Keeping Takla

Almost all color variations exist in USA

Keeping Takla

Postby Kurt Gürsu » Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:45 pm

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For many people takla, with its show like physical qualities combined with aerial performance, is an attractive breed to keep. This probably is the reason for it to be the dominant breed in Turkey also. However, it really is not a breed for everybody. This breed requires a high level of commitment, patience and time when it comes to performance. For one thing, not everyone has the space or time to go through an extensive training period with each bird and this is understandable. Once a breeder determines that he/she has the right place and adequate time for this breed the question of patience comes to mind. In USA, we are used to breeds like Birminghams or the racers. So, our measurement for the heavy training is usually based on these breeds. In all honesty, a person that prepares him/her self for takla training with expectations similar to these breeds destined to a long and frustrating journey. This is similar to many people that took on the Oriental rollers thinking they are rollers just like Birminghams. A Birmingham should get into a fair level of performance rather quickly and this makes it more fulfilling since you get to see the results in a short time, with minimal effort (Of course even in these breeds, when it comes to championship level of performance the level of effort gets much higher.) Well, with a young takla you will never be sure that it has reached its full potential until after at least it has reached maturity and fed its own babies for two rounds. For many people this is a long time to wait.
Some will say, time is not an issue, I hear this usually from breeders of racing pigeons. While it is true that the racers spend a lot of time training their birds for the races, it is also true that driving your birds to a distance location, or shipping them there, to release them and waiting for them to return home is not really the type of training we are talking about here. Observing each birds behavior individually and adjusting their flight schedule accordingly day after day can take a toll on anyone. Relaxing the training for a week or so at the wrong time can result in a kit of three huggers who are impossible to train now. Seeing many of the young birds starting to show their performances and nothing from some others can drive a fancier who is new to this breed to get rid of these lazy ones which will blossom in the hands of another fancier and become exceptional performers. I can go on and on.

Really, my intention here is not to scare potential future breeders but to encourage them to make vise decisions. One of the main reasons for this is the prices of good taklas. Looking around you might find good bargains but in average a young bird's price will start from $100 and a trained adult bird's from $500 each. When you add to this the reluctance of Turkish breeders selling good birds to people who are not Turkish, with worries of their prized birds becoming another casualty in the show biz, it becomes an investment to be a takla breeder.
I have seen many seasoned breeders asking for birds just to give up in a season. I would say, if you have never kept another performing breed, start with something easy. I don't mean this in any way as belittling. You have to make sure, you and your surroundings (trees, cables preventing good flight zone, hawk infested area, etc.) are up to the challenge. There are many other performing breeds that won't frustrate you as much as takla can but, still require a good amount of work. Many of the diving breeds like döneks (here, I am using the name Dönek as a referance to the birds which are called with this name in USA, not the breed we call Dönek) and kelebeks are good measurement of what is in store. Here, talking about the divers, I would caution you for Adana Dewlaps. This is another breed that require extensive levels of keeper's attention. Well, so much for the warnings and drawing gloomy pictures. Bottom line, takla can be a very fulfilling experience for any breeder, as long as one knows what to expect.
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Kurt Gürsu
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Location: San Jose, California
Breeds: Takla, Kelebek

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