For some people, a cosy cottage is enough to meet all their needs. For some, a mansion. Pigeons tend to be somewhere in between the two – they like a little space to spread their wings, but also a place they can settle into and make their own.
If you keep pigeons, either as pets or profit-birds, the chances are you’re in the market for a perfect pigeon loft or coop. That’s not just some artificial nest, it’s an environment designed from a pigeon’s point of view, or as close as human beings can come to one.
And you must remember this: a kiss may be a kiss, but a loft’s not just a loft.
There are important differences in size, in structure, and in what in a crude sense might be thought of as pigeon personal space that need to be examined before you can choose the perfect loft for your birds.
We’re not about to tell you the market is flooded with a vast range of available lofts – they exist, certainly, but a lot of pigeon-owners either inherit their lofts (and eventually build their own on the tweaked plans of their inheritance) or buy a tried and tested loft from an established pigeon-owner, as being used, it comes with its own proof of being effective for a range of birds.
But if you want to start fresh, there are a handful of lofts available, each with their own pros and cons.
By all means go and search for them yourself – or stay here and let us walk you through them, so you get a strong idea of which one is right for your birds.
In a hurry? Here’s our top pick.
OUR TOP PICK
We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Surely that’s a parrot house and you’re just trying to fool us!”
Now, it’s true that if you wanted to keep parrots, or finches, or even canaries in an outdoor bird house, this Gutinneen aviary would be a fine way to go about the job.
But it’s also suitable for pigeons, and it’s particularly suitable for new pigeon owners.
First of all, it’s not overly huge – when you start keeping birds, you’ll probably want to start with just a handful, rather than a flock and a half, and the Gutinneen outdoor aviary is just the right size for those ambitions.
Why does that matter? Well, if you go larger, you’re probably going permanent, and unmoveable, and more of an investment in space and time and money.
The Gutinneen weighs in at just under 57 pounds, so it’s hardly going to give you backache to move around – especially as it comes on wheels.
Why might you want to move it about?
Potentially to train your bird in different landing approaches, but also to give them garden freedom as and when it’s safe and sunny, but to move them into cover when either the weather turns grim or the predators of a garden (everything from cats to foxes to bigger birds) get hungry.
It comes with easy slide-out trays, because digestion and gravity don’t allow for the feces-free bird loft – but technology does mean you don’t have to crawl in and scrub the bottom of the cage in situ.
Take out the trays one at a time and clean them wherever is more convenient. The trays come with thick wire mesh, so that when you take out the trays, the birds don’t escape.
That’s an enormous help when you’re new to keeping birds.
With two perches, a standing ramp and a small nest, it’s equipped for your first adventure in pigeon-owning, without the pressure of a larger space that would hurry you into getting more birds than you can handle.
And with options to hang a bird feeder inside so they can help themselves, and a front-facing door that lets you feed them by hand if you want to, it gives you options on how you want to train the birds or keep them.
That means that whichever way you choose to go, the Gutinneen outdoor aviary has you covered and can facilitate your plans.
- This is a pigeon house just large enough for beginners with a small number of initial birds
- It’s light at just under 57 pounds, and portable enough to make moving it around easy
- The pull-out trays and wire mesh make cleaning the loft much easier than many on the market
- There are just enough perching and resting options
- Two feeding options mean you have control over how you train the birds – or just pet them
- It’s not suitable for pigeon-owners with a larger collection of birds
Naturally, once you’ve got more of the hang of pigeon-owning, you’re going to want to expand both the number in your flock and the size of your loft.
And if you’re going to go large, the 68” outdoor Gutinneen is well worth considering.
It’s at least one whole order of magnitude bigger than the portable pigeon starter home that tops our list, and rather more like two orders of magnitude more expensive, so it’s a significant commitment to pigeon-keeping.
It’s more like a shed or greenhouse than anything you can wheel from place to place too, so it’s not especially portable.
On the other hand, it is large enough for you to walk in to feed and interact with your birds.
In terms of its occupancy, there are 6 nests, but space for up to 10-15 pigeons at any one time, with adequate perching and relaxing room, as well as the pull-out trays for easy waste management.
There are no trays on the bottom of the main space of course, otherwise you’d probably crack them if you ever went into the loft.
But the fact that the whole loft has no base means it can stand on whatever surface you choose, be that waste-absorbing grass or easily cleaned bricks.
If you’re housing a number of pigeons that reaches into double figures, the Gutinneen gives you pretty much everything you – and your birds – could want in a pigeon loft that’s built sturdily enough to resist most urban or rural predators.
- It’s a pigeon loft that’s built from sturdy wood, plastic and metal, to keep your birds safe from predators – and to stop them flying away
- With 6 nests, it’s a loft that’s big enough for up to 15 pigeons at any given time
- It has sliding trays to make waste management easier and more convenient
- It’s large enough to let you walk in and interact with your birds
- The price is a significant leap, so you have to be committed to pigeon-owning to justify the expense
We’re not about to lie to you – the Aivituven and the 68” Gutinneen could stand next to one another in a line-up and confuse the pigeon-loving devil out of you.
They’re so astonishingly similar – same dimensions, same number of nests, same trays, same price point – that you might well squint hard to try and spot the differences.
Good luck with that – we’ve tried, and there don’t seem to be any beyond the different name on the product.
On the one hand, that’s great – the design is clearly popular among pigeon-owners. But on the other hand, it’s difficult to recommend you choose one over the other – the benefits and the downsides are pretty much identical, because the lofts are more or less identical.
The bonus is that with such very similar lofts being sold by different manufacturers, if you have a brand loyalty to a firm like Gutinneen – perhaps having started your pigeon-keeping with one of its smaller units – you can upgrade and maintain that loyalty going. Whereas if you’re brand new to pigeon-keeping and go in on a large scale, you have options between the two brands, and will get a very similar loft.
- 6 nests and space for between 10-15 birds means it’s perfectly suited to those taking their pigeon-keeping to the next level
- The easy-clean trays are an easy solution to pigeon waste management
- It’s a big enough loft to let you walk in and interact with your birds
- The cost may equally deter some pigeon-keepers unless they’re committed and ready to go up a gear
Best Pigeon Lofts Buying Guide
When you’re buying a pigeon loft, there are a handful of things to keep in mind before you press the “Buy” button.
Size And Capacity
Where are you at with your pigeon-keeping? Just starting out? Ready to move up to a double-figure flock?
Be sure to get a loft that suits not only your price range, but the needs and comfort of your pigeons.
That means providing an environment where they feel safe from predators, can eat, socialize, sleep, potentially mate and lay eggs. That all takes a certain amount of space per bird.
This is a rough estimate, but usually pigeons need between 8-10 cubic feet of personal space to be comfortable. Multiply that by the number of pigeons in the loft, and you’ll have an idea what kind of space you’re looking for.
Make sure you buy a loft that’s size and capacity-appropriate for the number of pigeons you have.
Also keep in mind that if you are breeding from your pigeons, your needs for space will increase exponentially with every additional hatchling.
Part of the point of a pigeon loft is that it keeps your pigeons safe from both potential predators and inclement weather.
Make sure your loft is made of strong materials that can ensure the safety of the environment, so your pigeons feel able to go about their life at home as normal.
You can think of yourself in many ways in relation to your pigeons, but one thing you definitely will be is the janitor.
It will be your responsibility both to feed them, and to deal with their waste, so they don’t live in unsanitary conditions and breed disease.
Make this process as easy on yourself as you can. Whether it’s through the use of pull-out easy-clean waste trays, or through a walk-in design that lets you scrub the loft whenever necessary, make sure it’s as easy to clean the loft as it can be.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Walk-In Pigeon Lofts Better Than The Alternative?
That depends what the alternative is, but on the whole, walk-in pigeon lofts are extremely useful, yes.
They allow you to interact with your birds on a more personal level, feeding them by hand, for instance, and building affection bonds through grooming behaviors.
More practically, they also allow easier cleaning of any areas not covered with the likes of pull-out trays, so you can more easily keep their environment clean and hygienic.
How Much Space Should A Loft Allocate Per Pigeon?
As a general rule of thumb, each pigeon is happier with around 8-10 cubic feet or airspace they can ‘call their own’ at any given time.
If you multiply that by the number of pigeons you have – and then add a little more for any expansion through successfully hatched eggs – you’ll have a good idea of how big your ideal pigeon loft will be.
Do I Need Separate Space For Mating And Egg-Laying Pigeons?
It’s not absolutely necessary to separate potential mating pairs when the season comes, but it absolutely is a good idea.
Their focus during the season is on each other, and after all, you’d be annoyed if you were trying to get some serious mating done and your friends kept popping around and staring at you, wouldn’t you?
Also, come egg-laying and incubation time, you have to deal with the notion of enhanced protectiveness in the mating pair, so for the peace and tranquility of the loft, being able to separate areas off for these purposes is a good thing in a pigeon loft.