Safe to let them out?

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by jak2002003, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    I would like to know how long I have to wait until I can allow my new doves to fly freely in my garden.

    I have a pair of king pigeons already that are great at coming back to their cage. I let them out (by accident) after only one week and I was LUCKY they were so easy to get back. I know that was the wrong thing to do. I have had them nearly 6 months. I hope the new ones will stick with these original 2.

    This new pair is a fantail and a king pigeon. I just got them today.

    I see so much conflicting advise on the internet - ranging from 2 weeks, letting them have chicks, and NEVER for new birds.

    I would like advise from people who actually have gone through this with their own doves.
     
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    This is an area I hate to give advise on. However fantails are an ornamental bird with little to no homing instinct unless they are Indian fantails they posses some homing ability (not much as a rule).

    Now when it comes to king pigeons they are a utility breed and usually do not have much homing ability either. Trouble is they were crossed with homing pigeons at one juncture. If they are all young birds you will have no problem after a few weeks or at most a month.

    If by some freak of nature your king pigeon should have the right genetic make up you may never get him to home to your loft especially if he has free flown from the fanciers loft you got him from.

    In a perfect world I would say he would be able to free fly in about a month at most.
     
  3. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you. I got my first pair of kings from the same shop I got these new ones. They have never been free flown - in fact I doubt they have ever been out of their small wire cage.

    My first pair had never had the opportunity to fly. When I let them out they could hardly get off the ground as they did not have enough muscles and were really fat. Now they are good flyers - but never leave the garden - just fly a few times around the house roof and then spend they time on the roof or flying back and forth into the chicken coop and their own 'house'.

    I hope the old ones will encourage these 2 to stay with them.

    I have the new 2 in a large dog crate and am moving it around where they will live so they get a good view of the area.

    Someone mentioned about taping the wings so they can't fly? how do I do that? Is it a good idea? I don't want to clip the wings, and I want they to be able to fly ASAP. Here is a pho of my much loved original pair.

    [​IMG]
    I now know they were young birds as the brown one has grown a big white wattle on his beak now - as before it was pink like in this photo. My new ones seem a bit older.
     
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Were you birds still making a squeaking call when you got them. That is definitely a sign of a very young bird. The brown one was a squeaker as fanciers like to call them I am almost positive.

    I never personally did anything to impede the flight of a pigeon. Even if I bought and paid for an older homer that I knew would probably not stay in my loft. After 3 batches of off spring win or loose I let them free. It is a 50/50 crap shoot by my experience (with homers) what they will do.

    I also heard of spraying the wing feathers with a liquid soap mixture to ground the bird. I do not see to much risk in your birds once they get used to the area.

    I have know fantails to be a little stupid getting back to the loft. However with your 2 home trained birds they should set the example and show the new birds the ropes.

    Where you are seems tranquil and nothing frightened you first birds to panic them and loose their direction. I think you will have good luck. A month of confinement is an error on the side of caution in my honest opinion in your case.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
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  5. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    try using an open view all round wire rabbit cage to keep the two in or all four once they are cleared healthy and can get started getting to know each other and form a flock or flying kit. the acclimating each day while watching around for hours for a week to a month, as you then can just teach them that you will have a call to get them excited to eat after their time outside is coming to end to eat, then when you want to let out, dont call or feed evening before, and then when let out to slowly go out and wander, they will come back to your feed call to the cage to eat, and easy after to take in. also when flying and training to come back to you for food, dont feed for each the amount of more than fourth of cup for one or two according (im not familiar to kings, or really fantails either too much). good luck! i like mine safe, but they and i love to watch the joy of them flying free, and then trained to return to you each evening to feed roost and nest. only other joy i can compare it to with working with animals is free flying parrots ect, and falconry.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  6. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    more pics please, especially of the new ones!
     
  7. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    I will take pics of the new ones tomorrow.
    I was wondering why my original 2 have never tried to make a nest or had young. Now that I see one of the new ones I know why. My original 2 are both females (even though I was sold them as a pair) grrrrr.
    Here is another pic of the old ones plus my ring neck doves, Diamond Doves and others. I also have zebra doves - I will take their photo tomorrow.
    Can you tell I am crazy about birds - especially doves and pigeons! (you can click on the photos to make them bigger)
    [​IMG]Malibu and Choco
    [​IMG]Snowball
    [​IMG]Chalky (Snowballs husband)
    [​IMG]Mr Mocha strutting his stuff!
    [​IMG]Snowball and Chalky
    [​IMG]Sparkle (my tufted Diamond Dove hen)
    [​IMG]Squeaky (my rescued and hand reared feral pigeon)
    [​IMG]Squeaker (the brother of Squeaky - they were found in a plastic bag on the sidewalk in the city - still very young and covered in their yellow 'fur'.)
    [​IMG]Peachy (rescued turtle dove that what hit by a car and had broken wing)

    Apart form these I also have Zebra and Gouldian finches, Japanese Bantams, Nankin Bantams, Chinese Quail, Zebra Doves, Ducks and a red whiskered Bulbul. (oh and a small mix breed dog).
     
  8. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    At that age it is a crap shoot to tell he from she. They look like very young birds.

    I went to buy 2 pairs of birds and ended up with 3 females and 1 male. I know poop from putty when it comes to pigeons. It was probably an honest mistake. They have to be about 6 months old before they would begin to breed.

    You never know you may have some late bloomers as well. Also at this time of year with the shortened days they may wait to the spring rains to breed.

    I honestly think your white bird looks like a male to me when I clicked on to enlarge the photo. The only thing I am 100% sure on when it comes to sexing pigeons is if it lays an egg no matter what size it is a female! I tried to breed a pair of pigeon just a few months ago and they turned out to be 2 females they are paired but no fertilized eggs! One acts exactly like a male except for the fact she lays eggs. Treading copulation the whole bit. I also am now trying pair one with a known male no luck yet!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  9. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    wow! awsome collection of birds. im a bit jealous..

    @hokum coco, i had to completely isolate both hens from seeing or hearing the others, in a new cage to them, after a week introduce a male, or have the male establish a nest or corner and just let him chase and wear the hen down (sounds really mean though doesnt it?). same sex pairs can be great fosters, or you can introduce a male and add more nests along back seperating them by cardboard, and he will poligibreed under half dozen females ive seen evidence of, meaning the male will herd each female into a nest, breed them all and raise all the chicks with them.
     
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