Click here to Download Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book by Carl Dare English having PDF Size 2 MB and No of Pages 53.
In first considering squab breeding the beginner always asks, “Will It Pay Me to Raise Squabs?” It is well to consider this phase of any business before making very much of an investment. The squab business is comparatively new in this country although it has already reached such proportions that there can not be any doubt but it is the most profitable and pleasant business in which any one may engage.
Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book by Carl Dare
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Under the methods outlined in this book there is no chance for a conscientious worker to fail. This country is filled with plants large and small and I have yet to find a plant that is not paying a handsome profit unless there be something wrong with the stock or methods employed. I have visited the great squab plants of California where thousands upon thousands of birds are left.
To fly at will and nest in open boxes protected only from the sun, and here I find that the squabs are paying a fine return on the investment and thousands of tourists visit these large plants annually and pay an admission fee of fifty cents each so that the revenue from this source is considerable.
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I have visited also the great squab district in South Jersey where the squabs are produced for the large cities of the East; the plants also in Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, and I find that on the best equipped and best paying plants the methods employed are practically identical with those outlined in this book.
The fact that experienced breeders in such widely separated sections of the country have adopted almost identical methods is certainly proof that we have the right idea and that the advice we give here to the beginner will be well worth while. The largest plants in the country are in the far East and far West as indicated, but I believe there is no one other state that has so many up-to-date plants as the state of Iowa.
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You will find a paying squab farm in nearly every city of this state, and in some of them there are two or three large and up-to-date, well equipped plants. In one little town in the northern part of the state there is a plant where over fifteen thousand breeders are kept right along. The proprietor of this plant has told me that when he began with a few pairs of Homers of indiscriminate breeding.
He had hardly enough funds to pay for the birds and their feed for the first few months. He now owns the large plant of several thousand birds of the purest stock with suitable buildings, and a beautiful home and drives an up-to-date seven passenger auto-mobile. His son and daughter are both attending a university in the East and every cent of his money has been made with pigeons.
If his were the only case of such kind there would still be proof enough of the profits in the squab business to justify careful consideration by anyone, but I personally know of thousands of others who have made a success, some of them on a larger scale, and there can no longer be any doubt of the opportunity of making money in this business. Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book
The breeding habits of pigeons are peculiar. When a male has selected the female he desires for his mate, there follows a course of true love-making in which the male struts around his favorite, coos to her and evidently tries to show her what a grand bird he is. The female, if attracted by her wooer, becomes friendly with him and the two “bill” each other very much as if they were exchanging kisses.
The two then select a nesting place and build a nest therein and the cock bird becomes very anxious for the hen to begin laying. If she does not promptly attend to her duties, he will drive her about the loft, talking angrily to her and striking her with his wings. Finally the hen takes to her nest and deposits an egg.
Then she misses a day and deposits a second egg, this usually being all that are laid at one time. As soon as the first egg is laid, brooding begins. The hen occupies the nest from about four in the afternoon until ten the next forenoon. The cock then sits while his mate eats and rests. Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book
In this order the brooding goes on and at the end of about seventeen days the first laid egg hatches, and in due course the last one hatches if no accidents have happened to it. In this way it happens that one of the young birds is two days older than the other and almost invariably the first hatched is a male, the latter one being a female.
The old birds now begin to feed the young, and they grow marvelously. They are kept stuffed full of “pigeon milk” and on this they seem to grow while one watches them. In a few days the hen is ready to lay again, and if there is a spare nest box the pair makes another nest and the hen lays two eggs.
After which the couple are kept very busy brooding one pair of eggs and at the same time feeding a pair of rapidly growing squabs. When the squabs are about four weeks old they are heavier than they ever will be again in their lives, as they have reached full size and are very fat. It is at this time that they are taken from the nest and sent to the market. Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book
If not taken from the nest about this time, the old birds, desiring to start with another pair of eggs, turn the squabs out and they fall on the floor of the loft so fat they can hardly get about. Here they become lean while learning to eat for themselves, and soon become sleek and trim, instead of being unwieldy with fat.
This doubling up with families shows the necessity of providing at least two nest boxes for each pair of pigeons in a loft. It is even better to have more than two nests for each pair, as this gives them some liberty of choice and often saves quarreling between two couples. As pigeons mate for life, it is very important that only mated and married pairs are kept together.
If an odd cock or an odd hen is left in a loft, there are family troubles without end; and the quarrels which arise from this cause result in broken eggs and squabs killed in the fights. It sometimes happens that a pair will not produce young. This is usually because the hen is barren. In such a case the hen should be disposed of and a new mate for the cock furnished. Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book
It is best to shut the two in a box with a wire partition between the two until they become acquainted with each other, after which they will usually mate, although they do not invariably do so. When we say the light color in flesh of a squab denotes that it will produce light-fleshed squabs, it is to be understood that this will be the case if the parents are properly fed according to directions given in a previous chapter.
Pigeons which are kept confined and properly fed always produce more and better squabs than those allowed to run at large. Having selected the squabs which are to be retained for breeding purposes, band them at once. Open pigeon bands can be bought at about a cent each. The best plan is to band the cocks right leg and the hens on the left, using consecutive numbers for each pair.
Thus, 111 might be a cock and 112 hen. In making matings, the owner would know at once that these two were not to be allowed to mate together, as they would be brother and sister. If, in any case, nest mates show inclination to mate together, they should be shut away from each other, and forced to mate with non-related birds. Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book
A forced mating is made by using a mating pen. This is a cage with two compartments in it, separated by a wire screen, such as two-inch mesh poultry netting. Put the cock in one side and the hen with which you want him to mate in another, and leave them in the pen until they are acquainted with each other.
Then shut them in the same compartment and usually they will mate up with each other all right. Squabs which are to be kept for breeding should be taken away from the older birds as soon as they have learned to eat for themselves. Feed them well all the time, and at the age of about six months they will begin to mate and then require regular attention, as they should be kept under close supervision at this time.
As soon as a male bird is seen “driving” a female, both should be caught and their bands examined. If they are nest mates they should be separated as recommended in the beginning of this chapter and forced to mate with other birds. It will only be necessary to remove the cock bird, substituting another cock in his place. Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book Download
If the cock and the hen he is driving are not nest mates, their band numbers should be recorded in a book kept for this purpose. Such a record gives the owner an opportunity to keep account of the number of squabs a given pair produces and to pick squabs for breeding in the future, knowing what the parents have done.
The record should give the number of the cock and hen and a brief description of each. The following form is recommended: Cock 111—Red Check, Hen 222—Blue Bar. Each pair should have a space in which to keep account with it. After the number and description may be a ruled space in which to keep account of the number of squabs the pair produces month after month.
If they regularly produce and raise two squabs of good size and light color, they are valuable as the parents of breeding stock and should be kept. If a pair does not produce squabs, the chances are then the hen is barren and she would be sold for what she will bring in the market and the cock mated with another bird. Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book Download
If the eggs are infertile, the trouble is likely with the cock and the matings should be broken and two birds tried again. If the eggs still are infertile, the cock should be sold in the market. Usually there are more cocks than hens in a given lot of squabs and it is easier to give a hen which lays infertile eggs a new mate and sell the cock without experimenting further.
Barren hens and impotent cocks are not common in well bred birds, and very little trouble may be anticipated from such causes. If the lofts are kept clean, the feed supplied is sound and sweet, the water pure and the feeding regular, the birds themselves will not often be troubled with diseases of any kind.
However, with all possible care, diseases will appear at times, and it is well to know what to do to prevent them from spreading and causing serious loss. Epidemic diseases will never appear in a flock which has been properly cared for, unless they are brought in through putting newly purchased birds among the healthy ones. Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book Download
It is just as well to use caution when introducing new birds even if there is not the least suspicion that they are not perfectly healthy. When new stock is bought it should be kept by itself for a week to determine if it is free from disease. Not once in a hundred times will birds bought of a reliable breeder be found unhealthy, but prevention is better than cure any time, so precautions should be taken.
In such cases it is much better to be over cautious than to have losses occur through lack of precaution. Canker is a disease of the same nature as diphtheria in human beings. It appears occasionally in lofts where it never before has been found, and seems to be contracted from germs which float in the air.
It often attacks the birds in one nest and not the one next to it, although if it is not taken in hand it will soon spread to all the birds in the loft. It no doubt comes from a cold very often and for that reason birds which show symptoms of having caught cold should be carefully watched. The first appearance of this disease shows in little yellowish white blisters on the lining or mucous membrane of the mouth and throat. Profitable Squab Breeding PDF Book Free
These rapidly increase in size and spread to other parts of the throat and form a cheesy growth until they show outside around the mouth, and the bird chokes to death. When canker appears in a squab only and the parent bird shows no sign of it, the best thing to do is to kill the squab, disinfect the loft and stay the disease in this way.
It may be cured by using a little patience, unless it has gone too far before it is discovered. Remove the sick bird from the loft and keep it in some place not adjacent to the pigeon house. Take a small sharp splinter of wood, such as sharpened match, and scrape the cankers off, doing this as gently as possible. This will leave a raw red spot, which should be gently swabbed with a solution of peroxide of hydrogen and water, half and half.