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Discussion Starter #1
I keep a small flock of (now 12) white homing pigeons as pets.

When I let them out to fly they only stay in the air for a 2 or 3 minutes then come back down to land. They will take off again a few times, circle the house about 4 times, then come back down again.

Also they don't go very high. My old flock (years ago at my old house) would go really high in the sky, but this lot don't get much higher than a 2 story house. Do homers usually fly that low?

The rest of the time they prefer to potter about on the ground, sunbathing and taking baths and having a relaxing snooze. (the think they are in a spa resort hotel).

Looking at photos on the web I think my adult pigeons are very fat! I feed 2 X a day for 5 mins at a time. Never leave uneaten food in the coop, but they are still overweight.

They are very healthy otherwise.

Please can anyone advise me about how to encourage them to fly higher and longer, and what amounts of feed they should be getting (when they are not nesting).

Thank you.

PS. one hen bird is much bigger than all the other pigeons. I think she is a utility king mix breed, and she may have contributed those genetics to my other birds. However, the other birds are all normal homer size, or even slightly smaller.
 

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Three things to do.
1) You need to start road training everyday.
2) You can also get a drone, of if you have a friend that fly drones. Use the drone to chase the lazy homers around the house every time they land, for about 2 hours.
3) Get the rid of the lazy utility king mix hen. Do not cook her.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advise.

I am off tomorrow to buy a basket to start the road training. They will have to be on the back of my pushbike as I can't drive... so they will probably beat me home LOL.

Since cutting back the feed to once a day for 3 days already. Today was the best they have flown ever...... all the birds (even the cross breed fat one) were flying together and they 'ranged' further out than usual. They also were a bit higher and did more circuits. However, far from perfect as they still were only a few minutes in the air, and some were panting when they landed.

I have come to the conclusion most are very overweight and unfit. But they are super healthy otherwise, with good poops and no signs of diseases... plus perfect and clean tight feahters.

Since none are breeding now, what is a best feed for them to loose weight?

I am in Thailand, and where I live there is no pigeon food, I can not even order it online.

I have to make do with what I can get. At the moments their feed is chicken scratch (with cracked corn included). I supplement this with some mynah bird pellets... which are red balls about pea sized and are made mostly of cereal and have egg and vitamins added.

Aside from that they get crushed oyster shell and cuttlefish bone, some red grit, and the occasional peanut as to help trap train them (I will stop the peanuts as I know they are fattening).
 

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Sounds like maybe most of your birds are mixed breed which could effect flight and flight pattern. I personally would not start tossing them until I have them loft flying or routing right. That’s a good way to loose entire stock. Chase them with whatever works most flyers have a pole that you chase with ( flag bag whistle clap firecracker water balloon .... Ect) what ever gets them up and flying well. Do not over feed and feed after flight. Also if there are one or two birds that constantly drop first causing all the other to follow remove them. One bird can make a difference
 

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Also Try different feed maybe that will help. Post some photos so we can maybe give ideas on breed. Naturally some homers are bigger then others. You may have full breed homers or mix. Maybe a photo can help
 

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jak2002003

Thanks for the advise.

I am off tomorrow to buy a basket to start the road training. They will have to be on the back of my pushbike as I can't drive... so they will probably beat me home LOL.

Since cutting back the feed to once a day for 3 days already. Today was the best they have flown ever...... all the birds (even the cross breed fat one) were flying together and they 'ranged' further out than usual. They also were a bit higher and did more circuits. However, far from perfect as they still were only a few minutes in the air, and some were panting when they landed.

I have come to the conclusion most are very overweight and unfit. But they are super healthy otherwise, with good poops and no signs of diseases... plus perfect and clean tight feahters.

Since none are breeding now, what is a best feed for them to loose weight?

I am in Thailand, and where I live there is no pigeon food, I can not even order it online.

I have to make do with what I can get. At the moments their feed is chicken scratch (with cracked corn included). I supplement this with some mynah bird pellets... which are red balls about pea sized and are made mostly of cereal and have egg and vitamins added.

Aside from that they get crushed oyster shell and cuttlefish bone, some red grit, and the occasional peanut as to help trap train them (I will stop the peanuts as I know they are fattening).
Feed them plain uncooked brown rice. My Florida pigeons love it. They also like cracked corn and dried splitpeas but not as much as rice. They love crushed peanuts or walnuts,, but that may be fattening.
 

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Hi, listen to carlo dont train them until they are routing at least 45 min cut down on the feed fat pigeons become lazy, and like carlo said get rid of the ones that that dont wanna fly, if you toss these birds even a 1/2 from your loft you will lose most of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone.

I have cut the feed back. Only feeding chicken 'scratch' now. I measure our approx. one tablespoon of feed per bird a day and feed one a day.

Do you think that will be OK, or shall I stop feeding the mixed grains and just feed brown rice? If I feed the rice should it be still in the hulls, or hulled? I have seen the rice in the hulls at the market, but it feels very sharp and 'sticky' and I wonder if the birds could swollow it or it would get stuck in their throat?
 
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