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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I let the 5 YBs go first. one dove right back into the trap. Wanted no part of being out that day. two went deeper in to my heavily treed back yard and two made for the vinyl fence by the road. I watched the two by the road clumsily fly from the fence to a tree to a shed to another loft and back again. After ten or so minutes my Neighbor kid came over and said There is a hawk in his back yard that caught something and wanted to show me. He knows I have an interest in hawks. I told him right then he probably caught one of my babies. Sure enough he did. I picked up the body so the hawk won't associate this as a place he will get a full meal. We looked up just in time to see the old bird doing some wide circles at about 50 feet up. Wow, I was actually surprised at his speed. I really thought this old racer was fat and sick and probably heading to his original home. But where ever his flight ended, he was getting there fast. One more pass and the kid says "he has something hanging between his legs" That’s how big this growth was.

Any way, of this first flight 1 bird killed one other never returned. However to my surprise at 04:30 am 3 days later As I was going to work I walked past the loft and see this old Guy sitting on the landing board by the trap. (The trap was locked but he wanted in bad.

So this makes me wonder, Will old birds re-home? I know this bird is 9 years old and Male. Came from a loft that has been completely dismantled and was over 250 miles away. Was also a racer because he still had an RFID band on when I got him.
 

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simple answer... yes

its not always 100percent... and sometimes they will fly to their old loft... sometimes they will fly back... but often you can rehome (resettle) older birds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just re-read my post. I didnt' realize the first 1/4 of the post got truncated. I guess I need to keep it breif.

What kind of things can one do to help old birds re-home. After seeing this one old bird cruise around I'd really love to see him and others fly together.
 

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if they have bred in new loft.
if they have seen a lot of the area. (aviary)
currently sitting on a nest.

all of those help... after all that... you can soap the wing.

as i posted earlier... its not 100percent...
 

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it is not 100%, really that is why they call them homers....they fly back home..if your able to go get your birds back from where they came from, you may want to risk it...if not you may end up losing birds and they may have a short life out lost...so your best bet is to breed these homers and train their young. IMO...
 

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I have the same issue with my old bird. I was handed a loft, pigeons and clock from a Old-timer and I’m trying to re-home them now. I gave them nest bowls to get them on eggs and I have read in a 1950’s pigeon book that the best time to open the loft for them is between 10 and 14 days on the eggs. But replace the eggs with dummy eggs if you don’t need the youngsters. I build an aviary onto my loft and the pigeons spent 80% of the day in there. I have a couple of YB’s that i have homed as well. Some were missing for up to 4 days and came back. Lost 2 of the 9 YB’s. Every weekend I add two Old birds to the young bird loft and open the loft and walk away. Never chase them, That is the biggest mistake you can make. I only have 28 pigeons and 12 is homed now. They ranged from 2003 to 2007 the old birds. I only need about 20 old birds for the season starting in August. So will do with them what i can. I did ask the guy to chase them away and not to feed them at his place but he feels sorry for them and they use to be his pride .....................
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tonight I put my YB's out and thengrabbed the "Old Guy" I sat him on the roof o fthe loft withthe YBs. My hoe was that he would show them how it's done. He socialized a bit longer than I wanted but finally took off and circled back and buzzed the loft. Up to now the YB's had just hpped around and clumsily flew from shed to loft and rowed their wings like babies do.

When the "Old Guy" buzzed the loft Two birds took off. one gave up after ten feet of so. The other traied to catch up with the old guy and the two flew across the street and circled the Church steeple a couple of times, actually three times, then flew back to the loft. It was fun seeing the YB finally realize what it was all about. Can't wait to do it again tomorrow to see if they take off a little faster and go a bit longer.

I think it really helped to have the "Old Guy" out there helping out.
 

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I would stop doing that...he may just take your young birds down the road never to be seen again... you have been warned. and hope you will put your birds first when making choices such as these.
I wouldn't really worry about that, if that happens the young ones are followers and thats not really what you want. If you want to be super careful but still want to fly the old bird, let him out by himself for a while and if he doesn't take off you should be ok.
 
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