WE NO LONGER RAISE SQUAB, but here is what we did. Rendezvous Farm added squab in 2015. Squab are young pigeons – not the typical farm or city pigeon – but very specialized birds bred for their size and high quality meat. Squab are considered a delicacy and are rarely found in stores. They are more commonly available as periodic specials at high-end restaurants. Adults weight about 2 pounds. Birds are processed at precisely 28 days of age, weighing about one pound and each bird is hand plucked. Rendezvous Farm raises only White King Pigeons for squab because they are pure white and won’t leave “tattoo” marks as dark feathered birds sometimes do when plucked. Raising “whites” ensures a good, clean presentation for meals. They are high-end birds, expensive to buy live, requiring special expensive feed, and requiring a large coop with a flyway. They only produce young spring through summer so fresh squab are only available in limited quantities during that time. Squab not sold fresh within a day of processing are vacuum packed and frozen here at our VDACS approved processing facility. This is a pic of one of our adult breeders.
We started with seven pairs of young birds that paired up and began producing more birds to expand the size of our flock. White Kings are monogamous and remain mated pairs for life. We currently have 8pairs of birds.
Our new coop is designed for 30 pairs of adult breeding birds. White Kings usually hatch a pair of eggs at a time and before the chicks reach 28 days of age the female moves to a neighboring nest box and lays another pair of eggs and begins incubating them. The male continues to care for chicks in the other nest box. The coop we built has 60 nest boxes to accommodate the needs of our birds. The adults produce 80% of their young during spring and summer and do very little breeding during the colder months.