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Pigeon Keeping Business in Kazakhstan

Tuesday 16 October 2018

KAZALY (KazInform) — A pigeon fair was held in Kazalinsk district of Kyzylorda region. Pigeon breeders from the cities of Almaty, Taraz, Turkestan, Aktobe, Shalkar, Baikonur, Aktobe, Aralsk and other corners of Kazakhstan brought their pigeons to the fair.

“There are many people who are involved in pigeon breeding. My father loves pigeon breeding and he was a huge influence. I think I like pigeons mainly because of him. Pigeons are very sensitive and they have good memory. They can be of different colours”, said one of the participants of the fair. Can pigeon keeping become a big business in Kazakhstan?

Participants of the fair admit that such events are mainly held in big cities. This is the first pigeon fair organized in Kazaly. The goal of the fair is to establish contacts between pigeon breeders and make pigeon breeding a big business in Kazakhstan. One of the organizers Yerlan Yerekenov claimed one of the pigeons was sold for KZT180,000 ($490) at the fair.

There are three major recognized groups of breeds of domesticated pigeons:

  • Flying/Sporting
  • Fancy
  • Utility

Flying/Sporting pigeons are kept and bred for their aerial performance and for reproduction. Racing homers are a type of homing pigeon, trained to participate in the sport of pigeon racing, and have been used to carry messages during times of war. In US, such races often have large cash prizes of up to $1 mln as the Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race. Fanciers who fly racing pigeons sometimes win long-distance races and even break records.

Fancy pigeons are pigeons which are specially bred to perpetuate particular features. Their owners compete them against each other at exhibitions or pigeon shows and judges decide who has the best by comparing them to each other and their respective breed standard.

Utility pigeons are bred for their meat and as replacement breeding stock. Since their initial domestication by people, pigeons have been seen as a cheap source of good meat. The Romans certainly kept pigeons for food as evidenced by the fact that they were familiar with the practice of force feeding squabs in order to fatten the young pigeons faster. Pigeons were especially prized because they would produce fresh meat during the winter months when larger animals were unavailable as a food source. In the past wealthy landowners often had pigeon houses and kept pigeons. Strict laws were enacted to protect the inhabitants of these structures.

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