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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have been searching through the threads in regards to portable/mobile loft training. I live in the city and want to train (German Owls, hopefully) to fly at the local park/green space with me. I have checked out all local bylaws and am good to go, but had a few questions with regards to the training.

1. Does any one have any tips, or links to sites describing flying birds from a portable or mobile loft? Any experienced portable/mobile loft flyers out there?

I found this site but nothing else, http://www.angelfire.com/ks/rollerpigeon/portable.html

2. Why is this technique primarily for rollers and performers? Why not all breeds, if it is based on the birds coming in for food?

3. Does anyone have experience with flying show breeds? They're pigeons too, shouldn't the same principals of flying homers relate to them, with less expectations of course?

Any thoughts would be wonderful thanks,

Daryn
 

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Hi Dickens and welcome to Pigeon-Talk.

I don't know all the answers to your questions, but since I rescue and rehab a lot of pigeons and get a lot of show breeds in because they were out and couldn't/didn't get home, I think you are looking for trouble and a lot of heartbreak by trying to fly show breeds of pigeons. If you are only talking about a short distance from home (a couple of blocks in my mind) you might be OK with OGO's, but I think this is a really poor idea.

Others will be along with their comments, opinions, and advice.

Terry
 

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I've wondered about this myself, and have only come upon the resources that you mention for roller pigeons and mobile loft training.

One other mention I have seen is in the opening chapters of Wendell Levi's "The Pigeon" where military homers are discussed. Some of them were trained to mobile lofts. A special symbol was painted on the loft's roof so the birds could recognize it from the air, even though the troops had moved it.

Maybe looking for military bird training manuals would help? If such a thing exists.

Still - I would not recommend trying to home OGO's whatsoever. I don't think they have the homing ability, whether home is 10 feet away or 100 miles away...I would stick with the performing breeds like rollers or tipplers that people have already had success training to mobile kit boxes. Otherwise you are likely to lose a lot of birds, which nobody would be happy about.
 

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I believe that you are asking for trouble German tail owls are not the bird to use. You need a roller type for this. But if you could do this at the park that you talked about I am sure that you could win over a lot of people that don't like pigeons. I think that your best bet on the info you looking will be found at a Roller web site,as they are the only group that I know of that uses mobile lofts. .GEORGE;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
more thoughts re: flying show breeds

Thanks so much for the thoughts so far. I was thinking, what is so special about the roller breeds, that the Old German Owl/show breeds would not fly back to a portable loft, if I only flew them when they were hungry?

I was reading about falconry, certainly no expert, but the relationship between the hawk/raptor bird and the trainer is based on food. The bird hunts/performs because the trainer will feed/reward it. Predator birds don't really 'home' but they do come back to the masters arm.

Won't show breeds fly back to a portable loft if trained from an early age, despite the breed? I'm only talking about them flying 50 - 100 meters away?

Does anyone know if show breeds will kit/fly together?

Thanks
Daryn
 

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Thanks so much for the thoughts so far. I was thinking, what is so special about the roller breeds, that the Old German Owl/show breeds would not fly back to a portable loft, if I only flew them when they were hungry?

I was reading about falconry, certainly no expert, but the relationship between the hawk/raptor bird and the trainer is based on food. The bird hunts/performs because the trainer will feed/reward it. Predator birds don't really 'home' but they do come back to the masters arm.

Won't show breeds fly back to a portable loft if trained from an early age, despite the breed? I'm only talking about them flying 50 - 100 meters away?

Does anyone know if show breeds will kit/fly together?

Thanks
Daryn
Hi Daryn,
I really don't think there are any show breeds that would be good for flying this way. (or any other way, for that matter)

To chime in with Terry, I've got a few stray show birds myself that I "rescued" through 911 pigeon alert when they got lost and their owners could not be located. They just don't have the homing instinct or the stamina for flight, and are also easy targets for predators. I never let them out of their loft, and they are safer & happier that way.

But rollers can definitely be trained to portable kit boxes. I am thinking of trying this myself very soon. Rollers come in some pretty colors, and they have the flight stamina & kitting instinct too.

Is there a reason you want to try this with show birds instead of rollers?
 

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hello, the reason rollers are used are for a few reasons. 1st, they dont have exceptional homing ability compared to homers, so they wont have a strong urge to try to fly back to your house, or where you store the portable loft. thats the biggest reason. they are also nice in size, and interest people. but even rollers will often get lost out of a portable loft if they get spooked. thats why the area is very important also, you must fly them in an area where they can easily spot the portable loft from a great distance.
show breeds in general have poor homing abilities. they often get confused as is when allowing them outside the loft, i think it would only become worst. a pigeon like a fantail might work for the sole purpose that they can hardly fly, so you could catch it if it got too far.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
interesting....

Yes, that makes more sense.

I wanted to use show birds only because I preferred them over the regular rollers. It does make more sense now though with regards to flight stamina and the birds ability to locate the portable loft, especially if they get spooked.

Even the instinct for them to kit would be an important factor. Kiting would probably help with some losses.

Anyways, some good things to consider.

Daryn
 

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Do you have any prior experience with pigeons? The reason why I ask is because, if things don't work out, then what?
I think that it would be a neat idea, if you could control them, but what if things went wrong?
Magicians can do that kind of stuff indoors, maybe you could do that first?
Could you learn how they do it?, then try it outside?
I think that it would be a great show! :)
If you have'nt had any experience with pigeons before, I would learn all I could about them first, before I would even try to do anything fancy with them.
I only have 6 homers, had em for a long time, and to this day they are unpredictable in most of their actions. Every day is different!
ND Cooper
 

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Roberts5l

Hello Dickens,
I fly Figuritas as a kit from a portable, though they're hard to keep in the air.
I also fly Fire Ball Rollers, Flying Orientals Rollers, Doneks And Greek Divers from the portable.
You'll have no problem with your owls, their flying abilitiy might suprize you.
Just let them know the only place they eat is in the portable.
Start them flying to it short distances in your back yard, then gradually increase the distance.
First time you take them to a field or parking, make sure you're alone, no cazy dogs running around or screaming children.
Make sure they're in a carrier where they can look around for a few minutes and get their bearings, then have them fly just a few feet the first time, so you can judge how they feel about the knew surroundings, then increase the distance.
They should also be very hungry the first time, there's nothing worse than sit at the park all afternoon because a couple of birds refuse to load.
Robert
 

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Does anyone have experience with flying show breeds? They're pigeons too, shouldn't the same principals of flying homers relate to them, with less expectations of course?
Compare that ideaology to most any other similar situation, like race horses and "show" horse....or perfromance bred dogs and dogs bred strictly to show.

When performance is bred for and developed, it is the key factor, by the same token when people breed for show then performance is not a consideration and looks are about all that you get as the end result.

Some cases may be more obvious than others, but I'd go with the advice of those who have the owls....as I have rollers:D
 

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portable flying

I agree with a lot of what Robert said. I would start out with some squeaks if I were to use a portable. Take them to three or four locations and train them in these areas. A few of the videos I have seen,guys use a bright colored tarp to set their box on. Makes a larger target for the birds to home in on.

Al Perron is another contact. He has been flying rollers from a portable for years.
If you train a show breed squeak to fly from day one he should be okay to fly. You might consider another breed with a sleeker head though. The owls might have a little trouble seeing from a distance with their head shape. There are a lot of show breeds that were flyers and probably still are in certain areas. Pouters,Wests,Magpies,Lahores,Helmets,Archangels,Catalonian Tumblers,and many others.
The advantage of a "non performing" breed is just that. They should stay close and relatively low making for a more enjoyable viewing experience.
Good Luck and knock em out.
v99
 

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Hi all,
Hmm, this is an old thread... wonder if Dickens got joy from his portable loft.
I'd like to add to the conversation (over 2 yrs later).. LOL.
I'm looking at setting myself up with pigeons again. I used to have racing homers in Belgium when I was younger in the early 80's. Now I Live in South Africa and I have my own kids.
I've been doing a lot of research on the internet and stumbled on the portable loft concept. This thread was of great interest to me.
What I would like to share is similar to -UNKNOWN- who posted a link. I had found that link on previous occasions and was blown away at what this guy did. Not only did he FREE fly fis roller and homers and other assortment of pigeons, he also fre flew parrakeets, Lovebirds, Diamond Doves and .. wait for it.. Zebra Finches! Have a look at his vids on YouTube, you'll be amazed.
http://www.youtube.com/user/petrollers#p/u/0/kGvxfUwyIxg
Anyway just thought I'd put it out there and hope to find out how Dickens is doing with his Portable German Owls. drop us a line will you?
Regards from Randburg, South Africa
 

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Hi all,
Hmm, this is an old thread... wonder if Dickens got joy from his portable loft.
I'd like to add to the conversation (over 2 yrs later).. LOL.
I'm looking at setting myself up with pigeons again. I used to have racing homers in Belgium when I was younger in the early 80's. Now I Live in South Africa and I have my own kids.
I've been doing a lot of research on the internet and stumbled on the portable loft concept. This thread was of great interest to me.
What I would like to share is similar to -UNKNOWN- who posted a link. I had found that link on previous occasions and was blown away at what this guy did. Not only did he FREE fly fis roller and homers and other assortment of pigeons, he also fre flew parrakeets, Lovebirds, Diamond Doves and .. wait for it.. Zebra Finches! Have a look at his vids on YouTube, you'll be amazed.
http://www.youtube.com/user/petrollers#p/u/0/kGvxfUwyIxg
Anyway just thought I'd put it out there and hope to find out how Dickens is doing with his Portable German Owls. drop us a line will you?
Regards from Randburg, South Africa
Nice channel he has there.
There was a thread a while back here in which a fellow free flys many performance breeds of Pigeon. He says it is simple all you do is get a small box. Like a homing basket and feed them in there every night. In time start moving outwards from your loft and before you know it they can be flown anywhere.

I think the only reason we see it in rollers is do to the competitiveness of that sport. However as seen by the video you posted it looks like many (any?) birds can do this as well.
 

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I fly my Oriental Rollers and Doneks from a portable loft also.The main reason I do it is our backyard is full of trees so I can't watch them as well. It can be frustrating and a bit unnerving flying your birds at first but once you get the first ones to do what you have taught them it is a real big rush !!!!
Pigeons are very intelligent birds so I am sure any breed could be taught to fly this way.Heck, I took a 2year old White Fantail my neighbor gave me and within a week had it trained as a dropper for the OR's and Doneks.
Robert Lockwood is who helped me get started in this and as far as I'm concerned one of if not the best(I know of) at flying birds this way.
Mark Wilson
 

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I fly my Oriental Rollers and Doneks from a portable loft also.The main reason I do it is our backyard is full of trees so I can't watch them as well. It can be frustrating and a bit unnerving flying your birds at first but once you get the first ones to do what you have taught them it is a real big rush !!!!
Pigeons are very intelligent birds so I am sure any breed could be taught to fly this way.Heck, I took a 2year old White Fantail my neighbor gave me and within a week had it trained as a dropper for the OR's and Doneks.
Robert Lockwood is who helped me get started in this and as far as I'm concerned one of if not the best(I know of) at flying birds this way.
Mark Wilson
Thanks for letting us know your experience.
I am in the beginning stages of planing a mobile kit.
Let me tell you my plan and get your advice please.

Here is my plan.
Build a small loft say a 3x3x3'
Fly a kit of 3 birds. I will be using my tipplers which I would hand raise after about 5 days of age.
Train them to a whistle for the feed call instead of a loud can that I use for my other birds.
Feed them during hand raising and once fledged in a homing basket.
After I got them use to that, what maybe a month? Take them out around my property so if they don't return to the basket they will their loft.
Once I get them well trained to their basket far away from home I would start to feed them out of my hand. I suppose I could start doing this along side the basket training while still in the loft in the early stages?

Let me know if I am leaving any key things out or what should be tweaked.

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I was planning on flying 1 cock and 2 hens.
My brother thinks we should do 3 hens.
No problem as I will already need to hand feed both eggs from each pair to get the right ratio unless I don't care and fly 2 cocks and 1 hen but I don't think that would be best...
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We already have several lofts and in one a kit of 44 (I think) tipplers.
My question is should I put this small loft away from my main ones so they have no visual interaction?
-Also should they be flown around my yard and aloud to trap into their loft?
If so would allowing them to fly with my main group be okay or mess things up?
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I have OGO's I am training as droppers for our tips, do I need one for this mobile kit or should the whistle suffice?
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Well that's my plan, I think I covered all I have thought about on it.
Though I know it is easily possible I have not seen any sort of write up on what exactly to do to go about it.
Please let me know what you think or perhaps share how you did things.
Thanks

-Corbin

Edit: My brother thinks we should use parlor rollers or tumblers as training will be easy and fly offs will be none. =]
 

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Sounds like you're on the right track.The thing I do is basically always feed my birds from my portable so they know it very well.
In a nutshell this is how I do it.
I use a pea-less dog training whistle and use it all the time when I feed the birds in the loft.I handle the young some everyday once thier eyes open until they are weaned.I sue the signal of shaking a small plastic coffee can and the whistle.
When they are just about weaned I start calling them and put them thru the portable door until they learn it on their own.
Once they have it I take them out and let them watch my other birds fly on top of the settling cage and when the old birds come down take it off and they all should go in.
Then, I start training the young birds on their own.
I just let them fly a lap or two then more and more as they get stronger. I won't flag them until I know they can handle flying.
Keeping them hungry is your only real control over your birds.
I broke my own rules last weekend and fed them well the night before and flew them early the next morning.Sure, they all flew fine and came down but on their own and basically sat on the truck until they wanted to come in.
Once you get a couple birds doing it they are as good as gold because it get a WHOLE lot easier to train if other birds have a leader.
Hope this helps some.
Mark
One thing, aren't Tipplers a long flying breed or can you control them well with feed?
 

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Thanks for the quick response.
So you do not hand raise your free flyers?
Also it sound like you keep them with your other birds?
Doesn't really matter as I would most definitely keep mine in their own loft.
Also sounds like you do let them fly with your other birds around the loft?

And yes tipplers are long flyers, well not in the heat of Phoenix.
I figure with proper training and a feed call and or a dropper this would not be a problem.

-Corbin
 

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Hey AZCorbin, thanks for the comment.
Looking forward to connecting with you and other fanciers around the world on this forum.

Oh lookie-here, got my self a new avatar.. helps if you know a bit of photo editing. ;-)

Happy flying.
 
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