How Long Do Pet Pigeons Live?

The pigeon, also known as the domesticated pigeon, has always been a companion to humans for centuries. Therefore, considering adopting them as pets, you might wonder, ‘How Long Do Pet Pigeons Last?’. In this article, I will help you learn how long pet pigeons live and the tips to ensure they live a healthy & full-feeling life. As a responsible pigeon owner, understanding the lifespan of these delightful pets becomes one of the key concerns. Therefore, without wasting further time, let’s look at ‘how long pet pigeons live.’

Lifespan of Pet Pigeons

On average, pet pigeons can live anywhere from 10 to 15 years, with some individuals even reaching the age of 20 years or more. The lifespan of a pet pigeon may vary depending upon various factors like genetics & breeding, diet & nutrition, housing & environment, healthcare & veterinary attention, and exercise & mental issues.

Even though a wild pigeon tends to have a shorter lifespan due to the harsh reality of the wild when it comes to Survival, domesticated pigeons can live significantly longer under proper attention & care. A study published in the Journal of Orthology found that the average lifespan of domesticated pigeons was around 12 years.

However, the study also highlighted factors like diet, housing conditions, and medical care requirements to determine the overall lifespan of a pigeon. Let’s take a quick look at the factors that might influence the life span of pet pigeons severely to cope with them & ensure our pet lives a long & fulfilling life.

How Long Do Pet Pigeons Live?

5 Factors Influencing the Lifespan of Pet Pigeons

Genetics & Breeding

It would help if you first considered a pigeon’s genetic makeup, which significantly influences its longevity. I will highly advise you always to get your companion from a responsible breeder who focuses on breeding healthy Birds with strong genetic backgrounds to improve the overall health & lifespan of their Birds. Consider reading this to learn more about ‘Where to get a pet pigeon?’.

You should never get a pigeon that performs inbreeding as it may lead to genetic weakness & shorten the lifespan of the offspring. Also, it is never advised to breed pigeons with any other bird species, no matter how intrigued you feel to create a new plumage color or subspecies. Many people think that doves & pigeons are closely related so that they can interbreed, but I’m afraid that’s not right. We shared an in-depth article on ‘Can Doves And Pigeons Mate.’ Also, you should pay careful attention to the differences between doves and pigeons to mitigate the potential concerns and health problems with the offspring from inter-species breeding.

Diet & Nutrition

Another thing that you need to consider is proper nutrition, which is vital for the health & longevity of a pet pigeon. According to the American General of Veterinary Research, you should provide your pet pigeon with a balanced diet that includes grain, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Ensure that you provide them with a diet that fulfills their nutritional requirement for their well-being. Also, I’ll advise you to dust some calcium powder on your pet’s food, which is crucial for maintaining strong bones & eggshell formation in breeding pigeons. 

Housing & Environment

Ensure you also pay attention to the housing & its environment when keeping a pigeon in captivity. The living environment of pigeons can have a profound impact on their lifespan. You might already know that pigeons need space to stretch their wings & fly. So, ensure you get a roomy Aviary or coop, which is essential for their well-being. Also, create housing that protects them from extreme weather conditions and potential predators. 

Healthcare & Veterinary Attention

Another thing that you need to consider is regular veterinary checkups, which are essential to identify & treat any underlying health issues promptly. A Journal of Avian Medicine & Surgery found that health problems are quite common in pet pigeons, including respiratory infections, parasites, and feather issues. Make sure you always get timely medical attention, which can significantly improve your pet’s quality of life while extending its lifespan to the fullest.

Exercise & Mental Stimulation

The last thing that will affect the well-being of a pigeon is the physical exercise & mental stimulation, which are vital. Since pigeons are known as social creatures, they enjoy interacting with their owners & other pigeons. It would be best if you never adopted a single pigeon. It would be best if you always went with a pair or a small group of pigeons to keep them in an Aviary for proper mental stimulation essential for their well-being. In fact, according to a study conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, pigeons are known to engage in regular exercise & play, exhibiting lower stress levels and improved overall health.

Average Lifespan of Different Pigeon Breeds

Average Lifespan of Different Pigeon Breeds

After knowing the average lifespan of pet pigeons, you should know that it may also vary depending on their breed. Below I have given a table that showcases the average lifespan of some popular pigeon breeds based on my hours & hours of research. However, note that I have given the average lifespan of certain breeds, and individual pigeons may live longer or shorter, depending upon the factors we discussed in the above section.

BreedAverage Lifespan (Years)
Homing Pigeon15-20
Fancy Pigeon10-15
Racing Pigeon8-12
King Pigeon12-15
Show Pigeon12-18

Pigeon Lifespan Case Studies

My research taught me about the homing pigeon Benny, who lived with his owner for over 18 years. The owner provided Bene with the most nutritious diet, plenty of exercise & spacious loft. Surprisingly, Benny, with 18 years of longevity, showcases the positive impact of proper care on a pigeon’s lifespan.

Another case study I found is available in the International Journal of Avian Science dpi, where they compared racing pigeons in terms of stress & anxiety levels, which are said to be directly linked with their lifespan. The first pigeon, which receives regular medical checkups & balanced diet, can live 12 years. On the other hand, the second pigeon suffered a lot from a lack of proper health & nutrition, resulting in a lifespan of only six years.

All these case studies highlight the importance of responsible care & the impact it can have on your pet’s lifespan. Therefore, I will advise you to learn ‘how to care for pigeons.’ We have also shared an in-depth article on Pigeon as a Pet

5 Tips for Promoting a Long & Healthy Life in Pet Pigeon

Balanced Nutrition

First of all, ensure you provide us with a diet that is perfectly suitable for their well-being. You must provide them with a high-quality pigeon pellet supplement with fresh fruits, seeds & vegetables. You should never feed them any processed human food as it may lack essential nutrients and harm their health. Also, ensure that you give them easy access to fresh & clean water daily.

Regular Vet Checkups

Pigeons also require regular health checkups with a proper avian veterinarian like any other pet. Therefore, make sure that you visit the vet clinic occasionally to help identify potential health issues with your pigeon early on, further allowing for prompt treatment & preventing more significant problems from arising.

Clean & Safe Environment

I will highly advise you to maintain a clean & safe living space for your pet. Ensure you regularly clean your pigeon Aviary or cage by removing any dropping, uneaten foods or debris. Also, avoid getting your pigeon out of its coop or in the living space, as they poop anywhere. We have shared the recent article on an intriguing topic, ‘Do Pet Pigeons Poop Everywhere,’ for you to check out.

Returning to the point, When cleaning their cage, ensure that you wear appropriate gloves on your hands, as their droppings may contain pathogens that can harm you. Also, their droppings may corrode metal, paint, and cement, so install a liner to collect their dropping. In addition, your pet pigeon is also prone to infection & respiratory disease. Hence, providing a clean environment will greatly reduce the complications.

Exercise & Mental Stimulation

Another thing that you need to consider is the physical exercise & mental estimation your pet needs daily. You must provide them with a big Aviary that allows them to fly in a safe & enclosed area, free from predators, to maintain their instincts and keep their muscles healthy. Also, it would be best if you offered them toys as & interactive objects to keep their minds engaged. 

Social Interaction

Like any other animal, pigeons are social creatures who thrive on companionship. Therefore, you must always get a pigeon from a reputable breeder in pairs. If possible, consider getting pigeons in small groups to avoid loneliness. However, ensure you are being cautious when introducing new pigeons to an existing group, as it may result in territorial issues if not paid attention to properly.

Comparison with Wild Pigeons

Even though domesticated pigeons can live longer than their wild counterparts, you must understand the reason behind this difference. In the wild, pigeons face various challenges, including predators, harsh weather & food scarcity. Consequently, their average lifespan is relatively shorter, around 3-5 years only. 

Lost A Pet?

Losing it can be emotionally challenging, no matter how long a pet pigeon can live. Therefore, if you lost your pet pigeon, it’s very unfortunate & make sure you give yourself some time to grieve & seek support from fellow pigeon enthusiasts who have experienced similar losses. The bond formed with these intelligent birds can be deeply profound & it’s tough to cope with the loss of pet pigeons for some people.

However, you shouldn’t worry much because some pigeons have also achieved remarkable lifespans, becoming a symbol of care & education. One such notable case is Oliver, a homing pigeon from the UK who lived an astonishing 2-3 years. The Oliver story is a testament to the positive effect of providing a nurturing & loving environment for pet pigeons.


I have done my best to give you all the information you need to know about the question, ‘How long do pet pigeons live?’ You must understand the factors that may influence the lifespan of a pet pigeon for responsible pet ownership. Being a responsible pigeon owner, you must provide them with a balanced diet, ample exercise & proper healthcare, which will significantly increase the lifespan of these wonderful feather companions.

Always remember that each pigeon tends to be unique, and proper love & care investment will lead to a long & joyous journey together. I hope you find this article helpful. It discusses the factors that may affect the pet pigeon’s lifespan. If you find this article helpful, then consider sharing it. Your share will help many people learn ‘How Long Do Pet Pigeons Live‘ and the factors that may influence the lifespan of these feathered companions.

Whether you encounter a pet pigeon or a wild one, you should always cherish every moment with these birds & try to make their life extraordinary. Do check my other helpful guide on the care & management of pigeons as pets. See you in the next post, till then, take care & goodbye.

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