Tuesday, December 28, 2010
When looking for a good pigeon which must take into account the status of the loft came / comes. It should also consider the health of the loft and how runs. I found some more best pigeons for racing tend to be like a needle in a haystack - the haystack being some of the relatively small, most unlikely of lofts!
A bond that tends to produce this type of research is that you come to lofts with a lot of doves or send a large number of pigeons out racing, tend to have less pigeons multi - performance proportionally with the multitude of pigeons, submitted. What this means is that lofts which tend to have a multitude of different pigeon in one place tends to be against productive.
Although likely to have a number of high performance pigeons, pigeons relationship how many are in a single bed and another with a group less demanding are very different. What this means is that the pigeons is a loft becomes less efficient. Think of putting people in a room, most people who put there the least tolerable converted into one another and the conditions of overcrowding and annoying.
The pigeons, this can cause depression, worsening and a less likely possibility that are performed well. Moral of the story is if you want more top quality performing pigeons and want to keep the number of pigeons in a loft for a good relationship with other pigeons in the attic space and ensure the conditions are ripe for that convenient enough to "deploy their wings and fly"!
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I have owned, ran and race horses. I went to several top sales and auctions, and I've never heard of or witnessed a theory of sign of the eye to select racing or breeding horses.
The same applies in dog racing, fighting chickens, dog fights or other types of animal competition which is legal or illegal. No one has theories or processes of evaluation with the sign of the eye. WHY? Because they laughed it of the sport for such a theory. It is ridiculous for sports or competitions, and is simply foolish to believe that you can use in the sport of pigeon to help successfully.
I have read announcements about eye sign specialists, racing eyes, sprinting, eyes eyes of distance, pairing of sign of eye and mating, graders, teachers and scientific research on the sign of the eye. Only in the sport of pigeon some fans to believe and practice these methods. Of course, there are other methods that we also use in the sport of pigeon to the evaluation and the sacrifice that many have faith in that, as the formation of wing, strong or weak, soft or hard, muscle throat, nail color configuration toe, short or long keel and maybe 20 more physical characteristics which are used as methods of selection of breeding or flight equipment.
In all these theories so I never hear mention the an important prerequisite for pigeon racing success: the ability to find his way home, "Ability to navigation". Navigation 100-600 miles from home, and race and intelligence capabilities and go back to his loft on the same day. Without this capacity of home and browse all the qualities mean nothing. However, the degree, teachers, farmers, teachers, specialists, etc. never seems concerned about this one aspect of our sport.
They can level of intelligence, heart, determination, motivation or desire only for the management of a bird, by opening its wings, looking at the throat or looking in the eyes? PLEASE GIVE REST TO ME! CAN NOT BE SERIOUS AND TRUTH THAT THIS IS POSSIBLE! To spend your money and time for the application of these methods to achieve the success it is silly.
As I said before, only in the sport of pigeon these experts exist (automatic proclaimed experts). WHY? Because in the sport, we hope for any shortcut to success. There is none. The only way to succeed in this sport is the old way, to work for it and win it.
Sad these so-called experts graders and sign of eye experts is truly I think they think they have the ability to sort birds by their methods.
Only in the sport of pigeon found people gullible and naive to listen and sometimes practice their methods. No other sport or competition will consider such theories with a straight face.
We speak of our sport is in decline, and there are many reasons for this. Too bad if a new steering wheel engages with one of our experts in sign of the eye and devoted his time and money to its methods. After a few years, if it stays so long with little or no result positive, we lose another possible fancier and perhaps some of his friends.
Yes, I am being hard with these people because I really believe that they are hurting our sport to some small financial benefits or a personal ego trip.
As I have said on many other articles, you have the level best in the world, the day of the basket and career training. By training and racing their birds is to evaluate yourself, as well as evaluate and slaughter of poultry.
As a coach needs some improvements in various aspects of the sport: food, training, drugs, trapping management and loft. It is difficult to accept the blame for the bad results or heavy loses. We much rather blame birds, climate, the transport company, or another area, but not our own skills or methods.
To select breeders and flyers is a very simple procedure. PERFORMANCE should be the only criterion. The bird comes from a winning family, generation after generation of excellent results? If the answer is Yes, the bird is worth to give it a try breeding or loft in flight.
Performance: the type of results needed to compete in his area: speeds, distances, weather conditions and the land. If the family's demonstrated that he can be competitive, it is all you need to know. Forget her eyes, wings, back, muscles, throat or keel.
From time to time I am going to an auction, especially if it is sponsored by an excellent driving and provides birds with records of the breed. I see these domestic birds, some with several diplomas, sell for much less birds with foreign bands and there is no race results. Excuses are long, do not have any chest, has a weak again, it has no eye for breeding, etc.. FORGET THOSE THEORIES! The bird has already proved in competition of career with several diplomas. He has the ability, and he has already proven. You would not have problems taking a chance on this bird with other bird's performance of reproduction with the same capacity.
"The same capacity" means adequate breeding: speed to the speed and the distance to distance. If the bird has several diplomas at different speeds and distances that is even better. You really should not care about the sign of the eye, or how the bird is handled.
The sport is changing every day. New ideas and theories advertised, sold, and practiced. However, the basic principle still applies: no homing ability and navigate without positive results. Not these skills can be found looking at the eyes. Regular training and racing and breeding and selection material for performance results and lines of flight are the only path to success.
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Article written by: Bob Priscus
Monday, December 27, 2010
I just wanted to create this post to clear a few things up and share with you some of my views, ideas and opinions. As you may know by now the Pigeon Insider has been turned into a paid membership site, After this change I have gotten some emails from members expressing their dissatisfaction and opinions about the change. The main reason for this post is to discuss those opinions and questions and share with you the goals for the site.
Firstly I received an email from a member that said that they didn't think it was right that I never told anyone that the site was going to change, it just changed out of nowhere. My response to that is your absoluelty right and I do apoligize for springing the change on everyone so abruptly. I didn't realize that it was going to have the effect that it did and again I do apoligize to everyone for changing the site without any notice.
Secondly I received some emails saying how some thought that I was just trying to make money and that I had no real interest in the sport. You see in the beginning when I started the site I had no idea that the site would grow the way it had and that people would actually like what I was doing. I simply loved the internet and loved pigeon racing so I put the two together and treated it as sort of therapy for myself. As the site began to grow I Garfunkel that together we may be able to actually make a difference in the sport. So I continued to work on the site day and night and build, test and incorporate new features that I thought the members would enjoy and love, as well as advertise more to help continue to build a thriving community of fanciers that could help eachother out. As the years whent on the site continued to grow and I found myself spending more and more time and money on it. I have since come to the point where I have no more time or money to spend on the site to continue it's growth and that is why I decided to change the site to a paid membership model and ask the members for help. This also goes for some of the people who said to me "if you love the site as much as you say then why don't you continue to keep it free". It will never grow that way which I think is one of the problems with this sport but I will get to that in a bit.
I also recieved some emails saying how some thought that my numbers for running the site where exagerated and that they run sites as well and it doesn't cost as much as I was proclaiming. This thing with that is that although it's true it doesn't cost that much money to build and host a website it does however cost alot to run and grow successful one and there's alot more involved then just hosting.
Now back to the question "if you love the site as much as you say then why don't you continue to keep it free". My goal with the site has always been this Preservation, Promotion, Research, Development, Eductaion and Community. Again like I said before the thing I see lacking in the sport today. I see alot of organizations, magazines TCEs who collect membership fees but don't actually do anything to help the sport grow and prosper. Like where are the advertising campaigns focused at people who never even heard of pigeon racing before? where is the focus on building memberships for local clubs? where are the people promoting this sport?. These are exactly the things The Pigeon Insider and all of our other projects are focused on.
For example I received some emails saying why would I pay for membership fee to read some articles and watch some videos? well theres to bigger picture then that. The yearly membership helps fund not only The Pigeon Insider but all of our projects that I am currently working on which I would like to share with you below.
The Pigeon Insider
The Pigeon Insider was created to help educate fanciers, which is one of the major reasons for declining interest in our sport today. Many new flyers enter the sport only to get frustrated because of lack of knowldege and know-how and quickly quit it all together. The Pigeon Insider was created to help new and old flyers alike, discuss topics and strategies and brainstorm with each other and pick eachothers brains.The focus of The Pigeon Insider is Educating pigeon fanciers worldwide.
You can learn more about it here.
World Pigeon Association
The World Pigeon Association was created to help build an online social community of fanciers to share, connect and engage with eachother. We are all different and all come from different cultures, backgrounds and places we all have one thing in common… we all love byelaws void. The WPA is to place where members can have their own space on the web and connect with other fanciers both locally and all over the world. It's packed with social community features such as, building your own profile, upload your own pictures, forums, real time chat, create and join groups and even create your own blogs and thats only some of the features. The focus of the WPA is building a thriving community of fanciers from all over the world to share, connect and engage with.
You can learn more about it here
Discover Pigeon Racing
This is a new campaign that I'm working on which will be focused on marketing to people who have never even heard of pigeon racing before and don' t even know it exists and showing them how wonderful it is. This campaign will highlight all of the great things pigeon racing has to offer and why they should give it a try. The goal of the "discover pigeon racing" campaign is preserving and promoting the sport.
I am also mentioning having a multiplayer pigeon racing PC game developed which I think would be really fun to play online with other fanciers from all over the world not to mention would be great to help young people get interested in the sport. This however is proveing to be difficult considering that the lowest quote I have received from a few game development companies was $50,000.
And many other projects in the works all of which you will be a part of.
All of these things cost time and money to create and develop all of which I have done myself up until now, so you see your membership goes towards all of thes projects as well as helping us to Preserve, Promote and Develop the sport.
Well I hope I cleared a few things up for you but if not please feel free to post your questions and comments below and I will do my best to answer all of them. I really hope you can see and understand my goals, focus and vision for all of these projects and how your membership will play a vital role in all of it.
So for the members who have already joined, from the bottom of my heart I thank you and if you would like to become a member or would like to learn more about what The Pigeon Insider has to offer please click here.
Thank you for your support
Yours in the sport,
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
1. Do you believe that widowhood is the only method to obtain succes ?
I don’t believe that widowhood is the only method to bring succes. Nowadays many fanciers, who remain true to the natural method distinguish themselves. Why should we not succeed where others obtain good results ?
2. Which of those two methods do you prefer ?
The withood method gives by far greater certainty, no matter what some fanciers say, it is also the easiest and the least time consuming method.
A well managed team of widowers come easy into form which allows the owner to be more or less content, while a small item can be enough to handicap pigeons that are flown to the nest method. To succeed with the natural method, one must be a greather artist and spend more time with the birds. A fancier with a small team can still distinguish himself with this old method, provided he follows certain methods that were unknown in the past. Nowadays, one cannot keep a big team of pigeons in the right condition when one does not race them on widowhood. Our advice to those fanciers that are in a position to do it is, to try the two methods at the same time.
One can race the old cocks on widowhood, while in another loft you can race the hens, paired to young cocks, on the natural method. In this manner you learn to know your hens and you can keep the best ones for stock. At the same time this method offers the possibility to withdraw the best hens from an unnatural and weakening state.
3. Does one require a special loft for the widowhood method ?
It is a strict requirement. We have, for a short while, succeeded with widowers which were kept in a loft which also housed other pigeons, but if you want to stay successful, you must give the widowhood cocks the rest they need. This can only be achieved if they are parted from all other pigeons. There must be also special nest boxes, well known to every widowhood fancier. When we started widowhood for the first time, we did not have the proper nest boxes at our disposal. This gave us some difficulties and unneccessary complications. One is well advised to start in the right way, even if one has to show some patience.
Luxuriousness is completely unneccessary, but every fancier must have at his disposal, at least two or better still, three lofts. One loft for widowhood, a second one for the stock-birds and a third one, for the youngsters. After a while, when a fancier is better equipped, the enjoyment and ease will improve.
4. At what date does one starts widowhood racing ?
There is no fixed date. It all depends in what condition the birds are in and especialy the races you are striving for. In principle it is possible to keep a team of widowers for a period of two to three months in condition. A durable and lasting condition starts when the temperature is more settled. A fancier that has sufficient lofts and pigeons, could fly widowhood with succes from the end of March untill the beginning of August. He could start in March or the beginning of April with widowers that have not been paired up and have seen their hens only two or three times after they returned from a training flight. In the middle of the racing season, he can race the ones that were paired up between March and the end of April and were afterwards put on widowhood and at the end of the racing season, race the cocks that were kept unpaired, after a sitting period of about ten days to retard the moult as much as possible, on widowhood. But these are exceptions which are only used by some specialists. The usual period of widowhood is between 15 April and the end of July. Real specialists who have at there disposal birds with staying power will be able to keep them active during this period.
Nevertheless it is nowadays, above all things, neccessary to sent your birds to the starting point in a fresher state than the ones of your opponents.
It can also be said in this case: PATIENCE IS GOLDEN.
5. Does one need more pigeons for the widowhood than for the natural method ?
Sometimes one needs a few more but it is not a strict requirement. It is true that in the widowhood game the cocks are raced, but the lesser number of pigeons that are available is compensated by the fact that the widowers can be flown more often in short and middle distance races than cocks and hens that are raced on the natural method.
A fancier who possesses an average team of 30 pigeons of which 12 pairs are put on widowhood, will have every Sunday (Saterday in the U.K.) the same number of cocks in a good condition as an opponent who possesses the same number of pigeons and flies them on the natural method.
From what has proceeded, one must not conclude that widowers are always in good condition, but the advantage is, they always have the same urge to come home as quick as possible, which is not so regular by pigeons that are flown on the natural method. A fancier with 30 pigeons must put at least 3 cocks into the stock-loft for the continuation of his strain. When we find in our team one or two good racinghens, we put them together with the tree pairs we kept for stock into the stock-loft and provided we don’t breed too much out of them, we could race them on the natural game.
6. Are there any real dangers when birds, are flown on widowhood?
In most cases, the risks to widowhood cocks are not different to mated cocks in training. Well managed and well trained widowers run the same risks as those trained for the nest game.
If on this point any difference should occur, it will turn out to be to the advantage of the widowers.
In 1937, we started to fly regularly on widowhood and we have only lost seven pigeons, among them were five late-breds, which one could expect to lose. We could not have said the same thing when we had flown them, for the same duration, on the nest game. The real danger is the shortage of youngsters as we have very often noticed, on our visits to small team fanciers. Those careless fanciers put all their cocks and hens on widowhood. After two or three years of succes those neglected hens insufficient cared for and kept in bad loft instalations are no good to give any satisfaction as breeding hens. This danger never occurs by big team flyers because they always have a loft especially kept for stock-birds. That is why we must, no matter how many we have at our disposal, withdraw every year a few pairs from widowhood and keep them for stock. He that does not follow this advice will regret it sooner or later.
7. Is it preferable to allow the widowers to rear a youngster before the racing season?
There is no proof that no breeding would be any better than breeding. A few years ago, we did some investigations in several big lofts in Belgium. Those investigations did not give us the pros and cons of breeding out of future widowers. If there are no sure advantage of not breeding from future widowers, there is, on the contrary, a certain advantage for them that are breeding before the racing season, namely they will have some extra youngsters.
Of the twenty National winners we have consulted, and who obtained some good results in previous years, more than 60 % had allowed their widowers to rear one or two youngsters before they were put on widowhood.
Among those 60% were all great champions from Flanders and Antwerp, while the other 40% consisted mainly of champions from Liège which did not like the idea of breeding before they put their birds on widowhood. It is not unknown to us that some sceptic fanciers did not believe the sincerity of the obtained answers. We beg them to observe that they are wrong to think that those great champions were dishonest and would lie about their methods. To tell the truth, we have been in their loft when they were in the meridian of their glory and have seen with our own eyes, in all nests of the racing birds,one or two youngsters. If one believes what some authors have written on this subject, namely that breeding before the racing season deminishes the strength and reserves of the future racing birds, we must also believe that the pigeons of the greatest champions of Flanders that are rearing two youngsters and would be handicapped through this to win races, which they do, must be of a more superior class in relation to those of theid opponents which are not breeding before the start of the racing season.
Let us come to this conclusion: If we need youngsters, we must breed out of our future widowers and when we have a bad season let us be honest and look for our failure somewhere else.
Article Written by Jules Gallez (edited by Martin Degrave) source PIPA
In one Three Counties race Ron sent only six pigeons. It was a really strong south east wind and it turned out that there were no pigeons on the day. The next day Ron had all six arrive he clocked 4 of them and if he had clocked all six he would have had the first six in the club but he was happy to settle for the first four. Many fliers never saw a bird. In one Amalgamation race, combining the North London federation, the Chilterns North Road federation and the Central North Road federation Ron was 17th, 20th, 22nd from Thurso.
Thurso is Ron?s favourite racepoint. He now flies Thurso in the London North Road Combine. His Thurso record must be one of the most consistent, especially for someone who only has such a small team. Over the years Ron has been 17th Combine, 37th Combine, 58th Combine, 40th Combine, 99th Combine. One year he was 5th and 49th Combine 5327 birds, and Ron has also been 3rd Combine 6,208 birds when there were only three pigeons home on the day.
In 2000 the London North Road combine from Thurso was a real stinker. The birds were liberated at midday in pouring rain, the race turned out to be a smash with hundreds of birds missing, but was Ron worried? No. He went on to take three positions in the first 100, winning 37th, 43rd and 91st Open Combine. In 2001 again the Thurso race was a stinker, only 17 made it on the day Ron had 2 in the first 100. He only sent 5 pigeons to this race, in fact he usually only sends five, and while many other hardened fanciers send big teams and lose pigeons from this dreaded racepoint, Ron gets all his five home with no trouble, and all in race time.
So why is Ron so successful at the distance with such a small loft and such a small team. Well if you look at his history, in the past he has flown against some of the great distance men in the pigeon world, such great names as Peter Titmus and Marley Westrop. A great schooling in distance flying.
The other thing that makes Ron so consistent at the distance racepoints is his pigeons. They contain out and out distance blood being mainly Westcotts. They are also reasonably inbred. He has had Westcotts for years with some given to him by the late great Frank Blackmore from Tottenham who was another great distance flyer. Over the years Ron has only really introduced one different breed of pigeon into his colony and that was a good Janssen that his brother Dave gifted him.
Ron’s enthusiasm for the distance racing is shared by his wife Pat. It was Pat who bought Ron his one and only loft. She told me that it was 44 years ago that she bought Ron the loft, for a grand sum of GBP22. She bought it when they were on honeymoon and it has stood there in their garden ever since, and it still looks like new. It has an asbestos corregated roof, one door at the front and two wire windows. It is painted green. The pigeons trap just above the windows. It is refreshing to see such a simple set up. No fancy tiled roof, no complicated ventilation system, no closed in glass front, no darkness shutters. Just wire windows and one door.
So how is it that Ron can still compete successfully with such a small set up? Well Ron’s pigeons have got a great constitution and he rarely, if ever, loses a pigeon. He invariably gets them all back in race time. To illustrate how tough Ron’s pigeons are, one year he only bred one youngbird. Yes one youngbird! He trained it everywhere. He had a friend Danny Riggins who was a lorry driver, and as he was going to Peterborough which is about 50 miles away, he asked Ron if he could take Ron’s one youngbird. Ron agreed. When Danny reached Peterborough it was pouring with rain. Danny phoned Ron and told him that the weather had turned bad and he would bring the bird back. Ron told Danny that it was just as bad at this end but not to worry just let the pigeon go, she can make it. Danny reluctantly let the pigeon go and within a couple of hours this single youngbird, a small hen, alighted on the loft and went in as if to ask what all the fuss was about. That single young hen went on to fly the whole program from Peterborough through to Morpeth. That particular Morpeth which is approximately 250 miles north was a stinker of a race. There was a strong south westerly blowing but that young hen went on to take 36th open Morpeth 250 miles and won the club by over 1 hour! That must go down on record as being the smallest youngbird “team” ever. One! A great performance.
That particular example is not just a one off. Ron rarely loses youngbirds. Take for example last year, he again only bred 6 youngbirds. At the end of the season he still had five of them, he would have still had all six but he had to remove one of them as it got injured. The other thing that makes Ron pigeons special is their tame and relaxed temperament and the fact that Ron has a great affinity with his birds. Ron told me that when the pigeons are out he dare not leave the back door open or they will follow him into the kitchen. Ron has a small pond by his backdoor and during exercise they will fly down to the small pond and have a drink and a bath. They are perfectly relaxed doing this. One hen that Ron had that was a grizzle used to have a bath in the pond and then walk into the house through the kitchen and sit drying itself in front of the fire next to the dog! Ron said that sometimes on returning from a race the birds will fly straight to the pond for a quick drink before flying to the loft.
The youngbirds are just as relaxed. One year he let out the youngbirds and he went back inside the house. He came back out to look for them and as they weren’t to be seen he thought that they must being flying off somewhere. He could hear the two little girls next door playing in their sand pit and when he looked over the fence there were his youngbirds, in the sandpit with the two girls, perfectly at home. What is also remarkable about Ron’s loft is his feeding. You would think that he has a really complicated feeding regime, with high fat diets and massive carbohydrate loading before a big race but no, you’d be wrong. All that Ron feeds is beans. I’ll repeat that in case any of you think that this is a misprint. Beans! Yes beans, just beans and nothing but beans. I can hear the continental distance fliers giving out cries of disbelief but I’ve been there and seen it. Just beans. He does trap with a pinch of canary seed but after that its beans.
I asked him what he put in his water…..his answer……just water. What about vitamins, anti-canker treatments, anti-coccidiosis treatments…..he never uses them. All he does is vaccinate against paramyxovirus then after that nothing. His pigeons are hard. Ron told me that they have never had canker and I must say they all looked a picture of health. His pigeons are let out twice a day. Ron said when he had a Jack Russell terrier he left them out all day. The birds get trained twice a week from about twenty miles but as Ron doesn’t drive his good friend Bill Watson takes them. Ron flies natural and believes that pigeons fly the distance better if they are mated for life with one partner. Ron does like to fly hens. He prefers it if they are sitting 10 days on eggs but if he has spare hens then they go celibate. I remember one year when Ron had many more hens than cocks, but that didn’t bother him he just sent hens.
It was a very refreshing experience seeing Ron’s loft and birds. It illustrates that you don’t need hundreds of pigeons to compete, you don’t need massive lofts and big youngbird teams. You don’t need complicated feeding regimes or expensive medicines. You just need good pigeons with a tough constitution. Oh, and one tiny loft.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Secret #7: I Believe in Heredity
I believe in the simple principle of genetics, “Heredity is handed down from one generation to the next.” No one can start with mediocre pigeons and castoffs from several different fanciers, and hope to come up with anything that is close to an established family of pigeons that will pass on the needed quality genes and traits. Therefore, select from a family of pigeons that has bred continuous winners over a long period of time, at least 10 years in tough competition.
If you are not breeding from winners or children of winners, you are in trouble! This is where it all starts. All the time and money spent for care and training throughout the year can amount to hours of frustration, disappointment and expense. Pairing the best with the best does not necessarily guarantee success, but it definitely increases the chances of it.
In both the racing and breeding lofts, the true value of a pigeon will be found only by actual tests, either by flying or by the quality of young it produces. The true tests of a quality breeder are the performance and breeding success of its offspring, not its own race record. If a bird cannot reproduce itself or better, it is no good as a breeder and should be culled. Remember results will not be seen in one year. It will take 2 years to see any real evidence.