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Old 08-18-2019, 03:07 PM
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Maybe we can do free flight indoors!

I had an idea to do safe free flight. I'm contacting all the indoor horse arenas in town to ask if they would do a free flight day and allow parronts to pay to let their birds fly free around the arena for an hour or two. Do you think that would be a good idea? If so, you should try asking around in your area
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:24 PM
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Re: Maybe we can do free flight indoors!

Very intuitive! This is a very common recommendation for free flight students: find a large indoor area to practice. A gym, batting cage, horse arenas .
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:26 PM
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Re: Maybe we can do free flight indoors!

And of coarse this assumes that one's Parrot has been free flighted in one's home and is fully recall trained.
Great idea regarding horse arenas.
That said, regardless of the facility, always look up! Rafters are a real pain in the butt if one of the Parrots elects to land in them and sits there looking at you with that "yaaaa right" look!
Unless you have ladders and a willing Parrot, step two is to have a super soaker or like water projection equipment that wets the Parrot and limits its flight. Its a sad way to have to force a Parrot down, but an unwilling Parrot and have to leave by a specific time forces such action.
Look-up prior to an agreement will save you having to resort to forcing an issue.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:40 PM
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Re: Maybe we can do free flight indoors!

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
And of coarse this assumes that one's Parrot has been free flighted in one's home and is fully recall trained.
Great idea regarding horse arenas.
That said, regardless of the facility, always look up! Rafters are a real pain in the butt if one of the Parrots elects to land in them and sits there looking at you with that "yaaaa right" look!
Unless you have ladders and a willing Parrot, step two is to have a super soaker or like water projection equipment that wets the Parrot and limits its flight. Its a sad way to have to force a Parrot down, but an unwilling Parrot and have to leave by a specific time forces such action.
Look-up prior to an agreement will save you having to resort to forcing an issue.
Yep agree, first train in your house and recall train your bird is critical. Then train in a larger area and then outdoors.

I had to rescue a parrot that was stuck in a opening in a behind a Rafter. Flight not something that a parrot knows naturally. They have to learn it and also be in shape. Best to train in small space first and also they can built up strength in the process and also they will be accidents as well. I know as when training my female umbrella Baby, she would land hard, or towards side at time breaking once a blood feather and losing a couple of tail feathers, but limited her lift, by semi clipping her, so she won't hurt herself to badly. Thankfully she learn quick and is a good flyer now as she knows direction better then I do at times and know how to get to places quicker, but took her a little over a year to learn.

Also important to harness train your bird, so when you go to large public places and you don't want them flying off, if they see something of interest and for liability reasons?

Last edited by ParrotGenie; 08-18-2019 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:58 PM
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Re: Maybe we can do free flight indoors!

My only concern is that, in my experience, horse arenas tend to be home to lots of feral pigeons, house sparrows, and other such "pest" birds. I would be concerned about what the parrot might be exposed to. Other than that it's an excellent idea.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:44 AM
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Re: Maybe we can do free flight indoors!

I would second Sailboat and ParrotGenie, and elaborate a bit more.

I grew up in horse arenas. Yes, it sounds like a good idea, but hold your horses first.

Donít even think about flight outdoors until youíve done a few things first:


Recall Training
Recall in the safety of your home is complete different from recall in a new place. Parrots get distracted by new environments. Your bird will likely be hesitant to recall in a new place. Even if you bring them out to socialise in new environments all the time, you will need to train your bird to be able to recall in new settings (many default to a freeze or flight).


Bombproof Training
Now, no bird is going to be bomb proof, but you have to train for anything you can think of. Sure a horse arena sounds like a contained area, but what if someone opens the doors? And tbh, Iíve not encountered an air-tight horse arena before (but maybe thatís how because I grew up in a very real area); many of them have big open doors, at the very least.

And what about when it rains? The din of the rain patter on the roof can spook off horses and birds.
What about someone closing a door, or opening up a horse trailer just outside? Those sudden sounds can spook a horse and a bird. A sudden light streaming in can also trigger a bird to fly.
I jumped off a horse that bolted just from the sound of coyotes. And I know our little guy is alarmed when he hears crows and other birds of prey.
What if some idiot human starts distracting your bird? (Yes, I had a child throw a water bottle at Cairo before.)

These are all examples of sounds and distractions you need to train for.


Descent Training
Your bird is probably used to the height and safety of home. That means he might not know the basics of flight navigation - wind, steep descent, etc. You have to prepare him for the heights he might have to navigate from. Itís easy to go up, but itís another to go down. A bird who doesnít know how to descend steeply is likely to get stuck in a tree/rafter for hours or even days (yes, Iíve seen this happen).


Stamina Training
This is contentious for some, but you have to read your birdís body language. A domesticated bird donít have the stamina of wild birds because they just donít get the flight time. And if they fly in the house, itís normally in short bursts (think a sprint versus a marathon). You need to train for a marathon. And tbh, itís easy to tell if a bird is new - they donít glide worth a beep. But you also need to learn how to not push your bird too hard. Cairo often flies to me, checking if he can land; Iíll wave and ask him to ďkeep goingĒ; if heís tired, he hovers like a helicopter and then I have it land immediately, but if heís got a tiny bit of energy left, heíll go for another loop around. Now, if you donít establish this basic communication safely, your bird will land elsewhere.


Upkeep
You must never assume your bird is fully-trained and itís a done deal. You must keep practicing as if your bird is untrained. People who think ďoh, heís fully-trained, weíve done so many good flightsĒ are also the most likely to lose their birds. You keep training the basics.


Other things to look up - boomerang, ascending, contact call, etc.


Disclaimer:
Do NOT attempt flight outside your home until you have established the basics of above. And when you step outside your home to conduct training, have your bird on a harness and start with recall that just requires your bird to HOP from training perch to your hand.

The free-flying community where I live also recommends never putting your bird on a perch other than the training perch or yourself. You do NOT want your bird to think that perching just randomly anywhere is safe - they do not have the instincts/experience of wild birds. They also recommend training your bird to recall to one person and one person ONLY. The more people your bird is trained to recall to, the higher the risk.



And most importantly:

The first thing the free-flying community tells anyone considering outdoor flying:
Quote:
If you do want to attempt flight out of your home, you must accept the fact that your bird might get lost.
Full stop. Period. This is a risk you must be aware of and must be willing to take. No matter how well-trained your bird is, you cannot account for everything (Murphyís Law to live by).
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:59 PM
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Re: Maybe we can do free flight indoors!

Quote: Originally Posted by charmedbyekkie View Post
but hold your horses first.

I see what you did there!
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:38 AM
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Re: Maybe we can do free flight indoors!

Agree with above comments. Sounds like a great idea, it’s good thinking! But unfortunately for you, I’m yet to have ever ridden in a horse arena that isn’t fully inclosed, they always have open doors or open sides or at least open areas for ventilation around the top.
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