The Pet Pigeon; a long-term companion who is affectionate, intelligent, and engaging

This is Mrs. Honor Pepperpot. Honor is a Valencian Figurita, the smallest breed of fancy pigeon. She has brought so much happiness to my life with her sunny disposition and gentle nature, and I just wanted to share why I think pigeons make such great pets.

Pigeons have REALLY big hearts:

Far from being a "one man bird", Honor displays sincere affection for me, my husband, her cuddly lion, her squeaky mouse, and loves to take care of her friends with copious amounts of affectionate preening. She'll follow us from room to room, join us in the bathroom when we're having a bath, and lay down on top of my computer monitor when I'm working. She gets excited when she sees us, flicks her wing tips against her tail and runs over to preen our fingers.

They are so quiet:

Unlike a lot of pet birds, all you'll hear from Honor is a variety of gentle coos. She does fly loudly; that familiar clatter noise that accompanies pigeon take-off. But she doesn't screech, scream, or insist that the whole house gets up at dawn.

They are unbelievably chill:

Honor has a very calm nature. She doesn't frighten easily and is gently curious about EVERYTHING. Even in the early days, when she wasn't tame yet, she was pretty chill about being held. Even when you need to do something she doesn't particularly like, nail trimming for example, she won't hold a grudge.

They aren't escape artists:

Despite being extremely intelligent and able to problem solve, Honor is very content in her cage when the door is closed. She doesn't have the dextrous physical capabilities of a parrot when it comes to her beak and feet. This means you don't have the initial outlay of buying a super strong, secure cage.

They aren't destructive:

Pigeons don't need to chew or destroy. They don't have powerful beak muscles that demand exercise. Honor enjoys exploring and tapping things with her little beak, and her toys are preened and carried about on a regular basis.

Pigeon poo cleans up really easily:

This one doesn't really need a further explanation but it's true. Out of all of the pet birds I've ever had, pigeon poo is by far the easiest to clean.

They have a homing ability:

Some varieties of pigeon more than others, but, chances are that if your pigeon accidentally gets out, they'll stay in the area and, if not, they'll probably still be back for tea.

They'll tame down easily at any age:

I got Honor when she was three years old. She'd lived in an outdoor aviary and hadn't really been handled much. It took only a couple of days for her to become interested in me, and within a week she was flirting and dancing whenever she saw me. Within two weeks she'd follow me if I went into the next room. Within a month she'd happily sit on me and preen my hair or skin.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, sourcing a pet pigeon responsibly is dead easy:

Unlike a huge majority of parrot species, pigeons have been bred domestically for hundreds of years and are well adapted to living with humans. Knowledgable, passionate people up and down the country keep and breed flocks of pigeons, and are generally happy to sell excess birds. Pigeons breed well and take superb care of their young, and only in an emergency situation are squabs pulled from the nest to be handraised - so almost all young pigeons are raised by their parents. This means that generally pigeons don't suffer the behavioural problems and cerebral damage caused by mal-imprinting on a different species.

There is a really good article on the disastrous long term psychological effects of parental deprivation (hand rearing) and flight deprivation (wing clipping) here:

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