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Controlled feeding of pigeons is active population regulation


Highlights: Controlled feeding of pigeons is active population regulation. As of: March 2, 2024, 4:00 p.m By: Sophie-Isabel Gunderlach CommentsPressSplit Regular patients for the Memmingen city pigeon team are pigeon chicks that can no longer be cared for by their parents and have fallen out of their nests in search of food. They are raised by hand. Sarah Riester: The association was founded because nothing has happened in the last few years in terms of pigeon management.

As of: March 2, 2024, 4:00 p.m

By: Sophie-Isabel Gunderlach




Regular patients for the Memmingen city pigeon team are pigeon chicks that can no longer be cared for by their parents and have fallen out of their nests in search of food.

They are raised by hand.

© private

The Stadttauben Memmingen eV association has existed since autumn 2023. It was founded by Sarah Riester and six other animal lovers.

Memmingen -

In an interview with the Memminger KURIER, Riester explains how the club was founded, what makes pigeons special and why treating them in a species-appropriate manner is easy on the wallet.

Ms. Riester, why did you decide to found the Stadttauben Memmingen association?

Sarah Riester:

The association was founded because nothing has happened in the last few years in terms of pigeon management in the city of Memmingen.

The comprehensive feeding ban was issued in 2019.

But such a ban is only effective if there are supervised pigeon lofts.

Otherwise it's targeted starvation.

In August and September 2023, there were an increasing number of dead, starving pigeons in the city area.

One body still weighed 173 grams. An adult city pigeon should weigh between 320 and 380 grams.

This situation gave me the thought in a kind of short-circuit reaction: “If no one does anything, I’ll do it myself.” I quickly found “allies”, for example in my circle of friends or via social media.

This is how the club came into being with today 15 members.

How did you acquire knowledge about pigeons?

On the one hand, I did a lot of my own research, especially on the Internet.

On the other hand, there are now pigeon protection associations and private pigeon farmers all over Germany from whom you can get information and exchange ideas.

Veterinarians, on the other hand, are not always contact persons.

It must be a veterinarian who knows about birds.

Unfortunately there is none in Memmingen and the surrounding area.

If we need veterinary advice, we have to drive to Lindau or Landsberg.

But do you primarily care about the animals?

We foster most of the pigeons ourselves.

We have had to take three animals to the vet so far.

We were able to save the life of one with two emergency operations, the other two were so emaciated that unfortunately any help came too late.

If I see an injured pigeon in Memmingen, what should I do?

Please grab it boldly and take it with you, no matter how.

A pigeon that doesn't move when you approach it is essentially at the end of its tether.

Quick intervention is also necessary if you see that the animal is bleeding.

Pigeons only have a few milliliters of blood.

If you don't take care of them in such a case, they will die.

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Do I have to be afraid of pathogens or that the animal will bite me?

No, I don't have to.

The animals don't riot.

And the myth of pigeons as “rats of the air” is false.

Pigeons have no diseases or parasites that make them an acute danger to humans.

So please don't be afraid, nothing can happen to you.

In an emergency, please take the pigeon with you, for example in a cloth bag, put it somewhere warm and inform us.

We will provide further tips and ensure that someone from our team picks up the animal for further care.

How is your club financed?

The association is financed on the one hand through membership fees.

Membership costs at least 45 euros per year.

On the other hand, we finance ourselves through donations.

As a registered and recognized non-profit organization, we are also allowed to issue donation receipts.

In addition to active animal rescue, do you have other tasks that you tackle as a club?

We advise companies from Memmingen and the Lower Allgäu when they ask us for support with a “pigeon problem”.

For example, we had cases where employees picked up several flightless animals that had fallen out of the nest in the parking lot.

If we are asked for help, we will look at the situation on site or have pictures sent to us.

In the next step, we make an estimate of how many animals there are on the site.

Then we use the “Augsburg model” and advise the companies, show the advantages of a supervised field and give tips on where it could be.

What is the “Augsburg Model”?

The “Augsburg Model” is a pigeon management concept developed in Augsburg in the 1990s, which relies on animal welfare-friendly control of births and thus the pigeon population.

The basic idea is to replace the animals' eggs with dummies.

To do this, pigeon lofts and supervised feeding are used.

For example, pigeon houses can be in an attic or in an old trailer.

The animals can easily get in and find species-appropriate food and plenty of clean drinking water.

This means that their droppings are not liquid and acidic, but solid and 90 percent of them stay in the dovecote.

This means it can be easily disposed of without polluting the city.

So the “problem” of pigeon droppings, a nuisance for many, could be curbed?

If the animals are cared for and fed appropriately, yes.

What we all know and runs down the facades is a permanent diarrhea, the so-called hunger poop.

It's like with humans - if we don't eat properly, we get sick.

What is species-appropriate feeding for a pigeon?

Pigeons are pure grain eaters.

They also like to eat legumes and soybeans.

Bread or oatmeal, on the other hand, makes pigeons sick.

Many people don't know this either, but controlled feeding of pigeons, even outside of a supervised loft, is also active population regulation.

How come?

Pigeons – and for me this makes the way we deal with them today even more questionable – are animals domesticated by humans.

They are loyal animals (it is precisely this loyalty that has made pigeons so useful for many centuries).

Pairs of pigeons, for example, stay together throughout their lives.

Humans have bred them for use and for their meat and eggs.

When they were pushed out by other animals, humans, to put it bluntly, threw them onto the street and left them to fend for themselves.

One consequence of this domestication is that pigeons breed all year round.

Pigeons that are looked after and fed appropriately breed around two to three times in twelve months.

Pigeons that have to look for food every day and are exposed to total stress, for example between human legs, and yet cannot find species-appropriate food, have increased breeding behavior.

They breed about six to eight times a year.

The number of chicks remains the same, there are always two.

Back to your consultations with the companies and the supervised dovecote.

As many advantages as it could bring, a supervised loft surely costs a lot of money?

There are costs, that's true.

But if you compare the one-off costs and the feed costs incurred with what it costs to clean the building facades, the hit is worth it.

How much does a dovecote cost?

That depends on the size.

For each pair of pigeons, as already mentioned, the animals are loyal to each other for life, you need a nesting place as well as food and water area.

That's 0.3 or 0.4 square meters per pigeon.

That's why I can't give an exact number.

Does your advice cost the company anything?

No, our advice does not cost the companies anything.

Our most important concern is to reduce the suffering of animals as much as possible.

How many companies have you already advised?

We have advised three companies so far.

Two would like to set up a supervised dovecote.

The owner of the third company wants to shoot all the animals.

In this case, all we could do was report it to the veterinary office.

We also advise private individuals, more than 20 households since October 2023.

Is the city of Memmingen open to your ideas?

In the past, see the example of the 2019 feeding ban, it was not.

We recently had a good conversation with our new mayor Jan Rothenbacher and the third mayor Dr.

Hans Martin Steiger.

Both are interested in supervised pigeon lofts in the city area.

The building authority is currently examining which buildings could be considered.

The question of financing remains open.

We as a club can take care of the lofts, but not the costs of construction.

Nevertheless, I am optimistic that we will be able to implement the first supervised pigeon loft in the city in 2024 and that we will finally find an animal welfare-friendly solution for the city pigeons in Memmingen without animal suffering.

It is important to us that the pigeons are doing well, but we also don't want them to become larger.

This is only possible with supervised blows so that the eggs can be exchanged.

Ms. Riester, thank you very much for the interview.

City pigeons Memmingen eV

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Source: merkur

All news articles on 2024-03-02

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