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Discussion Starter #1
I've had a male with an eye problem that has been resolved and tried to reintroduce him to the flock but serious fighting occurred. Obviously I don't know what I am doing. . . . I need help (actually he needs help!). He was in a cage within the main cage while recovering so they all saw him. Please be patient with me. . . .
 

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Before you isolated him, did he establish his place in the flock, did he have his own cubby and/or perch??
 

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Is it just one particular bird who is fighting with him?
If so, then you may have to lock that one up for a bit till the re-introduced bird gets his place down. Are they fighting over a particular nest box or what?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not one box, fighting in or at several, not one male but one or two at a time making it three that oppose him. The male being introduced is blind in one eye, could that be a factor - they don't want a liability bird? After so much time helping him recover. . . I am concerned. He may have to live alone?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Skyeking - yes he had his place in the flock and he had a mate who didn't make it He was one of the original males, the ones fighting are new ones that were not grown up before he was 'hospitalized' (just realized this). The health problem was severe, and I had no luck with products recommended and used, put when my husband had eye surgery there were eye drops left and they worked!
 

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Skyeking - yes he had his place in the flock and he had a mate who didn't make it He was one of the original males, the ones fighting are new ones that were not grown up before he was 'hospitalized' (just realized this). The health problem was severe, and I had no luck with products recommended and used, put when my husband had eye surgery there were eye drops left and they worked!
When you removed him, another male took over his territory, whether that was a perch, or cubby. In such a situation I usually close off the cubby, or remove the perch so no other male will take over, when bird is returned to the coop I put back perch or open the cubby.

In addition if there are new young males now, he may not have much of chance to regain his territory. Losing an eye could be a factor, however it has never stopped any of my rehabbed male birds from taking their place in the flock and being able to defend himself. He is a liability just being introduced again as the "new" bird in town, and needs to reestablish his position.

Fighting also takes place, if their is overcrowding and/or if there are no hens for cocks to mate with. How large is the coop? Do you have any hens? It is always beneficial to have an equal amount of hens to males.

I would not release this male into the loft at this time.
 

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When you removed him, another male took over his territory, whether that was a perch, or cubby. In such a situation I usually close off the cubby, or remove the perch so no other male will take over, when bird is returned to the coop I put back perch or open the cubby.

In addition if there are new young males now, he may not have much of chance to regain his territory. Losing an eye could be a factor, however it has never stopped any of my rehabbed male birds from taking their place in the flock and being able to defend himself. He is a liability just being introduced again as the "new" bird in town, and needs to reestablish his position.

Fighting also takes place, if their is overcrowding and/or if there are no hens for cocks to mate with. How large is the coop? Do you have any hens? It is always beneficial to have an equal amount of hens to males.

I would not release this male into the loft at this time.

^ I agree with everything Sky says. Everything I would have said. Except about not bringing him into the loft right now. I would. But I would stay there with him. When I bring in a new bird, I stay there and make sure all is okay. Some males are always going to hassle another male somewhat. That's to be expected. But if it is really rough fighting, then I lock up the offender for a while. When I let him out, I watch, and lock him up again if I have to. If it's a few males, then lock them all up. The way you have your set up, it's really hard to do that. I saw the pictures in another post. You really should have it redone, where you don't have them on the floor like that. Build a wall, and attach the boxes to it. Or stack boxes on one side of the porch there, or whatever it is. Figure out a way to close each box if need be. That way you can close different birds in their boxes. Your set up is isn't good for being able to do that. And pigeons feel safer if not on the floor.
I have had males that fought so bad that I wouldn't let them out together for a while. I would take turns locking them up for the day. When I got home from work, I would let the locked bird out, and stay there to break up any fights that ensued. The next day, the other one was locked up. Eventually they will get along, and will all find their place, but it can take time. First though, you need to rethink your set up. It wouldn't be expensive, and wouldn't be hard to do. I'm sorry, but your set up is all wrong. Can you fix that? They would all get along better, and it would be easier for you also. The way it is now, I don't even know how you clean the boxes.
 

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Here is the set up. The boxes should be stacked on top of one another, and the lower boxes should not be on the ground. You need to get them off the floor.





 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you both for your help and information. I have tried monitoring the fights and breaking them up and will do that again with putting the younger males up for a while. Yes I understand the need to redo their housing, it wasn't meant for them when originally built. It is hard to clean the pens - luckily I am very flexible and crawl around in there - the nest boxes are hinged on the back side and can be opened to be cleaned. The male that needs to be reintroduced did not have a certain nest box - I have seen the birds change nest boxes quite regularly. Perhaps that is because they don't like the set-up. Can you recommend a good place to see layouts?
 

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Boxes set in rows, so many across. And maybe another row on top of that.
Even if you used a wide board or 2, and put down 3 cinder blocks across one end of the enclosure to support them. That would bring them up a little. Then build onto that.
If you go on you tube, and type in pigeon lofts, it will bring up different videos of how people set them up. You can see inside others lofts.
 

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When you put in boxes or perches in the new set-up, be sure to close any extra nest boxes that are not being used, once they have all established their place in the coop (remove extra perches), so that in the future any new bird has a box or perch.
 

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When you put in boxes or perches in the new set-up, be sure to close any extra nest boxes that are not being used, once they have all established their place in the coop (remove extra perches), so that in the future any new bird has a box or perch.
^Good point. This is very important, because if allowed, male pigeons are real estate hogs. They will take over as many nest boxes as they can. And once they take over a box, it is near impossible to give it to another bird. They will guard it and not let another bird use it. Then if you need a box for a new bird, or a pair, you won't have one. Although your area is pretty large, so you do have room to put in more boxes, it is still a good practice.
If you are going to breed, make sure each box is large enough for breeding.
If there is only room in the box for the 2 parents, plus the 2 babies, then when they want to start another nest and lay again, they will want another box to start the new nest in. They will usually want to start a new nest before the babies have left the box. If the box is large enough, they can start the new nest in the same box.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay so I can see a 'double' nest, one with access to another. I will have to learn what size is best. Currently the nests I have are likely too small. If both parents and both babies are in the nest = very crowded. Usually one mate steps outside for the other to enter the nest. Their nests are off the ground but once in a while one will lay on the ground anyway. If you close off a nest then how will new 'romances' find a spot? I very much appreciate y'alls time and effort in helping me. P.S. going to go out now and let the rehoming male encounter his adversaries, then put them in a separate pen I've put in there.
 

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If you close off a nest then how will new 'romances' find a spot? I very much appreciate y'alls time and effort in helping me. P.S. going to go out now and let the rehoming male encounter his adversaries, then put them in a separate pen I've put in there.
Let your current couples establish their territory, cubbies and/or perches, once you have your whole new set up. Have only as many cubbies/perches as you have couples, or singles. Then if you add a new bird or "romancing" couple, then add a new cubby/perch. don't leave any extras.

Sometimes you have to settle them (the romancing couple" in and close it from other aggressive males (provide food and water), but most males will protect their new territory.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Planning new set up in start-up mode. Meanwhile after one time in 'time-out' there appears to be no more fighting, but this evening when they go in their house will be the final answer. Re-homer is definitely giving them a chance to fight by walking right past them. One of the males that he knew was seen correcting his young son who was showing interest in re-homer. These guys are great to watch.
 

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I close off extra boxes. If I do need a box for a new couple, I choose their box. Once they are a couple, I close them into their box for a few days to get used to the idea that that is their box. Then I can let them out for exercise, and put them back into their box for the night. Soon, they become attached to the box they are in, and will take it as theirs. In the beginning, I just let them choose a box, but now there isn't so much extra real estate left. So they get the box I have. I do try to put them in the right location though if possible. A very dominant bird is going to do better in a higher box.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As I still have several boxes not being used and I intend to re-do the set-up, I will let them choose for now. All their boxes are at least four inches off the ground now. Very valuable information about more aggressive birds taking higher boxes. The two top males are in the same area with one over the other which makes for fairly constant squabbles. I think a three layer set up would be good and two nest boxes side-by-side where the parents have a partial divider, letting them go from one to the other - that is working well in the area that I have like that now. Is there a time of year that the pigeons are least likely to have young - as that is when I would choose to re-do their housing. Cannot thank you enough for your advice and help!
 

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When you give a very dominant bird a lower box, he will most likely fight with a higher up bird for his box or perch. If you watch your birds, and if you put up perches for them, you will see that the more dominant will go to the higher perches. In nature, they like to perch high, where they are safer from predators. It's instinctual. So in a loft situation, they will do the same. I have had dominant males who have chosen boxes next to each other, and have had to place a board between so that they didn't see each other. A less dominant bird in a higher box may be ousted by a tougher male. Just easier to assign boxes with the bird in mind if possible. But you can only do that if you know the birds. In the wild, the nesting slows down when the days shorten and the weather gets colder, but in captivity, they do breed more and longer.

I would just set up the area as soon as possible, and switch out the eggs for now with fake eggs. This way, if they do abandon them, they won't be abandoning developing eggs or babies. When doing a who enclosure this way, it's kind of hard to catch them when they aren't breeding, and then it will be winter and too cold to work outside. I would just do it now. There should also be more perches set up then you have birds, as the males like to perch at night, rather than in the box. But your area is pretty open, and really should have some walls put up. The openness of your enclosure won't keep the cold, snow and wind out when it winter gets here. The walls would also give you somewhere to put up perches. Closing off maybe one end of the enclosure, and putting the boxes and perches in this loft area would be good.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow, assigning boxes - I wouldn't have thought of that. I guess you would have to do the 'close them in with food and water' routine, which again means much bigger nest areas. The area I have now is enclosed on four sides (not to the ground) with roosts or perches underneath. Pretty well decided I am going to take the roof off and make another layer on top and raise or add more perches and nest boxes. And that way I will be able to stand inside!! Actually it is still a heat factor of 100 here in Texas and I am hoping for cooler weather really soon. Last winter we didn't even have a freeze (pepper plants are now about six feet tall). Will be sketching the design over the next couple of days. I am more fully understanding that you need to really know your birds. I am spending way more time with them. Thank you for advice and encouragement. P.S. reintroduced guy is doing quite well.
 

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You don't have to pick all their boxes if you don't want to. The more dominant birds will probably get the top ones anyway. But have extra boxes, and keep them closed off, and if you do get new birds, you can give the pair a box of your choosing.

Buying some fake eggs is a good idea, or you will end up with too many birds for the space. Each male needs his own box, and there should be more perches than you have birds.
I have a little hen who can't really fly. She can flutter up to a low perch, or flutter down to the floor if she isn't high up. She took over a box for a year and a half by herself, before I found a mate for her. They are now in that box. But normally, you just need a box for each male, and he will bring a mate there. Kinda hard to take a mate if you don't have a box.
All depends on what you are doing with your birds. Mine aren't that big, but I also try not to breed. Mine is a rescue loft, and don't need a lot of extra babies being hatched. Every now and then one or two get by me, and they have plenty of room, but if I were letting them breed, and they were going to start another nest and hatch babies, then they would be too small. They do lay eggs in the back corner even tho they have babies in the box, but because I am going to switch out the eggs for fake, so they aren't going to be hatching a second clutch, it works.
They could have been 3 high and 5 across just as well if that is the room you have. Much better though I think when you can walk around inside. Much easier.
These are 16 across by 15 deep. The middle row up and down are 15 across and 15 deep.


These are some extra boxes I built to go across the room. These are I think 16 across and 16 deep.
Like I said, all depends on what you are doing with your birds.
 
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