I am not an expert by any means. In my opinion there are no experts. We all are constantly learning from our mistakes and expanding our experiance.
Here I will try to share with you what I have learned through many years of enjoying these beautiful Tumblers.
In general, the birds MUST be kept healthy. Without good health, no matter how good your birds are and how much time you spend on them, you will have no success and enjoyment.
Here are some pointers to maintain a healthy Loft and to keep the stress down:
1. Well ventilated Loft
2. Face your Loft toward South if possible to get the best of Sun in all 4 seasons
3. Well built Loft to keep Vermin out
4. Provide fresh water and clean well ballanced diet
5. Keep your Loft clean at all times
6. Do not overcrowd
7. Stay shy of introducing new birds into your loft as much as possible
8. Do not over medicate. In case of trouble, find the problem and then medicate
9. Keep your birds clean of worms and feather mites
10. Be cool and calm around your birds and handle them with care
One the most important aspect of this sport is to know how to breed out what we desire from our birds. Here are some pointers to consider before selecting your breeders:
1. Only breed from the best in your loft. Only birds that have proven themselves
as your best flyers must be used in your breeding program. If you bring new
birds to your loft to breed from, make sure they are better than your own so
you don't waste your time.
2. Do not pair up two birds with the same bad habits.
For example 2 birds that constantly lose their home and show up the next day.
The result is a poor homing instinct and you will lose most of the young out of
such a pair. Or birds that tend to tumble a lot. In most cases, the young from
this kind of mating will develop tumble down syndrome and are unable to fly.
3. Do not pair up birds that are very closely related. Line breeding is fine but do
In a nut shell, pick your breeders in the air and mate birds that complement each
other and offset each others bad habits and genes.
On the average, I keep around 150 to 200 birds. Out of these, I maintain 24 pairs of stock breeders. These are my best flyers. Some old and some young. When a bird proves himself to be better than a bird in the breeding stock, he will replace that bird.
Stock breeders are separated untill breeding season. I start breeding in late January by mating the pairs. Some maybe younger and from previous year and some may be old paired up mates that have consistantly produced good youngs. The later proven match-up is what every fancier should look for.
I breed from 24 pairs and raise 3 rounds of approximately 120 young.
Now it's time to tie their wings. The primaries are tied one by one to disable the bird from flying. The technique is very simple and if it is done right, the feathers are not damaged, birds are not uncomfortable, and one can not tell anything different about the birds without handling them. One by one, they are put on the rooftop for 3 to 4 hrs before feeding time. Stay with them the whole time. When it's time to eat, they are called down into flypin and fed and watered. They can't fly and it is a little hard on them to come down from the rooftop, but do not worry, they will be fine.
This should be done for 7 to 10 days according to how open and how your loft is situated.
Feeding is skipped one day and the following day the wings are untied and birds are again put on the rooftop by hand in the morning. At first they don't realize they can fly but it does not take too long for them to notice the difference. Hopefully you can keep them on the rooftop for about 2 - 3 hrs. and then call them in. Feed them a little and put them up to feed them later in late afternoon. The following day, one by one are tossed onto the rooftop. Some may make a small circle but they will all land on the roof. The next morning, about 10 are selected and tossed to the rooftop again. They are left to roam for about an hour when are forced to take to the air by using a long stick. After a few circles around the loft the others are gently tossed on to the rooftop untill all land. If one loses his home and roosts away from home, wait for him and upon return show him a bird and he will land immediately. Remember your initial time spent will pay off now!!!
Follow with the rest of them in groups of ten until eventually all 40 or so of them will take to the air at the same time.
This sounds like lots of work but it pays off later. This will keep your loss down to minimum and eliminates unnecessary fear and panic in the birds in the begining and sets a good foundation during the time they need to learn their home.
Unlike Tipplers, Tehran Tumblers do not need to be trained with droppers. Tehran Tumblers should be thaught to fly and land as they wish. A good Tehran Tumblers will go higher as he sees birds below. In competition, after all the birds are up, non-flying birds (trimmed or tied wings) will be released on to the roof top.
From mid March, I start to settle the young out of the first round. When I get the first round settled and make sure thay have learned how to fly, I will put them up and start with the next round, until I finally settle them all which is normally during the month of May.
Then I separate the young birds into 2 kits of around 50 t0 60 and fly them every chance I get.
Each round of squeekers will go under the settling program together with around 40 birds.
When chicks are around 4 weeks old and still are fed by the parents, they are placed in a wired cage which is put on the roof of the loft for a couple of hours a day. I like to do this every day for a week if possible. At 5 weeks old, the squeekers are separated into a section of the loft by themselves. Food and water is available to them all day. This goes on for another week. Again, every chance I get, they will be in the wired cage on the rooftop.
At the age of 6 weeks, the food and water is taken away and is offered to them only once a day in the late afternoon. This is done for 2 or 3 days until they realize that I am their food source. Walk around while they eat so they get used to you and lose their fear of you.
Tying primaries is to keep young birds from taking off too early
while learning their home
I fly them every chance I get and monitor them closely. They will fly for the next couple of months until the end of June. During these two months I cull the duds and stop flying the ones that are showing signs of being very good birds.
After few times on wings and when comfortable flying, the good ones have a lot in the wings and not so much in the head and tend to fly too high and way out of sight and increase the chance of getting lost. It's kind of hard to say how high they are flying since they are out of sight anyway but I think as they get older they get smarter and will not go as high. Here is when their diet becomes so important to lower their energy level down and keep them in full control.
This is a very important period and it takes an experienced Fancier to recognize which birds are to be culled and which are to be put away for later that year. One way to insure that the selected birds are not flown again by mistake is to trim the no. 6 thru no. 10 primaries to the height of 5th primary (Ghalam).
I keep flying the rest until the end of June.
In the first week of July all their trimed and old primaries are pulled and all the birds are put away for the next two months. This includes old birds also. One must be very careful not to pull any wet feather. This is to allow the birds to mature as well as to clean them up from their molt. During this two months they are fed good ballanced high protien feed to help them develop nice and healthy feathers.
Early September, all the birds, young & old, have grown their feathers and develope nice new primaries. This is when the Fancier need to be very disciplined and patient and the young birds should show themselves now. Up to this point birds were being prepared and now is when they are to be tested. The success depends 50% on the Fancier's experties and 50% on the quality of the birds blood line.
I separate them into two kits of Cocks and Hens. They start slow but after a few times up, they are back in shape and ready to go. The best result is accomplished if they could be flown 4 to 5 days straight follow with a couple of days of rest and after that 2 days up with 1 or 2 days rest in between.
They are more mature now and easier to control and less chance to get lost.
Some also will tighten their somersaults. Some may even wait for the following year to tighten theirs.
Birds are fed once a day, late in the afternoon. Water is given to birds twice a day. Once after each feeding, say around 5 PM and once in the evening before it gets dark, say around 7 PM. Water is never left with the birds at all times. Do not offer water right after landing. Also Their diet should not changed during this flying period. Millet is a good choice for the entire flying season. If birds keep going too high on Millet alone, add some milo or wheat to their diet.
I fly them through september and October until time changes in last week of October. In this 2 months of flying, I get to know each bird individually and recognize the ideal ones, the good ones and the bad ones. The bad ones are culled and the rest are put up until Spring time to save them from the hungry Hawks.
Each spring, the old birds from previous season will also let out to fly but never allowed to fly with young birds until September and October of that year when young and old will fly togather in two separate kits of Cocks and Hens.
Some of these birds will keep on getting better year after year and their somersaults get tighter.
This system is the one I have adopted and has worked for me. I beleive each Flyer should use a system that would work for him and remember this should stay a hobby and not an obsession.
Keep flying these beautiful birds and enjoy the sport.
Not a very good day to fly but due to limited time on hand I fly them every chance I get.
It looks worst than it was, just big dark cloud passing by!!