Pigeon Feeding and Nutrition
Pigeons are always feeding on the ground in groups, flocks and also individually. They like to eat fruits, grains and herbage. Pigeon is found to synthesize fat in their liver and so proper measures should be taken before they are fed. They have also been falsely associated with the spread of human diseases. Even if it is assumed to be untrue, it is always better to keep an eye on the droppings and keep your environment clean.
Dietary needs and fresh water
A variety of commercialized food is available to feed the Pigeon at pet or bird stores and they are relatively inexpensive. While homemade feed is yet another option to give Pigeon, it is recommended not to cook the food. These birds like to eat their diet raw and dry.
Many kinds of seed mixes can also be purchased and fed to a Pigeon. It mostly contains millet, wheat, corn and barley.
For minerals, one can add greens to the food, like Spinach or Lettuce. Water is a vital for a Pigeon’s well being; a person should use shallow pans or drinking cups, as Pigeon sip their water through their beaks. The water should be distilled and cleaned and changed at least 2-3 times a day to maintain freshness.
Wheat can make up more than 25% of the Pigeon’s feed; however, a lot of it is not advisable as birds gain weight eating this.
The nutrient components can be broken up into providing vitamins, minerals and proteins in additional supplements. To optimize benefits, one can use a sizeable amount of commercial feeds.
Now since they have quite an appetite, they also love to have snacks in between meals. Berries are also known to be their favorites. But do keep in mind that small portions of such foods should be given to avoid any health issues.
Corn is undeniably one of the best Pigeon foods, as it is low in crude fiber and they love this in all shapes and sizes. The main thing when providing this food is the hardness and dryness. Pigeons often tend to eat more dry foods.
They also love to eat wheat, which is just as good as corn and rich in protein.
Quantity of Foods
It is important not to over feed the Pigeon and proper measureable amounts be given for suitable nutrition. Pigeon usually eat fast, so when feeding them, see to it if they need more food than provided. You can also get help from external sources as to how to go about feeding a Pigeon and preferably a vet can offer you the right advice.
It is also the bird owner’s duty to keep the feeding place and dishes properly cleaned and disinfected, while washing the food cups repeatedly to maintain good health environment for the birds and to avoid germs and bacteria from being generated. On an average, a Pigeon eats about 25-40 grams of feed every day. A large Pigeon has more bulk and weight, therefore the food portions invariably differ with size.
Foods to Avoid
Care should be taken when feeding the pigeon with fruits and vegetables, as some, can cause potential risk to their health, as some human foods can be fatal for birds.
Sharing food with a bird at meal times can be a lot of fun too, but there are a number of foods such as chocolate, mushrooms and onions should not at all, be given to the birds.
Like most birds, Pigeons don’t have any teeth, so never give them chewable food. The feed should always be soft and moistened.