Introduction: Free-range and Organic Fantail Pigeons. Pigeon Paons En Liberte Au Jardin. Paloma Colipava En Nuestro Jardin.

About: I live in a forest garden by the sea in an old Celtic longhouse in the Baie de Mont Saint Michel, France, which I share with Andy and our poultry. Before I escaped and became a happy peasant, I had three jobs …

Many people worry about free-ranging fantails. They believe they can not fly well enough to escape predators and that their full tails make them a very visible target for birds of prey. Fantails, like all of us, love being free. My understanding is they were originally bred in the Middle East, several thousands of years ago, to surround sacred sites and the present day pigeons certainly are attached to their dovecotes. Mine rarely leave the garden, except to stand and/or display on the roof or drop down into the farm lane at the front of the house for certain choice weeds. I have remarked that sparrowhawks try to catch them by knocking them off the roof and attacking them on the ground. In a forest garden like the one we planted, it is very difficult for a hawk to negotiate flight below the canopy of trees, bushes and roses. This same vegetation also keeps the birds camouflaged during the day - another good reason, if you have birds for planting a food forest.

Why organic? Conventionally farmed non-organic grain, used in both human and animal foods, is sprayed with herbicides, fungicides and insecticides before harvest. This is apart from the chemical fertilisers used as a growing medium and any other treatments used after harvest to prolong 'shelf life' and prevent sprouting. We eat organic and so do our birds. I buy a mixed certified organic grain direct from my local organic farmer to add to the foraged food and organic fruit and vegetables, which make up my pigeons' diet. Apart from a few skirmishes now and again over food, fantails and chickens live together perfectly harmoniously in a garden.

Nos pigeons paons sont en liberté autour du verger et du jardin forestier. Le seul moment où ils deviennent vulnérables aux attaques, c'est quand ils sont sur le toit de la longère. Toutefois, en raison de la nature du jardin, ils ne peuvent s'échapper vers le sous-bois où il est difficile pour un oiseau de proie à les suivre.