Pigeons are common in urban areas like park buildings, ledges, bridges, etc. Therefore, you are not alone if you have ever wondered whether pigeons can make good pets. If you are wondering, ‘Can pigeons be pets’ or ‘ Can you have a pigeon as a pet,’ this article is for you. In this article, I will answer ‘Can pigeons be pets’ and ‘Are pigeons good pets’ / ‘Do pigeons make good pets?’.
Further, we will quickly loop at questions like ‘How much do pet pigeons cost’ & ‘How to care for a pet pigeon.’ Undoubtedly these ubiquitous birds have been a part of human lives for centuries, and many people have wondered if they can be domesticated or kept as pets. Before I tell you the legality of keeping pigeons & the care they require, it’s important that we first understand the question of their suitability as companions. Therefore, let’s start by learning, ‘Can you have a pigeon as a pet.’
Can Pigeons be Pets?
Yes, pigeons can be pets & trained. Even though you can’t potty train them, pigeons are known for their homing instinct, allowing them to fly back to their owner if trained properly. However, check the local rules & regulations to ensure you comply with the policies & not break any law that may result in fines, penalties, etc.
The answer to pigeon keeping as a pet also depends upon your location, as different localities tend to have different regulations regarding pet pigeons. Pigeons are also considered pests in some local areas due to their abundant population & nuisance. According to a study conducted by the national pigeon association, the legality of keeping pigeons as pets varies across the country & even within different states.
In some places, pigeons are protected wildlife; in others, they are considered pests. Many people hate pigeon nests due to the possible noises & the accumulation of droppings that contain uric acid known to corrode metal, paintwork, and cement. Therefore, I will advise you first to learn ‘how to stop pigeon nesting’ on your property to prevent these issues before adopting one.
Nests can damage building structures as well as the metal components of your property. If your property already hosts a lot of pigeon nests, I will advise you to consider pigeon nest removal by professionals. Depending upon the circumstances & the nesting season, professionals may recommend relocating the nest for pigeon wellbeing.
To know more about the pigeon nesting season, read my post on ‘When do pigeons nest.’ Also, before you learn ‘how to get rid of a pigeon nest,’ I will advise you to pay attention to learning ‘what happens if you destroy a pigeon nest.’ Coming back to the point, before you decide to keep a pigeon as a pet, let’s understand whether ‘Are pigeons good pets’ or ‘Do pigeons make good pets’ or not?
Are Pigeons Good Pets? (In Terms Of Behaviour)
Since pigeons have a long history of interacting with us, especially in urban environments, they are considered good pets if trained properly. According to a study published in the journal applied animal welfare science, pigeons and can indeed form strong bonds with their human owners have incredible social behavior. This makes them surprisingly affectionate & loyal pets. However, I will still advise you to consider reading my article on Pigeons As Pets Pros and Cons for more valuable insights on the relationship & bond you can have with them while understanding the liabilities it comes with. Below I have mentioned some traits commonly seen in Pet pigeons.
|Pigeons are known to be social animals, seeking interaction.
|Pigeons have the capacity to show affection towards their owners.
|Once bonded, pet pigeons can display remarkable loyalty.
Pigeons’ Behavior in Captivity
Since pigeons are very affectionate, loyal & known for their social behavior, you might feel intimidated to adopt one. However, before you adopt a pigeon, you must understand & accommodate the natural behavior to foster a harmonious relationship with your Pet pigeon. According to Research by the University of California Davis, pigeons adapt well to captivity if it is a large loft. Indeed, their acidic environments may also exhibit certain behavior that will require your attention & understanding. Below is the table of such behavior that needs your attention & understanding to foster a strong bond & healthy relationship between you two.
|Preening & Nesting
|Pigeons will instinctively preen & build nests in their environment.
|Cooing & Vocalizing
|Pigeons are known for their distinctive cooing sounds.
|Some pigeons may display territorial behavior during nesting.
Do Pigeons Make Good Pets? (For Everyone?)
Pigeons make good pets for people who understand their need for attention, dietary requirement, commitment requirement, and health consideration. However, pigeons are not an appropriate companion if you are suffering from a weakened immune system, as their feathers or dangers may trigger your allergies, causing severe symptoms. Also, a pigeon will have certain health issues if not properly cared for.
A study by the American Journal of Veterinary Research found that Pet pigeons, when properly cared for, can live long & healthy lives. However, they can still be susceptible to certain health issues. Therefore, you will also have to provide your pigeon with regular veterinary checkups & balanced diet to prevent it while managing any health concerns effectively. Some of the health issues that your pigeon is likely to be susceptible to include;
Apart from the health consideration, it would be best if you also considered the life expectancy & commitment of the pigeon. If you want to learn more about the life expectancy of your pet pigeon, consider reading the article ‘How Long Do Pet Pigeons Live.’ Coming back to the point, a study conducted by the corner lab of Ornithology indicates that pet pigeons are likely to live anywhere between 10-15 years in captivity, while some live more than 20 years, depending on the care they get.
This kind of longevity also means that you will have to put a significant amount of time & care into bringing a pigeon into a home. Having a pigeon is not a decision to be taken lightly, as it demands a long commitment to ensure their well-being & happiness. Below are a few aspects with their consideration to remember before adopting one.
Also, you should note that pigeons are known for their homing instinct and may fly away if you let them wander outside. If you want to know more about this & prevent it from happening, consider reading my article on ‘Do Pet Pigeons Fly Away.’ We’ve also shared an in-depth article on the affectionate nature of pigeons & their liking of human touch in the article ‘Do Pigeons Like to Be Petted.’ Coming back to the point, if you are confident that you can commit to having a pigeon, you might want to know the cost involved. Below I mentioned the expenses you are likely to bear while having a companion like a pigeon.
How Much Do Pet Pigeons Cost?
Like any other pet, having a pigeon also comes with some financial responsibility. You will have to spend money on their Aviary, nesting materials, perches, toys, feeding supplies, and first aid kits as initial setup costs. When it comes to knowing your ongoing expenses, you will have to spend on food, bedding, cleaning supplies, veterinary care, enrichments & miscellaneous expenses such as replacing damaged equipment or additional medical costs. Below I have broken down each cost of having a pet pigeon.
Initial Setup Costs
First, determine the appropriate size & quality of the loft you plan to have and accommodate several pigeons. You can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $200 on average for a pigeon cage or Aviary. Also, you will have to spend some money on their feathers & water dispensers, typically ranging from $5 to $20. In addition, never forget to add some nesting materials & have a first aid kit prepared. Other rest things are very inexpensive, and you can expect to get nesting materials like straw or nesting boxes at around $10 to $30, with the basic first kit for pigeons at around $20. However, be sure to entertain your pigeon with perches & toys. You should have a budget of around $20-$50 for these items to keep your pigeon mentally engaged & exercise.
There is little to consider for ongoing expenses except for a few things. First, you should always find a balanced diet for your pigeon. Generally, pigeon feed tends to be relatively inexpensive, with a 50-pound bag costing around $20 and lasting several weeks. Also, you can budget the bedding & cleaning supplies at around $10 per month. However, regular checkup requirements & vaccination of pigeons may be troublesome for you as it can cost up to 200 dollars per year. Also, you might have to spend some budget on unexpected expenses, such as replacing damaged equipment or additional medical costs. Like any other pet, pigeons are also likely to get bored easily, so renew their toys & enriching activities with a budget of around $10 to $20 per month.
Are Pet Pigeons Legal?
Yes, it is legal to have Pet pigeons in many countries. However, some areas may have specific laws & regulations regarding the number of pigeons you can keep or the loft you can have. According to the World pigeon federation, the legality of pet pigeons differs significantly across different countries & states. Below I have mentioned countries & States with their legality status of pigeon keeping. However, if you want to learn more about it, I will advise you to read my other article on ‘Is It Legal To Keep Pigeons As Pets.’
|United Arab Emirates
I will highly advise you to research properly & make sure you comply with your local regulation before bringing any pet pigeon into your home. Some local cities may have specific regulations related to Pet pigeons. In New York City, you can have pigeons, but there are restrictions on the number of pigeons one can keep. In Singapore, keeping pigeons as pets is completely prohibited/restricted due to the concern about their impact on public health & the environment. Pigeon nests are very problematic when built on high-rise buildings and bridges.
To know more about It, consider reading an article on ‘Why are pigeon nests so bad.’ Returning to the point, also check your city’s local ordinance to ensure compliance with specific pet pigeons rules. I have also shared an in-depth article on ‘Can You Have a Pigeon as a Pet in California‘ for California! Residents to check out. Now, it’s time that we check & learn how to care for a pet pigeon.
How to Care for a Pet Pigeon
Taking care of a pet pigeon requires a combination of understanding their needs & providing appropriate care.
Housing & Environment
First, ensure the loft, cage, or Aviary you provide is spacious enough for pigeons to move freely & extend its wing. Also, place their loft in an area with proper ventilation to maintain a healthy environment. Since pigeons are just like any other animal, they also need exposure to natural light. Hence placing their Aviary in a location that receives ample ventilation & daylight will significantly improve their health & longevity. Also, it would be best if you considered the safety & security of their Aviary so no predators can access the cage. Also, create a loft & house pigeons only if it’s protected from Harsh weather conditions.
Diet & Nutrition
Another thing that you need to pay attention to is the diet & nutritional requirements of pigeons. It would be best to offer your pigeon a balanced diet of grains, seeds, fruits, pellets, and veggies. To ensure you are providing an appropriate diet that meets all nutritional requirements of your pet pigeon, I will advise you to consult with an avian veterinarian. Also, make sure to provide them with fresh & clean water at all times.
It is never wrong to provide them with some grit & calcium from proper digestion & eggshell formation of breeding. But before you think of breeding, ensure you get a healthy pair. It would be best if you never considered inbreeding or inter-species breeding. Inbreeding or interbreeding is unethical & wrong. Many people think they can breed pigeons with doves or close family members, but I’m afraid that’s not right. We have shared an in-depth article on ‘Can Doves And Pigeons Mate? & if yes, what would impact its offspring due to the inter-species breeding process?
Social Interaction & Enrichment
As I told you earlier, you must provide them with proper social infraction & mental stimulation for their well-being & longevity. Therefore, make sure you spend time with your pet pigeon and engage with them in activities to keep them happy & mentally stimulated. Below, I have mentioned a couple of enriching activities and their frequency to foster a healthy relationship between you & your pet.
|Interacting with Owner
|Flying in Aviary
Health & Veterinary Care
Another thing that you need to pay attention to is the health & veterinary care of your Pet pigeon. You must provide your pigeon with regular health checkups, proper parasite prevention, & vaccination for their well-being. Also, maintaining a healthy diet & providing proper healthcare play a crucial role in your pet pigeon’s longevity & well-being. Below I have mentioned the health aspects and the frequency of pet pigeons.
|As per veterinarian’s recommendation
|As per local guidelines
I hope you know all the questions, ‘Can pigeons be pets.’ Pigeons as a pet can be affectionate companions if you have time, resources, & dedication to caring for them properly. I have given my best to give you a proper understanding of their needs & importance of providing the right environment while & seeking appropriate veterinary care to create a happy & fulfilling life for your pet pigeon.
Always make sure that you do your proper Research & adhere fl local regulations by seeking advice from experienced pigeon owners & avian veterinarians to ensure a joyful & everything experience with your feather friend. If you have any other questions regarding pigeons as pets or if you can have a pigeon as a pet, comment below.
If you find this article helpful & fun to read, consider sharing it. Your share will help many people learn about ‘Can pigeons be pets’ & if yes, ‘how to care for Pet pigeons.’ Check my other helpful guide on the care & management of pigeons as pets. See you in the next post, till then, take care & goodbye.