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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi this is my first post! Love the forum. Anyway, My grandfather and I have kept pigeons for a while. And we always free-flew them until the hawks figured out where the "goodies" where. And we were loosing a pigeons left and right. So then we locked em up and put the top on the flight pen.
Yet I have heard of people never free flight them. So for pigeons like rollers and tipplers who where bred to fly and all, do the pigeons really care not ever free flying? Like with just the coop and a flight pen, do they become satisfied since thats all they know?
 

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What do you mean free flight? Do you mean open loft where you just let the birds come in and out and fly and do what they want? Or do you mean you release them at certain hour and call them in after the flight and gets locked?

My observation is that some birds find it okay. Some wants to fly desperately. My good birds are like that. They want out and fly. My lazy birds care less. If they are adults and breeding, they prefer to stay and not fly.
 

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Trevorscoop...the following post was made in Rod's thread yesterday. I think it's a pretty good analogy and so I wanted you to read it. If Hawks are about. it makes no sense to let your Pigeons fly because the Hawks will pick them off, one by one.



Imagine you have a child, that child really wants to go out to play. You know there is a sniper waiting for any child that ventures out. You have lost children to the sniper before but heck, the child really wants to go out and play plus you want to watch the child play. Children need exercise you know. so out the door you push the child. Guess what? The sniper strikes as you and your other children watch in horror.

This process repeats until you have no more children to push out the door and you are so sad that you tell all your friends and they feel bad for you. In time you recover and you have some more children. Guess what? There's a sniper in the neighborhood but those darn children need some exercise and need to learn how to avoid the sniper and so you push them out the door to play.
Posted by Nightowl.
 

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Trevorscoop...the following post was made in Rod's thread yesterday. I think it's a pretty good analogy and so I wanted you to read it. If Hawks are about. it makes no sense to let your Pigeons fly because the Hawks will pick them off, one by one.



Imagine you have a child, that child really wants to go out to play. You know there is a sniper waiting for any child that ventures out. You have lost children to the sniper before but heck, the child really wants to go out and play plus you want to watch the child play. Children need exercise you know. so out the door you push the child. Guess what? The sniper strikes as you and your other children watch in horror.

This process repeats until you have no more children to push out the door and you are so sad that you tell all your friends and they feel bad for you. In time you recover and you have some more children. Guess what? There's a sniper in the neighborhood but those darn children need some exercise and need to learn how to avoid the sniper and so you push them out the door to play.
Posted by Nightowl.
I really liked this, too. None of my birds are free fliers but many of them are former racers or disabled in some way (or too fat :p). So it's an easy decision for me. But I've only had one who seemed to want out and she went to another place where she had more room to fly. The rest of them seem very content, and stay busy making nests and bathing and trying to prove who's bigger and better. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
By free flight i mean letting them go in and out as they please all day. Thats what we did. So our birds havent free flown in a long time. I understand the analogy.

So if birds never got the chance to free fly, they won't have the urge since they have never experienced it? Because our birds now seem fine not having free flight. Between them flapping around our 8x12 coop and 16x12 flight pen, they seem content. they will go back and forth and just be pigeons.
I might be moving within the next year where I can keep pigeons again so I am excited. :)
 

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By free flight i mean letting them go in and out as they please all day. Thats what we did. So our birds havent free flown in a long time. I understand the analogy.

So if birds never got the chance to free fly, they won't have the urge since they have never experienced it? Because our birds now seem fine not having free flight. Between them flapping around our 8x12 coop and 16x12 flight pen, they seem content. they will go back and forth and just be pigeons.
I might be moving within the next year where I can keep pigeons again so I am excited. :)
Those are very large and appropriate aviaries to have as flight pens, of course as long as the amount of birds is not too many. I can't imagine them being unhappy in there. And yes, especially the ones that have never flown, don't seem to know what they're missing. The few escapees I've had over the years are frantic to get back IN. :cool:
 

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I think we tend to tend to worry about our pigeons being "happy" as we humans would consider happiness. Many former champion racing pigeons are sold to breeding farms and spend the rest of their lives in captivity. They prove that they are not under undue stress by pairing up, raising many healthy youngsters and living to a ripe old age.
If pigeons are under stress or "unhappy', they tend to suffer from various diseases and breed poorly. Many pigeons which have free flight suffer these symptoms. We love to see them flying, which is what they were made for, but it seems to upset us more than the pigeons if we need to keep them captive.
 

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An interesting debate and I'm sure everyone will have their own opinion, mine I guess is that, they are birds and have wings and most (in my very limited experience) seem to want to fly, and awful and cruel as it is yes hawks can sometimes 'pick' off pidgies, as they to have their own natural urges, and having a neighbourhood hawk at the gardens where we fly from I do understand how distressing this is when it happens, but feel the analogy above is perhaps a little over exaggerated?!? Some people may even say that to keep a bird in a cage/locked up where it can only fly very limited is going against what it's natural instincts are (and again I do understand that for some birds it is a choice between flying and been able to live, especially if they have been permanently disabled, or imprinted etc). Please don't take offence this is only my view and I am not trying to snub other people's view's, just batting about idea's to question myself on how I feel on the subject and to listen to other's and how they feel, I'm not saying any one person is right or wrong.
 

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An interesting debate and I'm sure everyone will have their own opinion, mine I guess is that, they are birds and have wings and most (in my very limited experience) seem to want to fly, and awful and cruel as it is yes hawks can sometimes 'pick' off pidgies, as they to have their own natural urges, and having a neighbourhood hawk at the gardens where we fly from I do understand how distressing this is when it happens, but feel the analogy above is perhaps a little over exaggerated?!? Some people may even say that to keep a bird in a cage/locked up where it can only fly very limited is going against what it's natural instincts are (and again I do understand that for some birds it is a choice between flying and been able to live, especially if they have been permanently disabled, or imprinted etc). Please don't take offence this is only my view and I am not trying to snub other people's view's, just batting about idea's to question myself on how I feel on the subject and to listen to other's and how they feel, I'm not saying any one person is right or wrong.
Absolutely, and I don't think anyone will feel offended. We are trying to get all sides and opinions here. :) That analogy is somewhat exaggerated and not true for every bird. I agree that birds are made to fly and should be able to. A caged bird is a sad thing. I have a parrot and cockatiel in the house, and they are allowed several hours each day to cruise around the bedroom and do whatever they like. It is especially important if you do have prisoner birds, to make sure they have room to fly. And again, you may come across one or two or more that are simply unhappy being locked up, though I haven't personally had this problem but for one. As I said, I am lucky since I don't have to choose to let mine fly free, since some of them can't, so none of them do, if that makes sense. I would like someday to have a loft where I can keep some that ARE able to free fly. I don't know if I will ever be able to do this, but would like to. I understand a flier loses about one in ten birds to hawks every week. But it depends on the location, the birds, and the hawk--as well as many other factors. So I definitely see both sides of the discussion, for sure. It really just depends on the birds themselves and comes down to the owner's decision. Hopefully we're making it easier and not harder to decide LOL! :p
 

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Just been checking past posts as had computer problems, Thanks MaryJane, yes I guess losses do depend greatly on area, as I said we have a neighbourhood hawk and out of 55young birds, have lost 3 this year, although I am not necessarily blaming the hawk for these as they all seemed to go missing in a short space of time when we had been having a lot of thunder storms (none were allowed out the day of a storm but guess that the air was still charged?) and we were 4 birds missing until one turned up yesterday, totally out of the blue we had been to the loft had to leave for an hour to do someting else went back and there it was sat on the pavement next to the door it goes in and out of, when caught it was very light and had dusty feet as though it had been outside all the time it was missing and had been drinking out of puddles and it must have been gone for well over a week (we count them as they return home, so know how many are missing but not who is missing, as we only catch and check ring numbers every few weeks due to the number of them).
 
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