Veterinary practitioners frequently encounter disorders of the reproductive system in avian patients. Management of these disorders relies on manipulating reproduction by modifying the environment, diet, and social interactions, and by the use of pharmacologic agents and surgery, with varying levels of success and side effects. An alternative is to use the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist deslorelin to suppress the pituitary–gonadal axis. To determine the efficacy of deslorelin in domestic pigeons (Columba livia), male (n = 10) and female (n = 10) birds each were implanted intramuscularly with a single long-acting implant containing 4.7 mg deslorelin. Untreated males (n = 11) and females (n = 10) were used as controls. The baseline serum concentration of luteinizing hormone (LH) was assayed at 7, 28, 56, and 84 days after treatment, and egg production was recorded weekly. In females, deslorelin administration significantly reduced serum LH concentrations compared to pretreatment levels at 7, 28, 56, and 84 days (P < .05). In males, deslorelin significantly reduced LH concentrations at 7, 28, and 56 days (P < .05). Female birds treated with deslorelin laid significantly fewer eggs over the course of the study (mean = 1.46, SEM = 0.84) compared with controls (mean = 5.54, SEM = 0.88). Deslorelin treatment had no discernible effect on body weight. Deslorelin is effective for controlling egg laying in female pigeons for at least 49 days, but further research is required to determine the effects on male fertility and the duration of action in both sexes.
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