Settling Young Tipplers Training To Darkness

by D.A.Fellows, Pigeon Review, May 1983 [For PDF version Click Here]

At five to six weeks old, I put my squeakers on top of the trap; it is about twelve to fourteen feet off the ground. They sit there all day with the droppers moving around them. As they get stronger I then bring them inside of the trap with a couple of placid droppers. At eight to ten weeks old, they are coming under the discipline of the droppers inside the trap. When I think they are ready, I then take the corn feed away for three or four days, if not satisfied. Then I get up about 3:30am to 4:00am to start breaking them one at a time. The reason for this is because I’m in the middle of a lot of Tumbler flyers. After getting them round one at a time, I increase the time by four to eight minutes. My youngsters are in and out of the trap all day, after the third day they should start kitting up. Then I increase the flying time by thirty minutes. The youngsters are then flown twice daily for 5-6 days getting them up to 2 ½ hours each time. If successful, I train every other day for 4 to 6 hours. Then when the birds are coming to the trap and getting good corn feed training is twice per week.

First of all, the lights on the shed (loft) should be well placed so that there aren’t any shadows; it takes a bit of sorting out. But it can be done. The first stage is then for the droppers. Fix a lamp over your trap then ½ an hour before darkness put out your droppers inside the trap and get your light on. When the droppers are settled down throw a little corn in and make them run after it. Then after one or two nights when really hungry play with them on top of the shed, after that it’s all practice and patience. Then we come to the Tipplers. Put your Tipplers out later in the day and have them flying to the sunset, go gently with the birds and have the lights on in the daylight at first, so as the daylight fades you drop your birds. Continue this method at the same time, always feed your birds under the lights after coming in. You will find that the birds will fly longer in the darkness as they get more practice. Then when you think the birds have had enough, you then put on the lights and the droppers out.