Pigeon feed is essential not only for the growth and development of the young pigeons but also for the older ones to keep them healthy. As is well-known, Carbohydrates and Fats or Lipids are required to meet the body’s energy needs—proteins and Minerals to develop muscles, Tissues, bones, feathers. Vitamins, Hormones, Enzymes are essential for regulating various parts of the body, fighting diseases, and creating an immune system. And all of these affect the health and welfare of the pigeon.
Based on personal experience and recommendations of various experts, the following pigeon feed mixes are suggested.
Pigeon Feed Mix For Breeding Pigeons:
I feed my high fliers Breeding pigeons a mixture of Pearl Millet, Wheat, Black Grams, and Yellow Corn in a 4: 2: 1: 1 ratio. To this feed may be added Moth, Moong, and Maash in minimal quantities. Moth is perfect for laying Hens and Maash for Cocks. Feed provided to poultry layer hens also proves very beneficial in the morning’s usual mix for the breeding stock. The above grain and seed mix is also fed to youngsters removed from their parents. Some vital water-soluble powder containing Vitamins and Minerals is also provided weekly. I have personal experience of feeding crushed crumbs of dry Chapati, the thin home-baked bread. Pigeon feed mix for breeders is started about two weeks before pairing to prepare them for the breeding season.
Pigeon Feed Mix For Non-Breeding Pigeons:
I feed my High Fliers a mixture of Pearl Millet, Wheat, and Black Grams in a ratio of 4: 2: 1/2 the year around. During winter, birds are fed and watered only once a day, usually at 3 PM. Induces in them the habit of storing food and water in the body for 24 hours. In summer, water is made available at 10 AM and with the daily feed. Keep them fighting fit without any Protein containing pulses or fatty seeds and grains. As a precautionary, some commercial powder containing Vitamins and Minerals is made available twice a month to avoid any deficiency.
Pigeon Feed Mix For Competition Pigeons:
Competing pigeons provided the feed mixture of Pearl Millet, Wheat, and Black Grams in a ratio of 4: 2: 1/2 during training flights. However, Wheat and Black Grams’ proportion reduced gradually, and pure Pearl Millet fed when special feed-up started. All the pigeon fanciers have their special feed for competition pigeons. I start my special feed when the pigeons start casting creamy droppings and reduce flying time, indicating that they have exhausted their winter fat reserves and require additional nutrients.
Pigeon Feed Time:
It is also at this stage that birds are flown at one-day intervals instead of flying them daily. Pigeons fed at 1 PM and were allowed to eat as much as possible within half an hour when removed feeders. Water is placed for about 15 minutes when they finish eating and again at sunset. Water is also made available at 10 PM and then 3 AM. Such a watering regime helps competing pigeons in proper digestion and assimilation of food. Still, pigeons get adequate water supply to face day-long flights during hot and dry summer days. Pigeons should not be force-fed any water but allowed to drink as they please.
It is suggested because excessive watering induces loose discharges. The digestive system of pigeons geared to reabsorb good bacteria and water in the lower chamber of cloaca under normal conditions, and forced watering disrupts such useful a function. Fanciers who think that Black Grams contains lots of power and help increase time making by their pigeons. Should remember that this grain has about 24% of proteins. Whereas according to experts, the proportion of this food material should not exceed 18 % in the feed mix. The quantity of proteins in the food provided to the flying pigeons becomes too excessive. These are also available in the particular feed based on almonds fed to the competing pigeons. So no Black Grams fed when competing pigeons are on special feed up.
Pigeon Feed For Low Flyer Pigeons:
Pigeon feed mix for low flyer pigeons contains pearl millet, wheat, grams, and crushed crumbs of chapati. These pellets or crumbs are known as bhoray. Fanciers of low flyer pigeons feed their competitions birds only almonds that are soaked overnight. Peeled and cut with a knife or grated into small pieces. Generally, no other seeds or grains are fed to these birds. The past practice of providing 1 to 4 soaked and peeled grains of large corn and or almonds by some low fliers just before they are flagged is most unwise.
Not only such seeds can’t get digested and released energy during the flight. These are simply a burden on its digestive system when the pigeon is flying. Such pigeons often throw up blackened and bad-smelling seeds as soon they land after the long hot fly. Such practice has, therefore, been entirely abandoned by a majority of low flier fanciers.
Pigeon Feed for the English Flying Tipplers:
English Flying Tipplers Fanciers commonly use wheat, Maple peas, Canary seeds, Corn, Millet, Rice, Hemp, Tares, Dari, Niger, and Groats as pigeon feed. They use this feed during the training flys as well as during competitions. Some unique tonics such as Rue Tea, Quinine of Sulpher, Cod Liver Oil, Perishes, Sweet Nitre, Epsom Salts, and specially prepared Cakes also used to improve time making. In addition to using Scotch Whisky and Vines by some Fanciers. A conspicuous feature of the feed up for this type of duration fliers is that it contains much more Carbohydrates compared to seeds and grains used for feeding.
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