I had the race birds out around the loft tonight and they flew for 1h 20 minutes. I have introduced the one the hawk had a few weeks ago back into the team.
After the race birds trapped I took advantage of the weather to get my youngsters out for the first time! They were bred in January and February and some are massive! They are much bigger than my race cocks so knew I had left it way to late. I had been concentrating so much on the aviary being built and then the race birds that time has just gone on too fast!
I clip ringed them one by one as I placed them on the trap to the loft and within no time 8 birds were outside! I then decided to let the race birds back out to hopefully keep them close to the loft. I kept letting them out one by one until I got to 15. At this time I had 21 birds out as I had only let out 6 race birds. A quick count up I could see I was missing 4 or 5. They were out for about an hour when I tried to call them in. They had not been in the trap so it was all completely new to them. At 5 or 6 months of age this is not recommended at all! After another hour I had 10 out of the 15 young birds on the loft. They started to drop through the trap one by one. Another quick count up revelaed I was now missing 6 in total! It was starting to get dark now so I decided to let the race birds back out to do a few laps around the loft to try and attract the birds back to the loft. It proved fruitless and as we speak it is dark outside and I am missing 6! I still have another 25 in the loft who have not ventured out yet and I am now worried they will go the same way when they get their freedom! Hopefully a few will be on the loft in the morning. Why Rich didn't you let them out when they were weaned?????