Answers to common questions


How many doves can live in the cote?

The cote is designed to hold up to six adult doves. If you have more, simply enlarge the dimensions provided in the plans.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions in the 28 years (yes, since 1980) that the I’ve sold the All-Weather Dove Cote Plans. Here are answers to some of the common ones. If you don’t see yours listed, click Contact (above) to get in touch for a quick, personalized answer of your very own.

Is it legal to keep doves outside?

Doves are considered pets when kept inside, but might be considered livestock if kept in an outdoor cote. Check your local regulations to determine if your area is zoned for keeping animals. Ask if it’s OK to keep pigeons to get the fastest answer.

Won’t the doves freeze in the winter?

Doves are hardy birds. The cote is an “all-weather” design so you can keep your doves outside all year, except in the harshest of climates. The optional heating and insulation methods described in the plans will keep your birds safe in most winters. You can always move them into indoors cage during cold snaps if you’re worried.

Is a summer-only cote worth the effort?

Absolutely. Even if you can't keep your birds outside all of the winter, a “part-time” cote will reward your birds with a natural environment, and reward you with quiet and comfort. Don't underestimate how nice this can be!

How do I train my doves?

There is a short list of tips in the booklet, but there are a couple of very important factors. First, your doves must be used to you, and you must be used to handling birds. You cannot train a dove you don't feel comfortable with, nor one that doesn't trust you. A healthy and happy bird is easier to work with.

I’m not a magician, is this cote for me?

Perhaps. I've been a magician since 1978, and this cote was designed and built specifically for doves I used in my act, but many customers are simply bird lovers or raise doves for profit. There's no “trick” to building or using the cote. It houses trained birds just as well as those that aren't. But please note it is designed to keep the birds captive, if you’re looking for a cote for wild birds you’ll have to modify the plans. I’ve sold lots of copies for this purpose, but haven’t done it myself, so I can’t provide any advice on the best approach.