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.