Keeping pigeons has been a common hobby in parts of Europe for centuries, but is gaining popularity in North America as well. In order to maintain healthy and happy pigeons, certain aspects should be kept in mind when creating their enclosure. Building an appropriate enclosure will keep your pigeons comfortable and ensure their return while also helping them to become stronger. Keeping them safe from predators as well as the elements is the key goal of a proper enclosure
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Things you need
- 2-by-4 wood planks
- Hammer and nails
- Plywood sheets
- Chicken wire fencing
- Saw (circular or traditional)
- Door hinges
- Screwdriver and screws
- Measuring tape
Decide on the number of pigeons you wish to keep; each bird should have around 20 cubic feet of space inside the enclosure to have enough room to be comfortable. Also decide on the location you plan to put the cage. Pigeons tend to prefer entering structures on south or east facing openings, so yours should try to accommodate this.
Design the layout of your cage after determining the number of pigeons you wish to keep. These particular design plans will accommodate up to 20 pigeons comfortably.
Create the rectangular framework for the pigeon cage. Lay down two 5-foot-long 2-by-4s and nail the ends of two other 2-foot-long 2-by-4s to the ends of the longer ones, which will produce a rectangular shape. Nail the ends of a third 2-foot-long 2-by-4 to the 5-foot-long planks in the middle to add strength to your framework. Make a second one of these and then cover one side of each rectangle with a sheet of plywood 5 feet by 21 inches by nailing it down to the 2-foot-long supports. These will become the roof and floor frames of your cage.
Orient these two rectangular frames so that the plywood sides face upward. Cut four more 2-by-4s to 4 feet in length and nail the ends of these into the butt ends of the 5-foot-long horizontal floor and roof planks. You should now have a three dimensional structure with a covered floor and roof.
Cover the back and sides with sheets of plywood to keep out the elements. The back piece should measure 5 feet by 4 feet and the sides should each measure 2 feet by 4 feet. Nail these directly into the 2-by-4 framework. You should now have a rectangular cube with 5 of 6 sides covered.
Cut a 2-by-4 to 5 feet and nail into the butt ends of it through the vertical supports, 22 inches above the floor.
Cut another sheet of plywood measuring 2 feet by 5 feet and nail it on to the bottom side of the open wall of the cube, as well as into the horizontal support from Step 6.
Cut a sheet of plywood measuring 5 feet by 1 foot and nail the edge of it to the horizontal support from Step 6 so that it protrudes into the cube. This will create an elevated 'loft' for the pigeons to stand and feed on. Nail the edge of it flush with the front facing sheet from Step 7.
Cut two 2-by-4s to five feet, and three others to 21 inches. Cut a sheet of plywood to 5 feet by 2 feet, then cut a rectangle out of the centre of it by drilling a hole, inserting the jigsaw blade and removing a rectangle measuring 18 inches by 54 inches, leaving a rectangle with a 3 -inch-wide perimeter all the way around it. This will somewhat resemble a giant picture frame border.
Lay the two 5-foot-long 2-by-4s on the ground, parallel to each other, then place the three 21-inch-long 2-by-4s with one at either end of the 5-foot-long planks between them, and one in the middle, somewhat resembling a ladder. Cover this surface with a sheet of chicken wire, then place the plywood rectangle frame from Step 9 on top. Nail the plywood into the 2-by-4s, securing the chicken wire in place. This will become the ventilated door to your pigeon loft.
Attach three hinges to one 5-foot 2-by-4 plank of your door from Step 10. Attach the other side of the hinge to the 5-foot-long 2-by-4 on the roof edge of your cube. This will allow the door to remain closed, but will be able to be lifted up to allow the pigeons access to or from the cage, as well as to provide plenty of access for cleaning the enclosure.
Tips and warnings
- Clean the enclosure regularly and replenish food and water dishes.
- Orient the enclosure so that the chicken-wire-fenced opening faces south, if possible.
- Covering the roof and sides of the enclosure will help to protect it against the elements and will keep the birds warmer, as well as to preserve the enclosure longer.
- Always wear proper protective equipment when operating power tools.
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