Executive Committee Leif Taylor, Searletown – President James Butler, Alliston – Vice President Trevor MacDonald, Murray River – Secretary Stephen Webster, Tarantum – Treasurer Volume 33 Number 1 July. 2015
A BIT ABOUT PIGEON HISTORY & BEHAVIOR www.uwex.edu
HISTORY Pigeons have had a long and colorful history in the service of humans. Earliest records indcate that we had a deep interest in the breeding of pigeons. Our early efforts at breeding and selection soon gave us pigeons with different colors, shapes, sizes and abilities, which led to the development of the homing and racing pigeons. Pigeons have been widely used to carry messages, especially in times of war. They are employed in rescue work and have been used to carry messages from ships to nearby land areas. Pigeons have often been used by “underground” movements and persons engaged in subversive activities where other forms of communication could be traced. Today, pigeons are bred for:
- Racing and homing (sporting)
- Meat production (utility)
- Exhibition (fancy)
Meat production with pigeons is a sizable industry in many metropolatin areas. The young birds known as squabs are taken from the nest at 28 to 30 days of age. At this time, the feathers are nearly mature. This means the bird is easy to dress. Also they have not yet begun to fly so the flesh is very soft and tender and the body weight is usually very good. Once the young pigeon leaves the nest and begins free flight, the flesh becomes very solid and the body weight decreases. Some pigeon fanciers believe that pioneer aviators learned to do many of their maneuvers by observing the flight of pigeons. Such feats as loops are patterned closely after similar movements in the flight of pigeons.
BEHAVIOR Pigeons mate in pairs and generally remain paired to each other for life. When a pair has gone through the courting stage and mated, the two are ready to build a nest and hatch young. They remain true to each other as long as they live or as long as they are allowed to remain together. If a mating is broken by death or separation, the birds will mate again with other birds. This rule of constancy is rarely broken and may be depended upon even in larger flocks. Some dealers are rather cautious in talking about mated pairs but speak about selling pairs of pigeons without saying anything about mating. Insist on getting mated pairs when you buy breeders. Birds which have been mated may be shipped long distances without breaking the matings, although occasionally a pair breaks their mating from relocation or the influence of unmated outsiders in the pen with them. In providing nests for a loft, at least two nests for each pair of birds should be provided. This gives the birds a chance to find a nest to use while the squabs are maturing in another, as after the birds begin to breed they will have eggs in one nest while they have a pair of squabs to feed in another. The nests are easily made. Some wooden boxes approximately 12 inches square can be nailed to the wall. A good supply of nesting material should be provided for the pigeons. This may be short straw or coarse hay in short lengths.
NOTES OF INTEREST –
Dates: July 14 – Entries close for Northumberland Fisheries Fesitval
July 15 – Entries close for Crapaud Exhibition
July 24 – Northumberland Fisheries Festival Poultry Show (Murray River) July 24 – Entries close for P.E.I. Provincial Exhibition
July 25 – Crapaud Exhibition (Crapaud)
August 16-19 – P.E.I. Provincial Exhibition Poultry Show (Charlottetown)
August 28-30 – P.E.I. Plowing Match & Agricultural Fair (Dundas)
September 4-5 – Egmont Bay-Mont Carmel Exhibition (Abram`s Village)
September 8 – NEXT MEETING (Atlantic Vet College, 7:30). Note it is a Tuesday.
September 13 – Eastern Kings Exhibition Livestock Show (Souris) September 26-27 – New Brunswick Fall Show (Petitcodiac)
October 31-November 1 – Nova Scotia Fall Classic (Brookfield)
November 9-10 – 86th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Poultry Show (Toronto)
-CLUB ITEMS FOR SALE: T-shirts – $13.00 and Crests – $4.00. Contact the secretary for items.
-Congratulations to those who have successfully completed another year of school.
-Note the change in dates of the Nova Scotia Fall Classic. Due to a change in location, the Classic will be a week later than originally scheduled. This change in dates is for one year only.
-Corrections from the Spring Show results published in the June newsletter. On page 3, Andrew Greene was listed as having Champion American on a White Plymouth Rock hen; it should have been a S.C. Rhode Island Red hen shown by Leanne Meisner. On page 4, the Reserve English was missed; it was a Buff Orpington cock shown by Lorina Murphy.
-A reminder to those who are planning to show the summer fairs to please have your entries in on time.
-Those showing the summer fairs are reminded that it is extremely important to show only healthy birds. The fairs are often the only times that people get to see purebred poultry. Poor or unhealthybirds do nothing to promote our hobby.
POULTRY RECIPE (Canadian Chicken Marketing Agency A recipe for Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes Makes: 16 skewers for 4 four servings Calorie Count: 451 per serving
Marinade: 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup sherry 1 lemon, grated rind and juice 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil 1 lb. Boneless chicken breasts 16 cubes (1 inch) canteloupe
**SOAK WOODEN SKEWERS IN WATER FOR 15 MINUTES BEFORE USING TO PREVENT SCORCHING.
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter 1/4 cup milk 2 tbsp. Soy sauce 2 tbsp. Lemon juice 2 tbsp. Sherry 2 tbsp. Brown sugar 1/2 tsp. Curry powder 5 drops Tabasco sauce 1 clove garlic, crushed
Marinade: Combine soy sauce, sherry, lemon rind and juice. Whish in oil. Place in a shallow pan. Cut chicken into strips (4 inches x 1/2 inch). Add chicken to soy mixture and marinate covered in refrigerator for 4 hours. Thread chicken onto wooden skewers (8 inch), two strips per skewer. Cook on barbeque four minutes, turning once. Add one piece canteloupe to each skewer and cook 1 minute longer or unti the chicken is tender.
Peanut Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, milk, soy sauce, lemon juice, sherry, brown sugar, curry powder, Tabasco sauce, and garlic. Heat until warm. Serve 4 skewers per person with peanut sauce for dipping.
THIS IS THE 385th EDITION OF THE CLUB NEWSLETTER!
FAIR CONTACTS Anyone wishing to receive prize lists for any of the fair poultry shows this summer may contact the following: Northumberland Fisheries Festival, P.E.I. Plowing Match & Agricultural Fair or Eastern Kings Exhibition Trevor MacDonald, P.O. Box 31, Murray River C0A 1W0 962-3307
Crapaud Exhibition Della Ferguson, Secretary P.O. Box 34, Crapaud C0 A 1J0
Egmont Bay-Mont Carmel Exhibition Agriculture Manager P.O. Box 37, Wellington C0B 2E0 854-3300
P.E.I. Provincial Exhibition Anna MacNeil, Manager P.O. Box 3070, Charlottetown C1A 7N9 629-6623
Note that most of these shows have web sites which have their prize lists attached. See you at the fairs!
CLOSING COMMENTS Each July marks the beginning of a new volume of the club newsletter. I must admit when I started putting these newsletters together over 30 years ago that I never thought I would still be doing it now. It was the idea of the then-poultry specialist with the Department of Agriculture, the late Gerald Johnstone, that the club have a bulletin and that the Department would print and send them out. We are still supported in a great way by the Department and we need to appreciate that very much. I recently had the pleasure of visiting with many of our members while conducting the spring ILT program. Thanks to those for making time for me to come. It was encouraging to see some new people getting birds vaccinated. With all the problems going on elsewhere with Avian Flu, we are very lucky to be in the position we are of not facing that at the moment. Many American states have banned all poultry shows and other gatherings for the remainder of this year. How unfortunate for those planning to show. Trevor MacDonald, Editor