Our racing pigeons will be coming home soon. There’s just one problem. We don’t have anywhere for them to live! It probably won’t shock you to hear this, but it’s not easy to find a well-built loft for racing pigeons. (This is one of the few items Amazon doesn’t carry.) Many of the kits I found online either looked flimsy or were designed for chickens with no solid floor between the birds and the grass (and since it’s important for racing pigeons to live in a dry environment to prevent disease, we definitely needed a well-built coop with a solid floor).
I asked my friend Jim for advice, and, being the handy fellow that he is, he found a wooden playhouse on Craigslist and suggested we modify it to be a pigeon loft. Considering that the most handy thing I’ve done in recent history is change the battery in our smoke detector, I was skeptical. But, I decided to keep an open mind.
So, Jim, Dave, and I hopped in Jim’s truck and drove two and a half hours to Freeburg, PA to pick up the playhouse. I use the term “pick up” lightly because this playhouse weighs A TON. It was built by local construction students for their final exam, so it’s incredibly solid and required some well-planned leverage to hoist it onto the trailer.
In the days that followed, Jim went into handyman mode while Dave and I tried to stay out of his way. First, he moved the doorway to right side of the loft, where a window used to be, allowing for a taller entryway (a good plan since Dave and I are both tall). Next, he moved the window where the door used to be.
Then, he modified the other window, adding a cutout above it where the trap door will go. (The trap door works like a doggie door and will be used by the racing pigeons to enter the loft when they return from training or a race.)
The coop needed a door, so Jim built one from scratch, using wood and hinges he salvaged from other projects. (Did I mention that Jim is super handy?)
For the final touch, Jim added the trap door and built the birds a perch, so they have somewhere to hang out.
Once everything was in place, we sanded and primed the exterior.
Then, we added a fresh coat of paint.
With the renovations complete, Dave installed footers for the coop to sit on. As I mentioned earlier, it’s really important for the coop to stay dry, so placing it on footers (rather than directly on the ground) will help air flow underneath it. We picked a southern-facing location, so the birds will get plenty of sunshine and stay warm during the winter.
Check out the transformation…
Now all we need are birds!
Until next time,