Thursday, April 16, 2009

Exotic animals -- pigeon king international

I've written a few times in my blog about how I pick animals to raise. The latest animal that people were going to make millions on is the pigeon.

My opinion is that if someone approaches you, and makes claims that you can make a great living off your farm, you can add pigeons to the list of animals that includes alpacas, llamas, emus, ostriches, and so on.

The basic pitch from Arlan Galbraith, president of Pigeon King International (PGI) was that you'd buy your breeding stock from PGI for a pretty large sum - up to $500 a breeding pair. You'd then build your facilities, and pay for feed, and PGI would buy the pigeons you produced at some contracted price. The purchase price was high enough that it looked like you could make quite a bit of money.

For the first few people into this particular animal fad, you could make money, and in fact Arlan did buy the pigeons produced -- because he needed pigeons to rope the next round of optimistic farmers into the mix. And the next, and the next.

Some farmers got checks for 3 years running -- and served as role models for Arlan to point to to rope even more people in.

This scheme managed to rope in more than 1,000 farmers, with an average investment of $100,000 each, but some invested more than a million dollars. The contracts issued by PKI have a total value of around 1 BILLION dollars.

So I'll go back to my original criteria for picking animals to farm:

Do you and everyone you know eat that animal or use its product at least once a week?

News articles about PKI
PKI dead in the water
Conspiracy killed pigeon king
forums discussing PKI


Anonymous said...

Ponzi scheme. Wow, there really is a sucker born every minute. How was raising pigeons ever going to pay off $500 for a breeding pair. Were they going to lay eggs of gold? And you got flack for asking a few bucks for hatching eggs? Geez.

Anonymous said...

There was an op-ed article in the New York Times last month that argued Madoff had several million co-conspirators: the people who had invested their money with him willy-nilly, w/out doing due diligence, even when there were some fairly obvious signs that all was not on the up and up.

Same thing here: while I am somewhat sympathetic with the victims, yet I wonder where they parked their brains. If a scheme is too good to be true, it is. If someone offers you a guaranteed high rate of return for ever and ever, Amen, run like hell the opposite direction.

Yes, sometimes you can be bilked: it's not always easy to tell a scam from a real opportunity. But most of the time, a little careful thought will do the trick. People DO have to take some responsibility for the decisions they make. I see a trend in society to always excuse the "innocent victims".

Anonymous said...

Geez, and I have a whole flock of them that hang out on my roof and steal my chicken food, if only I were clever enough to trap 'em and sell 'em I could buy a real farm. lol