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ThunderOrb1938 karma

I've had thief pouters since 2012, but I've had pigeons in general for over 20 years.

As for how I got started: When I was a little kid, one of my grandmas raised a lot of exotic game birds. She was well-known enough that people would come to her and pay her just to hatch eggs for them because she had a huge industrial incubator. When she passed away, she specifically left some of her birds in her will to me. Because of this, I'd always been in love with and fascinated by birds of all types.

One day, when I was around 8-9 years old, my grandpa on the other side bought some pigeons to use to train his bird dogs. Considering how much I loved other birds, it's no surprise that I instantly fell in love with the silly little dudes and told him that he had to give me some.

He gave me about half of the ones he bought and then took me to meet a guy he knew that raised all sorts of different breeds. He let me pick out a pair to truly call my own. After that, I was hooked. I've never gone a moment in my life without them since.

I still enjoy pheasants, chickens, ducks, etc.; but pigeons are my true passion now.

I'll try to get a few pics later tonight if I remember. I don't really go around taking pictures of where they live since the focus is on them. :-)

ThunderOrb1905 karma

It can depend a lot on the style of the pigeon doing the seducing. Some are better than others. Some birds get way too aggressive in their excitement and start pecking at their prospective mate. This can scare them off.

If a cock or hen is super receptive, they will start dancing back. They spread their tail and jump/run at the other pigeon while nodding.

If they aren't into it at all, they will either run/fly away or try to fight the pigeon off.

If they are being coy and trying to decide if they are interested or not, they may do some little half-hearted pecks that usually don't even make contact. Kind of like a person playfully slapping your arm while smiling and saying, "Stop it," when they don't really mean it.

ThunderOrb1895 karma

Here is someone else's video on YT.

How it usually works is: Your pigeon flies off and finds another pigeon. Your pigeon then seduces this other pigeon and tries to lure it back to your loft. If your pigeon is successful in luring the other one to the entrance of your loft, you drop a trap door that prevents the lured pigeon from escaping.

You can see the person's own pigeon coming in and out of the loft like, "Hey, it's great in here. Come get some good sex." The other one finally lands on the doorway and BOOM! caught.

ThunderOrb1001 karma

pigeon grabbing and flying off with another pigeon in its claws

Like this?

There are several reasons that pigeons are my favorite bird. Aside from their intelligence, which I touched on in another comment, some other reasons are:

They genuinely love to fly. They play in the air. They fly in huge circles together just to say, "Fuck the ground, this is awesome." Most birds you see flying are just going from point A to B. I'm sure you've heard the expression, "Such and such miles as the crow flies."

Pigeons don't do that. While, yes, they will obviously go from one location to another, that's not their only reason for flying. They just absolutely love to do it. They will push through a strong wind just to "let go" and let the wind carry them off at high speed only to turn around and do it again. They will do little tricks in the air like flapping their wings wildly while they zigzag. They will clap their wings and show off when they see their mate or just feel like being a bad-ass. They will stop flapping and just lazily drift towards the ground just to fly back up and do it all over again. Some will even go up so high they are just pinpoints and then dive as fast as they can towards the ground only to pull up at the last second.

They love it so much that some breeds have been bred to fly for like 16 hours nonstop just flying around their loft.

To me, that is what it means to be alive. To be so carefree and happy that you can expend energy just enjoying yourself instead of only fighting to survive. Not many animals do the same.

Then there's also their personalities. I enjoy my chickens and pheasants, sure, but they are so damn aggressive. Cocks killing each other over their desire to mate. Others killing each other because they've seen a little blood and exploit the wound for food. Needing plenty of space just so they don't pluck each other out of boredom and stress.

These are things you rarely hear about in pigeons. Yes, if you keep them overcrowded, they will kill babies. Because they want to have locations to raise their own babies. But if they are given the things they need, they are happy being peaceful.

Their social dynamics can be so much more advanced, too. They can have best friends that aren't their mate who they prefer to fly and forage with. They can form nesting friendships where two or more cocks will band together to protect one's nest from a would-be usurper. Heck, they can even be gay and a pair of gay cocks often make better parents than a cock/hen pair.

I don't know. There's just something about them.

ThunderOrb971 karma

It can be kind of hard to explain to people outside the hobby, but essentially: Thief pouters are uber seductive and have this drive and skill to "turn on" other pigeons. Think of a peacock with his train or those cool videos of birds with wild plumage dancing around and singing.

Thieves are bred to exude so much confidence and sexiness that they are hard to resist. They are so good at their jobs that even hens can lure in other hens. Some hens can even be hard to tell from cocks until they lay eggs because they've got so much drive that they will act exactly like a cock.

In human terms, thieves are "Sexiest Man/Woman of the Year".

So they convince these other pigeons that, "Hey, this place I live is awesome. Because I live there. If you move in, you get to spend all of your time with me and you know it's worth it."

Edit: And of course, if the pigeon belongs to someone else and you keep it, that's stealing. It could also be stealing in the sense that these pigeons they bring home aren't necessarily mate-less. Thieves can cause a lot of infidelity!