There are varying thoughts on the best age to wean the babies. Some like to get them away as soon as they are feathered under the wing, others like to give them a bit longer.
I have a new method. Auto weaning.
I built the little stock shed behind the loft last year, it has 6 boxes in it, and works well.
The first round of babies have come out, and it has been amusing to watch. They start exploring all around the place when they can barely flap up to the box, then they are wandering in and out of the loft. After a few days they are flying onto the roof and one by one move into the loft.
All without me touching them.
There's a bunch of them all on the perches learning to have me run the scraper under them and eat sweeties off the perch 😊
I am good! They aren't firing rubber bullets at me. Yet.
Welcome to Victoria, 2021.
I have done this in different ways. The biggest problem with auto weaning is that they can end up getting scalped if they either go into a wrong box or unable to get away from aggressive birds. I have had the odd ones this year that have been auto weaned and haven’t had a problem though. Usually though I will wean at around 24 days. I did leave the ones with the stock birds a bit longer and weaned them when they started coming out of the boxes. When I raced widowhood all the youngsters being reared by the widowhood cocks would be weaned together. This would mean that the majority would be 21 days old. Some would be slightly younger and some slightly older. I have weaned them as young as 18 days without any ill effect.
I wean mine into the young bird loft beside the old bird loft. As I race natural they are all aloud out to exercise together. I do get the odd youngsters going into the old bird loft as they get older. I don’t worry about that and if room I just leave them. I have 8 youngsters in with old birds at present. I do have one yearling hen that does prefer the young bird loft and is on eggs on the floor in there paired to a young cock.
I will be separating them soon. The cocks will all be in the old bird loft with the nest boxes and the hens will go into the young bird loft.
Home of the ukpigeonracing test loft.
i go by feathers under the wing and length of the tail
I did wean the youngsters at 24 to 26 days old, making sure they were eating and drinking. In their box before being moved to youngster section.