Getting Your Pigeon Coop Winterized
It’s the end of November here in Minnesota and winter is fast approaching. It’s time to start winterizing your pigeon coop. The night time temperatures are already dropping below freezing. Before I know it the pigeon coop will be buried in snow. So I decided to write a quick post on winterizing your pigeon coop.
Winter brings on many challenges to the pigeon fancier living in northern climates. The main problem is freezing temperatures. It’s not only uncomfortable for the pigeons but makes keeping fresh water available a real challenge. I’m not currently using a heated watering system but I think this year may be the first to get something set up. I currently feed and water my birds before work and then have to clear the ice and provide fresh water after work as well.
The heated watering bowl above can be picked up for under $40 at most feed stores. They work great keeping the water from freezing but I would have to run about 100 feet of extension cord out to the loft. I’ll probably pass on this option and continue to fill the waterers twice daily.
In the winter I also change my pigeons diet slightly. I like to add more corn to their feed. The corn gives them extra protein and helps keep them warm. I also add a two pound bag of rabbit pellets to 40 pounds of pigeon mix. The rabbit pellets are alfalfa and provide the birds with vegetable matter that they would normally get by grazing in the yard. Obviously they won’t be able to get their greens with 3 feet of snow on the ground.
Protecting your birds from a freezing wind chill is vital for winterizing your pigeon coop. Besides moisture there is nothing worse than a strong wind zipping through the coop and robbing your birds of their warmth. What I do in the winter is staple a clear plastic film over there windows.
My Pigeon Coop Before Winterizing
As you can see from the video above. My coop has three sections and I put the plastic on the left and middle section but I keep the section on the right open so the birds get fresh air. The plastic acts like a greenhouse and keeps the birds comfortable. I also add fresh pine bedding to the shelves which keeps their feet warm.
Lack Of Leaves & Daylight
The winter months also bring very short days. In June we get over 15 hours of daylight compared to January when we get less then 9 hours of sunlight. I work a 9 to 5 job and during the winter months it’s dark when I go to work and dark when I get home. This leaves little time for cleaning the coop or exercising the birds. Weekends tend to be the time to work with the birds during the winter.
In the pigeon hobby there is kind of a unwritten rule that you should not fly your birds after the leaves fall. The reason is the pigeons are left exposed to predators like hawks. I still fly my birds all winter and have very few loses. My flock of homing pigeons are all white and are very difficult to see against a background of white snow. I think this is the reason I have so few loses.
I hope you enjoyed these tips on winterizing your pigeon coop. Please leave a comment or share.