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Tethering/hobbling pigeons

Tethering/hobbling pigeons

Postby Casper » Fri May 13, 2005 9:33 pm

I am new here and I have a situation. I have started my own pigeon coop. The birds were puchased from a guy that raced them. All the info I have read informs me that I will have to wait till I have reared some chicks that will know of no other place to fly back to other than my coop. So what I would like to know is if any of you know how to tether a pigeon so it can take flight just far enough to be out of sight of my pup so we can work up to another bird. This way a helper or myself can retrieve the birds to use again another day. I dont have wild pigeons or a game bird farm near by so I am having to make do with what I have.
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Postby TAK » Fri May 13, 2005 11:22 pm

Casper what you are talking about is reffered to as Carding a bird. How I do it is I get a good health pigion, sounds as if you have that. I will attach a piece of yarn to a piece of card board and then to one leg of the bird. I use a slip knot or something along the lines of that(no Boy Scout)Some people dizzy the bird a bit before release some don't. THe wind and the air drag of the card board tires the bird out a bit and will sit, but also be ready to take fight again when you work the dog to it. When I am training this way the dog is always on a check cord. Most offen the bird will react to the dog.
Also pick your training area wisely. Tall busy places and lot of tangle areas is not a good Idea.
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Postby snips » Sat May 14, 2005 5:46 am

One more thing. I don` know about pigeons that have been raced, but I thought if you kept a pigeon a month or two, any pigeon would home back to you. I have adult pigeons given to me that I keep up awhile then I train them to my coop.
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Postby Country-Side Breeders » Sat May 14, 2005 8:27 am

Racing pigeons will always return to their original destination. You can keep them for years and they will still head back to where they came from if left free. And a lot times, if the previous owner gets his "bad" birds back, they get rather upset. I've been on both sides of the track...we used to race them when I was young.
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Postby Ayres » Sat May 14, 2005 11:11 am

Another problem: If you have flocks of wild pigeons around where you live (like I do) then it doesn't matter if you keep young pigeons in your coop all winter long, they'll eventually hook up with the wild ones and never come back.
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Postby Country-Side Breeders » Sat May 14, 2005 11:29 am

Yep. :D
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Postby Casper » Sat May 14, 2005 11:31 am

Tak
how long should the yarn be and how big a peice of card board. how far will a pigeon fly.
Thank you. You killed tow birds with one stone I was going to ask what carding was!
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Postby TAK » Sat May 14, 2005 7:55 pm

Country-Side Breeders wrote:Racing pigeons will always return to their original destination. You can keep them for years and they will still head back to where they came from if left free. And a lot times, if the previous owner gets his "bad" birds back, they get rather upset. I've been on both sides of the track...we used to race them when I was young.


Not always true.... I have a pair that was given to me. They have papers on them and range in price from $400 dollars a bird! I left them in the coop for about 4 weeks and they produced one egg. I was told to break it and they would produce 2 next time I did this and true to fact 2 eggs. Momma bird is sitting 2 eggs and I use both to work dogs and both returned every time........ So far so good!
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Postby TAK » Sat May 14, 2005 7:56 pm

Casper wrote:Tak
how long should the yarn be and how big a peice of card board. how far will a pigeon fly.
Thank you. You killed tow birds with one stone I was going to ask what carding was!


8 or so inches. Not to long so there is not mcuh to tangle around bushes. Just work with it and see what works for you.....
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Postby Country-Side Breeders » Sat May 14, 2005 8:13 pm

TAK wrote:Not always true.... I have a pair that was given to me. They have papers on them and range in price from $400 dollars a bird! I left them in the coop for about 4 weeks and they produced one egg. I was told to break it and they would produce 2 next time I did this and true to fact 2 eggs. Momma bird is sitting 2 eggs and I use both to work dogs and both returned every time........ So far so good!


You're right...they won't leave if they're sitting on a nest. Sometimes it's hard enough just to get them to leave to do cleaning! :D
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Postby Small Munsterlander » Sat May 14, 2005 9:49 pm

Casper: Here is a version of Tak's suggestion with a little more detail. It is taken from a document I wrote for my clients a number of years ago.

Disked Birds:

Disked birds are a term I have coined for a technical modification I have created to the “carded” bird technique used to make non-covey or non-homing training birds recyclable. Not everyone has access to wild birds whenever certain training sessions are called for in the development of your bird dog. Not everyone can house homing pigeons or set up a recall pen situation yet wants the benefit of a “soft” planted bird that will flush as close to wild. Hampering the birds ability to fly very far yet be able to get up without hindrance, as a wild bird would, are great benefits to a trainer. Trainers for decades have been creating drag and using gravity to fatigue different bird species (quail, chukar and pigeons) so the bird could simulate the flush of a wild bird yet is recoverable for future reuse. The common method was to use cardboard in the shape of a rectangle of approximately 8”X12” dimensions to create this drag and weight. All materials have limitations and I found cardboard to be easily affected by water (rain or ponds) and too easily bent therefore loosing the drag benefit offered from a flat resistant surface. I also experienced the square corners snagging more often than what I perceived a round or disk shape might. I became aware of a material called Coraplast years ago which researching materials to use for solving various challenges in housing and transporting my hawks, falcons and owls. Coraplast is simply a “plastic” corrugated cardboard. It is much more durable than cardboard yet possesses approximately the same weight. Combining the durability of the Coraplast with a less snag resistant shape (circular) I hit upon a modification that seems superior to the one of old.

I made a few other small modifications that aid in the use of this “system”. Obviously the disks can be created in any practical size. Quail need less drag and gravity to bring them back to ground than pigeons. So I cut disk of 4”, 6”, 8”, and 12” and place a 3/8” hole in the center of all except a few of the 4” disks. These 4” disks I call my base disks and they have a 12” line (any longer increases the risk of tangling on equipment or low bushes yet doesn’t increase the effect of the system) fastened to the center of the disk using a small hole and simple knot to create a size that cannot be pulled back through the center hole. At the other end of the line I attach a quick opening fishing swivel. The reason for the fishing swivel? To reduce tangling and improve attachment ease to the bird’s leg. Many a potential training bird has escaped while the trainer is attempting to “tie” the string to the bird. When the training session is over and the bird recovered removed of the disk system is also very easy because of the clip-fastening portion of the fishing swivel. Because of the holes in the larger sized disks a larger disk (if needed) can be slipped over the line to increase drag and weight. One final modification I implemented was the use of brightly colored Coraplast. This aids in locating the down bird and yet seems to be more difficult for the dogs to see while the bird is planted or in the launcher.

Disked birds can be used in combination with launchers but care should be taken to have a training area devoid of trees that may allow the bird to roost out of reach or worse yet get hung up for a most disrespectful death.

William L. Dove © Copyright 1999-05 Owner and Operator of Lonesome Dove’s Kennel, Lonesome Dove’s Training Diary and Lonesome Dove’s Discussion Group.

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Postby gunner » Sun May 15, 2005 6:51 am

Bill,

Do you use modified falconers jessies to attach the swivel and line to the birds leg?
And do you attach to one leg or both?
Thanks
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Postby Small Munsterlander » Sun May 15, 2005 11:06 am

Gunner: I don't but one could. Rather than jesses I would use a design of anklet with a very small gromet hole if I thought that was necessary. Pigeons are quite dirty birds so I would think anything semi-perminently attached to their tarsas would likely get filthy. Some falconers flying small raptors like kestrels, merlins, coopers and sharpies use a snap closure/leather anklet system that is removable after hunting. This system might have value.

The use of a pair of lines going to each tarsas or a short "V" structure would certainly reduce what little stress is applied. However, this benifit needs to be weighted against the risk of hangup based on the type of habitat in the training area.

I train often in areas with small bushes so like many "modifiers" I created this tool to reflect those conditions. If a person trains in very open habitat they don't need to be as concerned about hangups.

If any of this doesn't make sense I can make some drawings and post them but if you have some association with a falconer or group they can further explain the above.

Out of necessity falconers become resoursefull so the limiting factor will be your creativity. I would be interested in hearing back if you design a useful modification to this system. Bill 8)
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