Second try releasing my homers--wondering whether to tie or soap wings

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by LamarshFish, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I will make my second attempt at letting my homers out. Current loft has 7 homers--4of which have been in my loft for about 2 months (let out once), and 3 new ones which have only been in my loft for two weeks.

    I hear folks pin, tape or soap wings so as to prevent strong or far away flying on initial releases (an issue I experienced first hand the last time I released, when 2 of the 3 birds I let out did not return). If I tried any of these methods, I think I'd opt to use the soap water method. However, I know that any of these processes will stress my birds out. So, on the one hand, I know it will prevent them from going far, but on the other hand I am concerned it will stress them and possibly prevent them from returning.

    Any thoughts as to this dilemma? Should I just let them out, or make sure I put soap water on their wings first even though I know that will stress them?

    Oh, and one additional inquiry: I plan on letting them out tomorrow late afternoon, and withholding their evening meal tonight, and morning meal tomorrow. I will release them and see what happens. At some point I will blow the dinner whistle and shake the can and put their dinner in the loft, but I'd love some input as to how long I should wait after letting them out before offering their dinner....
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
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  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    I would let the two month residents out. I would hold off on the new arrivals until they have been in the loft for 2 months also.
     
  3. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! You don't think handling the younger squeakers to keep them from exiting (I will have to grab each one and lock them in the aviary) will stress them too much, do you?

    Maybe when I feed them after the others are let out, the younger squeakers eating will make the older squeakers want to come back in even more?
     
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  4. biophiliac

    biophiliac Chillin' with the Peeps Premium Member

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    Today is the day for more training? So many ways you could do this. For us newbies I think its a lot of trial and error, observation and confidence building. Good Luck (of course when I do this myself I will be soooo nervous!:lau)

    Does this affect how much you offer at the next meal?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Can't you just herd or gently encourage the newer ones into the aviary? No need to actually grab them?
     
  6. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think not, but I'm curious to hear others give feedback.

    Yes, I think so, however when one of mine goes to the aviary most of the others follow, and the way my aviary is designed I cannot reach them in there, so I run the risk of my older birds that I want to let out going into the aviary with the younger ones. With some fitness, however, I think I could theoretically manage to only herd the younger ones in....
     
  7. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I opened the door yesterday to let them out. As expected, my 4 older squeakers each exited. I wanted to keep my 3 younger squeakers in because they have only been in my loft for just shy of 3 weeks, and would serve to attract the others back in, but one of them (my silver/red ash bar) managed to sneak out. The other 2 young ones did not want to leave. Once I saw the 2 young ones did not want to leave, I turned the bob door down so as to keep them in side.

    I let them out around 2pm because I wanted extra time for them to explore and not have darkness come on too fast, which is what I think partially attributed to my two losses on my last try about a month ago. After about an hour of them being out, I filled up the food tray, blew the whistle and shook the can. The 5 birds I let out did not respond. I had sprinkled just a small amount of feed outside the loft, and my 5 I let out were sort of feeding and pecking around the ground. They spent most of the first few hours out around the loft, on the roof of the loft, and on the phone wires above my loft.

    At about 4:30, 2.5 hours in, #3, one of my favorite and most tame birds, trapped in, leaving 4 remaining.

    At about 7, #7, my one silver, the one young bird that was let out with the older ones, kept hanging on the roof of the loft, and then started climbing on the aviary appearing to want in, so I walked over (this bird loves me and eats from my hand) and sort of coaxed it towards the landing platform and trap. It looks in towards the trap and I walked a bit closer and it trapped in.

    Around dusk, I could see two of my birds, #2 and #6 hanging around the loft. They then did something unexpected, and got down on my lawn and started walking towards where my fiancé and I were sitting at our picnic table eating dinner, and appeared to begin begging. They got so close that I could have probably grabbed one, but left them alone. They eventually went back to the phone wire above the loft, then flew off somewhere I could not see about an hour before dark. They did not return that night, and it is now morning and they are not in the loft. I think it's strange they wanted to hang with us so close, but then did not trap. I am slightly concerned they did not know how to get in, however, both have been trained to go in and out of the door and also use the bobs...

    The one remaining bird, #4, I could not see for quite some time during the evening when I was hanging out there, but when I went to check the loft just before dark #4 had trapped at some point when I was not looking.

    So, I let five birds out and three trapped back in, and two are at large. I do not see the missing birds around my house. I am hoping they return, and I have confidence they will. These two birds hung around the loft almost all day, and they did take a few laps around the neighborhood, but returned each time to the loft and hung on the roof or power lines above the loft. I fed my birds this morning and blew the whistle and shook the can. I will do the same this evening.
     
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  8. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Well 3 out of five is still not what we were hoping for. Putting feed down might not have been the best decision
    As a reward I always have peanuts on the landing platform for my early arrivals on a pigeon toss.

    Hope things improve for you today backyard buddy.
     
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  9. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Yes, I think sprinkling feed, even though it was just a little, cause some to just peck around for a while, and expect food in the grass and not back in the loft. I had peanuts on the landing platform as well, which got eaten by the others.
     
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  10. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is one thing that happened with my recent losses that differs significantly from my losses a month or so ago, and that is the fact that the two birds that went missing this time hung around my loft all afternoon and evening. They'd take a few laps around the neighborhood and disappear for 20-30 mins, but always would return to the loft's roof or power lines above it. Then, close to dusk, they were begging and hanging out next to the picnic table where my fiance and I were eating dinner, which is only about 30 feet from the loft. It was at this point where they flew up to the power lines, then flew on the roof of my house right at dusk, and I never saw them again.

    I am wondering the chances they will return. The two birds I lost a month ago essentially picked up and took off right off the bat, and didn't hang around much. They messed around in trees and power lines near my backyard for maybe a half hour, then were gone. Those two birds were never tamed. The two birds I recently lost were eating from my hand.
     
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