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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got 8 young birds 3 weeks ago and have been trying my hand at training them. The first week, I just fed them and shook a can each time. 2nd week, I placed them in a settling cage and fed them each day using the can. They were all trapping in less than 5 seconds. Third week, I started opening the door and letting them free fly. Some didn't come out at first, but I left them alone and just let the others out for a short time before feeding and using the can. The skies were cloudy, but all birds came out on Tuesday and Wednesday and several took short flights up high. Thursday, they didn't fly, but on Friday, we had high bluebird skies when I let them out for their morning flight. Three of the 8 took to the skies and really put on a show for nearly 2 hours. The other 5 stayed near the coop even after I tried to flush them up into the other group a time or two. After about 1 1/2 hours, I finally fed the 5, hoping the others would come on in and eat. They never did. They were leaving the area for 4-5 minutes at a time, but they finally left and never returned. I saw one of the 3 on my roof later that day and I shook the feed can for him, but he finally just left and never returned. These we young birds that had never flown from their old coop. What do you think happened? I didn't feed them today and was planning on letting them out tomorrow morning. What should I do? Thanks, RF
 

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I got 8 young birds 3 weeks ago and have been trying my hand at training them. The first week, I just fed them and shook a can each time. 2nd week, I placed them in a settling cage and fed them each day using the can. They were all trapping in less than 5 seconds. Third week, I started opening the door and letting them free fly. Some didn't come out at first, but I left them alone and just let the others out for a short time before feeding and using the can. The skies were cloudy, but all birds came out on Tuesday and Wednesday and several took short flights up high. Thursday, they didn't fly, but on Friday, we had high bluebird skies when I let them out for their morning flight. Three of the 8 took to the skies and really put on a show for nearly 2 hours. The other 5 stayed near the coop even after I tried to flush them up into the other group a time or two. After about 1 1/2 hours, I finally fed the 5, hoping the others would come on in and eat. They never did. They were leaving the area for 4-5 minutes at a time, but they finally left and never returned. I saw one of the 3 on my roof later that day and I shook the feed can for him, but he finally just left and never returned. These we young birds that had never flown from their old coop. What do you think happened? I didn't feed them today and was planning on letting them out tomorrow morning. What should I do? Thanks, RF
I would give them this week they may be back as they will get hungry, just try your feed call every time. you may of let them settle in for a week longer..but then again it might not made a difference....I think you may get them back, maybe this week...I got mine at about 30 to 35 days old, and the first time I let them out they were about 8 weeks old, so it was about a month for them to learn and settle. If yours are older perhaps they just got fly happy or strong on the wing and then just got lost or off course.
 

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Sometimes there is no explanation for what happens. Sounds like you did everything right........they may still come back. We've all had them show up weeks, months and even in some instances, years later. :rolleyes:
It's only been 2 days, so I wouldn't give up yet. Continue to let the other 5 out. Just don't scare them up like you were doing. If after another week or so they don't fly, then you can GENTLY try to shoo them up.
My birds have been flying around for a few weeks and right now I've got 2 MIA............they got up high like yours and haven't been seen since 9:00 this morning. There was 3 missing, but one showed up around 2:00........just keep watching for them. That's about all you can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks y'all. I told you a little wrong. I did feed them this morning, but only about 1/3 what they normally get. I have to work till' tomorrow morning, but I guess I should have left their trap open this morning. I will call my wife and tell her to keep an eye out for them and open the trap if she can. I sure hope that I get them back, but if I don't, it was still worth it getting to see them put on the show that they did. You could tell that they were loving the flight and really trying to learn the area. They started out circling to the South and worked their way all the way around the compass before circling the coop for a while and then leaving. I tend to believe that they probably tried to stretch out a little further than they should have and ended up getting lost. The one that came back was the weakest flyer of the three and I think he was left behind somewhere, but went back out to find them. You may think I'm crazy, but when he landed on my roof, he looked to have a confused look on his face and his body language was different than when they hang out around the coop. I really want him/her back as he was one of two beautiful light brown birds that I have.
 

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It is such a joy to watch them fly - I know what you mean. Best of luck with their return - keeping my fingers crossed for you!
 

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They should be back. There is no reason they can't make it unless a BOP got them or someone traps them. They were learning the area unless they were too stupid to go too far, then you have a problem. Release your other birds tomorrow to lure them. Based on their behavior of going back and forth to your loft tells me they already know the place. They probably were too exuberant and ventured out farther than necessary. And because you feed them already, they have fuel to fly. Good luck! Tell us the good news tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I let the remaining 5 out this morning before feeding. 2 flew really well but never got more than a few hundred yards out. The other 3 stayed close to the loft. I saw 2 birds flying about 4 miles from the house on the way home from work this morning. That could have very well been 2 of my birds as I have never seen any in that area before. I fed them lightly and plan on flying them again in the morning. We have great weather today, so should I fly them again this evening?
 

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When one of my birds got lost one time, I saw it flying over and over looking for my place. I knew it was him because of his color. It kept on passing thru until I released all my birds and it landed with them. You definitely can fly birds twice in a day. I noticed that lost birds will go home either early in the morning or the time that you usually feed them. There is still hope. Keep on flying your other birds.
 

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hi..
i just want share my experience losing my birds. i had loss about 6birds including a pair breeding pair.. so sad but what i can do? the birds not coming back.. last week i just loss another 2 young birds.. at moment they fly around my place and after a hour they fly away.. not sure they will come back or not..
:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I may have just lost 4 of the remaining 5. I flew them twice yesterday and twice today. This afternoon, I had left the loft door open while they flew. They came back in rather quickly so I went to lock them up. Just before I got to the coop, my pup came running by me and spooked 4 of them off. They left scared and I haven't seen them in over an hour. This is on top of all sorts of other problems that I have had today and I was flying them to relieve some stress. Ain't that just how it goes.:(
 

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They should come back again if they have been flown and returned before - they just may stay out a while because the pup spooked them. I lock my dogs up when I am flying my pigeons because doggy games and pigeons don't go together all that well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All is well. The pigeons did come back after a while. I usually keep her penned up, but I let it slide this time b/c she was playing with my little girl. Not again.
 

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All is well. The pigeons did come back after a while. I usually keep her penned up, but I let it slide this time b/c she was playing with my little girl. Not again.
What you should do is let the dog be around the birds when they're in the loft/aviary. Let them get used to the dog and it won't faze them when they're out. My dogs go IN my pigeon loft and the birds don't blink an eye. I don't let my dogs play with the birds of course...not that they would do that anyway, but it's better for them to be used to YOUR dog. And they WILL know the difference in your dog and a strange dog. My birds freak when a strange dog comes into the yard. This way, this won't happen again. Your birds need to be familiar with anything that lives with you or anything that goes on in your yard on a regular basis. The lawn mower for example. Every year, my new YB's have a fit the first couple of times the grass is mowed. But after a few times, they lay in the aviary and watch Everett and the mower go by and they don't care about it.

NOTE: Just to clarify...........my dogs go in my loft BUT, my loft has a hallway. The dogs are not ever in any way able to actually get to the birds. All of the doors to the different sections are wire, so the dogs can see in and of course the birds can see out, but they can't mingle at all.
 

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What you should do is let the dog be around the birds when they're in the loft/aviary. Let them get used to the dog and it won't faze them when they're out. My dogs go IN my pigeon loft and the birds don't blink an eye. I don't let my dogs play with the birds of course...not that they would do that anyway, but it's better for them to be used to YOUR dog. And they WILL know the difference in your dog and a strange dog. My birds freak when a strange dog comes into the yard. This way, this won't happen again. Your birds need to be familiar with anything that lives with you or anything that goes on in your yard on a regular basis. The lawn mower for example. Every year, my new YB's have a fit the first couple of times the grass is mowed. But after a few times, they lay in the aviary and watch Everett and the mower go by and they don't care about it.

NOTE: Just to clarify...........my dogs go in my loft BUT, my loft has a hallway. The dogs are not ever in any way able to actually get to the birds. All of the doors to the different sections are wire, so the dogs can see in and of course the birds can see out, but they can't mingle at all.
I'm with Lovebirds but unlike her my birds mingle with my dogs... I have 2 dogs ( a terrier and a mix pitbull/ Labrador) and my birds are so used to them that they sometimes try to steal dog food from their bowl. I have trained my dogs to leave them alone. I've had birds land on the back of my bigger dog. :)
 

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I feel bad for you. At least your other birds came back. If those 2 missing birds haven't come back in one week, their returning home looks bleak. Sorry! Their behavior just perplexed me. If they went flying over and over to your house for almost 2 hours, they should know the place by now. They either went too far, someone traps them, got injured, etc. You don't see them near your place? Unfortunately some of these birds can go as far as 30 miles if lost.

To make you feel better one my birds returned after 1 month of getting lost during the first day of release. I just accidentally startled it. When it came back I saw some puncture scar on his chest. I just hope that your missing birds will fair as well. Keep your other birds for now. Let them settle and calm down after that dog incident. My problem is the opposite. The hawk is the one that startles them and they don't come back a day or 2 later unless they got killed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, I can't quite figure out the 3 that left after flying around for so long. You could tell that they were really taking everything in. I don't know all that well how to tell young birds from old birds, so maybe I accidently bought a few older birds with my young ones. The thing I don't get is why they flew several times before and never left. We do have a few hawks so that is a possibility as well. I saw some flying about 4 miles from home the other day, but couldn't get close enough to see if they were mine. I wish them the best.
 

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I have found that the longer you leave youngens befor letting them out the greater chance you will have for a fly away that is why i use the open door trap you can let the youngens out the same day as they leave the nest and you will be surprised how much smarter they are to youngens that sit around being taught a trap
 

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cutter,
That seems to be true. Wing strong birds can go crazy and fly far before they memorize their location. Basically they haven't develop certain maturity to coincide with their wing strength. I had those, and they got lost for 2 or 3 days.
 
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