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I am new with homers. I am not a racer have them only for my entertainment. I need to know how often to feed. once daily, or twice daily. I know to let them eat only 10 minutes. Thanks in advance
 

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I am new with homers. I am not a racer have them only for my entertainment. I need to know how often to feed. once daily, or twice daily. I know to let them eat only 10 minutes. Thanks in advance
Rationing the feed is only needed if you want to call them back in the loft. If you are not racing then there is no need to ration their feed. I would figure out how much feed all the birds will eat in a full day, feeder is just about empty at the end of the day, you have your amount right. Fill it again in the morning , let them choose to eat as they want during the day. The amount may change during a year, they may eat more in winter and less in summer.
 

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You don't have to be racing to need to control them with their feed. Even if you are just letting them fly, you will still need to be able to get them back in when you want them to. You should be there while they are out. You need to get them back in if you are going to leave. You can't do that unless they are trained to come to the feed call, and they won't do that unless they are somewhat hungry. Some people cut the rations way down, but you don't have to starve them. They do however need to be hungry on the days you let them out, or they will have no incentive to come back in when you shake the can or give whatever signal you give to tell them that it's feed time.
So feeding twice a day is a good idea. I don't like the 10 minute thing though, as some will not get their share. You can let them eat till they are done. You could feed half the days ration in the am, then the other half in the evening or late afternoon. On the day you are to fly them, skip the morning feed, and let them out. Then when you signal and call them in, you can feed them then. But when you call them in with the feed signal, then always feed them, or they won't come when you do it. If they don't come in when you call them after skipping the am feed, you could skip the morning feed, let them out later in the day, and feed them when they come in. If they don't come to the call and stay out, then they don't get fed till the next time. So the ones that come in get fed. The others don't. They will soon learn to come to the signal. Leaving feed down all the time will not get them back in when you want them in. And there will be times when it is important that they come in when called. So you would only be skipping the am feed on the days you let them out. Not every day.

Even with this method, not all the birds will come in when called. They are enjoying being out. But be consistent, and they will learn. Pigeons are smart.
Now if you are never letting them out to fly, and keeping them in an aviary, then that is different. Then you can leave a days amount of food down for them each day. But if let out, the twice a day feeding works.
 

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I am new with homers. I am not a racer have them only for my entertainment. I need to know how often to feed. once daily, or twice daily. I know to let them eat only 10 minutes. Thanks in advance
I loft fly my birds when I get home from work and on my days off, I have never had the need to call them in. They go in at dusk to roost, they go in and out of the loft if out all day , they eat when they want and how much they want, they do not gobble their feed like when rationing for a reaction. IF they see a bird of pray they fly high for a long time then come down fast and trap in, I usually notice this and keep an eye out. I think if you do not race the advice you need to listen to are from people who actually loft fly their birds that do not race. The idea to ration the feed to make them hungry enough to trap in AFTER they have learned how to use the trap door is a tool to get more control of the birds. I just do not have a reason to control what they do, they go in at dusk.
 

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There are many opinions on the subject. Not everyone who loft flies wants to leave the loft open for them to come in at will. You could very well want to get them in and close up the loft. You can't do that if you don't control the feed. People have done that, left the loft open for the birds to come and go, and hawks have also gotten in and killed birds. Responsible people like to be there when their birds are out. Not just leave them to come in whenever. Leaving the loft open for the pigeons to get back in, also leaves it open for other things to get in. So as I said, there are many opinions, not just one.
You need to decide what is right for you.
 

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When you loft fly pigeons you think ahead. If you are not going to be there or plan to go out then the birds don't come out. Really there is no reason to go through all this rationing so the birds are so hungry they dash for food is not needed at anytime. Unless you just want to complicate matters and make keeping pigeons harder than it has to be. Simply thinking ahead and planing your loft flying is all that is needed. Humans always have a need to control everything including our animals, so the draw to do that is there. Rationing for trapping is not wrong, it's just not right for me and the op who has contacted me privately.
 

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Thanks for your opinions, no one is trying to complicate matters, just expressing different views, glad to hear the OP has decided what is right for him.

There is no wrong-in this case, ...let's move along.....

 

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What I do

My birds have food 24/7. And I could make a video of them in the morning after the loft is cleaned and fresh water added AND dumping the feed they did not eat and they would look like birds that people starve. Nothing but elbow to elbow at the feeder. I have six feet of feeder. One four footer and a two footer. And they are lined up side by side ( thirty birds). So if you see something from a feed Nazi and think that's the way to go . I can show you the same thing with well fed birds and zero stress and zero ill effects from some timed feed limit.

If you think you can bring in the birds by making them hungry why OH why don't these same people bring their birds in when there is a Bird of prey about??? THEY CAN'T!!!! Don't make your birds hungry. And BTW how is it you KNOW to feed to ten minuets but not how often or how much???
 

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Why is it being a feed Nazi to fly your birds in the morning before you feed them? They are more likely to come back in when you want them to, for their feed. Many like to be there when their birds are out, and can't do that if they are out until dusk. Some people even need to leave for 2nd shift. What do they do, just leave the loft open all night till they get home? I think the situation is different for everyone. And everyone needs to figure out the best way for them. I don't advocate starving them, like some do, with the tiny amount of feed they continually give their birds. But just giving them open loft all day and night, which gives other things access to the loft, isn't a good practice either. And it isn't as simple as some make it sound to just plan the loft flying. Things come up and you may have to leave. So different ways for different situations.
 

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Why is it being a feed Nazi to fly your birds in the morning before you feed them? They are more likely to come back in when you want them to, for their feed. Many like to be there when their birds are out, and can't do that if they are out until dusk. Some people even need to leave for 2nd shift. What do they do, just leave the loft open all night till they get home? I think the situation is different for everyone. And everyone needs to figure out the best way for them. I don't advocate starving them, like some do, with the tiny amount of feed they continually give their birds. But just giving them open loft all day and night, which gives other things access to the loft, isn't a good practice either. And it isn't as simple as some make it sound to just plan the loft flying. Things come up and you may have to leave. So different ways for different situations.
I use"feed Nazi" as a terse term to describe people who only feed their birds a limited amount of their required need so that they stay hungry. Their justification is it is to control their birds.

I am NOT saying that others should do as I do. I AM saying feed your birds what they need to be healthy and in good condition. They are a lot of myths about how to treat your pigeons. They seem to always attract new to pigeons people. I want these same people to know that everything they read or see on the internet is not carved in stone. I want these same people to have happy healthy birds that come home time after time.

At my loft the birds fly in the am. while I clean, feed and water. The prisoners come out to their fly pen and most all come in when I put the feed down. The flyers seem to have it timed quite well. If I am lucky I get one or two birds that stay out longer because they know everything they need and want is waiting for them but they love to fly and that's just what they do, fly.

I know every situation is different. I know all birds are different and I know few have a loft set-up as mine or have the time I have to spend on their birds. But none of those reasons are a justification for keeping your birds in a constant state of hunger. I want anyone who wants to know "for real" what to do what I have learned after spending hours a day, everyday. Not so that they can do as I do. But so that they can take the information and apply it to their situation.

I will always be on the bird's side. Always. They are a gift and a pleasure. I will be their voice as best as I can and know how to. I hope everyone enjoys their birds. And I feel that more joy comes from happy healthy birds that lay two eggs, hatch two eggs and come home every time baring wires, BOP and apparently heavenly induced smash races.
 

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I use"feed Nazi" as a terse term to describe people who only feed their birds a limited amount of their required need so that they stay hungry. Their justification is it is to control their birds.

I am NOT saying that others should do as I do. I AM saying feed your birds what they need to be healthy and in good condition. They are a lot of myths about how to treat your pigeons. They seem to always attract new to pigeons people. I want these same people to know that everything they read or see on the internet is not carved in stone. I want these same people to have happy healthy birds that come home time after time.

At my loft the birds fly in the am. while I clean, feed and water. The prisoners come out to their fly pen and most all come in when I put the feed down. The flyers seem to have it timed quite well. If I am lucky I get one or two birds that stay out longer because they know everything they need and want is waiting for them but they love to fly and that's just what they do, fly.

I know every situation is different. I know all birds are different and I know few have a loft set-up as mine or have the time I have to spend on their birds. But none of those reasons are a justification for keeping your birds in a constant state of hunger. I want anyone who wants to know "for real" what to do what I have learned after spending hours a day, everyday. Not so that they can do as I do. But so that they can take the information and apply it to their situation.

I will always be on the bird's side. Always. They are a gift and a pleasure. I will be their voice as best as I can and know how to. I hope everyone enjoys their birds. And I feel that more joy comes from happy healthy birds that lay two eggs, hatch two eggs and come home every time baring wires, BOP and apparently heavenly induced smash races.

Good post. Your birds are lucky. Too many treat them as inanimate objects and not living breathing beings. I am sure just by what I read that many are short of starvation their whole lives. Thanks.
 

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If you want to train you have to do with feed. I live in rural suburb but don't want my birds on neighbors roofs and prefer they don't start hanging around on the ground....cats and worms..... I don't race but I do distance release, but when I go to work ( afternoon shift) I prefer to have them in coop. I feed after exercise or training when all home and they have been hanging on roof or tree for a few hours I whistle and feed. After they all have eaten and aren't still picking I pull the food, after awhile you get the hang of how much they eat so on days I feed and run I know how much to put in. The get fed once daily and there's never a mad rush to the trap on calling.....it's more like they look down at me and joke around like let him whistle a few more times before we start in.....others are more stringent with amount of food and birds fight to get in first, beauty of it all is you can Taylor to what you want them to do.....
 

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Why 'all or nothing'?

OK, so there seems to be people saying strictly ration feed to get them in, and others saying feed them all the time with excess feed (someone actually said they dumbed out the feed the birds did not eat)!!

Why not go the middle way?

Have a feeder full all the time with the feed mix and only refill it when its emptly.. so the birds have eaten all the seeds and none is wasted.

Train them to come back using treats.... raw peanuts work great... they love these like we like chocolates!

Make a call, and then throw a handful of peanuts on the coop floor and see the birds come rushing in.

Now you have trained birds which will return to the loft on your call, and you have happy birds that are not feeling starving and hungry all the time desperate for feed.

You have no wasted feed, and the birds are getting a balanced diet as they will eat all the seed mix, not just picking out their favouraite seeds.
 

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No matter how you look at it your still using food to get them to come in. I have never seen a " full " pigeon rush to get in the coop. While I never used peanuts before, I have read about there benefits and supposedly the birds do love them so I guess it would work. I have been around pigeons a bit, there were years I had none and have had flocks of six and flocks of eighty, and if I habitually leave food for them to eat as they please they get fat!!! While I don't race I do need my birds to be quick for BOP. And I do run them out several miles where they are flying awhile to get home. There of course is no perfectly wrong or right way. I am trying to work less and enjoy birds more and peanuts combined with hand feeding dose sound rewarding. The few I hand feed are just so pleasurable to have around. Currently my HUGE flock is a total of 14...
 
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