Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Discovery Brings Us One Step Closer To "Milking" Pigeons 190

Are you tired of boring old milk in your cereal? Is the half and half in your coffee leaving you flat? If so, the recent discovery of the gene responsible for pigeon crop "lactation" might be the good news you've been waiting for. While mammals are the only animals that produce true milk, a number of birds produce a nutritious, liquid "crop milk" for their chicks. From the article: "The idea of drinking pigeon milk may bring a shudder to every sane and rational person in the world, but it's actually quite nutritious. Although it's high in fat, to help the young squabs develop fast, it's also packed full of antioxidants and immune-system-boosting proteins."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Discovery Brings Us One Step Closer To "Milking" Pigeons

Comments Filter:
  • But... (Score:1, Informative)

    by fragfoo ( 2018548 )
    Pigeons are infested with diseases and like to live in the middle of their own crap and other filthiness. Oh wait, so do cows! :(
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Funny)

      by royallthefourth ( 1564389 ) <> on Friday September 23, 2011 @10:43AM (#37491480)

      That's why I only drink human milk. It can be tough to find, but you can find pretty much anything on Craigslist.

      • Misc Romance or Casual Encounters? Or is there some dark subsection of Farm & Garden that I don't know about?
  • I actually checked the date to be sure.

  • Excuse me? (Score:5, Funny)

    by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Friday September 23, 2011 @10:34AM (#37491318) Journal
    Pigeon Milk? Seriously? That's what they're working on?

    How about working on a way to keep them from crapping all over my balcony? I've begun calling it the poop deck.
    • Place a milk jug on one of those Got Milk? posters on your balcony. You'll soon find some milk from an alternative source to use for delicious cereal, coffee and baked goods.

      Reply to my post and let us /.'ers know how it tastes. Since you almost have first post, you should have first taste.

  • "The idea of drinking pigeon milk may bring a shudder to every sane and rational person in the world"

    There is nothing rational about that shudder. The disgust comes from our outdated and inaccurate instincts that come from a time before we understood infectious disease (like when we where Homo habilis).

    Only sane and rational people can push past the shudder and have a drink. Unfortunately that significantly limits the market for this.

    • What the hell are you talking about? It's totally rational to expect that vomit from a filthy wild animal is itself filthy and therefore not something worth ingesting.

      • by Xzzy ( 111297 )

        All animals are filthy. Yet we still eat a number of them.

        Veggies and fruits are probably filthy too, on some level.

        So I guess Jules was right, it all comes down to personality.

    • The human sense of disgust is half-instinctive, half-cultural, and sometimes surprising. There's an old experiment often performed on TV, involving preparing delicious chocolate treats in the shape of dog turds just to see who can stand to eat them. Everyone knows that it's just chocolate - it's perfectly safe, and has never passed through a dog. And yet many people just really struggle to do it.
      • Holland, Zaandam, were most of the worlds chocolate is processed. At the end of the process molten chocolate is stored in large vats, sometimes somebody taking samples forgets to close the tap or it is filled while open and it poors onto the floor. The floor everybody walks on and where dead bugs collect. But chocolate is expensive so what do you do with the spilled chocolate? Scoop it back up and poor it back into the system, dead bugs and all.

        Enjoy your chocolate turd with real crunchy bits.

    • by Rolgar ( 556636 )

      Considering the size of pigeons, and the amount of milk you can get out of one, as well as the time it will take to hook one up to get the milk, I imagine the price will be pretty high in order to pay for the retrieval of the milk, which will further reduce the demand.

      Note: The summary says 'Although high in fat' indicating that's a point against it. Fat is a nutritional positive. It makes you feel full which will limit the amount you eat to feel full. Your body uses fat in very important ways. Your body do

      • Your body does store fat in fat cells - that's why they're called fat cells :p

        Of course, your dietary fat doesn't just get magically put there without being converted to blood sugar first. I eat a low GI diet. Wholemeal carbs are fine. It's only refined carbs that you should avoid.

  • "Hey, I hope you don't mind, I got up a little early, so I took the liberty of milking your cow for you. Yeah, it took a little while to get her warmed up, she sure is a stubborn one, whew."

    "We don't have a cow. We have a bull."

    "I'm gonna brush my teeth."

  • I have a relative who breeds pigeons. They are not even close to those infected zombies you see in a city. In fact, they are much closer to a chicken in size. And they are delicious.
    • by muyla ( 1429487 )

      Your relative, my friend, must be the biggest winner in the redneck gameses history!

    • by gauauu ( 649169 )

      I have a relative who breeds pigeons. They are not even close to those infected zombies you see in a city. In fact, they are much closer to a chicken in size. And they are delicious.

      I agree with the delicious part. A lot of restaurants where I lived in China (south, near Hong Kong) served Pigeon, and it was REALLY tasty.

    • by slim ( 1652 )


      Pigeon Pie []. Not made with the flying rats you see in towns.

  • Human milk is the only ethical milk.

    And it'd be a great way for gals to make a few bucks on the side.

    • of course, breast don't fully mature nor give milk until later terms of pregnancy. Tell you want, I'll handle the tedious and boring initiating breast maturation part at no expense (if they're nubile and beautiful) and you can do the milk production end of things
    • by gv250 ( 897841 )

      a great way for gals to make a few bucks on the side.

      They moved them?

      • by JoeWalsh ( 32530 )

        a great way for gals to make a few bucks on the side.

        They moved them?

        That made me laugh out loud. Nicely done!

        (And also evidence that you need to get out of your mother's basement more.)

    • Luckily, like most things in my life, I don't particularly give a damn about ethics when it comes to what I eat. Have fun trying to convince a woman to sell you her breast milk though.
  • I raise doves (Score:5, Informative)

    by squidflakes ( 905524 ) on Friday September 23, 2011 @10:53AM (#37491656) Homepage

    Doves and pigeons are very closely related and some of the few birds that produce crop milk.

    Very specifically, crop milk is the sloughed lining of the interior of the crop. Pigeons and doves will stop eating a few days before they lay and fill their crops with seeds, insects, and sometimes fruits or berries. They will keep these foods items in the crop, grinding them over and over with the gizzard while the skin cells lining the inside of the crop get irritated and engorge with fluid. Once the chicks start feeding, which is very soon after hatching, the cells detach, burst, and mix with the well ground food items.

    The resulting mix smells horrible and is my least favorite part of dealing with my birds.

    So, yeah. Cooing Farms Crop Milk will never find a place in my refrigerator.

  • Drink from the udder
    Doing it with a pigeon
    Makes you shudder

    /going home now
  • I was promised dog or higher!

  • Um, eeewww! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jbarr ( 2233 ) on Friday September 23, 2011 @10:59AM (#37491780) Homepage

    I'd rather drink human breast milk. At least the source is more appealing.

  • I'm pretty sure that the Polytron [] can "milk" virtually any animal, producing a protein-rich nutrient fluid... Also available [] in larger and more powerful sizes...
  • Some people in south america eat the shit of animals that feed on certain kind of berries, but come on, we don't have to take every secretion that comes out of an animal and put it in our mouths just because it has protein, fats and carbs in it. You could give a horse a blowjob to completion too and get that.
    • by EdIII ( 1114411 )

      You could give a horse a blowjob to completion


      As opposed to what? Just teasing the horse? I'm pretty sure if you broke through whatever mental and social barriers there are to blowing a horse you are going to do it to "completion".

  • The fact that it's high in fat shouldn't be a problem: just produce a "skim" version of it.

  • In "Animal Crossing", Brewster the barista is a pigeon, and his special coffee contains a dash of pigeon milk.

  • is not what a nation that stands in the midst of an obesity epidemic needs.
  • They should do it with emperor penguins [] (that my own pic), that's the only way they feed their chicks, so you'd gets loads of that stuff. And to add to the 'Eeeew factor', it's bright green !
  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Friday September 23, 2011 @11:59AM (#37492674)

    Why and under what conditions would you want your immune system response to go up?

    Overactive immune systems do kill people. Inflammation is often an overactive immune system in action. In the lungs it can lead to quick massive pneumonia with aggressive flu virus.

    Just exactly how would a person know if their immune system is already "too high"?

    The media overuse of the marketing phrase "improved immune system" does a disservice to average consumers.

  • "Pigeon...the other white milk!"

    After all, they're going to have to work pretty damn hard to get anybody to buy this crap, er, I mean crop.

  • Mr. Hilton: ...and garnished with lark's vomit.
    Inspector: LARK'S VOMIT?!
    Mr. Hilton: Correct.
    Inspector: It doesn't say anything here about Lark's vomit!
    Mr. Hilton: Uh, it does at the bottom of the label, after monosodium glutamate.
    Inspector: I hardly think that's good enough! I think it would be more appropriate if the box wore a big red label "WARNING: LARK'S VOMIT"!
  • Tell you what...let's make a deal...

    I'll drink the pigeon milk, if I can milk the pigeons by kicking the hell out of them. Deal?

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982