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4 Diseases You Can Catch From Pigeons

 When I worked in downtown Seattle, I made a morbid hobby out of collecting information on diseases you

Unfortunately, pigeons carry a surprisingly large number of diseases that are transmissible to humans (called "zoonoses"). And they have few effective predators, which means that their numbers are fearsome indeed. We probably won't be rid of the ubiquitous pigeon any time soon, no matter how many peregrine falcons make the rooftops of our skyscrapers their home.

The primary means of transmission is through the droppings. The infected pigeon's droppings have the infection vector in them (be it a virus or a bacteria). When these droppings dry, they become powdered and float up into the air as dust, kicked up by passing feet. You inhale the pigeon dropping dust and bingo: pigeon disease.

1. Cryptococcal Meningitis
I was reminded of my former pigeon disease tracking hobby when I read this heartbreaking article in the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, about a woman who contracted an extremely virulent and dangerous form of pigeon-borne meningitis.

She came down with a terrible migraine, then she was hospitalized, fell into a coma for several days, and woke up blind. Richards was lucky to be 23, young and strong and fit. Anyone in lesser health would likely have died.

2. Salmonella and Listeria
We think of these as being food-borne illnesses. But the salmonella and listeria bacteria are also carried by pigeons. These diseases are no joke: listeria is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and babies, as it can cause "meningitis in newborns, abortions, premature delivery, stillbirths, and death."

3. Viral Encephalitis
Pigeons are one of the primary reservoirs of West Nile virus, Western Equine Encephalomyelitis, and St. Louis Encephalitis. These variable diseases can cause anything from temporary illness to permanent nervous system damage or death. They are particularly dangerous to children and the elderly, where they frequently prove fatal.

The transmission vector in the case of these diseases is the mosquito. A mosquito bites an infected bird, then bites a person. As it bites, it backwashes the infected bird's blood into your blood stream. Mosquitoes definitely deserve a whole 'nother level of loathing, as mosquito-borne diseases account for a staggering number of human deaths worldwide.

4. E. Coli
If you are worried about e. coli infections from under-cooked meat, you should also be washing your hands whenever you spend time in a pigeon-rich environment.

Pigeons are extremely effective transmitters of e. coli to humans. It's impossible to say how many e. coli infections in city-dwellers actually stem from accidental contact with pigeon droppings. How many people have written off the last restaurant they ate at, when a pigeon was the real culprit? - See more at:
can catch from pigeons. I understand why people might like pigeons and want to feed them. There is precious little animal interaction in the city, and if you don't (or can't) have a dog or cat, then the city pigeons may well be your only connection with animals. And they are just so very willing to be fed and entertained.

Rare pigeon virus 'can spread to humans'

Rare pigeon virus 'can spread to humans'

Virus risk ... The disease has killed a large number of pigeons in Victoria.
A rare virus that can be contracted by humans has killed a large number of Victorian pigeons after being detected in Australia for the first time.
A type of avian paramyxovirus has resulted in the deaths of a number of hobby pigeon flocks.
At this stage, there are no reports of this virus causing disease in wild birds, but we have asked the Australian Wildlife Health Network to be alert to this possibility. 
Australian chief veterinary officer Dr Mark Schipp said the birds had died suddenly in large numbers.
The birds had sometimes appeared tired or shown neurological signs such as circling or head flicking before death.
He said human infection was extremely rare and usually occurred after contact with an infected bird.
“The virus causes only mild, short-term conjunctivitis or influenza-like symptoms [in humans],’’ Dr Schipp said.
“State veterinary authorities have been asked to review the health of their pigeon and poultry flocks.
“At this stage, there are no reports of this virus causing disease in wild birds, but we have asked the Australian Wildlife Health Network to be alert to this possibility.’’
Dr Schipp said the national Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Disease had met twice to discuss the outbreak, which is being managed by Victorian chief veterinary officer Dr Hugh Millar and industry and veterinary authorities.
Dr Schipp said the consultative committee has agreed to investigating pigeon and other bird holdings where disease is suspected and to quarantine affected properties.
Anyone concerned about their pigeons or birds should contact an experienced poultry veterinarian, their local department of agriculture, or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch hotline on 1800 675 888.

Important Pigeon Vitamins

Vitamins are chemical compounds that are natural components of food. Found in minute quantities, feeding
vitamins to the pigeon are essential for normal metabolism and health. The vitamins necessary for the performing pigeon are divided into six groups (A, B, C, D, E and K). Within these six main groups are several different sub-types. Each group of vitamins has its own set of functions for the pigeon and when severely deficient in the diet, display their own set of characteristic deficiency symptoms. The effect on metabolism is proportional to the level of deficiency so that when deficiency is mild, the symptoms are vague and non-specific, such as poor performance or compromised health.
Vitamins are generally not made in the pigeon’s body in sufficient amounts to meet requirements and so must be taken in as a dietary source.
The six groups of vitamins are divided into two basic types. The water-soluble vitamins (B and C) are not stored in the body of the pigeon and so any deficiency in these tends quickly to have an effect. The fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are well stored in the pigeon’s liver and so daily intake is less critical.

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Each vitamin has its own set of functions:
Vitamin A:
is necessary for healthy skin and mucus membranes, ie the lining of the mouth, sinus and cloaca, etc.
Vitamin B:
is actually a large group of 12 or more different compounds, eg thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), choline (B4), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), etc. These vitamins perform many vital functions for the pigeon. Being water-soluble, deficiency quickly develops if the birds are not eating.
Vitamin C:
is a metabolic regulator. In most species of seed-eating birds, including pigeons, vitamin C is synthesised in the liver and there is no advantage in supplementation unless the bird becomes debilitated and is no longer able to make enough vitamin C, especially if the liver is damaged.
Vitamin D:
is necessary for the absorption of calcium from the bowel into the body the pigeon. Birds can make their own vitamin C if they have access to light.
Vitamin E:
regulates many of the normal metabolic processes within the cell.
Vitamin K:
is necessary for blood coagulation. These vitamins are found in green plants and can be produced by the normal bacteria in the pigeon’s bowel. It is in fact quite difficult to produce a vitamin K deficiency unless antibiotics have been overused and have killed all of the bacteria in the bowel or birds are prevented from eating their own droppings or probiotics are not used.

Pigeon Supplements

Pigeon Supplements

Confined birds such as stock birds are not given the opportunity to forage. Foraging allows a bird to feed
selectively and to supplement its diet in the event of the nutritional balance of the diet being inadequate. The birds is therefore dependent on its owner to provide a complete and balanced diet. This places heavy responsibility on the provided diet to supply adequate vitamins for the pigeon in the correct balance with each other. All seeds vary in the level and variety of vitamins they contain. It is therefore inconceivable that a dry seed diet based on a small number of seed types would supply all of the pigeon’s vitamin requirements. In the stock loft, it is important to remember that micronutrients and vitamins such as riboflavin, carry over into the pigeon’s egg. This is necessary for maximum hatchability and chick vitality. Of interest, the age of the stock bird appears to have an influence on the efficiency of carry over of vitamins into the pigeon egg and this might be part of the reason why some fanciers notice that most of their successful race birds are bred from their younger stock birds.

Race birds in many lofts are given the opportunity to forage, however, are in fact more prone to not only vitamin, but also general nutritional deficiency because of the increased vitamin requirements associated with exertion, tissue repair and disease resistance. In addition to this, the racing pigeon spend considerable time during the season away from the loft in race baskets where feeding patterns are disrupted, being different from those in the home loft. Sometimes meals are missed altogether such as in all-day races and in ‘late arrival birds’.
In addition to routine maintenance, birds in a number of disease situations benefit from additional supplementation. These include:
  • Diseases that damage the bowels, such as coccidiosis, reduce the absorption of nutrients.
  • Damage to any tissues may increase requirements because of the need for healing.
  • Activation of the immune response mechanism may also increase requirements, something of particular importance in recently weaned young birds.
  • Some vitamins are stored in the pigeon’s liver and damage to this organ can reduce its ability to store and mobilise vitamins.
  • Reduced feed intake due to disease tends to reduce the availability of vitamins at a time when the pigeon’s demand is increasing.
  • The need for vitamins increases generally through growth, breeding, stress, disease and old age.
Supplement choice
Water-soluble vitamins are a convenient and effective way of improving the pigeon’s intake of important vitamins at particular times of increased demand. Different species require different levels of nutrients. Because of the problems associated with over- or underdosing and the need for all nutrients to be in the correct balance, it is most unwise to give pigeons a product made for another species or to not follow the manufacturer’s dosing instructions. To do so is simply playing with fire and quite frankly makes no sense. To use a product designed for a horse or dog on a pigeon implies that these animals’ metabolism is the same. This is plainly not true and to give a dog product to a bird immediately results in giving too much or too little of that nutrient. However, with the multivitamin / mineral supplements now available specifically for birds, their correct use can only help the birds, protecting them from a nutrient deficiency that may compromise their health and as a result their race performance. I usually recommend adding a complete multivitamin / mineral supplement to the water once or twice weekly as a matter of routine.

Pigeon Disease

Pigeon Disease

Breeding home pigeons is a hobby that many people enjoy. Pigeons make a great pet. Breeding pigeons is
not an easy job to do. They need lot of cleanliness and a proper food to stay fit. They need to be vaccinated on a regular basis and can be prone to many diseases if proper care is not taken.
Here are some of the causes, symptoms and prevention of pigeon diseases:
  • Canker- TrichomoniasisCanker
    • Cause: This is the most common pigeon disease. It is caused by a microscopic protozoan which is mobile. It is transmitted from one bird to another through drinking water. The parent bird can infect its young ones through feeding.
    • Symptoms: Infected bird shows a definite reduction in their activity, loss of weight, torn feathers, diarrhea, increased water intake. There are cheesy yellowish deposits in the mouth or throat. Young birds are more susceptible to this disease.
    • Prevention: Maintain regular nutritional feeding and withering schedules. Sanitize the pigeon drinkers regularly. Observe and isolate any newly acquired birds for several weeks and administer an Anti-Canker drug or improver on a regular basis.
  • Coccidiosis
    • Cause: This is a highly infectious and common pigeon disease which is caused by a protozoan. It infects the intestine of birds. It usually persists in all pigeons, but adult birds have developed enough immunity to this disease to remain fit and fine. Young pigeons are the targets of this disease. The birds which are subjected to severe stress that is racing, showing, and lack of food or water are prone to this disease.
    • Symptoms: Infected birds have little or no desire to drink or eat. They lack in any desire to move and frequently close their eyes. Their droppings are usually loose, green in color and may become watery. There is loss of weight and death can occur in young birds.
    • Prevention: Keep their lofts dry and clean. Do not allow feed to come in contact with droppings. Do not allow birds to drink water from mud puddles and keep water and feed free from contact with rodents.
Pigeon DiseaseHere are some tips to prevent diseases in pigeons:
  • Keep the loft clean and dry. Feed pigeons with a diet consisting of pellets and seeds twice daily. Provide clean water for pigeons.
  • Vaccinate the pigeons. Check their droppings at night. If the droppings are loose white or green then the pigeon is ill. Separate the ill pigeon from others.
  • Keep new pigeons separately for few days so that they do not fall sick. It is important to take this step because disease generally comes from outside.
  • Give pigeons a chemical bath every 4 months to get rid of fleas. Dip them in the water which is mixed with dog insecticide
  • Soak bird’s grain (feed) in water before feeding them for one week. This can be helpful for the pigeons who has weak digestive system Bacterial diseases are mostly contracted by eating infected food, or come from stings, bites, wounds or inhalation. Viral diseases arise from infected drinking water, from a sneeze from another sick bird or other airborne contact. Fungus diseases are spread by wind, water or contact. Protozoa, such as the Trichomonas which causes canker, are often carried by parent birds without any symptoms and are passed to their youngsters by mouth.
    Parasitic diseases are internal as the result of birds ingesting worms or their eggs, or external by contact with birds carrying on them some stage of parasite. It is essential that the fancier should have some understanding of the life-cycle of both types of parasite, because to control parasitic disease successfully this cycle must be broken.
    Pigeon diseases can be cured if they are treated at early stages. One needs to keep their pigeons clean by washing them on regular basis to prevent pigeons from getting infected.



A nervous symptom of PMV. Often, the head will twist fully upside-down.

**Please remember that whenever you take in a sick pigeon it is vital that you warm it up before feeding or giving water and that you rehydrate it before feeding. All fluids should be warmed to 39 degrees centigrade.**
PIGEON PARAMYXOVIRUS is a viral disease that does not affect man or animals, but a human that handles a pigeon with PMV or the live vaccine can develop conjunctivitis if sensible precautions are not taken (eg, do not touch your eyes immediately after handling a pigeon with PMV or the live vaccine).
  • Incubation period can vary from a few days to several weeks.
  • It is most often of moderate virulence with 5% to 10% mortality, but rarely highly virulent strains can cause 90% mortality.
  • Mortality rates are significantly higher if supportive care is not given (eg. when the virus is injected experimentally in a laboratory).
  • Water deprivation and stress increase mortality.
  • Spontaneous recovery within 6 - 12 weeks is common, but recovery can take longer.
  • Nervous symptoms can persist for life or return in times of stress.
  • Some pigeons will suffer from persistent diarrhoea after recovery.

Diarrhoea is often the first symptom, but feral pigeons will not often come to the attention of a rescuer until the nervous signs appear. Not all symptoms will be present at the same time. All symptoms are aggravated by excitement.

The most common symptoms seen by the rescuer will be:
  • Thin broken solid droppings in a pool of liquid
  • Fine tremor of eyes or head
  • Staggering
  • Somersaulting in flight
  • Crash landing
  • Difficulty picking up seed, pecking and missing.
  • Tossing seed backwards
  • Twisting neck, head upside down (torticollis, star gazing) - see photo.
  • Paralysis of legs or wings
  • Spiralling in flight
  • Flying backwards
  • Turning in circles
  • Having fits
  • During the recovery period keep pigeons with Pigeon PMV in a quiet, warm (not hot) cage with soft flooring away from any intense light source.
  • Towelling is ideal for flooring as they can damage their feathering if they have fits.
  • Provide a brick for perching.
  • Place seed in a deep dish so that if they stab at random they can pick seed up.
  • Because Pigeon PMV can cause fits pigeons are at risk of drowning but they need free access to water. Provide water (with added electrolytes if possible) in a deep narrow container to minimise the risk of accidental drowning. Watch the pigeon to ensure it is drinking.
  • Hand feeding may be necessary. If feeding by gavage tube is not an option the pigeon's mouth has to be opened and the food pushed to the back of throat. Suitable foods that can be fed this way include pellets of egg food paste dipped in water, small soaked pieces of dog biscuit, frozen peas and sweetcorn thawed in hot water for about 20 - 30 minutes (not tinned).
  • Weigh the pigeon daily and carry out a poop count to ensure that he is getting enough food. As a guideline: a healthy pigeon will pass between 20 and 30 raisin sized poops a day.

  • Supportive care is usually sufficient.
  • Resistance to other diseases such as coccidiosis, trichomoniasis and aspergillosis is reduced. Avoid conditions that could aggravate these conditions (stress, damp etc), watch out for symptoms and provide prompt treatment if symptoms appear.
  • The disease runs its course in about 6 weeks, by that time the pigeon has stopped shedding the virus and won't infect other pigeons but nervous symptoms and gastro-intestinal may persist longer.
  • Vitamins should be given to boost the immune system.
  • Probiotics can be used to crowd out any bad gut bacteria.
  • Electrolytes can be given to replace the electrolytes lost through polyuria.
  • I have found that providing a calcium supplement on arrival (Gem Calcium Syrup with Vitamin D3) has helped. The dose I gave was two drops a day for 3 days.
  • Do not use antibiotics without consulting a vet. They can intensify the lesions and aggravate the course of the disease.

  • I have had some success treating the paralysis/stroke symptoms of Pigeon PMV using the homeopathic remedy Conium Maculatum (common hemlock) dosing with a single tablet of the 30 potency three times a day for up to 10 days.
  • Birds that tremble and fall over when they try to move because their balance is impaired may benefit from Argenitum Nit 30 potency, one tablet given 3 or 4times a day for up to 2 days.
  • Belladonna can be used for birds that are restless with convulsive movement and jerking limbs. 2 pilules twice a day.
**Remember not to touch homeopathic pilules with your hands, this can contaminate them and reduce effectiveness, give them on a clean mouth (no food or additions to the drinking water 20 minutes before or 20 minutes after) and stop the remedy as soon as an improvement shows**

  • Pigeon PMV is highly infectious to other pigeons , victims should be kept isolated from other birds for at least 6 weeks.
  • Maintain scrupulous hygiene , regularly disinfecting food and water containers with bleach.
  • Always see to a pigeon with Pigeon PMV after you have treated your other birds. That reduces the risk of carrying the infection to other birds in your care.
  • Wash hands after contact and take care not to track fecal waste or carry fecal dust to areas where other birds are.
  • Some rescuers keep a clean overall and shoes just inside the isolation area, to put on while caring for Pigeon PMV sufferers and remove when leaving the area.
  • Dispose of droppings wisely, they can be a source of infection to feral pigeons.
  • In a loft situation it is important to vaccinate pigeons against Pigeon PMV.
  • Remember that it is the pigeon that is not showing any symptoms of Pigeon PMV but is shedding the virus that is the greatest danger to other pigeons. By the time the obvious symptoms appear the virus could have infected other pigeons in your care. Always isolate new pigeons. They can be vaccinated if they show no signs of the disease after 10 days in quarantine. 

How to Tame Pigeons to Be out of Cage Permanently

Pigeons have been raised for centuries. Pigeons are very smart, even more intelligent than doves. They can easily be tamed and trained to the hand, as they have lost their fear of humans. 


  1. First of all, when you buy a pigeon, look at the pigeons and try to hand feed them in the pet store cage. Never look for the most beautiful, look for the most sociable and fearless one. It is also more convenient to buy them as a mated pair.
  2. Set your pigeon cage outside of your house. Preferably where they can see all the surroundings. Get to know them and treat them with care. Try to hand feed your pigeons so that you can gain their trust.
  3. There is a way to tie pigeon's wing feathers without hurting them. You have to hold the pigeon gently and lock the feathers one by one so that they can not fly away. You should then leave them in a room in your presence, feed your pigeons and let them walk around for about 1/2 hour in the morning and evening and catch them and put them back in the cage. This way they will be familiar with their surroundings and they will know you. After about 7 to 10 days you should untie the feathers.
  4. When pigeons are about two weeks in their cage, you can open their cage and try to get their attention with some food on your hands. If they don't land on your hands but if they go exploring the surroundings, don't worry they are just curious and will spend their time exploring their "Out of Cage Home".
  5. If they fly away, they might come back when they get hungry, but never allow them to free-fly as a predator could get them.
  6. Enjoy your pigeons landing on your hands when you feed them!


  • At night, it is preferable to cage your pigeons; this will protect them from possible nocturnal enemies.
  • Put a birdhouse on your wall. Pigeons will make this their new home.
  • Buy more pigeons. The new pigeons will get attracted by your old ones and this will make it easier for the new ones to settle in your home.
  • To encourage your pigeons to eat from your hands, try to imitate their cooing sound so that they can feel secure.
  • It will be even better to let your pigeon pair breed inside the cage first and then let them out of it. Pigeons are very responsible and will not let their young alone. Leave the cage open so that they have access to it.

How to Build a Pigeon Cage or Pigeon House

If you want to start keeping pigeons as pets, you need to have a stable cage or house to serve as their
shelter. Pigeons can become quite a nuisance if you allow them to fly off and rest on any part of your house. A suitable pigeon house will also give them the opportunity to mate easily and will provide a place for them to nest.


  • 1
    Use your protractor to measure an 18.2-degree bevel right along an 8-inch edge of your roof piece. Mark this with a pencil and use your handsaw to cut the bevel. Sand the edge with fine-grit sandpaper.
  • 2
    Measure another 18.2-degree angle along the top side piece using your protractor. This should be the 6-inch side opposite your 4.5-inch side. Use your handsaw to cut through the angle and sand it with your sandpaper. Do the same for the bottom piece.
  • 3
    Use hot glue to attach the 4.5-inch edge of the side piece to the 7-inch edge of your floor piece. See to it that the 90-degree angle of your side piece is at the floor's corner. Use your hammer and a few nails to nail the side in place. Do the same with your remaining side piece for the other 7-inch edge of your floor. These pieces will form the walls on opposite sides of your floor. The back and front part of your platform should still be open as you nail the second side piece to your floor.
  • 4
    Use hot glue to attach the roof to the sides' top edges. See to it that the 18.2-degree bevelled edge of your roof is in line with the sides' back edges and that it creates a flat surface for you to attach the back piece in your next step. The roof should slope down over the platform's front.
  • 5
    Nail the roof in its place with nails and a hammer.
  • 6
    Lay your platform on its front, with its face down. Apply hot glue around the roof's back edges, floor and sides and press its back piece to your platform. The house's back piece should extend 2 inches above your roof and below your platform's floor.
  • 7
    Nail the platform to your back piece. Set it upright with its open front facing forward with your platform's floor standing parallel to the ground.

Build your own pigeon trap

Build your own pigeon trap

If you train your hunting dogs using live birds, but have trouble with the cost of pen raised quail and pheasant,
there is a solution — trap live pigeons for dog training.
Pigeons, or rock doves, are native to Europe and were brought here by settlers in the 1600s. They were domesticated birds that served as pets, food and occasionally for their homing skills as message carriers and racing birds. They are found across North America and have adapted to a wide variety of environments, from rural farm lots to city parks.
Since they are not native, pigeon trapping usually does not require any special permits or licenses from state agencies. However, it is always good to check with local authorities in case there are any special rules or local permits for nuisance trapping in your area.
Pigeon traps vary in size and material, but most feature a one-way entrance that prevents the bird from exiting the trap. Use an open mesh to allow other pigeons to see the bait and other birds inside trap. Pigeons are social birds and will fill a trap quickly if they see others feeding inside.
Here's a basic wire trap that can be built in about an hour. — mohamed muzammil


  • poultry mesh or cage wire
  • (2) 10-foot x ½-inch PVC pipe
  • (8) ½-inch PVC 90 degree elbows
  • (4) ½-inch PVC tee joints
  • wire cutters
  • fencing wire, wire ties or zip ties
One-way Door
  • scrap aluminum arrows, or 3/8-inch wooden dowels (door), cut into 9-inch segments
  • ⅛-inch solid metal rod or bamboo skewer (hinge), 12 inches long
  • ⅜-inch PVC pipe (spacers), cut into ½-inch segments


  1. Build the cage frame with PVC piping, with rough dimensions about the size of a medium-sized suitcase (24"x12"x12"). If cage wire is stiff enough (10- to 14-gauge wire), you may omit the PVC frame.
  2. Secure wire panels to PVC frame using wire or zip ties.
  3. Create a one-way door using arrow shafts or dowels and metal rod/bamboo skewer for the hinge and 3⁄8-inch PVC spacers.
  4. Make a one-way entrance on PVC side of trap (8"x8").
  5. Create an access panel on top of cage, near the one-way door.
  6. Install one-way door on entrance, using wire or zip ties.

Trap pigeons

  • Place the trap where pigeons congregate, such as feeding spots. On roofs, leave the trap near roosting sites or watering areas (around air conditioners).
  • Spread feed around trap entrances and inside floor of the trap.
  • Leave a water bowl inside cage and check the trap every 24 to 48 hours.

How to Make a Pigeon Trap

How to Make a Pigeon Trap

 Pigeons can quickly become a nuisance for homeowners and businesses because they make such a mess on
rooftops and because they carry diseases. Spikes, pesticides and other deterrents can be used to discourage pigeons from roosting in a certain area, but these measures are only so effective. Sometimes it is necessary to remove the problem entirely by trapping the pigeons and releasing them elsewhere. Simple pigeon traps made out of cardboard boxes are both an inexpensive and effective means of solving a pigeon problem


  1. How to Make a Box Trap

    • 1
      Sprinkle seed around the area in which you intend to place the trap for a few days so that the bird returns frequently to that location. Stay nearby when the pigeon is eating the seed so it gets used to your presence.
    • 2
      Cut a 6-by-6-inch flap in the top of a cardboard box using box cutters or scissors. This flap will be used as a door to remove the pigeon once it has been trapped. The size of the box does not matter so long as it is large enough to accommodate the trapped pigeon. A box measuring at least 12 inches square will be sufficient.
    • 3
      Affix a block weight or heavy object to the top of the box on one side. The weight will serve to drop the end of the box quickly when the stick propping it up is pulled away.
    • 4
      Prop up the weighted end of the box with a stick approximately 10 or 12 inches long. Use something light weight, like a paint-mixing stick, so it does not injure the pigeon if it falls inside the box. Tie a length of string to the stick and bait the area with seed. Sprinkle some seed under the box and outside it near the stick, where the pigeon can see it.
    • 5
      Wait for the pigeon to follow the trail of seed and to walk under the box, then yank the string to pull the stick away, causing the box to fall down and trap the pigeon. Position yourself about 20 feet away from the box so you do not deter the pigeon from coming near the box.
    • 6
      Retrieve the bird from the trap by opening the flap door cut in the top and remove the pigeon. Wear thick gloves during this process to protect your hands from the pigeon's sharp beak.

         How to Make a Bob Trap

    • 7
      Cut a window in the side of a large cardboard box. The size of the box does not matter, but if you plan to catch more than one pigeon, it should be at least the size of a file-storage box. The opening in the side of the box should be about 8 inches high and at least 4 inches wide. You may make the opening longer than 4 inches if you choose.
    • 8
      Cut several 10-inch lengths of wire using wire cutters.
    • 9
      Affix the lengths of wire vertically to the inside of the box, spacing them out every 1 1/2 inches along the cut out window. Secure the wires in place with hot glue at both ends, and then stretch a piece of duct tape across all of the wires inside the box to hold them in place.
    • 10
      Bait the trap by sprinkling bird seed inside and around the trap. The pigeons will push through the wire to get to the seed inside the box and, after the pigeons push through, the wire will return to its original shape and prevent the birds from leaving the box.

A Must-read for Racing Pigeons Aficionado – Knowing your Voyageurs

Racing pigeons is both a hobby and a sport. A lot of people are realizing how rewarding the activity is that
is why countless folks are seriously getting into it. For the ones who are already seasoned in pigeon racing, the practices involved in it are unending endeavors. It is a continuous process of regular improvements and adjustments that require a lot of patience and dedication.  It takes skill and appropriate knowledge in order to enjoy longevity in this field. Anything less than what is necessary is detrimental to the likelihood of reaping the activity’s fruits.
Racing pigeons is rich in history, being a time-honored game. The amount of discipline that goes into it cannot be discounted and the people who are captivated by it are always ready to take on the challenge. If you are planning to start your pursuit to be a good pigeon racer, then it will do you good to take time and learn a few important things that can allow you to decide whether you are prepared for the sport. Right off the bat, you have to realize that it is not as simple as it may seem but the perks make all the efforts worth it.

Failsafe Racing Pigeons Advice

The first thing you need to do to jumpstart your pursuit in being one of the best in racing pigeons is to prepare for the equipment and the birds. Nowadays, there are several resources that will allow you to purchase the things you need. In the internet alone, you can find countless companies that supply the things needed for the sport and even pigeons can be bought online. Since it is easy to be too excited once you start, it will be beneficial for you to keep these tips handy:
Feeding Nutrients – racing pigeons are a lot like athletes that require proper diet in order for them to be good at what they do. Make sure you give your birds the right kind of food to make them fit for racing.
  • Start your birds with corn for starters
  • Coming into the sixth week, replace the corn with two separate daily meals. Use light rations during the day and make sure you give them a nice helping of corn during evening meals. This is crucial in making sure that they build up muscles the right way.
  • Stick to the feeding routine especially during off seasons of racing.
Training Schedule – timing is everything when it comes to training your voyageurs. The best time to teach them how to race is during mornings. Also, always be critical of the weather condition on training days. Make sure that clear skies and no gusty winds are always part of your consideration in picking a day to train.
Do Not Rush the Birds – remember that there are no short-cuts in pigeon racing. Give your birds the chance to mature and never subject them to too much training and exercise. Like all athletes, they too can be burnt out and have their ability decreased to deliver in actual game times.
Fist Course is Paramount – the primary lesson the birds ought to know about is trapping. Observe your birds and make sure they know how to come back to their loft. On the first day of training, watch out for those birds that made it back last and teach them to be the faster on the next day.

Racing Pigeons – The Secret Formula for Winning

Racing pigeons is a very competitive sport and an exhilarating one at that. Experts in this activity have their
own ways of producing champions and more often than not, it has something to do with the birds’ breed. Yet, there are fool-proof ways to make your chances of winning races a whole lot better:
Less is Really More – it will do you good if you choose to maintain a small group of pigeons. This way, you get to have better distribution of your time in training and feeding your family of birds. A huge flock would almost certainly guarantee that some birds may be neglected.
Give Importance to Health- this makes a lot sense because a bird that is not fit cannot be expected to win races. Remember, they are not just regular pigeons – they are athletes. They need the proper nutrition in order to be champions.
Racing Preparation – during race season, make sure your racers are hydrated with a lot of electrolytes. They use up a lot of fluids whenever they fly and you have the responsibility to replenish it.
Hygiene is Key – cleanliness of the pigeons and their loft along with the things they use for feeding is imperative. Obviously, a sloppy cage and feeders will trigger bacteria build-up that can put the birds’ health in jeopardy. Always make it a habit to get rid of droppings and clean their feeders.
These tips may come as a surprise for most people because of their simplicity. Yet, there are many racers out there who are overly focused in winning and neglect these very important parts of the bargain. The point is if you want to win, you must not be reluctant to get your hands dirty.
Maintenance is a huge part of pigeon racing and it is impossible to do without it.

Simple Training Tips for Racing Pigeons

Training racing pigeons can be a pill. Here are some quick guides to avoid frustration during the birds’ training:
Loft Placement – choose a place where you will put the birds’ loft. You want it in a spot where the end of the race would likely be situated.
Reward System – during training for trapping, put treats on the trap so the birds will be enticed to go there until they get used to the idea. You can also use this technique to teach them to get in a release basket.
Distance Adjustment – gradually increase the distance between the place of release and the loft. This will slowly make the bird capable of flying long distances.

The Thrill of Racing Pigeons

Since you will begin the sport by actually overseeing every detail of the activity, the bonuses you get can be priceless. From breeding, growing and training the birds, all of these aspects boil down to that prideful moment when the birds start becoming racing pigeons.
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6 Steps to Breed Racing Pigeons Successfully

6 Steps to Breed Racing Pigeons Successfully

Racing Pigeon
Racing is an exact example of a challenge. And one must have his own secrets to win or be humiliated if lost.
Check on the following steps which would help you breed the best among the best of champions.
1.       Choose the breed that wins.
Since you want to join in racing, your obvious purpose is to win.  Your pigeon must know how to come home after the race, it must be capable of coming back home and must have interest of getting back home.
2.       Choose the racing breed.
An apple won’t produce a strawberry. What does it mean? It means if you do not have any pigeons with racing gene, you would never produce it whatever kind of breeding you do. So you better get it for a chance of winning the race.
3.       Test your pigeons patiently.
Don’t rely with one result but when you see it on the third time, then you’ve got to pay attention to it. So if you didn’t see valuable results after placing at least 10 of their babies in tests, you’ve got to cull your breeders.
4.       Choose the best.
If you started to breed for 200, then focus to the top 2.  That’s really choosing the best or to give allowance, you may consider until 10.  Culling for more than this ratio will not get you successful.
5.       Strengthening of genetic contribution.
Inbreeding increases the genetic contribution of your chosen breeders.  It provides more predictability because you narrow the gene pool.  It also lessens variability on their babies.
6.       Outcrossing.
With this process, you introduce a new bloodline into your flock which would enhance their qualities.
Those steps are very challenging and involve a lot of patience and perseverance.  After all, that’s all that’s necessary when you want to achieve the best of racing pigeons.

Top 8 Champion Breeds of Racing Pigeons

It’s all in their blood!  Check on the following list of champion breeds that have proved their winning records from their parents down to their offsprings.
1.       Fabry
Undoubtedly, this breed comes from the family of 1st place race winner.  Winning is definitely on its blood.
2.       Black Diamonds
When it comes to short and middle distance racing, Black Diamonds are people’s choice.
3.       Bastin
This breed comes from a great bloodline with its notable characteristics in terms of feathers and muscles.
4.       Flor Engels
This breed has champion origins which surely run through their successor along the line.
5.       Jan Aarden
This pigeon breed has proven to produce top racers for long distance category.
6.       Janssen
Ancestors of this pigeon breed have shown great records of winning.
7.       Van der Maelen
Being the champion is first on its vocabulary.  From its ancestors to different successors, Van der Maelen’s winning characteristic has been consistent and can be seen clearly.
8.       Sion
When you look on its pedigree, you’ll know this pigeon breed is definitely created to win the race.
There you have them, the leaders of race themselves! Although there are a lot more numbers of racing pigeons available these days, we only mentioned the few that have been acknowledge for their superb winning records.

Tips on Taking Care of Racing Pigeons


The word ‘race’ can be equated to ‘exhaustion’, which does not only apply to humans but to pigeons as
well.  Take note of the following caring tips that you should apply to your birds after the race.
Pigeon Racing
  After the race, wash your pigeon’s feet with warm water as well as their feathers. By washing or cleaning them, you’ll be able to wipe out the germs they could have acquired from the other pigeons that joined the race.
·         If the race was a long one, your birds would definitely need to feed, particularly in the morning as they arrived and then main feed should follow in the evening.
·         Do not forget that pigeons need to rest after the race.  Have them relax for at least 1 ½ days (36 hours) once the race is done.  This way their muscles recover and gain full potency which are essential for the next training and race schedule.
Racing pigeons have their own distinctive muscle strengths in order to endure the challenge of the race so their owners must always remember how to take care of them properly.

Top 3 Nutrients Racing Pigeons Need

Since it involves energy in order to fly, pigeons must be regularly checked and monitored if they are getting the right nutrient at the right amount in order to soar smoothly.
·        Carbohydrates
For the first few minutes of their flying, race pigeons would not last unless they’ve got sufficient carbohydrates.  They mostly need feed with loads of carbohydrates if they are to race for short distances.
·         Fats
Fats store energy while it’s not in use.  When it comes to racing, carbohydrates would be consumed immediately so fats are necessary so that for the next few distances, your pigeons still have energy to use.  When it’s a long distance race, include feeds with fat contents.
·         Protein
We all know that protein does a lot of wonders when it comes to maintaining and repairing muscles but it does not stop there.  It also improves fertility and hatchability which are very helpful in breeding.  The known ideal mix of protein in feeds is 18% at most.  Going beyond this mixture does not show any drastic development, although there’s no negative implications have been seen as well.
Responsibility is one major concern when it comes to maintaining racing pigeons that’s why it must be taken seriously, with full attention and great passion.
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Pigeon Control

Pigeon Control

Pigeon Prevention

A problem with pigeons can be a real nuisance to businesses. Pigeons are attracted to food sources, including garbage, which is why they are often found near bars and restaurants and landfill sites.
Pigeons like to shelter in seemingly inhospitable areas of tall buildings. They will make use of balconies, ledges, flat roofs, guttering and loft spaces in particular, as they are capable of lifting damaged or loose roof coverings to force entry.
Your property could be providing an ideal habitat for pigeons. If they are already nesting on your building, there is a risk they will attract other pigeons too, turning a small problem into a much larger one.

Pigeon Control for Your Business

Bird control specialists at Ehrlich provide expert pigeon control solutions to protect your business and customers from these pest birds.
Although a pigeon's natural food source is grain and seeds, they survive in towns and cities by scavenging processed food matter, such as the remains of takeaways and food waste from trash cans.
Look out for the following signs on your property, which may indicate a problem with pigeons requiring professional services.

Danger Signs:

  • Flocks of pigeons – if you regularly notice flocks of pigeons around your property
  • Nesting materials – twigs, grass and sticks are usually used to make a nest
  • Pigeon droppings – large amounts of droppings found near your building could mean pigeons are roosting on your property

Potential Harm from Pigeons

The presence of feral pigeons and their feces (or guano) represents a potential health hazard to people.
  • Serious diseases - pigeons are carriers of diseases such as salmonella and psittacosis (commonly known as pigeon fancier's lung)
  • Pigeon droppings - droppings provide the ideal environment for organisms causing diseases such as listeriosis, cryptococcis and aspergillosis to thrive.
  • Other pests - pigeons are also hosts to fleas and other parasites such as pigeon ticks and bird mites.These pests can be spread to other hosts including people.

Pigeon Droppings

Pigeon droppings and pigeon debris not only look unpleasant but they can directly damage the structure of a building, due to the concentration of uric acid found in droppings.
Pigeon droppings can:
  • Erode metal
  • Stain wood
  • Discolor paint
  • Damage stone and brickwork - tar based roofing materials are particularly vulnerable to this type of erosion.

Risks to Your Business

  • Health & safety hazard – droppings can sometimes make sidewalks very slippery
  • Loss of customers – large quantities of droppings and presence of pigeons on your property could put customers off from entering your store
  • Loss of productivity –the diseases pigeons are known to carry could impact on your co-workers leading to illness and time off work
Nest debris and feathers can also block gutters and rainwater drainage systems, potentially leading to damage to your business from water penetration.

Steps to Take for Pigeon Control

One of the most successful long term measures for pigeon control is their food source removal, however in busy urban areas this is not always practical.
There is a range of pigeon deterrent solutions available for commercial properties, which could help to prevent pigeons from roosting and nesting on your property, including:
  • Bird netting – available in various sizes and strategically installed for total pigeon exclusion.
  • Wire deterrent systems – discreet product used to protect exposed ledges from pigeons and other pest birds.
  • Bird control solutions – our full range of specialist bird proofing methods are installed by our bird control specialists.

Why Pigeons Are A Health Hazard For Businesses

Why Pigeons Are A Health Hazard For Businesses

Business owners are generally unaware of the health hazards associated with feral pigeons (Columbia livia) in commercial areas, so removing and deterring these pest birds from roosting on your premises is important for the health and safety of your customers and employees.
Once a group of pigeons have found a good nesting location on your business premises, you face the risk of them attracting other pigeons too, which could potentially turn a small problem into a much more serious one.
Did you know that feral pigeons now cost business owners millions of dollars each year in property damage, repairs and sanitation expenses?
If you’re concerned about the potential health hazards that can be caused by pigeons, contact us on (877) 885-4087 for further advice on our pigeon deterrent solutions or to schedule a FREE inspection of your premises.

Pigeons & Their Role In Disease Transmission

Pigeons have the potential of transmitting over 30 diseases, illnesses and infections to humans and several more to domestic animals, as a result of bird droppings, feathers and debris under a roost – particularly if roosts have been active for years.
Pigeons have been identified as carriers of bacterial (e.g. listeriosis & salmonella), chlamydial, mycotic, parasitic, protozoal (e.g. toxoplasmosis & trichomoniasis) and rickettsial diseases, as well as dermatosis.
Feral pigeons also plays hosts to parasites like pigeon ticks (Argus relexus), pigeon fleas (Ceratophyluss columbae) and bird mites (Dermynyssus gallinae).

Pigeon droppings (or guano) are not only an eyesore, unsanitary, and very costly to clean up, but are also known to help spread disease and can cause some serious health problems in humans.

The transmission of these diseases is generally spread by:

• being in contact with pigeon droppings,
• inhalation of air-borne fungi that originates from pigeon droppings,
• parasitic transferral or;
• food & water contamination

Human Diseases That Can Be Contracted Through Contact with Pigeon Droppings

The following diseases have been known to be associated with feral pigeon infestations:

• Cryptococcosis

Soil and pigeon droppings are among the sources of infection which can result in meningitis. A large percentage of the pigeon population on the west coast of the United States are carriers. Quite similar to histoplasmosis.

• Histoplasmosis

Contracted through inhalation of fungal spores in pigeon or starling droppings. The most affected are the young, elderly and people with immune system deficiencies.

• Psittacosis

Bacterial infection that can be transmitted via droppings, feathers and eggs and which is typically either inhaled or ingested.
The list above is by no means a comprehensive list of the diseases that can be transmitted by feral pigeons.
While pigeon proofing and pigeon deterrent measures cannot completely prevent or stop pigeons playing a role in disease transmission, what they do offer is a minimal amount of contact between these disease carrying pests and humans.

Schedule A Free Pigeon Control Inspection

At Ehrlich, we know that pest pigeons can cause some serious health problems for business owners, which is why we have been committed to offering pigeon control services in North America since 1928. Call us now on (877) 885-4087.
Ehrlich’s safe, eco-friendly bird deterrent and bird proofing products can provide extremely effective & economical solutions to ensure that you minimize the health risks presented by pigeon infestations at your business premises.

The 1-2-3 of Raising Homing Pigeons

Raising Homing Pigeons isn’t entirely difficult, nor could it be considered as a piece of cake. A few key
notes must be considered before venturing into breeding this exquisite bird. Homing Pigeons is a breed of rock pigeon that is basically trained to return to its own home.  According to researchers, the reason why they are able to return to their homes is because they follow certain navigation cues.  These include the earth’s magnetic field, the topography or landmarks of a certain area, the position of the sun, and the ultraviolet light patterns found in the sky. These birds have been used in the olden days as messengers by carrying letter to and fro. However, at present, they are messengers no more. They are already considered as one of the many most requested pets.
Raising Homing Pigeon
In raising homing pigeons, there are many considerations before choosing which one to have. One consideration would be the ease in raising the pet. Of course, it would be very beneficial to the owner if the animal to be raised requires no complexities in their day to day activities. Fortunately, raising homing pigeons is just as easy as one, two, and three.
Upon purchasing the pigeon, one must technically buy at least a pair of pigeons. Paired pigeons are necessary to generate offspring and to have them multiply. If no paired pigeon is available, then acquire at least an equal number of male and female pigeon. Thus, raising homing pigeons should be kept or housed in the same room for them to be able to mate.
When you notice one pigeon to be sick, or does not seem to be in good condition, it is best to isolate that pigeon. This will prevent any spread of disease, if really does exists. As an owner you must also keep a record of the number of days in between each egg laying and hatching period. Apart from this, another record of the chicks’ weight, the number of chicks born alive, and also the number of deaths must also be maintained. This will enable you to identify which pigeon is productive or not, and which is sickly and poor in health or performance.

Raising Homing Pigeons – What are the YES’ and NO’s in feeding them?

In raising homing pigeon, it usually have grains for food, whole grains, that is. As stated, the grains to be fed
must be whole. It should neither be broken into smaller pieces nor should it be in powder form. It should be prepared and fed as it originally is. Some form of grains that are suitable for these pigeons include the following: corn, sorghum, soybean, rice, and legume seeds.
Pigeons are considered as hungry eaters. They eat at almost any time of the day, whenever they feel like it. Having stated this, their food must be placed in an area where it is accessible to them. This area must have no barriers for them to be able to eat freely as they please.

In raising homing pigeons, how should their house be like?

A pigeon’s house must be spacious, but not necessarily too large. It must be big enough for air to freely come and go. Most of the times, when many raising homing pigeons are contained in a single area, they tend to become mischievous in moving from here and there.  An airy and spacious place for them would be advantageous to the owner.
On the flooring of a pigeon’s house, there must be clean dry sand. This will serve as a play area for them. Here, they can roll and pick up stones or pebbles with their beaks. This applies for young pigeons.
However, for adult pigeons, an elevated loft must be prepared. The adult ones are those who are capable of laying eggs already. They will be in need of a higher area to keep their eggs in safety as both parents take turns in warming the eggs. You must secure that before egg laying period, leaves must be scattered in the coop of the pigeons.
The nest of the adult pigeon is usually made of twigs, leaves, and grasses. This gives them the feeling of being one with nature. The nests must be craftily made, because this will serve as the house of the young for about 25 to 32 days. Homing pigeons are known to be energetic breeder producing 4 to 5 batches of young in a year. Thus, their nest must be well made.

What bathing process must be observed in raising homing pigeons?

Homing Pigeons Raising
Like ordinary pets as dogs and cats, homing pigeons also do take a bath. However, they do not need to be
bathed personally by the owners. In fact, they do it themselves. Adult pigeons usually bathe themselves in containers provided by the owners. Homing pigeons love to take a bath.
In preparing a bathing container for your pets, you need to consider its size. The container must be more or less 7.5cm deep. The depth of the container gives them ease in taking a bath. Their likes to take a bath enable them to become healthier and stronger. Just like a human’s perception on a practicing clean hygiene, homing pigeon’s frequent bathing keeps them away from diseases.
For the record, it is best suggested to have the pigeons bathe 2 to 3 times in a week. Aside from bathing, pigeons must also be checked by veterinarians on a regular basis to further enhance their health conditions.
There is really no formula on raising a pet, whatever animal it may be. For all kinds of pet, all there is to do is to fulfill the requirements needed by them. This may include providing them proper food at all times which will in turn give them the minerals they need, water, and clean and safe housing. For homing pigeons, enough nesting materials are also a must. Without these, they would not be able to produce young properly. Fulfilling these requirements will guarantee you a happy place, with homing birds as your pet. Lastly, a personal requirement of becoming a pet owner is responsibility. You must be responsible enough to watch over your pets, and see to it that their needs are well attended. With all these, you are all set in raising homing pigeons.
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