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.