Building a Loft ...

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Racing Pigeon Background

Before you buy any pigeons, first build your loft! The loft will be the pigeons' home for the rest of their lives and it must be build correctly from the start. This is virtually your first step onto the success ladder and probably the most important.
The general rule for the sport of pigeon racing is based on five principles:
To have good pigeons; Appropriate installations; Much hygiene; always clean and fresh water; well balance food.
No, no! Sorry, I did not say luxurious installations. I said appropriate.
The loft need not be a palace and could be constructed from basic materials. It can be wooden as of masonry. The ideal is of masonry with wooden floor. Always avoid the cement soil because he is conducting of humidity. In the lofts with cement soil the form appears later.
But if not possible to construct in masonry, you can do it in wood since it is an excellent insulator and freely available. A structure of wooden bars (or punched angle-irons) lined inside with " Platex " and outsides with zinc or aluminium plates and between the two, " lsotex " or " Styrofoam " of 40m/m as a good insulator and waterproof. The reason for insulation is in order to avoid major temperature changes in the loft, which will prevent ailments.

I propose to construct a small loft together.
Do we have a deal? Excellent!
The following consideration would be the size of the loft as well as the height, width and length.
The size question is an easy one since the size should obviously correlate with the number of pigeons you want to keep - The proposal is two pigeons per cubic metre. A loft that gives for twenty to thirty pigeons as is not necessary more. Based on this I would propose a narrow loft in order to allow maximum sunlight into the loft and in order to promote ventilation. The proposal is approximately 2.5 meters of size for 1.8 meters wide it arrives perfectly. Three rows of five nests with 0.50 wide by 0.35 deep, it’s the ideal for who fly natural . Even for a masonry construction, I advise wooden nests because is less cold; it is important that the walls are smooth, without saliencies or scissoring’s, easy to clean and to avoid any shelter to the many and varied flies who attack the pigeon’s feathers.
Since we are speaking about loft’s construction, I must advise for the interest in legalizing such constructions at the City Council, as is vulgar, the neighbours presenting several complaints to the Federation. This approval as it is evident, does not give you the right to have the pigeons in complete freedom, eating the borecoles in your neighbour’s yard, or dirtying the clothes of another one, or free the pigeons in a Sunday when other fanciers are waiting for their fliers returning from a race. Nor inhibits the landlord or another one injured to ask for its demolition or request money for damages caused for lacks of hygiene or, for its bad behaviour. That is very important!

What to use as a roof?
I do not hesitate to cover it with roofing tiles or asbestos-cement plates but never with aluminium plates. Why? Because when it rains with certain abundance at night, the noise provoked by the water falling over these kind of materials, disturbs the quietness of the pigeons. However, any of these materials does not complete the roof of the loft and is advisable to have a “double” roof from the inside made of pressed card or wood. Applying this second roof the loft’s environment will be more pleasant and the pigeons are more defended from the low temperatures. Furthermore this environment is useful for adequate ventilation without airflow. If we open small holes in the roof of about 25m/m where the wavy channels of the asbestos-cement plates are placed we obtains almost perfect ventilation. Knowing that hot air goes up, the “used” air will run away trough the holes in the roof we will have perfect ventilation without great expenses and engineering’s.

As you remember, we are theoretically constructing a loft of 2.5 mts size by 1.8 of large for thirty pigeons. And at this moment, we have it already on four brick pillars with 1.9 mts of height. Furthermore the benefit of an elevated floor is that unexpected visits from vermin and snakes would be restricted. The sidewalls, the rear and the roof are fixed and it’s only missing the frontage and the nests.

Entrada americana / American Trap systemThe front depends on the system that you intend to fly. If the system is the widowhood you do not need to choose; an ample window will facilitate the pigeons to fly direct to its nests. If you fly natural any trapping system is acceptable. I find that the American trap system suits my needs best. Nevertheless, we have to be careful with this trapping system. Some fanciers in the anxiety to clock the pigeon in as fast as possible, sometimes he injured the pigeons and we know the privileged memory of our athletes, resulting future refusals to enter.
The exit the birds should use for loft training should be on the floor so that the birds can walk from the loft - An exit that allows the bird to fly from the loft can easily result in flight damage or even injuries. Of course, you must not forget for a door for yourself, but please avoid to use it as an exit for the pigeons otherwise you'll see birds flying wildly over your head as soon as the door is opened.

Inside the loft you should construct perches - any perch type is acceptable - as long as there is enough perches for all the birds. Perches are normally attached to the rear wall of the loft. Perches must however not be to close together since the birds would certainly fight if they can reach each other. If you do fly natural (mixed sexes) you can construct nest boxes on the front wall at the top of the loft. Since the birds have to fly to these boxes, I would advise that the entrances are large in order to avoid flight damage.

The necessary furniture?

If you fly natural and you used to feed the pigeons in the nests, you can simple use a wooden chesses as perches, use glass drinkers or a similar container since there would be no build up of chemicals.

It must guarantee a cool and clean drink. Avoid plastic containers. A zinc tray for food with measures according to the quantity of pigeons you possess and you can say that is all.

For those who prefer the landing board instead of window, do not forget that when it is covered with an iron plate the burning hot Sun on it, gives temperatures that the pigeons cannot support. I lived this experience and remembered to say: " What a hell has the pigeons today, that they do not enter? It seems that they are crazy? ". They could not support the heat of the landing board.

Nest with youngsters.Design it with a swinging door hinged at the top that can be closed to keep birds and cats out. Ideal to break in youngsters and let birds land “under control”. Height is important at 1200 mm from the ground.

Do remember that once you have entered the loft you are a visitor in your pigeons' home. Respect them and they will certainly return some favours.


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