Why won't my pigeons come home?

QuoVadis

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 15, 2013
291
24
91
I have some homing pigeons I got as young babies and for a little while I kept them in my fancy pigeon loft because the loft with a trap I was still working on. Then I later put the birds in that new loft and trap trained them. After they had been trapped trained for a couple weeks I let them out to fly for absolutely a week, but they kept want to go in the loft they had been (that doesn't have a trap) so locked them in the new loft for about a month. Then recently I let them fly again and they trapped into the proper loft, so I decided to start road training. I also a wanted to do this because I felt that they were being kind of lazy - for example they spent a lot of time sitting on roofs in the neighborhood instead of flying. So I took them about .4 miles away and released them yesterday. None of them came home, and furthermore I have gone back to where I released them a couple times and every time I have seen some portion of the group I released has been sitting on roofs in that area. Why haven't they come home. They should know where it is... They have flown around my house. Do you think they didn't fly enough (because of sitting in trees and on roofs) in thier free flying to know where home is?
 

Hokum Coco

Crowing
8 Years
Dec 6, 2012
4,274
3,640
477
New Brunswick,Canada
I think you might have gave them too much of a challenge on their first release. I release in sight of the loft the first few times and make sure they have not eat in at least 12 hours on release. Then I move about a ½ mile away and keep doubling the distance as long as they make it home before me.

Then again some homing pigeons just come from the shallow end of the gene pool.

All homers are not created equal.
 

jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,265
396
Thailand
You took them too far... sorry for that.

Maybe you can go back and try to catch them?

You should start very close to the loft and gradually get further away.
 

QuoVadis

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 15, 2013
291
24
91
Hmm interesting. Everything I had read online says after free flying your first release should be about 1/2 mile from home... One from that group came back last night so I'm hoping they will start trickling in...
 

QuoVadis

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 15, 2013
291
24
91
Then again some homing pigeons just come from the shallow end of the gene pool.

All homers are not created equal.
I think it might be this as well. I have read 1/2 mile over and over again on homing pigeons websites, but I guess that is probably assuming you have good quality proven racing homers, where as mine are mostly just non-descript "homers" I picked up here or there... in fact the lone pigeon who has come home so far was the only one who was a pure Black Eagle racing homer, so I think she has better genetics to work with than the ones who haven't come home yet. I assume also racers probably want to elminate any but the best YBs so maybe they intentionally do farther first drops than a pleasure flyer. All I really want is decent homers I can have fun with, that are fast enough to avoid hawks, find home if they get driven away and that I can release from around town sometimes.
 
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QuoVadis

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 15, 2013
291
24
91
Well four more came home... so I guess most of them were able to figure it out eventually, it just took them some time. Interestingly three of the "homers" I released were actually homer crosses (homerXmonk and homerXroller??) and all three crosses came back (3/3), while so far of the full homers only four have come back out of seven(4/7). The three I am missing still are all pure homers. Interesting, that wouldn't have been my guess.
 

jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,265
396
Thailand
Glad most are back now... bet they have been having a fun adventure and in no hurry to get home.

As they are young, at the 'teenager' stage right?

Once they pair up and start nesting they will want to get back ASAP.

Maybe the pure homers are trying to get back to their home loft?

Still you have plenty of time. I have know some of my birds go for over a week but they came back in the end none the worse for wear... they were young birds too, and I suspect they got attracted to the large feral flock in the local park near my home and spent time with the city pigeons before deciding they had a better life at m place.

Wishing you good luck to get the last ones back soon.
 

QuoVadis

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 15, 2013
291
24
91
Glad most are back now... bet they have been having a fun adventure and in no hurry to get home.

As they are young, at the 'teenager' stage right?
Yeah, maybe more like young adult stage.

Once they pair up and start nesting they will want to get back ASAP.
Interestingly the oldest of the bunch (who I have had the longest, but I got her at the same age as I got the others) was actually on eggs. I didn't take her on the drop because of this, but I did let her out to free fly because the cock was an extra fantail, and since she was on eggs I wasn't worried about her going far. But she disappeared! I have no idea why. Luckily I have lots of besting pigeons in my fancy coop so I stuck her eggs under some in there.

Maybe the pure homers are trying to get back to their home loft?
I don't think so because the ones I took on the drop who didn't return were from the same place as the others and were the same age or younger than the ones who did return.

Still you have plenty of time. I have know some of my birds go for over a week but they came back in the end none the worse for wear... they were young birds too, and I suspect they got attracted to the large feral flock in the local park near my home and spent time with the city pigeons before deciding they had a better life at m place.
That's what I am hoping, but I think they'd of found their way back by now if they were going to. But the ones who came back I have been taking a block in each direction to drop to make sure they really know where home is, and tomorrow I'm going to take them back in the direction I first dropped them (but maybe not as far) and release hoping that if either of the other two are still hanging around there they will follow them home.

Wishing you good luck to get the last ones back soon.
 

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