If you seriously decide to engage in breeding pigeons, then you will certainly need a dovecote. You can attract craftsmen to build this room, or you can build it with your own hands. But a number of requirements are put forward for the dovecote, which must be taken into account during construction. Let's consider what requirements a premises for breeding and keeping pigeons should meet and how to build it with your own hands.
Requirements for pigeon
To understand which house for pigeons will be the best, you should remember where this bird lives in nature. Pigeons are looking for places under the rocks, but the bird will not begin to nest in places where the sun does not penetrate. Accordingly, the dovecote should be fairly light, similar to a cave.
Before starting the construction of the dovecote, you should draw a diagram of the room. It should be equipped with a bird hole, nests in which they can hatch eggs, prisads, and windows. All elements should be displayed on the diagram. When creating the scheme, you need to observe the ratio between all elements of the dovecote and the equipment with which it will be equipped. On the diagram it is not superfluous to display the location of the feeders and drinking bowls. Thus, it will turn out even at the design stage of the design to correct all errors, which will simplify the construction process.
The hinged structure is the simplest. It will take no more than a few hours to build it, but such a construction can only be installed on a private house, and there is no reason to talk about compliance with sanitary standards. It is a hinged structure the most ordinary box, which is attached to the wall of the house. This box has a hole through which birds can go outside and return to the house.
The main disadvantage of this design is the insecurity of birds from the weather. Since the structure should be light, it is usually made of nets that are nailed to a wooden frame. Accordingly, there will be nowhere for birds to hide from the wind, rain, or snow. Such a dovecote takes place if there is a main stationary room.
This type of design has many advantages. The tower dovecote is built in the shape of a quadrangle, hexagon, octagon or sphere. As a rule, the structure has 2 floors. The first is reserved for the storage of feed and equipment used for cleaning the premises. On the second floor there are nests. The shape of the design allows you to freely approach each nest. The bird enters the nest from the outside of the dovecote. Accordingly, opposite each nest there is a hole.
The only drawback of this design is its cost. You will have to spend a lot of money on the construction, but as a result you can get a dovecote, which will decorate the garden.
For the construction of this type of construction, you will practically not have to spend money, but this option is possible only if you have your own home. The dovecote is being built right in the attic. Of the building materials, you only need a grid or plywood, with which you can separate the desired part of the attic.
In each city, the authorities have developed standard designs of buildings for keeping pigeons. They do not contain anything superfluous. The room has squats, one window and a door. The floors are made of wood. All dimensions of the structure are indicated in the standard design.
You can build a dovecote on an individual project. We will consider this option in more detail. An individual project allows you to build a house for pigeons, based on their own preferences, and not the norms prescribed by the authorities.
To determine the size of the dovecote, you need to know how many birds will be contained in it, but this is not the only and, perhaps, not a decisive factor. Many have to start from the availability of free space. If there is enough free space to realize any fantasies, then the problem is solved. If space is limited, then it is worth considering the design in all the details. If desired, a good dovecote will turn out on the balcony.
According to existing standards, one pair of pigeons for a comfortable existence needs a cubic meter of space. Such a norm is maintained by units of pigeon farmers. To provide each pair with such space, it will be necessary to build a sufficiently large room even for a small flock of birds. It is important that the number of additives corresponds to the number of pigeons and the distance between them corresponds to the size of birds. At the same time, the volume of the room should not be significantly less than the norm.
It is worth taking into account the growth of a person who will care for birds. Pigeons need to be fed daily and water changed in drinking bowls. Accordingly, someone will have to do this. In addition, so that the pigeons do not hurt, they must be kept clean, systematic disinsection is carried out. The dimensions of the room and its design should be such that cleaning does not cause problems. There should not be a single corner in the dovecote to which you would not have access.
Many in the presence of free space initially do not think about what sizes of the premises for keeping pigeons will be the most optimal, and build excessively large pigeons. But when building a dovecote, you need to understand that there will be situations when the bird will have to be caught. If the ceilings in the dovecote are too high, you will have to chase the birds with a stepladder or stool, which is very inconvenient. If the ceiling is below the growth of the owner, then you will have to bend over the dovecot, bending over, and this is extremely inconvenient.
Experienced pigeon breeders note that the optimum height of the pigeon should be 15-20 cm higher than the growth of the pigeon.
The requirements for the width of the dovecote are no less stringent: in order to comfortably catch the birds, the maximum width of the dovecote should not exceed the range of the pigeon’s hands by 50-60 cm in each direction. As for the minimum dimensions, the width should not be less than 60 cm, otherwise the bird will not be able to comfortably move in the air.
Before you make a dovecote, you need to decide on its location. There are no special requirements for the location of the house for birds, but some points should be taken into account.
They build a house for birds in an open area so that birds can freely leave the house and return back. There should be no buildings nearby whose height exceeds the height of the barn itself, nor trees that also interfere with pigeons during the summer. Also, nearby power houses should not have power lines, telephone or other cables.
Do not forget that pigeons are unstable to various kinds of diseases, so do not place the dovecote near the cesspool or utility yard.
It is important to try to arrange the house for pigeons in such a way that there is as much light as possible in the room, and the wind bypasses it.
It is undesirable to have a residential building nearby, especially an apartment building, whose inhabitants can intentionally or accidentally harm birds, because not everyone can like this neighborhood.
Preparation for construction
Special equipment, in order to build and equip the dovecote, will not have to acquire. In addition to the standard set, which includes a hammer, drill, hacksaw, grinder, keys, screwdrivers and jigsaw, you will not need anything. The drill and grinder can be replaced with a perforator with appropriate nozzles. A screwdriver will help to simplify some of the work, but you can do without it. The same applies to the jigsaw. It will not be superfluous to have a centimeter or a long ruler at hand. They will be needed in the manufacture of nests and additives.
As for materials, it all depends on financial capabilities. The pigeons in the pigeon made of natural material will feel most comfortable. It can be wood or brick. Dovecotes are also built of metal, but such structures look less aesthetically pleasing than wooden or brick. The floor of the dovecote, regardless of what material it is made of, is preferably made of wood. The device of the dovecote presupposes the presence of a roof, so in addition you need to prepare a roofing material or slate. Preference should be given to slate, since it has a longer operational period. Heat insulation material should also be prepared.
It is important, among other things, to prepare a beam from which the frame, mesh and wood will be made for the manufacture of additives, glass for windows. A draft dovecote is applied to all prepared tools and building materials.
Construction of a house for pigeons
The construction of the dovecote for pigeons begins with the preparation of a work plan. In order to rationally distribute the time, you need to look at the drawings, imagine in your head the design structure in detail. The procedure is similar to the procedure for the construction of any relatively light construction. First of all, the foundation is installed, then the frame, walls and roof are erected. Work is being completed after the construction of equipment with which the dovecote should be equipped.
Consider each stage of construction separately.
Since the house for pigeons is not a heavy construction, it is impractical to lay a powerful foundation. To build the most stable building, it is better to fill the strip foundation. First, the location of the house is planned at the selected site. If there is a shrub or trees on the site, they need to be uprooted. Since the strip foundation involves making concrete fill the entire site under construction, it makes no sense to remove the top layer of soil throughout the site; it’s enough to dig trenches that will pass along the perimeter of the building and in the center. The depth and width of the trenches should be 40 and 30 cm, respectively.
The trenches are filled with gravel of small and medium fractions or with pre-ground brick. To strengthen the structure, together with gravel, pieces of reinforcement or metal rods are laid in a trench. Pour gravel and reinforcement with concrete mortar, give time for drying.
Before the foundation sets, it is necessary to install a bar or corner made of metal on which the frame will be mounted. You can install a metal corner later, but at this stage it is easier to do, and the mount will be more powerful.
It is advisable until the foundation is completely solidified to establish supporting angles located at the corners of the dovecote and along the walls, but it is not practical to erect the entire frame. Only supporting structural elements are important.
Further, in order to build a good dovecote, you will have to be patient. Functionally convenient pigeon house consists of 2 floors. The ground floor contains feed, cleaning and disinfection tools, and detergents. Between the first and second floor is a ladder.
When creating the frame, you need to take into account where the windows, the birdhouse and the door will be located. First, the frame can be assembled on the ground and all possible connections can be made, then the frame is raised to a vertical position, mounted on the foundation and attached to the support posts. This is perhaps the most time-consuming construction phase.
All fasteners must be secure. If you decide to build your dovecote out of wood, then all the boards are pre-treated with antiseptic and moisture repellents. After processing, allow the boards to dry.
Before upholstering the structure with wooden boards, you need to prepare them. In accordance with the device dovecote mark on the boards the location of windows and doors, access for birds. Also measure the required length and make notes on the boards. Then, using a hacksaw, according to the marking, cuts are made. It remains to mount the prepared structural elements.
You can pre-do not make incisions on the boards, but cut out windows, doors and manholes after mounting boards to the frame. This option is good because with such a sequence of work it is impossible to make a mistake and cut the door or window not where it is needed, but it will be necessary to operate the equipment “on weight”, which is not very convenient.
It remains to beat the frame from the inside. To create comfortable conditions for pigeons in the dovecote, a heat-insulating material is placed between the outer and inner upholstery. As thermal insulation, you can use mineral wool or sawdust. You can look at specialized stores and more modern materials for insulation, but their price policy will be much higher than the price of mineral wool. When using mineral wool, you will additionally have to lay waterproofing, which can be used as a plastic film.
Erection of a roof
There are several roof construction options. If we build a dovecote in the private sector and want it to become not only a house for birds, but also a decoration of the site, we can make a gable or multi-level roof. A pitched roof looks much simpler, but to build it is not as difficult and costly as a pitched roof.
Regardless of which roof construction option you are staying on, you first need to install the Mauerlat. This element is a wooden beam, which is the connecting element between the roof and walls. Mauerlat should be well fixed to the ends of the walls, on which it is mounted. This structural element redistributes the weight of the roof so that the pressure on all walls is the same. The more powerful the design, the larger the wooden beam is taken. It is better to connect the elements of Mauerlat with each other by the cutting method.
After mounting the Mauerlat, the rafter system is mounted. Its design depends on the number of ramps. If the roof is single-pitched, the rafter system consists of several beams located at a small angle. Accordingly, on one of the walls it is necessary to fix the support beams. Their height depends on the angle of the roof. If the roof is gable, then the rafter system is more complex. Two wooden beams located at the same angle are connected at the top by an overlay plate. The lower part of the beams rests on a Mauerlat. The mortise connection method, it is the most reliable. Since the size of the dovecote is small, the rafters will need a little (2-3).
When installing a gable roof, you still need to install the ridge.
After the construction of the rafters, they begin to cover the roof. There are many roofing materials on the market. It is up to you to decide which one to choose. Regardless of the material chosen, a waterproofing material should be installed between the rafters and the roofing material. So that there is a gap between the roof and the waterproofing, small wooden battens (with a cross section of not more than 5 cm) are stuffed onto the rafters on top of the waterproofing material. Then they make a crate, on which the roof is laid.
How exactly to make the crate can be said only after the roofing material is selected. It can be continuous or consist of boards and bars. The step of fastening the bars also depends on the selected roofing material.
It remains to lay the roofing material itself.For dovecote, slate is best suited. This is a relatively inexpensive roof, which has a long operational period. At this, the installation of the roof is over. If desired, you can insulate the roof from the inside.
Arrangement of an aviary
Some poultry farmers equip the dovecote with an aviary. It is a small balcony attached to one of the walls of the dovecote. The frame of this balcony consists of wooden bars that are fitted with a net.
Such a balcony makes sense if there is not enough space inside the house. In other cases, it is inexpedient to spend time and effort on arranging such an aviary. In addition, it will somewhat make the construction heavier.
The last thing left to do is cover the floors. As a rule, floors are made of wood, but before laying it must be treated with special means that make the material moisture resistant. It is advisable to lay the boards under a slight slope. With this design, moisture will not accumulate in the same places. There should be no gaps between the boards, otherwise there is a risk of injury by the pigeons.
To simplify the cleaning process and increase the operating period of the floor, it can be covered with linoleum. To fix the house you need is not a whole piece. The pigeon breeder should have access to the floor. General cleaning and disinfection of the dovecote involves cleaning not only the flooring, but also the wooden board that the floor is covered with. If linoleum is covered with narrow stripes, it is much easier to remove it and remove it from the dovecote.
Installation of communications
Before you make cages and feeders for pigeon, you need to conduct all communications. First of all, electric wires are mounted. The dovecote should have an artificial light source. If the house is not equipped with an electric heater, then it will not be amiss to make at least one outlet just in case. Maybe in harsh winter you will have to connect equipment for heating.
You also need to make sure that the dovecote can be aired. Ventilation should be well thought out. When arranging the ventilation openings, it is ensured that subsequently drafts do not form in the house, which adversely affect the health status of the birds. Alternatively, you can make an automated ventilation system, but to equip it you need certain knowledge, so at this stage you will have to turn to an electrician for help, who, if he doesn’t, will tell you how to properly organize an automated ventilation system device. If ventilation is improperly organized, the pigeons will constantly hurt. Even disinfection will not save from epidemics in such a house.
Installation of nests and tap holes
If communications are finished, then proceed to the installation of additives. Each bird inside the house should have its own place. Accordingly, the number of additives or perches inside the dovecote should correspond to the number of birds. Since the number of birds is variable, it is advisable to add a little more additives. You can arrange perches by the cellular method. To do this, mount a wooden structure, which in its shape resembles a honeycomb. You can simply nail strips or shelves to the wall. Perches should be on a windowless wall. There must be at least one window on the opposite wall.
Nests can be made independently. Maybe they will not be as beautiful as those offered in specialized stores, the main thing is to be functional. The size of the nests depends on the size of the bird. Pigeons of different breeds grow to different sizes.
It is noteworthy that not only doves, but also doves, sit on the eggs, so the size of the nests should correspond to the size of the males.
Each dovecote should be equipped with a feeder. Pigeon feeders have a specific shape. They are a miniature analogue of the trough, but if the trough does not have sections, then the pigeon feeder is divided into small compartments, each of which can have a different feed. Such a feeder can also be used as a drinking bowl, but the water compartments must be covered with waterproof material.
So that the birds do not enter the feeder with legs, they make a crate for it. The rods in the crates are placed only vertically. The distance between them should be such that the head of an adult bird passes between them. If you build the feeder correctly, then it should be equipped with legs 4-5 cm high. As necessary, replace the old feeder with a new one. If the feeder is uncomfortable, then it will be extremely difficult to train the birds to it.
On this arrangement of the dovecote can be considered complete. Making a good dovecote with your own hands is not easy. This, in addition to time, will require considerable material costs. As an option, you can buy an old poultry house, but you need to look at what condition the old dovecote is in and how much its design meets the standards. Sometimes restoration of an old dovecote costs no cheaper than building a new one.
If you plan to keep a large number of birds, it is advisable to build several houses. If this is not possible, it is advisable to equip the pigeons for dovecote (at least 2).
It’s quite possible to build a dovecote with your own hands. To do this, you do not need the skills of a builder or a carpenter, it is enough to have a desire to build a house for feathered friends. But before you build a dovecote, you definitely need to make a project. Not everyone can do this on their own, so at this stage it is advisable to seek help from a specialist. After the construction is completed, you should start arranging the bird house. In order for the feathered pigeon to be comfortable, it must be properly equipped.