Sunday, November 5, 2017

Prepper Livestock - Pigeons

Another sustainable source of food are Pigeons.  They are excellent foragers and require minimal care. Pigeons can breed at 6 months of age and reproduce all year round laying 2 eggs 4-6 times per year that hatch in 17 to 19 days.  The Squabs grow to edible size within 4 -6 weeks.   With 8 pairs of pigeons, you could have two 10 ounce squabs for dinner every week.   Pigeon lofts need 2 square feet of floor space per bird, so for up to 32 birds, you would need 64 square feet or about an 8 x 8 area.  A small high door will allow them to enter & exit with less risk of varmints.  

In addition to a food supply, they are good pets, security - flying when spooked and they can carry messages back home when carried off on regional travels with an easy 50 - 100 mile range when worked up to it slowly starting about 6 months old after freely flying their area daily for 4 weeks.  Start taking the bird a mile away. Go North, South, East, and West so they know how to return from all directions. Do this a few times and then two miles, then five miles, ten miles, and so on up to 50 miles where most homing pigeons will do fine. A true homer will return from hundreds of miles and some have found their way home from over 1,000 miles.

Historically, pigeons carried messages only one way, to their home after being carried off.  However, by feeding them at one location and housing them at another location, pigeons have been trained to fly round trips up to 100 miles daily.  

Multi-purpose is important in prepping.  Pigeons serve many functions outlined above; chickens provide eggs and meat while goats provide milk and meat.  Rabbits provide fur and meat. 

If you don't have pigeons, you can trap some in hard times for food or breeding stock.

For additional information see the following links: 
Prepper Livestock
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Complete Sustainable Living Plan

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