Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pigeon King Collecting Birds from New York?

Note in bold in the following article -- Pigeon King has been collecting 10,000 pigeons a month taken from New York, Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio. Collecting how? Aside from the squab and investment businesses, are they also in the bird netting business?

Pigeon Investors Discuss Options in Dealing With Birds
Submitted by Editor on Fri, 07/25/2008 - 12:37pm.

Linda Williams
Southwestern Pa. Correspondent

MARTINSBURG, Pa. — An optimistic group of pigeon owners gathered in Martinsburg at the Community Meeting Room last Friday.

Leading the 50-60 in attendance was pigeon investor Robert Detwiler.

Participants came from various parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The discussion centered on what to do with the pigeons in which they had invested thousands of dollars with Arlan Galbraith of Pigeon King International, a Canadian-based company. All of the investors, many of them Plain Sect, had done so in good faith of having a market.

However, Pigeon King, or PKI, which claimed to be in the squab market, has gone bankrupt leaving the pigeon farmers without a market. Squab is an exclusive dish served in elite restaurants and, according to one participant at the meeting, can sell for $165 per plate. Squab is made from pigeons which are 30 to 40 days old. Pigeon owners are now left with thousands of birds which are growing older by the day and must be fed.

Detwiler opened the meeting by explaining that, like others present, he had invested in the pigeons and had reaped the benefits for a time. He asked for ideas on how to deal with the situation. One person was appointed to write down each suggestion that would be sent to the various people in attendance and others who might inquire later.

Detwiler noted that one person let 2,000 pigeons out of their cages hoping they might fly away and he would no longer have to feed them. However, they returned to roost on his barn roof.

Detwiler also noted that he himself had sold about 10 of his birds to a dog trainer.

“We need to learn how to market what we have,” he said.

One person suggested using the birds for animal feed. Someone had heard of a man from the Scranton area who might have a lead on this.

A latecomer to the meeting said he and his wife had been on the Internet and found a processing plant in the Philadelphia area, but the Website did not have contact information.

While most of the pigeons purchased from Galbraith seemed to be high fliers or homing pigeons, Silver King pigeons seem to have more of a market.

A representative from the Imler Poultry Company said he is willing to work on finding a processing plant and a market for the pigeons although he could make no guarantees. He added that if he did find a market, the individual farmers would be responsible for getting the birds to market.

“You find a market and we will get them there,” was the response.

Another suggestion was for the farmers to eat their own birds. Detwiler noted he had found an old cookbook recently which had pigeon recipes and perhaps this was an option for at least some of the birds.

A former manager from Pigeon King said they had been collecting about 10,000 birds a month from New York, Pennsylvania, and western Ohio prior to the collapse of PKI.

One couple had discovered a Website indicating the pigeon manure makes good fertilizer and thought this might be a possibility.

Another said he had found a processing plant in New Castle that would use the older pigeons for snake feed.

“I’ve got a buyer coming tonight who will give me 50 cents per bird to be used for dog training,” came a voice from across the room. “Should I take it?”
“No, was a quick response, send your buyer to me.” This comment brought a round of laughter.

International markets were discussed briefly but it was indicated that there are a lot of rules and regulations with regards to shipping out of the country.

A former pickup man for Pigeon King said he had met many wonderful people with his former job. “I saw them starting to earn a profit,” he said. “When I would go back month after month, I began to see a lot of good changes.

People were fixing up their places. I know it was a good thing. I would like to be a pickup man again.”

The general consensus of the group was that Arlan Galbraith never meant to harm anyone and this was not a scam. It was only an unfortunate incident.

Meanwhile, regardless, the birds have to be fed. Several indicated they could no longer afford to purchase feed with 200 pounds of wheat costing $42.50.

Detwiler indicated he had some folks growing wheat on his land and has been able to keep his birds going with this. Others found cracked corn to be the least expensive route to go.

Anyone who felt the operation was a scam was invited to write a letter to the Waterloo Regional Police Service. If they get enough complaints they will file an investigation. To date, they have received only about 13 letters. The address is P.O. Box 3070, 200 Maple Grove Rd., Cambridge, Ontario N3H5MI.
Detwiler has also made an appointment with a bankruptcy lawyer and will get back to the group with information gleaned from this.


Anonymous said...

What an utterly horrible group of people. The greedy creeps have dollar signs in their eyes over this plan to sell squab and when the business goes belly up, they're laying awake nights figuring out ways of killing the birds. Pigeons as snake food...used in dog training...what kind of nonsense is this? This is despicable animal cruelty, pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

Just a note here, My hubby has been in construction for 40 years and we were looking into this last year as a way out for him, but we just could not get financed. I still think pigeons can be a good plan. People just need to get together and get this going on their own. their are places that buy the birds. I my self want to grind the bird for the raw fed dog food market. Ground meats are a big hit in this market. A squab is high in nutrients. I am looking to buy birds for this market and will do the processing my self with an inexpensive meat grinder. Freezing the ground bird meat for sales to the raw fed market. People are doing this all over, feeding dogs raw meats.. I am one of those people. I dehydrate beef mixed with egg for treats. serving raw chicken to my dogs has been an issue since bird flu. But I do feed raw ground turkey. I think that ground pigeon will be a big hit with this market. plus you can always sell some live birds to the places like stromburgs in Minn. Or have some for your own dinner. They are a very tasty bird. I remember my uncle tell us that during the depression they had eaten lots of pigeons. Well, are't we in that situation now??