By Vin Blanden

The novice should be patient and be sure his or her young birds are settled properly and conversant with the local area before they begin the training flight proceedure.

Given the right training youngsters of three months are more advanced in their early education than others of five months which have been allowed to sit on the loft top too long before taking to the air

During World War two ten week old babies operated smoothly and efficiently overt Bouganville’s jungles when they delivered their messages in fast times and without loss

These birdd had received a rigid system of training each day starting at five weeks of age

They were not allowed to remain in active and in consequence were more “experienced” at eight weeks than the normal racer is at four or five months

Young birds which remain grounded, those which remain grounded, those which are more content to sit on the loft and look around for weeks, learn very little and more often than not become lost the first time they take flight

It is good management to make certain that, within reason, squeakers are active in he air as soon as possible after they are feathered to the task

After they have been exercising in one batch, not singly or in twos and threes all over the sky and “run” away t of sight to mix with other batches to return after an hour or so without signs of physical distress, they are ready for the first training toss

It is also a good idea to allow them time in the race basket to settle down and accept its confinement before releasing them away from home

Early education can be applied by placing them in the basket overnight a few times before the date of the “first” toss

In any case it is preferable that they are basketed the evening preceeding every training flight

It is not sound policy to bundle them into the basket on the day of the toss, especially for the first few flights

When he or she is satisfied that the birds have a sound knowledge of the surrounding district the novice should be able to complete the initial training flight schedule with few losses

However the fancier should not release birds in fog, rain or in strong gusty winds.

A good release site is free of wires and other overhead obstructions

Also look for any predators that may be sitting in nearby trees or on wires … and if you see any move to another release location as a precaution