Clumsy foundling - thoughts?

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by nxd10, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. nxd10

    nxd10 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    3
    43
    Apr 5, 2011
    I flew my three white homers the other day and another banded bird followed them home. The new bird has an August 2011 band, and is quite a bit smaller and lighter in the chest than mine, so I believe him to be quite young. The band is from a club 250 miles east, so I think he was blown off course by the hurricane and high winds we've had. He was HUNGRY when he got to my loft.

    I called the club but have not heard from an owner after 2 weeks.

    The bird also seems, well, dumb.

    After two weeks he doesn't seem to be able to get the knack of drinking from the chicken waterer. Although I let him out with the other doves, he can't master the super simple trap I have that has no bars covering the way (he finally figured it out yesterday after perhaps 8 hours).

    And he is a very clumsy flier. It seems to me that he is missing the three middle feathers of his tail, which perhaps explains it. He can't turn well. He has trouble just flying from the loft to low perches within my yard. And he lands clumsily.

    _______________

    This seems odds to be in that he is - after all - 250 miles from home and he flew home with my doves on a 20 miles flight in less than an hour when he initially arrived at my house.

    He hasn't left the loft much (and hasn't flown out of the yard) since he arrived two weeks ago and does seem quite young, so perhaps he is just inexperienced. My birds certainly become more and more graceful and strong as they have flown more. They are quite amazing athletes.

    It is also possible that those missing central feathers on his tail are throwing him off.

    Sometimes I wonder if he has a bit of tumbler in him, in that he flies but really wants to be on the ground and seems a bit disoriented in flight. He CAN'T make a fast turn without missing his mark.

    Or he could just be dumb. I began with four doves and one always seemed clumsier than the other three and had a hard time getting through the trap. That was the bird who disappeared one day on a flight. Similarly, my broody bird who has spent too much time sitting on infertile eggs was a notably worse flier than the others until we just forced her off the nest and flew her.

    Any thoughts? Could I be missing something obvious and biological?

    _________________

    Finally - thanks to those who answered my questions about my too many, unhatching eggs. Yes, I think the person who suggested I have all females is probably right. I have been taking and eating the completely infertile eggs lately. They are laying less frequently and seem much, much happier. The texture of the eggs is much silkier when boiled than my hen or quail eggs.
     
  2. cheyfrie26

    cheyfrie26 Chillin' With My Peeps

    304
    0
    109
    Apr 17, 2011
    Ohio
    Are you around Ohio? Cause this sounds like one that was here about a month ago.
     
  3. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,607
    23
    201
    Apr 10, 2009
    Rowan County, NC
    AU doesn't mean august [​IMG] Means American Racing Pigeon Union. Anyway, young bird season is underway and 250 miles is not surprising. Did you leave a message or try emailing them?
     
  4. nxd10

    nxd10 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    3
    43
    Apr 5, 2011
    Yes, it is an AU band. But it also has a date on it.

    Is it dark gray? Yes - and I'm in Ohio on Lake Erie. It could be that it was lost in the young bird race.

    There was no answering machine and no available email, unfortunately. The club predisdent's wife called back and we gave her the band number, but heard nothing (we left the message Labor Day weekend).

    The bird did not want to fly for several weeks. It finally went out the last two days with my birds and has finally at least learned to navigate the trap in it's widest open position. Still a very clumsy flyer. He seems to have no interest whatsover in flying home.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  5. cheyfrie26

    cheyfrie26 Chillin' With My Peeps

    304
    0
    109
    Apr 17, 2011
    Ohio
    Yea, bluesish checked wings ?
     
  6. Towman72gmc

    Towman72gmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    It may be someones dropper that fallowed the racing birds and got lost.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  7. nxd10

    nxd10 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    3
    43
    Apr 5, 2011
    Dark slate gray with irridescent neck. Bright white cere. We're in Oberlin OH.

    He's been out flying and getting a little less clumsy. Can still not figure out the chicken waterer well. And can only come in the trap in it's wide open position. And I don't like doing that both because of cats but also because my chickens will jump out trap.

    He comes back every night when I do a coop pen, but I haven't flown him yet. Not sure if he'd fly with the flock yet.

    I was going to do it the other day, but fortunately did not. My three came home separately over two days and two of them looked pretty roughed up. They've never done that before. Not sure what happened to them, but I think a hawk may have flown at them and they scattered. The one leader came home in 2 hours - as she should have. A second came home 8 hours later. The last was very roughed up and came home the next morning.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by