Friday, October 4, 2013
Dovecote with rat-proof metal flashing
French Mondain Pigeons in a Dovecote (pigeon-house) with metal flashing added after rats climbed up the neighboring Hops vine and beheaded squab (baby pigeons) to get to the grain in their gizzard.
rats can't grip on metal but they are lateral thinkers & acrobats I don't know for sure if this is full proof against them but seems to discourage, have not had any trouble with them since, feeding pigeons in the morning and learning to give them just enough grain so there isn't stuff lying around to attract scavengers like rats* is also helpful, along with old fashioned traps, placed where the pigeons can't reach(!).
*Afterthought 5 years on. It looks as though accidentally leaving food out overnight may have also resulted in a stoat being attracted to the area, getting a taste for the feed, then stalking and killing an adult pigeon away from the dove cote to get more. I'm guessing not a rat because they rarely attack mature birds. I suppose the bird may have died naturally and was then decapitated.
It appears to me pigeons are probably really suited to areas with open ground like lawns or pavement and possibly instinctively prefer this. They can see a predator coming where there are no bushes and herbs growing. They occur naturally in these sorts of places, not in bush or scrub or food gardens.