5 Reasons Why Do People Keep Pigeons

Undoubtedly, pigeon keeping is one of the most fascinating hobbies humans have cherished for centuries. We all know how seemingly these remarkable birds have played significant roles in various religions, cultures, and historical events. Therefore, asking why people commonly keep pigeons as pets at home is common.

In this article, I will help you learn five key reasons why people keep pigeons as pets and explore the emotional bond between pigeons & their keepers. We will further discuss the cultural significance of these birds, the thrills of the pigeon races, the appeal of pigeon breeding, and the connection to nature that pigeons keep offering to their owner. To learn all these things properly, let’s first take a quick look at five reasons people keep pigeons as pets.

Why Do People Keep Pigeons?

Why Do People Keep Pigeons?

Cultural Significance of Pigeons

If you focus on the history of pigeon keeping by humans, you will find some intriguing facts. According to a study by the University of Oxford, humans have been raising pigeons for communications which can be traced back over 3000 years. Undoubtedly, pigeons have held cultural significance in various civilizations across the world. For instance, pigeons were rewarded as a symbol of fertility & divinity in ancient Egypt.

Also, their role in communication dates back to ancient times when they were used as messengers to deliver crucial information across vast distances. In addition to this, we have found that pigeons have always been strongly tied to religious beliefs. In Christianity, the dove, also known as the true wild ancestor of the domesticated pigeons, is often associated with the holy spirit and represents peace.

To know more about the relationship between doves & pigeons, I will advise you to consider reading Pigeon Vs Dove articles. Returning to the point, pigeons were also considered sacred creatures with several hadiths, mentioning the significance of these birds in Islam. The research conducted by the University of Jordan stated that pigeons hold a special place in Islamic tradition due to their association with the prophet Mohammed. Consider looking at the table, which demonstrates the cultural significance of pigeons in various civilizations worldwide.

CivilizationRole of Pigeons
Ancient EgyptSymbol of fertility & divinity
MesopotamiaMessenger for communication
ChristianityRepresentation of peace (Holy Spirit)
IslamSacred creatures in religious traditions

Emotional Bond & Companionship

Another compelling reason people prefer to keep pigeons as pets is the emotional bond & companionship that develops between the keeper and their Birds. Pigeons are known for their loyalty & affection towards their human caretaker. While doing my research, I learned about a survey by the University Of California stating that 80% of pigeon keepers reported feeling emotionally connected to their pigeons.

However, it doesn’t mean everyone loves pigeons at the same level. Many people also avoid keeping pigeons as pets or getting near them, believing the bird is unhygienic. To know more about it, you should consider reading my article on Why Do People Keep Pigeons. Returning to the point, pigeon keepers often spend time feeding & training their Birds, which fosters a strong sense of trust & camaraderie.

This interaction can be therapeutic, offering a sense of peace and comfort. You can find many pigeon keepers & owners sharing heartwarming anecdotes about how their pigeons have helped through difficult times, serving as emotional support animals. Keeping a pet like a pigeon can help you avoid stress & anxiety.

Competitive Sport: Pigeon Racing

Another reason people keep pigeons can be pigeon racing, which seems to be an exhilarating & competitive sport, captivating enthusiasts worldwide. According to data from the American racing pigeon union, over 10000 pigeons racing clubs in the United States alone encourage people to keep domesticated Birds as pets.

This sport usually involves training pigeons to fly back to their lofts from the designated release point, with the fastest bird declared the winner. Also, this kind of pigeon racing event offers substantial prize money, with prestigious competition attracting top breeders & racers from around the globe. You can find many examples, and for instance, Sun City Million Pigeon Race in South Africa is known for its massive prize pool, with the winners receiving up to $200,000. To know more about some of the top pigeon racing events & prices, check the table below.

EventLocationPrize Money
Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon RaceSouth AfricaUp to $200,000
Victoria Falls World Challenge Pigeon RaceZimbabweUp to $100,000
South African Million Dollar Pigeon RaceSouth AfricaUp to $100,000

Hobbyist Interest in Pigeon Breeding

Another popular aspect of pigeon keeping tends to be pigeon breeding. Hobbyists usually strive to produce more pigeons with specific traits & characteristics. A study by the University of Corbell found over 800 recognized pigeon breeds worldwide, each with its unique set of features & characteristics. If you are also a bird enthusiast, you might find it fun to engage in selective breeding, where you create desired colors, patterns, sizes, and flying abilities.

While doing my research, I also learned about a study conducted by the University of Cambridge that found certain genes of pigeons influencing the bird’s coat color, leading to various color combinations in different breeds. Some of the most popular breeds & their characteristics are as follows in the table.

BreedColorSizeFlying Ability
Homing PigeonVariousMediumExcellent homing instinct
FantailWhite, Black, RedSmallGraceful tail display
Racing HomerBlue, Silver, RedMediumFast & agile flyer

Pigeons as a Connection to Nature

As I told you earlier, almost all urban pigeon keepers reported feeling more connected to nature through their pigeon-keeping hobby. In our fast-paced world, keeping pigeons as pets can provide a valuable connection to nature. Many pigeon people live in cities & find solace in creating a sanctuary for pigeons amidst the concrete jungle.

Also, you can get rewarded with educational experience by observing the behavior of pigeons & understanding their instincts. Also, pigeons are trainable because of their high intelligence level, which allows them to form complex social hierarchies & exhibiting problem-solving skills. Another study connected by the University of Vienna reveals that pigeon tends to have astonishing memory, which allows them to navigate & recognize their surrounding effectively

3 Tips for Aspiring Pigeon Keepers

3 Tips for Aspiring Pigeon Keepers

If you are planning to keep a pigeon as a pet, below are a few tips that you need to follow to get started with the right approach 

  1. Finding Reputable Breeders & Clubs: Finding a reputable breeder or club can be hard for some individuals. We have also shared an in-depth article on ‘Where to get pet pigeons.’ However, you can consider joining a local pigeon club & connect with experienced breeders to learn from their expertise.
  2. Providing Proper Housing & Care: Pigeons are known for their intriguing nesting habits, and you must provide them with a secure & comfortable loft for their well-being. If you wonder, ‘Do Pigeons Make Nests?,’ then yes. Hence, consider reading my article on ‘How pigeons nest’ for more knowledge on their intriguing behavior of building & constructing nests. When building a loft for your pigeon, be sure to provide them easy access to food, water & a clean environment.
  3. Training Pigeons & Building Trust: Training a pigeon & building trust will take some time. Therefore, make sure that you gradually introduce your pigeon to flying & return to the loft through positive reinforcement. Below are some of the equipment that you must have for your pigeon.
Pigeon LoftSpacious shelter for pigeons to roost & nest
Feeders & WaterersContainers for providing food & water
Nest BoxesCozy spaces for pigeons to lay eggs & raise chicks

Health & Safety Considerations

You must consider and maintain the health & safety of your pigeon as it is of utmost importance. Make sure you familiarise & educate yourself about the common health issues in pigeons to be prepared to address them promptly. Also, you must pay attention to hygiene & sanitation. Therefore, ensure you regularly clean the loft of your pigeon & providing a clean environment to prevent any disease spread or outbreak. Also, ensure that you follow the veterinary recommended vaccination protocols & implement proper quarantine procedures for new pigeons to prevent the spread of diseases. Some of the common diseases that pigeons are likely to experience include.

  • Pigeon Paramyxovirus
  • Coccidiosis
  • Trichomoniasis

Ethical Considerations in Pigeon Keeping

If you want to be a responsible pigeon keeper, make sure that you are considering the ethics of keeping this hobby. To ensure the well-being & health of your pigeons, you must avoid over-breeding. Also, make sure to provide them with ample space & opportunity to exercise & get mentally stimulated. You should also avoid releasing domesticated pigeons into the wild as they will fail to survive while competing with the wild pigeons.

Also, if you prefer to keep wild pigeons as a pet, there are many things that you need to consider and pay attention to. The topic of Can you keep a wild pigeon as a pet has always been in debate. We have not only shared the guide on keeping wild pigeons as pets but also, ‘Is It Legal To Keep Pigeons As Pets or not? If you live in California, I will advise you to consider checking my recent article on whether Is It Legal To Keep Pigeons As Pets. Back to the point, a few ethical guidelines you need to follow while being a pigeon keeper are.

  • Avoid Overbreeding
  • Create a Stimulating Environment
  • Responsible Rehoming


After reading this article, I hope you have all the ideas ‘Why do people keep pigeons in their homes.’ Pigeon keeping is always a multifaceted hobby that appeals to people for various reasons, ranging from cultural & historical significance to emotional bonds, competitive spit & connection to nature. Whether you are interested in racing pigeons, breeding them for specific traits, or simply enjoying the companionship, keeping them as pets can be a rewarding experience for you & your family.

However, I will highly advise you to avoid adopting any pigeons before learning how to care for them if you find this article helpful, where we have discussed five reasons why people keep pigeons & consider sharing them.

Your share will help other people learn about the ethical guidelines & the necessity of providing proper care to build a strong & loving bond with their feathered friend while also preserving the traditions & allure of pigeon keeping for generations to come. If you have any other questions regarding why people keep pigeons, never mind commenting below. 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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