Pets & Animal Pets Birds

How to Raise Squabs

    • 1). Decide how many and what kind of squab you think you can handle. If you don't know, start by purchasing 2 or 3 pairs already mated, one of each sex per pair, between 6 months and 1 year of age. Among the best tasting and most suitable for breeding are Homer, Swiss Mondaine, Carneaux, and King Squab.

    • 2). Build a coop that is as predator safe as possible. This means a tight mesh-wire coop with a top of mesh wire. The main predators of squab are hawks, cats, mice, and rats.

    • 3). Make sure to plan your coop with an allowance of 4 square feet of floor space for each set of breeders, who mate for life. The coop itself should have a concrete floor (another way of keeping out predators), an aluminum overhang to keep the it from getting too hot, and some type of heating system to use in the winter.

    • 4). Give your squabs plenty of fresh, clean water daily. Use food specified for pigeons--not chickens--or you will find yourself with tasteless squab. It pays to invest in a high-quality feed if you are serious about eating and selling squab.

    • 5). Make nesting areas for each of your breeders. Use two crates for each pair. Fill the crates with pine needles, hay, or straw. Keep extra materials in an open container in the coop for the squabs to make their own nests. You can purchase pre-made nests from pigeon supply shops.

    • 6). Set up a birdbath for the birds and change the water daily. Cleanliness is very important to raising squabs. You should clean the coop daily and check for areas that need repair. Make any repairs immediately.

    • 7). Get to know an aviary veterinarian. Have him check your birds a few times a year and when you notice anything out of the ordinary. Squabs are easy to care for, and given clean coops, good food, and fresh water, they will be ready for harvesting at the age of 24 to 28 days, weighing from 15 to 24 ounces.

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