The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the January meeting of the Society at 8.10pm welcoming the 43 members and visitors in attendance.
Tonight’s presentation was a panel discussing “Doves and Pigeons”. The panel featured 4 speakers, Joe Bolyos, Ken Moore, Kevin Ray, and Tom Hobbs. The moderator was Chris Farrell.
Each of the panel members started off by naming the types of doves and pigeons that they had kept over the years. A large range of birds were listed including: Masked, Diamond, Peaceful, the Bronzewings, Squatter, Wonga, Talpacoti, Bleeding Heart, Ruddy Turtledoves, Spinifex, Barbary Dove, and many others.
Many aspects of the keeping of these birds were discussed including their Housing, Feeding, Breeding, and General keeping.
Generally it was agreed that housing these birds in a single pair is preferable in a smaller aviary, although in larger aviaries were there can be at least two feed stations and two drinking containers multiple pairs of the same species could be maintained. This would avoid aggression as there would be less chance of territorial issues over food and water.
When asked about the use of an incubator and hand-rearing of young the panel felt that the difficulty in providing “Pigeon Milk” made it too difficult to raise chicks in this way. Fostering was a method used for “tricky” parents who showed poor habits in rearing their own young.
Advice for beginners was to look for the less aggressive birds. To always keep the species you most liked and to avoid keeping birds for monetary value. Species suggested were: Masked (quiet, not aggressive and don’t tend to crash around the aviary), Talpacoti, White Breasted Ground Doves, Peaceful and Diamond. Although the warning was given that the Peaceful and Diamond can be aggressive to their own species, so need room if kept in colonies.
It was also agreed that aviaries could be planted or not. Some doves such as the Squatter Pigeon were described as rarely flapping around the aviary while many Pigeons and Doves do. It was mentioned that the Squatter’s also were in the habit of flying from roost to ground to roost, as opposed from roost to roost. Green-winged Pigeons can become quite tame once settled in to their aviary.
A variety of food were supplied including seed, (many of the species consume all of the seed, not leaving any husks), corn, peas, normal pigeon mix, etc. Bleeding Hearts in particular like mealworms and fly pupae. Fruit Doves can be very labour intensive. It was commented that they would take no name brand mixed fruit from tins, frozen peas, corn and blueberries. Also dried currants.
It was commented that they were all good to breed, but required a little more effort to make sure you got their needs worked out. The necessity of researching their needs in the wild and how they fitted in the social group in your aviary to ensure that their requirements were met.
All agreed that they loved sand, preferably high in minerals, for fossicking, bathing, and social mannerisms. A rock or two they could perch on would also be utilised.
Chris Farrell thanked the panel for their contribution and commented on the number of questions and interest from the audience.
1. Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize was won by Linda Florey, a Plate supplied by Colin Wilkins and the Lucky Name Badge Prize was won by Graham Mitchell, a small Finch box donated by Mick Harrison. The Raffle winners for the evening were: Graham Mitchell won the seed supplied by Dandenong Stock Feeders, Ken Weeks won the Hopper from Mick Harrison. Roland Weeks won a nest box donated by Joe Bolyos. John Pope won some honey donated by Marie De Limo.
2. New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending. He commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA and not to hesitate to ask questions.
3. Next Month’s Program: (CF) Steve Marven – Keeping and Breeding Bourke’s, Turks, and Scarlets.
4. Lost and Found: (TH) As per last Month
5. Service Items: (JP) at side of hall with John.
- Mario Gatt was expected to receive his 50th year membership presentation but was unavailable.
- All wire bird cages at Expos are to be discussed at the next VAC meeting.
- A large amount of grey sunflower seed being sold is currently being imported into Australia.
- The Ballarat Branch is looking for Expressions of Interest to attend an evening with Peter Odekerken.
- Boxes of Blackberries (Human Grade) were available free at the back bench.
Meeting closed at 9.25pm and members enjoyed a chat over supper.