Tip #1 – racing pigeons
In each loft, there are nowadays some quality pigeons. However, many pigeon fanciers win too few top prizes, or even just prizes.
The causes of this failure vary from one colony to another.
For one half the reason is a mediocre or even bad loft; for the other, a pigeon fancier who may be a good billiard player, but who doesn’t have the skills to practice our hobby.
Thus, some pigeon fanciers are insensitive to the bad smell that reigns in the loft. Others do not see that there are too many pigeons in their loft and do not notice an unhealthy pigeon. Still others leave a stray among their pigeons. Others, finally, do not have a good way of feeding and stuff their pigeons with vitamins, food supplements and medicines.
If you win less prizes than the average (by 4.3 or 2), it’s high time to put pigeon on your menu. Indeed, a few good pigeons surrounded by a number of bad ones will never find form.
1. Daily care
The more kilometers a pigeon has to fly, the more reserves it must have. These are made up thanks to an adapted diet and daily training. Cold weather can prevent the form from building up and this is why many fanciers use hot plates and caulk their lofts. I am not a fan of hot plates, because the pigeons that come out of a well-heated loft for morning training are suddenly plunged into the cold. I leave the windows open even at night in cold weather, so my play loft looks a bit like a good aviary where there is plenty of air. Our dog (a Tervuren) can sleep inside, yet he regularly chooses to spend the night outside on the tiled floor. Despite this, my pigeons and my dog are resplendent in health and train well because they are used to humidity and temperature whatever the season. Visitors find my cheap lofts particularly airy and cool, but some don’t agree with my method although they don’t play better than me. (Note:if the air inside your loft is more humid than the air outside and it smells musty, then your loft is bad. Humidity and bad smell indicate poor air circulation.) If your pigeons are not training well, you need to find the cause.
Aren’t your widowers too heavy or too light? Don’t you let them go too hungry? Are there no sick pigeons among them? Do they have a good throat and pink flesh? Can males and females see and hear each other? Are it always the same pigeons that want to land first? If so, get rid of them or place them in the aviary for a week. The forced volley can also help you, think of human sports.
Flying nest pigeons and females is also difficult. You can go release them yourself or engage them in training every week. The easiest way, however, is to let the natural raced pigeons fly when they are not brooding. If the youngsters train badly, they are certainly fed too much or too richly. In many lofts, the primary cause of bad flocks and loss of youngsters is overcrowding.
Feeding pigeons is an art, especially in racing season.
There are also big differences between feeding for speed, middle distance and bottom. Leaving your pigeons hungry is not a good method, but feeding them to the point that they no longer obey and are unfamiliar is even worse. To learn how to feed, add barley to your mix. When the pigeons leave the barley, they have eaten enough. Always remove leftovers during play season, with the exception of housing day for a long-distance contest. Also remember to feed all your pigeons at the same time, otherwise the first to return will have a completely different menu from those who return later. Small seeds, peanuts, hemp and extra corn are excellent for racing pigeons. You should distribute these extras one, two or more days before the lodge taking into account the length of the trip and always as treats. The day of the accommodation of a long-distance competition, it can be a party. I don’t use many types of blends. My youngsters and my widowers normally receive breeding and widowhood.
I like simplicity.
3. Medicines, complementary products and vitamins
Fanciers always want to know more about complementary products and vitamins. I am always amazed by the number of questions I receive on this subject. Medicines and vitamins are certainly necessary for the practice of the sport nowadays, but I remain convinced that it is necessary above all to have naturally healthy quality pigeons. Some readers send me feeding and medicine and vitamin distribution diagrams and ask for my opinion. My feeling is that they give way too much medicine and complicate their lives with way too much detail. I mainly take care of bringing a lot of fresh air (= the cheapest medicine), grit, fresh vegetables and their juices on the seeds, so very natural things.
I also buy oil, brewer’s yeast, vitamins and small seeds to bring variety to the menus.
During the racing season, I treat my pigeons against trichomoniasis and head diseases if they show less flair. I don’t know much about medicine, but good about health. This is why I fairly quickly discard any pigeon that seems unhealthy to me.
The veterinarians in my region know little about pigeons, so I only go to them to vaccinate against paramyxovirosis.
Race your pigeons as much as possible. Note on a large board the misses and prizes won by each pigeon. So you will quickly spot those who earn their seeds and those who do not. Your future success depends on keeping a small number of quality pigeons.
[ Source:Article edited by Mr. Jacques NOUWEN – PIGEON RIT Magazine]
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