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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay...so now I'm at the point that I need some advice (not that I haven't needed it all along!) I have fourteen young white homers that have been in my loft for three weeks tomorrow. I have been trap-training them since day three, and they seem to have a pretty good grasp of it. Every evening when I go to the loft to feed the birds, those fourteen birds immediately head out into the aviary (I used to have to shoo them out to the aviary before feeding). I close the trap, put down the food tray, and whistle. When I first started, it would take them five or so minutes to figure out that the food was on the other side of the bobs, and go through the trap. Now, when I whistle, all fourteen of them are in the loft and eating in less than thirty seconds.

Tomorrow, I will be removing the training cage from the landing board for the first time, and will just let them hang out there for an hour before feeding time. I figure that some or all of them will end up on the roof of the loft. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that they don't decide to exercise their freedom and take off to parts unknown. I figure after a few days of this, I can flag them up to loft-fly. This is the part where I need assistance.

I'm hoping that all of them will come back after loft-flying. I have read on here that road training shouldn't begin until the birds are "routing". What is meant by routing, and how long should I loft-fly them prior to starting with short training tosses?
 

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Routing is when the bird go and explor and are gone for 30 min and some times for well over an hr. There is no set time to start road training. I don't start till the youngest bird drop a couple of its secondairy flights.
Dave
 

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Okay...so now I'm at the point that I need some advice (not that I haven't needed it all along!) I have fourteen young white homers that have been in my loft for three weeks tomorrow. I have been trap-training them since day three, and they seem to have a pretty good grasp of it. Every evening when I go to the loft to feed the birds, those fourteen birds immediately head out into the aviary (I used to have to shoo them out to the aviary before feeding). I close the trap, put down the food tray, and whistle. When I first started, it would take them five or so minutes to figure out that the food was on the other side of the bobs, and go through the trap. Now, when I whistle, all fourteen of them are in the loft and eating in less than thirty seconds.

Tomorrow, I will be removing the training cage from the landing board for the first time, and will just let them hang out there for an hour before feeding time. I figure that some or all of them will end up on the roof of the loft. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that they don't decide to exercise their freedom and take off to parts unknown. I figure after a few days of this, I can flag them up to loft-fly. This is the part where I need assistance.

I'm hoping that all of them will come back after loft-flying. I have read on here that road training shouldn't begin until the birds are "routing". What is meant by routing, and how long should I loft-fly them prior to starting with short training tosses?
sounds like your doing everything right.. it is a good idea to let these out late in the afternoon..with their age..they may be strong on the wing and fly too far off.. you will just have to wait and see.. your going to love flying homers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
sounds like your doing everything right.. it is a good idea to let these out late in the afternoon..with their age..they may be strong on the wing and fly too far off.. you will just have to wait and see.. your going to love flying homers.
My kids can't wait. My ten-year-old son already has all the training tosses figured out. He says "Daddy, first we'll release them from the back yard where they can see the loft. Then we'll release them from the street in front of the house. Then we'll release them from Spring street (about 1/2 mile up the road.) Then, once they know their way home, we can release them from my school (about 1.5 miles), and then from the center of town (about three miles), and then we can release them from Uncle Philip's house (about ten miles).

I'm thinking that once they are trained some, I can load them in the crate in the morning and take them to work with me. I can release them from the parking lot at work, and it is about thirty miles direct to my house.

Of course...all this is if they don't just fly away the first time I let them out! :eek:
 

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My kids can't wait. My ten-year-old son already has all the training tosses figured out. He says "Daddy, first we'll release them from the back yard where they can see the loft. Then we'll release them from the street in front of the house. Then we'll release them from Spring street (about 1/2 mile up the road.) Then, once they know their way home, we can release them from my school (about 1.5 miles), and then from the center of town (about three miles), and then we can release them from Uncle Philip's house (about ten miles).

I'm thinking that once they are trained some, I can load them in the crate in the morning and take them to work with me. I can release them from the parking lot at work, and it is about thirty miles direct to my house.

Of course...all this is if they don't just fly away the first time I let them out! :eek:
I think if you keep the first few weeks of letting out at late afternoon they will get used to flying back in and not going too far.. then when they are flying well together..you can let them out at any time.. when they are flying well as a flock.. in a few months..then take them down the road.. it would be cool for your son to sit and watch them come in and report back to you..
 

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Your son has a very good plan.
Just be sure they are hungry when you toss them.
Also that close to the loft-they may not go "straight' to the loft-they may route before trapping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Your son has a very good plan.
Just be sure they are hungry when you toss them.
Also that close to the loft-they may not go "straight' to the loft-they may route before trapping.
Thanks. Good to know that, as I would have probably been worried if I released them within sight of the loft and they took off in a different direction!

I learned about flying birds hungry with my rollers. Right now, these homers get fed once a day in the evening. I figure that I'll let them out the first few times about an hour before normal feeding time.

Edit:
Of course, all of this depends upon the weather. We've had rain every day for the past eight days!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
More questions...

In addition to the fourteen young birds, I have a squeaker that is now five weeks old. I haven't moved him in with the other whites yet as his foster dad is still feeding him. Since he isn't with them, he hasn't been trap trained, and he hasn't been out in the aviary and the landing board yet. When I'm ready to move him in with the rest, what type of transition does he need? Can I just put him in with the (hopefully) already flying birds and let him learn from them?
 

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In addition to the fourteen young birds, I have a squeaker that is now five weeks old. I haven't moved him in with the other whites yet as his foster dad is still feeding him. Since he isn't with them, he hasn't been trap trained, and he hasn't been out in the aviary and the landing board yet. When I'm ready to move him in with the rest, what type of transition does he need? Can I just put him in with the (hopefully) already flying birds and let him learn from them?
That is pretty much what I do.. except I have a seprate space for the young ones and put them in there for about a week. then open up the whole loft for them to be in with everyone else. I stopped trap training my young because they did as you said..they just learned from the others.. usually they do not go out at first..but as they age they venture out and start flying a bit..and then another few weeks it is like they are part of the older flock ..it does not take them long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is pretty much what I do.. except I have a separate space for the young ones and put them in there for about a week. then open up the whole loft for them to be in with everyone else. I stopped trap training my young because they did as you said..they just learned from the others.. usually they do not go out at first..but as they age they venture out and start flying a bit..and then another few weeks it is like they are part of the older flock ..it does not take them long.
That's good to know. S/he is currently in a pen in my loft that is adjacent to the flier's pen. They all watch each other through the screen. I expect s/he will go in with the fliers in about two weeks. Hopefully by then they will be loft flying daily.
 

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with these white homers there is no need to pressure them like race birds..I let mine stay in the box for longer than race birds do.. usually when they are out of the box and eating out of the feeder like everyone else...then I move them.
 

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I have white ones as well, something elsoe i do is releasing the young birds when the sun is going down, late tour the evening when theyhave like an hour of sun left, them call and feed, them gradually I will release them earlier and earlier, unit;)l normal time
 

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If you have no hawk problems now You can sart them anytime of the day. . And the 5 week old bird Well thats prime training age. Trap train it and it is safer to settle. As it is not as wing strong You others are getting old enough to fly out and get lost. They need loft trained NOW. White birds can be trained just like race birds. Except some do not have a good homing instinct. But selection as time goes by you can improve that agin.. Good luck and get out of the loft befor they get much stronger.
 

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You should do fine. The most important is that they don't get startled at all!

By observation you know if you will become successful because the birds will not just take off right away. They will be hesitant first, then perhaps flutter to some higher area or even on the ground. Some adventurous ones will fly making circles and hopefully lands.

Those that suddenly take off, fly in circle and go off somewhere are those that can get lost. Or if theres is a hawk that startles them or chase them, then some might get lost.

Good luck! Your son's plan should work out. That seems to be easy training for homers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You should do fine. The most important is that they don't get startled at all!

By observation you know if you will become successful because the birds will not just take off right away. They will be hesitant first, then perhaps flutter to some higher area or even on the ground. Some adventurous ones will fly making circles and hopefully lands.

Those that suddenly take off, fly in circle and go off somewhere are those that can get lost. Or if theres is a hawk that startles them or chase them, then some might get lost.

Good luck! Your son's plan should work out. That seems to be easy training for homers.
Thanks. We had a hawk in the area, but I haven't seen it in a couple of weeks, as a pair of crows chased it away at that time. In addition, when we did see the hawk, it was always in the morning. Hopefully, between the crows, and releasing them at 4:30 in the afternoon, we won't have any hawk mishaps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
with these white homers there is no need to pressure them like race birds..I let mine stay in the box for longer than race birds do.. usually when they are out of the box and eating out of the feeder like everyone else...then I move them.
This baby went down to the loft floor from the nestbox this past week. S/he eats from the feed tray when I feed them, but also squeaks and flaps at the dad until s/he gets fed. I think I'll move it next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Where are they?

I took off the settling cage around 4:30 this afternoon, as 5:30 is their usual feeding time. Three birds stood on the landing board for a long time looking around, and then flew onto the roof of the loft. Over the next half hour, another eight birds went out one at a time. Most of them just flew off of the landing board, making a couple circuits of the yard and landing in trees around the yard. I watched them taking off and flying a number of times before 5:30. At that time, I closed the trap and put down the feed tray. I whistled, and the three birds that never left the aviary trapped immediately. About fifteen minutes later, one of the birds in the trees flew down and trapped right away. Another one flew down and landed on the roof of the loft with the original three.

At 6:30, I had to bring the kids to swimming, and left them in this configuration: Four birds were in the loft, four birds were on the roof of the loft, five birds were on the roof of the house about 150 feet away from the loft and the fourteenth bird was nowhere to be seen. When I got back around 8:00pm, it was starting to get dark. I could see that there were no birds on the loft or the roof of the house. I checked the loft, and there were now nine birds in there. The remaining five birds are nowhere to be seen.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will spend the night wherever they are and trap in the morning. I have had that happen a number of times with my rollers. I'll let you all know if/when they show up.

I took a few pictures of the birds on the loft roof, and will upload some when I get a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Pictures

Here are a couple pictures of some of the whites doing what they are supposed to be doing the first time out.

Rooftop.JPG

Rooftop1.JPG

And here is a picture of some whites doing what they are not supposed to be doing. In this picture, they are seventy-five feet up a pine tree! You can't see them all, but there were five birds in this tree.

Treetop.JPG
 

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Here are a couple pictures of some of the whites doing what they are supposed to be doing the first time out.

View attachment 19793

View attachment 19794

And here is a picture of some whites doing what they are not supposed to be doing. In this picture, they are seventy-five feet up a pine tree! You can't see them all, but there were five birds in this tree.

View attachment 19795
Im sure most of your birds will be around in the morning.One thing for sure though is that you never know what your birds are going to do on their first time out no matter how well think they were trap trained . First time out is always a new experiance and a stressful one at that .
 
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