Pigeon Raising as Ft. Dodge Industry

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Oct. 24, 1903

Pigeon Raising as Ft. Dodge Industry

B.C. Keim Begins with 500 Birds to Raise Pigeons to Satisfy the Epicure.

Business a Profitable One

P.D. Keim, Owner of Number of Carrier Pigeons, Also Interested.

B.C. Keim, living at 1413 Second avenue north has made a new business venture in Fort Dodge. That business referred to is the raising of pigeons for the market. Mr. Keim has been in this line of work but a very short time and has already about 500 birds, old ones, and expects to have at least 500 more at once, or as soon as he can purchase them. He makes his purchases thruout the country, buying them anywhere and paying a good price for them.

His pens are at his home, and they have a capacity of over 1,600 pigeons, all of the birds being confined to these pens. The principal object of course, in raising these birds is to dispose of them on the market, where they are dressed and are considered a great delicacy by the epicures in the city. They are sold when about four weeks old, and are at this time plump and tender. The young birds, or squabs, bring anywhere from $2.00 to $3.00 (about $49.29 to $73.93 today) per dozen on the market, and the demand for them is always good.

Mr. Keim’s father, P.D. Keim, is also interested in raising pigeons, but he has none but the fancy kind, known as “homers.” These birds are too valuable to be sold on the market, as they are the kind known as the “carrier” pigeon those formerly used for carrying messages, during time of war and before the telephone or telegraph was invented. They may be taken any distance form the home where they were raised, and if loosed will return to that place, no matter what the distance, seeming to know by instinct what direction to fly, and will go at once and direct to that place, without once swerving from the true and direct course.

Mr. Keim has large pens fitted up for these birds, leaving them plenty of room in which to fly but not allow them outside of the pens, as the chances are that if he did they would return to their former home. He expects to soon have some young ones, and these may be allowed their liberty as they will always return to him. He now has a half dozen pairs of the fancy birds and expects before a great while to have enough of these kind from the birds that he now has to put them on the market as the “Homer” squab is much more tender and plump than the ordinary bird, and consequently brings a higher price while it would be to (sic) expensive to buy the “Homer” birds at from $1.00 to $2.00 ($24.64 to $49.29) a pair they can, if the breeding is fast, be raised at no greater cost than the ordinary pigeon, and after the first outlay, the cost is no more.

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