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Old 24-04-2013, 11:00 AM
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Default Going down to moult...

Start of many 'naive questions'... I've tried to research these answers but not found complete answers...

1. I know this is a well recognized process about this time of year, BOP's go into a moult... birds lose feathers, generally in a balanced way, to enable them to continue to be able to fly...
Why do they need peace during this period?
How much should you fly them? Thought it was essential to keep them exercised...

On another thread a member was surprised at a chap looking to buy a hawk at this time - when birds were all going down to moult.... why should that preclude the chap getting a hawk just now....

Thanks
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Old 24-04-2013, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: Going down to moult...

Birds moult in spring and summer... to train from scratch you have to reduce weight which isnt good for growing feathers. so its not usual or ideal for people to get a 'new' bird at this time.

Flying through the moult with a trained bird is done by many people. for fun, or shows. the birds have to be trust worthy and flown at their high flying weights if you wish them to moult well. its debated weather this helps hunting fitness in the hunting season. some birds need to be left alone for the moult as stress also damages feathers. it depends on the bird as to how stressed it might be if handled and flown etc

Hunting through the moult can physically be done, but morally it shouldnt be done as the quarry is breeding and you are going to kill a mother with young and then young starve etc etc.
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Old 24-04-2013, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Going down to moult...

Sudden stress to a moulting bird can cause weak points on growing feathers called "stress marks".
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Old 24-04-2013, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Going down to moult...

Look out of youre window in the next month or two, you will see blackbirds in rag order still able to fly but pretty scruffy, you can fly the birds through the moult without ill effect, at the end of the day most country fairs etc with dissplays are in the summer months, i think at the end of the day for a serious hunter me for example i hunt rabbits, cover is up and chances of success down, if a bird catches a young rabbit that it can carry up a tree for example you are camping out till the bird is hungry again, i put the bird away for the moult, its a break for me and a chance to take stock, i have nice sized avieries and feed a good quality diet the bird gets a break and spoilt for a bit, has a good moult and is feather perfect come autumn, it isnt necessary to put the bird away you can pull or swing lures etc, game birds are out of season ground game rabbits etc have too much cover and young are easilly carried, it makes sence for hunting birds to be put away to moult, wild birds work harder to spite the moult they have young to rear, but captive and wild birds are two totaly differant species, you do what you think is best, i know lads that dont hunt much but fly the birds to lures right through the summer months and have daily contact with them, have a look at what youre doing and what you want to achieve and then decide what you want to do through the summer there are no hard and fast rules, best wishes mate.
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Old 24-04-2013, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Going down to moult...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanati View Post
birds moult in spring and summer... to train from scratch you have to reduce weight which isnt good for growing feathers. so its not usual or ideal for people to get a 'new' bird at this time.

flying through the moult with a trained bird is done by many people. for fun, or shows. the birds have to be trust worthy and flown at their high flying weights if you wish them to moult well. its debated weather this helps hunting fitness in the hunting season. some birds need to be left alone for the moult as stress also damages feathers. it depends on the bird as to how stressed it might be if handled and flown etc

Hunting through the moult can physically be done, but morally it shouldnt be done as the quarry is breeding and you are going to kill a mother with young and then young starve etc etc.
----
That's as clear an explanation as I have come across... So its also down to the individual birds demeanour.... Thanks Kanati
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Old 24-04-2013, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: Going down to moult...

As has been said the diet is a strong point, but you can feed small amounts of high nutrition rats for instance and still fly and moult at the same time, the birds condition is paramount, a bird can be hungry but in fine condition because it has all the nutriants required to cope, in this way you can have a bird fly to a lure cos it wants a crop full but it's internal organs are in good shape cos it's been fed high nutrition so it will not get scared of starvation which will then cause stress and problems with plumage, i have never had a problem with plumage but then i never feed chicks, i have fed chicks in the past but by and large the bird is fed quarry species whole or cut up, and i alternate high nutrition to low nutrition, for the latter i use washed rabbit which low in everything bso you can feed loads without putting the bird over the top nutritionaly every other or third day depending on the birds reaction it gets high nutrition, rat, quail, guiney pig etc, the proportion you feed can only be gauged with experiance of youre perticular bird, some birds take next to nothing to make them un responsive, some are pure glutens and will take everything you offer and still fly to a lure for a mouthfull.
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Old 24-04-2013, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Going down to moult...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiff View Post
look out of youre window in the next month or two, you will see blackbirds in rag order still able to fly but pretty scruffy, you can fly the birds through the moult without ill effect, at the end of the day most country fairs etc with dissplays are in the summer months, i think at the end of the day for a serious hunter me for example i hunt rabbits, cover is up and chances of success down, if a bird catches a young rabbit that it can carry up a tree for example you are camping out till the bird is hungry again, i put the bird away for the moult, its a break for me and a chance to take stock, i have nice sized avieries and feed a good quality diet the bird gets a break and spoilt for a bit, has a good moult and is feather perfect come autumn, it isnt necessary to put the bird away you can pull or swing lures etc, game birds are out of season ground game rabbits etc have too much cover and young are easilly carried, it makes sence for hunting birds to be put away to moult, wild birds work harder to spite the moult they have young to rear, but captive and wild birds are two totaly differant species, you do what you think is best, i know lads that dont hunt much but fly the birds to lures right through the summer months and have daily contact with them, have a look at what youre doing and what you want to achieve and then decide what you want to do through the summer there are no hard and fast rules, best wishes mate.
Jiff, I like your approach, think it's where I will stand... as long as I can - after assessing birds condition and state of rest/stress, just keep up moderate exercise and - importantly, association with me - by light lure work/flying to glove etc...

Thanks for your input!!

KR
Norrie

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeighJauncey View Post
Sudden stress to a moulting bird can cause weak points on growing feathers called "stress marks".
And as a newby, don't want to be have endless imping through the hunting season

Amazing how stress can affect so much... REALLY essential to keep birds at ease, fed well, minimal disturbance and to a routine during this time... Trusting a little flying to glove and light lure work would be also acceptable.... though weight might be an issue if bird isn't to go perch in a tree being so well fed... maybe creance flights might be best....

Just my thoughts :p

KR

Norrie
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Old 24-04-2013, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Going down to moult...

It would be crazy for beginner with his first Harris hawk going through its first moult to try and fly the bird through the summer. He would not yet have the skill to fly the bird in high condition, nor would he understand the risks in doing so. Although the beginner often thinks they do.

The sensible approach would be to rest the bird in a freeloft pen with plenty of good food. And retrain once the moult is complete.

As for buying a second hand bird at this time of year. As said it would be a mistake to train a new bird during a moult, which means it could not be flown till October, whereas a fresh young untouched bird would be in the air sooner, and will not have the 'issues' so common with second hand Harris's.
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Old 24-04-2013, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Going down to moult...

It amazes me how manny people refer to stress, if you tame and train the bird properly food is our only control, however you don't want to starve a bird into complying, stress should never be an issue, as a young bird it is tamed to accept you as the food provider, then if you get the job right it accepts you as transport to oppertunities to hunt and feed itself, the bird should never be stressed at any point less you starve it, an easy mistake to make when you cant get youre own way, how manny posts on here quote drop it's weight! thousands, if the bird wanders off cos it's hungry and you don't provide oppertunities for it to feed itself, you drop it's weight next time out it's going to ****** off and look harder for itself, stress should never be an issue with captive birds unless the owner creates it, the bird has to trust you 100% if it doesnt and becomes hungry then it will stress and become scared of starvation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rampling View Post
It would be crazy for beginner with his first Harris hawk going through its first moult to try and fly the bird through the summer. He would not yet have the skill to fly the bird in high condition, nor would he understand the risks in doing so. Although the beginner often thinks they do.

The sensible approach would be to rest the bird in a freeloft pen with plenty of good food. And retrain once the moult is complete.

And in all honnesty dave most youngbirds at first moult dont realy know whats going on, mistakes are made in the initial process and relationships are not created and that all important trust isnt gained, it would be too easy to man a young bird through the moult and create a neucance for next season.
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Old 24-04-2013, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Going down to moult...

There are many kinds of stress and many things can cause it. I wouldn't lump all stresses together and blame poor manning and lack of food. I agree this will be the most common but it could be argued that putting a Harris hawk in a seclusion aviary for 5months could cause a degree stress. (Just for arguments sake, because its interesting)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiff View Post
it amazes me how manny people refer to stress, if you tame and train the bird properly food is our only control, however you don't want to starve a bird into complying, stress should never be an issue, as a young bird it is tamed to accept you as the food provider, then if you get the job right it accepts you as transport to oppertunities to hunt and feed itself, the bird should never be stressed at any point less you starve it, an easy mistake to make when you cant get youre own way, how manny posts on here quote drop it's weight! thousands, if the bird wanders off cos it's hungry and you don't provide oppertunities for it to feed itself, you drop it's weight next time out it's going to ****** off and look harder for itself, stress should never be an issue with captive birds unless the owner creates it, the bird has to trust you 100% if it doesnt and becomes hungry then it will stress and become scared of starvation.




and in all honnesty dave most youngbirds at first moult dont realy know whats going on, mistakes are made in the initial process and relationships are not created and that all important trust isnt gained, it would be too easy to man a young bird through the moult and create a neucance for next season.
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