Loft flying 6mo old birds? - Pigeon-Talk
Pigeon-Talk  
Go Back   Pigeon-Talk > Fanciers' Forums > Training and Behavior

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
SRSeedBurners's Avatar
SRSeedBurners SRSeedBurners is offline
Posted 18th April 2017, 09:32 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Country: United States
Posts: 203

Loft flying 6mo old birds?


Is it possible to begin flying some 6mo old IHF or will they be gone with the wind at this point? I have one other slightly younger bird in with them. I was hoping to get a larger group together to begin flying with but I only have three breeder pairs so it's taking a while to build up a group that are homed on my loft. Plus I lost two pairs to the damn rats before I went nuclear and murdered every rodent within a city block.

I have one more duo coming up that can't quit fly yet. I'm walking them around the property with me, more because they're so damn cute. Can't seem to get a large enough group together without some of them going over the age limit that I've been reading about to start flying them.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
White Homers White Homers is offline
Posted 31st May 2017, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Sep 2016
Country: United States
Location: New York
Posts: 461
Why don't you start flying them when they are younger instead of waiting for a larger group? Then you can keep letting more out as they reach the right age. Younger is better. I put it like this, a young bird is in your loft flying around for 6 months then is let out of the loft. He starts to fly and then realizes he can go 50 mph before he knows it he is out of site of your loft and can't find his way back. I have let 6 month old birds out and you have to make sure nothing is going to spook them. I have seen some people soap the birds down so they have a problem flying. The first couple of days is nerve racking. After you have birds flying it makes it a lot easier. Make sure they are trained really well to your feed call and do not feed the day you are letting them out. The older they get the harder it is.
Reply With Quote
SRSeedBurners's Avatar
SRSeedBurners SRSeedBurners is offline
Posted 31st May 2017, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Country: United States
Posts: 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Homers View Post
Why don't you start flying them when they are younger instead of waiting for a larger group? Then you can keep letting more out as they reach the right age. Younger is better. I put it like this, a young bird is in your loft flying around for 6 months then is let out of the loft. He starts to fly and then realizes he can go 50 mph before he knows it he is out of site of your loft and can't find his way back. I have let 6 month old birds out and you have to make sure nothing is going to spook them. I have seen some people soap the birds down so they have a problem flying. The first couple of days is nerve racking. After you have birds flying it makes it a lot easier. Make sure they are trained really well to your feed call and do not feed the day you are letting them out. The older they get the harder it is.

I started flying them late as I partially lost track of time and wasn't sure about just letting 2 birds out on their own. This original post is about 45 days old now. To update what happened:

I let these guys out with a slightly younger bird and all they did for the first few days was sit in the trees, sit on the line poles around the loft. I started to get annoyed and started forcing them off their little roosting spots. They started flying more and more each day higher and wider. They're now flying in formation as I like to call it. Their longest flight has been about 1.5 hours. Mostly they'll fly for about 30-40 minutes. Not sure what I'm doing wrong there.

I had a young bird that I started flying with them about three weeks back and he's the on that flew onto the house next door and wouldn't come home for two days. That was nerve wracking. I have two young ones now that I'm contemplating letting out. They almost got out as they're getting to the size I can't tell the difference in them.
Reply With Quote
 
skip skip is offline
Posted 4th June 2017, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 30
I think you might have been a bit lucky with those first 6 month old birds!

I lost one of my first dewlaps when it was much younger but, from later experience with quite a few rollers and dewlaps, neither of which have much homing ability, I now believe they can be settled without many probs at any age. There are just two main factors:-

1.) The new birds need to have had enough time to become thouroughly relaxed in their new loft, (ideally with some settled companions, it just needs to take a lot longer without them), a regular perch, and regular feeding.

2.) When 1.) has been ensured: a wire cage is needed, small enough to be moved around.

It only needs a solid door on top through which to load the birds, and a wire door on the front which can be opened when the new birds know all about the immediate access to their accustomed feeding and perching area, as in 1. Until that time they can be carried easily back to be released inside the loft to be fed. (If they are old enough: it also helps for them already to be paired and on eggs).

The cage can be used to get them accustomed to an outside area which is close to the entrance to their feeding/perching area and, crucially, it needs them to be able to see the entrance close by.

They are ready when they scramble to go in when their food is put down, or when they see the companions feeding, while the wire door of the cage is still closed. After doing that for a few days, instead of carrying the cage in before opening it, the wire door can be opened to let them get back into the loft at their own volition, from a very short distance at first.

Like that it only takes a few days for them to be outside in the cage for say 30 mins or so, until they are comfortable enough with the procedure to open the door to allow them to get in straight away for food, or to join their companions while they are feeding. Then the cage can gradually be moved a bit further away.

If there are 'companions', and when those have been flown, after a few more days they can be released to follow them in to get in to feed, and next to peck around with them for a few minutes before going in, gradually extended.

The longer it all takes the safer they will be, but if they are kept a bit hungry they will not want to fly at all, just to get back in to feed or, better still, to go in with the others.

In any case at first they must be hungry enough so that, if they do get up, they will urgently want to come straight back again, especially if there are others to be stirred up by the offer of food...then gradually allow them to venture a bit further, if possible with no chance of frights or even something unusual as OP has already pointed out.


Last edited by skip; 5th June 2017 at 01:36 AM..
Reply With Quote
FredaH's Avatar
FredaH FredaH is offline
Posted 4th June 2017, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Country: United Kingdom
Location: South East England
Posts: 1,315
I love seeing posts where the birds are just hanging around the lofts, must be so lovely to be able to fly them. I often read about birds of prey taking a bird but wonder if you ever lose any to cats. Here I only ever see one kestrel late afternoon circling the fields but there are many domestic cats around and they would worry me the most.
Reply With Quote
skip skip is offline
Posted 5th June 2017, 01:25 AM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 30
Yes it's nice to have them hanging around and there are cats, and rats, everywhere. Luckily keeping the loft well off the ground allows the fear of cats and foxes to keep away the rats and mice! It also helps if the cats have nowhere to lurk, see the bricks under the loft near to the pecking area, and anyway they stay away when someone is nearby. In fact cats and pigeons can sometimes get used to each other and hang around together Hen kestrels do look large enough but don't seem to bother them, but sparrow hawks can grab pigeons when they flutter near the loft or when landing. They do surprise attacks from low level and are very manoeuverable, but a high landing area and then a more complicated set of structures lower down give some protection. Peregrine falcons are the deadliest, while rollers can sometimes evade them and around here the danger seems seasonal, but in some areas that is not the case. Peregrines are usually not easy to see because they seem to fly high and straight, they become obvious when the kit breaks up with birds flying in panic in all directions while they can repeat their attacks, sometimes in pairs. Occasionally they will follow a roller twisting and weaving all the way to the ground where it can escape under the eave of a building, so the marauder has to give up.

Last edited by skip; 5th June 2017 at 01:34 AM..
Reply With Quote
SRSeedBurners's Avatar
SRSeedBurners SRSeedBurners is offline
Posted 5th June 2017, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Country: United States
Posts: 203
I'm not so sure it was luck. I have a similar box as shown in your post only mine sits directly on top of their loft, specifically the day time run area which has a wire top instead of a covered ceiling. For the first couple of months I was putting the 6mo olds in that 'settling cage' and letting them eye ball the sky all day long while I was at work. I was too chicken to let them go which is why I let them settle for so long. The box sat directly on top of my trap so they could re-enter the loft anytime of their choosing but most days they would still be on top of the loft having smokes and telling lies. They were pretty well homed in once I did give them their first outing as they just sat in the trees and telephone lines directly around the loft.

I let one of my other younger birds out yesterday who has been settling for about 1 month now and he has followed the same pattern. He flew just up into the tree above the loft and that's where he sat until the older birds landed and trapped. He trapped right in with them. I released him when the older birds were too high for him to want to follow.

Last edited by SRSeedBurners; 5th June 2017 at 08:25 AM..
Reply With Quote
skip skip is offline
Posted 5th June 2017, 09:22 AM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 30
Right, I see. You had done everything possible, so luck did not come into it :-) glad it worked out ok.
Reply With Quote
YaSin11's Avatar
YaSin11 YaSin11 is offline
Posted 5th June 2017, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Dhaka,Bangladesh.
Posts: 793
"I let one of my other younger birds out yesterday who has been settling for about 1 month now and he has followed the same pattern. He flew just up into the tree above the loft and that's where he sat until the older birds landed and trapped. He trapped right in with them. "

This happens a lot to me, and its very frustrating at first. It is good that the pigeon trapped right in with them, I often have baby birds who will (frustratingly) just lounge around the nearby tress and roof tops, giving me ulcers till they return.

I agree with WhiteHomers, in that 'younger is better', as long as they are well trained to trap and respond to your feeding call/whistle etc. Increasing distance slowly, and letting them 'route' is also helpful, but I do not know if you have that option. If you are just releasing the from your loft, the chances of 'lounging' increases, from my experiance. You might try releasing them a short distance from the loft once in a while. As always, hungry birds seem to return faster, better.

It is always a learning game with baby birds, I find from personal experiance.

Good Luck.

Last edited by YaSin11; 5th June 2017 at 12:12 PM..
Reply With Quote
SRSeedBurners's Avatar
SRSeedBurners SRSeedBurners is offline
Posted 5th June 2017, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Country: United States
Posts: 203
I'm ok with them loitering their first few times out. I had one that I let out with the older birds a while back and he was lost for two days because they dragged him over into a neighboring development and he got lost.
Reply With Quote
YaSin11's Avatar
YaSin11 YaSin11 is offline
Posted 6th June 2017, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Dhaka,Bangladesh.
Posts: 793
Sorry to hear that SRSeedBurner.

I guess lounging is the safest option for now.

Good Luck
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Sitemap:1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2000-2016 pigeons.biz