I do what we call jump ups with my birds at the end of the molt to get them back into shape for the hunting season. However, I’m not one to stand there and do hundreds at a time and there is no way I’m climbing on the roof. So I came up with a way of adding weights to my birds.
First buy a box of BB’s. Grab a couple of BB’s and head for your local medical supply store. You are looking for a soft rubber tubing sold by the foot. There are several diameters so take the BB’s you brought with you and see which size they fit into. You want them to fall right in. Get 5′. This length is perfect for Red-tails and Harris Hawks. Filled and with the clip it weights around 179 grams (6.5 oz). You will have to figure out the length and weight for smaller birds.
At one end you want to add a clip and fold it over. Place a zip tie to hold it. Now take the BB’s and fill the tube. At the other end, fold it over and zip tie it secure. Viola! You now have weights for your birds.
Clip it to the swivel along with your creance.
I start out the first week without the weights. Get the bird used to doing the jump-ups after the long summer. The second week I add the weights, but I only have them jump about 1/2 the length of the tube. This way, the aren’t pulling the full weight. As they get more in shape, I raise my glove higher and higher until they are pulling the entire length of tube off the ground. I end up standing on a small step stool to make them fly up even higher. I’ve found this method gets them in pretty good shape.
If your bird is struggling to get to the glove you know you’ve reached her limit and can either bring your glove down a bit until she is in better shape or make your weights shorter and lighter. Its just a matter of experimenting.
You will find it does get tangled with the creance. Don’t worry about that. Untangle it when your done.