Can I use a large dovecote for 5 pigeons?

by christina
(australia)

Hello, how are you going? :-) I wrote recently asking about what I would need in order to adopt 5 homeless pigeons from the animal shelter. I found out that I would need a large aviary with a heater, concrete floor to hose down etc. Unfortunately, all of those things together are a bit out of my budget, so I was wondering if I bought a large dovecote, which says is for 10 birds, and put a dovecote homing net around it with space for them to walk on the ground too, if that would be okay if they stayed there until they got used to it, and then I could take the net off and they could walk around the yard dyring the day, and sleep in the dovecote and night. Do you think that might be okay? Thanks heaps for your time :-)

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Apr 08, 2010
Can I use a large dovecote for 5 pigeons?
by: Linda

Well, yes and no on this one. Yes, the dovecote can be used as a sleeping place for the 5 birds, and you're STILL going to need to make them a hardware cloth wire enclosure. A more modified version of what we talked about earlier. Being outside and in contact with wild birds is NOT a good idea as birds will always be sick with something or have some parasite or the other.

At the beginning the birds will need to be taken to an Avian Vet to make sure they are presently in good health. Birds living outside come into contact with wild birds carrying various infections, parasites like worms and mites,so a yearly trip to Avian vet will be a must do.

So, yes you can use a roomy dovecote, and no, they will not be able to live outside without a wire enclosure. Do not use what we call "chicken wire" as it has all kinds of sharps on it. Use some kind of fencing material with smaller holes like hardware cloth. You are going to have problems with rodents too, so make sure the dovecote enclosure is closed and locked for the night with ample breathing holes for air circulation. Do not use any kind of netting that they can get their toenails caught in because they will pull nails off and bleed to death.Small hole nylon wire screening will work. Basically, what we're talking about here is a modified aviary liked we talked about before. It is now becoming winter for Australia, so you want them enclosed in a wire flight with doors to the dovecote open so they can find warmth in it. Them being outside, on their own, is not a good idea in that they will always be sick or infested with some type of parasite. Birds get worms, mites and have fungas problems as well as bacterial and viral infections. Contact with wild birds will ensure them a short life span.

You are very much appreciated for your willingness to take these birds on.
Good luck and let us know how it goes,
Linda

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