How to breed peacock pigeons – the secrets of professionals
An unusual bird with a magnificent tail will become the highlight of any poultry house. However, before buying, you should prepare and learn how to breed peacock pigeons at home. This elegant breed looks spectacular in photo shoots and weddings. If you know the secrets of breeding, a small home pigeon house can turn into a profitable business..
How to choose a bird for breeding
The peacock pigeon is an ornamental breed. He has a voluminous tail with large feathers that the bird can spread like a peacock. It also features fluffy plumage on the legs and on the back of the head..
In order for individuals to look advantageous and give healthy offspring, it is important to follow the rules when buying them:
- avoid lethargic birds that do not respond to sounds, tapping on the cage;
- choosing pigeons with clean feathers is a must sign of health;
- do not spare money for buying a bird from the nursery with documents.
There are two ways to select a pair of pigeons for breeding. The first is homogeneous, in which a male and a female with the same qualities are selected. Their offspring will inherit them, repeat the color of the feathers and other features. The second method is heterogeneous. The pair is different in appearance, but combines a set of characteristics that will combine well in future chicks..
According to the standard, there should be 30 feathers in the tail of a peacock pigeon. There may be more of them, but the number should not exceed 35 pieces..
Before breeding peacock pigeons and buying birds, you should equip a room for keeping them. The aviary can be placed outdoors or indoors. To do this, it is enough to install the posts and cover them with a wire mesh. The roof can be built from slate, which can be easily removed to let the pigeons fly.
The larger the enclosure, the larger the birds will grow. Outdoor facilities are sufficient if the temperature in winter does not drop below -5 degrees. In other cases, pigeons will need a warm room for wintering. Both housing options for pigeons can be placed on the ground – this breed does not need a hill..
Care and feeding
If the house is mixed, the peacock pigeons are housed in a separate cage. They are less resistant to diseases and parasites, so they are not combined with other pigeons. Caring for this breed includes complete feeding, which will differ at different times of the year, as well as regular cleaning and processing of the aviary..
It is better if the male and the female are in the same enclosure. For beginners, it is enough to purchase one pair, and then expand the house..
One of the main conditions for breeding peacock pigeons is timely cleaning and disinfection of the poultry house. The nesting period begins early, therefore, at the end of February or early spring, the premises should be treated for infection and parasites. For preventive treatments, ordinary whiteness or slaked lime is suitable..
In case of disease outbreaks, specific disinfectants are used:
- smallpox – chlorcresol, but lime is also effective;
- toxoplasmosis – formalin;
- paratyphoid – xylonaft, lime and formalin are also suitable.
When settling pigeons in a new house, it is enough to treat all surfaces. If birds have already been kept in the room, all contamination must be removed before using chemicals.
Pigeons for the processing period are moved to another aviary or released for a walk. They can be returned only after airing the disinfected poultry house..
Diet for peacock pigeons is selected taking into account their nutritional needs at different times of the year.
Adequate feeding will strengthen the immunity of birds, increase their productivity and resistance to diseases, as well as get healthy and viable offspring:
- Winter diet – suitable for pigeons from the beginning of winter to mid-February. It is high in calories and low in protein. The best option is a combination of oats and wheat in a ratio of 60.
- In preparation for nesting and mating, up to 20% of protein feed, as well as flax and sunflower seeds, are introduced. This feeding option is not relevant for long, from mid-February to early March..
- The breeding diet has been introduced since the beginning of spring. It is the richest and most nutritious, combines various grains and oilseeds, vitamin supplements. Vitamin E and Feed Yeast Beneficial.
- The ration for the rutting period – introduced from April and is suitable only for those pigeons that are trained and carry physical activity. High-carbohydrate components are added to feed, including legumes.
- In August and September, feeding is aimed at stimulating molt. During this period, the bird needs an increased amount of protein, it is also useful to feed fish oil.
Pigeons are fed three times a day during the warm season and twice a day in winter. The food is distributed in such quantity that the birds eat it completely. Goiter should be full but soft after eating..
Peacock pigeons are very productive. During the season from one pair, you can get offspring from 4 to 5 times (up to 10 chicks).
Nesting and breeding of pigeons
The nesting period of the peacock pigeon begins in mid-February. By this time, the premises should be ready and disinfected..
Despite the fact that the breed is fertile, easily brings offspring and cares for chicks, participation in this process is necessary:
- Preparing the steaming boxes is the first step. They can be made independently, keeping the size of the long wall at least 70 cm.The boxes are placed at a great distance from each other so that in the future the birds can easily find nests.
- For mating, the birds are left overnight in a box. It can be understood that the couple took place if the pigeons subsequently stick together. This means that you can put a nest in the steam box and expect offspring..
- A few days after mating, the female will lay eggs. She incubates them for 16-19 days, and during this period it is better not to disturb the bird. Already after 12-14 days, embryos are clearly visible on the ovoscope.
When the offspring are hatched, the females usually take good care of them. There are often two eggs in a clutch, but young birds can lay one at a time. The female feeds the chicks every 2.5–3 hours with goiter milk. If they do not have enough food, it is necessary to artificially feed them. For this, infant formula or grated boiled yolk with the addition of milk is suitable. From a month old, young animals can be offered grain feed.
There are American, Hungarian and Russian peacock pigeons on sale. It is also possible to choose a white, gray or variegated pair. However, adherence to simple rules will help to successfully breed the breed, regardless of colors and features..