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Pigeons, like all birds, breed their chicks in their nests. The wild build them themselves from twigs that they find on the street, the domestic ones do not always show so much zeal, and often the owner takes care of the building material. Consider what types of pigeon nests there are, what you can make them from at home and how to care for them so that the birds are comfortable and convenient.
Do pigeons build nests?
The nest of these birds is of a simple design and is made of dry thin twigs, blades of grass, straw, roots. All this pigeons lay out and weave together, but loose and fragile. The average size of the nest is 20-30 cm. Both future parents take part in its construction. Not only the dove hatches the chicks, but also the dove, which sits on the eggs while the female eats and rests.
In total, the dove sits on eggs for 18 hours, the rest of the time it does the dove. The duration of elimination is about 19 days. Chicks hatch within 24 hours.
Quality nests, what are they?
In order for the incubation to be successful and smooth, the female should be comfortable in the nest, she should not be distracted by anything. It is necessary to build cages or cells that are installed near one of the walls of the dovecote, in the quietest corner of the room. The cage should have a place not only for the nest, but also free space so that the pigeons can move freely.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
As for size, for pigeons with a body size of less than 30 cm, the dimensions of the cells should be 60 cm by 40 cm by 30 cm.For birds with a length of 40 cm, their dimensions will be 60 cm by 60 cm by 50 cm.The nests themselves are made in the form of boxes with dimensions of 20 by 20 cm or 30 by 30 cm - for meat pigeons or for breeds with plumage on their legs. The interval between them should be 30 cm.
Next to the prepared nests, you need to put building material - straw, hay, thin twigs so that the birds can see where to take it. It is advisable that the pigeons build a nest themselves, since they may not like what the owner offers them, and they will not rush there.
The chicks spend a month in the nests, then leave them. Couples can breed 3 broods per season. After the end of the breeding season, the structure must be removed from the dovecote.
Types of pigeon nests
Pigeon nests can be different in shape: square, rectangular, round. The material for the manufacture can also be different, but it must be durable so that the structure is stable and safe for poultry.
Bars made of wooden bars are installed in the cages, they protect the nests from displacement and serve as perches for pigeons.
Cages or cells can be stationary, they are attached to the wall, if the area of the dovecote allows them to be left in a permanent place. If the room is small, the racks are made removable and portable. In the latter case, the structure can be taken out of the dovecote for cleaning and disinfection.
How to make a nest for a bird with your own hands?
Consider how to make a structure from scrap materials with your own hands. For manufacturing, you can take wooden blocks, planks, plastic, polystyrene, clay and even gypsum. The advantage of plaster, clay and plastic pigeon nests is that they are durable and are not afraid of disinfecting. This means that, having made them once, you can use them for many years.
For casting from plaster, you need a mold; for this, a round or oval bowl or a plastic bowl of different sizes - larger and smaller - is well suited. The surfaces are covered with cling film, gypsum is diluted with water until sour cream is thick, 1 tsp is added to the mixture. glue, mix. Pour into a large diameter form, put a smaller one on top. They put a load in it. The thickness of the gypsum layer is 3 cm. Leave until the mixture dries. Then the molds are removed and the product is left to dry and air. Then sand the edges with sandpaper and paint.
Styrofoam was chosen as the material for pigeon nests because it retains heat well. Sequence of actions: cut a round blank from thick foam, cover with parchment paper. Take an unenamelled saucepan of a suitable diameter, heat it over a fire, place it on top and press firmly. You should get a depression, which will act as a nest. After that, you need to spread the surface with glue and wrap it with a bandage. This is necessary in order to strengthen the fragile material.
Made of wood
For the manufacture of the structure, you will need blocks measuring 25 by 2 cm, plywood, tape measure, hacksaw, screwdriver and self-tapping screws. The bars are attached to a piece of plywood with self-tapping screws. It is preferable to make such boxes removable so that at the end of incubation they can be removed from the cage and cleaned.
It is a hygienic and warm material, but fragile, pigeons can break clay nests if they move carelessly. You can mold them from clay with your own hands in the shape of a bowl or adapt for this an old ceramic dish of a suitable diameter, with low sides.
Made of plastic
You can buy such nests for pigeons at pet stores. You can use plastic dog bowls, you just need to choose the size. They are quite stable, durable, easy to clean and wash, but they also have a significant drawback - they are light, and therefore unstable.
Some make nests out of plastic bottles by cutting off the bottom from them. But they turn out to be very light, and in order to use them, they must be securely fixed on the cell surface.
Caring for the nests
Pigeons are not resistant to infections and parasites, so nests, racks where they are housed and perches must be cleaned, washed and disinfected. While the pigeons are incubating their eggs, you need to remove the droppings, debris and litter scattered around. It is impossible to change the litter in the nest itself while the bird is sitting, as well as touching the eggs. This can frighten the dove, and they will quit incubating, the embryos will die.
When the chicks hatch, grow up and fly out of the nests, you need to collect the devices, wash, treat with a disinfectant solution and dry. Only after processing can they be used again. At the same time, feeders and drinkers can be treated during disinfection.
General disinfection is carried out in an empty dovecote, from which the birds are previously removed. Pigeons are launched only after airing. If an infection is found during the incubation period, disinfection must be carried out quickly, but there is no way to remove the pigeons, you can treat the room and inventory with special safe sprays, which can be purchased at pet stores.
Pigeon nests are a must-have for any pigeon farm. Birds breed their offspring in them. They are used more than once a season, so they should always be prepared for use. It is not difficult to make them on your own, especially since you can choose from a number of materials for this. High-quality products will last for several years if you treat them with care, take care of them, keep them clean and tidy.