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"Starting with pigeons"

"Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:22 pm

So, you want to use pigeons to train your dogs. Here is an article to help you do that. If you use the methods and information here you will have easy sucess.

"Young birds" (yb's)
You want to start your loft with young birds. The age would be from 1 month to 3 months. If they are older than 3 months they may get heavy on the wing. This means they will fly too far too qiuck and get lost. If you get 1 month old birds be carfull to check they are all eating and drinking good. When you first put them in your loft dunk their heads in the waterer. You may also want to make sure the water and feed are on the ground cause birds this age can't fly very well yet.

"Buying birds"
When you buy birds look for either yb's to start your loft or old birds for prisioners (birds you will never let out to fly). The advantage to getting yb's to start your loft is so you can fly your breeders. The disadvantage is the time it wil take them to mature and start breeding. I would advise going with yb's if you can find good stock. Some people have luck resettling old birds but this is never a sure thing. If you are going to try this wait until they have bred in your loft first. Look for racing stock to start your loft. Alot of racing guys (myself included) will get rid of almost all their racing team every fall. This is a way to get good stock but they will be prisioners. It is alot harder to get young from racing guys but with some research you can find it. Last thing is to make sure the birds are healthy. This very important and if you loft is free of disease and you get healthy birds you will probably not have any probelms.

"Lofts"
A loft can be built very easily and here are some examples of some to build.
http://www.redroselofts.com/starter_loft.htm
http://www.uplandbirddog.com/training/loft.html
I really like the red rose loft. It will house about 24 pigeons and you can have perches and breeding boxes very easily. The other one here is very small but if you are going to only have about 6-8 birds it is good. If you have the bigger loft and have some breeding pairs you may never have to buy a pigeon again. Your loft should be very dry with good ventilation. This will go a long way to keeping your birds healthy. You will need a trap in the loft and this is where the birds come in and out. Here is a pic.

Image

This one has the bob trap and predator door. The bobs (bars hanging down) flip in but not out. So the birds can come in by just pushing them in. The predator door is a must and this should be closed every night to keep animals out. I use a deep litter system that is basically pine shavings that cover the floors about 3 inches deep. I use a pitch fork to clean this and roll it over as I clean. This helps keep the loft dry also.

"Feeding"
You should feed a grain mixture with at least 15% protein. Usually these will consist of corn, austrainian, canadian, or maple peas, milo, safflower, wheat, millet, and/or barley. The birds should have clean unsoiled water in front of them at all times. They should also have pigeon grit and this is different then chicken grit. You will start to feed these birds daily and there is 2 methods that I recomend. First one is to put the feed down for 10 min. then pick it up. You can either measure how much is gone or just put it down for that period everyday. The second is to feed 1 ounce per bird per day. The reason for this feeding is to keep the birds hungry. They will remember where home is alot better when they are hungry. When you goto feed your birds you should make a sound so they know the food is coming. Some people rattle a feed can some whistle. I like to whistle. Later you will use this to get your birds in.

"Health"
If you start with healthy birds and your loft is healthy you will most likely stay that way. There are vaccines for pigeons for pox, pmv, and parathroid. There is also meds. for canker, worms, respitory infections, saminella, coccidious, malaria, and alot of other not common things. You can treat for worms with the same ivomec cattle wormer most us use for our dogs. Just put 2 drops in their mouth. There is a long list of meds. for the other sicknesses but I use a med that works on 5 things. Respitory, cocci, worms, canker, and saminella. It also has proboitics in it. If anyone want a link to this a can post it.

"Training"
I am going to be talking about yb's here. Once you have had your birds for 3 weeks you are ready to start training. Some people use what is called a settling cage. This is a cage that you can put your birds in and place in front of the trap with a open side to the trap. Your birds can then go back into the pen through the trap and this teachs them how to trap. You can set this on a landing board and most lofts have this to allow the bird to land on and walk into the pen throught the trap. There is a landing board on the front of the first loft here.

Image

I don't use a settling cage. When I start my training the first time out. The birds will have not eatin that day. Make sure you are folowing the feeding guidlines at this time. It will also be 1 hour from being dark. I will open the trap (hook all bobs up so none hang down) and just leave them alone. If they want to come out fine if not that is fine too. I will only do this in good weather with not too much wind. When it is closer to dark use your feeding call to help bring them back in. When they are back in close your trap and go feed. I will do this for a week. Make sure not to scare them during this period. After the week the birds will be going out and maybe flying around a little. Then I will do the same thing but this time I will go into the loft and coax all the birds out. I will then put most the bobs down but leave 2-3 up. I will then feed. The feed in now the reward for trapping soon. I will try to drop anouther bob everyday I do this until all the bobs are down. Now your birds are flying and trapping. I do this for a few weeks. I just open the door push all the birds out and close the trap then feed. The birds will start to want to go out and fly and start to love it. Depending on how far your training grounds are you could start using your birds anytime. If your training ground are further away I would keep loft flying your birds for 2-3 weeks. The key is to see when they start routing. This means are they taking off and going out of sight for 10min to 1 hour. They shoud be routing before starting road training. This is where you take your bird in a crate towards your traing area and let them go or "toss" them. If your birds are routing then put them in a crate take them to the realease point and let them sit for a few minutes (this helps them get their bearing). Then you will release them in these distance intervals. Once will be beside your loft, then 100 yards, 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 40, 80, how ever far you want. The one thing you have to keep in mind if you are taking them a long way is make sure they are in good shape. This means if they haven't been out flying for a while don't go toss them a 100 miles and think they are coming back.

"Breeding"
If you want to breed you have a few options. Get proven breeders (suggested), get just hens and cocks, or just get what ever you can. Proven birds are the best and fastest way to do it. You will have to have breeding boxes for the birds and these can be many different ways but here are some options.

Image

Image

Image

Make sure you have nesting materials in there and I just use straw. If you have a seperate loft for your breeders I usually give them all the feed they want. If they are together with your other birds that are flying and you are measuring the feed out for them make sure you add a once per baby. Pairing birds can be done a few ways. If you look at the second pic you will see that these pens can be closed. You can put little waterers and feeders in there and lock a hen and cock in there. This will pair the birds fast but it is alot of work. Make sure you have a hen and a cock. If they are fighting alot then it is probably 2 cocks. If they have 4 eggs then it is 2 hens. Once they are paired then the front can be opened up and they can fly around again but this will be their box. Anouther way is the natural way. This is fine but sometimes slow especially if it is going into winter.

Good luck with your pigeons and I know I forgot some stuff but I just sat down and started typing so I will answer questions also. Jason/ohiogsp



Well, I am seeing from my photobucket account alot of people are still looking to this for help. So, I thought I would post my new trap design for this year. I have had almost no losses of birds when settling them and it has worked great. So, this may give you some ideas in your loft. Here is the pics.

Image

Image

Image

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The birds have to go outside through the bobs inside the loft. Then the aviary is 2 sections and they have to move to the second section to go back in the loft. Here they have to use the stall traps (difficult trap for racing). There is a divider board between the 2 sections cause the first time out there I block them so they were stuck in the second section and know where the stall trap is. There is also a slided 2x4 with a piece of plywood on it to block the aviary totall if I want to (like for catching birds). Also the front of the second aviary section is the landing board. So once the birds have been forced out into the aviary and came in on their own you can drop the landing board and they have no problems. It is like a aviary and a settling cage.
Last edited by ohiogsp on Fri May 22, 2009 12:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby gozz21 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:19 pm

great post. thanks for answering questions that almost all new pigeon owners have. i just got some and this is great information for me.

thanks
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Postby Rick Hall » Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:28 am

Some might also enjoy this link I've bookmarked: US Navy Homing Pigeon Manual
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Postby smackerquacker » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:48 am

What are the dimensions of your V perches? Thanks
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Postby ohiogsp » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:05 am

Most my V perches are commercial made ones. Here is a pic. They are a 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 board 5 inches long with the V's being about 6 inches long. The ones I made I copied the commercial ones.
Image
Last edited by ohiogsp on Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ohiogsp » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:07 am

gozz21 wrote:great post. thanks for answering questions that almost all new pigeon owners have. i just got some and this is great information for me.

thanks
jason


This is why I wrote this article so people can get started. Good luck
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Postby Greg Jennings » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:13 am

Could you post the link to the 5 in 1 treatment?

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Postby ohiogsp » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:33 am

Here is a link to a 5-1. I could not find the exact one I have but this is very simular and they may not make the one I have anymore. This treats for most worms also. I think if you used this as your one and only med. your birds would stay pretty healthy. I am really into the health side of pigeons and the only real way to treat and cure probelms with pigeons is by dignosis. I use a microscope and do blood slides, fecal floats, and crop swabs. This is better but most the stuff I look for would be cured with this med here.

http://www.foyspigeonsupplies.com/catalog/1315.html
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Postby Greg Jennings » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:45 am

Thank you, Jason.

How often would you treat with it?

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Postby ohiogsp » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:55 am

Probably semi-anually unless I seen somthing that did not look right in them.
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Postby markj » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:22 am

What a good post, thanklot. I am in the process of building a coop myself. I was wrong bout them quail, pup catches em to easy so pigions are needed. Gotta read up now and maybe make a change or two in my design.

Gozz, where is the pic of that zeke dog? :) brown dog looks nice too. Good luck on the HT you will be running.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby smackerquacker » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:01 am

Explain to me what or where I can get pigeon grit. I was going to stop and get a bag of milo from the local COOP, but he sure doesn't carry pigeon grit.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby Rick Hall » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:53 am

Believe you'll find most any feed store carries or can get both pigeon grit and pelletized pigeon feed, though "laying pellets" are a good substitute for the later.

While the pigeon racers seem to agonize over their own special feed blends, I've one friend who I don't believe has given his anything but broken rice for years. So diet apparently isn't too critical unless you're trying to squeeze every possible bit of speed and/or distance out of them. Or reproduction. Mine live largely on whole in-the-hull rice that's free for the shoveling in my part of the country, and have, in the past, gone for months on nothing but whole corn. (Cracked corn is said to be harmful to squabs' tender craws.) But when I'm anxious for maximum squab production, I supplement with either pigeon or laying pellets that are both relatively high in protein. My birds seem to prefer the rice or corn and use the pellets as they feel the need. There is, btw, a clean-up advantage to grain over pellets, as the former produces drier droppings and the later plaster-like pigeon pies.

ohiogsp has linked a 5-in-1 medication that may well be superior, but my pigeons and the lodge's game birds have gotten along for years with an appreciably less expensive (if used as directed) 3-in-1 (worms, canker and coccidiosis) called "Global Multi-Mix" found at this link: http://www.globalpigeon.com/gps.php?action=showprod&id=8 I don't use it routinely but do any time birds are found wasting (getting extremely thin).
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp - 2 » Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:59 am

Rick Hall wrote:Believe you'll find most any feed store carries or can get both pigeon grit and pelletized pigeon feed, though "laying pellets" are a good substitute for the later.

While the pigeon racers seem to agonize over their own special feed blends, I've one friend who I don't believe has given his anything but broken rice for years. So diet apparently isn't too critical unless you're trying to squeeze every possible bit of speed and/or distance out of them. Or reproduction. Mine live largely on whole in-the-hull rice that's free for the shoveling in my part of the country, and have, in the past, gone for months on nothing but whole corn. (Cracked corn is said to be harmful to squabs' tender craws.) But when I'm anxious for maximum squab production, I supplement with either pigeon or laying pellets that are both relatively high in protein. My birds seem to prefer the rice or corn and use the pellets as they feel the need. There is, btw, a clean-up advantage to grain over pellets, as the former produces drier droppings and the later plaster-like pigeon pies.

ohiogsp has linked a 5-in-1 medication that may well be superior, but my pigeons and the lodge's game birds have gotten along for years with an appreciably less expensive (if used as directed) 3-in-1 (worms, canker and coccidiosis) called "Global Multi-Mix" found at this link: http://www.globalpigeon.com/gps.php?action=showprod&id=8 I don't use it routinely but do any time birds are found wasting (getting extremely thin).


My post is more about what I believe is the right way to raise and keep pigeons. I have feed mine all kinds of stuff in the past, one of the things was straight hog chow. I would not do it now and don't believe it is good for them either. The post I made for the medication does more than the 3-1 and it does cost twice as much but there is twice the medication 100 gram vs. 200 grams. I think mine is the better bargain and it is alot of med. for the regular guy but maybe you can split it with someone else.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby Rick Hall » Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:41 pm

If you check the directions for use, the 5-in-1 calls for twice the amount the 3-in-1 does, so it remains substantially more expensive. And my pigeons and game birds apparently have not needed its extra benefits, which doesn't mean others won't.

But please know I'm not knocking your suggestions. I'm certain you're a much keener student of the birds than I, and am just pointing out that one need not make a major fuss over one's training birds. Not my intent to step on your toes, and I apologise if you feel I've done so.

(Have never been on a US racing bird message board, but thought it humorous that while the UK dog boards are remarkably civil compared to ours, they get wound mighty tight over the correct pigeon this or that.)
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:07 pm

Rick Hall wrote:If you check the directions for use, the 5-in-1 calls for twice the amount the 3-in-1 does, so it remains substantially more expensive. And my pigeons and game birds apparently have not needed its extra benefits, which doesn't mean others won't.

But please know I'm not knocking your suggestions. I'm certain you're a much keener student of the birds than I, and am just pointing out that one need not make a major fuss over one's training birds. Not my intent to step on your toes, and I apologise if you feel I've done so.

(Have never been on a US racing bird message board, but thought it humorous that while the UK dog boards are remarkably civil compared to ours, they get wound mighty tight over the correct pigeon this or that.)


It does call for twice as much and I thought it was probably the same dosage. The one I have here is the same 1 tsp. I will have to check more to see if I can find that one. I am not offended by your post (did not mean for it to sound that way) and yes pigeon racing is very serious across the pond. It is so big over there and probably more popular than even bird dogs are in some places. They also have the best birds in the world over there, the reason being they race all the time and the races are huge (like 10's of thousands of birds).
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby glk7243 » Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:06 pm

Congrats Jason............for the first post in the hall of fame.
It was a very good post with lots of good info for everyone.

Regards
Gary
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:12 pm

Thank you, This way it will be here for people to read for years to come. :D
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby markj » Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:50 pm

Ohio, is there any problems I may have using OSB for the nesting boxes? It is kinda cheap and easy to make boxes out of like the waterbed X's that go under the bed. Or I could use some1 x 12 cedar wood I have on hand. Anything bad about either of these? or should I go get some more plywood.It is on sale at menards now. I am using the link you ut in your post, the one that is a box on 2x4s. Have metal sheeting from a metal pole barn for the top, thinking of using OSB for the sides and rear, Plywood for the front. I will paint the OSB for weathering, will make a longer top for same reason. Should it be out in the open or will it be OK next to my pole barn? On the side opposite my dog kennels of course.

We used to have a pigion loft in the top of our barn when I was growing up,

Where can I get them doorway things so they can get in and I can lock em? or should I use a sliding door for that? We have huge horned owls around and lots of hawks. We trap the coons and varmints too so they may not be as big a problem.

Great post here, gave me some great ideas. A guy name of Pat has the caddilac of coops, it is like a one room appartment it is so big. I am not doing that big a coop tho. thanks again.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:32 pm

Use the cedar to make the nest boxes it is a natural bug deturant and will work great. I used osb to build some of my lofts but stopped doing that cause of the constant painting and work to keep it nice. Plywood is much better. Here is a link to a small cheap trap and you will have to build you own predator door. http://www.lcsupply.com/Product/Bird-Eq ... -Door.html The best thing for these lofts is to face the loft away from the wind so it is not blowing in it all the time.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby markj » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:27 pm

I did make th nesting boxes out of cedar, I just love the smell of cedar too. Had some 1x12 from the deck trim I did awhile ago. I used OSB for the outter walls, just put a coat of primer on next is flat white barn paint. Lion country has the bob doors for 14.50 so I ordered up one of them. Have plenty of open in theback up by the roof I used chicken wire 3 layers on so theywill not overheat here. I will add the front tomorrow and add the wire box there and put the bob door on the opposite side ofthe 24 x 24 door I did today. I have taken a lot of pics thru out the progress and will try to post them as soon as I can get to a high speed internet site. Got pigeon feed and 2 feeders today at the feed store I use. Next I will get some homers in. I have a guy I can get some from, I hope. Then the real training will begin. My dogs are catching the quail so they will become dinner for me in a day or two :) thanks for the great post, it gave me alot to use in my design.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby snips » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:06 am

I have used for several years a soluable powder called BMD for quail and pigeons. I started on the quail then figured it had to be good on pigeons too. I seems to keep them healthy, do not know if it is good or bad to use. Good thread on pigeons tho...
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby bmacinok » Mon May 05, 2008 1:08 pm

Anyone have any experience, good or bad, with a coop in the woods (medium density)? Just wondering if they need open space or can get along well with obstructions like a wooded area...

Thanks,

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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Fri May 09, 2008 6:49 am

The problem with putting lofts in wood areas is hawks. They use the loft just fine but the hawks can hide to easily and they can be a real problem.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby bmacinok » Mon May 12, 2008 10:15 am

For right now I am only going to have killer pigeons in the coop so it is not an issue, but at some point I want to start raising some homers.

I do have a pair of red-tails nesting close-by, as well as at least one young one in the nest and starting to fly so will eventually have to think about them.

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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby Coveyrise64 » Mon May 12, 2008 12:19 pm

RedTails are not much of a problem, it's the Coopers and Sharpshins you have to worry about. I saw three flying over my house last week. I just hope my breeders can stay ahead of them.

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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Mon May 12, 2008 3:45 pm

Coveyrise64 wrote:RedTails are not much of a problem, it's the Coopers and Sharpshins you have to worry about. I saw three flying over my house last week. I just hope my breeders can stay ahead of them.

Coveyrise64


Same thing here. The coopers are the worst for me.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby dugger13 » Fri May 16, 2008 8:41 am

I am new to homing pigeons. I have a coop and 9 birds in it. They have been there for 3 weeks. they have paired up some of to some extent.

Is it ok to fly a bird that is sitting on a egg?

I am trying to get them to home back to the coop. I need them to go about 10 miles.
Do i extend 1 more mile every week, or can i go faster than that. Right now they are going about 3 city blocks.

What is the egg to pigeon process--timing, etc... How long do i wait to fly the new baby?
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Fri May 16, 2008 9:50 am

Well, you can fly them off eggs but I won't pull them off the nest to do it. If they are sitting eggs I would leave them. You can talk them and toos them 1/2 mile,1, 2, 5, 10. I assume you are tossing them 3 blocks away? Are they loft flying? The eggs are incubated for about 3 weeks and the babies should "start" to fly at about a month old. It will take anouther month or 2 before you are able to take a young birds to 10 miles. They have to be trained and loft flown until they are strong.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby Coveyrise64 » Fri May 16, 2008 11:01 am

I normally open the large door to my loft and let them fly. If the ones setting eggs want to go they will but I don't force them out. By opening the large door, the young birds will set in the doorway looking out, when they decide it's time they will venture out on their own. I leave the large door open to make it easy for the younger birds to come and go and at dark I lock everything up. After the young birds start flying and staying out longer I close the large door and prop open the bobs on my perch and make them start using it as the primary entry. I start dropping bobs one at a time over a period of days to make the opening smaller until they are comfortable going in with all the bobs down. I sometimes set in the yard just watching them fly, their athleticism is something to see.

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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby dugger13 » Fri May 16, 2008 6:40 pm

Do i fly 1 mile away, then two miles the next day, or should i do 1 mile first week, then next week 2 miles etc...
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby Coveyrise64 » Fri May 16, 2008 7:57 pm

I would stick with one distance until all of them are reliably returning to the loft in a reasonable amount of time. Then extend the range and repeat the same process. If they are all young birds put an older one with them if you have one. I tag mine so I know which ones are not as reliable as I like or hesitant about entering the loft and use them for shooters (band the breeders as well so you will know which ones are producing them and eliminate them also). The best way to attract hawks is to have them lounging around outside the loft.

If you change the direction you fly them from remember to introduce them the same way as above.

Good luck with your loft....

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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby Rick Hall » Sat May 17, 2008 7:39 am

dugger13 wrote:Do i fly 1 mile away, then two miles the next day, or should i do 1 mile first week, then next week 2 miles etc...


I'd begin closer, like 1/2 mile, where they can see familar turf from the air, then start doubling the distances as the birds show their readiness for it. Also like to make at least one or two group tosses from each of the first however-many new distance before tossing single birds there. Been a while since I've tossed all young birds without older birds' guidence, but I don't recall them taking more than a couple or three tosses to master each new distance out to the 8-10 miles that is as far from the house as we typically might train. (With older birds along, it's usually just one group toss from each distance.)
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby bmacinok » Mon May 19, 2008 1:19 pm

Mine must be coopers, not red tail. I finally got a good view of them, no red tail feathers.

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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Fri May 22, 2009 12:05 am

I added a new aviary/settling cage design I came up with this year in my origianl post check it out.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby jetto » Fri May 22, 2009 11:45 am

Not to hijack the thread but i have a question about squeekers. We have a book that says to show the squeekers where the food/water are at about 14 days- that is when the parents stop taking care of them. Is this correct? Thanks for any help. Kristi
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ezzy333 » Fri May 22, 2009 1:29 pm

They will find the feed and water a few days after getting out of the nest but the parents will keep feeding for quite a while or at least as long as the young birds can make them think they should. You will see them start to pickup their own grain so shortly there after you can seperate them. They will be near a month old by then.

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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby jetto » Fri May 22, 2009 2:43 pm

Thanks Ezzy! I was hoping we weren't going to have to show them how to get to food and water! Thought it sounded funny when I read it in the book :roll: ......Kristi
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Fri May 22, 2009 10:53 pm

14 days? The bird is not even out of the nest. Who ever wrote that book did not know what they were talking about. In normal conditions you will never have to show your squeeker the food or water because they will figure it out on their own by the time the parents wean them. In racing we like to wean our babies at just over 3 weeks and you do have to show them the water at this point, never had to show any the food.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby philnino » Wed May 27, 2009 9:40 pm

I have been loft flying my young birds off and on for the last month. I leave the bobs open for about 30-45 minutes and then call the birds to feed. Only recently have the birds started flying around and routing as I open the trap a little earlier in the evening. When I let them out with only an hour before sunset they tend to lounge in the yard, on top of the loft, on my roof... I cut my feed back from an ounce a bird to 3/4 ounce a bird since they were not flying much. Should I start flying them in the morning as well? I live in the suburbs and already have birds occasionally settle on the neighbors houses. I am trying not to ruffle too many feathers!

I also wanted to know about the best way to catch, transport, and plant these birds.

Is there a method of letting the baby birds I raise learn to fly with the older birds without having another loft? I have a pair a week old and four more getting ready to hatch.

This has been a great post so far in helping me get started, thanks for taking the time to help all of us.
Phillip
P.S. I have a flushing Boykin Spaniel.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Fri May 29, 2009 10:26 am

philnino wrote:I have been loft flying my young birds off and on for the last month. I leave the bobs open for about 30-45 minutes and then call the birds to feed. Only recently have the birds started flying around and routing as I open the trap a little earlier in the evening. When I let them out with only an hour before sunset they tend to lounge in the yard, on top of the loft, on my roof... I cut my feed back from an ounce a bird to 3/4 ounce a bird since they were not flying much. Should I start flying them in the morning as well? I live in the suburbs and already have birds occasionally settle on the neighbors houses. I am trying not to ruffle too many feathers!

I also wanted to know about the best way to catch, transport, and plant these birds.

Is there a method of letting the baby birds I raise learn to fly with the older birds without having another loft? I have a pair a week old and four more getting ready to hatch.

This has been a great post so far in helping me get started, thanks for taking the time to help all of us.
Phillip
P.S. I have a flushing Boykin Spaniel.


When you let your bird out close to sunset they may not fly cause this is the time when they are getting ready to come back in. Pigeons have a fear of being out over night and they are not going to route right before dark. Do your birds feel good? Not skinny? If you want your birds to fly more I don't think cutting feed to 3/4 ounce per bird per day will do it. Try replacing some of the feed with barley. This makes them fly because it is very high in carbs. As for catching and transporting birds. I just catch them by hand, I use a bird carrier. Your baby birds will be fine just let them grown up and start training them when the time comes. They will follow the older birds and be even easier to train.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby philnino » Fri May 29, 2009 9:52 pm

I dropped the feed in response to them not flying much and actually getting heavy. I am feeding purgrain. They are flying more since I started letting them out earlier in addition to the feed cut. They have not been out as much as I would have liked due to the rain we have had this spring. Will the birds get over lounging around or do I need to flush them off the ground and the roofs. I would prefer that they either fly or go into the loft. Can I release/loft fly the birds anytime during the day as long as they are hungry? The birds are between 2 and 6 months.
I appreciate the help ohiogsp. I am getting excited about the training possibilities.
Last edited by philnino on Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:59 pm

philnino wrote:I dropped the feed in response to them not flying much and actually getting heavy. I am feeding purgrain. They are flying more since I started letting them out earlier in addition to the feed cut. They have not been out as much as I would have liked due to the rain we have had this spring. Will the birds get over lounging around or do I need to flush them off the ground and the roofs. I would prefer that they either fly or go into the loft. Can I release/loft fly the birds anytime during the day as long as they hungry? The birds are between 2 and 6 months.
I appreciate the help ohiogsp. I am getting excited about the training possibilities.



You can scare them off the loft or maybe just put them in a crate and release them across the yard. Sometimes this is enough to get them going. You can fly them anytime you like but they like a scedule and if you do it the same time everyday it is better. Also the heat is a factor they love to fly early in the morning when it is cool.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby philnino » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:43 pm

I appreciate the advice ( I am not being sarcastic). I tried loft flying them Sunday morning and all was going well until a hawk hit them on their loft. They had flown well and I was preparing to call them in. Fortunately, I have the loft under my pine trees and next to a tall privacy fence. I stll lost a bird but originally thought it was two. The lone survivor came home this morning. The hawk took a beating coming through the trees, his feathers were everywhere. The hawk sounded like a large tree limb breaking and falling. All I saw was a flash of blue and red. I looked around before release and kept an eye out while they were up but I have a lot of houses and and trees blocking my view. It was about 0745 when he hit. I guess I will go back to early evening when hopefully the hawks are full of songbirds and mice. I hesitate to fly earlier since when the birds land on my neighbors houses they tend to sit on the eaves, which actually makes a bit of noise on the inside of the house (sounds like mice in the wall).
I did have a sucessful release this evening. I put four young birds in a crate about 25 feet from the loft and let them settle for about 30 minutes. When I opened the crate and whistled they flew right to the loft and trapped in less than a minute. Two of these birds are only two months old and hatched in my loft. So, again, I really do appreciate the advice, I am just going to have to modify it to fit my situation. Once I feel confident about them flying I will loft fly them in the morning. I have also increased their food back to an ounce a bird. The birds are really chowing down and not leaving any feed longer than ten or twenty minutes.I think I allowed them to get heavy by not watching the feed closely enough while they were not flying much this spring.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:20 pm

philnino wrote:I appreciate the advice ( I am not being sarcastic). I tried loft flying them Sunday morning and all was going well until a hawk hit them on their loft. They had flown well and I was preparing to call them in. Fortunately, I have the loft under my pine trees and next to a tall privacy fence. I stll lost a bird but originally thought it was two. The lone survivor came home this morning. The hawk took a beating coming through the trees, his feathers were everywhere. The hawk sounded like a large tree limb breaking and falling. All I saw was a flash of blue and red. I looked around before release and kept an eye out while they were up but I have a lot of houses and and trees blocking my view. It was about 0745 when he hit. I guess I will go back to early evening when hopefully the hawks are full of songbirds and mice. I hesitate to fly earlier since when the birds land on my neighbors houses they tend to sit on the eaves, which actually makes a bit of noise on the inside of the house (sounds like mice in the wall).
I did have a sucessful release this evening. I put four young birds in a crate about 25 feet from the loft and let them settle for about 30 minutes. When I opened the crate and whistled they flew right to the loft and trapped in less than a minute. Two of these birds are only two months old and hatched in my loft. So, again, I really do appreciate the advice, I am just going to have to modify it to fit my situation. Once I feel confident about them flying I will loft fly them in the morning. I have also increased their food back to an ounce a bird. The birds are really chowing down and not leaving any feed longer than ten or twenty minutes.I think I allowed them to get heavy by not watching the feed closely enough while they were not flying much this spring.


Hawks are hard to deal with sometimes but when all your birds are older and faster the hawks will get discouraged faster by having more misses when hitting your birds.
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby ohiogsp » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:59 pm

If anyone out there is having problem with parisites on your birds use this and they will disappear. One spray under each wing, and one right under the tail (butt). This will stop anything and for a while. Spray them all and see no problems for a month or more depends on where you live. http://www.dog.com/item/adams-water-bas ... tick-mist/
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby Ahumphers91a » Sat May 28, 2011 8:06 pm

any advice for a very small coop? I live residential, so not many options on huge coops.

thanks
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Re: "Starting with pigeons"

Postby mtlee » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:03 am

ohiogsp wrote:Here is a link to a 5-1. I could not find the exact one I have but this is very simular and they may not make the one I have anymore. This treats for most worms also. I think if you used this as your one and only med. your birds would stay pretty healthy. I am really into the health side of pigeons and the only real way to treat and cure probelms with pigeons is by dignosis. I use a microscope and do blood slides, fecal floats, and crop swabs. This is better but most the stuff I look for would be cured with this med here.

http://www.foyspigeonsupplies.com/catalog/1315.html


This link is down, do you mind re-posting what you use? Thanks.
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