Pigeons might be the first bird humankind ever domesticated. They are known for having soft, thick plumage in a variety of colors and patterns, with most species displaying some iridescent glossing. No seasonal changes in coloration occur, and except for the somewhat duller hues of the female, the sexes are alike.
Latin Name: Columba livia
Birds Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae (includes 315 different species)
Origin: Europe, North Africa and Asia.
- Pigeons produce fake milk.
- Breeding pigeons was a common hobby in Victorian England among people coming from all walks of life.
- Two pigeons almost distracted from the discovery of evidence of the big bang.
- You can train them to be art snobs and to distinguish written words.
- During the First World War, a pigeon named Cher Ami saved many French soldiers by carrying a message across enemy lines in the heat of battle.
- Fluffy pigeon feet might be partial wings.
- Pigeons are good at multitasking.
- Pigeons have excellent hearing abilities.
Squab: Young domestic pigeon, typically under four weeks old, or its meat.
Gutted: Removing of intestines and other internal organs of an animal before cooking it.
Carcass: Dead body of an animal
Pigeon Buying Guide
The best pigeons to buy are the ones with no antibiotics or hormones, raised in open barns and humane, stress-free conditions. Pigeon meat tends to darken with age so, buy pigeon with paler flesh for quick-cooking methods. Young farmed squab have tender flesh with a delicate flavor.
If you prefer a more intense flavor, it’s best to buy wood pigeon because they have a deep, complex, mineral taste and with careful cooking, can be just as tender as squab.
Choose the meat that has beautiful plump breasts and proper distribution of fat under the skin. Look out for shot damage, and try to buy it with the head and feet left on – this will give you a better idea of the overall condition of the pigeon.
Pigeon Production & Farming in Texas
Raising pigeons requires lesser space and cost than chickens. A pair of pigeons only needs 1.5 x 2 feet of space, and they only need 42 grams of feed and 36 milliliters of water per day.
Of all pigeon species found in the world, only eight are considered full-time or part-time residents of Texas. They make their home in the shady woodlands and river thickets, seeking the densest brush it can find. It is difficult to observe because of its somewhat secretive habits and preference for dense thickets.
Although the increase in population has slightly expanded, the lower portion of Texas is still the only place in the United States where they reside. Pigeons are migratory species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Still, the Texas population is transient only because of some fly back and forth across the Rio Grande.
Presented to North America in the early 17th-century by colonists who brought domestic pigeons to Atlantic coast settlements, the Pigeon today lives broadly on the continent. Wild Rock Pigeons, native to Europe, North Africa, and western, southwestern, west-central, and southern Asia, gave rise to domestics as a result of artificial selection by humans.
Charles Darwin used to breed pigeons in his garden for an experiment. By crossing birds with different characteristics, he could generate separate offspring. Some had brown feathers, others white. Some had long legs, others very short beaks.
You can catch pigeons wherever you see them roosting or feeding. It’s best to contact your local DNR for any regulations, and you might also need the permission of the landowner.
Once you found the location where you want to start catching, look for a place to set your trap and toss a few handfuls of the corn out. Let the pigeons eat their way into the trap.
Pluck either in whole or part, and use a very sharp knife to cut along the top line of the breastbone. Pull the skin back carefully and slice the breast away. Keep the knife close to the bone and work in small cuts. The finished item does not need to look perfect – it can be cooked whole and then sliced or sliced before cooking depending on the dish.
Pigeons are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. It is one of those dishes that are usually thought of as being expensive, delicious, and reserved for epicures. The squab meat tastes like dark chicken, very lean, and easily digestible. It is the most common source of protein in the United States. It is tender, moist, and more abundant in taste compared to chicken meat.
Pigeons should be dressed and gutted immediately after catching. Clean it properly and do not stuff game birds before freezing them. Bacteria multiply during the process of freezing and thawing. Commercially stuffed frozen birds are processed by special procedures to ensure safety.
Pigeon meat is used in Chinese, French, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Because of its size, pigeons require only quick-cooking compared to other poultry, and it can be prepared in many different ways. You can stuff its meat and roast it in herbs and spices alongside oven-cooked pears and hearty vegetables. It can also be grilled and seared with lesser time to cook than other poultry meats.
Never over-cook the pigeon as it will dry out. It is okay if served pink. If you cut the breasts from the whole bird, use the rest of the carcass to make a game stock.
Pigeon is a small bird but represents the best of sustainable, locally sourced meat. It is an excellent source of satisfying protein and has a rich store of beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins and Minerals:
Vitamin A: It is essential for healthy vision, the immune system, and reproduction.
Vitamin C: It is necessary for the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues.
Calcium: To build and maintain strong bones.
Iron: Helps to preserve many vital functions in the body.