Q: I have to resettle my young bird team about 4 miles north of my present location.They've been to 10 miles before I poxed them and shut them up for about three weeks. The first race is 9/18 and I can't move them to the new location until 8/15 or so. What would be the best way to get them use to the new location in time to fly the first races or should I wait and fly them later in the series?
There are not too many people who have experience with resettling birds. I have gone through the process twice. The first time I moved my birds -- or I should say I tried to move my birds -- was in 1965 in the fall after the young bird season. This was from Chicago to 40 miles north. I would say it was not worthwhile -- lots of aggravation and the resettled birds never really felt at home and therefore did not perform.
In 1973 I moved again, this time only 3 miles north. I decided not to go through the hassle and lack of success by resettling birds again. After being locked up all winter in the new location, quite accidentally some of the birds got out and went back to my old home. They slept out overnight on the roof of the old loft. The next morning they came back to the new loft by ones and twos. Now they had a reason to come back -- they were all sitting on eggs and youngsters. This team was also a group of birds that I interacted with a lot. Three weeks later, these same birds were 2nd and 3rd Concourse against about 1500 birds. So this time we were quite successful with the resettled birds.
In Florida, about 7 or 8 years ago,a fellow flying under the name Broadway Loft moved his birds and loft 3 weeks before the first race. And guess what -- he won the first race. However, he located right on the line of flight and short, up on a hill where the birds come right over on race day. Now these birds and loft were moved quite a ways and he was also one of the best handlers until he died a few years later.
So you see, it can be done, but if you are serious about setting up a good team for the future, I would go slower. Motivation and the interaction between the birds and the handler play a major role. Good luck --