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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I am new to pigeons and new to this site. I'm excited to have finally figured out how to start a new thread! Lol. Ok back to my question: When and how should we release the birds for the first time? They are West of England Tumblers, the pair is about 4 years old and they have a baby who is now around 6 months old. (According to what the man told me who sold them to us) they have a nest and eggs that I expect to hatch this week. ( today is about day 16-17 since the eggs were laid.) the man told me to wait about 4-6 weeks to let them out. It's been about 6 weeks now. But I am so scared something will happen to them or they will fly away. The parents, I know take turns on the nest so they won't leave together. Should I keep them up until the eggs are hatch Ed or until the baby birds are weaned? (How long does it take for baby WOE's to wean, by the way?) when they do fly, will I just leave the cage door open and they will come back on their own? I apologize for all here questions, but I am somewhat clueless here and the person I bought them from hasn't returned my txt. I don't want to txt again and annoy him. Also, any and all info of any kind or advice would be greatly GREATLY appreciated.
 

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Hi,
Thanks for figuring out to start a new thread and writing to us :)
Never let them open when they are on eggs or raising babies because if anything happens to one of them or to both, the eggs or babies will suffer. Let the babies wean first, almost at 3 weeks they start weaning and at 4 weeks usually they are fully weaned, then you can let the parents open. In starting for around half an hour and increase the time gradually when they start returning back to their loft. Usually they can be released after 4-6 weeks, they won't fly away but you will have to monitor them. Feed from your hand so they recognise you. Do they have access to outside from inside the loft?
 

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They might fly away. You just never know. Not only homers take off. Sometimes they will take off flying and not be able to find their way home.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, they have large cage they can access....

Hi,
Thanks for figuring out to start a new thread and writing to us :)
Never let them open when they are on eggs or raising babies because if anything happens to one of them or to both, the eggs or babies will suffer. Let the babies wean first, almost at 3 weeks they start weaning and at 4 weeks usually they are fully weaned, then you can let the parents open. In starting for around half an hour and increase the time gradually when they start returning back to their loft. Usually they can be released after 4-6 weeks, they won't fly away but you will have to monitor them. Feed from your hand so they recognise you. Do they have access to outside from inside the loft?
The cage is attached to the loft box. It is approx 3feet x 3feet x 4feet long. It has a tin roof and all other sides are open. They spend most of their time out there. Going into the loft box at night. ( with the exception of lately, since they have been sitting on the eggs) the loft is approx 3feet deep by 2feet tall and about 18inches tall. Is that large enough? I am thinking with the new babies we need to make a larger area for a loft?
 

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You sure do. That's big enough for 3 birds max. And it's still crowded. They live in there, and really need room to move around. 2 square feet of floor space is needed, and I still think that is crowded. The more crowded, the more stress, and then they get sick. Like you living in a closet. That's more like a cage than a loft or home for them.
 

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Can you please post a picture of these birds and their cage/loft? I'm really curious to see them. :) To upload a picture, simply click on 'Manage attachments' option under the reply box, click CHOOSE FILE and pick the photo you want to upload.


As Kiddy mentioned, you should probably wait until the babies wean before releasing the pigeons. AND they should always have a clear view of their outside surroundings so they can become better acquainted with their home.

If you're still unsure about releasing them. Then I suggest taping their wings and letting them roam around the cage for a while. BUT please remember to always keep on eye on them and stay close because you don't know when a predator can strike.
Repeat this method if you wish and make sure that they really can't fly. Some pigeons are strong enough to lift off even when a wing or both are taped.

This process should give them enough time familiarize themselves with their environment and maybe even increase the chance of them sticking around.:D

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pic of the mama on her eggs...

Please offer any suggestions as to what I need to do to create a better home for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Our West of England Tumblers...

Can you please post a picture of these birds and their cage/loft? I'm really curious to see them. :) To upload a picture, simply click on 'Manage attachments' option under the reply box, click CHOOSE FILE and pick the photo you want to upload.


As Kiddy mentioned, you should probably wait until the babies wean before releasing the pigeons. AND they should always have a clear view of their outside surroundings so they can become better acquainted with their home.

If you're still unsure about releasing them. Then I suggest taping their wings and letting them roam around the cage for a while. BUT please remember to always keep on eye on them and stay close because you don't know when a predator can strike.
Repeat this method if you wish and make sure that they really can't fly. Some pigeons are strong enough to lift off even when a wing or both are taped.

This process should give them enough time familiarize themselves with their environment and maybe even increase the chance of them sticking around.:D

Good luck!
Here are the Male and the younger bird.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I posted some photos. thanks so much for your reply. If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them. I have absolutely no experience with any birds.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks. I am thinking I need to build a BIG addition onto the other side. Would the small area (in the photo where she is sitting on the nest) still be good to have? Also, will they all be fine to stay together, assuming the two eggs hatch and the babies live. Will the new birds eventually pair up and is that ok since they are all related? I Just have no idea about these things, sorry if that's a dumb question! Thanks so much!
 

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That looks like hay. Straw would be better as hay molds more easily.
Also the holes in the wire are too large to be safe. mice and rats can get in, and will be attracted to the food. Rats will kill the birds. Even a cat or raccoon can reach through those holes. 1/2 inch hardware cloth is safer. Get the heaviest gauge you can. At least 19 gauge. We had a member who had birds outside in cages, and the space between the bars wasn't close enough. A hawk was able to pull the bird to the side of the cage and kill him. Another member had a rat grab a squabs wing through the spaces and tore his wing off. The wire should be covered with the hardware cloth, and then put molding around the edges so that raccoons can't pull the wire off the cage. They are amazing.

Better mated pairs and no singles, especially in a smaller space. Even in a good sized loft, that causes problems.
You don't know that the eggs will be a male and a female, could be 2 males or 2 females. They will mate up, if that is all they have to choose from, or sometimes they will anyway, but not ideal if you are wanting to let them breed.
Every pair needs a nest box, and I would go online to a pigeon supply and buy some fake eggs, so that you can switch them out with the real eggs when they have them for population control. They like wide flat perches. More like a shelf.
If a predator comes by, they have nowhere to go to hide, except the nest box, and the cock won't let the other bird in. Everyone needs a box, even more so in such an open situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you so much for the advice. That is actually supposed to be Straw. I purchased it from the Farm supply store. I'm worried about the rats and raccoons so I'm going tomorrow to get more wire. We would be devastated if something like that happened.
 

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I am new and I like the look of your coop. It's much better than mine. You thought about this more than I did.

I understand why people ask for picture here ...beside seeing beautiful birds, it's a good way for them to access the situation. Reading different threads, I see sometime newbies come off as defensive. I tried not to be in mine. Sometimes I think the internet forum doesn't allows for nuance - like probing for understanding why people do things a certain way versus disagreeing with advice.

Lovely bird btw
 

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Lovely birds :)
I wouldn't make it so opened from all the sides, they won't feel safe there and in this situation they shouldn't be opened because they may fly for a safer place. First of all give them a safe home and let them be in for 1-2 months and then only think for opening them. Everyone wants a safe place to live and so they.
 

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Thank you so much for the advice. That is actually supposed to be Straw. I purchased it from the Farm supply store. I'm worried about the rats and raccoons so I'm going tomorrow to get more wire. We would be devastated if something like that happened.
Thanks. Looked like hay. Sorry. Not trying to pick on you, honest. It's a nice set up with a few changes. Wouldn't be right not to tell you those things, then have something happen. These are things that have happened to different members, so they do happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I really appreciate the advice!

Thanks. Looked like hay. Sorry. Not trying to pick on you, honest. It's a nice set up with a few changes. Wouldn't be right not to tell you those things, then have something happen. These are things that have happened to different members, so they do happen.
Oh no, I really appreciate any and all advice! That's why I'm here 😀 we are on day 19 since the eggs were laid so I'm expecting to see them hatched any day... Is that correct? I read 18-20 days? Also we are building a loft to attach to the other end of the cage that will be approx 4x5 and 4 feet tall.
 

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Oh no, I really appreciate any and all advice! That's why I'm here �� we are on day 19 since the eggs were laid so I'm expecting to see them hatched any day... Is that correct? I read 18-20 days? Also we are building a loft to attach to the other end of the cage that will be approx 4x5 and 4 feet tall.
If the eggs are fertile, they can hatch any time now :)
 

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Oh no, I really appreciate any and all advice! That's why I'm here 😀 we are on day 19 since the eggs were laid so I'm expecting to see them hatched any day... Is that correct? I read 18-20 days? Also we are building a loft to attach to the other end of the cage that will be approx 4x5 and 4 feet tall.


A loft connected would be wonderful. Make a door that you can close at night when they are inside. That'll keep them safe.
 

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Flying

It is very hard when you first start flying pigeons, and it is especially so when you only have a very few and are flying from a very small loft. The small cage would best serve as a breeder pen, and another larger loft could house the singles and young birds once they are weaned.

I suggest you raise a few rounds before trying to fly any of them, and start flying with only the youngsters you have raised at your loft. Start them outside the loft before they can even fly. Keep the others in (even the young adult) until you have four or five other youngsters on the wing, and coming back to the loft. Look into buying a bob trap for the flying loft, and build a cage that will sit over the bob trap to get the birds used to coming and going through it.
Try to make sure the flying loft has good visibility from the sky or else the birds are likely to be lost on the first flight.
 
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