The Pigeon Loft
Pigeons are kept in pigeon lofts. Chickens are kept in a coop, so when we talk about a loft, we mean that it is a house just for pigeons. Pigeon lofts can come in all sizes. They also come in different prices. In place where pigeon racing is “big bucks,” pigeon lofts are quite nice and also quite expensive. Some people enjoy racing pigeons so much and are so good at it, that they make their living by racing pigeons. Some American fliers make an excess of $200,000 a year racing and selling pigeons. It is not hard to do considering that firs prize may be more than $40,000. Some of these lofts are so nice, that the average person could not afford to buy one for a house, let alone for a pigeon loft. Do not be afraid, the average pigeon fancier’s loft does not need to be more expensive than his house. Actually most pigeon lofts are small. They are also not very expensive. The price and size is up to you.
Whether your pigeon loft is small or large, cheap or expensive, it must be well ventilated, dry, free from drafts, well lighted and safe. Remember, this is the home for your pigeons. If you want them to come back, you must provide them with safety and nice living conditions. If you do not, they will eventually leave and find a place that has them.
Make sure that your loft has a good roof. The roof should hang well beyond the walls, because a driving rain will come through any openings that are not covered by the roof. The pigeon loft should be enclosed by three sides. Four walls are better. Pigeons are not like robins and other birds that live in trees they like security. Three or four walls gives them the protection and security from the weather and other animals. Face the loft toward the direction of your nicest weather. Most American lofts face either East or South, but this depends on your own local climate.
Pigeons must be familiar with their surroundings before they take off and fly. If they are forced to fly before they know where home is, they will probably become lost. A pigeon loft has a landing board where the pigeons enter and leave the loft. This landing board allows the pigeons to stand and become familiar with their surroundings. At the end of the landing board should be a flap that covers the traps or “bobs”. When the birds are inside the loft, the flap should be closed. Cats would like nothing more than to enter your loft and have a nice lunch. The “bobs” will not keep cats out. Cats will bend the traps with ease, and then, eat your birds. They will also probably kill a few more than they can eat. Cats are cats. Their instincts are to catch and kill birds and mice. Cats and pigeons do not mix any better than fire and gasoline. Keep the flap closed when your pigeons are inside.
Some pigeon lofts have a fly cage attached to the loft. This fly cage allows the pigeons to go safely outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. It also gives youngsters the opportunity to look at their surroundings and become familiar with their home and location.
A pigeon loft with pigeons that are allowed to fly outside should be out in the open. It should not be covered by trees. The pigeons need to be able to see their surroundings. They also need to be able to see their loft when they are flying. If you get a choice, do not place your loft near wires. Pigeons fliers that have lots o wires around their homes have many problems with broken legs and wings.
Your pigeon loft should be facing the direction of your most pleasant weather. It should be facing away from the bad weather of winter. For most people, the best direction to face heir lofts is to the East or South.
The loft should be place on concrete blocks. It you are building your pigeon loft on a concrete floor, the blocks are not needed. Most fanciers have a wooden floor in their lofts. By placing the loft off the ground, you discourage rats, mice, weasels, skunks, and other animals from living under your loft. Most of these animals only spell trouble for you and your pigeons. Your neighbors would not appreciate them either.
For extended learning be sure to check out the Pigeon Racing Formula by clicking here which will take you deeper inside the science of the sport and be sure to sign up for the Pigeon Insider newsletter by clicking here which is full of advanced how-to information. And as always if you have any questions just let us know by clicking here or by posting your comments below and we will try to get them answered for you.
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