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Training pigeons to the whistle

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Mizmo
(@mizmo)
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So since I have had my birds I have been whistling when feeding the birds . I got them also eating out of my hand (only one or two stay back) so I had thought I had got them trained to the whistle . So I let them out and after a hour of them getting familiar with their surroundings I whistled them in with no luck ?! What am I doing wrong . I am yet to make a landing board for them,see if that improves things.
I would feed them twice a day .a ounce a bird but now I have reduced it so that they are more eager for food.my only concern with that is .I have a neighbour who keeps pigeons and they fly onto his shed.is there anyway to stop them going that? As last thing I want is them eating from there .

Also how many birds can I fit in a 6x8 shed ?


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Andy123
(@andy123)
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I take it they all came in eventually??
Although frustrating don’t get to worried at this very early stage. You have done well so far. If they have been out and come back in you are well on the way.
It’s a little bit surprising if they actually land on the neighbours shed. They will often fly with them but don’t usually land with them. Are the neighbours birds out all day?
If fit any reason any of them do decide that they prefer your neighbours loft there’s not a lot you can do about it. Hopefully only the odd one might.
Keep using your whistle when you feed them. Give them a time to respond and come in. If they don’t come in after a few minutes, reduce this time as they respond, take away the food and make them go hungry. They will soon learn. They shouldn’t go into your neighbours for food, and to be honest, if they do they won’t be any good too you. I have my old birds out with my young birds from 2 different sections in the same loft. They all fly together and sit together on the loft but when I feed them they all go back into their own sections.

Home of the ukpigeonracing test loft.


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killer
(@killer)
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Don,t give up ,the smarter the birds the quicker they learn ,


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Murray
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Don,t give up ,the smarter the birds the quicker they learn ,

Very true, killer.

The two most important things you need to be a good pigeon fancier, or a good stockman with any sort of animals, are determination and patience.

The greater of these is patience.

Mizmo, you appear to have both of them. 😀

You will be ok. In fact you will be very good, if you keep persevering.

I am good! They aren't firing rubber bullets at me. Yet.
Welcome to Victoria, 2021.


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Murray
(@murray)
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So since I have had my birds I have been whistling when feeding the birds . I got them also eating out of my hand (only one or two stay back) so I had thought I had got them trained to the whistle . So I let them out and after a hour of them getting familiar with their surroundings I whistled them in with no luck ?! What am I doing wrong . I am yet to make a landing board for them,see if that improves things.
I would feed them twice a day .a ounce a bird but now I have reduced it so that they are more eager for food.my only concern with that is .I have a neighbour who keeps pigeons and they fly onto his shed.is there anyway to stop them going that? As last thing I want is them eating from there .

Also how many birds can I fit in a 6x8 shed ?

How many pigeons can you fit in a 6x8 shed. Well obviously you need to add the height to the equation. Shall we say 7 feet? So, we have 336 cubic feet of space.
I would think that, neatly folded, you could get 5 pigeons into a cubic foot. So the answer to your question is, you could fit at least 1680 pigeons into an 8x 6 loft. 😀

However, I suspect what you really meant was, and I expect you to agree with me here, how many pigeons will live in a 6x8 loft with no health issues, or social issues, or the risk of them flying away.

The correct answer to that is always, as few as possible. The more pigeons we keep in a small loft, the more potential there is for problems. In a 6x8 loft, in a perfect world, one would keep about 18 to 24 pigeons

However, there are solutions. If, like me, you have a small loft, you can mitigate some of the limitations. Here are a few tips.

1/ Don't keep prisoners. It is better if all your birds can free fly and poke around outside for a period every day. Yes, I know, if you have spent 1.4 million Euros or something on a stock pigeon, you don't want him eaten by a hawk, but none of us have. In fact I cant remember the last time I paid a million for a pigeon. 😆 😆

2/ Use your scraper all day, every day. In a bigger loft it is possible to use loft systems which don't need cleaning out every day. In a small loft your birds are in closer contact with droppings and under a bigger health challenge. Enjoy the time you spend cleaning your loft. You will gain more trust from your pigeons from talking very quietly to your pigeons while scraping and sweeping than at any other time. 😀

3/ This one is a bit more serious.

If you find that you are getting antibiotics and canker treatments from the Vet, not periodically, but all the time, because your pigeons are getting sick, you have a problem.

There are, almost certainly, one of two reasons.

You have too many pigeons in your shed, and stress is making them sick. More pigeons than perches. Or no safe place for a pair to nest. or,

Your shed may not be a healthy environment. Your loft may have inadequate or wrong ventilation. Or it simply may be damp. A serious look at the loft is needed.

So you see, Mizmo, there is no set number of pigeons you can 'fit' in a shed. You will find a very healthy loft will house a larger number of very healthy pigeons than a less healthy one.

I am good! They aren't firing rubber bullets at me. Yet.
Welcome to Victoria, 2021.


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Buster121
(@buster121)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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Good info there Murray and true

Sadie's Loft's, home of great birds, just a poor loft manager


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Andy123
(@andy123)
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Posts: 12534
 

I agree with Murray. What I would always suggest is only have perches or nest boxes on the one, back, wall. This then stops you putting perches up all over the place and filling them just because you can.
In a 6x8, assuming the back wall is 8ft, you could fit in 4 rows of 4 2ft next boxes, giving room for 16 pairs. With box perches 10”x10” you could get 45 or 54 perches depending how low to the floor you go. I wouldn’t look to fill every perch though. The young bird loft that I have just done is 8x6 and has 46 perches in it. I have 28 youngsters in there and wouldn’t look to put to many more in there. In fact I won’t be putting anymore in there this year.
You could have a mixture of nest boxes and perches but I would still only have them on the one wall.
I hear a lot of people saying you can only keep this number or that number but in reality most keep more than they should. As Murray says the most important thing is the loft needs to be healthy clean and dry.

Home of the ukpigeonracing test loft.


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Mizmo
(@mizmo)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 287
Topic starter  

I take it they all came in eventually??
Although frustrating don’t get to worried at this very early stage. You have done well so far. If they have been out and come back in you are well on the way.
It’s a little bit surprising if they actually land on the neighbours shed. They will often fly with them but don’t usually land with them. Are the neighbours birds out all day?
If fit any reason any of them do decide that they prefer your neighbours loft there’s not a lot you can do about it. Hopefully only the odd one might.
Keep using your whistle when you feed them. Give them a time to respond and come in. If they don’t come in after a few minutes, reduce this time as they respond, take away the food and make them go hungry. They will soon learn. They shouldn’t go into your neighbours for food, and to be honest, if they do they won’t be any good too you. I have my old birds out with my young birds from 2 different sections in the same loft. They all fly together and sit together on the loft but when I feed them they all go back into their own sections.

Yes they all came back (I have 4/5 that tend do go theres whilst the others stay back) the neighbours pigeons are out most the time .so there is no way of stopping that ?? How long should they be trained to the whistle and am I right in thinking older birds learn faster ? I say this as I had pigeons many years ago and I had them flying to me eating out of my hand by the whistle-- attachment is not available --


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Mizmo
(@mizmo)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 287
Topic starter  

So since I have had my birds I have been whistling when feeding the birds . I got them also eating out of my hand (only one or two stay back) so I had thought I had got them trained to the whistle . So I let them out and after a hour of them getting familiar with their surroundings I whistled them in with no luck ?! What am I doing wrong . I am yet to make a landing board for them,see if that improves things.
I would feed them twice a day .a ounce a bird but now I have reduced it so that they are more eager for food.my only concern with that is .I have a neighbour who keeps pigeons and they fly onto his shed.is there anyway to stop them going that? As last thing I want is them eating from there .

Also how many birds can I fit in a 6x8 shed ?

How many pigeons can you fit in a 6x8 shed. Well obviously you need to add the height to the equation. Shall we say 7 feet? So, we have 336 cubic feet of space.
I would think that, neatly folded, you could get 5 pigeons into a cubic foot. So the answer to your question is, you could fit at least 1680 pigeons into an 8x 6 loft. 😀

However, I suspect what you really meant was, and I expect you to agree with me here, how many pigeons will live in a 6x8 loft with no health issues, or social issues, or the risk of them flying away.

The correct answer to that is always, as few as possible. The more pigeons we keep in a small loft, the more potential there is for problems. In a 6x8 loft, in a perfect world, one would keep about 18 to 24 pigeons

However, there are solutions. If, like me, you have a small loft, you can mitigate some of the limitations. Here are a few tips.

1/ Don't keep prisoners. It is better if all your birds can free fly and poke around outside for a period every day. Yes, I know, if you have spent 1.4 million Euros or something on a stock pigeon, you don't want him eaten by a hawk, but none of us have. In fact I cant remember the last time I paid a million for a pigeon. 😆 😆

2/ Use your scraper all day, every day. In a bigger loft it is possible to use loft systems which don't need cleaning out every day. In a small loft your birds are in closer contact with droppings and under a bigger health challenge. Enjoy the time you spend cleaning your loft. You will gain more trust from your pigeons from talking very quietly to your pigeons while scraping and sweeping than at any other time. 😀

3/ This one is a bit more serious.

If you find that you are getting antibiotics and canker treatments from the Vet, not periodically, but all the time, because your pigeons are getting sick, you have a problem.

There are, almost certainly, one of two reasons.

You have too many pigeons in your shed, and stress is making them sick. More pigeons than perches. Or no safe place for a pair to nest. or,

Your shed may not be a healthy environment. Your loft may have inadequate or wrong ventilation. Or it simply may be damp. A serious look at the loft is needed.

So you see, Mizmo, there is no set number of pigeons you can 'fit' in a shed. You will find a very healthy loft will house a larger number of very healthy pigeons than a less healthy one.

Lol had me excited for a second and was about to order the thousound birds .what is a prisoner and why is it imprisoned? All my brids are going to be flying (hopefully) I will stick to 18 as that seems like a nice number .I clean the loft once a day and will hover every week.


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Mizmo
(@mizmo)
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Topic starter  

I agree with Murray. What I would always suggest is only have perches or nest boxes on the one, back, wall. This then stops you putting perches up all over the place and filling them just because you can.
In a 6x8, assuming the back wall is 8ft, you could fit in 4 rows of 4 2ft next boxes, giving room for 16 pairs. With box perches 10”x10” you could get 45 or 54 perches depending how low to the floor you go. I wouldn’t look to fill every perch though. The young bird loft that I have just done is 8x6 and has 46 perches in it. I have 28 youngsters in there and wouldn’t look to put to many more in there. In fact I won’t be putting anymore in there this year.
You could have a mixture of nest boxes and perches but I would still only have them on the one wall.
I hear a lot of people saying you can only keep this number or that number but in reality most keep more than they should. As Murray says the most important thing is the loft needs to be healthy clean and dry.

I think the height is just over 6ft .where can I purchase nest boxes .as I have some but they are not ideal for optimal space use . For those with a 6x8 can I see a picture of perches and nest boxes please


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Andy123
(@andy123)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 12534
 

I take it they all came in eventually??
Although frustrating don’t get to worried at this very early stage. You have done well so far. If they have been out and come back in you are well on the way.
It’s a little bit surprising if they actually land on the neighbours shed. They will often fly with them but don’t usually land with them. Are the neighbours birds out all day?
If fit any reason any of them do decide that they prefer your neighbours loft there’s not a lot you can do about it. Hopefully only the odd one might.
Keep using your whistle when you feed them. Give them a time to respond and come in. If they don’t come in after a few minutes, reduce this time as they respond, take away the food and make them go hungry. They will soon learn. They shouldn’t go into your neighbours for food, and to be honest, if they do they won’t be any good too you. I have my old birds out with my young birds from 2 different sections in the same loft. They all fly together and sit together on the loft but when I feed them they all go back into their own sections.

Yes they all came back (I have 4/5 that tend do go theres whilst the others stay back) the neighbours pigeons are out most the time .so there is no way of stopping that ?? How long should they be trained to the whistle and am I right in thinking older birds learn faster ? I say this as I had pigeons many years ago and I had them flying to me eating out of my hand by the whistle

I would keep using the whistle. Whenever I feed my birds even when they are in the loft I blow the whistle, only a couple of times. I do it with the old birds as well especially when they are feeding youngsters in the nest. I think by doing this the youngsters soon learn that when they hear the whistle they are about to get fed.

Home of the ukpigeonracing test loft.


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Andy123
(@andy123)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 12534
 

I agree with Murray. What I would always suggest is only have perches or nest boxes on the one, back, wall. This then stops you putting perches up all over the place and filling them just because you can.
In a 6x8, assuming the back wall is 8ft, you could fit in 4 rows of 4 2ft next boxes, giving room for 16 pairs. With box perches 10”x10” you could get 45 or 54 perches depending how low to the floor you go. I wouldn’t look to fill every perch though. The young bird loft that I have just done is 8x6 and has 46 perches in it. I have 28 youngsters in there and wouldn’t look to put to many more in there. In fact I won’t be putting anymore in there this year.
You could have a mixture of nest boxes and perches but I would still only have them on the one wall.
I hear a lot of people saying you can only keep this number or that number but in reality most keep more than they should. As Murray says the most important thing is the loft needs to be healthy clean and dry.

I think the height is just over 6ft .where can I purchase nest boxes .as I have some but they are not ideal for optimal space use . For those with a 6x8 can I see a picture of perches and nest boxes please

Make your own Mizmo, not to difficult. You can buy sets from the likes of Pallets or Boddy & Ridewood but they are quite expensive.

Home of the ukpigeonracing test loft.


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Mizmo
(@mizmo)
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Topic starter  

Andy ,I have seen some for around £60-80 I dont want to build nothing as of yet as it's too cold plus I still need to build my trap. I was thinking of buying one and that way when I love sheds eventually can transfer it easily .
I have seen some youtube videos and when they whistle the birds rush in . I have noticed two birds who only go inside to look for food whilst the normal roof squad are only to be seen on someone elses roof 🙄

Can I have a feeding /flying schedule please.
I am getting some more youngsters and I dont want these hooligans to pass on their bad habits . I was thinking about keeping them hungry for the whole day and then feeding them the next or is that a bad idea ?? Right now I take them out, let them do whatever for a hour then try calling them in for food (maybe another hour) this is repeated twice one mor ing and once when I clean the loft in the evening


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Andy123
(@andy123)
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Joined: 5 years ago
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If you want to buy a set of nest boxes that’s fine. Will make things easier for you.
I would take the video YouTube clips with a pinch of salt. Anyone can make their trapping look good if they are hungry enough and I wonder how many times they tried before getting a clip worth showing.
Are you trapping through the open door? What happens with the ones that do come in and feed after they have fed. This is where you need a way of stopping the ones that have come in from going back out.
Keep your routine of letting them out twice a day. In the morning give them their hour then call them in. Feed the ones that come straight in. Any that don’t come in quickly don’t feed them. The same in the evenings. They will soon learn that if they don’t come in when called they go hungry. Only call them with your whistle 2 or 3 times then stop. Don’t keep trying to get the ones in that don’t respond by whistling and putting more food down. I would never recommend keeping birds hungry just to trap them quickly. They are growing birds and if fit and healthy they won’t over eat and will be hungry enough by their next feed.

Home of the ukpigeonracing test loft.


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Murray
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If you want to buy a set of nest boxes that’s fine. Will make things easier for you.
I would take the video YouTube clips with a pinch of salt. Anyone can make their trapping look good if they are hungry enough and I wonder how many times they tried before getting a clip worth showing.
Are you trapping through the open door? What happens with the ones that do come in and feed after they have fed. This is where you need a way of stopping the ones that have come in from going back out.
Keep your routine of letting them out twice a day. In the morning give them their hour then call them in. Feed the ones that come straight in. Any that don’t come in quickly don’t feed them. The same in the evenings. They will soon learn that if they don’t come in when called they go hungry. Only call them with your whistle 2 or 3 times then stop. Don’t keep trying to get the ones in that don’t respond by whistling and putting more food down. I would never recommend keeping birds hungry just to trap them quickly. They are growing birds and if fit and healthy they won’t over eat and will be hungry enough by their next feed.

Very true.

Good advise, Andy.

I am good! They aren't firing rubber bullets at me. Yet.
Welcome to Victoria, 2021.


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