Pigeons rearing: a money making scheme

Phillipa Jaja

A NEW Tafara resident Mr. Gunnel Mhondera has realized a meaningful income from rearing pigeons. Seldom thought of as a money-making initiative, his pigeon rearing project has proved otherwise as it is bearing fruits.

In an interview with this reporter, Mr. Mhondera who grew up grooming the birds said he was realizing marginal profits from the scheme through selling them to locals and members of the Johane Masowe sect aka madzibaba. “I sell a pair for US$6 to the locals. Local buyers prefer them for their meat which is very tender whilst Apostolic sects’ members buy them and their drinking water for speculative reasons. However, they are the major buyers although there is also a market for them amongst the Chinese and the Indians who can usually fork out US$8 a pair,” he said.

He said feeding the pigeons is very easy as they prefer small grains. “Concerning their feeding, I just throw them small grains such as mhunga (millet) and sunflower seeds in the morning after which they will fly away and forage elsewhere till sunset. However, chicken feed is also a good alternative,” he affirmed. He said that they were also the most tameable and undemanding birds as they needed minimum supervision and less money to keep and to kick start the project. He further noted that there were certain conditions for the successful rearing of the birds. The major one being that they had to have adequate housing with enough ventilation. He added that good clean water is a must so is a clean habitat so as to prevent diseases usually associated with the rearing of poultry.

Furthermore, he said the pigeons detest violence in the home maintaining that “they will not stay where there are discordant voices in the home, they will take flight and never come back. They also tend to mirror the condition of an invalid in the household “If the sickness is severe, they will be subdued but if there is improvement, they will be lively and jolly as well,” he said. “Pigeons are one of the most sensitive birds I have ever known,” he concluded.

A Facebook search only revealed one supplier, Tawanda Junior Chindove who is at Jakaranda farm 155 Mashonaland East who sells vaccinated pairs for US$5.

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