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.