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New to Pigeons--need some help with questions!

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by LamarshFish, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all. I'm not too new to caring for birds (I have a pair of chukar partridges), but I am new to pigeons. I am picking up 6-8 racing homer squeakers in about a week (I think my loft size will be maxed out at 12-15 birds). They come from very good racing lines. I have my loft all built, just need to put the aviary on the side and build some perches on the inside (nest boxes are done).

    I have a few questions though, and was hoping for some insight:

    How long before I can let my pigeons out to fly? I hear 2-4 weeks, and was going to play it safe and wait 4. I plan on first starting to train them to use the bob one-way door, so they know how to get back in before I fly them.

    How do you guys feed the grit--do you mix it into their food, or do you put it in a separate container? Also, I plan on feeding only the amount of food they can eat in a day so as to be able to fly them hungry and properly train them--but do I need to do the same with the grit, or can I just load up a feeder full of grit and only refill it when it gets low?

    Do I need to give them crushed oyster now, or only when I start seeing them lay eggs?

    Any other pointers you guys can think of that you'd like to pass along, I'd greatly appreciate it!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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  3. biophiliac

    biophiliac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    subscribing to learn from this thread. I am hoping for a small flock of homers. The housing choice as I see it is either a kit-box style or a walk-in loft. I live in Wisconsin and am wondering how to choose. How are you housing yours? Can you show a pic?
     
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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  5. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought a set of plans online made by "Scott," I think it's called the Scott 4'x4' universal pigeon house. The plans are not that great, have a few clear errors in them (e.g., they call for you to re-use a lot of scrap pieces, but the sizes of the scrap pieces once they become scrap are the wrong size to do what the plans want you to do with them, so you end up needing to buy more lumber); HOWEVER, I nonetheless found these plans to be GREAT as a simple guide for me to organize building the loft, as well as a rough materials list. I subbed some materials the plans call for, for what I thought to be much better materials, such as swapping the use of nails for high quality torx deck screws and using smart/cement board type siding rather than rough sawn. I honestly would have been pretty lost without the plans, and would have just heaped together a silly looking loft from scratch. Although the Scott plans had some problems, it ultimately allowed me to build what turned out to be an awesome loft. Here are some pictures of the loft. I have yet to build the aviary on one side, as well as put perches on the inside. Interior dimensions are roughly 4'x4' and about 66" in height, which I'm told can comfortably house a dozen pigeons, likely more.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  6. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! Quick question about training them to use the bob / one-way door, if you have some insight there. Once they've stayed in for 4 weeks or so, I do plan on letting them out, but do I first need to train them to use the bob? My door, as you can see from the pics above, is mounted on the actual loft door, so there is no cage around the bob door, so when I go to train them to use it, won't there be a risk they will fly away if I am not holding them? Should I first coax them through the bob door by holding them to show them they can get in that way?

    I only ask because the guy in that video you showed me appears to be using an enclosure to hold the pigeons outside, and they eventually figure out the bob door that way, and don't otherwise have anywhere else to go but in.
     
  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  8. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome, thanks! I am going to build a cage to temporarily put around my bob door and landing platform (which is actually my predator door that covers my bob door). That said, this raises one more question I was hoping you could help with. We are talking about training my first homers, the ones I am getting next week as squeakers. In 6+ months they will likely reproduce. Do I have to do the same training for their offspring, or will their offspring just follow their parents and the flock when I let them fly, thereby making it such that I don't have to train the offspring or worry about the offspring flying away and not returning?

    Thanks! I'm very excited to get these fellas!
     
  9. biophiliac

    biophiliac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both for your helpful response!!

    Very exciting about your new squeakers. At that age can you be certain of their gender?

    I probably will have some more questions about building my loft, don't know if I should start a new thread or continue to highjack this one LOL.
     
  10. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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