If you’re thinking of getting a pet pigeon, then you may have many questions running in your mind. You’re probably wondering whether these birds make good pets, beginner-friendly breeds to consider, how easy they’re to maintain, whether they’re friendly to humans, and the legality of keeping them. Luckily, this guide will help you out.
Can you keep pigeons as pets? Yes, you can keep pigeons as pets. These birds are calm, docile, and friendly and make great pets. They’re also low maintenance and their diet isn’t complicated compared to other pet birds. Above all, they come in many different breed options to choose from, including fancy and racing/homing breeds.
This post will take you through more in-depth details on whether you can keep a pigeon as a pet. We will answer most of the beginners’ frequently asked questions, including the pros and cons of keeping pigeons, whether it’s legal to keep pigeons as pets, whether you can keep a wild or city pigeon, and so much more.
Can you Keep Pigeons as Pets?
Absolutely! Pigeons are one of the best birds to keep as pets. They have been friends with humans for a long time, since the times of Egypt. While humans may have forgotten this, pigeons haven’t.
These birds have several qualities which make them unique and a good option for avian companions.
Firstly, these birds have a gentle demeanor and are low maintenance. While they may not come with the song of canaries or the vibrant plumage of parrots, they sure have their own kind of charm.
They’re known to be quite clean birds; they happily take regular births and even groom each other frequently (if you have a pair). However, you’ll need to scoop their poop from their enclosure every day to keep their house clean and the birds healthy.
Because of their calm and docile nature, pigeons make a great choice for a laid-back pet for your home. They also don’t require constant attention, so you can leave them for days if you have a busy lifestyle.
Moreover, these birds are always content in pairs or in small flocks. They’re known to mate for life (monogamous).
They also make great parents who take care of their young ones, right from the incubation period to feeding them until they can start feeding on their own.
Pet pigeon care involves a simple diet of seeds and grains and occasional fruits and vegetables. Not to forget, providing the bird with clean and fresh water every day.
For the housing part, just a simple cage will do for an in-house pigeon. Just make sure you get them a spacious enclosure where they’ll be able to stretch out both wings and still have enough room for movement.
The birds are fearless when around humans and are also intelligent, so they respond pretty well to training.
Since they can easily recognize faces, these pigeons will easily bond with their caregivers and will even make excellent companions for all the family members.
However, we advise against the temptation to tame a wild pigeon or city pigeon. Instead, you should consider getting a tamed bird from a reputable breeder or a pet shop.
Keeping Pigeons as Pets Pros and Cons
Before you decide whether to keep pigeons as pets, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of pigeons as pets.
Below, we list the key upsides and downsides of keeping pigeons to help you make an informed decision.
Pros of keeping pigeons as pets:
- Pigeons are low maintenance birds pets, with simple dietary requirements and require minimal grooming
- The birds are known for their calm and docile nature, which makes them ideal for those who prefer laid-back pets
- Pigeons are intelligent and capable of adapting to new environments and learning new things. They can also be curious and playful.
- Pigeons are social birds that enjoy the company of fellow pigeons. As such, you can keep as many pigeons as possible, provided you have space.
- You can train pigeons to do certain tricks or to fly on command. However, this requires a lot of patience and the use of positive reinforcement.
- Pigeons also came in various breeds to choose from, including fancy breeds, performance birds, show birds, racers, homers, etc. Some feature unique color patterns and fan-shaped tails that make them aesthetically appealing.
Cons of keeping pigeons as pets:
- Pigeons are less popular compared to the traditional pets. This can make it hard for you to find a vet who is knowledgeable about them as well as resources for them.
- Pigeons can be noisy as they make cooing calls or flap their wings. This may make them unsuitable for people in close living quarters or apartments.
- These birds require a space or loft (if you plan to keep large flocks or breed these birds), which can be challenging if you have limited outdoor space.
- Pigeons may not be suitable for people with allergies. Therefore, if you have allergies or respiratory problems, you’d want to carefully decide whether a pigeon is a suitable pet for you.
- You’ll need to clean pigeon waste regularly. If you’re uncomfortable with handling and disposing of the bird’s poop, then this bird might not be for you.
Is it Legal to Keep Pigeons as Pets?
It is 100% legal to keep pigeons as pets in the United States. Pigeons generally aren’t covered by any federal laws in regard to possession.
However, the legality of keeping a pigeon as a pet may vary by state, so you may want to check with your local regulations and ordinances first.
You may find that there are some local regulations and restrictions that you need to adhere to if you plan to keep pigeons as pets.
For instance, there could be zoning laws in your area dictating whether you can keep this pet bird or it’s restricted to certain areas or zones.
A perfect example is Chicago, where it’s illegal to keep pigeons in some city areas.
Some places may also have regulations in place regarding the health and safety of your pigeons and your surrounding community.
These regulations may also include requirements that require you to maintain safe and clean living conditions.
In some cases, you may be required to get a license or permit to keep pigeons as pets. This is especially true if you plan to breed or sell these birds.
Is it Legal to Take a Pigeon from the Park for Free?
It’s illegal to take a pigeon from the park for free. Like any other animal, pigeons in the park and urban areas are considered wildlife and therefore under protection by federal and state laws.
As you already know, it’s generally illegal to capture any wild animal without a proper license and permit in most cases.
Besides, grabbing a pigeon from the streets is not only unethical but also causes potential harm to it. The capturing and transportation of the bird can harm it and result in illness and even death.
The pigeons you see in the park depend on their environment and resources in the park for their survival. As such, removing them from this natural habitat can disrupt their ecosystem.
If you want to keep a pigeon as a pet, we advise you to adopt one from a reputable source or buy one from a licensed breeder.
Ensure you get a bird that has been properly cared for and is in good health before you bring it home.
Can you Keep a Wild Pigeon as a Pet?
Keeping a wild pigeon as a pet isn’t a good idea and may be illegal in most cases. The state and federal wildlife protection laws are always against capturing and keeping wild birds.
Also, wild pigeons aren’t domesticated and their behaviors are best suited to the wild.
They may be unable to adapt well to captivity, and this can cause them stress and harm. As such, we advise you to respect the bird’s natural habitat.
If you come across a wild pigeon that needs help, we advise you to contact your local pigeon rehabilitation centers. They’re best suited to take care of the bird and possibly release it back into the wild.
Are Pigeons Friendly to Humans?
Yes, pet pigeons are friendly to humans. These birds don’t show any signs of aggression towards their human caretakers and are generally tolerant of them.
As we mentioned earlier, pigeons have been in close contact with humans for thousands of years, so it’s not surprising that they’re friendly to them.
Pet pigeons are known to easily bond with humans, especially the one who feeds them. A tamed pigeon will even form a bond with and become a loyal companion to its owner.
Even the feral pigeons in the park aren’t very fearful of humans. They’ll just go about their business if you walk past them.
However, if you try approaching them, they’ll definitely run or fly away. Seems they have discovered that we’re not as fast as cats!
Yes, you can keep a pigeon as a pet in California. However, you’d want to check with your local authorities on whether there are any regulations and ordinances related to pet pigeons.
Pigeons are loyal and loving companions capable of showing companionship, just like any other pet. However, it is worth noting that they don’t show the same level of compassion as other pets like dogs. While they can tolerate human interaction and become familiar with their owners, their behavior is mainly instinct-driven and not entirely due to loyalty.
Pigeons have a long lifespan and can live for 15 to 20 years with proper care. Therefore, getting a pigeon is a longtime commitment and you need to ensure you’re ready to offer your bird consistent care for years to come.
Pigeons have been friends with humans for the longest time and they can make good pets for you. These birds are generally low maintenance, intelligent, friendly to humans, and can even form strong bonds with their caretakers. They come in many different breeds to choose from. Even better, these birds aren’t protected by law and are legal to keep as pets in most states. However, we still urge you to check what your local laws say about keeping pigeons as pets.
Like all the other pets, pigeons require commitment in terms of time and resources from you. They may also be noisy for those in close living quarters and may not be a good choice for allergic individuals. By weighing the pros and cons of pigeon pets we have discussed above, you should be able to make a decision on whether to keep a pigeon as a pet or not.