What to know about feeding pigeons

Feeding pigeons seems like a relatively simple proposition. However, choosing the best pigeon feed does require a bit of understanding as it relates to how the pigeon digests and ingests food.

Not all pigeon foods are created equal, and many pigeon owners have taken to creating their own brand of pigeon diet in order to compensate for the often misguided quality of commercial pigeon foods.

When feeding pigeons, you should account for about 500 grams of feed per adult bird to make sure that they are receiving enough high quality nutrition. A diet that is relatively low in the traditional fiber based bird foods is recommended for all pigeons. The basic idea to emulate the basic dietary needs of a wild pigeon in order to offer them the nutrient rich and low fat content that well fed pigeons thrive on.

Corn based feeds are a double edged sword. A certain amount of corn is a good idea when feeding pigeons, especially during the colder months, simply because there are fats within the corn that help insulate the pigeons. However, this same fat content can create a hefty pigeon, which is unhealthy.

Rather than opting for corn based diets, many experts recommend feeding pigeons a diet that is loaded with one of their all time favorites. A diet rich in dried field peas makes for a very happy, and healthy, pigeon. While this is most definitely on the list of favorites, it is one of their few favorite food items that is good for their muscles, their feathers, their bones, and their internal operations all while giving them a tasty treat.

Sorghum is another favorite member of the wheat group that pigeons love to eat and can be relied on for a steady base of nutrition. This particular wheat is very small and easy for the pigeons to crack open, easy for them to digest, and easy on the wallet when compared to some other grain products with fewer health benefits.

If you can throw in some barley for your pigeons from time to time, this is an excellent treat that allows for additional hearty sustenance. Barley can become expensive when purchased regularly, but the occasional addition makes for a fantastic vitamin packed treat.

Feeding pigeons the additional wheat grains can be a very positive experience, especially if you go for the redder grains that are harder on the surface.

Pigeons are not fond of very soft wheat that refuses to give their beaks a bit of a work out. However, any wheat grain that can be offered that gives them a good crunch is good sign of nutritional content as well as pigeon feeding pleasure.

Feeding pigeons a structured diet helps keep their immune and digestive systems tracking well. Feeding pigeons a strong mixture that is high in dried field peas, hard wheat, sorghum, and low in corn can offer them a solid dietary plan that they will enjoy eating about as much as anything they could discover in the wild.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 322 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 4060 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 588 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.