|Colombier à pied at Montrésor|
The highest level [seigneur haut justicier] could have as many colombier à pied [towers] as they wished. Nobles one level lower in the pecking order could also have 'colombier à pied' but they had to meet a minimum requirement of 50 arpents [1 arpent = 5,000 m2] of arable land and they had to build the colombier on their own land. Presumably therefore, that meant that the highest ranking nobles could build them on a vassel's property. Nobles, individuals and commoners on the next level down were only allowed a colombier d'etage [parts of larger buildings; a loft in a barn for example] and had to have at least 50 arpents of land.
Unsurprisingly the whole system was open to abuse and the ordinary person suffered. They were forbidden to undertake any action when flocks of voracious pigeons, often several hundred strong, stripped their fields. If they did kill, trap or injure a pigeon severe fines were imposed. As a result the whole 'droit du colombier' was one of first things which the National Assembly abolished in August 1789 at the start of the French Revolution.
We know that even tiny birds can be voracious-- we have a plethora of blue and great tits; and the amount of bird seed they consume is impressive and proof enough :-)!
|Who are you lookin' at?|
|Diving into the food|