Raising Squab and Raising Guinea Fowl

In this excerpt from "Practical Animal Husbandry," Jack Widmer explains practices and procedures for raising squab and raising guinea fowl.

| July/August 1973

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    A pair of squab at 24 days of age
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    This pigeon loft and screened flyway makes an ideal manner in which to producesquabs. A loft 12 X 12 feet, with a flyway the same size will house 30 pair ofpigeons
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    An ideal double nesting box for pigeons. Note the landing platformbetween the two nests. Each pair of pigeons should be supplied with oneof these double nests and each nest should be at least 2 feet square.Solid floors should be provided and ample short straw available so thatthe birds may construct their own laying nests.
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    White guineas are becoming increasingly popularin the Western States.
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    A flock of Pearl Guineas in a pear orchard. Guineas do very well if not held in close confinement and will not venture too far distant from their home.

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The following is an excerpt from "Practical Animal Husbandry" by Jack Widmer, published in 1949 by Charles Scribner's Sons and reprinted with their permission.

Squab Production

The production of squab is practically no trick at all. Pigeons are not subject to the diseases that make turkey raising somewhat hazardous, they do not require the mixing of feeds, and once mated they will be productive for at least five years. The adult members of the loft feed their own young and take excellent care of them, thus eliminating the need for incubators or brooders. They produce squab that are ready for the table at one month of age, and will do this at a very reasonable figure. They cause little worry to the producer and are very clean when provided with bathing water daily and are amusing birds to have on the farm.

Pigeons require very little space . . . a 12' X 12' shed together with a 12' X 12' flyway will house 30 pairs and each couple will produce from 12 to 16 squabs annually and will do this on less than 90 pounds of feed per twosome. Then too, pigeons will produce the year around thus making it unnecessary to kill, dress, and store a number of birds at one time as is the case with chicken friers, turkeys, ducks, and geese. Yet squab are very adaptable to deepfreeze storage and will keep almost indefinitely at zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Suitable Breeds for Squab Production

There are a vast number of breeds of pigeons, many of which are suitable for the production of squabs. Of them all the King breed together with the Carneau are the most popular and are the most extensively used by commercial producers. The King is a prolific, full-breasted bird, does very well in confined quarters, and produces the largest of squabs ranging in weight from 16 to 24 ounces at 25 to 30 days of age. The Carneau, a French breed, is also very prolific . . . however, their squabs are usually smaller than the King.

The remaining breeds that have been used as meat pigeons are the French Mondain, Homer, and Swiss Mondain. Choice of breed will therefore depend on the personal taste of the squab raiser and on the breeds that are available in any given community. Though pairs of pigeons may be shipped long distances, the beginner might find it advisable to purchase breeding stock close to home so as to overcome some of the handicaps of selection.

Breeding Stock

Throughout this work we have continually stressed the the importance of dealing with reputable breeders when purchasing foundation stock, and although this is of importance in the purchase of other members of the barnyard kingdom, it is absolutely imperative in the selection of pigeons. If this is not done, success of squab raising is very doubtful for it is most difficult to determine either the age or sex of pigeons and the uninitiated can very easily wind up with a number of old birch and most of them males. Therefore, pigeons must never be purchased except from breeders who are willing to guarantee both the sex and age of the birds.

12/16/2014 10:32:37 AM

I love http://www.roysfarm.com/pigeon-farming/. Also planning for having some guinea fowl. Thanks for the info!



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