From a hobby to a profession

M. Sivaramakrishna rears pigeons brought from many countries

May 21, 2013 12:29 pm | Updated 12:29 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA:

EXOTIC BIRDS: A pair of King pigeons at the breeding centre owned by M. Sivaramakrishna at Enikepadu in Vijayawada. Photo: V. Raju

EXOTIC BIRDS: A pair of King pigeons at the breeding centre owned by M. Sivaramakrishna at Enikepadu in Vijayawada. Photo: V. Raju

For a change M. Sivaramakrishna, a resident of Enikepadu, proved the adage “Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your head,” wrong. His numbers are in place and his arithmetic is right, thanks to the 15-odd varieties of pigeons that he breeds as part of his hobby-turned profession.

Rearing pigeons had been a family tradition, but he never saw it as a profession, said Sivaramakrishna. “Five years ago I realised that it can be a profession,” he added. Different varieties of pigeons breed in the nest atop his modest home including a few exotic ones imported from the United States, France and Germany.

Apart from the Indian fantail pigeon, he proudly exhibits the rare ones like King Pigeon from Germany, Mondain from France, Norwich Cropper from Netherlands, Jacobin from the US, English Carrier and Magpie Pouter.

A pair of French Mondain could cost about Rs.1 lakh, King Pigeon could range between Rs.80,000 and a lakh, Jacobins cost about Rs.50,000 and Magpie Pouter between Rs.20,000 and Rs.25,000. “Price depends on what one can afford. There are people who prefer to buy the King or the English Carrier. The English Carrier has a legacy, as they were the carriers of secret messages during war times,” he observed.

Pigeon breeders

He imports a pair or two from noted pigeon breeders and breeds them in his facility. The pigeons have three to four breeding cycles in a year and it takes about 18 days to hatch and about two months to grow. At times, he even experiments with birds of different colours from the same range for new mutations. He has a combination of King Pigeon of white and brown colours. The life span of a pigeon may range from 20 years to 25 years and it depends on the upkeep. The pigeons need a very clean environment and their nest should be kept free from foreign insects such as mosquitoes and houseflies, as they are prone to viruses and contagious diseases. The nest needs to be disinfected very often, he points out .

They should also be given high-protein feed combining an assortment of at least 25 different kinds of seeds and minerals and good quality of liquid supplements. He spends at least Rs.30,000 per month on feed alone, said Mr. Sivaramakrishna. He has a client list spread across the length and breadth of the country.

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