Boxing is one of the most aggressive sports on earth and you’d be forgiven if you never imagined that one of its biggest and strongest champions found solace and comfort in a small frail bird like the pigeon.
Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Mike Tyson and his pet pigeons have shown the world that pets can make a real difference in the way we interact with our environment. They have shown that developing a caring relationship with an animal companion can create calm and introduce you to a range of emotions you might not otherwise experience.
In this article, we’ll delve into Mike Tyson’s relationship with his pet birds and give anyone with an interest in keeping pigeons as a pet a quick primer on how to do it and what you can expect!
Mike Tyson and his Relationship with Pigeons
Mike Tyson’s relationship with pigeons started from an early age. When he was a kid, other children bullied him and he took comfort in the non-judgemental company of pigeons. These birds never judged him and he could happily spend hours playing with them and tending to their needs.
It was over a pigeon that a young Mike Tyson threw his first punch. An older kid who had been bullying Tyson actually killed one of his pet pigeons in front of him, spurring Tyson to stand up for his feathered friend.
From there, Tyson’s boxing career took off. He won Olympic gold and at the age of 20, went on to become the youngest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing. But despite this success, Tyson never forgot his love of pigeons.
Unfortunately, it was not always smooth sailing for Tyson. Due to a series of personal struggles, he fell from boxing glory and even served time in prison. But, Tyson was not knocked out for good. He eventually got his career back on track and, as he has explained in several media appearances, pigeons played a big role in his comeback, keeping him grounded and connected with both nature and reality.
Just as some people find conventional pets like dogs and cats can be therapeutic and reduce anxiety and other mental ailments, Tyson found a deep connection with his pigeons. They have taught Tyson about compassion in a way that no other outlet could.
Nowadays, the former heavyweight champion of the world leads an entirely different, more positive life. He has dedicated himself to helping others, teaching children about his experiences, performing standup comedy, and even making the occasional cameo in a Hollywood movie.
Pigeons remain a crucial part of his life. In fact, Tyson has a coop at his home that houses over 70 pigeons that he and his family tend to every single day. He lovingly cares for each one and claims to know each individual bird with just a quick glance.
Tyson’s dedication to his birds has allowed him to appear at different events, educating others about pigeons and how to care for them.
Pigeons as Pets
After reading about Mike Tyson’s love for pigeons, you might be wondering if these common birds make good pets and what you could expect if you decided to keep some for yourself.
Here are some facts and general information about keeping pigeons as pets.
What is it Like to Keep a Pigeon as a Pet?
It’s not uncommon to hear of people keeping birds as pets. Parakeets, parrots, budgies, and cockatiels are popular pets and provide as much love and companionship as any other animal.
But pigeons? Pigeons are everywhere and as such, it is easy to forget that they can make excellent companions.
They might not have flashy plumage or bright colors like some other birds, but they are highly intelligent animals that are able to do things like recognize patterns, learn routes, and express affection for their keepers.
They are medium maintenance pets that require daily care to keep them healthy and happy.
This may surprise you, but after pigeons adapt to you, they may even eat straight from your hand, allowing them to hold and them!
Pigeons and Diseases
One of the most significant concerns people have with pigeons is the potential for transmitting diseases to humans. However, the risk of contracting something from a pet pigeon is relatively low, especially if you are caring for them properly and adequately cleaning their coops.
In actuality, it is not the pigeon that transmits disease but their dried poop. If you let their enclosures get dirty and never clean them out than it is possible that you might sick. But this is not unique to keeping pigeons. If you do not clean up after any pet, you increase your risk of illness.
If you clean the coops frequently, wash your hands with soap after petting and handling the birds, you can rest assured that the risk of contracting a disease is minimal.
Keeping a Pigeon as a Pet
If you want the Mike Tyson pigeon experience for yourself, go to your nearest pet shop or contact a reputable breeder for more information. Try local shelters or breeders and see if you can see their pigeons and spend a little time with them. This will not only give you a sense of the health of the birds but will allow you to explore whether or not they are even the right pet for you.
Delicate, humble, and brilliant, pigeons can become wonderful pets in the care of loving owners who are truly dedicated to having them as companions.