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Discussion Starter #1
I have been raising homing pigeons for 1.5 years now and have been extremely frustrated with how things have gone. I originally bought squeakers when I got into the raising homers and needless to say, when I let them out of the loft they never went back in. After that endeavor, I bought adult birds and have been raising them for a year. I ended up with around 20 young birds this summer and just started the process of leaving them out of the loft this week. I didn't do it sooner because I knew I was going to be moving. I recently bought a house and moved 40 miles away, so I wanted my birds to home to my new house. I taught the young ones how to trap by opening the trap door and putting a wire cage around it so they could go in and out of the loft and get used to where the door was and how to use it. I let some of them out and they just sit in trees and wont come back in. They have no clue how to use the door or any aspiration of coming back to the loft. I am now down to 6 birds in the loft with about 6 more sitting in trees around the place.

Is there any literature out there that can help me train these birds? Can someone please provide me with some advice. The birds are fed regularly, have access to water at all times, and they are healthy. Most of them would take corn or peas right out from my fingers so they weren't super scared of me. Can I buy squeakers from someone and train them to use my loft? The whole purpose of this endeavor was to use homers to train my bird dog, but I can't seem to figure the bird situation out and my bird dog is almost 2! I am at my wits end trying to raise/train these birds.
 

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You can`t let them out of the loft if they are NOT hungry...That is their ONLY motivation to go back inside the loft after being out say for 30 to 60 minutes...You cannot control young or old birds once you feed them...Do you have a whistle call,or a shake the feed can call for them to know it`s time to eat ?? That is the first thing that I teach my babies to do,after I teach them to drink....Every time I feed them,I shake the feed can,and say come on babies,for as long as they are eating...After a week or so,they know what I am saying...It`s time to eat,so they rush in the loft....So start either talking and shaking the feed can,or a soft whistle and feed can shaking or whatever you like...But do it twice a day,everyday,untill they understand the meaning of it all...They are smart...They will learn....Good Luck....Alamo
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I keep their feed in a large Aluminum garbage can. Everytime they hear the lid come off the can, they get excited...but I'm sure they can't hear that from a distance.
 

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I've always wondered what's the best thing to use to call back pigeons. Deep bass carries the farthest but never heard of anything other than rattling a feed can or whistle.
 

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Moving the birds when they are too old will guarantee some will be lost. When I move birds to a different pen they stay in there for 2 or more weeks. I have a whistle on the window screen of each pen and when I feed I give 3 blows on the whistles. When I let the young out the first time they do not get fed. I just turn my back and walk away. I have found if you get all worried and try to manipulate them , they will get frightened and take off. Just let them alone, later toward nite feed them and blow the whistle 3 times and walk away. My biggest problem are the hawks. Two years ago I let the young birds out and a very hungry / brave hawk hit the flock 3 times while I stood there trying to chase the hawk away. I lost all but 4 birds. Too confusing for them, " a hawk attacking and me acting like a nut case with the hawk". All that I guess frightened them big time. I think now that I should have let the hawk get one and it would have flown off, the rest of the young would have come in and I would not have lost 17 young birds.
 

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