Some questions from a pigeon newbie.

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Chicken Hugger!, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. Chicken Hugger!

    Chicken Hugger! Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2009
    Northwest Ohio
    I just purchased two pairs of white homers on Thursday, and need some pointers. One pair is from this year and the other pair are adults, and both pairs have never been flown before. So how long till they can be let out to fly? And when I have them trained, what is the best way to catch them ( this is such a stupid question, but they are hard to catch!)? I was out feeding them this morning and noticed that one of the males has some light gray feathers on his breast. Will this mean that his offspring will have gray feathers too? And one more question, I was holding one about an hour ago and this little bug come crawling out of the feathers. . It was oblong, and kinda brownish, and really small. What is the best way to get rid of the bugs? This made me question the care that the breeder gave these birds. Needless to say I won't be getting birds from this person anymore.

    Any pointers would be super!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2009
    Rowan County, NC
    1. It is more safe to just keep them as breeders and fly the babies. The yearling birds, depending on how many months old, will probably give you no problems if kept in for a month. The older pair shouldn't be let out if they weren't born this year.
    2. One way to catch them is with a net, with tiny holes to prevent anyone from getting stuck (boy that's a pain to untangle crazy birds! [​IMG]). I've gotten to where I can just get them in a corner or nest box and snatch'em up. Good pigeon-catching takes practice though, haha.
    3. The light gray feathers just means that he is a splash, and not recessive white. There is a very, very good chance that the babies will still be solid white. If not, you may get a splash of color here and there, but breeding those back to solid whites will eventually breed that out.
    4. Those are feather lice, and much easier to get rid of than mites. You can dust them with sevins dust or other poultry dusts. Or, you can dip them in permectrin (sp?), which will easily take care of any and all bugs that may be hiding. I get mine at TSC. If you mix it up like it says for chickens, and add a little bit of dish soap, that should do it. The soap will help completely penetrate the feathers so no bugs can get away. Of course dipping is a bit more time consuming than dusting, but I think it's more effective. If you choose to dip, hold the birds in it up to their head, with the wings held out from the body. Keep them there for about 30 seconds, then quickly dunk them straight down and up. Doing that will get anything that ran for cover on the top of their head, and the birds won't get hurt if you do it quickly. Just prepare to have some white wet rats! [​IMG]

    Feather lice can hide pretty easily, although they are easiest to see on white birds. Although I would have dusted them before selling the birds, I don't think it's too too horrible. At least it wasn't any worse!
     
  3. nick77

    nick77 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2009
    new hampshire
    If it was me, I'd wait till the adult pair has hatched it's first clutch of eggs. If you can separate the old pair from the new, a couple weeks is all it takes for them to acclimate to the new loft so the two yougsters should be fine to let out. Buy a pigeon trap, from a supplier. it is a wooden frame with aluminum "bobs", that swing in one direction only. mount it to your loft so that the bobs swing in to your loft. Make sure you have a board mounted to the outside of it for them to land on. Now, prop those bobs open so the birds can come and go as they please for a few hours a day. Once they learn how to get in and out, drop the bobs back down. Before you feed them, let them come out on their own. When you want them in, feed em' they'll push through the trap. once in they can't get back out because the bobs only swing in. The key is to fly them hungry, so they'll "trap" when you want them to. Use a whistle, or rattle a can of feed every time you feed them and they'll associate the noise with feeding time and come down when you want them too.
    Generally speaking, homing pigeons aren't bred for color, so you never know what they'll throw ya'. Don't write off the person you got those birds from just yet, that's feather lice. just get some poultry dust from the feed store. I sprinkle under the wings as well as on the floor and nest boxes. At worst they'll chew pinholes in the feathers. They are very common, easy to eliminate and are not indicative of sick birds. Hope this helps
     
  4. Chicken Hugger!

    Chicken Hugger! Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2009
    Northwest Ohio
    Thank you so much for the advice!!! It will come in handy!![​IMG]
     

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