Pros and Cons of Feeding Pigeons
You see people feeding pigeons and wonder whether you should also feed those little friends?
Then this article is exactly for you!
In fact, I show you all the pros and cons of feeding doves in the following chapters so that you can better decide if you want to go for it or not.
Table of Contents
Advantages of Feeding Pigeons
- You can get a good feeling from feeding pigeons
- You can help doves to survive in winter
- Feeding doves can be a nice hobby
- Can be great if you need company
- Feeding pigeons can give you a purpose in life
- Animals can have therapeutic effects on humans
- Can help you overcome mental problems
- Good substitute if you can’t have pets
- You can feed doves at many different places
- Feeding doves is a rather cheap hobby
- Dove feeding can be nice for your kids
- Gives you the opportunity to reconnect with nature
- Pigeons will be really thankful for your support
You can get a good feeling from feeding pigeons
One advantage of feeding pigeons is that you can just get a pretty good feeling from it.
Since you think you do something good, you will just feel like you are doing something important and helpful for other living organisms.
In turn, this act of altruism can make you really happy and can also keep you motivated for various other tasks of your daily life.
In fact, many people feel the need to do good for others to stay happy in the long run and this does not mean that you urgently have to do good for humans.
Doing good for animals may work as well and you can surely also get a good feeling by feeding doves.
You can help doves to survive in winter
Especially in winter, pigeons often rely on humans to survive.
While there are some species of doves that will travel to warmer countries, other species will just stay in colder climatic zones and it is vital for those species that they find food somehow during cold periods of the year.
For instance, when it is winter and everything is covered in snow, pigeons will often not find enough food anymore and rely on third parties to provide them with the necessary calories and vitamins to survive.
Hence, while feeding doves in summer may not be a good idea and the downsides may outweigh the upsides, it can still make sense to provide some food for doves during extreme outdoor conditions so that they can stay fit and have enough energy to provide for themselves once it gets warmer outside.
Feeding doves can be a nice hobby
Another upside to feeding doves is that it can also be a pretty nice hobby.
In fact, many people really enjoy feeding those little friends and it is indeed fascinating how many doves will come to you once you unwrap your bread or other food you may take with you.
There are even some dove enthusiasts out there who categorize pigeons and other birds and spend plenty of time on their hobby.
Hence, pigeon feeding can also become a really nice hobby if you are interested in doves and want to learn more about them in general.
Can be great if you need company
Pigeon feeding can also make quite a lot of sense in case you are alone and urgently need some company.
Especially older people often struggle with loneliness since they often have nobody who takes care of them and whom they can talk to.
Pretty often, their loved ones have already passed away and those old people are often left behind and are socially excluded from the rest of society.
Consequently, if you belong to this older generation and often feel lonely, dove feeding may be a good way to go for you since you can get some company and chances are that you will be able to greatly decrease your level of loneliness.
Feeding pigeons can give you a purpose in life
Some people even report that feeding pigeons also gives them a real purpose in life.
In fact, some people just have nothing to live for anymore and just wait until they finally pass away.
They often even don’t have any relatives and friends left and just don’t see any purpose why they should continue to live.
For those people, feeding pigeons and other birds can be great since they can get a true meaning in life and may get back the will to live thanks to the connection with those little bird friends.
Animals can have therapeutic effects on humans
It has also been proven by many studies that animals can have many positive effects on humans.
In fact, doves and other birds can have therapeutic effects and can help you overcome difficult periods in your life.
Thus, if you currently struggle to get your feet back on the ground, you may just go for a pigeon feeding session and free your mind.
After that, you may see your life from a different perspective and may get additional energy to carry on with the difficult tasks that might still lie ahead of you.
Can help you overcome mental problems
Another benefit of pigeon feeding is that it can also help you overcome mental problems.
Sure, this is not only true for feeding pigeons, but also many other animals can have similar effects.
The point is that many people had just been disappointed by other human beings and don’t trust that much in humanity anymore.
Some of them even have developed serious depression and may no longer be willing to interact with other humans.
If you are one of those people who don’t want to put your trust in other human beings, you may still want to have some other company by feeding pigeons.
In the long run, you may also regain your trust in humans and may be able to start over again.
Good substitute if you can’t have pets
Many people also feed pigeons since they just can’t keep pets at home.
Many people are just allergic to cats or dogs or may be confined in space.
In turn, even though they might want to have animals around them, they simply couldn’t provide optimal living conditions for them.
If you are one of those animal-friendly people for whom having pets just don’t make sense right now, chances are that pigeon feeding can be a great substitute since you can interact with animals that way.
Of course, you will not be able to build the same level of relationship with pigeons since they will not remember you and you will not remember them.
Yet, this also implies another important advantage.
If you don’t build strong relationships, you can’t get hurt when it is time to say goodbye as it would be with pets you raise for many years.
If doves pass away, you will not even notice it and therefore also don’t have to worry about it too much.
You can feed doves at many different places
Doves will be around in almost every city. This means that almost everyone will be able to engage in dove feeding.
You often just need to go to the inner city and you will soon find some pigeons waiting for you and your food.
You will also learn pretty quickly where to find your little friends and dove feeding will therefore be available to almost everyone who wants to engage in this exciting hobby.
Feeding doves is a rather cheap hobby
Another advantage of feeding doves is that it is just a pretty cheap hobby.
In fact, you only need to get some birdfeed or other feed that is suitable for pigeons and you will be good to go.
Thus, while many other people may spend lots of money on their hobbies, you can enjoy your time for a rather cheap price by feeding pigeons.
Dove feeding can be nice for your kids
It can not only be pretty nice to feed doves for yourself, but it can also be a nice hobby for your kids.
In fact, kids are often pretty active and try to chase pigeons around.
Hence, if you get some birdfeed, you can attract doves and your children will be able to play with them.
Of course, you should always look after your kids to avoid any accidents and to make sure that also doves don’t get hurt if your children are a little bit overambitious 😉.
Gives you the opportunity to reconnect with nature
Especially if you live in a big metropolitan area, you might just live the traditional city life.
Many people just wake up in the morning, commute to work, come home late and repeat the whole process from Monday to Friday without spending any time with natural activities.
This is quite sad since we as humans have evolved in nature and it is deep in our DNA to do nature activities from time to time.
While feeding pigeons will not be a full substitute for nice nature trips, it can still reconnect you to nature a little bit and can also raise awareness of how good it can feel to spend your time with nature activities instead of just hanging out in the office or at home all day long.
Pigeons will be really thankful for your support
Not only will you often get a good feeling from feeding pigeons, but also your pigeon friends will be really thankful for your support.
They know that they would often not survive without your feeding activities and will really appreciate what you are doing for them.
While you now know all the upsides related to pigeon feeding, it is time to also talk about the negative things related to it.
Disadvantages of Feeding Doves
- Pigeon feeding is not allowed in many regions
- Enormous population growth of pigeons
- Other animals may drop in population
- Feeding doves can lead to ecological imbalance
- Dove feeding can be considered rather unnatural
- Doves may become dependent on people
- Pigeons will leave plenty of feces
- Unhealthy smell
- You will also indirectly feed other animals
- Many people don’t know what to feed pigeons
- Doves may become overweight
- Pigeons can carry diseases
Pigeon feeding is not allowed in many regions
One problem with pigeon feeding is that it is simply not allowed in many cities.
In fact, governments or municipalities often don’t allow dove feeding since they fear the negative effects related to it.
Hence, you should inform yourself about the local laws in your region so that you don’t break the law and get fined due to feeding pigeons.
Enormous population growth of pigeons
When you feed pigeons, you will also contribute to enormous population growth of your little friends.
Sure, you might think that you are just doing good for pigeons by feeding them.
Yet, the other side of the medal is that they will just get stronger and stronger over time and may dominate the local bird ecosystem.
Thus, while some pigeons around may be pretty nice, the majority of people don’t want to have an excessive number around them and feeding pigeons may also not be a good idea in this regard.
Other animals may drop in population
Opponents of pigeon feeding also often claim that feeding doves will lead to a drop in other animal populations.
In fact, if you feed doves, they will get pretty strong and resistant and may take over the living space of other smaller birds which in turn may not be strong enough to sustain their populations and to compete with bigger dove species.
In turn, some local birds and other smaller animals may even become endangered since doves will just be the major player in cities and all other small animals will have to fear them.
Feeding doves can lead to ecological imbalance
Due to the vast expansion of doves that can be caused by dove feeding, you may also contribute to serious ecological imbalance.
If doves grow in numbers, other animals will drop in numbers and those changes in numbers can lead to a change in the overall balance of ecosystems.
Ecosystems that are dominated by only few species will never be healthy and sustainable in the long run and will eventually collapse.
Consequently, pigeon feeding can also be considered rather problematic when it comes to long-term natural processes.
Dove feeding can be considered rather unnatural
In general, pigeon feeding is also not quite natural.
Sure, by feeding them, you can connect to nature to a certain extent.
While this might be beneficial for you, it can also be problematic for pigeons at the same time since it will just not be natural for them at all.
In fact, in former times, pigeons evolved without contact with humans for many thousands of years and nature requires that they take care of themselves instead of being fed by humans.
Doves may become dependent on people
Another downside of feeding pigeons is that they will simply become dependent on you.
If you feed them on a regular basis, chances are that they will remember that they can get food from you and will always wait at the same places for you to come back.
However, this is quite problematic since you will just not come back one day while your pigeons will still wait for you and if they wait for too long and don’t get food from other sources, they may just not make it in the long run.
In general, the dependence of wild animals on humans is never a good thing and you should therefore not feed doves too many times at the same places so that they don’t get the feeling that they can rely on you as a reliable food source.
Pigeons will leave plenty of feces
You will also see the traces that pigeons leave everywhere they spend time.
In fact, doves leave plenty of feces and it will just not be a pretty picture if the inner city will be covered with a layer of bird poo due to your bird feeding activities on a regular basis.
Therefore, also the overall appearance of your region may suffer from pigeon feeding and you should limit your feeding activities also in this regard.
Feces of doves will not only look quite unpleasant, but they will also lead to significant unpleasant smell.
Thus, you should also refrain from feeding doves so that you and other residents can enjoy the fresh air instead of smelly air that could significantly lower the overall quality of life of many people.
You will also indirectly feed other animals
By feeding doves, you will also accidentally feed many other animals as well.
Quite often, pigeons will not eat everything you provide for them and the rest will be eaten by rats, martens or other rather unwanted guests.
Those animals may increase in population as well and you may therefore do more harm than good by feeding pigeons in the long run.
Many people don’t know what to feed pigeons
Another issue with pigeon feeding is that many people will simply not know what doves really need to stay healthy.
While most people just feed them old bread, this is not natural since pigeons don’t eat bread in the wild but rather rely on grains, seeds, berries or insects to survive.
Hence, if you want to feed doves, at least make sure that you provide them with food that they would also consume in nature.
Doves may become overweight
While some doves struggle to survive, many others are pretty overweight and if you feed them further, chances are that they will simply become too heavy to fly long distances in the long run.
In such a case, you will definitely do more harm than good and you should really have a look at the pigeons you want to feed and ask yourself whether it will make sense or not also from a nutrition standpoint.
Pigeons can carry diseases
Many people don’t know it, but pigeons can also carry diseases and humans can get infected with those diseases.
Hence, even though the risk of getting infected is rather low, it still exists and you should also make sure that you are willing to take this risk when feeding pigeons.
To minimize the risk of infections, make sure that you and your kids don’t get in touch with the feces.
Top 10 Pigeon Feeding Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Pigeon Feeding Pros||Pigeon Feeding Cons|
|Feeding doves can be a nice hobby||Pigeon feeding may be forbidden by law|
|You can help doves survive the winter||Some people will not be happy at all|
|Pigeon feeding can be nice with kids||You contribute to dove population growth|
|You can get some company||Other species may suffer|
|Can give you purpose in life||May cause ecological imbalance|
|May have therapeutic effects||You will indirectly feed other animals|
|Pigeon feeding is a rather cheap hobby||Doves may become dependent on you|
|You can reconnect with nature||Feces don’t look nice|
|Can help you to relax||Smell related to a high number of doves|
|May be helpful to overcome mental issues||Pigeons may carry diseases|
Should You Feed Doves?
Now that you got all the advantages and disadvantages of feeding pigeons, you should decide for yourself whether you still want to feed pigeons or not.
If you come to the conclusion that pigeon feeding makes sense for you, make sure that you provide proper food to your pigeons so that they will be able to stay healthy in the long run.
You may also rather want to go for squirrel feeding. If you want to learn more about it, make sure to also check out all the advantages and disadvantages of feeding squirrels.
About the Author
My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my own plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.
In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.