Pigeons

Discussion in 'Hobby/Travel Forum' started by AZfiddler_Oct1996, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. AZfiddler_Oct1996

    AZfiddler_Oct1996
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    Hey, this might seem like a stupid topic to some of you but I was wondering if anyone here is a pigeon fancier?

    In His love,
    Alycia
     
  2. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    Alycia, We have dozens of mourning doves that live in our trees each spring and summer. I love the sound they make. [​IMG] We don't see any carrier pigeons here tho.

    I feed the birds and am an avid bird watcher. I also feed the squirrels and chipmunks. We have a VERY large toad or two out back also and 2 summers ago had a 5 foot gray rat snake.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. AZfiddler_Oct1996

    AZfiddler_Oct1996
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    I love animals! [​IMG] I have two ringneck doves in my room (I can't keep them in the loft b/c somehow the cats get to them though for some reason they can't get the pigeons) and they are adorable! BTW, would you (if you can) please move this topic to the hobby forum? Thank you. [​IMG]

    -Alycia
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    I can and I did. [​IMG]

    My favorite bird that we see locally is the Indigo Bunting. [​IMG]
     
  5. AZfiddler_Oct1996

    AZfiddler_Oct1996
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    Thank you! The Indigo Bunting is so pretty! We don't have very many colorful birds here, we do have a red cardinal though! I hope he sticks around but who knows... Actually we live an hour from one of the main bird watching areas and an hour in the other direction from what someone said was the hummingbird capital of the world. I don't know if it is though. lol -No facts. But though they are there, they aren't here. lol Oh well, I've got my own share of birds. [​IMG] And boy! are they sweet!

    -Alycia
     
  6. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Hey, I’ve raised racing pigeons since I was 13 years old, got out of it for a while, but have had white racing pigeons now for 12 years. I used to race before (all colors), but now I just release the white birds at weddings, funerals, and from church. I have hopes of building a new loft with 5 sections and three landing boards and getting the electronic timers for training, analyzing, and competition and get these white birds bred right by crossing out with some proven long distant champion birds to produce some serious high speed white racers. They’re great, true love birds, mate for life, both parents feed, care for the young, and even set on the eggs. I have 12 nesting boxes with a perch for each and they all know their homes, defend them, and even defend their neighbors’ home if they’re not around. Good Christian birds. If a baby falls out of the nest or a hawk gets its parents the other birds will feed it. They call to me when I go by the loft and fly over me when I’m walking around the property sometimes making me duck. I used to have one named Charley Brown that was a fan tail used for a dropper that loved to ride around on my shoulder until I whistled the other birds down and he would fly over to the landing board and dance his heart out. Probably wasn’t a Baptist.
     
  7. Deacon

    Deacon
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    My youngest daughter wants to try to raise chickens this year.

    We'll be purchasing 5 exotic type birds as soon as I put togeter some sort of coop.

    I already have a fenced in run for them to protect them from the redtailed hawks and red foxes that frequent our backyard.

    Rob
     
  8. AZfiddler_Oct1996

    AZfiddler_Oct1996
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    Benjamin, I've got RHs too but I've never been taught how to train them. My birds aren't very good christians, a baby bird fell outa the next last week and it got pecked to death before I found it. Where in AZ are you? I live in Cochise County. Could you please tell me how to train my birds?! I've had them for a while now and I've never known how to train them. I want to get some tumblers, you ever had any of them?

    -Alycia
     
  9. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Alycia,

    I think the best way for a beginner to train birds is to start when they are 4 weeks old and put them out on a landing board attached to your loft. You will need traps which are a door that the birds can go in but can’t go out they are made of ¼ in rods that only swing in called bobs. You can make them but it’s much better to buy them. A good place to order complete traps or just bobs is through Foy’s Pigeon Supplies. You can find it on a search there are some other good suppliers also. There’s a lot of different ways to set up traps, but first start with something simple and cheap until you get the idea and figure out what would be best for you.

    Once you have the landing board and traps ready put the youngster out on the landing board before he learns to fly so it can look around and get used to being there.

    Before he can fly you will need to build a framed box covered with chicken wire with one side open that is facing the traps so the bird can learn to sit up there and learn to go through the trap doors, but can’t escape, he may need a push the first couple times. Put him out there from inside the loft before you feed so he will want to go in.

    Handle the youngster everyday so he is used to you and calm. Once he is going through the traps well you can remove the framed box and calmly set him on the landing board (make sure there are no sudden movements or commotions going on around the loft).

    If he flies off the landing board don’t get excited, put food in the cage while he can see you and make sure he’s hungry before you do this and then move away. Use your hands out wide and guide him to the loft if you can or just wait; by this time he’ll know where he is comfortable and that will be on the landing board.

    Once you have a few birds trained the others will be easier because they will follow the leaders. If you have adults you can start by clipping or pulling the flight feathers and do the same, but a bird that wasn’t born at your loft that is an intelligent bird will generally leave to go to its birth home once the flights are replaced, but not always.

    When ever you feed your birds make a call by whistling, shaking a can with seed in it, or whatever so when your birds are released before they eat you can call them in. Also a dropper that is clipped or a fan tail that doesn’t fly much and is trained to the landing board is helpful to bring them in. Stand away with the dropper and when your birds are coming around throw him towards the loft.

    Rollers and tumblers are crazy and might guide your flock into power lines if near by, fun to watch, but be careful.

    Make sure none of your nesting boxes are on the floor. Some one must think they own the floor to scalp a youngster and kill it. No one owns the floor. If I catch a scalper he’s done, it shows a lack of intelligence, a lack of character, and they never make a good bird or breeder.

    I live in Surprise, AZ. Maricopa County.

    Ben
     
  10. AZfiddler_Oct1996

    AZfiddler_Oct1996
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    Thank you so much, Ben!! I think (if my parents let me) that I'm going to buy the traps from Foy’s Pigeon Supplies. And if/when I get them I'm sure I'll have more ?'s. ;) I have 2 squabs (1 wk old) right now and one young bird. I have always heard that you should separate the young from the old but I haven't and would like to know why you should do it? I have a way to if it is needed. None of the nesting boxes are on the floor and I only have 2 pairs of birds right now. I think the rest are male but I'm not sure yet about my young bird and, of course, the squabs. I can't wait to actually be able to train my birds! I don't have very many (10) b/c I've had next to no luck at breeding. I have an old bluebar who's probably not even fit to be called a RH- he is so lazy! I took him a block away and he liked to never come home! When I let my birds out to fly he never joins them, he just sits on the loft. Lazy bird.lol Thank you so much!

    -Alycia
     
  11. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Alycia,

    You should separate the breeders from the rest of the flock. Later it would be nice to separate the young birds from the old so that they don’t learn any bad habits.
    It’s nice to start off with a well trained new team. I will have to do that myself if I decide to start racing.

    Yeah, that old BB sounds pretty lazy, wouldn’t make much of a racer. It’s actually a good thing when you have a young bird that takes off the first time and flies around checking his skills, which you will find it takes them some practice to be good at landing on the board.

    If you and your parents are ever getting out my way let me know I always have some birds that need homes as I only want all white for now and am doing some out-crossing.

    Also a good sign of intelligence in a young bird is one that always takes the high perch and can find his water easily during weaning.

    Should of told you the first time you let a young bird out for a test do it about an hour before dark.
     
  12. MargoWriter

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    I love mourning doves too. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    They're the poets of the bird world. :D
     
  13. dianetavegia

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    We were driving to be with my mother who'd just had surgery for breast cancer. Erin was about 7 at the time. 'Mama, do birds cry?', she asked. 'What Erin?' 'Do birds cry? Like when their babies fall out of the nest and die. Do birds cry?' 'I don't know Erin.' 'I know Mama. That's when they sing the really SAD songs.'
     
  14. MargoWriter

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    Awwwwwwwwwww that's so cute.
     
  15. AZfiddler_Oct1996

    AZfiddler_Oct1996
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    Thanks, Benjamin! My dad used to go to Phoenix every Tuesday but he doesn't anymore but I'll be sure to let you know when we do get out that way!
    Right now I've got the 1 young bird and 2 other birds that I think are young (I'm not exactly sure when they were born but now that I think about it, I don't think it's been a year) separated from the other birds. I'm trying to train them to come in when I call them and they are doing better. ;) I let them out to loft fly in the morning about 7- 7:30 for an hour but sometimes they aren't back by then. I'll probably have to separate the 2 babies this coming week, when should I let them out? How long should they be in the new loft and learn that my whistle means food before I let them out for the first time?
    When you said the young birds, did you mean the 2 squabs or my other young birds that are already young birds? B/c I let them out in the morning, should I change that?

    -Alycia
     
  16. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Alycia,

    I would start letting the young birds out to sit on the landing board with the wire covered box over them for a couple weeks or until they are going back into the loft well and are comfortable after being set up there.

    The reason to let them go at first just before dark is that if they are not drawn in by the food they won’t get into trouble being out all day because they will go in to the comfort of the loft to sleep before dark.

    I have about 8 or so decent RH’s that are splashed with white that you are welcome to if you and/or your dad get out this way. Haven’t been getting by the BB to often lately, best to e-mail at [email protected]. I check that every day.

    Ben
     
  17. MasterWalk

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    You bird lovers would like Birds & Blooms magazine! Birds & Blooms have a great web site too. [​IMG]
     
  18. AZfiddler_Oct1996

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    Just bringing this up to the top. :D
     
  19. Benjamin

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    Want some bird food huh?


    I start out a couple each training tosses at 1-3-5 miles from different directions then 10-20-40. When you want to find out what you got 100-200-300-500.

    You were wondering about the wedding releases. I’ve only released at about a half-dozen weddings for friends and family. Never charged for it, but have often mentioned to my kids that when they go to college it would be a nice way to pick up some spending money on the weekends. Checking around I see people are charging $150-$400 or more for a release of 2-60+ birds. One guy can be booked up for a year in advance. My releases were unprofessional and had a poor presentation. Presentation would be very important when charging people and building a reputation. I’ve also released from a few different churches and one memorial.

    Did you know that there are many millionaires from racing and selling pigeons? There are races that award huge cash prizes, automobiles, and more. Some of these fanciers live and breathe racing pigeons. The study that has gone into genetics, eye sign, vitamins, trapping methods, anatomy, pedigrees and such is incredible. There are some real characters out there and also some very nice informative people some that tend to be very opinionated, kind of like theologians. I also have heard of birds selling in the $100,000 or more dollar range.

    From what I have seen the white pigeons that many of the fanciers release are very poor quality and they loose many birds that couldn’t find their way across the street. There are some that have won some races with them though and sell pairs of offspring’s for hundreds of dollars. When I was a teenager I breed a 500 miles champion black and white splash cock to a white hen and produced some very nice all white birds; then bred the BW to a very strong BB who produced a bird that looked just like the BW’s grandfather eye sign and all (who was a multi-champion big money winner) and then bred the grandson back into my whites. I didn’t have enough money to enter a race, but the club took my birds with and released them anyway. My birds came in several minutes ahead of the rest and everybody wanted to buy my white birds. That is how I paid for all my pigeon supplies back then. Sure wish I had some of those birds today.

    I have some pretty descent birds today, but have some work to do yet. Racing pigeons is a great sport that is dying off unfortunately partly because of harsh people and poor organizational practices. I would love to get my white birds into condition and compete; I think there is something special about the white ones.

    Ever seen this link?

    http://www.azpigeons.org/links.htm
     
  20. AZfiddler_Oct1996

    AZfiddler_Oct1996
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    I think it would be neat to have some good homing pure white birds. Did you sell all of your white birds that "won" the race? I wonder if those guys still have their offspring. I guess though that if they weren't into the whites they probably bred the color out of them. I g2g, I'll write more later.
     

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