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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, quick run down:
had a YB cock, never mated. Received 4 yr old hen + second mated pair. Cock + hen hooked up, got nest ready, etc... now laid an egg. Second pair nothing.

Here is the problem (not egg related): my original cock claimed his nest box, kept both pairs locked in their boxes for 3-5 days so they knew it was their box. All was ok, hens both know there boxes. Original YB cock is very dominant! He will not let the second pair eat. I have to wait until the cock goes into the aviary to quickly give the second pair a handful of feed, which they scarf down fast because they are hungry! At night they all sit on perches, the one hen is currently on her nest. I pluck them off their perches and put them in their designated boxes. An hour later I can hear banging around in the loft, go inside and find the second pair back on perches and the YB cock in their nest box at the doorway sitting comfortably, while his hen is 3 boxes up on a nest.
How do I stop this YB from being such an A$$? He only goes in the other birds box at night, chases them right out of there. During the day he is in or around his own box. And feeding them is just sad to watch, he bullys them right out of the way until they end up back on perches.
I have 6 total nest boxes, the other 4 are blocked so they couldn't claim more than one. Should I maybe unblock the others so the second pair can find a new box? or will my domineering cock claim them all?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Surely you can't be serious about this? String. Wouldn't that be a safety hazzard? He's not fighting as in "cock fight" like roosters, his feet/ legs are not the problem.

He actually runs after them at feeding time, chases them around the feeder and pecks their heads until they fly up to the perches. Feeder is 24" long for 4 birds so not like it is a tight fit. As for the nest boxes, he flies right in the other pairs nest box and grabs them by the back of their heads and drags them til he can push them out the doorway!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Surely you can't be serious about this? String. Wouldn't that be a safety hazzard? He's not fighting as in "cock fight" like roosters, his feet/ legs are not the problem.

He actually runs after them at feeding time, chases them around the feeder and pecks their heads until they fly up to the perches. Feeder is 24" long for 4 birds so not like it is a tight fit. As for the nest boxes, he flies right in the other pairs nest box and grabs them by the back of their heads and drags them til he can push them out the doorway!
what I would do is take this troublesome cock out of the coop for like 3 days and then return him and see what happens ,maybe by then the other cock with have established his place and it will throw the other cock off enuf for him to know his place .
 

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I kind of had the same problem introducing a new King pigeon into my loft (see "introducing Walter" thread)
I had plenty of extra boxes, but 2 of the older cock's were going after him no matter where he went. I ended up rearranging the inside of the loft - moved the storage bin and shop vac. Then I added 2 old book shelves. It was just enough to confuse the older cocks and add new "spots" - haven't had any problems since :)
 

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Surely you can't be serious about this? String. Wouldn't that be a safety hazzard? He's not fighting as in "cock fight" like roosters, his feet/ legs are not the problem.

He actually runs after them at feeding time, chases them around the feeder and pecks their heads until they fly up to the perches. Feeder is 24" long for 4 birds so not like it is a tight fit. As for the nest boxes, he flies right in the other pairs nest box and grabs them by the back of their heads and drags them til he can push them out the doorway!
actually some have use what is called bully bands, but it was a rubber band not string used, it is put on is such a way it does not hurt the bird, just knocks him down a peg or two from being so aggresive.... but I would go with Lakotas advice first...as far as the eggs go, just replace them with fake ones and then you won't need to worry about it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
problem is his "wife" just laid eggs, but that does sound like a good idea. Thanks!
your problem is this bird thinks it owns the whole loft due to it being there first .. I would settle this problem first before letting anyone raise any young birds in the loft or your just asking for more problems and heartbreak.
 

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your problem is this bird thinks it owns the whole loft due to it being there first .. I would settle this problem first before letting anyone raise any young birds in the loft or your just asking for more problems and heartbreak.
YES! I had to keep Walter caged until the babies were old enough to get out of the way!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I spoke to the breeder where the other birds came from. The cock I was sent (Big Al) was a "wimp" at his old loft, that was why he was in a low box. He gave me a few pointers, one of which was leave the feeder out all day. Said they aren't racing so no need to split up meals. Seems the new pair are able to eat now at least, without incident.

I did some rearranging, put the other pair in a different box, let the original cock take both boxes (one where his hen & eggs are, and the second box-- all advice from the breeder). It has done no good. I was told when I see the cock (Humphry) beat up on the other pair, grab him and prick his head and put him where he belongs. Since the pair arrived, seems they are happier sleeping on their perches at night. They are on them all day and if Humphry tries to get on the perches, Big Al stands up for himself then. Are Big Al & Peggy (the Bundy's) maybe just not ready to nest and this is why they don't defend their box?

Since Big Al is a "wimp" to begin with (he is 2 yrs old BTW), I am wondering if taking Humphry out for a few days will even work, or piss him off even more? Kind of want to use that as last resort, we decided we would like to keep the eggs that the hen is sitting on.
 

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Well, I spoke to the breeder where the other birds came from. The cock I was sent (Big Al) was a "wimp" at his old loft, that was why he was in a low box. He gave me a few pointers, one of which was leave the feeder out all day. Said they aren't racing so no need to split up meals. Seems the new pair are able to eat now at least, without incident.

I did some rearranging, put the other pair in a different box, let the original cock take both boxes (one where his hen & eggs are, and the second box-- all advice from the breeder). It has done no good. I was told when I see the cock (Humphry) beat up on the other pair, grab him and prick his head and put him where he belongs. Since the pair arrived, seems they are happier sleeping on their perches at night. They are on them all day and if Humphry tries to get on the perches, Big Al stands up for himself then. Are Big Al & Peggy (the Bundy's) maybe just not ready to nest and this is why they don't defend their box?

Since Big Al is a "wimp" to begin with (he is 2 yrs old BTW), I am wondering if taking Humphry out for a few days will even work, or piss him off even more? Kind of want to use that as last resort, we decided we would like to keep the eggs that the hen is sitting on.
I tried that and more! You can't rearrange the birds, they'll just go back where they want to.
When I rearranged the storage bin and added the 2 old bookshelves - ALL the fighting stopped. No problems since :D
 

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Since you have decided to keep the eggs, you should have provisions to lock the boxes. You can keep Humphry locked in with his hen and let them out only for feeding 3 times a day (its better to let anyone of them out to feed while they change their incubation cycle though). While Humphry is out for feeding, keep Big Al and Peggy locked in their own boxes. Provided enough time for Big Al and Peggy without the constant bullying from Humphry, they will bond much more in the new surrounding, start mating regularly and should eventually start defending their own box when it comes to matter the "family".
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Unfortunately I don't have room to rearrange a whole lot or add items. Although the loft is 6 x 8, there is a small 2' section with a wire wall & door to allow me entry into the loft and be able to shut the outside door so no one escapes when I go in (like a double door system) plus it gave me the 2' area to store items in also, like stacking bins with the borax, grit, DE, scraper, dustpan, broom... So inside the loft actually ends up being 6 x 6, with one wall having 2 windows with window perches, the opposite wall having 2 verticle sets of 5 perches (10 perches total), then the side facing wall has the 6 nestboxes all connected together so can't split any apart. There is an open area above the nest boxes, Humphry claimed that area too, maybe I can shove something up there to throw him off a bit. I have been keeping him locked up at night with his wife, he didn't seem too happy. He also doesn't help her much with the eggs (dead beat dad!), this is his first mating. I would like to keep all the birds on the wall where I built the boxes, instead of adding more nesting areas. Since I only plan to have max. 3 mated pairs total, I don't want them scattered around. During the day he sits on a lower perch, under Big Al & Peggy, and all is quiet & peaceful.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Ok, on the front of the nest boxes, each opening has a little 6" long x 2" wide (lathe) landing perch. My nest boxes are 2 per level with 4 levels. (4 x 4 area coverage) What if I maybe take those little perches down and replace with 1 x 6 cedar boards, the 4' length of both boxes, do that on all levels, which would give it more of a deep shelf effect? Definately different, easy to do. Wonder if that would be enoght to throw it off in there?
I just read over this, hope it makes sence?

Here's a pic taken last month, while the loft was getting finished & before the others arrived, gives you an idea of what my nest boxes look like.



On the right side of pic is where the 2 windows are, and on the left side is where I added all the perches. Under the nest boxes is a large milk crate where I put the water fountain thing. And the footstool is still in there.
 

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I would let the no egg couple roost where they want at night.... then take the bully that is roosting in the wrong box and put him in his box with his hen on the eggs. do it when dark so he stays put...try to do that every night..he may just get the hang of it...the other pair will get more protective when it is their time to lay and nest, just let them choose which box they want....If the bully takes all of them and harrasses them out of all the boxes then you will have to take him out when his babies are weaned and let the others settle and retry bully back in there.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would let the no egg couple roost where they want at night.... then take the bully that is roosting in the wrong box and put him in his box with his hen on the eggs. do it when dark so he stays put...try to do that every night..he may just get the hang of it...the other pair will get more protective when it is their time to lay and nest, just let them choose which box they want....If the bully takes all of them and harrasses them out of all the boxes then you will have to take him out when his babies are weaned and let the others settle and retry bully back in there.
This was my afternoon thought, actually. Let Mr & Mrs Humphry hatch the eggs, do their parental duties, then remove him for a little while. He shocked me today, he was actually sitting on his eggs! Apparently the Mrs may have laid out some ground rules :p Big Al & Peggy really show no interest in the boxes, let alone the nest idea, but they do stick togehter, so are bonded.

The new birds came from sunny California, where it is mild winters. They came here to Nevada at a bad time because as soon as they arrived it was 10 degree at night / highs of 30-40. Today we have so far 7 " of snow and still coming down, highs so far today are 19! Antoher pigeon loft, 60 miles from here said the birds may not even attempt to lay due to the new loft, plus the climate change being so abrupt.

I will keep Humphry looked in his box at night and leave the the "Bundy's" to do as they please, just let nature do its thing.

Thanks for everyones different inputs. It does give me a few differnt options so if one thing doesn't work, on to the next idea.

Will also do some redecorating, and see what happens. Hubby found a wood box in the garage, not nest size, but good box perch size (24 l x 8h x 4 deep). Might throw the balance off and hang it up in the loft tomorrow.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update: Well, things were much better, the eggs hatched and the babies are well cared for by both parents. Humphry has actually been quite pleasant, since he has a family to occupy his time now. But, the youngsters are 23 days old and becoming a bit more dependant and Humphry has reverted to his old ways, chasing Big Al. I caught him getting on Big Al's perch and starting a fight. Pecked half of Al's cere off one side til it was bleeding. I grabbed Humphry and plucked him on the back of the head and confined him. Read about the shackles, so put those on for 2 days. He was a changed bird, very quiet and docile. Took the shackles off, and within 24 hours he is back at it, not as bad yet, but none the less, still being a bully. Noticed though on Humphry's leg with his AU band , I had a clip-on band holding the rubber band, well the clip-on rubbed into his skin on his leg, so don't want to do this again. Any other clues? The Mrs hasn't laid another clutch yet, so am thinking when the kids are 30 days, jerk bully Humphry out of there for a week. Big Al tries to fight back, but he is such a calm, sweetheart of a bird, he just hasn't got a mean feather on him. So when he fights back it isn't with full force.
Did do some rearranging & painting , added different boxes, etc... didn't phase them at all.
 
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