Lofts and Housing

Brick Dovecote

Octagonal brick built dovecote in the grounds of Sewerby Hall & Gardens, Bridlington.

Around 250 pairs of pigeons could be accommodated  in tiers of nest holes built into the inside of the wall. The pigeons would originally of reared squabs as a source of fresh meat before refridgeration was introduced.

The birds have access to the biulding via bob holes in the roof, note the gable on the top right.

A perch rings the inside of the dovecote under each row of nest holes, simple but very practical.

Brick Dovecote

Inside view of Sewerby Dovecote.

Pole Dovecote

Dovecote on pole, a traditional pole dovecote, very pretty, but not at all practical for exhibition birds.

Corky Packard, USA

Excellent Tumbler loft of Corky Packard, California USA, a lifelong friend of Mike Knaggs. Built with wheelchair access in mind. Covered aviary with overhang, the birds are either in the aviary or their nest box.

Corkys Loft, Inside view

Inside view of Corkys loft. The aviary is cleaned by pulling out the black fronted draw at bottom of nestboxes, which themselves are grilled, feed and grit are poured down the two tubes on the right into their respective containers. Brilliant.

Garden Loft

Plan of a two compartment garden loft, with centre access. A good size for a loft is 20ft long by 8ft deep. Box perches for a medium size breed are 10"x10", with nest boxes 18"x18"x15".During breeding mated pairs on right, with young birds transfered to the box perch compartment on the left. After breeding, pairs split leaving cocks in the nest box compartment and hens moved to the box perches. Centre aisle for corn bin with either show pens or individual mating box over. Aviaries can easily be attached to front, either side of the doorway. Best to face the loft in a South/South East direction, as this has many advantages, the birds getting the benefit of the early sunrise and less cold and moisture. Bear in mind that a perfectly dry loft is absolutely necessary if birds are to thrive, no matter what the breed may be.

 Easily enough to get you started, although the size of loft you biuld depends on costs and size of garden.



Garden Loft, Side View

Garden Loft, Side View, raised off the ground on breeze block piers.

Multi Grit Hopper

Plastic grit hopper, holding 3 pots with various grits and minerals. Less waste and contamination. A dropping board can be seen on the rear wall ( see the Peg Perch caption below ), note the clean floor under, where any babies that fall out of their nest-box can hide out of the way.

Nun Loft

Inside view of a Nun loft, showing nestbox arrangement. During `pairing up` the birds are locked in their nest boxes untill they are mated together, once paired half the plastic nest front is removed to allow access to the compartment feeder and drinker. Some birds can take a little longer to mate up, note the nest box with the red oblong cup.

Babies in the nest

Baby Frills in double nestbox, in a double the babies are less likely to interfere with the feeders when they go down to nest again. A feed and water pot are placed in the nestbox, to encourage them to start to feed as early as possible. Once they can their progress is so much faster. The black blocks, top and bottom, are the hinges used to attach nestbox fronts when required.

Loft from 1895

A drawing from 1895 showing the nestbox and perch arrangement inside a compartment. Mating boxes are along the rear wall and the nestboxes are along the bottom edges of the compartment. Interesting to see how fanciers fitted out their lofts in the past, today fanciers generally prefer the nestboxes off the ground.

Peg perches

A peg-perch system, with dropping board under. The board enables rows of perches to be placed above each other, preventing the birds soiling one another and also helps to stop a mound of droppings biuld up on the floor.

Inside bath

A bath in a bath, the inner bath is filled, with the outer tray just to catch the splashes. It just helps to stop the loft floor becoming wet through if the birds have no access to an outside flight.

Frank Machin`s Frill Loft

Picture taken from " Pigeon and Pigeon World " December 18th 1930.

                                                " The Gem of the Orient Loft "

The Oriental Frill lofts of Mr Frank Machin, Glengarriff, Salisbury Road, Moseley, Birmingham. It will be seen from the picture that the head of the weather vane is a large model of an oriental frill. "


Although the picture may be too small to see the vane, it shows the aviary along the length of the loft. No need for a bath in a bath here.