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Nooti's Avatar
Nooti Nooti is offline
Posted 28th March 2002, 09:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Blackburn area. UK - North of England
Age: 57
Posts: 974

Keeping pigeons at home


Ok, this time it's me needing advice instead of the other way round! But joking apart, I followed the thread on 'My pigeons keep flying away' with interest.
Last October I took 8 adult homeless fancy pigeons in when someone had to move. Since then my loft has been closed up, although they have a large aviary to go into and the loft is nearly 30 feet long, with only 25 pigeons in, so plenty of room for them.
Since then these pigeons have paired with my residents, if they were not already paired, and most have raised a family. I have been worried about opening the loft because some of these pigeons are really pretty colouring and I do not want to lose them. However, the tip about letting them out 1 hour before sunset seemed a good idea and I stored it away in my memory. Today I have just opened the loft for the first time at 6pm, just an hour before sundown. My previous residents knew immediately and went straight out. Some of these are paired with the 'new' ones and they followed their mates out. I think that most likely they will stay with their mates rather than leave them to fly off. Am I correct in this? There is one pair who were already paired when they arrived, they have since reared a family and look as though they may lay again. These are the one's I am worried about as well as four who were born in the loft and are now nearly fully grown and strong flyers. Someone mentioned that small youngsters were fine as they could not fly well at first and tended to flutter around and not go too far because they are not yet strong flyers. By the time they were they were conditioned to home to the loft. This made me wonder whether it would be possible to emulate restricted flight in this adult pair and the offspring to achieve the same effect. ie- clip or remove entirely just 3 or 4 feathers on one wing. Not enough to ground them but enough to make them realise that they cannot fly far.
My garden is designed such that when the birds leave the loft exit they are immediately on the aviary roofs. The whole garden is fenced and roofed in with aviaries and the hedge surrounding all of this is about 15 to 20 feet high. They used to sunbathe on here and there is a feeding station for the wild birds and there is also a bathing dish which they used to take advantage of. My pigeons leave this area by first flying onto the kitchen roof and then onto the house roof. This would be enough for a restricted flight bird to realise that its flight IS restricted and hopefully decide that its best option is to stick around where there is food and a safe loft. What does everyone think?
I would appreciate any opinions on this.


__________________
.................................................. .................................................. ...........................
Turn me loose from your hand, let me fly to distant lands.
For just a Skyline Pigeon, dreaming of the open, waiting for the day,
That he can spread his wings and fly away again
Fly away skyline pigeon fly, towards the dreams you've left so very far behind
teply teply is offline
Posted 28th March 2002, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: chico , california usa
Posts: 48
I can only tell you my experience with letting pigeons go.
I caught 7 pigeons in San Francisco . I lured them close enough with pop corn and grabbed them by hand. I then took them to Chico , 200 miles North of San Francisco and placed them in a pigeon coop that I had made. Six days later there was a huge fire by my home and I had to evauate in the middle of the night. Before leaving I opened the door to the coop to allow the birds to escape so as not to die in the fire. It was 2 days before police would allow home owners to return to their houses. the fire fighters had saved my house and coop and 5 of the seven pigeons were still on the house when I returned . So most of the pigeons that I had released stayed, after only 6 days to become aquainted with their new home.

------------------
teply
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teply
indie backroll indie backroll is offline
Posted 28th March 2002, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Martinez, CA USA
Posts: 243
Teply.

Is this Michael?

If it is, I got your mail the other day and kings squab looks great, I'm glad that he is working out for you. I will mail you some pics of a few medium faced tumblers that I mixed with a birmingham roller. They are really cool looking.

I'm sorry to hear about the fire. Glad your house got saved though.

I'll be in contact with ya soon
~Brian

P.S. Its good to see you here.
B. Crowe B. Crowe is offline
Posted 28th March 2002, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Bay Point CA USA
Posts: 92
Hi Helen! I can't give any advice her, because I don't really know. I have been told however, that any bird raised in your flock, or any that have nested & raised young stand a far, far less chance of flying off. I have waited on letting my birds out due to winter, but after the next few batches of babies have fledged, I will be letting them out. It only seems fair. Let us know how tonights flight went. Did they make it home?? I surely hope so!!!

Barb
Nooti's Avatar
Nooti Nooti is offline
Posted 28th March 2002, 08:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Blackburn area. UK - North of England
Age: 57
Posts: 974
[Let us know how tonight's flight went. Did they make it home?? ]
Barbra -
Scops and Brud didn't!
And you know how I feel about those two! Scops - the mascot for the pigeon show, and little Brud who I saved from Paratyphoid when he was only days old.
I was up at 4am this morning and watching from the window at first light. Anyway I spotted them on the roof of the house across the road. I gave the usual call I give when feeding but they didn't respond so I caught up all my old birds who know the area took them to my bedroom window and threw them straight out. The all flew straight up on to the house roof and Brud flew over immediately to join them. One down, one to go.
Then they all took off for a multi circle flight, Brud included, but when Scops was made, I think all effort went into his pretty colours and markings, and none up to the brain. Still he sits on the roof of that house!
My biggest fear is that he will join the feral flock just a few yards away on the park.
Will keep you updated.
__________________
.................................................. .................................................. ...........................
Turn me loose from your hand, let me fly to distant lands.
For just a Skyline Pigeon, dreaming of the open, waiting for the day,
That he can spread his wings and fly away again
Fly away skyline pigeon fly, towards the dreams you've left so very far behind
Nooti's Avatar
Nooti Nooti is offline
Posted 28th March 2002, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Blackburn area. UK - North of England
Age: 57
Posts: 974
Barbra, it is now 6am and all my old birds have joined Scops on the other roof. If he has any sense at all he'll go with them when they make their next flight. His mate is with them.
Will keep you posted.
__________________
.................................................. .................................................. ...........................
Turn me loose from your hand, let me fly to distant lands.
For just a Skyline Pigeon, dreaming of the open, waiting for the day,
That he can spread his wings and fly away again
Fly away skyline pigeon fly, towards the dreams you've left so very far behind
Nooti's Avatar
Nooti Nooti is offline
Posted 28th March 2002, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Blackburn area. UK - North of England
Age: 57
Posts: 974
Well Barbra, it is 6.40 am and Scops is home, although I seriously doubt his mental capacity!
I watched the flock fly straight back to my roof - minus Scops who stood there like a dummy! I would swear they were trying to show him the way home.
Next time I looked he had gone and the flock was just taking off from my roof. They disappeared over the roof tops and were gone from view. 10 minutes later Brud appeared all on his own. (Seems baby brother got all Scops's marbles!) Soon afterwards Scops appeared led by Lille his mate. She then showed both of them the way back into the loft for some much needed breakfast!
My! Wasn't Scops proud of himself then. He put on a testosterone filled display that would have impressed a silverback gorilla!
Still I suppose if he's not got much to boast about upstairs, he should be proud of himself! ;-) ;-)
Signed - a very relieved Helen!
__________________
.................................................. .................................................. ...........................
Turn me loose from your hand, let me fly to distant lands.
For just a Skyline Pigeon, dreaming of the open, waiting for the day,
That he can spread his wings and fly away again
Fly away skyline pigeon fly, towards the dreams you've left so very far behind
Nooti's Avatar
Nooti Nooti is offline
Posted 28th March 2002, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Blackburn area. UK - North of England
Age: 57
Posts: 974
Barbra -
You know, that little Brud is an amazing bird. He's the tiniest pigeon you could ever imagine for a 3 month old. You would be forgiven for thinking he was only about 6 weeks, but he was born with Paratyphoid, which I had just discovered in my loft when he was still an egg. I treated all the adults and had to treat him as soon as he hatched. It was touch and go with him for 2 weeks and he tried to die on me twice, but he made it.
Well he got lost and spent his first night out then came home for breakfast. He must have really enjoyed being out with the old birds this morning- who are all now back home. He went out again immediately after eating and he's been flying round like a mad thing all on his own, dipping and rolling for the sheer joy of it all. Sometimes he almost disappears over the horizon, but he unfailingly finds his way back on to my roof within minutes, only to take off and repeat the whole drama again. It has been a real inspiration to watch him, knowing that he really shouldn't be here at all.

__________________
.................................................. .................................................. ...........................
Turn me loose from your hand, let me fly to distant lands.
For just a Skyline Pigeon, dreaming of the open, waiting for the day,
That he can spread his wings and fly away again
Fly away skyline pigeon fly, towards the dreams you've left so very far behind
robo squab robo squab is offline
Posted 29th March 2002, 02:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 76
Hi Helen!!

Hilarious posts!!
sometimes my ferals would do just about the dummiest things you could imagine a pigeon doing that is of course until I clipped there wings and they stay close by(hopefully)
anyway not sure about advicce except to say that scops seems in need of some learning how to follow his elders or in this case the rest or otherwise he could be getting himself in dangerous things I would think that it would be wise to stick with the original release after an hour before sunset idea but it is up to you by the way do you have any hawk problem? just wondering. Thanks anyway for the (as stated above) hilarious posts! Robo Squab
Nooti's Avatar
Nooti Nooti is offline
Posted 29th March 2002, 03:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Blackburn area. UK - North of England
Age: 57
Posts: 974
Hi Robo Squab,
Scops seems to be doing fine now. He's been out and come back again all by himself! He even reported back to me when came home, (flew onto my shoulder and gave me a display,) just to let me know he was back!
We don't have too much of a hawk problem round here. There is a pair of sparrowhawks, (Acipiter nisus,) but the males are too small to take pigeons and although the females can, this one seems to prefer starlings. I watched an impressive hunt one day last year. I had just driven on to our street and looked to my house roof. You can always tell which is mine, it is littered with pigeons, starlings sparrows, blackbirds, you name it they are there. And only on my roof. They seem to know the boundaries and don't sit on my neighbour's for some reason. Anyway, just as I was approaching, the whole lot- all the different species, took off as one flock. My first thought was 'hawk'. Sure enough the female sparrowhawk came over the brow of another rooftop at full speed and I watched the chase right around the estate, over roofs, down into gardens, back up and over rooftops again. Then suddenly all those birds rose back up and over a house roof again without the hawk in tow. I knew then she had made a kill and I started to wonder about my poor pigeons. I had been so taken up with the thrill of the hunt I had completely forgotten my birds were among them!
Suddenly she appeared over the roof of a house and she had a starling in her talons. It was amazing to watch her riding the wind without a wing-beat as she sailed carelessy over me only about 10 feet above. Just as she passed over me she rolled over and back again, Just as though she was doing a victory roll, then she took her prey to the top of some flats to eat in peace.
__________________
.................................................. .................................................. ...........................
Turn me loose from your hand, let me fly to distant lands.
For just a Skyline Pigeon, dreaming of the open, waiting for the day,
That he can spread his wings and fly away again
Fly away skyline pigeon fly, towards the dreams you've left so very far behind
raynjudy raynjudy is offline
Posted 29th March 2002, 03:43 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,300
Wonderful reading, Helen!

Judy showed me a newspaper article last night. It pictured a little Afghan girl, reading from a book--free to take a lesson.
Clearly visible on the page of the book, was a white "dove" in flight. Although no context for the picture was offered, the image was clearly a "symbol" of something. The child was smiling...

PIGEONS FOREVER!!!

--Ray
bigbird's Avatar
bigbird bigbird is offline
Posted 29th March 2002, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Vashon, WA - USA
Posts: 1,766
Nooti,
This has been an exciting post to read. Lots of adventure, better than the TV. Thanks for sharing with us.
First of all, I do not think it wise to trim the wings to hamper flight. These birds will need everything they have to avoid danger.
Here is a suggestion for letting pigeons out for the first time.
1. Let out only a few very trusted birds.
There will be a leader or leaders that the others will follow.
2. After two or three outings for the trusted crew, then let out a few more with them. The new guys will follow the leaders.
3. Eventually you let out everyone, even the dummys. They will begin to form as a flock in the air, the leaders deciding where and when to go and when to return.
4. The sooner they become "hawk-wise" the better. They will all learn that Mr. Hawk spells trouble and begin to learn methods of escape. You may loose a bird now and then but the "flock" will become wiser as a result. This is difficult to watch but it is reality if you want to let your birds fly free.
In my case, there are too many red-tailed hawks to risk my birds,so I must be content to watch my birds in a large fly pen.
Show birds are not suited for flying like homers, rollers, tumblers, and ferals. So the decision to release or not to release will be different for each loft owner depending upon their location, type of birds, etc.
Regards,
Carl
 

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