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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im preparing to get some birds ...?
Survey: what are your losses like just in loft flying in a given year? (%). After birds are settled.

Thks,
Nathan
 

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I only lost three birds since last spring!
REASONS:
1. LET THEM LOFT FLY AND BAD RAIN STORM CAME
2. LONG TRAIN TOSS
3.ONE BIRD WAS GIVEN TO ME AND SEEMED LIKE IT WAS ALREADY TO OLD FOR IT TO STICK TO MY LOFT SO IT TRIED FLYING BACK I GUESS BY THE FIFTH TIME I LET IT LOFT FLY WITH THE REST OF THE PACK

MY ADVICE IS GET YOUNG BIRDS TEACH THEM HOW TO TRAP WITH THE CALL FOR FEEDING TIME THAN START TO LET THEM LOFTT FLY FOR TWO WEEKS BUT MAKE SURE ITS NICE WEATHER
YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHANCE SOME MIGHT GET CAUGHT BY HAWK NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT THAT
BUT JUST DONT HAVE FEAR AND LET THEM LEARN THAN START TO TAKE THEM OUT A BLOCK AWAY THAN A MILE AND SO ON UNTILL YOU CAN TAKE THEM OUT AS FAR AS YOU ARE WILLING TO TAKE THEM TO TRAIN. BUT AGAIN MANY FACTORS COME INTO PLAY SUCH AS SICKNESS STRESS NATURAL ATTACKS NOT CONTROLLABLE AND DONT LET THEM OUT IN THE WEEKENDS WHEN OTHER PEOPLE HAVE RACES OR ALSO TRAIN YOU MIGHT HAVE A SMALL CHAMCE YOUR BIRDS CAN JOIN THERES AND GET LOST THAN
 

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In the area and the course that i fly, i always try to prepare myself for losses, and if i dont lose as many as i thought, then its like a nice suprise lol : )
IMHO, the best things to do are, train them gradually, dont push them, make sure the health is good, and check the weather before u train. Like frequent flier said, there are some losses u cant prevent, but there are ways to minimize them. Anyway, if your new to pigeons, i promise u your gonna have a knot in your stomach everytime u open the baskets anyway! Lol!
 

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I have a pair of birds here in my loft that I can bred 6 offspring from and fly them in all 8 races we have, and not loose one bird, and win races. bred from trash and you will get trash, bred from winners and you will get winners.
 

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With quality brood stock I would not expect to lose any young birds in the process of loft flying with the exception of losses to predators. You can and should secure your buildings to eliminate the possibility of loss to non winged predators, but if hawks are prevalent in your area you will potentially lose many to them.
 

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I lost two birds just 'loft' flying. Both were hawk attacks. One hawk followed the birds through the trap and into the loft. 2 out of 32 birds. Not bad. However YB racing I lost 11 birds by the end of th season.

I was told to expect 30% attrition during the race season.
 

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Between settling, training and racing, prepare to lose half......anything less and you're doing well.
The way it's been going in my area with all the hawks and whatever else is making birds get lost the past few years even losing half is being optimistic. Guys who never used to lose birds are losing 3/4's if not more of the birds they raise. There's so many stories about hawks hitting the board with the YB's out for the first time and losing half their team in one shot. They did away with almost all the band races because their wasn't enough birds making the races. You'd sell 500 bands for a race and only 100 would be shipped. Now almost everything is bond races where you buy the bond instead of a band and ship your best birds. Instead of hoping you don't lose the birds you banded with that $100 band atleast now you know if you buy 5 bonds you'll get 5 birds in the race. That's if you have 5 birds left in your loft and some don't even have that by the end of the season.
 

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so, relative to the original posters question about predicted losses....does it make sense to get the young birds settled and loft flying early at a young age or wait until the worst of hawk season passes. i have chicks i am banding already which means that by the middle of february i could/should have them up loft flying but i would completely expect to have them picked by the hawks. would it be better to wait and settle/loft fly older YB's?
 

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It all depends on the area you live in. If the hawks aren't as bad in February, go ahead and start training them. However, some places have a bad hawk problem year round. Doesn't matter if you start training the young birds early or later, you'll still get hit.

In 2012 I started the young bird season with 32 young birds. I lost 2-3 during settling (hawk attacks), another 8 during training tosses, and had 14 birds fly off one day (while loft flying) and apart from 1 bird, the 13 were never seen again (no idea what happened, they had loft flown quite a few times and had been given a few training tosses too).

I was left with around 8 birds (a few had been injured and wouldn't be in good shape for races). So I decided not to race at all in 2012. It would have been my first year racing but I didn't feel like I stood much of a chance with 8 birds before the races even started against the other flyers who had 40-50 ybs. Plus I didn't want to pay the $150 (less or more, can't remember) young bird fee knowing I may not even have any birds to send to the races after 2 weeks.

What did I learn? Breed A LOT more young birds. My plan is to breed 60-80 young birds personally, and bring in 20-25 young birds from other fanciers to test/fly. 100 young birds would allow me to have a pretty solid team throughout the yb season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Disheartening to hear the struggles of many and the need to raise so many. I was hoping to focus on quality over quantity- I don't have the breeding space. In my area, some racers get hammered, and some are fortunately not much bothered. I was curious to hear about other places. Thanks....

Pigeon0446, Sounds particularly bad in Long Island. 75%? BTW, what is a bond race?
 

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A lot has to do with the race course the birds fly in. Many places in the states have mild weather, sunny skies, etc. But living on the Pacific Coast here in Canada, the wind has a huge role sometimes in how the race results are. Plus the birds have to fly through the Rocky Mountains sometimes, and we get a lot of rain. The hawks love to live in the mountain valleys. The birds have to fly through these valleys in order to get past the mountains and they get hit as they pass through.

So in my opinion, the race course has a lot to do with hawk problems & weather elements.
 
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