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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi...
I'm on my second generation of building nesting boxes.
I've tried some divided in half, with a front covering one side (as available for purchase). And some that are simple boxes - no fronts, no dividers.

Most of my pigeons nest in a coop (with these boxes). The coop is probably 20 x 8 wide by 8 high. They are free to fly, and most sleep in our adjacent pole barn. The problem is that the pigeons are very territorial and try to take over as many boxes as they can. A new bird, or baby just reaching adulthood, is often chased by an older bird from shelf to shelf to shelf. Other birds (baby birds) have been scalped or even killed. One adult mother just about had her eyes pecked out.

I'm not sure what the causes are, but I suspect it has to do with territory. This winter, I want to remodel the coop. Is there a reason to prefer the nesting boxes with dividers and half fronts to simple boxes? Is that model useful when birds can fly free?

Would appreciate any advice - I'm new at this and not sure how well we're doing.
 

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How many pigeons do you have in there if to many that can be your problem and it's best to put the yb away from adults when they can eat and drink by them selfs
 

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nest boxes

I have found that the best way to set up nestboxes is to have a single entrance to the box with a fold down perch that is double wide to accomadate both parents, and is attached to front with self closing kitchen cabinet hinge. I will try to attach picture. this is their only roost in the whole coop, and they claim and defend it well-just the perch is double wide, not the entry.
 

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measurments

Thank you Wolverine- I try! they measure 36" wide x 18" deep x 18" tall including the pull out tray. they have removable 1/2"x 1" wire floors, and I have a slot in the center upright that I can slide in either a wire panel-for pairing, or a wood panel with hole for parents to go thru to young -to seperate parents from active, feathered, youngsters. they also have a gravity fed water cup in each nestbox- great for medicating each bowl as needed. more on my site below pictures .....Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
nesting boxes and territory

How many pigeons do you have in there if to many that can be your problem and it's best to put the yb away from adults when they can eat and drink by them selfs
I have about 15 birds.

The main coop is about 8' wide x 16' long and 10' high. This coop has a small entrance that allows the birds to fly out when they want, and come back to feed. There are like three breeding pairs that choose to live and roost in it; most of the rest roost in the top of an adjoining pole barn. The birds that breed in there are tolerant of the others as they come in to eat, but won't let the others in any of the available breeding boxes. (I have six breeding boxes in there.)

A secondary coop consists of six compartments, all about 3' wide, 3' deep, and 6' tall. A few birds prefer to nest in there. These birds typically try to monopolize ALL compartments, and will harass any other bird that dares try one.

A final coop includes a pair of breeding Red Trentons that I bought and don't trust not to fly away. I was supposed to get two pairs, but ended up with one male and three females, and there was a lot of stress in that cage. I've since let two females fly free.

I have taken to taking young, weaned birds away from the parents, because the parents seem anxious to get them gone (even scalping them to drive them away). I put the weaned birds in the secondary coop until I feel they're strong enough to fly, and then try to put them in the main coop so they can learn to feed there and come and go. I worry about how they'll get along with the "resident" birds - generally ok if they stay away from the boxes. I worry about what happens when they find their way out -- will they fly away with the others? are they strong enough to keep up? In general, the young birds eventually come out, they fly around, they stay near the coop when the rest go in, and they seem to have a hard time (or are reluctant to) find the little door and come in.

My major concern, I guess, is how to rearrange (rebuild) nesting boxes in the main coop that would be adequate for 5-6 breeding pairs to use it, and how to keep the 2-3 breeding pairs from just considering all the boxes as their property. Is there a way? And is there an optimum design for nesting boxes?
 

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It is probably the other birds that come in that are scalping your babies. Not usually their own parents doing that. You give them one box and lock them in til they see it as their box, and you do that with each pair you add to the loft. The unoccupied boxes should be kept closed so they don't try to take them over.

Letting them come and go as they please isn't really a good idea, as evevntually, a predator will get in there and could kill all your birds.
 

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Yeah single entrance and locking them in definitely works to pair a couple with a particular box. Doesn't take long, only 3-5 days, then you open the door and let them come out and look around. Never had a pair refuse to keep the box I chose for them. You need to be able to feed and water them in there while they are locked in.
 
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