Part 2: Releasing Team First Time
Be sure to release your team on a day where you can spend a few hours with them as you may need to be around to help your birds find their way back into your yard or even into the kit box. This could take some time. Releasing your birds for the first time is a critical moment in the training of your team. Things can go wrong very quickly and become overwhelming to you as well as the birds.
Lock up any dogs or cats and keep the kids running around to a minimum. All these things can make it more difficult to get the birds back into their kit box the first few times you release them. The more relaxed and under control the backyard is t this point, the better off all will be.
Another VERY EXTREMELY IMPORTANT thing to remember to do is only let your birds out when they are hungry. Birds that are not hungry are very difficult to coax back into the kit box until they feel darned good and ready. This might end up meaning that your birds could stay out all night, land on far off telephone poles and a neighbors roof. Here is what you can do to prepare them for release. They day before, don’t feed them. Maybe consider not feeding them for 2 days (be sure they have water). The hungrier they are, the more responsive they will be to your whistling and shaking of the feed can.
Note: be sure that you have acclimated them to RESPOND to your whistling and feed can BEFORE you let them out. You have been doing this training during the first 10 to 15 days you have been settling them when you have placed them back into the kit box.
To release them, what I will do is prop open the kit box door and sort of back away and give them a chance to slowly find their own way out. Some are braver than others and will make a move to exit faster them the others. The others will often feel emboldened by the first birds to leave and sort of a play a “follow the leader” game until most or all of them are out.
The first 2 or 3 times, I am not looking for the birds to fly at all. I just want them to go from inside the kit box to the roof and back inside and then back on the roof. After perhaps 20 to 30 minutes, I am ready to “call” them back in. I will place the feed tray into the kit box with about half of the normal ration and carefully close the kit box door and open the door to the bobs. I am mindful at all times that sudden movements and loud sounds may spook them up into the air before I really want them flying.
Because I have been working with the birds by acclimating them to my whistling and can shaking, I expect them to react to my calls to come in. I stand near the kit box and begin whistling and shaking the feed can. The birds should respond by becoming excited and anxious to go back into the kit box through the bobs. I may gently toss some seeds onto the kit box roof and see them go after it with wings outstretched. I try to coax them to the bobs. Some will find their way directly back into the kit box, some will just not have it figured out yet. You will have to keep coaxing them along until all are safely back inside. Your birds may all be back inside within just several minutes while others may take hours to find their way back.
Some you find have to be hand caught by you and gently placed though the bobs again. Just do whatever it takes to get them all back in. Remember, a young bird that is not hungry will not usually respond to your attempts to get him back into the kit box. You may have to wait until the bird is hungry enough to respond to your calls.
Repeat this process for about 2 or 3 days to be sure the birds have a handle on what it is they are to do when you give the feeding command. Now that you too have a handle on this process, it is time to go to the next level in their theirs and your training.