Dovecote for many is a symbol of childhood. In ancient times, dovecotes were in every yard, and today their number is rapidly decreasing, because the number of people who are interested in breeding pigeons and their development is decreasing. If you are interested in these familiar urban birds, and you are going to breed pigeons and get offspring from them, it will be useful for you to learn how to build a dovecote correctly, taking into account all the features of its internal design.
The dovecote and its construction are very important for the healthy life and reproduction of pigeons. When building a dovecote, keep in mind that it must have enough free space for its inhabitants, and that enough sunlight and fresh air can penetrate into it. For example, you can set up a dovecote in a warm and ventilated attic in your home.
You can choose the material for construction according to your own taste. If the dovecote is wooden, sheathe it with plywood from the inside, plaster it and treat the seams with putty. In a dovecote built of bricks, the walls and ceiling must also be plastered, and the metal dovecote must be sheathed from the inside with boards and plywood, and then covered with plaster. If you want the dovecote to be warm, make double walls with an air gap or insulation material between them.
Build a dovecote with several compartments - for young pigeons, as well as for keeping females and males separately in winter, and for storing feed and grooming equipment. In another compartment, you need to keep old pigeons.
The height of the dovecote should be 1, 8-2 m, and the size of the door should be at least 150x55 cm. Make a double door - the outer one from boards, and the inner one from a strong mesh. This will allow you to open the outer door without danger for the pigeons in the summer, creating better ventilation of the dovecote.
In the walls of the dovecote, be sure to make windows, the area of which should be 1/10 of the floor area. Make also the entrance for the pigeons to go outside, about 20 cm wide and up to 25 cm high. The height of the entrance above the floor should be no more than one and a half meters for flying pigeons. Use thick metal wire for adjustable entrances.
Direct the front of the dovecote to the south or southeast side so that the sun's rays constantly penetrate the birds - this keeps them healthy. In order to be able to turn on the light for pigeons even on a cloudy day, supply electricity to the dovecote.
Make the floors from boards that fit tightly together. Set up perches for each pigeon in the dovecote, and the pigeons should have room to nest and lay their eggs. For perches, take 2-4 cm wide wooden blocks that are 30-40 cm from the floor. Make the nests in the form of boxes with a plywood bottom and slatted walls. The bottom of the nest should be slightly concave downward.
For the convenience of feeding birds, install feeders and drinkers with automatic feed and water supply in the dovecote. Also, shallow bathtubs should be made for pigeons and in winter, straw, sand or hay should be laid on the floor for insulation and simplification of cleaning, which, regardless of the season, should be done daily.