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JAMROCK AVIARY AND LOFT.

FANCY PIGEONS AND DOVES

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genetics

Pigeons and doves belong to the avian order Columbiformes ( family COLUMBIDAE )and are generalist that can survive in many kind of habitats eating a wide variety of foods. Their is no scientific seperation between Pigeons and Doves and they are often reconized as one or the other by the common names given to them over the years . In general the term ' pigeon ' is applied to the larger species and the ' dove ' to the smaller species.
Their are over 305 reconized living species, size  varies from little larger than a sparrow to size larger than a domestic hen.
Pigeons and doves are found troughtout the world except the polar rigeons like Antartica. A large portion of them are established in the Oriental and Australasian regions. Its is not known when they actually frist became kept in captivity , but they have been bred and hybridized for various purposes for a few thousand years. Specialized traits such as homing instinct , arial acrobatic , and unique feather structures have been developed or (diminished) through selective breeding over many many years. Its is not known what the total number of pigeons and doves is.Though there are over 305 descrided living species. In the pigeon fancy there have been over 200 different breeds developed and over a thousand different variety been develop. Man over the years have bred the common pigeon ( Columba livia ) for almost four thousand years,those who loved and care for these birds have ranged from emperors to pleasants , from old to young , have been members of all races ,creeds and types,and have provided their charges with accommodation ranging from palatial to just a few simple holes in a roof.
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DR. MATTHEW M.VRIENDS , a world reknown expert in tropical orthinology and aviculture give us some very insightful information.
Dr. Vriends tell us that there are over 200 domesticated pigeons , and that there are over 1250 different varieties of all these breeds. He say that all pigeons and doves through selective breeding over 50 centuries...... have come from a single species of wild pigeons called the Rock Dove, Columba livia.
Paintings and heiroglyphics have many references to doves and pigeons from back to as early as about 2600 BC . Aristole write about pigeons sport around 350 BC . These birds have been used for thousand of years for food , sport , and as message carries.
Pigeon Racing is a world wide sport developed due to the homing instinct as well as there acrobatic flying abilities. These Birds were selectively bred to intensify these as well as other traits and their were many local strain . The frist exhibit were held towards the end  of the 19 th centrury.
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Pigeons have been breds for more different purposes than any other birds in the world . In fact they were bred so that certain traits were exaggerated to such a degree that when Charles Darwin wrote his paper on Variation under domestication in his book the '' Origin of the Species ", He wrote its on the domestication of pigeons . The domestication of pigeons was frist recorded in Egypt ( about 3000 BC ). They have been exploited for their excellent flying abilities to carry messages to distant cities . The Sultan of Baghdad frist setup a pigeon postal system in 1150 AD , and Eroupe used Pigeons for emergency messages in the 1800's and during bout world wars I and II . Today , technology has exceeded the capabilities of pigeons carring messages but their excellent flying and acrobatic abililites has ben fine tune for racing and performace instead. Pigeon have also been bred for different colors and feathers " styles " to be shown off in pigeon pagent shows, and now their are lot of fancy pigeons that are shown in these pigeon pagents shows all over the world were their are different clubs. The elaborate courtship aerial displays have forming the ever popular , domesticated ' Thumbler pigeons'. Man has created thousand of different varieties of pigeons have originated from the ROCK DOVE (Columba livia) as even in the wild they comes in different color variations. Even today man enthusiasms is still going on to create and develop more varieties of the different breds of pigeons and doves. They are easy to please and take care off and will thrive well for their breeders , provide that they are allowed their proper care , housings , and necessties that they need.
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These needs are simply clean water , clean food and a dry living space because pigeon on doves cannot survive in dam or wet places ,they  are not ducks. Pigeons need dry living space where they can rear their young . Permanent dampness , such as tha found in a soggy floored loft because of poor construction , often leads to disease problems . So , too does food or water that is allowed to be contaminated with fecal material or other waste.

HOUSING
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Pigeons and doves like to have lots of space about them. The larger the housing you can provide the better for them, larger space provide greater chance of harmonious coexistence , without bloody battles , and improved the likelihood of breeding . It is therefore obvious that pigeons and doves generally should be housed in roomy aviaries or lofts . Of course , there are some exception ; the diamond dove , for example , will do well in a large cage . But the medium-sized species such as the indian ringneck dove and the turtle doves , cannot settle in such limited space and should be kept in an aviary. Pigeon that are more larger than doves should be housed in larger aviary or lofts. Doves and pigeons are rarely seen in cages today.
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SPACE REQUIREMENTS
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Here are some ground rule;
  • Small dove species require an aviary with mimimum dimension of 6 feet long ( 2 m ), 3 feet wide (1 m) , and 6 feet high , and can house a few pairs.
  • Medium-sized species require an aviary with minimum dimensions of 9 feet x 6 feet x 6 feet.
  • Large doves and pigeons require an aviary with minimum dimension of 15 feet x 6 feet x 6 feet. large species would include  fruit pigeons , wood pigeon or blue ground dove , white crowned pigeon , crowned pigeons and similar birds .

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