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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, today I let them fly for the first time. This a.m. I gave them just a little food, anticipating this evening when I got home to let them fly. Well, I opened the aviery and they walked out and looked around like,"what's this"? Finally, I gave them a little nudge and they all flew out and around. One homer made a couple rounds then off to the west all alone and I'm thinking, Oh crap! Long story short, they stayed out about 3 hours. they landed on my roof and garage and a big tree way up about 50 feet up. They would fly around a little then land again. I called and shook my food container, but they would not come in. they just hung out around the house flying occasionally then landing and looking. They stayed close, and did not come in until it started getting real dusky, then they came in. I went out and checked on them and everyone returned to the loft ok. Wow, you talk about having to be patient. I think they need to be more hungry next time. All in all it was absolutely great seeing them fly around, they were beautiful.
 

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Sounds like you had an experience you won't forget :D Plus you had a good day when they come back lol. The first day I let mine out...about 8 years ago...out of the 20 or so birds, 8 didn't come back (highflyers) guess they flew to high and couldn't recognize the house anymore and flew in a different direction, god knows what happened :)


Happy flying!
 

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Congrats! Yes, definitely keep them hungry else they wont listen to you unless they haven't associated food shaking sound with feeding. If so try to retrain them to respond to your food call. The way I test mine is to whistle, but not pour the food on the feed tray. If they go down when I whistled, then I know they have associated the food call. I pour the food then.

I don't remember the history of your birds. Can you help me remember? What was their story again?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
RodSD, I am the one who's daughter is geting married in June and I started looking for white homers back in March I think it was. I have never owned pigeons of my own, but grew up around friends that did, so I thought I'd give it a go. I got on this site and started reading and soon figured out that I did not need to buy two birds, let them fly at the wedding and thats that, so I started looking for birds to train. I thought that I might as well do this right, so I remodeled my daughters play house I built about 18 years ago into a loft. keithc had some white homers for sale so I contacted him and told him my plan and he sold me two white homers and 4 tumblers to get me going. All the birds were young and ready to be trained to a loft, so here I am several weeks later. I have until June 6th to train the two whites. The church building is about a 1/2 mile from my loft. Yesterday was their first loft flying experience.
 

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Well, today I let them fly for the first time. This a.m. I gave them just a little food, anticipating this evening when I got home to let them fly. Well, I opened the aviery and they walked out and looked around like,"what's this"? Finally, I gave them a little nudge and they all flew out and around. One homer made a couple rounds then off to the west all alone and I'm thinking, Oh crap! Long story short, they stayed out about 3 hours. they landed on my roof and garage and a big tree way up about 50 feet up. They would fly around a little then land again. I called and shook my food container, but they would not come in. they just hung out around the house flying occasionally then landing and looking. They stayed close, and did not come in until it started getting real dusky, then they came in. I went out and checked on them and everyone returned to the loft ok. Wow, you talk about having to be patient. I think they need to be more hungry next time. All in all it was absolutely great seeing them fly around, they were beautiful.

I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter HOW hungry they are...........being in a settling cage and trapping over and over and actually being OUT of the loft, without the settling cage is two different things.
My birds, when in the settling cage, trap like they are starved. No problems what so ever.......but the few times I've let them out......all of the sudden they aren't hungry any more. LOL
MY take on this is, that once they get AWAY from the loft and the settling cage is gone, they have a different perspective on the loft its self.
When I let my young birds out the first few times, the ones that STAY on the landing board, will trap when I call them. The ones that LEAVE the loft and go to the roof or the loft or the house or the trees, don't seem to be able to recognize the entrance to the loft that they've been using for weeks and weeks.......these are places that they haven't been before and have never had the opportunity to survey the area from that vantage point.
If I call them long enough and they start getting hungry and thirsty and I can convince them to actually come down and land on the landing board, it's like a light goes off in their head and they say "OH....NOW I know where I am" and they will trap right away.
I've always had this problem........I've tried skipping meals, taking the water away the night before.......nothing has worked.
I'm convinced, that once the birds are trapping good, they need to be put in baskets and sat out in the yard, AWAY from the loft, so that they can see the loft from the "outside" so to speak. Going from inside the loft, to a settling cage and back in the loft teaches them to trap, but they don't REALLY know what the loft/yard looks like from any other perspective.
I say this should be done, but I never do it............LOL, so the first few times out, I'm pulling my hair out because the birds won't trap.........however, eventually they get it. Doesn't take but a time or two and they figure it out.
As a side note, I also think that the way the loft is set up makes a difference too. Those who have the California type aviaries, never "change" the way the loft looks. That aviary is ALWAYS there. Those of us who use settling cages, DO make the loft look "different" in the eyes of the bird, because we have this big cage up on the loft, and then all of the sudden that cage is gone, and the loft doesn't appear to "look" the same to the birds.
 

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Hi TENNMAN, You are very lucky that didn't loose a lot of birds you NUDGE them and that scared them and like I say you are lucky. NEVER NEVER scare birds when they are out the first time I know of many case where some one could not wait to see the birds fly, and they gave them a nudge and lost many of their birds. I would like to point out that There has been a lot of talk lately on landing boards and I have seen some monstrositys that have been recomended. I have a CALIFORNIA AVIARY style as RENEE has on her racing loft The small loft next to the larger breeding loft, if you look close you can see her trapping system.When I trap train I would lock all the young birds out in the closed aviary I alway shake the feed can when I feed the birds if they want to eat they must trap in for the most part they learn to trap in three days, so much for step one. The second step is the settling cage here I have a table 8X4 sheet of ply wood on a couple of saw horses, which I place about 15 to 20 feet from the loft this is midway between the house and loft. Now the birds can see the loft and the back of my house.I have 3 settling cages (2 footx2foot X1 foot high)on that table I leave them out there about 2 hours, after which I return them to the aviary and they must trap in to eat after about 4 or 5 days I just open the aviary and the birds are on their own.I also leave the table in place so that they can fly to it and back to the landing board, at this time NEVER FORCE THEM TO FLY they will do that when they feel brave enough.While this may seem like a lot of work it realy is not and any way WHO SAID THAT RACING PIGEONS WASN'T WORK but that is part of the fun and when you have a well trained bird that wins it make the fun and pleasure that much more injoyable GEORGE;)
You need to go to RENEE post and click on to her web site to see the CALIFORNIA AVIARY
 

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Hi TENNMAN, You are very lucky that didn't loose a lot of birds you NUDGE them and that scared them and like I say you are lucky. NEVER NEVER scare birds when they are out the first time I know of many case where some one could not wait to see the birds fly, and they gave them a nudge and lost many of their birds. I would like to point out that There has been a lot of talk lately on landing boards and I have seen some monstrositys that have been recomended. I have a CALIFORNIA AVIARY style as RENEE has on her racing loft The small loft next to the larger breeding loft, if you look close you can see her trapping system.When I trap train I would lock all the young birds out in the closed aviary I alway shake the feed can when I feed the birds if they want to eat they must trap in for the most part they learn to trap in three days, so much for step one. The second step is the settling cage here I have a table 8X4 sheet of ply wood on a couple of saw horses, which I place about 15 to 20 feet from the loft this is midway between the house and loft. Now the birds can see the loft and the back of my house.I have 3 settling cages (2 footx2foot X1 foot high)on that table I leave them out there about 2 hours, after which I return them to the aviary and they must trap in to eat after about 4 or 5 days I just open the aviary and the birds are on their own.I also leave the table in place so that they can fly to it and back to the landing board, at this time NEVER FORCE THEM TO FLY they will do that when they feel brave enough.While this may seem like a lot of work it realy is not and any way WHO SAID THAT RACING PIGEONS WASN'T WORK but that is part of the fun and when you have a well trained bird that wins it make the fun and pleasure that much more injoyable GEORGE;)
You need to go to RENEE post and click on to her web site to see the CALIFORNIA AVIARY

That's IT George!! I truly believe that the simple act of putting the settling cages on the TABLE IN THE YARD can make a world of difference. They can actually see the LOFT, YARD, ROOFS, HOUSE......everything that they will see when out for the first time and away from the loft............
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks george simon and lovebirds for the info. I have been taking them out into the yard away from the loft so they could see it from afar while in thier cage. I would leave them there looking around, then shake the feed jug and whistle as I brought them to the landing board and they would trap right in. I gotcha on the nudge thing george, yeah I thought better afterwards. thanks for the instruction and information. I will do it differently next time for sure. this evening they will get to look at the loft from the area between the house and the garage that they seem to love so much. I will be patient and just let them walk out of the cage when they are ready.
 

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the first few weeks I let mine out, I waited till about an hour or so before dark, they did not want to go far and came back in when they were called ,I think because they were ready anyway to go night night....so that kept my younguns from going too far, when they started coming in well, then I started letting them out at anytime of the day.....as far as the road training, I did start them off in the yard and then moved on from there....:) I never had one not come in in the beginning, but later a few have had to spend the night outside because they were late coming for the call, but they sure wanted in bad in the morning! LOL
 

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Tennman1,
I remember you now. Here is how I resettle mine:
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f20/confused-racing-pigeon-35954.html?highlight=confused

The church distance of half a mile is like nothing to these birds. My birds route around that far. LOL! That bird that got lost for 3 hours probably covered more distance unless it actually landed and sat for 3 hours. That can happen. When you see those birds routing and making circles, they could have covered half a mile so they can actually train themselves for that. But may I ask why you only got 2 homers? You should have some reserved birds just in case something happens to them in their training. You could have a minimum of 4 homer birds. Just my opinion.

Oh, yeah, next time don't force them to fly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ya know Rod, I should have gotten 4 white homers at least. for some reason, I wasen't thinking about losing any, dumb me. Well, I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope all goes well. With a little luck, things will work out. I do plan on getting some more white homers though. Thanks for the words and tips. I'll keep keeping on. I'll fly em again this evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, this evening I learned a little more. Birds flew well and did their roof sitting routine, then flew, then sat, then flew. It's like they fly around learning, then sit and rest a little, then fly some more. Three of them trapped fine, three didn't want to use the trap. they sat at the avieary door like thats how they wanted in. I walked up and picked up one and put him through the trap, then another, but the last one wouldn't let me pick him up so I opened the aviery and let him fly in himself.
 

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Those birds are learning alright. I do notice my one spoiled bird that only prefers the door to get in. It literally waits for me to open the door for it and goes in. Silly bird! It does know how to trap on a trap door, but it has some regal attitude to it--you know like spreading a red carpet. Anyhow, your birds are doing fine. Sooner or later they will fly longer and longer until they are flying in circles until your necks hurts watching them. Then they start ranging/tripping disappearing somewhere and wont be back until awhile and you get worried. Don't worry about that. They will return. Then you can start tossing them if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good to hear it's not just my birds that are spoiled:D It's fun to just sit and watch them fly. They are real terrible flyers right now but they sure are stretching their muscles learning. In a few days, they ought to be getting stronger and flying longer, like you said.
 

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Thanks everyone who has contributed to this thread - it has been great to read that you experienced pigeon keepers have similar problems to me; I thought it was just my pigeons who refused to trap to my whistle when they were too 'busy' enjoying their freedom, and I also have a pigeon who knows how to trap but pretends to have forgotten so that I open the door for her! I feel better knowing that other people's pigeons twist them around their little fingers too!:)
 

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della,

Hahaha. I think we should not reveal our secrets now and our little "secrets." LOL! You see each bird is different and they have their own personalities and intelligence.

Obviously if they are really hungry, they will trap right away and they will be forced to use an open trap door and will not wait for the other door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey della, birds are funny like most animals I've had. There is always one that is extra special or extra smart, then there are the dumb dumbs as well. It's fun learning their traits.
 
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