The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


fireplaceWe were going to do a mid week bacon smoke as we’d all run out. Once you start curing and smoking your own bacon the commercially produced stuff just doesn’t cut the mustard. We’re all addicted to the home cured flanks

Bacon was bought, wet cured and earmarked for a communal smoke this evening. Yesterday Danny mentioned that he’d heard something in the chimney.
“I’m sure it’s a baby bird that’s trapped.”

Then I noticed small sooty footprints on the carpet this morning. The Contessa was standing in the fire basket, looking up. Something was definitely holed up and alive in the inglenook fireplace. I peered up with the torch and saw the unmistakeable tail feathers of a pigeon, sitting on the ledge above the hood just out of reach.

“The smoke is cancelled. There’s a pigeon stuck in the chimney.”
The Chicken Lady’s response was instant. “We’ll be right down.”

All valiant attempts to retrieve the bird failed. It was silent for so long that we assumed that it had died. Then it started to flutter and bump. At one stage Rollo (6 feet tall and very slim) managed to breathe in for long enough to compress himself inside the hood and stretch an arm about the ledge but the pigeon still remained at large.

It’s devastating as the pigeon must be suffering in the chimney. Terrified, unable to escape and impossible to catch.

Read the grand finale.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Nic

    Yes we tried putting down food and water but the top of the hood is quite a way from the fire basket. The torch trick didn’t work either.

    Hi Michelle

    We tried everything but nothing worked. Perhaps the dogs (they must smell) put him off. As you know he was eventually rescued. Thanks for dropping by. Apologies I’m only just catching up with answering my comments.

    Hi Emma

    He did get out eventually but I wonder how he coped with the shock and distress.

    Hi Kate (uk)

    I reckon that Einstein was blessed with a great intellect. He knew that the Min Pins were stalking about in the cottage and even they were banned from the room, they could burst in at any time.

    Hi Sarah

    Luckily the bird was rescued and carried out of the house – need I say more!

  2. If luring the bird with light near the fireplace opening works, I’m sure the Min Pins will have a grand time chasing it through the house!

  3. Kate(uk)

    There are two things pigeons are really good at, one is crash landing in flowerbeds, the other is getting stuck anywhere it is possible to get stuck.I recommend the lure of light and food technique too- but remember, pigeons are not blessed with great intellect…

  4. So sad. I hope you manage to tempt it out. Something similar happened to my husband in his old house, only the bird got stuck in the flue above the wood burner…suffice to say, it didn’t end well.

  5. michelle sheets

    Oh Fiona, I’m sorry. I hate when a animal gets caught and and it seems like nothing can be done.

    If I could make a suggestion, I think I would try covering the top of the chimney so there is no light comming in, and then stick a light near the fireplace opening in the house. Some food and water in the fireplace to maybe tempt it down, and then everyone clear out of the room if possible so the pigeon will calm down.

    Good luck!

  6. Have you tried putting some food down for the bird?

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