Hetherington Glade Farm

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8 years 5 months ago #36723 by Ladyp4
I am a new member who breeds Scottish Highland Cattle on 24 acres. The area I live in has pumice free draining soil which means it can be very demanding trying to retain water without irrigation on a big scale.

I am considering purchasing a dovecote and some lovely doves BUT I do have a problem .....a large cross bred Burmese cat who is an astounding hunter!!! Great for catching mice and water rats...has even caught two stoats BUT he is also good at catching birds! I need to know how agile Dove's are....not sure that he would tackle a bird as big as a dove but I have seen him stalking the chickens!!! Not tackled one YET!. I do not want to have an aviary as I really don't want captive birds. We have quail and pheasants in a gully on the farm and they seem to be prospering so they obviously have not been victims of Fergus! Any info would be helpful....thanks :confused:

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8 years 5 months ago #478182 by EV
Replied by EV on topic Hetherington Glade Farm
We had tumbler pigeons when I was growing up, and also had a large moggy who would bring home frogs, eels and rats (i.e. an excellent hunter). They had a house on a pole, like this (not my picture):



And were always safe; they even raised a couple of broods up there. I think we had a couple of steps cut into or nailed on to the pole so an adult could easily pop up and top up feed/water. I imagine a dovecote of similar design would give your doves somewhere safe to sleep/eat/drink.

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8 years 5 months ago #478416 by Ladyp4
Replied by Ladyp4 on topic Hetherington Glade Farm
Hi.....I am currently selling raffle tickets for 10 straws of bull semen from Scottish Highland Fullblood bull Dundee of Berwick for AI. This super bull has just won Supreme Champion at the Canterbury A & P Show held a few months ago, he has also won several other shows during the last couple of years. Tickets are limited to 500 and cost $5 each...if anyone is interested let me know.

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8 years 5 months ago #478432 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic Hetherington Glade Farm
Hi there, doves are not particularly agile, and tend to be slow and trusting... so not sure how they would manage with a good hunter.

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8 years 5 months ago #478442 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Hetherington Glade Farm
Can you locate your dovecote well off the ground and in an open area where the cat cannot approach under cover? It isn't a guarantee of safety, but will give them a better chance on their home turf at least.
You could also try making the area unappealing to the cat before the doves arrive by sprinklering him if he goes there. The best results come from it happening every time initially, then randomly, and he shouldn't associate it with you. He'll still be tempted when they arrive, but may be put off by further wetting.

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8 years 5 months ago #478446 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Hetherington Glade Farm
You could try a protective device on the dovecote pole similar to that used on power poles to prevent possums from climbing into contact with the wires.

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8 years 5 months ago #478449 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic Hetherington Glade Farm
I think the main problem will be that doves like to stroll around on the ground pretty frequently rather than stay in trees etc, and take a few seconds to get airborne again.

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8 years 4 months ago #481576 by Ladyp4
Replied by Ladyp4 on topic Hetherington Glade Farm
Hi Everyone......thanks for the helpful posts re the dovecote.....have decided to give it a miss as I cannot bear the thought that my masterful hunter cat will catch and eat my doves!! Everyone who replied was so helpful.

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8 years 4 months ago #481581 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Hetherington Glade Farm
Sounds like a fair call. :) Perhaps you can consider it when Fergus is nearing retirement age and less springy and active.[;)] My Burmese has started to slow down a bit at 15.

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8 years 4 months ago #481598 by Ladyp4
Replied by Ladyp4 on topic Hetherington Glade Farm

Hawkspur;485349 wrote: Sounds like a fair call. :) Perhaps you can consider it when Fergus is nearing retirement age and less springy and active.[;)] My Burmese has started to slow down a bit at 15.


Thanks Hawkspur guess I will look forward to the day Fergus slows down ...could be a while yet I think!:o

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