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buster121
(@buster121)
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30/03/2020 3:43 pm  

That top pic looks a nice well bred bird, the 2 on floor for the sake of another couple weeks would leave them there, as for the open lofts will not hurt them to stay in for few days and just let out when you are there and get straight back in make sure hungry though, the pile of feathers is the give away on that one possibly cat, but yes some could have flew off


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Trevor Hodges
(@trench)
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30/03/2020 11:40 pm  

Well bit of a setback over the last 2 weeks. First ever bird I'd bred was a very smart grey bar Louella bird, had been flying around with his cock and now disappeared. Second chick was one of the whites, and he's a definite gonner as theres a pile of feathers near the fence line. There's another white chick that was a Logan/local dove mating, the dove hen has gone leaving the cock alone and he's not so interested, and that birds got splay legs. That chick was on the floor when I came in this morning and has had his head severely pecked , I suspect by the greys who are nesting on the floor.

So thoroughly peed off!

I think I'm going to have to move away from open loft, it works for my life and work, but just too many missing birds. Whether they are clearing off or getting hit by predators who knows but result is the same. How do I get them retrained to fly and then whistle in for food. I kept them all in yesterday and started to re-associate whistle to food, was thinking of giving them 3 days of this and then letting them out hungry and hoping they would come in for whistle. Do I need more time to rebuild that association?

I'm thinking of keeping my only two decent birds left the Louella greys prisoner until they've had 3 rounds just to try and build up a young bird stock. I feel like the loft is on the edge of wipeout the whole time.

This was the first bird, now gone thought it looked pretty good.

no 1.jpg

And these are the Louella chicks on the floor

louella chicks.jpg

Do you think they are old enough just to move them and the parents to a separate section without them deserting them?

Sorry to hear you have had a run of bad luck mate and are having so many losses, it is tough when you are just trying to get started and can be very demoralizing. As Andy says it does sound like a Sparrow hawk problem but as Buster says could also be a cat. If it is the Sparrow hawk then you should get some respite for a while now, I do generally lose a few each year which is why I now don't breed until March as by the time the youngsters are flying the hawk should be on her nest. I'm on open loft and if I do have a hit then I just keep them in for a few days then open the loft again. You shouldn't have a problem getting them back into a flying and feeding routine though and that is easier this time of year now the days are getting longer, as Buster says just make sure they are hungry and any that don't come straight in go hungry. Unfortunately the youngster with splayed legs probably won't be any good now mate so you might have to make a difficult decision to make. You should be able to move those youngsters ok if you need to. If you have the space it would probably be a good idea to keep the louella pair in until you have a few more youngsters off them.
Keep smiling and keep the faith mate you are doing well and starting up from scratch can be tough so hang on in there.
All the best.


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Paul
 Paul
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31/03/2020 12:00 am  

I used to fly open loft too but with a small team of birds i only needed to lose 2 or 3 to preditors and i lost half my team, at the minute i let mine out and keep an eye on them and after 10 - 15 minutes whistle them in for their food.
I do wonder if flying open loft the birds get more aware of preditors and get better at avoiding being caught.


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Trevor Hodges
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31/03/2020 12:02 am  

I used to fly open loft too but with a small team of birds i only needed to lose 2 or 3 to preditors and i lost half my team, at the minute i let mine out and keep an eye on them and after 10 - 15 minutes whistle them in for their food.
I do wonder if flying open loft the birds get more aware of preditors and get better at avoiding being caught.

I think they do mate but you have to accept that you will almost certainly lose a few every year.


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Saul
 Saul
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27/05/2020 11:06 am  

Things seem to be looking up. Have 3 chicks weaned and in my starter kit box style loft, and her indoors said the other day "I quite like having the birds around" 👍 so I now have approval to take down the sad old converted summerhouse and put up an 12x6ft loft 😁😁😁😁 

I'm thinking something like this

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/202833425910  

But with door on the long side. I might be able to get 3 sections in there which would be handy.


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Muzza
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27/05/2020 11:26 am  

Yes!

 

That is a huge development. Wink  

Regards

Murray.


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buster121
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27/05/2020 2:11 pm  

Well done on all the positives mate, that loft is a good one


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Saul
 Saul
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27/05/2020 5:59 pm  

@buster121 I wont be buying one but making one a bit like it hopefully

loft

 How would you divide up the internal 12' by 6 ft, I had thought a section on the left for young birds, then two sections about 6 by 3 ft on the right with a sliding door for hens / cocks, and the back of the entrance corridor if you like for breeding boxes. I think I'd like to stop at 20 birds ish for now. Looking at it maybe less space needed on the YB side?

loft floorplan

 

This post was modified 7 days ago by Saul

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Andy123
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27/05/2020 8:29 pm  

The plans look good Saul. Why were you thinking of having 2 old bird sections? What racing system are you planning on doing? 


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buster121
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27/05/2020 8:33 pm  

Why not just 3 x 4' sections or 2 x 4'6'' and a 3'


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Trevor Hodges
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27/05/2020 9:00 pm  

Brilliant Saul, glad it's all going well for you mate and good go hear you have the wife's blessing. Makes all the difference that, my wife originally agreed I could have half a dozen 🤠👍 When the numbers got up to around 20 I built the new loft, I then said I would stop at 30 🤔🤔 I now have 68 🤣😂👍 

For the number you want I would have a section for youngsters on the left of the door which can house your hens over the winter if required. I'd have a small storage section in the middle where the door is and a bigger section to the right with nest boxes in for your old birds and the cocks during the winter if required. 

Good luck with it mate and keep enjoying the birds 🤠👍

 


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Saul
 Saul
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28/05/2020 10:33 pm  

@andy123

No idea Andy, I've yet to dip my toe in the water of racing. This first year has been just about getting some sort of clue on how to keep the birds coming home and alive and now breeding. And my goodness don't they breed, so I just figured a section to keep the cocks and hens apart, but you also need to let the youngsters out separately at the start. 

I bought 6 from Louella of which I have a breeding pair left, supposed to be sprint middle, and 6 "logans"  which I think may be distance, they may well be logans but they were from a pretty shabby setup of which I have 3 adult birds left so I was down to 5 from 12. I know of 2 deaths, but the other missing 5 are just never came home birds. Having got to such low numbers I thought I was just going to get wiped out, so its fantastic for me to get to 3 breeding pairs of adults and 6 youngsters and a pair sat on eggs, so a potential 14.

I'm now feeling I can start to train them again soon because a few losses won't wipe me out. I have no idea if these birds will home from any appreciable distance never mind race, but thats the next step. I guess try and get a cheap ETS and see how the go. I'm quite expecting I have an assorted bag of spanners, but at least Ive learnt some stuff on looking after spanners!


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Andy123
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28/05/2020 10:44 pm  

Your doing well Saul. I would just have 2 sections in the loft your proposing. One for the young birds and one for old birds. Get yourself some pot eggs though once you have bred all you want. Then later you can split them up using the old bird section for the cocks and the young bird section for the hens as Trev said. Just keep the birds on natural for now. 


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Trevor Hodges
(@trench)
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28/05/2020 11:02 pm  
Posted by: @saul

@andy123

No idea Andy, I've yet to dip my toe in the water of racing. This first year has been just about getting some sort of clue on how to keep the birds coming home and alive and now breeding. And my goodness don't they breed, so I just figured a section to keep the cocks and hens apart, but you also need to let the youngsters out separately at the start. 

I bought 6 from Louella of which I have a breeding pair left, supposed to be sprint middle, and 6 "logans"  which I think may be distance, they may well be logans but they were from a pretty shabby setup of which I have 3 adult birds left so I was down to 5 from 12. I know of 2 deaths, but the other missing 5 are just never came home birds. Having got to such low numbers I thought I was just going to get wiped out, so its fantastic for me to get to 3 breeding pairs of adults and 6 youngsters and a pair sat on eggs, so a potential 14.

I'm now feeling I can start to train them again soon because a few losses won't wipe me out. I have no idea if these birds will home from any appreciable distance never mind race, but thats the next step. I guess try and get a cheap ETS and see how the go. I'm quite expecting I have an assorted bag of spanners, but at least Ive learnt some stuff on looking after spanners!

You are doing a sterling job Saul and have done well to keep the enthusiasm considering some of the set backs you have had. Keeping youngsters seperate from the old birds is purely a matter of choice, yes it is easier to control the youngsters and get them into your routine but it's not a necessity. I always used to keep mine separate but since starting up again all mine are in together, I just let the youngsters wean themselves and get on with it. As for your bag of spanners most of us started up that way with birds given to us by other fanciers, you won't know what you have until you try them out and with good selective breeding you can still end up with a bag of highly polished spanners 🤠👍

Keep the faith and enthusiasm going mate, all the best. 


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Muzza
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29/05/2020 8:51 am  

A sterling job!

It has been a long time since I heard that.

I think it was when I was an apprentice jockey in the early 70's. I won a race on a horse owned by one of the committee men of the Canterbury Jockey Club, the 'CJC', as it is known. All the old boys of all the best colonial schools get to be on the committee.

Anyway, this thing won, and they had a bit of a go at it, so they got a good quid out of it.

Latter on the owner, having been well congratulated in the owner's bar, staggered into the jockey's room, pushed a tenner into my hand and said, 'That's for you, sonny, it was a sterling job! "

A bloody tenner! Sulky  

Regards

Murray.


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