You may not know what a pigeon coop is, or never even known that there are pigeon farms. They are familiar to pigeon aficionados or fanciers. A fancier is a person who breeds and raises pigeons.
If it sounds strange, then you will be surprised by the names of people that have called themselves fanciers. Mike Tyson (yes the former heavy weight boxer) has been a long time fancier. Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor was also a fancier who healed wounded birds. Tesla went even as far as calling the birds his “sincere friends”. If raising birds is good enough for a former boxing champ and one of the greatest inventors ever, then they could definitely be good enough for you.
Enjoying the hobby as a sport: Racing Pigeon Lofts
If you have not yet heard, you can actually participate in the sport of racing pigeons. People who participate in the sport, raise and train their own birds called “Racing Homers”. Races are measured by the time it takes a bird to return home from a loft. The speed is measured and the awards can be upwards of sixty thousand dollars. Not a bad return for a hobby. You can also raise the birds and sell them to other enthusiasts. Even though you may not see it on ESPN, the sport is growing in the United States. According to the American Racing Pigeon Union, there are 15,000 registered lofts in the US alone, and the number is growing.
Start simple: A pigeon coop
If you want to get started in pigeon rising, you have to start with a pigeon coop. There are no specific designs for a pigeon coop; however there are things that will make your loft have a better chance at being successful. A lot of fanciers agree that having two separate lofts is a good idea as it lets the fancier have control over breeding. If you are planning to allow your birds free range then a trap/landing board will make sense. This will allow the birds to get back in the loft when they are ready to do so. If you can’t allow the birds free range, then a fly pen is the next best thing. Birds are not only happier when they have room to fly, but they are also healthier.
Raising birds does not mean a pigeon farm
Hobbyist may be seen in a bad light by some because they are sometimes confused with pigeon farms. A pigeon farm is used to sell pigeons for consumption as pigeon meat is a delicacy in some cultures. A farm is much different than a loft. It is more of a job than a hobby. However a couple of things apply to both. Pigeon baby products can be a bit difficult to find so consult your vet. Also remember that disease affects younger birds at a higher rate. If you take care of your birds you will be happy and so will they, so make sure that your pigeon coop meets all their needs.