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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post although I have read a lot over the last few months. This has been a very helpful group. I bought 8 white homing pigeons in April, they have multiplied to 22 since then.

I fly them about 3-4 days a week by opening the loft and letting them out. They never go very far or very high, they fly a circle about 100 yards in diameter and that is it, even if left out all day.

A few months ago I took one of them about 2 miles away and turned him lose... I never saw him again. He was one that had some brown patches so I wasn't too torn up to lose him but I would like to start training the others and have seen a lot of conflicting information about how far to take them for the first toss.

In addition to the small circle they fly, we also live in the mountains so I'm not sure how far they have seen. The one I tossed a few months ago was on the other side of the mountain, so maybe that is why he got lost?? I live in the Ouachita Mountains so they aren't huge mountains.

There is a wedding venue about 6 miles away and that is the ultimate goal, to hire them out for weddings at that venue.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, I'm not looking to win races, just get most of my birds back. Thanks!
 

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Just a few pointers.....
Make sure they are trapped trained before tossing
Make sure they are hungry when you do toss em
Never toss a single bird, that's easy hawk food
Nowthen, start your tosses from your crates close to home so they see the loft and move out in small steps, like 200 yards them 500 then half a mile and soforth
Loft flying is a good thing so keep doing that, they are learning the area and as you go farther and farther they will learn to home
Whites are not typically good long distance homers but for local weddings and such they will certainly come home when trained
Good luck
 

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Hi there Gward I can tell you about mine, i usually toss my bird out in groups and I usually start tossing them out in line of sight you say you got lots of mountains toss them out from a top of a mountain that you can see your loft start in all directions north south east west not too far and build them up. Some times young birds will fly say to your next zip code and make it back with no problem and some birds will loft fly and just disappear.... I toss my birds alone some times but not too often most the time in groups... at least this is the way I see it birds that don't come back I don't need them anyways I want my birds to be able to make it back from anywhere, if you feed them good food clean water nice roof over there heads nest boxes perches and males and females to pair off and they don't come back you don't need them you need the ones that come back all the time even injured and still make it back.... but one never knows it could have been a hawk or any other reason.... good luck with your homers.
 

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Hi Gward,

Congrats on having a flock of 22 from 8.

I think heeler has some very pertinent points to consider, as well as chayi.

To repeat; *never let out single birds ( I never 'toss' pigeons that are sitting on eggs or nursing babies).
* Build up distance slowly, 100 ft, 200 ft, so on.

Wish you Good Luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you

Thank you for the replies, that is exactly what I needed. I was getting confused from what I was reading. Your suggestions make good sense to me. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
 

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I'm a big fan of loft flying, think of these birds as children still , they need to gain muscle , stamina, and experience just flying near their loft first , for a few months really. Think of it like a cyclist training for a long distance competition, they have to build up to it. The stronger and more mature the birds are the better they will do. Don't be in a hurry and do not over work them either. Young birds are still changing and maturing so keep that in mind. They aLso get savvier about birds of prey. They already have the instinct to find home, they just need to be in good condition and muscled to bear it.
 

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They should have no problem finding their way home from 2 miles. Everyone is right about flying them in a group a hawk could have grabbed the one bird. Have they ever routed for you going off and coming back an hour later. Mine like to rout when they are young not so much as they get older. Mine fly in races to 500 miles so distance is not a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
White Homers

They should have no problem finding their way home from 2 miles. Everyone is right about flying them in a group a hawk could have grabbed the one bird. Have they ever routed for you going off and coming back an hour later. Mine like to rout when they are young not so much as they get older. Mine fly in races to 500 miles so distance is not a problem.
I don't think they have ever routed. I'm pretty sure they have never been more than 200 yards from the loft, they just fly in a circle about tree height. I fly all of them together, young and old. Thanks for the reply.
 

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When I fly my old and young birds together they do just fly around the loft. I think the old ones get lazy and they know the area already lol. When I fly the young birds by themselves after a couple of weeks they are routing. I now do fly everyone together old and young. I have found for me the old birds teach the young quicker then when I just train them by themselves. I have also been told that white birds are not as good as the other colors but so far I have not found that to be the case. I even have had some long time racing guys laugh when they were first entered into races. Now some of these guys have white birds in the races too. As far as hawks I do have a couple of blue bars and when they fly with the whites they are the first to be attacked. I think its when there is an odd color bird in the flock that is what the hawks zero in on.
 

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Just my two cents on white Homer's I think they are easier to spot from a distance if a bird of pray is flying high it can spot a white bird easier than a blue bar or black or brown bird due to contrast from black pavement or green trees dark looking mountains white stands out easier and it will lock on to it. Color birds can blend and get lost of sight at fast speeds.
 

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A friend of mine has regular homers blue bars, checks etc and he live less than a mile from me. He looses about 10-15 birds a year to hawk's. I have about 100 whites who are let out to loft fly almost every day and I loose about 1-2 a year to hawk's and these are mostly young birds no experience. I don't now why and it drives him crazy. I do have hawk's chase my birds and sometimes I have to keep them in for a few day's but very few actually get caught. The one type of hawk that really drives me crazy are a pair of peregrine falcons as they are just relentless they will chase the birds for an hour and my birds will just disappear for and hour or 2. One thing is they do get their exercise then lol.
 
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