Pigeon-Talk banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since I started flying my homers, I have been cautioned many times to not let young birds get too strong on the wing before flying them. This advice was first offered to me when I started loft flying fourteen young birds that I purchased at around twelve weeks of age. I didn't have any problems with those fourteen birds while loft flying (I trap and whistle trained them for a month prior to flying them). I did lose some of them once I started road training, but I doubt it had anything to do with them being strong on the wing.

Last week, I started loft flying some new squeakers that I purchased three weeks ago. These birds were younger (About six weeks), so I flew them with just two weeks of trap and whistle training. Again, I had no problem with them trying to fly off, or fly too far. Instead, I have three birds out of twelve, that just wouldn't trap in. I whistled all of the birds in around six in the evening. Nine of the twelve trapped in immediately, but these three sat on the roof of my house. They continued to sit on the roof despite multiple calls. I even put a feed tray down in the aviary where they could see it, with no response. By seven that evening, it started to rain. They huddled miserably on the roof of the house, and didn't even attempt to fly to the loft. I threw a tennis ball up on the roof a few times to see if I could "dislodge" them. Each time, they would fly off the roof in a big circle (directly over the loft!), and return to the roof. Around eight, it started getting dark, and I left them to there devices.

Overnight, we got over two inches of rain according to my rain gauge. The next morning, we were having a major downpour. I had to go to work, so left them miserable on the roof of the house. We got an additional inch of rain during the day. When I got home from work, the birds were still huddled on the roof. I threw a tennis ball up again, and again they circled over the loft and went back to the roof. A second toss of the ball sent them all to roost on my next-door neighbor's house. He doesn't mind the birds on his house, but I try to discourage them from roosting anywhere except in our yard. Over there (in the rain!) with a tennis ball, and they were back on the roof of my house. Again, I left them to their own devices.

After I put the kids to bed, I went down around ten to close up the loft and shut off the lights. When I got down there, two of the three birds were in the aviary, and the third was nowhere to be seen. Those two birds were the wettest, most bedraggled pigeons I have ever seen. I pushed them through the trap and went to bed. The next morning when I was leaving for work, I could see the last bird sitting on the swingset about ten feet from the loft. It was so wet, that I was able to walk right up to it and grab it. I brought it to the loft and pushed it through the trap.

I've loft flown those birds three times since, and they trapped in each time without a problem. I'm thinking that the problem wasn't that the birds were strong on the wing. More likely, the birds were weak on the brain! They were too stupid to fly 100 feet from the roof of the house to the loft, despite being hungry, being bombarded with tennis balls, and being drenched with over four inches of rain in a two day period.

So...I am hereby coining the term Weak on the Brain for birds that are, like these three birds, too stupid to return to the loft when they are supposed to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Lets not turn this into another feisty post. Being hard on your birds is okay but I think what Wingsonfire is trying to say is that it isn't always just the birds fault. Maybe you overfed? Perhaps there was a predator around? There are numerous reasons why your pigeons didn't trap. Throwing a ball at them isn't necessarily encouragement also. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
As of homers they are little brave, so they didnt fly off when you threw the balls, I had tipplers with all the training, just flew away.. never to return, One bird came after 4 hrs, saw me and then disappeared.

So nowadays I never chase them, I take 2 or 3 birds and fly them . Heres where if you have fancy birds which can fly a little will be of more use. For more you can read of "Droppers".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
He was referring to the tennis balls.
I have been advised by many people on this forum, many times, that it is not good to let the birds sit on the roof of my house. I can't tell you how many times someone has said "throw a tennis ball at them" to get them to stop roosting on the house. The justification was always...birds sitting on the roof are a target for hawks. Not being one to ignore the advice of many flyers on this site, I throw tennis balls at them if they roost on the roof when they should be out flying. By the way - in over a year of throwing tennis balls up at birds on the roof of the house, I have never hit a bird. My roof in the back is three stories high, and it is all I can do just to get a tennis ball up that high. I suppose in the future, I can just use the method below to get birds off the roof (see below).

The three birds in question were trap and whistle trained along with the other nine birds who had no difficulty trapping in when I whistled. All of my flyers get fed once a day...when they trap in after flying. Young birds that are being trained get whistled in from the aviary and get fed after they go through the trap. I don't think it was a problem with trap training or with not flying them hungry. If it was, why did the other nine birds all the same age, with the exact same training go right in?

Now - back to getting birds off the roof. Today when loft flying the birds, they all settled on the roof after they had been out flying for about an hour. I was sitting on the deck, when all of a sudden, all of the birds took off and scattered in different directions. Most of them started flying way up high, but one was flying low around the yard at a very high speed. It was being followed closely by a coopers hawk. The pigeon twisted and turned, and kept dropping suddenly when the hawk would get very close. My kids were yelling in a panic, thinking the pigeon would be caught, but there was nothing I could do about it. (I can't throw a tennis ball that far or that accurately to get a hawk!) I thought the bird was a goner also. As I watched, the pigeon flew across the back yard and low over our neighbor's backyard. As it reached the woods on the far side, it flew up as if it was going to go above the trees. At the last minute, it dove to the left and circled back. That hawk kept right on going up over the trees and out of sight. I guess he went to find some easier prey. My wife and kids, and some friends who were over broke out in a cheer when they saw that. I must say, that it was pretty amazing to watch that pigeon outfly a coopers hawk!

Edit:
By the way - the bird was a white "release" bird. I guess it helps that its parents have been flown to 600 miles in races!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,730 Posts
I'm with you on the weak on the brain part. I don't let my young birds out until June this year was even later I did have some birds out earlier but I waited until after the 4th of July to let them all out. Now a good protion of these birds were born in December and banded on Jan 1st. The older ones were out of my proven pairs and when I let them out I only lost one of the first 30 I banded. But I lost 15 out of 45 of the younger round guys but the ones who were lost were almost all out of new pairs I was trying out so I'm taking it as that those pairs just didn't click. I'll switch them up next year to see if I get different results out of them. But also with the birds I'm handling for the IF Convention race I've lost 5 out of 24 not to good but alot of other guys have lost more then half of the birds they took in already and the races havn't even started. But out of the 5 I'm missing 4 were the last 4 I got in the end of May and begining of June. But the guys I got back in March and April are all he except one. Some of the conventuion birds were on their 6th ot 7th tips when I first let them out and some of mine were on their 9th and 10th tips.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm with you on the weak on the brain part. I don't let my young birds out until June this year was even later I did have some birds out earlier but I waited until after the 4th of July to let them all out. Now a good protion of these birds were born in December and banded on Jan 1st. The older ones were out of my proven pairs and when I let them out I only lost one of the first 30 I banded. But I lost 15 out of 45 of the younger round guys but the ones who were lost were almost all out of new pairs I was trying out so I'm taking it as that those pairs just didn't click. I'll switch them up next year to see if I get different results out of them. But also with the birds I'm handling for the IF Convention race I've lost 5 out of 24 not to good but alot of other guys have lost more then half of the birds they took in already and the races havn't even started. But out of the 5 I'm missing 4 were the last 4 I got in the end of May and begining of June. But the guys I got back in March and April are all he except one. Some of the conventuion birds were on their 6th ot 7th tips when I first let them out and some of mine were on their 9th and 10th tips.
Thanks.

I also received the following message from another PT member:
Thank you for your post, I also have a bird or two that will do the same thing. I recently lost two because they refused to trap, I took them a mile from the loft to release them. They came back and refused to enter the loft even though they were trap trained (loft flown) many times. I even opened the door and still nothing, hanging around a couple of days outside the loft they just disappeared. So you are right, some are just weak on the brain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,528 Posts
Well, they did not have the wish to trap, despite knowing how to trap. May be over fed as suggested, yes, you wrote you feed them once but then how much ? and after how many hours is usually the next release after feeding, might give some clue.

May be they are a little less attached to the loft or they needed the "push" of seeing more birds trapping to encourage them. Every bird has its own character so may be these fellows need some stricter training regime than the other ones. Just being in one loft in the same schedule essentially does not mean they all should start behaving alike, right ? In such a case in a loft of 20 birds if one of them is a champion all other 19 would be also expected to be champions :p

Something which is going on in their brain is not getting synthesized by your brain, so it may not essentially the case of a weak brain on their part ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, they did not have the wish to trap, despite knowing how to trap. May be over fed as suggested, yes, you wrote you feed them once but then how much ? and after how many hours is usually the next release after feeding, might give some clue.

May be they are a little less attached to the loft or they needed the "push" of seeing more birds trapping to encourage them. Every bird has its own character so may be these fellows need some stricter training regime than the other ones. Just being in one loft in the same schedule essentially does not mean they all should start behaving alike, right ? In such a case in a loft of 20 birds if one of them is a champion all other 19 would be also expected to be champions :p

Something which is going on in their brain is not getting synthesized by your brain, so it may not essentially the case of a weak brain on their part ;)
They get fed once daily around 6:30-7:00pm. They get either loft flown (younger birds) or tossed (older birds) when I get home form work around 5:30pm. The food is put down prior to my whistling them in, and if there is any food remaining in the trays after twenty minutes, it is picked up. I estimate that the birds are getting about one to one and a half ounces of food each. This is the exact same routine that I have been using to train all of my homers since I started flying them back in late June. These three are the only ones that I have experienced this problem with.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,198 Posts
I noticed you said you had these birds for about 3 weeks. They may still have a relation to there old loft. THIS can happen when young are not moved over from the breeding loft early enough at your own home. Then the birds are reluctent to trap in the new loft. Seen it before. You might keep working these 3 birds. And hold them in the loft for 1 week While they get the extra training. Then day before let them have half there normal feed Then next day let just these 3 birds out And see how they do. BUT yes some birds are just hard to train And some older young when they pair up with each other will stay out together some times also. Hope they improve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I noticed you said you had these birds for about 3 weeks. They may still have a relation to there old loft. THIS can happen when young are not moved over from the breeding loft early enough at your own home. Then the birds are reluctent to trap in the new loft. Seen it before. You might keep working these 3 birds. And hold them in the loft for 1 week While they get the extra training. Then day before let them have half there normal feed Then next day let just these 3 birds out And see how they do. BUT yes some birds are just hard to train And some older young when they pair up with each other will stay out together some times also. Hope they improve
Thanks re lee for the support. It is nice to get advice rather than the accusations and negativity that I sometimes receive from other members. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I'm not a competitive racer, but I don't let mine out for 8 weeks (squeaker) or 12 weeks(adult). In fact I would rather that I see my new adult bond with someone before releasing. Gives 'em something to come back to.

I don't use the tennis ball, mostly because I'm a really bad thrower and would probably nail my neighbour in the side of the head. Usually I just wait until night fall and check, if anyone's roosting on the top of the coop I grab them and push them in.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top