

Pigeons are one of the most compassionate, friendly, and innocent animals. Trying to find a companion for themselves, they would even befriend a human to meet their emotional needs if they spend most of their day with them.

Whether you’re keeping them outdoors or inside the house, pigeons don’t like to be left alone. Always found in huge flocks in the wild, you can assess how social these animals are. It is therefore advisable to keep at least two pigeons together.

However, if that is not possible, and you can only adopt one pigeon, make sure you’re committed to providing utmost company, compassion, and care. A lack of attention and time from your side would make the adorable pigeon sad.

How Much Does a Pigeon Cost?

Pigeons have long been one of the most cherished animals by humans, from their role as messengers to the companionship they provide.

Even today, pigeons are a really highly demanded species, as they are purchased for purposes of exhibiting the species as well as keeping them as domestic pets. There are pigeons that are selectively bred and tamed for this purpose.

The cost of a pigeon depends on various factors, including the breed, quality, and age of the pigeon as well as the breeder who is selling it.

If you’re contemplating buying a pigeon to keep as a pet, set your budget somewhere around $50 to $450 to purchase a commonly bred pigeon.

There are pigeons in the market that are sold at even more exorbitant prices. Since show pigeons are higher in quality and excel in beauty, their price tag can easily surpass $1000.

However, that’s not the price of all pigeons, with rates varying considerably with the breeds.

For example, a Racing Homer can be priced around $50 to $80, Homers can cost around $150 to $250, while the Hungarian House Pigeon costs around $250 to $400.

How To Purchase a Pet Pigeon?

Several local and out-of-station pigeon breeders sell selectively bred and tamed pigeons. But, unfortunately, these innocent, beautiful creatures lack the adequate survival skills to be let out in the wild, and their breeders are in search of people who would passionately adopt them.

However, consider your purchase as well as the seller’s policy before buying your new pet. A wise choice would be to approach breeders who are located in your hometown to minimize any shipping fees.

Most prominent breeders in the market would hand over a health certificate of the bird at the time of purchase to indicate the vaccinations that the pigeon has received.

Additional fees may apply for pending shots in the future. Enquire regarding all the necessary details of the breed and its relevant care specifications to best look after your new pet. Variations exist among different breeds, and they need to be cared for accordingly.

We recommend approaching recognizable breeders in the market, since the quality of the breed they sell would be reliable. Not all breeders feed their animals with the right mix and focus on their health, ultimately resulting in the poor health of the bird.

Since you are choosing your new companion at home, it is advisable to conduct a thorough survey before making the purchase. Meet a few pigeons to assess for any allergies or illnesses to ensure they meet your expectations.

Only if the pigeons at the shelter receive proper handling and affectionate care would they be able to adapt well; otherwise, it might be challenging to socialize with them.

Make sure you adopt from a reliable company that has domesticated pigeons. Wild ones aren’t the right choice as they tend to carry germs and diseases.

How To Help Your Pet Pigeon Feel at Home?

When you first bring your new fellow into your home, make sure you give it a cordial welcome. If you’re wondering how to go about it, follow these essential guidelines.

Set Up Your Pigeon’s Accommodation Before Bringing It into Your House

Clean up the cage so that the pigeon is given an immaculate house. Considering how innocent and emotionally sensitive these birds are, it would be depressing for the pigeon to relocate it and not provide with another home.

Keep Your Pigeon Indoors for The Initial Few Days

Since the pigeon is new to the place, it needs some time to bond with you, and this is only possible if you stay in front of its sight for the most part. Moreover, since it is a single pigeon, the social bird would lack companionship and look for you.

Read this post to learn whether pigeons have feelings or not.

Do Pigeons Have Feelings? Do They Get Sad, Cry, Or Love?

The idea of pigeons having human-like feelings sounds crazy, but what if pigeons can actually sense emotions like us? Keep reading to find out.

Bond With Your Pigeon

The first few days would be demanding for you and hard for the pigeon as you try to bond with it. Give the pigeon space to adjust. Don’t touch it unnecessarily, but try petting it gently if the pigeon approves of it. Talk to it frequently and don’t disappear from its sight for too long.

Let The Pigeon Explore Your House

As the pigeon is settling in the new environment, let it out of the cage for some time. Make sure all the doors and windows are shut to prevent the bird from escaping.

Roaming around in your presence every day would make the pigeon calmer, and accustomed to you, strengthening your bond. Eventually, you’ll get a hold of it and learn how to handle your pigeon.

Move it Outside

Now that your pigeon has become accustomed to the new home, you can relocate it outside in the aviary. Make sure to give it sufficient time of your day when you’re home; otherwise, your buddy would get disconcerted due to lack of company.

Introducing a partner at this time would be great so that your pigeon can bond with it.

But remember, directly keeping a pigeon outdoors alone is not recommended. As pigeons are gregarious birds, primarily living in flocks, being alone outside can be stressful and depressing for a pigeon.

What To Feed Your Pet Pigeon?

Pigeons require a highly nutritious diet to thrive and maintain a good health. Pigeons inhabiting the wild have access to an array of food choices that they can forage on and fly considerable distances to satiate their hunger and meet their dietary needs.

However, since your homey pigeon is confined to a limited space, without any exposure to forage for their own food, it is essential to provide them with high-quality, wholesome meals.

Commercial Pigeon Specific Feed

This feed is readily available in the market containing all the essential grains and seeds that comprise the diets of pigeons.

However, make sure to properly check the ingredients since many packs tend to contain unhealthy fillers and chemicals that are hazardous to the health of the pigeons. Therefore, do not purchase such feeds.

Explore Hagen Pigeon & Dove Seed , Nutritionally Complete Bird Food.

Hagen Pigeon & Dove Seed, Nutritionally Complete Bird Food

Provides Balanced Dietary Nutrition To Wild Or Captive Pigeons And Doves

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Basic Organic Pigeon Food

Organic pellets or mix containing seeds, grains, legumes, and cereals.

Supplement Your Pigeon’s Regular Diet

Do this with food items like green plants, including lettuce, clover, spinach, and watercress. Pigeons are also fond of fruits like berries, pears, and apples.

Other Foods

Grit and gravel are essential that should be fed to the pigeon regularly as it aids in the digestion of solid foods. Other foods include peanuts and hempseeds, game bird crumbles, and bread soaked in water.

Many pet stores also sell nutritional supplements, including vitamins and calcium, to enrich the prosperity of your bird.

Foraging in the Yard

If you can give your pigeon some outdoor time, providing it exposure to the natural environment, it can forage on a variety of choices.

They would feed on the fleshy leaves and foliage, as well as buds of trees and bushes. In addition, pigeons typically forage on seeds, fruits, and berries, pine nuts, acorns, beans, and peas.

Invertebrates spotted snuggling on the ground or amidst the bushes become an occasional treat for the pigeons, who particularly enjoy feeding on small ants, spiders, larvae, and worms.

Clean Water

Apart from feeding them a wholesome diet, fresh drinking water is an essential requisite for pigeons. Fill the water container with clean water each day to prevent any illnesses.

Can Pet Pigeons Be Dangerous to The Health of Humans?

Typically, the health codes of most cities do not prohibit keeping pigeons as pets, though it is strongly discouraged to pick one from the wild and captivate it.

Many people often tend to associate pigeons as a menace due to the nuisance they create at outdoor public spaces. However, recent researches have refuted the claims that scout pigeons as rats with wings. In fact, pigeons are found to be actually very clean birds.

Generally, pigeons do not pose any threat to humans. Even though the massive droppings in a filthy place or dirty sidewalks can give rise to germs and infectious diseases, this is not the case with a single or even a pair of pigeons.

In fact, cats and dogs can pose a greater risk to humans around them than pigeons. A lone pigeon wouldn’t inflict any danger to the humans or the environment around them.

Can Your Pet Pigeon Free Fly?

Unfortunately, no, pet pigeons cannot free fly safely.

Among the many species of birds that are proficient aerialists, your domesticated pigeon lacks the skills to aviate in the sky adeptly.

The external environment has a multitude of risks for them, the most common being a target for predators.

Predatory Attacks

Many times, a lone pigeon is attacked and killed by a predator around, not making its way back into the house safely.

These predators are ubiquitous; from the raptors such as Hawks or Eagles as well as cats and dogs around, none would let go of a chance to grasp their potential prey.

Domestic pigeons are at a much greater risk than wild ones. Why is that so?

Wild pigeons living together in a flock offer significant benefits. First, numerous pigeons together derive considerable security, as each of them stays alert of the predators and can collectively resist an attack.

This is not the case with a tame pigeon foraging in your backyard. Being extremely vulnerable to attacks from predators and lacking the skills to combat these attacks, it is extremely unsafe to let pigeons out in the open.

Your Pigeon Can Get Lost

Even though it lacks the mastery to fly safe, birds are by nature aerodynamic, and anything can trigger the pigeon to take flight when left outside.

It could just be one little startle or something that scared them around, and they would just flutter their wings and become airborne.

Learn everything about pigeon flight in this post.

How Far Can Pigeons Fly? It's Almost Unbelievable!

Amongst many things that these brainy birds are capable of, flying far further is one of them. You would be amazed to learn about their flying abilities.

Not experienced in flight, the air currents can take them to heights and cover long distances. The worst part? Your pigeon might lack the homing instinct and may be lost amidst the alien land.

Letting your bird free fly means putting them in imminent danger. Once gone too far, it would be incredibly challenging to retrieve your innocent little pigeon.

In addition, what aggravates the problem is the inability of the pigeon to express itself. Most people would fail to recognize the agony of the pigeon and realize that it is a pet, putting the bird at a terrible risk at the hands of predators.

Keep Reading!

The calm and quiet nature of pigeons, along with their ability to get along well with humans if given proper care and affection, makes them exemplary pets, even better than cats, dogs, or even parrots.

Pigeons are very tender-hearted and loyal birds who would passionately develop a bond with their owners. These birds aren’t too problematic or aggressive, so you can easily have them around the house.

To learn more about these incredible species, read our post to find out if pigeons can see 360 degrees?

Can Pigeons See 360? Pigeon Vision Explained!

Are pigeons able to see 360 degrees? Does their vision allow them to see in every direction? Read ahead to find out fascinating facts.

Iñigo Navarro Picture

By Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Iñigo Navarro Picture

Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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