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.
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).
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.)
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.
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...
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.
P.S. I have a flushing Boykin Spaniel.
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.
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.
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