How to Build a Pigeon Coop

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Pigeons have been
Pigeons have been (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Pigeons have been kept as pets for thousands of years. Used by the army to carry messages during WWI and WWII, these birds are able to navigate to homes or coops. People keep these birds in backyard shelters that are designed to give the birds a safe environment free from drafts and predators. These shelters should have nests and roosts and have adequate ventilation.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Graph paper
  • Tape measure
  • 4-4x4 boards
  • Shovel
  • Hammer
  • 2x4s
  • Nails
  • Plywood
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Screws
  • Plexiglas
  • Wire cutters
  • Rope
  • Wire screen

Draw a blueprint. Measure the area where the pigeon coop will sit. Outline a scale diagram on a sheet of graph paper, using a 1 inch square to represent each square foot of the coop. The coop will need to have four walls, floor, roosts, nests, vent and roof. Coops can be simplistic in design, needing only to shelter the pigeons from the elements.

Determine the amount of supplies that will be needed for your coop. You'll need enough plywood to cover the surface area of the floor and the walls, enough sheet metal to cover the outer walls and the roof, and enough 2x4s, nails, and screws to build the frame. Take the length of the building and multiply it by the width--this is the number of square feet of plywood you will need for your floor. Determine how much plywood is needed to cover the square feet of the floor and how much is needed to cover all four walls. You'll need enough 2x4s to set a frame board every 12 inches of perimeter around your coop. You'll also need enough 2x4s to do the same to create a foundation for your flooring.

Dig four 1-foot holes where the corners of your coop will be located. Trim 12 inches from two of the 4x4s. Set a 4x4 board in each hole and fill in the dirt around it. Pat the dirt firmly. Repeat with the remaining corners, putting the shorter 4x4s as the back two corners. Measure and mark 12 inches from the ground. Nail a 2x4 to the front of the 4x4 at the 12 inch mark. Repeat with the remaining sides. Measure 6 feet up and nail a second 2x4 to the same corner 4x4. Add 2x4 cross boards to the floor, cutting to fit the dimensions of your floor. Nail in place. Add plywood sheets, securing with either nails or screws to the 2x4 sub-floor.

Add wall supports. Measure 12 inches from one corner 4x4. Nail a 2x4 to the floor and to the 2x4 nailed to the top of the corner board. Repeat every 12 inches, around the coop. Nail plywood to the 2x4s and 4x4 corners to create the walls, ensuring the plywood pieces are no taller than the short corner 4x4s. Cut out a 1 foot square window on two sides, and a door on the front.

Create the roof. Create a frame slightly larger than the coop by nailing four 2x4s together. Screw plywood to the frame. Cover with sheet metal; screw in place. Set aside. Staple wire screen to each of the window openings to allow for venting during high heat. Cover the rest of the coop with sheet metal, cutting out openings that match the windows and the door openings. Cut Plexiglas windows, making the panes slightly larger than the window cutouts.

Drill a hole in the bottom center of the window panes and one in the top. Place a long nail above the window cutout, in the center. Hang one Plexiglas pane from the nail. Measure the distance between the two holes in the pane. Hammer a second nail that distance above the first. The window pane should spin up and can be secured on the upper nail when opened. Add the roof and secure in place. Staple more wire screen to the triangular gaps on the two sides. This screen will provide ventilation.

Create roosts and nests. Nail several 2x4s as shelves throughout the coop for the birds to rest on. Cut some plywood into 2 foot wide strips and use them to create nesting areas for the pigeons as well. Add the door. Put door hinges on one edge of the door frame and attach the plywood door cutout. Cut a hole for a door opening and nail a nail on the door frame. Tie a strip of rope to the door opening. It can be tied to the nail to secure the door when necessary.

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