Pigeons need a good home to rest, breed and brood their young. The loft you build will depend on the breed you will produce and how many of the birds you want to keep. If you plan to race the birds or use them for exhibit and show purposes, your backyard space will determine how large your loft can be built. For racing pigeons, the standard dimensions are 1.5 square feet of floor space for each bird in your loft, larger breeds need 2 square feet per bird. Mated birds need to be separated from the main flock when breeding season comes so sections for nesting should be provided.
BASIC LOFT BUILD GUIDELINES
Locate the loft where there are no tall trees or obstructions to the birds’ flight path returning home.
Pigeons can endure heat and cold down to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit but will NOT survive drafts or constant winds.
The loft should be ventilated with slowly moving fresh air; Wind-powered mobile blowers are cheap and function well for this purpose.
Wire or open mesh floors keep the place free from messy poop and dry lofts keep pigeons in good health.
A raised loft prevents dampness from settling in the birds’ quarters from morning condensation so your birds won’t get sick.
To prevent your pigeons from flying in and out of the loft at will, use a locking one-way trap or non-wounding bobwire at the loft the loft entry.
Never place feed, grit or water on the landing board where the birds alight. This attracts vermin and predators.
Chicken wire or galvanized rabbit wire may be too sharp and can damage and destroy feathers. Use dowels or 1 x1 inch welded wire cloth for walls, partitions, doors aviaries and enclosures.
Doors and entryways into the loft space should measure at least 36 inches wide. Smaller openings will bruise your elbows when you carry in a pail or a wide container to feed for your birds.
Overcrowding can cause of sickness and rapid contamination. Never overcrowd your birds. The more room the better. Control breeding too so that unwanted birds for your stock can be sold off or given away.
Two sections of compartments are good enough for most breeds. For breeds that have trouble raising their own young like Satinettes (short beaks), three sections are recommended, one extra for foster parents. For racing breeds or if your stock is for competition racing, 4 sections are good, 2 for breeders, and 2 for the race team.
Perches are also a good part of a loft. Taking a perch is an important part of a bird’s flock socialization. The rule is to allow for more than the number of birds you have or intend to keep.
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