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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've been taking care of homing pigeons for about 2 years now. Until just recently I was taking care of 7 pure white homing pigeons. 4 were lost on an ill fated homing trip... All I have left is my prized male, and one young bird. I'm about to purchase another 10 young white squeakers from a fellow breeder. Once they are grown, and homed out to a 50 mile radius, I would like to get into the wedding business, letting my birds go at nearby weddings. The thing is, I live in Utah, and lately it has been VERY cold... I'm just looking for advice on whether or not they are good to be flying long distances in the negative temperatures. ADVICE WELCOME, THANKS!
 

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Sorry for the birds you lost...
Bad weather is always a hurdle when it comes down to navigation. Not only pigeons even migratory birds can lose their tracks. Young birds are more prone to accidents of getting lost and also what I've seen is predatory birds won't let a chance slide by of meal in such a weather. White birds are easy to spot for them.
Pigeons also use other ways to navigate but visual landmarks are very important for them to access their location and path. They repeatedly use same paths over and over again. Fog can prevent the navigation. Fog/Rain can disable their flight by making feathers wet and heavy. They can be caught up in strong winds and could be taken far.

But 60% adult well trained birds do make it home if any accident don't happen to them even if they are released far at a totally new location. So you might wanna use adult well trained birds for bad weather. 50 miles is no big deal for well trained birds if weather is not "really" harsh and it depends on the quality of your birds. Good quality birds do come back in almost all cases. Training is the key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice! I am currently looking to purchase some pure white Utah Walbecks to kick start my flock again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We've recently been hitting temperatures as low as -25° F. I've never had trouble with the cold and the birds before, just thought I would check. Do you guys have any ideas on how to keep their water from freezing, or even some good watering teqniuqes for a small coop?
 

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If you have electric get a water heater from a pigeon supply. If not, then you will just have to change the water a couple of times a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have access to electricity, (with a huge extension cord.) But I'm looking for something that's not going to suck electricity, and that doesn't have to be plugged in 24/7
 

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well you cant have both worlds .. if you don't want you water to freeze you have to have something plunged in 24/7 .. or insulate your loft . i mean INSULATE your loft (a lot) . than maybe the heat your birds give off may be enough to keep it from freezing ,that's a long shot thou with temps that low ..I don't think the little heaters that they sell to keep the water from freezing takes that much elect ..
 

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No, those heaters don't take much elec. at all. Worth it I think.
How else do you think you can keep it from freezing without plugging it in 24/7?
You could put fresh water out every morning, which you should do anyway, and leave a water heater on all day, and turn it off at night. Just turn it on for the day time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Jay, great advice. Do you by chance know a good brand of the small water heaters that I might want to look at?
 

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I use an oil filled radiator heater. Put a cover on it like this,


Then lowered it to this. It can get warm, so I don't want them perching directly on it, and I also don't want them pooping on it.


Keeps the temperature pretty much where you set it, and they love to perch on it. Doesn't blow, is pretty safe, and you don't have to keep the temps high. You can keep them just above freezing if you want. You still need to open the loft for ventillation, and they do go outside, so you don't really want to keep it real warm. Just enough. I don't want to go out and see my birds all puffed up and freezing, don't want to scrape frozen poops, and I like to spend time with them, which I won't do if it's freezing cold in there. It works for me, and has been easy to keep it where I want it.
 
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