By: Rogia al-Shafee
KHARTOUM (Sudanow)—Pigeon in Sudan is a domesticated bird that is reared in both villages and cities placed in cans hung in towers built on roofs with openings on the walls to permit the birds to fly out and come in back home.
The pigeon bird builds its nest in the can to lay and hatch eggs. It is widely reared in villages and towns as an important food, although people are attracted by its beauty and elegance glorified by Sudanese poets in uncounted poems and songs.
Moreover, the pigeon is considered a symbol of peace and love and in the past is certain kind, known as homing pigeon, was used for mail delivery.
Pigeon, especially the dancing one of bright colors and ample plumage, is widely kept as a hobby but is also reared as a home economic source because it lives in any climate, anywhere and because it lays eggs and hatches all the year round.
Mohamed Awad al-Toor, owner of a large farm in which he raises pigeon for export, spoke to SUDANOW on his pigeon experience. He said began breeding pigeon as early as 8years of age as a small profit-making project to help the family economically. The small project expanded with the advance of his age until he graduated at the Faculty of Economy, Omdurman Islamic University. After the graduation, al-Toor said he took up several jobs but returned to practicing his favorite hobby, starting, 10 years ago, with a large-scale project.
In order to be competitive internationally, Nor said he imported a special kind of fodder from the Netherlands that make his pigeon conform with the international specifications.
Al-Toor began exportation to Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states besides selling internally to diplomats and big restaurants.
He said the Sudanese pigeon possesses features that characterize it from other kinds, adding that it is faithful and responsive to a person who offers it service and can recognize him and shrinks and introverts when a stranger comes in. It returns home even it is sold and taken to another place, according to al-Toor. It lays more than two eggs and hatches every three weeks. A male pigeon does no mate with its sister and, instead, selects a mate from another nest, while the female opts for the powerful male. In the mating selection process, the male moves around the female seven times and then hits the ground with its leg and wing and the prospective female displays consent by sitting down.
Al-Toor says, the Sudanese male pigeon, in a Catholic way of marriage, once the selection is completed never goes to or mates with another female.
The Sudanese pigeon, al-Toor goes on, in a show of faithfulness, gets saddened when its owner or the person who cares for it dies and leaves the house and never returns and sometimes dies of grief.
The pigeon meat is the best, most delicious and digestible of all kinds of meat and therefore there is a high demand for it and, moreover, its feces, as dung, is the best fertilizer and is sold for the highest price.
Moreover, it is a project that requires a small capital, with little competition; it is simple and light and can be practiced as a part-time job, with quick earnings and good opportunities of expansion.
Although it is a small-size bird, pigeon possesses numerous vitamins such as vitamins A, C and B and a number of elements like iron, protein, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, calcium, magnesium and sodium in addition to fats. Pigeon meat also strengthens the functions of the immune system, minimizes the heart failure frisks and protects against amino acid and against Eczema and minimizes skin inflammation.
It is preferred by people for its good taste and because it gives energy and in the past pigeon meat was the food served to kings, princes and knights. It is advised to have meat of the small pigeon because it is soft and delicious.
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