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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bonjour fellow pigeon admirers. I am fairly new to the pigeon hobby. My current loft is a chicken coop. Needless to say it isn't working the greatest since it is stocked with quail cages and large roosts for my Giant Cochins I used to own. I am building an 8x4 loft and want ideas and advice. And I apologize in advance, I am unfamiliar with pigeon terminology at the moment.


Loft size: 8x4.
Door size (human): 5'x2' on the front 4' side.
Aviary Cage Thingy: 2' high x 8' long 4' off the ground.


Nest boxes were going to be on the wall beside the door. I am unsure of the size they need to be. I figured 2' wide and 1' high. Probably 6 of them stacked on top of each other.

Roosts I am completely unsure of. Do I need them to be stacked on top of each other or can I do one long 2x4, 1x4 or something across the width of the coop? I've seen people use 2x4's cut about 4" long but it seems the birds below would need a little cleaning.

What else is neccessary for the pigeons. Right now they are in an 8x8 and my chickens are in a tractor (portable coop) so the quicker I can move the pigeons, the better Currently I have 3 oriental rollers and getting more. How many can this coop hold.


-Leah
 

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8X4 loft. should have no more than 16 birds, if you go by the formula. If you are planning on 6 nest boxes, than that would be 12 birds, which would be even better. Over crowding isn't good for them. The more space the better. If you do one long 2X4 perch or shelf, you should still have individual perches. Pigeons can be very anal about their perch. They like their own. The shelf as an extra thing would be nice. I use 2X4 for perches, and cut them 6 inches long. They really don't poop on the guy underneath much at all. The birds like them better than the V perches. On some walls I have them one over the other, and on some walls, I have them staggered. They will try to compete for the higher perches. In some places, I use the flat perch, and put a plastic V perch just under it. Best of both worlds. The birds are happier with the wide perch, as they can lay down when they want to, and in colder climates, they lower themselves down over their feet to keep them warm. As far as the nest boxes, 2' long is great if you are going to breed. Gives them room for 2 nest bowls. The same goes for the boxes. They will compete for the higher boxes. Is stacked on top of each other the only way you can do it? Can you put 2 side by side? I would lift the bottom box off the floor. Better not to have it on the floor. Some times the residents of that box start thinking of the whole floor as their territory. We'd love to see pics as you go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I intend to have some pictures, but since it's a camera phone I won't have many. I can 2 side by side on the back wall and just have 3 rows. I don't know specifics but tomorrow I can offer more details. I'm playing on paint with different designs. If you have pictures of your loft they would be helpful. I've seen on this forum someone have 2x4's with little gray upside down V's below them. That looked nice. I will probably start with the flat 2x4 individual perches and adjust as seen fit. Right now I have 2 males and a female. I know this is off topic but my red male is beating the crumb out of the champagne one anytime he comes down. He is hiding at the highest point. I have the lone male in a seperate cage, and old quail cage, so I know he is getting food and water. Any advice on that?
 

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You can see pics of my loft on my page, but there are much better designed lofts than mine. I posted pics of the 2X4s with the V perch under them in another thread today.

Is the aggressive male mated to the female?
 

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You might want to think about a little bigger loft, 6 nest boxes 12 birds. By the time they raise the first round you will be over crowded.
Dave
 

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Dave is right. I didn't even think about that. It's late here, and apparently I'm a bit tired. He's right though. If you are building boxes to let them breed, then it will be over crowded very quickly. Unless you are not planning on letting them breed more than up to 12 birds. In which case, the boxes don't really have to be that long. How many birds are you planning on keeping?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You might want to think about a little bigger loft, 6 nest boxes 12 birds. By the time they raise the first round you will be over crowded.
Dave
I am just keeping the rollers for fun. I am not really into it for the sport or anything. I only want a few. I planned to sell babies once weaned. Do you think it'd be easier to simply conver the chicken coop. I do have another available coop. It's just the coop doesn't have a wire floor, bar door, or anything like that. I will post a picture of the coop before it was finished for an idea.



The picture is when we first started the framing. I can change anything except for what you see there. It's 8x7.5 with a 8' high front 7' high back. Should it be fully enclosed? We live in North Carolina. Highs in July can be 100 and lows can be 10 at the coldest of summer. I do have a timer that I just bought for a light that can be used.

Please excuse the mess, we were trying to build this when we first moved in and hadn't had time to clean. The woods in the background are the closest trees, should hawks be a big worry?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was planning on having a different colors of oriental rollers and if I can mix breeds I was looking at the santinets and frill backs. I don't have a need for many birds but if I can fit more, well you know the saying; the more the merrier.
 

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I was planning on having a different colors of oriental rollers and if I can mix breeds I was looking at the santinets and frill backs. I don't have a need for many birds but if I can fit more, well you know the saying; the more the merrier.
If your going to have "fancies" (satinette's or frillbacks) you don't want to be letting them "free fly".
I would modify the coop you show in the picture. In your climate you could enclose 3 sides, and put 1/4 - 1/2" hardware cloth on the south side.
My flight cage (pictures in my albums) is built on the ground, so I dug down about 8 inches, filled with sand then put 1/4" hardware cloth over that - attaching it to the wood frame (so nothing could dig underneath and get in), then I put more sand and stone dust over that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If your going to have "fancies" (satinette's or frillbacks) you don't want to be letting them "free fly".
I would modify the coop you show in the picture. In your climate you could enclose 3 sides, and put 1/4 - 1/2" hardware cloth on the south side.
My flight cage (pictures in my albums) is built on the ground, so I dug down about 8 inches, filled with sand then put 1/4" hardware cloth over that - attaching it to the wood frame (so nothing could dig underneath and get in), then I put more sand and stone dust over that.
Okay. the south side is the right side if you are facing the front, so that's easy to leave exposed. What do you mean free fly. The oriental rollers I have now have only been there a week and since they are adults I was told 8 weeks before letting them fly.
 

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I am sure you'll have problems with hawks in NC. If your birds are allowed to come and go as they please, they'll be "easy pickens"

Hugh
 

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You're going to get lots of different opinions on here. Probably be more confused than you were before. I wouldn't leave it open on one side, I'd enclose the whole thing, add windows and cut holes for ventilation which you cover with 1/4 or 1/2 inch hardware cloth, and add an aviary for them to use. An aviary is better than leaving one side open, as you can completely close it up when needed. But they would then need the aviary to get fresh air and sunshine. You want windows that you can close, but that are covered with hardware cloth. I know some people use chicken wire, but in doing so, rodents and snakes can get in, and rats and snakes will kill your birds, and even mice getting in can spread salmonella, which will make your birds really sick.
 

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What do you mean free fly. The oriental rollers I have now have only been there a week and since they are adults I was told 8 weeks before letting them fly.
If you are going to let your birds out to fly, fancy pigeons like she mentioned, don't fly all that well, so would be easy for a hawk to grab, and they don't have much homing ability and would therefore get lost out there somewhere and starve. So mixing fancy breeds with flying breeds is difficult if you are going to let the flying breeds out to fly. I think that's what she was saying. If not she can correct me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I am working on it now. I decided to take the open sided idea and do what we did on our chicken tractor. Have it hinged so that in winter winds you can close it, but summer you can open it up for circulating air. I am still unusre of how I want the specifics, but am just trying to get the basics done.
 

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That idea sounds great. Let us know how it all goes. Open would be nice in the hot weather, as long as you can close it during the colder weather.
 

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If you are going to let your birds out to fly, fancy pigeons like she mentioned, don't fly all that well, so would be easy for a hawk to grab, and they don't have much homing ability and would therefore get lost out there somewhere and starve. So mixing fancy breeds with flying breeds is difficult if you are going to let the flying breeds out to fly. I think that's what she was saying. If not she can correct me.
Ya! That's what I meant ;)

And for the loft, I was thinking to start, she could leave the south side open, and cover it with plastic if it gets too cold. She could eventually add on to that side.
 

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That sounds good. Being able to add on if wanted would be good too.
 

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Well I am working on it now. I decided to take the open sided idea and do what we did on our chicken tractor. Have it hinged so that in winter winds you can close it, but summer you can open it up for circulating air. I am still unusre of how I want the specifics, but am just trying to get the basics done.
If you wants some ideas, click on my name and look under my album called "My Loft." You will see how I built mine and maybe get some ideas.

Tony

PS My loft is open to the southwest.
 

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That a nice tour of your loft Tony. You can tell that a lot of planning went into it.
 
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