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English Show Homer Pigeon

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Jim Gifford

Is the English Show Homer Pigeon right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: N/A

Scientific name: Columba livia domestica

The basics:
The English Show Homer Pigeon is one of several exhibition breeds that have been developed from the Racing Homer Pigeon. In this case, the breed was developed by English breeders from English racing stock. While the American Show Racer Pigeon was mainly developed by breeders not interested in racing their birds, some British breeders do maintain an interest in racing. A bird who combines an ability to fly fast with the calmness to show well is often the ideal. The British Show Racer Federation was formed in 1950, so it's a relatively young breed.

Appearance:
An aerodynamic-looking pigeon complete with round head and bill.

Weight:
400 - 500 grams (14 - 17.6 oz.)

Average size:
34 centimeters (13.4 in.)

Lifespan:
7 - 10 years

Behavior / temperament:
The English Show Homer Pigeon is a docile, good-natured variety that can show well and even make a good pet if trained properly. Get hands-on training from a more experienced fancier if you plan to race your birds.

Housing:
Healthy pigeons acclimate easily to most any weather conditions. Most pigeon fanciers keep their A proper loft for breeding and training English Show Homer Pigeons is a specialized structure that must be carefully designed for easy cleaning and good air circulation without being drafty. Work with a more advanced hobbyist or breeder so that you can plan the best possible loft for your goals. It is often recommended that pigeons have a minimum of four feet square per pair, which means that a loft containing 12 birds should be at least four feet by six. Thieves have been a huge problem in some areas, so make sure that you have a secure loft, including alarms and probably a web-cam to monitor and record anyone going in or out.

If you have a retired, rehomed, or otherwise single pet English Show Homer Pigeon that you are keeping as a personal pet, then you have a different situation. Provide the longest flight possible, to allow the bird to exercise even when you can't be there. Bird-proof any room where you allow the bird to come out and fly free (no ceiling fans, please!), and lock all doors and windows while the bird is out and about indoors. Pigeons can't be toilet-trained, but it's even possible to buy pigeon diapers if need be to keep the poop under control.

English Show Homer Pigeons do bathe in water, so they should be allowed access to a shallow dog dish or similar bathing bowl to splash around in. Since pigeons lower the head to drink, they will need a deeper bowl for the drinking water.

Diet:
The English Show Homer Pigeon is the descendant of homing and carrier pigeons that have been bred over thousands of years, so it has been developed to thrive on a relatively simple diet. Most people start with a high-quality pigeon mix from a well-regarded source. You may also mix in quality grains such as millet, barley, wheat, whole corn, dry peas, buckwheat, oats, and so on, either from a good feed store with fast turn-over or from a health food store. Special pellets formulated for pigeons can be used to supplement the diet, to ensure that your bird has enough vitamins and protein. Chopped greens like kale, dandelion greens, spinach, or fresh sprouts should be offered each day. Some people offer high beta carotene foods like finely chopped carrot or papaya. Flying birds will need a richer diet, with some higher fat seeds like safflower.

All English Show Homer Pigeons need access to a high quality pigeon grit to help them digest the tough, uncooked grains they like to eat. A cuttlebone or another calcium source is also valuable. However, calcium may not be properly absorbed without sufficient vitamin D3 if your pigeon is an indoor pet. Therefore, it is important to choose a good avian supplement that includes D3.

Written by Elaine Radford