Courtesy Steve Joneli, Red Rose Lofts, 2004
I have often wondered how inexpensively I could build a good functional flying loft. Something every one could afford. Or a loft a club could build quickly and loan to new members. Or even build and sell as fund raisers. This small loft can be built for less than $500, can be moved by 4 men, and will fit in the back of a full sized pick up. It can be set up with perches for Young Birds, or up to 16 nest boxes for racing or breeding pairs. Any one person with basic carpentry skills can build it in a weekend. Or a club could hold a club "Loft Raising" like we did and build one in a day.
The Loft measures 4 by 8 feet with a 3 foot Aviary. It is constructed from 7/16s OSB board attached to the floor joists with out any inside framing. I seal the OSB joints from the outside with 1 by 4 utility fir. This also acts as trim. I install all four sides then cut out the door and windows. The front roofing is standard 2 foot wide metal ordered 48 inches long. The rear roofing is ordered 42 inches long. The front roof extends above the rear roof to act as a fence to prevent the birds from sitting on the roof.
This picture shows how the Aviary front hinges down when flying the birds. Everything in this loft is made from either 7/16s OSB board or 1x4 utility fir. With the exception of the floor joists and roof rafters which are 2x4s and the flooring which is 3/4 OSB. The aviary floor is framed from 1x4s and the aviary front is made from 1x4s ripped in half. Two of these 1x2s are screwed together with the half inch square mesh in between to make the hinged aviary front. I use 1x1 welded steel wire for the aviary floor.
|Trap In The Race Position|
My trapping is very simple. Just a hole with a hinged door. This can be locked open, closed, or set open about 4 inches for trapping race birds.
This view shows the inside of the roof. Note no conventional "Rafters", but just 2x4s run length ways that the roofing is attached to. Also note the 4 inch gap at the roof peak. This is my vent for air to go out. This vent is covered with the half by half screen to keep "Tweet Birds" out. The front roof extension extends up enough to keep rain out.
For window material I just use half by half screen, or you could use clear vinyl and install vents at the floor level.
This basic loft design can also be built in sections and joined together as was my new 16 foot Widowhood loft.