Flag Training Racing Pigeons
Flag training is used to keep the racing pigeons loft flying beyond loft flying that they are motivated to do. Depending on what system you are racing under birds are sometimes motivated to return to the nest or their mate. This will decrease the amount of time they spend loft flying. The only two ways to increase flying time is to road train them or to use flag training.
Flag training is the use of a flag on a stick. Yes, this is very high tech stuff (joking). I use an 8 ft green garden stake with a large red piece of cloth attached to the end. When the racing pigeons are first introduced to the system each time they want to come down and land, the flat is raised into the air which spooks them into flying again. After a few days of this the flag pole can be posted in front of the landing board the the birds will stay in the air until the flag is removed.
A positive way to enforce this is when the flat is removed the birds are immediately called in and fed. They will later know when the flag is down it’s dinner time. The call will almost not be necessary as the flag will become a form of “the call”.
Negatives of this training technique is that if birds are tired or if they become too wise, they will land on near by structures or even try to land in a field. If you keep the edge of their hunger too sharp this is especially true.
Positives are that you maximize the amount of actual exercise time for time spent loft flying. Also most hawk attacks occur when birds are out loft flying and are down on the ground where the hawk will ambush them. Flag training can reduce the amount of time they are at risk. Beware however, hawks get wise too and are known to attempt to hit birds in the air if they are desperate enough.
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