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Build a Pigeon Coop and Create a Training-Bird Factory

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March 02, 2011

Build a Pigeon Coop and Create a Training-Bird Factory

By Chad Love

I love pigeons. No, really, I truly adore the little skyrats. They are the perfect training bird. They’re hardy, common and free, if you can find a place to trap them. Back when I was in college and only slightly poorer than I am now, finding birds was my main dog-training problem. I couldn't afford to buy gamebirds, so I convinced the manager of a local fast-food joint to let me place a pigeon trap on the roof of his restaurant. I never caught many pigeons, certainly not as many as these guys but it was enough to keep me in training birds.

Yes, it was a hassle, but I'm convinced it was well worth the effort. Ask any trainer, especially pointing dog trainers, and they'll tell you the most important thing you can do for a young dog is birds, birds and more birds. The problem is, of course, finding and keeping a steady supply of training birds on hand. That's why I'm planning on building a small pigeon coop this spring. There are an infinite number of plans to be found online, they take up very little space and can be constructed at very little cost. No matter how small your back yard is, if you've got a few square feet, you've got plenty of room to house all the pigeons you'll need for your pup's training.

Give them a little food, clean water, keep the coop clean and pretty soon you'll even have your own little pigeon factory. I even know some trainers who raise homing pigeons that have the courtesy to return home after training sessions.

This is, however, a first for me. I've kept pigeons for fairly long periods of time in temporary pens, but I've never before tried raising them year-round. Plus, when it comes to carpentry I'm more Tim Allen "Tool Time" than the "This Old House" dude, so I'm considering a coop much like the one in the picture, small and simple. Has anyone else ever built their own pigeon coop? Any pointers? Things to look out for? I'm all ears...

Comments (9)

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

let me know if you find building plans for one. there are zillions around here.

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from Mark-1 wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

Birds, birds, birds. Yup, gotta train a pup on live birds. What I do is buy 6 to 8 quail, and have a small pen/house with a one-way opening. When training I pick 5 or 6 birds for a sack [a modified pant leg works good], and plant the quail at various places on my property working the dog on the planted birds. When the training session and day is done the planted quail return to the other penned birds entering via the one-way opening.

Repeat as necessary and as fun. Very cheap.

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from chadlove wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

Mark, you read my mind. I'm also planning on building a johnny house for the quail...

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from UplandHunter001 wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

Do you all know of any restrictions on keeping animals like these on your property? I live in a suburban neighborhood, outside city limits, but I can't help but wonder what the neighbors will think.

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from kelmitch wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

Great loft to start.

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from kelmitch wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

http://freewebs.com/kjcii// pay attention to what he says to the word.I suggest 3 pairs or more of different colors about 8.00 per bird.He trains GSPers.

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from kelmitch wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

UplandHunter001 I checked with DEC first.

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from kelmitch wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

Rollers work well also.

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from kelmitch wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

Time to clean the loft.About 4ft.of snow here.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

let me know if you find building plans for one. there are zillions around here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

Birds, birds, birds. Yup, gotta train a pup on live birds. What I do is buy 6 to 8 quail, and have a small pen/house with a one-way opening. When training I pick 5 or 6 birds for a sack [a modified pant leg works good], and plant the quail at various places on my property working the dog on the planted birds. When the training session and day is done the planted quail return to the other penned birds entering via the one-way opening.

Repeat as necessary and as fun. Very cheap.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

Mark, you read my mind. I'm also planning on building a johnny house for the quail...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from UplandHunter001 wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

Do you all know of any restrictions on keeping animals like these on your property? I live in a suburban neighborhood, outside city limits, but I can't help but wonder what the neighbors will think.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

Great loft to start.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

http://freewebs.com/kjcii// pay attention to what he says to the word.I suggest 3 pairs or more of different colors about 8.00 per bird.He trains GSPers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

UplandHunter001 I checked with DEC first.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

Rollers work well also.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

Time to clean the loft.About 4ft.of snow here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment