Battle of the Pigeons

Over the past few years the pigeon population in my neighborhood has increased at an alarming rate. It hasn’t made much of an impact at my ranch, but they are indeed present.  We bought the ranch six years ago, along with the purchase came thirteen resident feral pigeons, now there are twenty-five.

We brought horses to the ranch, before their arrival; there hadn’t been any on the property for about three years.  This is of significant importance since horses are often fed grains, they drop it on the ground and it becomes a pigeon feast.  However, my horses are considered idle, and are not fed any grains. It’s obvious there’s a food source someplace else, especially considering this a horse friendly neighborhood in an unrestricted territory. I’ve ignored this observation because quite frankly everything I’ve read about discouraging their presence proved unsuccessful. Not to mention I’m not the instigator of their presence, until now.

As a poultry keeper and a thrifty one at that, it’s priority one that I’m paying to feed only my flock, not the entire population of city birds. Therefore, my entire chicken yard is covered with aviary netting, top, sides, everything.  It was a huge endeavor, a task that took nearly a week, and one that made the founder of zip-ties a fortune, maybe even a millionaire. By the end of this grueling job my fingers were bleeding, my back was breaking, and being July, I was half cooked alive. But my chickens were safe from predators, the yard was secure, functional, and saving me a ton on feed bills. I was still feeding baby sparrows that could squeeze through a one inch hole, but somehow that was forgivable. Unfortunately, my accomplishments were short lived, two years to be exact.

A week ago, one clever pigeon found a way to squeeze through the chicken yard entry gate latch. There isn’t an easy solution to this dilemma considering I need to access the yard effortlessly three times a day.  She won’t leave, I’ve tried to evict my unwelcome feathered friend, but she comes back with relentless intent. I fear these newly found luxury accommodations boasting ready made nests, ample food, and shelter… are merely one tweet away from a public pigeon oasis.

Back to the drawing board… out smarting nature sure is a tough job.

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9 Responses to Battle of the Pigeons

  1. bykimball says:

    Animals in need have always found you and you always offer them a sanctuary. Smart pigeon!

  2. tbnranch says:

    Yeah, I have a chicken that swims in her water trough to stay cool, smart!

  3. Birds are beautiful in flight, but they can be troublesome when hungry (and troublesome ‘after’ they’ve eaten of course. 🙂 ) We’ve got pigeons, sea gulls, a variety of herons, pelicans and fishers. It seems birds like the water as much as we do. I hope you can find a way to remove that rascal from the pen.

  4. Rita A. says:

    WE have a rescue pigeon who was hit by a car and has a broken wing. She is in the old cockatiel aviary and doing quite well . . . if not living a free and easy life; or breaking in to chicken pens. However, we do have a problem with sparrows and other birds burrowing under the aviary to get to the food she drops.
    There’s always a chain of command in nature.

  5. Bassas Blog says:

    We have doves in my neighbourhood but they usually just come to my garden to die – two have done this in the last six months. I think my garden is like the fabled elephants graveyard (for doves).

  6. tbnranch says:

    No foxes here… that’s one less thing to worry about!

  7. You hear about foxes in chicken yards. I never thought about pigeons being a problem.

  8. Those pesky birds!!!! We don’t have any at our house, but the in-laws have a flock living on the fence in their backyard . . . they are so loud and messy.

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