I love hearing from folks who use our chicken coop and run plans to create housing for pets other than chickens — rabbits, ducks, quail, and in this case: pigeons!
Kate used The Garden Coop walk-in coop plans as a starting point to build her own pigeon loft, complete with a secure run and a full-height walk-in enclosure.
You can see how Kate used sand on the floor in the house and pavers on the ground in the run.
I asked Kate about the advantages of a full-height house for the pigeons — and for her. Here’s what she told me:
The room is enclosed primarily because I hate the cold and would like to be comfortable while enjoying my birds. 🙂 The closed concept allows me to breed in winter, if I install a space heater. And handling nestlings daily is recommended so they are comfortable and confident with people — risky if it exposes them to drafts or wet weather.
It also helps with flock dynamics. Shutting birds into their cages out of the communal space for long periods (like during a bad cold snap) can cause aggression in some adult cock birds. When they are finally let out, they can seriously injure others while trying to re-establish their position.
Lastly, pigeons do not share nests. If I were to set up a raised henhouse as designed, I could not fit as many nest boxes.
How Kate built the floor support for her pigeon loft
I worked with Kate on some ideas for a floor structure that would support her weight and the weight of the sand. She settled on a wood frame made of two-by-sixes that span between the front and rear walls of the coop and rest on the sole plates (see illustration and photos below). You might get by with two-by-fours, but I haven’t built one like that to test it out.
Kate then topped that structure with plywood. . .
Since the floor of the house is raised, your head will be closer to the ceiling of the coop when you step up into that space. Kate says this wasn’t a problem for her, but if you’re a little taller, you might want to build the whole coop taller as well.
To do this, you simply cut the studs longer than what’s called for in the plans. You’ll need more siding and (possibly) wider rolls of hardware cloth to cover that extra height.
The pigeons at home in their COO-p
Kate’s pigeons really are beautiful birds. I can see why having a safe, comfortable space to visit with and care for them was important to her.
Anything she’d do differently?
If I were to do it all again, I might rethink the design of the henhouse access door — at full height, its very heavy. In any case, since it’s walk-in with sand substrate, it’s very easy to clean and check on baby birds without subjecting them to the elements.
Thank you again for all your help and advice on customizing it!
Like the coop Kate has built for her pigeons? What variety of creatures do you keep safe in our DIY coop designs? Let her and us know with a comment below!