Pigeon-Talk banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys...I have a dilemma I need your advice on.

I have just under 20 race birds that I've been settling for about 5 weeks now. Most of them look to be between 12 and 16 weeks old. Training these guys has been a joy. They come through the trap on feed call like bolts of lightning, eat out of my hand, and I can just walk up to any of them and pick them up and hold them. They were not at all as difficult as my white birds were, and still are.

They seem to be ready to go out now...all seem happy and content, social order has been established, and they are trained extremely well to trap.
But I am hesitant to let them out for their first time considering several issues.

I am on a hill, surrounded by completely open farm land....nice for flying and loft location, but crappy for wind. We are getting blasted at 45+mph today, and while that may vary in the coming days, it is always windy here in the winter. Even if the day starts off calm, that can change in minutes, without warning.
The hawks are out in force now. It's funny how I never noticed them in winters before I got pigeons, and only saw two this entire summer. Now there's one perched on telephone poles every mile or so...just waiting. I've have had all my birds locked down for almost 8 weeks now.

I'm in between a rock and a hard place. I don't want these guys to get to strong on the wing....but the conditions are far short of perfect for their first flights.

What would you do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,047 Posts
I would keep them in...better safe than dead...dead birds can never be raced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
I would keep them in also, i have lost so many birds to hawks, and its my fault for not learning my lesson. You don't want to lose any birds to hawks, horrible feeling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
508 Posts
Maybe keepem in over winter or untill the weather gets better. I have wild bird feeders in my yard with my loft. the wild birds are good indicators of hawks. If they are active and feeding, then a hawk might not be a threat at the moment :rolleyes: but they can ambush and and will pop out fast!
Here on pigeon talk, I also learned about attracting crows to your yard, because they mob hawks, and disrupt their hunting. I have seen blue jays do it too. so thats a good idea. Anyway, hope it works out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
I'd keep the birds in also. Too many things working against them. Tough flying conditions and local hawks make for slim chance of survival. Did you raise the birds yourself? What type of hawks? They'd have no chance with a Coopers Hawk

Hugh
 
G

·
at this point of the year it is really hard to settle young birds to a loft without the disruption of hawks scattering your birds and even killing a few.. so personally if I was you I would wait til spring and soap the birds wings to keep them from flying to far when they are let out for the first time.. cuz after that first day out it seems like a breeze to get them to come back in and I rarely even have to trap train my babys as long as I have them out with some older birds to help teach them the way back into the loft strong on the wing or not but thats just me .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's what I was thinking. The hawks are a mix...resident redtails and coopers that seem to have just moved in, I rarely ever see them in the summer, usually just the reds. The pigeons were not born here.

Lakota....how does one soap wings? Please excuse my ignorance. Diluted? What kind should I use?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
Wait until spring. The hawks you have migrate from Canada for the winter. Because they will be strong on the wing, first few times let them out with only an hour of daylight, Hawks should have fed by then. Soap the wings, is where you soap up the fight feathers. Some people also use tape to tape up the flights. Both cause the bird to flap harder to fly. This keeps the bird from flying out so far it cannot home. Homers need to route a few times to get the bearing, GPS, or whatever they do to learn where the loft is to help them home to it.



God Bless,
Tony
 
G

·
yes bella its true soaping the wings is done by covering the flight feathers in dish soap to as keep them wet and keep the bird from flying very to far when let out of the loft and its usually that first time out that keeps the birds from getting lost out in the big world ;) it usually washes off the next time they bath too so no need to worry about cleaning it off either ;)
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top