I am sorry to say the first try at meat pigeons was not a success.
The birds I obtained for breeder stock had spent their entire lives caged up to this point. Consequently they were very weak fliers and this made them easy prey for both the local hawks and unfortunately our Maremma, Alessa. Now the hawks were a known factor and I expect to lose the occasional bird to them. That is the nature of both hawks and pigeons. I had unwittingly aggravated the situation however by slaughtering a beast the week of their release from captivity and this brought the raptors from far and wide as always. Of course when they had finished cleaning up the remains of slaughter they turned their attentions to whatever else there was to eat in the area. Bad timing on my part.