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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am slowly trying to learn what I can, before getting any pigeons. I live in the country and have a feral flock that lives just down the road. They spend a great deal of time flying around and over our property.

Since I am looking at the performance breeds, and would like to even try an open loft/dovecote, I need to know more about how the ferals might interact with my birds. Do the ferals have any type of territorial behaviour? Will they be likely to interact with mine? Will there be any type of aggression? My birds would be the invaders here.

My intention is to give any new birds lots of time to settle in and learn their new home before they would ever be let out to fly. I would also most likely be starting with homers, and then progress to oriental rollers a couple years later.

Any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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There should be no problem except the following that I can think of:
1.) Those feral will end up joining your flock and ends visiting your loft. So if they are carrying diseases, then your birds are exposed as well.

2.) Your birds might end joining them and leave your place.

I experienced #2 and my friend did too. I have no experience with #1 so that is just a wild guess and pessimistic view. Usually ferals, like any wild birds, are healthy.
 

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If you are allowing your birds an open loft, where they can come and go, you are inviting trouble of all kinds. You are inviting all kinds of strangers (including predators) to/in the loft, and whatever disease they may carry too.

I have nothing against the feral population, just the open loft.

Keep your loft closed during the day, and open only when the birds are flying. Make sure they are innoculated for PMV, Paratyphoid and pox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the quick responses.

You have confirmed what I was thinking. I just wanted to make sure that I was thinking of everything first. I like to plan well ahead of actually doing anything.

Treesa,

Thank you for the warning. I have been discussing all of the issues with open lofts with many different people for a few months now, and I am trying to make sure that I have everything under control. I understand the risks. But I also understand how much I may enjoy having a free flying flock. They would not be my entire flock, but only a small portion. My main breeders and rarer breeds would not be in an open loft.

Innoculations: What form do they come in? ie. injection, drops, powder, etc.

Thanks everyone!
 

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There should be no problem except the following that I can think of:
1.) Those feral will end up joining your flock and ends visiting your loft. So if they are carrying diseases, then your birds are exposed as well.

2.) Your birds might end joining them and leave your place.

I experienced #2 and my friend did too. I have no experience with #1 so that is just a wild guess and pessimistic view. Usually ferals, like any wild birds, are healthy.
I agree with Rod, plus the fact that with an open loft, you are inviting predators to visit as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Jay. The predator risk is being dealt with as well as it is possible. Nothing will be getting into the loft. The risk is in the large amount of flying time and risk of BOP. Nothing that I can really do about that if I were to have an open loft. This particular plan is not final, just one possibility.

At the moment I am more interested in what to expect when flying my own birds for the first few times, when there are ferals flying around. Or maybe I shold think about avoiding those times when the ferals are near.
 

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Great questions to ask before you go about doing it, if only everyone had such advanced planning methods. :cool: You can get the vaccines from a pigeon site such as Foy's (that's where I get mine):

http://www.foyspigeonsupplies.com/catalog/vaccines.html

It's fairly easy to do, especially if you have another pair of hands helping. A bit stressful on you and the birds but you'll get through it. ;) After I started vaccinating mine, I haven't lost a single one, and that was over a year ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the link Maryjane. I hadn't thought to look at any of those sites.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thinking again...

Even if I am not feeding my birds in the yard anywhere. Is their flying around enough to attract the ferals? Just from curiosity?

I guess I am wondering if they would start to spend time on our property. At present they only fly over. They do not land on the house or garage. Would they start doing this? So far I think our dogs have kept them away. The dogs chase them when they fly too low over the property. As long as they are about a hundred feet up, the dogs ignore them or just watch them fly by.
 
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