"wcwilson" wrote in message
>> Stay informed about: Dove cote and Newbie
> I'm in the process of building a dovecote similar to ones I've seen in
> books. I got the basic design from a gentleman in England, however,
> I've made some modifications. The basic shape is a four story
> octagon. Each floor is approximately 22 inches in diameter and 8
> inches high. I've cut for every other side (four per floor) an
> entrance approximately 3 1/2 inches wide and 5 1/2 inches tall. The
> dovecotes in England are much larger thus allowing each floor to be
> subdivided. However, due to the smaller size of mine, I have some
> Stupid question no. 1.... Should I leave the inside of each floor
> open, or should I subdivide it into two or more boxes. I was very
> worried about making each floor into four separate boxes, thus leaving
> an area approximately 11 x 11 x 8. Dividing it in half would give me
> an area approximately 22 x 11 x 8 and would leave two entrances per
> box. Is completely open too large?
> Stupid question no. 2....If I either leave the floors open, or
> subdivide in half should I add a trap to one entrance and keep the
> other with a door that closes. If I leave the whole floor open with
> four entrances, would I put dowels covering one or two entrances with
> a door so that in colder weather they could be closed, but in warmer
> weather provide ventilation?
> Stupid question no. 3....Given there are hawks in the area does a trap
> provide the birds any protection? Would a hawk (or owl) potentially
> get caught in the house or will they stay out of a house with traps?
> Would it be better to leave more than one entrance open so that the
> pigeon has a chance for escape?
> Thanks so much. Any response is greatly appreciated.
I've got a very successful (too successful!) dove cote which is subdivided
on two floors into 6 boxes. Due to the design, some of the boxes are a lot
bigger than the others. The most important thing is that each box should
have its own entrance as the birds are very territorial and protective of
their space ie. one door per box.
We also have hawks and crows which have been known to steal the eggs and
chicks and have found no way to prevent them from doing what they do
naturally. Sadly sparrowhawks are a protected species. Having said that,
the pigeons are prolific breeders, and I have reached the stage where I
remove the eggs on a regular basis. At this very moment though, one of the
pairs have been a bit sneaky and managed to hatch out 2 babies, the first in
about 2 years.
Pigeons are very tough and can put up with cold - ventilation is more
important. At night in the trees above the dove cote, about 30 regularly
visiting white pigeons roost, whatever the weather - wind, snow, rain etc
and they don't look any the worse for it!