Monday, 28 December 2009

Its Time!

Well the birds were paired up on Boxing day - 13 pairs in total. They are currently being locked in their boxes to ensure the pairs are fully aware of who their partner is. I let some of the birds out for the first time since racing on Christmas day, and tried to break a few of the stock birds that have been in for a while. I let out 4 that had not been out before and by nightfall all 4 were missing. 2 days later, 2 appeared back at the loft. I have managed to break 2 of my Europa birds which I purchased in 2008. So fingers crossed, these will be trained up with my 7 young birds that I had from last season. I also managed to break a youngster I purchased as well, so all being well will have a race team of 10 birds. 7 youngsters, 2 ex Europa birds and an untrained youngster. So I am happy with that. I have also started making plans to build my new young bird loft and aim to complete this come the end of January.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Well done 'Rasbull Studley'

'Rasbull Studley' has just won 2nd Through the Wires Any Age in Phillipstown show. A lot of top fanciers were there so a great achievement for the lofts. There is another show next week in Abercynon so I am hoping he will be amongst the mix again.
In the loft, the cocks are busy picking there boxes and the hens waiting patiently for this to happen. It will be all systems go then! These shows are a great way to pass the close season, a decent night out and a bit of fun win or lose. Racing is where it matters though!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Congratulations Neil!

Congratulations to my brother who picked up 1st and 2nd Through the Wires Young Birds today in the Gurnos Show. Fantastic result for him having only had pigeons for 3 months! One of my own birds also picked up Highly Commended. So between the two of us we took 3 out of the 6 cards up for grabs. There were 66 in the class so very happy with that result. There is a Handling Show next Friday so will let you know if we attend and how we get on.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Something different!

I am going to try something different this year. I was planning to sell my 1st round but I have decided that although I will still sell a few, I am going to breed them in December and put Old bird rings on them and race them in the Old bird season. They will be 4-5 months old and will be on natural darkness. I have ordered 35 '09' rings, so will be interesting how things pan out. I only have 7 old birds, so think its worth a try to boost my Old bird team, I cant see I have anything to lose and maybe everything to gain!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Learn by mistakes!

Yesterday I decided to put the birds together with their prospective partners to see how they take to each other. I paired the 16 pairs and all was looking well. I decided to leave the birds together while I went to work. Big mistake, because on going back into the loft after work, 2 hens had been totally scalped! So I wont be doing that again in a hurry. The other 14 pairs were fine and all looking well together. I am now aiming to pair up on the 10th December with my entire 1st first round being put up for sale. I have to go to the Europa Classic loft on Saturday to pick up 3 new purchases which are waiting for collection. There is also a young bird show in Merthyr on the same day which I am planning on entering. So fingers crossed a few cards can be picked up in the show pens.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Stock Pairs decided and a small draft for sale!

I have been busy finalising my stock pairs this last few days. I have also decided that a small draft of young birds will be offered up for sale out of the new Europa stock birds we have introduced this autumn. I have put 7 pairs on the 'For Sale' page of the website so people can have a look at the quality that is going to be offered. Numbers are limited, so if interested please contact as soon as possible. A 25% deposit will secure your birds. I will be looking to breed a round in January that will be sold and also a late bred round will also be offered for sale probably around July/August time.

Monday, 9 November 2009

More new introductions!

3 more new introductions for the stock loft, including 4th Hotspot Europa Classic, 120 miles. Also a hen that scored 26th, 61st, 64th, 65th out of the 6 race series in the Europa. Fantastic performances. That means from the Europa Classic sales we purchased 12 birds in total and the 12 birds were all in the top 62 Ace Birds going into the final race! There were over 1200 birds that started the series and prior to the final race had flown 5 races amassing around 12 hours flying time in those races! The actual positions were 6th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 26th, 32nd, 40th, 41st, 43rd, 54th and 62nd. After the final race we had 9th, 17th and 34th Ace Birds. We purchased pigeons that won 9 cash amounts for being in the top 10 of the Hotspot races, including 2 x 4th, 2 x 5th, 6th and 9th. And also 24th , 29th and 86th Open in the final race.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

New share syndicate set up!

I have decided to setup a share syndicate for next seasons Europa Classic 2010. The system can be seen on the One loft page of this website. Each syndicate will have 4 shareholders, not too expensive but not too many that the prize money gets watered down too much. I have picked 3 pairs of birds that I purchased at the auctions that will be responsible for breeding. One youngster from each pair will go in each syndicate to form a team, therefore ensuring each syndicate has the same blood and effectively the same chance. I hope to get a good response as the birds that are going to breed the youngsters have put up some fantastic performances in this years race and will breed some super youngsters for a crack at the £30,000 first prize! Have a look at the quality of the birds, any information/booking can be done through

The hit counter on the website has really gone through the roof in the last 3 days since the introduction of the new stock. I have had numerous people enquiring about birds for sale for 2010 from the stock birds and anyone interested please get in touch through the email above as numbers will be limited.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Several new stars at Rasbull Lofts!

Yes thats right, several, infact 9 new stars have been purchased from the Europa Classic sale. Over the course of the 2 auctions, 9 absolutely fantastic pigeons have been purchased for the stock lofts. The biggest stars with out doubt have to be a nest pair of birds bred by Ron Bevan who come 24th Open and 29th Open and who were 9th Ace Bird and 17th Ace Bird! A nest pair both in the top 30 of the Europa Classic, both in the top 17 of the Ace Bird standing! The chances? Have there ever been a better pair of nestmates in the final results? I would doubt it. Both have been purchased and now have pride of place in the stock loft! I went with a list of 10 birds and come back with 9 of them! The only 1 I didnt manage to purchase was because it didnt go up for auction and was withdrawn for the Europa 500. No expense has been spared in purchasing these birds! Other results of the birds I purchased include:- 4th hotspot, 15th hotspot, 39th hotspot, 9th hotspot, 48th hotspot, 86th Open, 16th hotspot, 5th hotspot, 6th hotspot, 15th hotspot, 31st hotspot, 31st hotspot, 43rd hotspot. 34th Ace Bird.
As can be seen some outstanding results from the birds purchased. All the details have been put onto the stock bird page of the website and if you would like further details you will be able to find them on here.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Quick update

Just a quick update! I have been looking through the sales lists for the Europa Auction birds and after 10 hours of non stop research I have a list of 44 birds that I hope to obtain several from. The auction is currently taking place on although that will be followed by a live auction in Barry, South Wales on the 31st October. At least I have my list ready! ;-)

Monday, 19 October 2009

Auction starts tomorrow!

All has been quiet at the loft recently. The birds are moulting well and starting to look well in their new feathers. I have made some alterations again to the ventilation system and the changes have made a big difference. There is now a much better air flow into the loft and the stale air is able to escape a lot easier.
The Europa auction date has changed and will now take place on the 31st October and the 1st November. The sale actually starts tomorrow online at so I am so looking forward to placing some bids and obtaining some quality birds.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Thats it now until next year!

I had 6 out of 7 home from yesterdays race, including '900' who had arrived back from the previous race just 15 minutes prior to basketing, so did really well to come! I am missing '522' the 3rd bird home from the previous race, I was hoping to see her on the loft this morning but as yet she hasn't made it. In the club we finished 9th and 10th and 4th out of 7 members. 8 minutes behind the winner. I must admit I must have overfed them as on arrival they failed to trap and I lost 5 minutes on the first two birds, and the others were just as bad.

I have made some changes to the loft which I have been planning for a long time. I have ripped all the soffit off and replaced with wire mess in the two sections and the air flow is far better already. I have also put a window in the stock section to allow more light. In the main loft I had already inserted 2 windows several months ago to allow more light but the one was being partly blocked by a 6ft fence, so I have reduced that to 3ft to allow the light to flood in.

I have this morning seperated the birds, and rough guessing I have 14 hens and 13 cocks. I have room for 24 pairs if both lofts are in use. However, I am thinking of having the stock and race birds in the one loft and having a max of 16 pairs. That will be 32 youngsters a round, so two rounds and my breeding will be over. Last year due to not having enough hens etc at the start of the breeding season, it took me 5 rounds to get a team of young birds together.

The Europa Auction is on the 18th October in Barry, South Wales. I have an idea of the pigeons that I want to purchase at the sale and introduce into my stock loft. I hope to be able to purchase at least 4 new birds that will add quality to my existing loft.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Crazy....but gotta be tough!

Just about to basket the birds up for this weeks race and I had '900' a cheq hen drop into the trap that was missing from last weeks race! She is looking well so obviously been in somewhere I would say! I am just about to basket the birds back up and have decided she will be resent given the condition she is in. I have no races after this and I am not prepared to keep a potential duffer all winter to lose her in the first race of next season! So its a quick drink for her and off we go! Will be interesting to see tomorrow if she makes it back? I had resigned myself to the fact I had a potential race team of 7 so its upto her now to force her way back into my loft and plans! We shall see........

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Final training tosses of the season!

Well I was only planning one last toss this afternoon but did manage to get 2 in! I took them 10 miles, and they didnt come as fast as I would like, so they were rebasketed and taken 15 miles. They beat us home the second time. They have been fed tonight and had something 'extra' in the water, so will see if this helps or hinders! All 7 will now go tomorrow afternoon and what comes back will form the 1st old bird team of the Rasbull Loft era for the 2010 season!

Last Race Saturday!

It only seemed like yesterday the season was due to begin, and in a flash it will soon be over for another year. The preparation for this weeks race hasn't gone as well as hoped. Firstly the 3 that were lost in last weeks race failed to return, a little surprising as I thought I would have had at least 1 back. So that now leaves me 7 for this last race. I was hoping to get the birds flying an hour a night all week with 2 or 3 short training tosses in between. However, the birds have seemed a little reluctant to put in a full hours flying, some nights only up for 15-20 minutes! I have not flagged them and allowed them to do what they wont. I have locked the loft and they have stayed out for the hour however. I have have managed to fit in 2 short 10 mile tosses to sharpen them up and they have come well from these. I will give them another 10 mile toss tonight before feeding them up ready for the race. I have no idea how they will come. Last week they were bombing home from training and I was super confident, but this week is a mystery to me! All will be revealed I have no doubt come Saturday!

Saturday, 19 September 2009


Well, 7 out of 10 and 8th, 9th, 10th club. I am quite happy with that. I am still missing 3 birds and hope they will appear in the morning. I was 8 minutes behind the winner, and 5 minutes behind 2nd. I was 3rd member of out the 6 that sent. So all in all I am over the moon. I have one more race now next week from the same race point and the ones who have returned will all go again.

I decided to basket the birds up again tonight and take them 10 miles for a toss with a mate to get them breaking faster and sharper. I am hoping to give them an hour loft fly each night this week and then basket them for a 10-20 mile toss each night before feeding.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Thats it!

The birds were not trained today and I decided instead to loft fly them. They exercised for 51 minutes, and I must be honest and say I was a little disappointed with that time. I decided not to flag and instead allow them in to be fed. I gave them as much as they wanted and a few other bits and bobs. I can no do nothing more for them and its now up to the birds on the day. I will not feed them tomorrow now, and will be basketing the birds up ready to go to the club about 4pm. The next time I update this blog I will know how they have come. I hope they do themselves justice!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

45 hours and they will be basketed!

The birds have continued to be pushed these last 2 days. They have been yesterday and today. Today they went 28 miles line of flight, and recorded 1306 ypm. I am over the moon with them. Tonight I have tried a few little tricks with them to improve them still further. I was going to train them again tomorrow night, but feel they have worked hard enough for the last week. They will be loft flown tomorrow evening and then prepared for the race. I am pleased all 8 new youngsters have excelled in their training as they were totally inexperienced prior to this week. I hope they do themselves justice now in the race. To say I am excited is an understatement!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Its just getting better and better each day!

Today the birds were taken to Raglan some 26 miles line of flight to the loft, and a lot further north than they have been training from. We absolutely bombed home, and still the 10 birds were in the trap and all the food had been eaten. We were home after 38 minutes and they were already there so that would give them a velocity of 1250-1300 ypm. I am super confident in this team at the moment. Their whole attitude in and around the loft has changed this last 2 weeks. They are jumping, chasing everything in sight and looking in super form. In the basket they are cooing and chasing, super hyped up. Another 3 training tosses planned in the next 3 days and these birds will be in the best shape I have ever entered into a race!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Best so far!

Tonights training toss was the best so far. Again the birds were taken to Shirenewton (40 miles) and were all home before us and that was at 55 minutes, so they must have done the 40 miles in about 50 minutes because all the food that I had put for them had been eaten. All 10 home. There best time to date from the 40 miles was 1h 1minute, so they hammered that time by at least 10 minutes! I am looking to go again now tomorrow and hoping for more of the same!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Training going well

Birds went again this morning to Shirenewton (40 miles), after they were let go, a batch of 12 pigeons appeared and joined my birds. I started to fear the worst, but although they were 10 minutes slowly today all but one returned. I checked the loft and the bird I was missing from yesterday returned in between training the the others. Tonight the missing bird from todays training toss has now returned. So in 3 x 40 miles tosses the last 4 days I am down just one bird.
The trained birds were then let out about 4 o'clock and exercised for 30 minutes when I called them down for an earlier feed due to training tomorrow. I put a bath in the loft for the birds to use and freshen up and I am hoping to go again tomorrow (40 miles) about 3pm all going to plan!

Friday, 11 September 2009


Took the birds training again tonight (40 miles), they were back in 1h 1 minute, so quite happy with that. I am missing one at the moment, but hoping he works back by tomorrow. They are going again in the morning and hoping they keep improving all week. I am really optimistic about this team and think good things are just a matter of time away.

I have this afternoon purchased a full brother to my 7th Open South West Race pigeon I purchased. He is also full brother/sister to 10th and 28th Open as well! Fantastic family of pigeons and I am hoping the winning genes are going to pass onto some lovely youngsters next year! The pigeon will be delivered next week. Another addition to the stock loft!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Looking Promising!

The youngsters are once again back on form and are exercising daily for up to 2 hours without flagging. They have really come good again after a few problems mid season when they lost all form and condition. They went training yesterday (40 miles). The 8 have only been upto 10 miles to date but I decided to put them all in and they come in a good time and was very pleased with them. The race is next saturday so this coming week they are going to have a hammering and will be trained 40 miles everyday weather permitting.

I have started to introduce new stock for next year to add to the existing stock birds I have. The pigeon that finished 7th Open South West One Loft race turned out to be a cock. I have been in contact with Nevill Flett the man who bred the pigeon and infact who bred not only the 7th, but also the 10th and 28th Open. All were full brothers and sisters to each other. Outstanding breeding. I have therefore contacted Neville and agreed the purchase of another 5 pigeons from his stock lofts. These are Busschaerts and De Klaks. I hope to have them delivered next week so cant wait for them to arrive.

They will not be the last new additions either before the start of the breeding season that is for sure. I am always looking to introduce quality to the loft whenever the opportunity arises.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Europa Classic Update

The race has now closed and it was just the 1 out of the 3 that we had complete the race. There were 477 birds recorded, so that leaves 277 birds lost, unfortunately 2 were ours! Still to get 3 to the final race in the 1st season back is pleasing and some more work will be done to improve on our 422nd position this year - Defeat is not an option!!!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Looking well

The birds are looking quite well at the moment and have started to increase the amount they are flying during exercise time. I am currently feeding at 6pm and they are having as much as they want. The droppings are like marbles. They are really heavily in the moult now and I will be glad when they have come through, its like a snow shower at present when ever entering the loft. The race from Swindon tomorrow, 1st comeback, I have decided against sending as the birds are simply not ready for it. I now have 2 weeks to get them prepared fully, allow them time to get over moulting and hopfully they will be ready to go to Newbury in 2 weeks time. I currently have 3 young birds that have had 4 races upto 146 miles this season, and 8 youngsters that have only had about 5 training tosses upto 10 miles. I will look to give them some further road work over the next 2 weeks. Some of the 8 youngsters are looking crackers and will be interesting to see how they do over the next month or so. I have been working out a keep list for the birds at the moment to have an idea of what will be retained for the breeding season and what will be moved on. I am quite happy with what I have in the loft at the moment, but will look to bring in some fresh blood over the winter months.
The hen that escaped from the Swol auction has not made it home, and given the weather she really did not have a chance. I have spoken to Richy Elliot, and he has 15 in training and they are being entered into to Open race from France, and said he will pick one out that comes through the race and will replace free of charge for me. This is a really kind gesture and I look forward to receiving the new bird.

Monday, 31 August 2009

We got 1!

Yep we got one this morning! 10391 managed to get home and recorded 422nd position out of the 754 entries. There are still 324 birds still missing, but more are working back all the time. I am hopeful the other Rasbull Lofts entries make it back as well.

Not this year!

It turned out to be a mixed sort of day at the Europa Classic. We arrived at the lofts at 11.30am and there were quite a lot of people milling around buzzing with excitement. I had 3 birds in the race and was excited as anyone! We waited for the birds arrival and sure enough as I suspected 15 birds come together. It was a race for the traps and on running into the marquee I could see Rasbull Lofts entries were not among this initial batch. Batches kept coming all afternoon but still no Rasbull Rocket managed to find their way onto the clocking system. By the time we left 270 birds out of the 754 birds had made it home. I am quite happy that all 3 got to this stage but disappointed at least one hasn't made it home. I know some more have arrived this morning but they have not updated the website result yet so there is still time!
The auction for the South West One Loft race winners was also held and I purchased 2 nice hens, one finishing 7th Open, 7th Ace bird, and the other 19th Open, 15th Ace bird. However, my luck was to change as on leaving the base of the box had become damp, and the 19th open bird flew out and into distance! I have emailed the race organiser and hope the gallant little hen makes it back to Plymouth. So I hope to get an email saying she has made it home.
The free booze went down very well and we all had a good time, although the only 1 meal per person was a bit poor after last years all you could eat!!
I will be making some sweeping changes to the birds in the loft after this result. The birds were sent especially to test the young and on this showing they have been found wanting. So the parents and a few others will be making way in the loft for replacements that are going to be brought in. I will not tolerate losing - Rasbull Lofts - Defeat is not an option and therefore its up to me to put this right. All those birds were treated the same, and some made it home, my 3 didn't!! So I will need to review each and every bird in the loft and weed out any that have fallen short of meeting the standards I have set and that I most definitely demand!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Its time!

Well its the night before the biggest race of the season - The Europa Classic. I have just checked and there are 754 birds that have been marked for the Final Race. I am planning on leaving to go to the lofts to await the winners early tomorrow morning. They are looking at liberating at 6.30am if the weather is good. A big crowd I am sure will be there and to have 3 birds in the race that I have actually bred is quite special. The distance is 285 miles and this is sort of distance the birds I have bred should really excel at. They have not really been on the button in the sprint races but you dont get Paula Radclife winning a 100m race do you? Horses for courses and my birds are in this race at their optimal distance, make no mistake about that!

My own birds are relaxing around the loft, heavily moulting. They have not been exercising much which is a concern and with Swindon (76 miles) next week, at this moment there is a doubt if they will go as they are not race fit. I may wait until two weeks after that and put them into Newbury (97 miles). This way I will have time to give them some road work to make them fly and get them properly prepared for the race. They will be right when they go and if not they will remain in the loft.

Well good luck to my 3 tomorrow and everyone else who has pigeon/pigeons in the race! May the best bird win!!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Fingers Crossed!

The final race of the Europa Classic is going to be held on Sunday 30th August. I am over the moon that all baring a disaster in one of the few remaining training tosses, I will have 3 entries in the final race. I only sent 3 down and not have lost one I am over the moon. I hope they do themselves justice now come Sunday. The race distance has been increased to around 285 miles so going to be stiff test for the birds. They have flown 160 miles twice since being in the lofts. This extra 125 miles will certainly test them. But that is what they were sent for. I am planning on going down with my brother Neil. A good day is guaranteed and the excitement waiting for the birds is second to none, especially when £30,000 is at stake!!

In my own loft, the birds have been kept in for most of the last two weeks. They will probably not go to this weeks race Folkstone(200 miles) as bad weather is forecast for Saturday and I am the Europa Classic on Sunday. So they will probably go to the following weeks race from Swindon if all goes to plan.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Funny Old Race!

This weeks race took place from Epsom and to say it was an odd race is an understatement. The distance to myself is 141 miles, but I didnt have a bird for just over 5 hours!! Other people in my club were in the same boat. One lad who has his birds bang in form and knocking on the door had 2 out of 24 come knock off. Another friend in the club had 1 out 7! I ended the day with 3 out of 4 back. I am quite happy they keep coming but they certainly aint racing at the moment! I think I am going to give them a rest this week (Maidstone - 176 miles) and skip them to Folkestone the following week, 200 miles. I am still undecided but thats whats in my mind at the moment.
The Europa final race has now been confirmed at being around the 275 miles mark instead of the 240 miles. I think this is a lot better and should give for a better race with a proper and worthy winner being found. I still have all 3 in the loft, so should have 3 chances come the final race as long as there are no mishaps in training now before the 30th August!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Oh well!

The Europa One Loft Race held their final hotspot race today from 160 miles, and although the results were some what disappointing at 466th, 549th, 561st out of the 759 birds left in the race they were only 5 minutes behind the race winner. Still all to play for. It appears the organisers are looking to extend the final race to prevent a big batch arriving on race day and to make a true race of the final distance. I am all for the further racepoint (Edinburgh) but we will have an update early next week I am told.

My own youngsters have not been out much this week, although have had 3 short training tosses to 10 miles, just to sharpen them up and getting them to race home rather than just ambling. I hope to take them again tomorrow and hopefully again Saturday morning. They are looking quite well in themselves. The race from Epsom (141 miles) has been put back to Sunday now so basketing is on Saturday again this week.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Mixed bag!

Well today has been interesting if somewhat disappointing! The birds were sent last night to be marked and I was quite happy with their condition even though they had only been out of the loft for 2 training tosses last week (Wednesday and Thursday) with no loft exercise at all! The club sent 117 birds to Newbury, 97 miles, and I was hoping to be closer than I was last race (10 mins behind the winner). The birds were liberated at 7am and at 9.26am 2 birds circled the loft and landed on the trap. 93 and 78 were both timed in and at that point I was quite excited I felt I had 2 good birds! There velocities were 1170 and 1163. However, when getting to the club most members had timed in around the 9.00 - 9.08 mark. Allowing my overfly of 9 mins that still put me 15 mins behind the winner. So I was left quite disappointed with that result. I had 4 out of 5, but my first bird home on 2 previous races is missing. I hope she works back tonight or tomorrow but deep down fear the worst for her!

They have exercised around the loft tonight for 30 mins and on trapping were fed as much as they wanted. I am going to try and give plenty of loft exercise now this week and get them right for next weeks race. I will try to take the birds training a few times in the week as well. Next weeks race is Epsom 140 miles to me. The further the birds go the more it benefits me, due to my lack of drag. The further from the Severn bridge the birds go the more chance of working into smaller batches and then finding a truer line of flight than following the bunch into the valleys and then having to banana back to Brecon.
I am going to start training the remainder of the youngsters this coming week as well. There is 8 in total who can now start to be trained and I am hoping to put these into the comeback races at the end of September.
The bird Niddy purchased in the breeder / buyer who is a full brother to my 2nd bird today and nestmate to my 4th bird done ok for him. Having his first race today he was Niddy's 2nd bird out of the 10 that Niddy sent. I am going to look to purchase a top scoring hen at the Europa Classic to pair to the father of these birds and hope to enter one of the youngsters in the Europa Classic 2010 next year. I couldnt put one in this year from him as the dates of the pairings were all wrong for him. Will be interesting to see how this cock does for Niddy over the remainder of the season.

The one loft birds had there 4th Hotspot Friday. My first bird home was (84) and he was 204th, (83) was 315th and (91) was 502nd out of the 815 birds entered. I was quite happy with that result with (84) being just 4 minutes behind the winner from 160 miles! I am looking forward to the final hotspot and the final race. I was looking through the ring list and there are not many fanciers who still have all the birds they sent still in the loft, so I am quite proud of that fact.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

What a difference!

I am so glad I didnt send last week and chose to treat the birds for Young Bird Sickness. The birds although flying well and exercising around the loft just didnt seem quite right last week. I decided to forfeit the race and retreat the team for YBS. Feeding the team tonight, this decision has proved to be correct with the team looking the best they have done for a long while. The majority of the team are now gleaming in feather quality. There is still one or two to come back into condition, but over the next few days have no doubt they will. The problem I seem to have now is the race being on Saturday and the birds have had no exercise since last Thursday! This is a concern and if they fail to race this week (97 miles) the following weeks race is from 140 miles. I only have wednesday and Thursday to get them out and exercising. Considering they are all still not 100%, I am unsure what to do. I will wait to see how they are again tomorrow afternoon and I might let them out for loft exercise in the evening, depending on how they go I might then give them a training toss on Thursday. But any concern and they will not go again this week and I will jump them upto 140 miles.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Always next week!

This weeks race from Newbury was put back until Sunday due to the weather. The birds have been to Shirenewton (40 miles) twice this week and beat us home on both occasions. However, I am not entirely happy with the current condition of the loft and feel there is still a touch of the Young Bird Sickness lurking. I have taken to the step to treat the birds instead of sending. There is another Newbury next week so there is no problem. The birds had a feed last night but still had food in their crops this morning so I have decided to treat for Young Bird Sickness again. I was the only member in the club to have 100% returns last week so think this will soon sort itself out and the team will be back better than ever for next weeks race. The birds are currently locked in individual boxes and each will be monitored seperately. I will look to give the team loft exercise the coming week with a training toss around Thursday if all is well!

The Europa Classic 3rd hotspot took place on Friday with Rasbull Lofts having all 3 home which is pleasing but as yet they are not knocking on the door. 425th was our best position from the 938 birds that were basketed. I hope this will improve for the longer races. I think this shows the need to bring in some stock with out and out sprint in the blood. I seem to have consistency, but appear to be lacking enough pace. So in the winter months I will work out a plan to correct this. This is one of the main reasons I chose to enter the race so I could test my birds to see how they compared to birds on an equal footing. So far it has been very interesting!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Weather not looking good for racing at present!

The weather is pouring down with rain at present. The birds have been stuck in the loft and no exercise has been able to be done. The 5 race birds did have a 40 miles training toss to the Severn Bridge on Monday and weather permitting will have another tomorrow afternoon (Thursday). At present the weather is looking like rain for the weekend so there is a doubt when the birds will be liberated. If they are going to be stuck in the basket for 2-3 days then they will not be sent and will be left in the loft this week with further training and exercise undertaken for the following week. I am not in a rush as the race programme has been changed and its now Newbury (97 miles) this week and next. So its a matter of seeing what the weather brings and hoping there will be a break in it to allow the birds time to race and train.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

A day of two halves!

The birds were finally liberated at 12.15 from Swindon. I waited and waited then after 2 hours and 20 mins I had two birds arrive together. 74 and 78 both trapped immediately. I was quite disappointed as working out the velocity was just 964ypm. On arriving at the knock off, it was clear these 2 birds were not as bad as first feared. Many of the members were reporting very poor returns. 1/20, 1/10, 1/10 16/30 etc. It turned out I finished 9th and 10th club, 11 minutes behind the eventual winner but was very close to collecting 6th and 7th. I was quite chuffed with this result as they had not been training at all during last week. I just missed out on the pools this week (for the 2nd week running!) On returning from the club another 2 birds were waiting on the loft. So on the shut down of the loft tonight I am just one pigeon adrift! I am over the moon with today and this now gives me plenty to work with this coming week in preparation for Newbury (97 miles) next Saturday. So out of the 11 members that sent this week I was 5th. And out of the 146 birds that went I managed to achieve 9th and 10th. I am going to give the birds plenty of loft exercise again this week with hopfully 2 tosses thrown in to help sharpen them up and cut that 11 minute gap!

Friday, 24 July 2009

The excitement is always there!

It makes no difference how often you race the birds, the excitement after you return from the club house remains the same. You just want to fall to sleep and wake up on race day. It reminds me so much of christmas day when I always liked to go to bed earlier as then christmas would come earlier!
The birds remained in the loft today and were looking ok on basketing. They have not been basket trained once this week and whether that is a mistake will soon be discovered. They have exercised around the loft for the last 6 days for a hour and half each night. I decided to send all 5 that returned from last weeks race. I am in the knock out with Bobby Thomas who was 12th section last week so a big improvement is required to make the final! The wind looks a little easier than last week and another early liberation is expected.
The Europa held there 2nd Hotspot today from 100 miles and although my best bird finished 368th he was only 2 minutes behind the winner and most of the birds arrived in a big bunch again. The further they go the more chance the cream will have to come to the top. Still have the 3 birds in the race and that was the main aim from the outset.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

No training but new exercise routine

The weather has been awful this last few days and there has been no chance of training at all. However, I have taken the opportunity to experiment with the birds and they have been exercising to a new timetable and are flying very well. The birds are now flying 1 hour 30 mins a day which I am satisfied with. I checked over the race birds and all 5 have come out of last weeks race in good shape and although 2 are moulting quite badly, I have decided all 5 will go to the race - Swindon 76 miles. Although not having any training tosses I am a quietly confident they will do ok in the race. The main thing is to get the birds back home and the exercise they have been putting in this week will have stood them in good stead. I have also decided to take a further select round off the stock birds due to the substantial losses so far in training, YBS and last weeks race. The purchaser of the my breeder buyer youngster said she is still in the loft and doing well in training. Incidentially she is the nestmate to my 2nd bird last week and full sister to my 3rd bird. So will be interesting to see how this family does in the future races.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Better today

The new changes to loft seem to have worked well with plenty of light now in the young bird loft. The birds have just been loft flown this afternoon. They went out and were called down after an hour, had a small feed, and then half hour later let out again and exercised for a further 35 minutes. They went ranging and flew with vigour tonight. I am planning on purely loft flying the birds this week with a short toss around Wendesday to boost their confidence.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Today the birds have been resting and were let out for exercise this afternoon. While the birds were out some changes to the young bird loft were made. Inside the loft has been extremely dark especially down the far end. I decided to insert two windows to allow more sun light into the loft and help bring the birds into better condition from the natural sunlight. I have just completed and the difference it has made is unbelievable. The birds exercised well. Of the 5 race birds I now have left after the poor returns on Saturday, 2 are breaking up quite badly with the moult. I have doubts over the one for the next race but the others should all be fine. I am going to give them plenty of exercise around the loft this week and a single up training toss from 35 miles I am hoping to get in around mid week. I think this will help the birds more than group training.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Its been a hard long day

The birds were liberated at 6.45 this morning into a North Westerly wind. The birds really struggled and our first didn't arrive until 9.26am. (The club winner was 8.45am) We had 4 birds home by 11am and have had nothing since. Some top flyers are also reporting big losses. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. Failing to get anymore our racing season will be over before it has begun. We have just the 4 birds that arrived today left that have been trained.
Our first arrival seemed rather spooked and remained on the roof for a couple of minutes on returning. The only bright side is we went throught to the next round of the club knock-out. Our reward for this is a tie against the clubs top flyer, Bobby Thomas - a National winner and winner of the first 3 races this season! So what a reward that is! We hope to get a few in the morning but I am not holding out much hope!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Waiting is the worst part!!

The birds were basketed at 4pm this afternoon in readiness for the race tomorrow. I noticed yesterday at exercise I was down a bird and it was confirmed on basketing that one of the race team was missing. This bird has been trained 20 times upto 40 miles, so it doesnt look good for him. He must have hit wires or a hawk must of had him. So that was a bad start and somewhat annoying. The other 15 race birds were fit and therefore all sent. The race is from Swindon (76 miles) tomorrow and 6 members in the club sent 84 birds. The birds were looking well and I think I have given them the best chance I could have done. The weather forecast is not to bad and an early liberation is anticipated.
The Europa 1st Hotspot didnt go as planned and my birds recorded positions of 539, 658 and 805. There were 1,104 birds sent and 1008 birds were timed in. So thats 96 birds failed to time! All 3 were in the main bunch of birds and apart from the 1st two, all clocked within 5 minutes of each other. The short races are always a bit of a lottery I think. When the races get over 100 miles then the men will be sorted out from the boys! The pleasing thing is that all 3 are still in the running to be crowned Europa One Loft Champion and you have to be in it to win it as they say!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Official - The debut race for Rasbull Lofts will be Swindon on Saturday.

The debut race for Rasbull Lofts it has been decided will be Swindon on Saturday. I have been checking the weather all day and believe they will be able to liberate the birds Saturday morning. I will look over the team tomorrow at 4pm before deciding on how many or which birds will go. They had a relaxing day around the loft today and were fed tonight at 6pm. They were fed a slightly different ratio mix in readiness for the race.
The birds in the Europa Classic were trained again today, but 'Rasbull Eubank' struggled and only just made the Clocked in list. The 1st Hotspot race is tomorrow and 1102 birds have been officially marked tonight ready for the race. It is forecast rain all morning so I think an afternoon liberation will be likely. All 3 birds in the Europa Classic have now been activated by myself and my brother Neil. 'Rasbull Eubank' has been pooled right through so hope he does slightly better than he did today in training.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Nearly ready for the 1st race

The birds have been busy training. They went 18 miles yesterday and 35 miles today line of flight. I dropped 3 birds from the 18 mile toss but all home today. Birds beat me home on both occasions. The rest of the youngbirds are now exercising around the loft. The weather forecast for Saturday is not good so we will monitor the situation nearer to the weekend before deciding if we are going to send. The last thing I want is for the birds to be sat in the basket and be heldover!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Flying well and back in training!

The birds continue to be on the mend and today they flew for over an hour when let out this afternoon. They were called back in and then basketed and taken 10 miles for a toss to see how they are looking. They beat us back and all returned. 19 were sent. I will hopefully take them again tomorrow - depending on the weather. They are looking set for their debut race on Saturday and also Rasbull Lofts debut race!!!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Things looking good for our debut race as Rasbull Lofts this coming Saturday!!!

The birds were let out for the first time properly in 2 weeks and they were a little rusty to start with but were out for 2 hours in total. They exercised ok, all come back in ok and were fed as much as they wanted. Things are looking good for our debut race as Rasbull Lofts this coming Saturday which is now from Swindon instead of Newbury. (Changed by the fed)
I am going to look to get the birds out flying around the loft again tomorrow about 4pm and then take the race team 10 miles on a toss shortly before feeding at 6pm. I will try the same again Tuesday. Hopefully depending on the weather I am going to give the birds a 40 mile toss Wednesday and then they can just relax around the loft on Thursday before basketing Friday.

Great news for Rasbull Lofts in the Europa Classic, our missing youngster returned and today recorded 457th position in the trainer from 40 miles. So we are back up to three in the race now again. We are pooling 'Rasbull Eubank, 10383, right the way through (£50) for the 1st hotspot this Friday. I have a feeling he is going to go well. Fingers crossed!!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Quietly on the mend!

Its been pretty quiet the last few days at the lofts. The birds are well on the mend now and getting lots of rest. The have been fed twice today both occasions have had 1/2oz - half conditioner and 1/2 young bird mix. Tomorrows plans are to give 1/2oz young bird mix full in the morning and then let the birds out for a fly to see how they are looking around 4pm. They will then be fed 3/4oz each and then will return to normal feeding once a day at 6pm. At this moment plans are to race on Saturday should the week go ok regarding, health, exercise and training!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Things getting better all the time!

The birds had 1/2 oz per bird this morning and they were fine. They will be fed another 1/2 oz this evening and then from tomorrow morning they will be fed half conditioner and half young bird mix to start building them back up. All going well, I am planning on letting the birds out Sunday evening for a fly to see how they are looking.
The Europa Classic birds have reached the 40 mile stage and they had a toss today. My two birds were clocked within 5 minutes of the 1st bird through the traps. They recorded positions 739 and 828. That means unfortunately bird No.2 on the One Loft Entries on the website has been lost. I am not sure if he was lost prior to this training toss or failed to return from it. There were 1203 birds entered and there are 1067 birds clocked in from todays toss. Thats 136 birds lost to date!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Get in there!

Hurray! The birds had not been fed for 48 hours and had been given the charcoal and soda crystals. They have just been fed 1/4 oz per bird and they are looking full of life. They were that hungry 3 escaped past me on entering the loft. They flew with vigour and vitality and when called all 3 trapped immediately. This compared to the other day when let out they all just sat on the roof despite being hungry. I believe they are well on the way to recovery now. Still a long way to go but its the first step!!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Back to basics!

This morning the birds were still looking a little sorry for themselves and one or two still had really horrible looking droppings. I decided to start afresh and clean all the birds crops with Soda Crystals. On handling the birds one or two had deteriorated quite rapidly and these were disposed of. After all remaining young birds had been crop flushed, I deposited a charcoal tablet into their crops. The birds were then left with water but no food and will now be fed 1/4oz per bird at 8pm tomorrow. This hopefully will cure the troubles I have been having. I have resigned myself to the fact there will be no racing for the next few weeks and a target date has been set as the 1st August which will be the 3rd Newbury and the 5th overall race of the young bird season. Obviously if the birds are ready by the 25th they will be sent, but time will tell us where we are at regarding this in the early part of next week.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Spoke to soon!

I think I spoke to soon regarding the YBS. I decided to let the birds who appeared well out for a fly after work today and they immediately landed on the roof and had no life in them what so ever! I didnt expect them to have much to be honest but when called in they just sat there and after a short while, half the birds did come in but the other half were just content to sit on the roof! This is not ideal and far from what I expected. I at least thought all the birds would have come when called! Back to the drawing board I think!!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Finally some light!!

Finally the worst of this dreaded YBS is at an end! Two birds died today and there are still 6 in quarantine, but the others have all responded well and are getting back to their full health. I wouldn't wish this on anyone and the sooner a cure is found the better! So the plan is to see how they are again in the morning and hopefully get them out for a bath tomorrow afternoon to freshen up. Rasbull Lofts are back in business!!

Too late for some

On finishing work I decided to get some soda crytals to help the sickest of the youngsters. On entering the loft however, one of the very poorly birds had already died. I did manage to adminster the soda crystals to the other 6 birds and they are currently locked into boxes. I hope this works or I am going to be losing a pile of my future race team! But on the brighter side, the rest of the birds continue to look better. So not all bad news!

On the up again this morning

The rest of the youngsters are on the up again this morning. They have just had their feed and all bar 7 come with enthusiasm. The droppings are reforming and they are looking more lively around the loft! The antibiotic is now in the water so hopfully this will help with any secondary infection that may have developed while the immune system was compromised with the Young bird sickness.

Last saloon!

There are 7 youngsters who have now reached a point where they will have little chance of surviving if they dont start eating/drinking. They are refusing everything and just sitting there hunched up. I am going to try emptying the crop with soda crystals this afternoon. Then they will have a charcoal tablet with nothing to eat for 24 hours. They really are in the last chance saloon!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Europa Classic Entries

The 3 entries from Rasbull Lofts into the Europa Classic One Loft Race are doing well. They are currently being trained and yesterday completed the 15 mile toss. The 1200 birds are currently being trained in batches of 200. Next week they will be at 30 miles and then will be all released together and timed in on the ETS and the positions and times will be then updated daily onto their website. The 1st Hotspot is planned for the 17th July and is from 60 miles. The first prize is £500 so fingers crossed!

Back in Business!!

This morning has seen a marked improvement in the birds at Rasbull Lofts. They are showing definite signs of improvement. There are still 6 or 7 looking quite poorly but hopefully they will pick up in the next few days. The others are eating well and generally looking better in themselves. They are continuing with the Live Yoghurt and Adenosan. They are also going to start a course of antibiotics for a few days to warn of any secondary infection.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Still little improvement!

Well the birds are showing no real sign of improvement although one or two are showing an increased appetite. The Adenosan arrived, and they had that on their food this morning. I also gave each youngster a charcoal tablet to see if this speeds up the recovery process. The live yogurt will go on a small feed later this afternoon. Things still looking bleak though on the whole!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Tough day

Well its been a tough day at the lofts. The youngsters are looking pretty sorry for themselves with about 3 or 4 showing quite advanced stages of YBS and I genuinely have worries for these pigeons. I have been feeding small conditioning food covered in live yoghurt and they have eaten what has been put in front of them. The droppings are typical of YBS and a product is in place to help with the watery droppings. Its gonna take a few days to get the birds back into form and at this stage even next weeks race is a severe doubt! Will keep you all updated throughout the week.

Change to the teams

Due to the outbreak of Young bird sickness, the plans have somewhat been messed up regarding the teams and what races they will be entering. It is a possibility the first 2 races will now be missed, and the first race will be from Newbury in two weeks time. As a result I have decided to group the 1st and 2nd teams (22 in total) together therefore making them one team. The other 2 teams will remain unaltered.

Worst fears confirmed

Well my worst fears have been confirmed and that is the whole team of young birds are suffering with young bird sickness. Suspected last night, they have started treatment including live yoghurt. Needless to say, no birds will now be going to the race tonight and all efforts are now focused on getting the birds right asap! Its a blow - but in this age of pigeon racing a problem that is sometimes inevitable!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

On a brighter note!

Another batch of eggs have now hatched in the stock loft. There should be 12 hatched by tomorrow and this round will be given to Neil, my brother who is just starting up! I hope this decision to give him a round doesn't come back to haunt me next year when he starts beating me with my own birds!! ;-)

Young birds for the race

One ot two a little off colour today. I will look over the birds tomorrow to select the race team for the first race!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Going for the Nationals??

I have decided that I will be joining the Welsh National Flying Club on the South East and will also be joining the Welsh South Road National. I have given serious thought about entering these types of races, but if I want to get a marker of how good this loft of birds are I need to compete against the best lofts in South Wales.

Relaxation Day

The birds have spent the day relaxing around the loft. They have been out this morning and have been sunbathing for most of the day. The first race for Rasbull Lofts is nearly upon us and the birds are looking well. They have been exercising for upto 2 hours a day and have had 19 training tosses from upto 40 miles.

Offer - Free 2010 pair of young birds!

I have received over 20 requests for pigeons after my offer of a pair of free 2010 young birds to anyone interested in giving them a try. I will keep all names listed and will request to be contacted around January next year to confirm your interest in having a pair from Rasbull Lofts.

Blog Created

Well, I have decided to add a blog to the page and this way I can keep everyone updated to whats happening at Rasbull Lofts.