Question: Hi, I am a beginner, I’ve just bought a few pairs of racing pigeons and provided them a nice loft with food, perches, nest boxes and everything they need. When I enter the loft, the birds fly allover the place, they hit the walls and the floor and hurt themselves, they are extremely scared. What can I do for them to accept me and stop being afraid?
Answer: There are a few things that will definitely calm the birds and help your relationship with them get better in time. You must also know that while you can still tame the mature birds you bought, it will be much easier with the young birds hatched in your loft.
Recipe for tame birds:
1. Never let their food stay in the loft all day long. Feed them just twice a day and while you feed them stay with them. Take away the remaining food after 10 minutes or so. The birds must be always happy to see you (the food provider) and hunger will help that. Use a calling signal everytime you are going to feed them and the birds will learn to come when you call them. Use the same call everytime (whistling, shaking corn in a cup, etc).
2. Always move slowly around the birds, never try to catch them with quick movements. Quick movements remind them of the predators and you don’t want the birds to associate you with a predator (be it a cat or a hawk).
3. The more time you spend with your birds, the better. I used to have very tame pigeons that ate from my hand or used my shoulders as perches. After I was away for a month during the winter, when I came back they were very scared. After a few days they became tame again. Be patient.