OUR DOVES have been part of our family for over 15 years, and part of Rods life for nearly 35 years.
Their daily routine, welfare and nutrition is as important to us as our own!
ASK US ANYTHING regarding the nutrition, welfare, training, conditioning and breeding of the Rock Dove. We are expert regarding all aspects of animal welfare pertaining to our flock. We understand how important it is for you to have peace of mind, so ASK US ANYTHING. This is a very wordy page, but we feel you need to be 100% confident that we know about our flock, we care about their welfare, and they get the best life possible.
Our Doves are all White Rock Doves, (Columba Livia) . These are the ONLY breed of dove that can safely be released from any distance that exceeds 500 yards. They are bred by us, so we know we are getting pure rock doves that have been treated with respect from day 1.
The doves are handled from hatching, and although never tame, are used to being handled and are not concerned about being with or surrounded by people. The ONLY Dove within our business is a Rock Dove. This is the ONLY dove that can be trained to home. We do not use Fantails, Garden Doves or any type of other bird either for release or display.
It is crucial that the doves have a home that is not only fit for purpose, but one that is safe and one they will want to fly back to. All our lofts are bespoke and professionally built by Blakes Lofts in the Midlands (who we highly recommend!) We also have a loft that was built from doors from the Half Moon pub in Pontypridd, roofing from wherever it could be found and old fridges! Its extremely scruffy looking from the outside, clean and spacious inside, but has great sentimental value as Rod built it with his dad over 30 years ago! The birds seem to love it too! Our lofts are spacious for when the doves want to stay in, cleaned at least twice a day, and have easy access for them.
Getting the doves fit and healthy takes expertise, patience and dedication. It starts with preparing the stock birds for breeding. Healthy adults make healthy babies! They are fed the best balanced diet appropriate to age, time of year and flying schedule. They are vaccinated and treated to prevent illnesses the breed is vulnerable to, wormed and dipped to prevent any crawly things!
Getting them to return home requires 2 things; training, and a love of home. When the youngsters are ready, they are taken short distances away from home to begin with, then increasing that range after they are split onto 4 teams, North, South, East & West. ALL our doves are trained to home and are registered with the Welsh Homing Pigeon Union, fitted with permanent ID tags
Once ready, our Doves will fly home safely from anywhere in South Wales. To keep them fit, healthy and happy, they are free to fly from dawn until dusk 363 days a year. There are limits to the time they can be confined, and for their wellbeing, this is strictly adhered to. The fact they usually beat us home, is testimony we believe to how fit and happy they are. Once in the sky, they are free to go wherever, but they choose to return home to us and their safe haven on the Welsh hills!
Our Doves are transported to your venue in a blacked out vehicle (so they will rest) in baskets approved to hold 20 birds - but we keep a maximum of 6 birds in each basket, which has an attached drinking trough; this was especially designed for us as you cannot buy them. They are transferred to their display cages at the last possible moment ready for your event. The time in their cages cannot exceed 90 minutes, for their wellbeing.
We are full members of the Welsh Homing Union and have been for 30 years; as such abide by their regulations regarding the welfare of our Doves. This includes loft hygiene, how we transport our Doves to events, and providing evidence of vaccinations on each registered bird.
Before booking ANY Dove Release service, we strongly advise you do your research into who you pay your money to. . We have seen many come and go over the years, thinking they can make a few quid without the knowledge needed to sustain the doves, and therefore be reliable for you. With a flock of over 400 doves, we never need to use doves that are on the nest or during the moulting season - either is cruel! We strongly advise that when considering booking a dove release, you research the company, be satisfied they are competent and caring, and insured! Lastly, look for pure bright whiteness in the doves. Stains and dark patches are a strong indication the doves are being kept in unsanitary conditions. You should not book anyone who uses Fantail, Garden or any other type of Dove for release purposes. They will not even fly off let alone get home. They WILL NOT survive.
Should we be fully booked on your date, we will happily recommend other reputable suppliers for you.