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What I want to do:

  • have a 4x8x8 foot flight with wire walls, ceiling and floor
  • have a soil floor on top of the ground wire, in contact with the existing dirt underneath.
  • plant pigeon friendly fast growing annuals in the floor
  • have a small flock of 4-10 pigeons

Things that might make this a good idea:
  • the flight will be in my forest garden, already surrounded in various plants. It will look nice and not take up plant space
  • plants seems like they would make the flight more interesting for the birds
  • pigeon manure is supposed to be a good fertilizer


Things that might make this a bad idea:

  • the floor might make it hard to keep things clean
  • several threads here say dirt floors are bad (though they don't seem to mean "soil and plants")

Things that might mitigate the bad parts:
  • killing off the plants periodically so I can shovel manure and existing dirt, and replace with clean dirt
  • having only a section be full of plants, and more used section having a traditional concrete floor

That about sums up my current thoughts. Given all those, is my idea to have a soil and plant floor a terrible one? Would my thoughts on how to mitigate it help any? If I change the dirt out every so often, how often should I? How much manure would 10 birds produce? I've seen threads say to scrape the perches and scrub the floor every other day or so... Is this only for large flocks?
 

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What I want to do:

have a 4x8x8 foot flight with wire walls, ceiling and floor
have a soil floor on top of the ground wire, in contact with the existing dirt underneath.
plant pigeon friendly fast growing annuals in the floor
have a small flock of 4-10 pigeons
Yes, wired floor is a must - needs to be tough enough to keep out burrowing/gnawing rodents.

Things that might make this a good idea:
the flight will be in my forest garden, already surrounded in various plants. It will look nice and not take up plant space
plants seems like they would make the flight more interesting for the birds
pigeon manure is supposed to be a good fertilizer
The birds should like the greenery, though if it's really interesting they may well take a nibble at some leaves :)

Poop is good for green plants, plenty of nitrogen, not so much for flowering. Be aware, though, that plants can get too much of it. I lost a European Fan Palm on my balcony through generations of pooping pigeons. Still, with annuals you won't have that problem I'd think.

Things that might make this a bad idea:

the floor might make it hard to keep things clean
several threads here say dirt floors are bad (though they don't seem to mean "soil and plants")
It would make it more difficult to clean up poop, yes. Also, depending on the mesh, mice are small enough to get through really tiny gaps from underneath the wire.

Soil, obviously, contains bacteria (well, depending on the source of it, I guess - I'm thinking plain old earth). Also, if it gets wet, depending on the local climate, it nay stay wet for a while, and we know that damp is not good for the birds - particularly damp and cold. But then, that usually appplies to damp conditions inside a loft.

Things that might mitigate the bad parts:
killing off the plants periodically so I can shovel manure and existing dirt, and replace with clean dirt
having only a section be full of plants, and more used section having a traditional concrete floor

That about sums up my current thoughts. Given all those, is my idea to have a soil and plant floor a terrible one? Would my thoughts on how to mitigate it help any? If I change the dirt out every so often, how often should I? How much manure would 10 birds produce? I've seen threads say to scrape the perches and scrub the floor every other day or so... Is this only for large flocks?
I don't think, with care, that it's a bad idea. As regards scraping, yes they should have their 'living room furniture' scraped down, but it shouldn't be a huge job.

We have a long aviary with two 'loft' areas, and 100 pigeons, but it doesn't take too long to do the poop scraping. Boxes need a good scrub aft6er a while, though. In one of the shelter areas, we do actually have soil, but we have laid down sheets of quite thick rubber flooring over it. England gets a lot of rain, like now, and the garden soil gets waterlogged, with the wetness inevitable soaking the earth benath the flooring.
 

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because it is only an 8x4 floor area I would go with traditional flooring you can clean.. this may work though in a really big aviary where the birds are only in there during parts of the day.. you have to be aware of worm infestation too with dirt without somekind of thick litter to cover it and compost it with help of natural microbs. in a small area I think it would be hard to keep that balance.
 
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