What Pigeons Can You Eat?

Pigeons are not just the world’s most common and plentiful bird, but also one of the most researched. This is why pigeons pique the interest of individuals who would otherwise dismiss them.

But what if you find yourself wondering, “can I eat pigeons”? And if so, what types of pigeons are safe for human consumption? Let’s find out!

So, Can You Eat Pigeons?

Yes, it’s entirely possible to eat pigeons. Pigeons have been designated as the national bird of several countries, including the Uk And republic Of ireland.

Squab, a baby bird, is a favourite appetiser on the menus of high-end Parisian eateries.

Pigeons are typically small birds that tend to dry out rapidly when prepared; as a rule, the more fat they possess, the more moist the meat will remain after cooking.

Experts say that raised squab and young, plump feral pigeons produce the best fast-cooking pigeons.

Although immediately pan-frying the breasts can provide magnificent results, bear in mind that pigeons don’t like being eaten well-done, so aim for a pinkish color.

When cooking, let the breasts stand for 4–5 minutes to ensure juices to be preserved and the skillet to be deglazed, enriching sauces with further pigeon flavour.

When contrasted to other foods, roasted pigeons is also a fairly straightforward process; simply brown the pigeons in a pan for about 10 minutes before cooking, or coat the birds with oil before cooking for excellent results, and they’re done.

Is It Legal To Eat Pigeons?

Every nation has its own rules regarding the slaughter and consumption of pigeons.

While slaughtering and consuming pigeons may be considered a serious crime in some nations, it could be allowed in others.

Pigeons as well as other wild birds are legally protected in various states in the United States. Interfering with or killing them for any purpose is also unlawful.

You must notify the authorities in your jurisdiction if you wish to kill them. Killing pigeons is lawful in the United Kingdom under specific conditions.

There must be documentation that the bird is being killed to prevent harm to crops, vegetables, fruits, and animal feed. The manner in which the bird is killed is likewise governed by the law.

What Kind Of Pigeons Are Safe To Eat?

Not all types of pigeons are the same, and each species reaps different results when cooked. Here are  the most common breeds of edible pigeons:


A baby domestic pigeon is referred to as a squab when it is less than four weeks old.

Squab is a wonderful ‘entry-level’ pigeon for individuals who have never tried pigeon previously, as the youthful meat is more soft and has a milder taste, making it more tolerable than other gamey species.

Wood Pigeons

If you’ve had your fill of exquisite squab meat and are ready to try something a little more robust, go no further than wood pigeon.

People like wood pigeons whenever they want to taste something with a richer, more minerally flavour that is more nuanced on the palate.

Wood pigeons, as with most game birds, may be made as soft as juvenile, cultivated squab with a little more attention in the preparation stage.

Wild Pigeons

Any feral pigeon, as opposed to farmed pigeons, is edible, but there are a few things to keep in mind while working with this species.

To begin, while purchasing a wild bird, choose one with the chubbiest breast sections and the best fat mass beneath the skin.

Pigeons are little birds by design, and they can dry out quickly when cooked; therefore, the more fat they possess, the more moist the flesh will be.

It’s also vital to keep an eye out for shot injury, which could have wasted a lot of flesh.

The best suggestion is to get pigeon meat from a trustworthy butcher or merchant with knowledge, and to choose a bird with its feet and head still intact.

This is a brilliant tip that can help you get a better idea of the pigeon’s general condition.

After you’ve selected your bird, you’ll need to come up with some ideas that highlight the meat’s greatest qualities.