Sadly pigeons have quite a bad reputation for being dirty and carrying diseases. While this may be true with some it is not true with others. If you care for and look after your own birds they can be kept clean and make great companions. Because of their homing instincts pigeons can be released for exercise yet still make their way home each day. Humans have been looking after pigeons for over 10,000 years in almost all parts of the world. Remember that pigeons are social animals and they would prefer to be with others and not kept alone.
The first step is shelter and just like other birds it is the type of bird that defines the type of shelter required. You can buy premade pigeon shelters but also you can make your own. If you make your own then you can always add on custom made features that you feel are important to your pigeon’s life and wellbeing. You have to make sure of course that cages are kept out of reach from predators especially any pets you may have. The more you make the shelter feel like home the more likely they are to return back each night.
You need to make sure that the pigeons are fed regularly and provided with the correct food. General commercial bird mixes do very well however if you wish to use your pigeon for a certain purpose then a strong nutritional diet can help boost their flying and show performance.
Flying birds will require more fat and foods that are high in carbohydrates so they can fly at their maximum potential. Pigeons that are raising young on the other hand will quire food that is high in protein. Generally speaking if you wish to feed pigeons from your own supply then rice, barley and peas can work.
Make sure there is fresh water that is changed daily. Pigeons drink using a suction method so they need to be able to stand over the container.
If you have looked after the pigeon well and you feel confident enough then you can let your bird fly. Hopefully it will recognise this base as their home and will return each time. Remember to leave the room where the cage is stored open so pigeons are able to return at any time. For the pigeon return should require no effort from yourself, the keeper. They should be able to leave and enter without any additional help.
Remember of course to provide regular maintenance to the cage. It will require cleaning thoroughly every once in a while. You can try using newspaper on the bed of the cage.This should make cleaning a lot easier. Keeping pigeons can lead to an illness known as pigeon fancier's lung extrinsic allergic reaction resembling asthma. This is when you are in close contact with pigeons over the length of a few years and it is picked up from the bird’s feathers. Maintaining a clean environment is therefore very important.