Bird Breeders , Homing Pigeon Clubs, and the Internet
Getting white homing pigeons takes foot work. If you are interested in raising white homing pigeons, you may visit your local bird breeders, dove release professionals, and racing homing pigeon clubs in your area. You may find white homing pigeons in the Yellow Pages under "Birds", "Pet Shops", "Wedding Services", and "Clubs". You should try to find white homing pigeons in your town or nearby because you won't incur a shipping charge and the pigeons avoid the stress of travel. To purchase white homers from members of the American White Dove Release Association (AWDRA), please contact the AWDRA member nearest you listed in the White Dove Release Directory of America.
The best pigeons to buy for commercial white dove releases are young pigeons that are 30 to 60 days old with an inherited homing range of at least 50 miles from the loft. That way you can train them and and they won't return to their old loft! Expect to pay at least $25 for a young white homing pigeon plus shipping and handling. Expect to pay about $40 for shipping and handling. Shipping is costly because the seller will need a special US Postal Service approved shipping box for the white pigeons. You may find cheap white pigeons in your area for $5 or less. Be careful. These may not be homing pigeons at all or their homing range may be less than 5 miles at best! Even worse, a cheap pigeon may carry disease and die shortly after you buy it or destroy your entire loft if you mix it with your good pigeons.
It is quite difficult, to sex young pigeons. Therefore, if you are serious about building a full loft of white homing pigeons, you should start with four to six young pigeons. Make sure the pigeons you buy look clean and healthy.
Be patient! Do not expect to receive the pigeons at the drop of a hat. In many instances the dove breeder will have other orders to fill before yours and will need time to breed the white homing pigeons for you. Be ready to send payment before you receive a shipment of white homers.
Building a Full Loft Takes Time
It may take years to built a full loft with at least 12 trained white homing pigeons. The best white homing pigeons to acquire are young white homing pigeons that are 30 to 60 days old and have not been trained. That way they will easily get accustomed to your loft and will not return to their former loft! You should start training young white homing pigeons when they are six to eight weeks young to avoid bird losses. They are called squeakers at this time because they squeak when you hold them or want to eat. By the time they are one year old, their navigation system should be fully developed.
Costs of Raising White Homing Pigeons
Raising white homing pigeons costs money. Your biggest initial expense will be for a loft or pigeon house. Expect to invest at least $1,000 for a pigeon loft or house, which includes materials and labor. You will also have to buy pigeon feed an grit regularly, which can be about $40 a month for a flock of 12 homing pigeons. You will also need to keep disinfectant and a medicine chest ready for your birds.
We suggest a pickup truck with a camper shell or van and a pet carrier to take the white homing pigeons out for training. So expect to spend on gas!
If you decide to go into the business, you will need to get the word out and advertise. You should start with business cards and brochures. If you want more business, you may advertise in the Internet and Yellow Pages. The best way to advertise in the Internet is to create a business website and link to other websites. You may also do direct advertising in your area.
Caring and Feeding of Doves
The daily work of feeding is quick and fun as the white homing pigeons like to fly in the neighborhood for a few minutes prior to coming back to eat.
At least once a month, you will need clean the pigeon loft or house, which means removing accumulated pigeon waste. A lot of feather dander flies around when you clean the pigeon house or loft. You should always wear a dust mask and proper clothing when cleaning the dove house, loft, or aviary to prevent disease. Under humid conditions in certain parts of the country, mold can grow in an aviary and mix with dirt and dander. Histoplasmosis is a fungal lung disease that can be transmitted from birds to humans when the dust, droppings and dander are agitated and inhaled. If not caught and treated, the mold can multiply in the lungs. Fortunately, there are many preventive measures that the dove caretaker can take to avoid infection. If you want to raise homing pigeons, you should be fully aware of the health risks and work required to avoid exposure.
A Home with a Backyard for A Dove House or Loft
White homing pigeons should not be kept in small cages or indoors. The feather dander is messy and may be harmful to your health. The pigeons like to live with lots of mates in pigeon houses or lofts with lots of room. They also like to fly around the neighborhood daily and return to their coop. A dove house or loft has a special meaning to them and keeps them coming back. A cage is not a substitute for a loft or dove house. Therefore, it would be inhumane to keep white homing pigeons in cages for extended periods of time. They are designed to live outdoors in pigeon lofts or houses. This means that you need a home with a back yard to raise white homing pigeons. If you live in an apartment with no backyard for a pigeon loft or dove house, raising white homing pigeons is not an option.
A Lifetime Commitment to Love and Care of Your Doves
Raising white homing pigeons is a lifetime commitment. White homing pigeons are pets like dogs! They expect to fly around the neighborhood daily. And you get very attached to them. They have a special bond to their loft and your home that is very hard to break. Therefore, it is not easy to dispose of your white homing pigeons and it requires nothing less than a lifetime commitment to love and care of your doves.
If you plan to go on vacation or out of town, you have to make plans for someone to take care of and feed the doves while you are gone. Therefore, acquiring and raising white homing pigeons is NOT a decision that should be taken lightly.
AWDRA Members Can Help You Build a Full Loft
The members of the AWDRA can help you to acquire white homing pigeons and provide you information about building a dove house or loft. Our members can provide you with affordable quality young pigeons, pigeon house or loft tours, and answer all your questions. We can help you to avoid costly mistakes and bird losses. To find out more, you may contact the AWDRA member nearest you listed in the White Dove Release Directory of America. Our members will ask questions to make sure that the homing pigeons are placed in good homes. We do not sell white homing pigeons or doves for target practice. AWDRA members reserve the right to refuse sales to anyone.