Raising doves was just a hobby for 60-yearold George Chakramakkil, but now it has turned to be a decent income generator for this bird lover. Currently, there are 14 varieties of doves at his farm named Prabha Pets.
Thirty-three years of service as a senior electrician at Gwalior Rayons offered him the financial backing to set up a dove-raising farm in his house at East Hill in Kozhikode. He began raising doves around 13 years ago, out of enthusiasm. “With the increase in the number of customers we are committed to supplying good dove breeds,” says George.
At Prabha Pets, the visitors are attracted by the appealing look of the doves. The price of doves ranges from `1,500 to `20,000, based on the variety. George earns around `10,000 by selling these doves.
Spending retirement life with pets will help keep diseases away, he says. “Once a person becomes an expert in raising doves, he will not lose interest in it, because it is such a wonderful business,” he says. On his love for doves, he says it is important for me to ensure that the doves bought from me are looked after properly. From his experience he says that the approach of the owners will have an impact on the pets. Diamond Dove, Pouters, Fantails, Shiraz and Jacobin are some of the dove varieties in his farm.
“The first few days are the most difficult time for the baby dove to survive. In the critical period the owner has to get into the shoes of the parent bird,” he says.
It is very important to make sure that the doves get proper food and nutrition. He offers wheat, green gram and millets to the doves. “Earlier we used to give names to our pets,” says Prabha.
“After the marriage of my daughters, I kept two doves, Sonu and Sumi with me. They were my companions,” she says. Sharing his happiness on getting a partner like Prabha, George says, “If Prabha was not with me I would not have continued with the business. She takes great delight in raising pets, especially dogs.”
Apart from doves, George looks after dogs, fish and lovebirds in his terrace.