An attractive outdoor home for your doves

Designed by a magician, for magicians, the All-Weather Dove Cote lets you keep your performing birds outdoors, in nearly any climate, where they’re safe, clean, and happy.

The “cote” (a formal word for a dove house) is simple and inexpensive to build. The illustrated plans show you everything you need and have been used by dove workers all over the world for over 40 years.

You’ll love the quiet; your doves will love the fresh air.  

About the cote

What’s great about the All-Weather Dove Cote? Read on...


Doves are expensive, and often hard to replace. Your doves will be happier than ever, and the cote provides a natural environment for breeding. You'll find that birds you've raised yourself are your best performers. (If you don't want additional birds, simply remove the eggs shortly after laying.)

Clear and concise plans

Originally published in 1980 as “Adian‘s All-Weather Dove Cote,” this all-new edition is professionally written and edited with computer-generated illustrations and complete English-unit measurements. 11 staple-bound pages with 9 illustrations. A sample illustration, showing the assembled cote from the front, is below.

No unusual tools are required

You can use the tools you already have, unlike those build-it-yourself shows on television. You'll need a hammer, screwdriver, power saw, staple gun, and a paintbrush. If you're better equipped, great. You'll be done even faster.

Common materials

Plywood, chicken wire, nails, screws, staples, and paint. Some sawhorses or an old picnic table to hold the finished cote. You can get everything you need from any home improvement store.


Depending on your climate, you can make the cote as weatherproof as you need. For mild weather, you'll need a few yards of canvas or vinyl. If you want to add the optional heater, you'll need a light bulb socket assembly and a bulb cover. For the ultimate protection, add some insulation and storm door inserts. You can make the cote a year-round home, or just for the milder months, if that's what you prefer.

Simple to build

If you've built similar sized projects, you can finish the cote over a weekend. If this is your first project, take it slow and spread it out over two or three. This isn't a race, you know. There are no complicated cuts or complex assemblies. When you're done, you'll stand back and admire your work. Many customers find that building the cote makes a great father-and-son (or mother-and-daughter) project, by the way.

Purchase the plans

You’ll receive a print-enabled Acrobat (PDF) file. Price: US$7.00

Answers to common questions

I’ve gotten a lot of questions in the more than 40 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, get in touch (below) 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.


Gordon Meyer is long-time magician and professional writer whose work includes Smart Home Hacks, and The Jinx Companion. To read more of his writing, visit For more about magic, visit Chicago Magic Studio.

For questions and more info, email dovecote “at”

Copyright 1980 — 2022 Gordon R. Meyer