Pigeon-Talk banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, need some second, third and fourth opinions here. After nearly 2 years of successfully loft flying my white homers, 8 of them have somehow mutinied. All the pigeons were let out for their usual evening loft fly 36 hours ago, and when I put out the feed and whistled them in before dusk, most returned promptly, save 8 of them who were happily sitting on top of the televison aerial on our house roof. I assumed they would come in by dark, which was usual for all but first-time flyers, but no...they stayed out on the aerial all night. OK I thought, they'll certainly trap when I feed the others and whistle again ....no, they just looked at me and stayed on the aerial (without flying off) all day. Tried the same procedure before dusk,...no response. Tried again this morning: this time they gave one circuit of the property as I was putting in the feed, as if they were interested, then settled back up on the aerial again. I can only think that they were not hungry enough on the first evening, but after 36 they must be very hungry! And the first night when they did lots of loft flying was an unseasonably warm spring evening, so they must be thirsty. Since their mutiny we have had buckets of rain, but they are just sitting there still. They are older birds, so they certainly know the ropes...what have I done wrong?
I would really appreciate any advice or predictions you are able to offer. When will it end?? Fortunately we haven't been bothered by any hawks for over a year now, so hopefully they are not in dire danger of being eaten, but I can't imagine why they are doing this! I will attach a photo I took of them for your entertainment, if nothing else! (sorry, I see that it is still sideways, but you get the picture, I'm sure!)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,455 Posts
Has anything been visiting the loft at night and stressing them out? Any dogs, *****, possums, etc able to get near the loft?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I did wonder if that might be significant, and then totally forgot about it as a factor. We have been babysitting my daughter's dachsund puppy for the last 4 days, and although we have plenty of dogs of our own around, this new arrival might be frightening them. He is inside at night, but does dash around near the loft in the daytime. If that is the reason, hopefully they will return after I return him to my daughter in a couple of hours. Thanks for putting your mind to the problem!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, it is not left open in the day, I have a trap that I only leave open when they are loft flying. I don't think it could be a hawk or snake getting in, but Mary of Exeter's suggestion of a dog frightening them sounds like it might be the explanation. You are obviously both thinking along the same lines of it being somthing making them feel insecure about the loft. I do hope that when I return the dog in a couple of hours, they notice quickly and go back in! Thanks for your thoughts!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,098 Posts
This would be difficult to diagnose. Several reasons that I can think of. First, there might be something that scares them (inside) the loft. Second, they are lost (do they act like lost birds?) so they stayed put. Third, they like the antennae more than your loft. Fourth, they indeed want to separate and form their own flock. In nature when there is less food or resources and the loft/place is overcrowded, they want to splinter and go away somewhere. Usually with that there is that leader that is leading them to do that. If you eliminate that leader, they wont do it anymore. Again this is hard to diagnose for me. Just continue calling them in and offer feed unless they are getting feed somewhere else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,098 Posts
Having reread some of your responses, I think the puppy might have something to do with it. Pigeons do things by habit/memory. If there is something new, they might not know how to react with it. They went up there to feel safe so they just look at you and not respond. They definitely must eat though. They get weakened without food for 3 days. And if hawks come, you will have trouble.

Funny story here from my loft. One time one of my pigeons wont land on the loft roof for the very first time which it has been doing it for the last year. It tries to land couple of times, see something, then takes off very afraid. I was so puzzled so I use a small ladder and look what was scaring it. What I saw was only a shadow of a tree trunk (in the Fall season) falling on the loft roof. Apparently the pigeon was so scared of it. So I just waited and the pigeon waited until sunset when the shadow didn't fall on the roof anymore. True story and I found it hilarious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Rod,
Thanks for posting the replies. It is now 4 hours since I returned the puppy and 5 of the original 8 have trapped. The last 3 were circling the loft when I happened to go outside the house and disturbed them, so those 3 have returned to the antena. I am starting to feel confident that they, too, will go in soon, as usual afternoon feeding time is less than 2 hours away. Fingers crossed! I like your scientific approach to problem solving, as it gave me lots of things to consider. I am worried about overcrowding being a factor, as I really need to extend my loft but am not finished with the welding yet. This has certainly given me enough of a scare to make me get on and finish it in a hurry! And I enjoyed your story of the tree shadow - one worth remembering!

Great to hear from you again, by the way; drop me a message when you have time to let me know how things are going with you hawk and pigeon-wise!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A happy report that all the pigeons have now trapped. Obviously it was the puppy spooking them. There is always something new to learn with animals! Thanks for all the help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,098 Posts
Congratulations! You figured it out and Becky. Yeah, there are always something to learn. Fortunately or unfortunately many of us may had experienced what people are experiencing now so we have certain ideas. The beauty of the forums is that we can share our experiences and lessons. Yeah, I started posting again after I noticed that some beginners have questions that I felt like answering. My weakness is that I like to help people. It is just me.

I like that you like my scientific approach. LOL! I am a trained biologist.
It is nice to see you posting again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,455 Posts
Happy to hear they're all in, safe and sound :) We don't have too many problems with dogs scaring the birds (that we know of). We have a border collie that runs around the yard constantly, so they are used to her. But if a dog were to come bark at or try to get to the birds, I know it'd scare them. We do have problems with hawks occasionally hanging on the aviary wire or sitting on the landing board, stressing the birds out. It's easy to tell when something has been up, because my doves go insane when I enter their loft. The pigeons may not be as easy to read, but when your normally calm doves go crazy, you know something's been by :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
Glad you got them all in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the support everyone! Becky, I didn't think about the dog initially because we have 3 dogs of our own that are always hanging around. But of course, the puppy was new, and was probably more likely to run at the wire. I will get a buffer organised before she visits again so that she can't get close to the loft. And I will get that extension happening as a priority!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top