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Raising pigeons

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Pigeons as pets

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: John Heppner, president, National Pigeon Association

Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I used to play in our barn growing up and we had a lot of pigeons that sat on the rafters. When I was about ten, I looked up just as one of them decided to eliminate his dinner. It hit me square in the eye. And it stung.

I don't hold it against all pigeons. There are well over 500 species in existence. Some breeds make terrific pets, and others are pampered possessions that strut from show to show, earning ribbons for their poise and beauty.

People who raise pigeons say they're intelligent, highly trainable and very hardy. John Heppner is president of the National Pigeon Association, and says they're easy to feed, too.

"As far as their food, it's wheat, corn, peas, milo, they produce a pigeon pellet, safflower oil, or a little millet," Heppner says. "You can vary the feed, but pigeons can really get by quite well on a fairly simple diet."

They will enjoy a green treat like lettuce occasionally, too.

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