Nests for pigeons are no more difficult to equip than for chickens, but this is not enough for birds. In order for the birds to live, bring offspring, it is necessary to build a dovecote. The poultry house resembles a barn. Usually the building is reduced in size, but it all depends on the amount of pigeon keeping.
What is a dovecote
Pigeons are bred for two purposes: entertainment and income. The bird house is the dovecote. Here they live, reproduce. Each pigeon knows its dovecote and returns after the flight to its home, and not to the neighboring poultry house.
What does a dovecote look like?
The appearance of the dovecote resembles a chicken shed. The difference is some of the nuances of the arrangement and the location. The house can be built not only in the ground version, but also on the balcony or attic of your own house. People who breed valuable pigeon breeds for fun build beautiful buildings from expensive materials. There are many examples of dovecotes and pigeon enclosures in the photo on the Internet. Taking them as a basis, you can build an exact copy of the poultry house at home.
What are the dovecotes
By the number of sections, poultry houses are divided into three types:
- Single-section models are compact. Pigeon houses are usually installed in city blocks.
- Two-section models have increased dimensions, but similarly differ in compactness, neat execution, they are installed in pigeons in city blocks.
- Two-piece models on short posts are suitable for installation on flat roofs.
All types of dovecotes have an important difference related to the design, installation method:
- The hinged dovecote resembles a small wooden box, fixed with brackets to the wall. The house is designed for a maximum of 2-3 pairs of pigeons. It is easy for every person to assemble the structure without much difficulty, but a mini dovecote with their own hands has three important drawbacks: an inconvenient entrance, weak protection from rain and cold, and the complexity of operation. The hinged house is not suitable for breeding purebred pigeons. The design is usually required by beginners to gain experience.
- The tower dovecote is more functional and more complex. The house is usually shaped like a cylinder or a house, which can be classically square or polygonal. The dovecote is placed on a hill. Supports are pedestals, powerful pillars. The house has entrances for each pair of pigeons, nests, perches. Birds are protected to the maximum from predators and bad weather. The downside of the design is the complexity of the construction.
Advice! The tower dovecote creates ideal conditions for pigeons to live, close to natural nature.
- The attic dovecote is available to owners of private houses. The entire attic acts as housing for pigeons. Nothing extra is unnecessary to build. It will be necessary to organize a tap hole, to carry out internal arrangement (nests, perches, feeders). It is profitable to build an attic dovecote in the country, using a gable roof of a shed or other farm building.
Pigeon lovers come up with their own options for poultry houses. Sometimes balconies are adapted, freestanding structures are erected.
Requirements for the construction of a dovecote
Even when keeping non-pedigree pigeons, it is important for the birds to create optimal living conditions. The following requirements are imposed on all types of dovecotes:
- do not install houses near tall structures or trees that interfere with the free take-off of pigeons;
- undesirable close arrangement of high-voltage wires, telephone cables;
- the building is removed to the maximum from the landfill, cesspool, another similar object, which is a source of reproduction of pathogens;
- do not place the dovecote close to the shed where pets or birds are kept, since pigeons are susceptible to rapid infection with other people's infections.
For the comfort of living, the pigeons inside the house in the winter maintain a temperature of at least + 5 aboutC, and in summer - up to + 20 aboutFROM.
Preparation for the construction of a dovecote
Having decided to build a dovecote, you must immediately decide how many birds it will accommodate the house. One pair of pigeons needs 0.3-1 m3 free space. It is important to think over the internal arrangement. If more than one pair of pigeons will be kept, a dovecote with several rooms for young and adult birds is needed. Additionally, they make compartments with nests for the wintering of females.
Important! It is optimal to keep up to 15 pairs of pigeons in one house. If there is a desire to increase the livestock, another dovecote is installed further away and at a different level.
It is advisable to make a house for pigeons with an additional free room where you can store feed, maintenance equipment. It is advisable to install a large dovecote (not an attic type) on a foundation. At a high level of groundwater, they equip the base of the house with waterproofing.
Traditionally, a dovecote is erected with their own hands from wood, and light roofing material is used for the roof. You will need boards, slats, timber. For sheathing the frame of the house, you can use plywood, other wood chips.
How to build a dovecote with your own hands
The construction of any dovecote begins with drawing up a project. According to the scheme, the necessary materials are purchased. Prepare the site where the building will be located.
More details about the construction of a dovecote are shown in the video:
The do-it-yourself dovecote drawings shown in the photo provide compartments for young and adult pigeons. There is a walk. The location of the nests is indicated.
Dimensions of the dovecote
As for the dimensions of the pigeon house, they adhere to the established standards:
- height - 2 m;
- doorway - 60x180 cm;
- total window area - 1/10 of the floor area;
- the height of the entrance is from 15 to 25 cm, the width is from 10 to 20 cm.
Windows are placed on the walls of the dovecote from the south or east.
The construction of the dovecote begins with the assembly of the frame and the construction of the walls. Since the pigeon house will be wooden, its skeleton is assembled from a bar. They make a lower frame, put up racks, attach the upper harness. For cladding, a board, OSB is used. Plywood or chipboard will do, but such walls must be protected from rain from the street. Additional finishing of the house will be required.
Ground dovecotes are built from bricks or foam blocks. The walls are solid, but require additional insulation. Usually, foam is glued from the inside, and sheathed with plywood on top so that the pigeons do not peck the insulation.
For flooring, an edged board is used. If the floor is uneven, you can nail a sheet of plywood from above with nails. Sometimes in the dovecote, the floor is finished with linoleum. The wood is completely protected from dampness, and the process of removing droppings is simplified.
There are no special requirements for the shape of the roof of the pigeon house. You can install a single-slope or dual-slope design. The choice depends on the personal preference of the owner. Flexible tiles, corrugated board, iron are chosen as roofing material. The slopes are given a gentle slope. Precipitation should not linger on them, but it is necessary for the pigeons to sit comfortably.
Window openings cannot be cut on opposite walls. With this arrangement, the pigeons will be exposed to the draft. No window sills are needed inside the house. It is advisable to tighten the windows with a metal mesh that protects against the penetration of predators to pigeons.
Natural ventilation is provided through the door. The trap is equipped with two flaps. The outer sheet is blank made of boards or plywood. The inner flap is mesh. In summer, the blank canvas is open, and air exchange is carried out through the mesh, daylight penetrates.
Air vents are cut out for additional ventilation. The inlet is located on the bottom of the sash or wall opposite the doors. The hood is organized under the ceiling. Usually they cut a hole in the roof, insert a pipe with a rain cap.
Important! Ventilation vents are sewn up with a fine mesh, and in winter they are closed from drafts.
How to insulate a dovecote
Natural and artificial materials help keep warm inside the dovecote. A wooden house for pigeons from the inside can be upholstered with ordinary thick cardboard from the packaging of household appliances. The slots are blown out with polyurethane foam, but from above it is protected with a dense material that prevents pigeons from eating.
Stone walls are insulated with polystyrene, sheathed with plywood. Clay with straw or sawdust acts as a natural insulation. The plaster is applied from the inside in a thick layer.
Mineral wool is suitable for insulating the roof of the walls and floor. Foil insulation has good thermal insulation properties.
How to make a dovecote on the balcony with your own hands
If desired, a small dovecote with your own hands will turn out even on the balcony, but problems with neighbors may arise here. When the agreement is reached, you can hang the hinged houses on the walls. If you take the entire balcony under the dovecote, it is made of a closed type. Walls, floor and ceiling are insulated. The windows are closed with a net, fixing it at a distance of 15 cm from the glass. If the balcony is located on the sunny side, arrange shading to keep the pigeons cool in summer.
Arrangement of the inner space of the balcony for a dovecote implies the installation of nests, feeders, drinkers. Pigeon roosts are made from perches firmly fixed to the wall. Green vegetation is planted in pots. It is advisable to use those plants that the pigeons can eat.
How to make a dovecote in the attic with your own hands
To make free-standing beautiful dovecotes, you will need a lot of material, labor, and costs will increase. The attic of a private house or barn is almost a ready-made home for pigeons. First of all, the floor is laid from the boards here, then they begin to make the house. If it is assembled from wood, there is no need for additional plating, putty joints. A brick house is subjected only to putty. The metal structure is sheathed from the inside with boards and thin plywood.
The process of arranging a dovecote inside is similar to a ground building. In the house in the attic, pigeons are made a notch, ventilation, feeders, nests, and perches are placed. The walking area can be attached from the net, and the floor can be covered with plywood. There is no heating in the attic. In winter, pigeons have enough thick litter, which is regularly changed as it becomes dirty. Be sure to equip ventilation.
How to equip a dovecote inside
In order to create comfort for the pigeons, after the construction of the house, they proceed to its internal arrangement:
- Electricity is needed for lighting and additional heating. In a small insulated house in winter, pigeons can maintain a positive temperature with ordinary incandescent lamps. If the dovecote is large, safe heaters are connected.
- The general arrangement of the dovecote inside implies the creation of perches, feeders, nests for females, drinkers, and the installation of additional equipment. Perches are made for each pigeon individually. In other words, the number of perches corresponds to the number of birds. Pigeons love to sit on the roof ridge. Perches should be made of a similar shape in the form of a triangle. The perches are positioned so that the excrement of the pigeons from the upper tier does not fall on the birds sitting below. Perches are cut from a bar 3.5 cm thick, 15 cm long.To each element from the side at an angle of 45 about plywood plates 15x15 cm in size are fastened with self-tapping screws.The perches are placed against the wall of the dovecote in tiers with an indent of 30 cm.An offset of 50 cm is made between the rows.
- Experienced poultry farmers make feeders and drinkers themselves. For a person starting to breed pigeons, it is easier to buy inventory. Plastic feeders and drinkers are not expensive. Inside the enclosure, the pigeons need bathing trays. The containers are placed shallow, with a maximum depth of 5 cm.
- Additional equipment helps to improve the comfort of the pigeons. This includes safe electric heaters, forced air fans, bird surveillance cameras.
One of the important stages in arranging a dovecote is to install nests for females.
How to make pigeon nests in a dovecote
Breeding pigeons, getting new offspring is impossible without installing nests. They can be made, purchased from the store, or customized from ready-made drawers.
The simplest nest is a baffled board. The structure is placed against the wall. Hay is placed in each cell. The female independently organizes a nest for herself. If you wish, you can try to make individual boxes. For one nest, 4 pieces of board 30 cm long are needed. The width of the workpiece is 25 cm, the thickness is 2 cm. The bottom of the nest is made of a rectangular piece of plywood 30x30 cm in size.
From the boards, the sides of the box are fastened with self-tapping screws. One side is covered with plywood. The nest is fixed permanently to the wall of the dovecote or provides for a removable box attachment. In the second version, fixing clips are installed to prevent the displacement of the structure. The detachable socket is considered the best option due to its ease of maintenance.
Nests of plaster pigeons are poured into molds. It is usually oval or round. At home, a large and small plastic bowl will serve as the shape for the nest. A large bowl is needed to fill the base - the nest body. With a small bowl, squeeze out a depression in the uncured plaster.
Nest making process:
- A large bowl is smeared with petroleum jelly inside. In the smaller bowl, only the outer part is treated with petroleum jelly.
- Gypsum for filling the base of the nest is diluted with water, PVA glue is added in the amount of 1 tsp. It is necessary to mix and pour quickly so that the gypsum does not have time to harden.
- The prepared plaster mix for the nest is poured into a large bowl. Immediately take a small bowl, press it with the bottom into the liquid mass to form a depression in the nest.
- Sand is poured into a small bowl. The weight will prevent the bowl from moving. In this position, the plaster nest is left to harden for 7 days.
- After a week, the gypsum will harden 100%. Bowls greased with petroleum jelly are easy to separate from the nest. If the workpiece is still damp, leave it to dry.
- The finished nest is ground with sandpaper, painted with lime or water emulsion.
The plaster nest has an impressive weight. It can be installed inside the dovecote without additional fixation.
Important! After staining, a plaster nest should be odorless, otherwise the female will refuse to use it.
A plastic container of a suitable size will serve as a ready-made nest for pigeons. Use bowls, bucket trims, fruit storage boxes. A finished plastic nest can be purchased at a pet store. It is not expensive. Plastic jacks are lightweight, durable, easy to clean.
An interesting one came up with an option for making a foam nest. Again, you will need a bowl with a semicircular bottom, but not plastic, but metal. The base of the nest will be a foam plate 50-100 mm thick. The size is selected individually. A sheet of parchment is placed on top of the foam. The bottom of the bowl is heated on a gas stove and placed on parchment. The hot iron will melt the foam. The depression will take on the shape of a bowl.
When the depth of the nest is sufficient, the bowl is removed. Remove a sheet of parchment. The foam nest is lubricated with glue, construction bandages are glued for strength.
It is necessary to keep the pigeons clean, otherwise the birds can get sick, the offspring will worsen. Dovecotes, nests, perches and all other equipment are disinfected monthly. The choice of an active solution is carried out taking into account the active pathogen of the disease. In addition, the substance must be safe for the pigeons themselves. The most common drug is a solution of manganese, bleach and slaked lime, caustic soda. Chloramine, formalin, xylonaft are considered a potent substance.
The choice of a particular drug is best done as directed by your veterinarian. If pigeons show signs of disease, the frequency of disinfection of the dovecote is reduced to 1 time per week. During processing, the birds are driven out of the house. Before returning, everything is thoroughly washed.
It is most important to keep pigeon nests clean. After all, it is here that new offspring will be born. It is unacceptable to use dirty or rotten hay, raw sawdust for the nest. If cleanliness and order reigns inside the dovecote, the young grows quickly, the owner makes a profit.