Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

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JonnyRedBeard
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Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by JonnyRedBeard » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:39 am

Howdy folks. I got a half-dozen adult homing pigeons from a trainer friend of mine about 6+ weeks ago. He told me he had no clue what the sexes were, but we both agreed that the laws of averages state that with six birds I should have at least one of each sex. I brought them home to my loft, have kept them well watered and fed, and after a couple weeks put some gallon milk jugs (with much of the side cut out) with pine straw in them tacked to the wall for nest boxes. To date I have not seen any eggs or even any of the birds in those nest boxes.

So I guess my question is, how long does it take for birds to pair up, mate and nest when introduced to a new loft? Am i being impatient or is it likely I have all males/females? I've heard these things will nest just about anywhere, so I don't think its my cheapo nesting "boxes", or is it?

I've searched through topic titles here and on pigeon sites, looking for the info I need and didn't find anything. My apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

cjhills
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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by cjhills » Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:46 pm

It is possible you have all one sex. Not likely.
What do you mean by adult birds? If they are one year or older, the cocks should be Strutting. It seems like the seller should know the sex.
my homers mostly won't lay until late winter or early spring about mid March now.
You likely have young birds from this year probably no eggs until spring.....Cj

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SwitchGrassWPG
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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by SwitchGrassWPG » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:40 pm

Since it doesn't seem you received mated pairs, it could take quite a while. Did the person you got them from use milk jugs for nest boxes? If not, perhaps they don't know what they're for. I'd suggest trying to set your loft up similar to what the're accustomed to.
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JonnyRedBeard
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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by JonnyRedBeard » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:14 pm

Thanks CJ and Switchgrass. I’ve definitely heard lots of cooing going on at night, so I think maybe they’re getting acquainted?? The guy I got them from (he gave them too me because he had too many) doesn’t typically mess around with the pigeons. But he was the only one on the plantation that day. They had more typical nest boxes as opposed milk jugs, so that’s my next step.

I was just starting to get nervous that I should be seeing some nesting activity and wasn’t. Sounds like perhaps the situation isn’t too out of the ordinary yet. Im in SC so perhaps it’s been too warm and they’ve been molting as well.

Thanks again and any other comments or thoughts are great!

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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by cjhills » Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:45 pm

I don't know how it works in the south they might lay in the winter. Make sure your nest boxes are !2 or more inches tall so the cock bird can tread...Cj

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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by JonnyRedBeard » Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:06 am

Thanks for pointing that out, CJ. I was building boxes last night they were more like 8" tall. So i'll adjust tonight before I install. Do the other two dimensions matter that much? As I currently have them, they are about 14" wide and 6" deep. I was basically making due with what scrap wood I had on hand. I thought 3 boxes 14" wide would be better than 4 boxes 10" wide, just to leave enough room.

Thanks again for all the help.

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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by weimdogman » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:25 am

I might be wrong but 4 10" boxes are prob better.
I think the drive to nest will overcome any changes in the nesting arrangement for the birds. I also believe there is food which encourages nesting.

Someone had a tip about easy to maintain nesting boxes. If I recall a 10" board with 2 bricks wedged in a V . Birds nest in the V. Move the bricks and swipe clean!

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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by cjhills » Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:56 pm

JonnyRedBeard wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:06 am
Thanks for pointing that out, CJ. I was building boxes last night they were more like 8" tall. So i'll adjust tonight before I install. Do the other two dimensions matter that much? As I currently have them, they are about 14" wide and 6" deep. I was basically making due with what scrap wood I had on hand. I thought 3 boxes 14" wide would be better than 4 boxes 10" wide, just to leave enough room.

Thanks again for all the help.
I Make my nest boxes H 12"X D 12" Wide 24". The hen lays two eggs. When the young birds are about a month old the cock bird takes care of them and the female lays 2 more eggs. the male incubates the eggs during the day. !2x12X12 would probably work just as well but sometimes lock a pair up if we want a particular Mating.....Cj

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CDN_Cocker
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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by CDN_Cocker » Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:14 pm

I don't know where you are but this is not exactly pairing and breeding season. Most likely you aren't going to see anything till spring. They need a good 14-16 hours of light to be in the mood.
Cass
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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by JonnyRedBeard » Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:57 am

Thanks everyone. I added a "shelf" with a 3" lip on the front. It is 44" long with two dividers, making three ~14" sections. within each section I put a plastic bowl shaped thing (bottom of a gal. milk jug) with ample nesting material. The nesting "bowl" takes up about half of each section allowing - in theory - for a male and female to each be positioned in the section... one on the nest and one next to it. Within 15 minutes of installing it yesterday afternoon, 3 of the 6 birds were up there checking it out. So my hope is that if they're in the mood for love, maybe we can get some babies in the coming months. Being in the coastal south, we have a long time before it gets too cold.

My wife used to think i spent too much time tinkering/thinking/reading about dog training. I'm pretty sure she thinks i've lost my mind at this point. "yes honey...I have to get these nesting boxes built, to raise these birds that will know to fly back to our yard, so I can train our dog. Why is that so strange?" If this all pays off and I can get some young homers out of my loft, perhaps I can justify another pup for all that hard work. I'll you all know how that works out... and the nesting boxes.

Thanks again!

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Urban_Redneck
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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by Urban_Redneck » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:19 am

Give up on the plastic milk jug thing, they are too small and the cut edge is sharp. A 10-12" saucer that goes under a big flower pot works well as does the plastic nesting bowls that Foy's and other suppliers sell.

You need to supply some nesting material, I tie bundles of straw off the coop floor for the birds to take what they want to their nest- my birds kicked out the stuff I put in the bowls :lol: You'll know they are ready to nest when you see a pile of feathers in a corner or nest bowl- "feathering their nest".

Good luck.

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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by cjhills » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:41 am

Pigeons like most birds are quite territorial, so it is likely that only one pair will nest in your nests. They will nest on the floor though.
It is not the cold that causes them not to lay in winter,it is the length of the daylight. Our days get pretty short up here. We use lights to get them to lay earlier. I don't know if it really helps or not. I have had them hatch at well below 0.
Like somebody said they will put their own nesting material in the nest bowl. they are not very big on nest building. Good Luck......Cj

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Re: Pigeons: How long til they pair and nest

Post by DonF » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:33 am

My nest's are box's! I hang a cloth down over the opening and that's the one's they go to fist. Also made a slide in shelf with a lip on it. Slides out to clean. I think it's just the wrong time f year for nesting. Mine will usually start about Feb and lay till I don't know when. I did notice this year egg's quit showing up about mid August. Don't give up, just sit on them. You'll never regret it!
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