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Health Books


Orange Pigeon Book - NEW RELEASE!

This newly released book details each stage of the pigeon calendar from breeding, young bird care, the moult, pre-race and race season health. A practical go-to guide for every pigeon fancier, this full colour guide is available when you place your next order.    


Pigeon Health Book


This book is now OUT OF PRINT. Clients may access information from this book in the Clients Only section.


Dr Marshall's book "Pigeon Health" is 160 pages long and has been designed to empower pigeon fanciers with the knowledge required to develop and maintain a winning race team. It includes a comprehensive chapter on the practical components of pigeon racing as well as detailed information on all other stages of the pigeon calendar. Pigeon diseases have been discussed and appropriate treatment strategies are clearly outlined for each disease.




Squab Health Book


Although specifically written for squab pigeon care, this book is equally successful with backyard poultry.


Squab breeding on a commercial scale began in the United States where the main breeds of pigeons (the King pigeon, the American Red and yellow Carneaux) were originally developed. Nowadays, the American/Canadian Kings, Carneaux and their crosses are widely used for squab breeding throughout the world. The White Canadian King, a breed developed by crossing the modern day Modena pigeon with the American King is ideally suited for the Australian restaurant market and is crossed with a variety of breeds including the Carneaux, American Kings, Homers and Runts. The Canadian Kings produce twelve to fourteen white-skinned, full breasted 350 gram and 500 gram dressed squabs each year when crossed with the above breeds and form the basis of the robust and productive families of squab pigeons in Australia.

The pigeons preferred for squab production combine the show quality features of the purebred varieties with a superior ability to breed throughout the entire year. In most instances, the best squab producers are cross breeds that consistently produce a uniformity and type that satisfy the demands of the marketplace. At times, pure breed varieties of proven breeding abilities can be introduced to these cross-bred families to gain a market advantage.


Australian squab farms are relatively small enterprises housing between 500 and 1500 breeding pairs. They are usually family run and rarely employ outside labor. The best way to run such a small enterprise is to incorporate time saving devices and practical data recording methods.


This book explains the importance of pigeon happiness, sunlight, nest making and good health for breeding and economic success. It also promotes a "drug-free" organic approach to squab farming, a goal achieved when the needs of the pigeons are catered for and there is a strong level of gene based immunity present in the flock. At times, medicines will be required to prevent the illnesses and deaths that will occur as the result of poor management practices. The ideas, suggestions and health programmes in this book can also be applied equally well to fancy pigeons and backyard poultry.


Understanding the need for the breeding pairs to be happy and content is paramount for breeding success. Pigeons are happiest and breed best when they have food, water, access to direct sunshine, regular baths and material to make nests.


The squab farm is made up of adjoining pens holding between twenty and thirty breeding pairs. There are three categories of pen housing which separate the young birds, virgin breeders and established breeders.


The pens are designed according to the climate of the local area, with open pens working best for hot climates and more enclosed pens for colder climates. However, pigeons breed best in dry, warm to hot climates away from the high humidity of the coast. The housing must provide good ventilation, be free of drafts and be protected from rain. Open plan pens are good for pigeon health and also help prevent pigeon lung disease in humans. Local weather conditions and the availability of building materials determine the exact pen constructions and design. Many farmers modify and use existing sheds to house their birds.


Most of the pens are lined with double nests to house the breeding pairs, but there are also pens without nest boxes that are used for weaning and young birds that have been held back as future breeders. The breeding pairs are more comfortable and secure in small units of twenty to thirty pairs per pen. Culling and disease control is also more manageable with this number of breeding pairs per pen. Additional breeders are introduced into the breeding pens only when replacement birds are needed. Otherwise each pen operates in isolation from all other pens.


Water is provided by elevated water tanks that feed by gravity into a variety of covered water vessels that can be placed elevated or on the floor inside or outside each pen. Eight litre vessels are controlled by a float provide the breeding pens with a constant supply of fresh water. An additional smaller tank is used for medications, which provide the entire flock with enough water for water day. As a general rule of thumb, a 200 litre tank supplies 1000 birds with enough water for one day. Water cleansers are needed once a week to clean the water tank and lines of sludge build up.


A combination of four or five grains is given, using a hopper or cafeteria type system. Food can also be given by hand. Fine (2mm-4mm) shell grit and a mineral powder is given continuously in covered containers. Vitamins are administered to the water for one day each week.


The weak are culled from the breeding pen and replaced with stronger birds in a continual selection process aimed to maximise productivity.

Information on Rollers, Tumblers, High Flyers, as well as health and disease prevention.

Information on fancy pigeons and important aspects of show pigeon health.

The common signs of respiratory disease in racing pigeons and checklist.

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