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Discussion Starter #1
I was given 35 racers to start a loft. I am pretty proud of the light airy loft I build. 18 nest boxes and several rails to perch on near the roof. I painted the inside of the loft and place a window at the right angle to catch the most light I could.

The birds are breeding now. It started out fairly rough. I put a small dog food bowl in each of the nest boxes. I have tons of long pine needles and put a bucket full in the corner so they could use those to line the bowls with. The very next day the bucket was empty. there was not a single needle in any of the bowls. They simply cleaned house and stuffed them through the grating in the floor. I provided straw, they did the same thing. There was some dry grass in the straw that some of them took only 2 or 3 strands of. The first couple of months I only had one hatch both eggs but many nests were complete failures. I think it was just too cold here and the flat plastic bottoms of the bowls were too slippery to juggle two eggs and keep them under the hen. I had an Idea I had mistakenly bought two bags of grit at one point thinking I had bought seed. They were loaded in the truck and I didn't even see them till I got home. I thought I would eventually use it all so I kept it.

I figured it would help hold the eggs where they needed to be, so I lined every bowl with a generous amount of grit. I had gotten used to one successful hatch every week or two. However! this week produced 9 chicks!

So now I have some questions, Since I am very new to pigeon raising and Training. My older birds and young birds are all living in the same space. I know I should be flying the YB's hungry but at the same time I feel I need to be providing ample and rich food for the breeders and their recent hatchlings.

When should I start flying the Young birds? Should I favor the breeders with food or with hold food so I can get the young birds out flying?
 

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The breeders should have access to food and water 24/7. They have kids to feed.

The babies should all be together in their own area and should start training within the loft once they are fully weaned and flying very well inside the loft, around 4 weeks of age. Train them to eat by the whistle or shaking of the seed can for a week or two weeks then start trap training-with a cage to keep them from going outside. Make sure to train them before mealtime on empty stomach. Once they are fully trained to come thru trap at the sound of whistle or seed can to come in to eat, then you can trap train without cage and allow them access to outdoors. They should be out flying at around 8 weeks of age.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your Answer.

Since I am a beginner in all respects. I am pretty lucky I have this space and I can't separate the YB and Old birds this year. I can't believe I am all ready feeling pressure to expand! I bet most you are saying "been there, Done that." But I really can't. to make matters worse, when I was planning this my neighbor came over and said he was sure the property line was incorrect and hired a surveyor. Long story short, my original plans would have been 5 feet into his property even with a 3 foot clearance that is required for outbuildings. I'll try to post a picture of the loft.

Since I am not going to compete in racing, Please suggest a way to exercise and train my birds with out having to separate them from the old birds.

loft.jpg
 

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It would be very difficult to have breeders, adult non-breeders and young birds, all in one loft. It will quickly become unmanageable.

Let me ask you this. If you are not going to race, why are you breeding any birds? They multiple as quick as rabbits. You will soon be overcome with pigeons. You just started and you are already feeling that crowded "pinch".

Stop breeding and get more loft space. Figure out why you are breeding and where the new birds are going to live. If you are going to have males and females together (of any age), there are going to be nests and eggs, and then babies. They will lay eggs on the floor and sit on them, if there are no nesting materials. You will need to get some dummy eggs from a pigeon supply company, to replace the real eggs with, and the real eggs will have to be done away with, within two days of their being laid. (they make an excellent addition to a dogs diet, by the way)

Most newbies learn the hard way, that pigeons multiply faster than you can build.
 

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Is your loft in your front yard? Or are you on a corner lot?

Oh. Put about a quarter inch to a half inch of playground sand in the bottom of a nesting bowl, to help hold the eggs in place and help keep them warm. It's very cheap and works very well.

It is unusual that they did not use the pine needles to make nests with though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The loft is on the very back of our property. I live in a Cul De Sac and the back property line is a secondary road through our city.

I am raising homers for the facination of their flight and homing abilities. While I don't plan on competing I do plan on training and flying and timing them myself.

Thank you for the sand Idea, I have grit in the nest bowls now but it tends to get kicked out and makes a mess. A good portion has stayed in every nest bowl and has helped.
 
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