Sunday, 26 December 2010

Taking time to settle

The pairing is taking its time and still have 7 pairs that have not settled together. I have having problems with dominate cocks chasing other cocks from their nest boxes. I have 15 pairs of stock birds together of which 8 are settled. I have resorted to locking the other 7 pairs into their boxes to help settle them and get them started. I am not overly concerned as it is still very cold and early in the breeding season. If anything, it may help with the eggs not arriving until this very cold snap has passed. In addition to the 15 pairs of stock birds, I also have 8 pairs of races in together but these are doing what they please and can pair up when they want to. I have 7 spare hens, of which 6 will races with the other 16 racers. I will update again when the birds have settled and are down on eggs. Good luck to other fanciers who are also pairing up early.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Birds Paired

Tonight I finally got round to pairing up my birds. I matched 16 pairs of stock birds and allowed 8 pairs of racers to find their own mate. All went fairly well and I am hoping for very few problems. I have yet to decide if they will be separated and then put back together later in the year or early in 2011. I will make that decision in the next week or so.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Forum Site & Pairing

I have been very busy lately with the transfer of the Pigeonglobe forum. I have revamped it and have renamed the forum Pigeonpixels. The site is accessible through website. We have had plenty of new users sign up for an account. So if you haven't joined up yet please feel free to do so.

In the loft the birds have been parted for several weeks and I am in the process of finalising the pairings for this year. I will be putting them together in the next few days for a trial period which I hope will allow them to settle before putting them together properly for breeding. The weather is bitterly cold at present and I will wait for it to warm up a little before allowing them to lay eggs. The water fountains are frozen solid every morning and spending time up the loft in this weather is not much fun to say the least!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Pigeon Globe moves to Pigeon Pixels!

After a few hours negotiating the purchase of has been achieved. The whole site will move to my ownership. Vallance Lofts (Chris) is going to be transferring the site to me at the end of the month. The site is a web forum for pigeon fanciers and has 1,300 registered users so I am very much looking forward to taking the reigns and help the site reach the goals I intend! These are very exciting times and I am very much looking forward to the date of transfer. I will be drawing up a plan and strategy to promote the site and help revive it since it has fallen asleep since Vallance has been busy wth the PigeonBasics site he co-owns.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Shares going well!

The 36 shares I have for sale in the Rasbull Lofts syndicate are going well and I have 16 left! These are £30 each and sold on a first come, first served basis.

Congratulations to my brother Neil, who took 2nd prize in todays Old Bird - Through the Wires show. There were 89 in the class and a cracking blue cock scored his third card in 4 shows. He is a cracking looking cock and a real belter. Well done Neil!

Friday, 5 November 2010

One Loft Race - Share Syndicate

I have been deciding on what to do regarding the One Loft Races entries for 2011. I have finally decided that I will be entering 5 pigeons into the Europa Classic and 4 pigeons into the RPRA One Loft Races! The shares for both these are on offer for £30 each. 1 share will provide the owner with a 1/4 share in 1 pigeon (the actual race is the entrants choice depending on availability.) For further details please see the Share Syndicate page on this website. Thank You.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Graphs - Analysing Europa Performances

We have been busy analazing the performances from our entries into the this years Europa Classic with our new dynasty of birds compared to our first year's entries with our old stock birds (that have now been completely replaced). The graphs are available under the One Loft Entries section of the website and the difference is quite remarkable! Take a look.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

New introductions at Rasbull Lofts!

Rasbull Lofts have made their first purchases of the close season! I attended the Welsh show today and headed straight for the clearance sale of Clive Akers (Amesbury, Humphreys and Akers). I purchased a cheq hen Clive pointed out was his best racing hen. The details on the pedigree were a little vague but on doing a little research this afternoon I have found the following results this little hen has achieved. She was bred in 2008 so has only had 3 years racing to date!

2010- Club Result not known,6th Fed, 13th Combine (1,348 birds), 11th National 818 birds - 458 miles
2010 -Club Result not known,9th Fed, 16th Combine (6,563 birds), 9th National 2,693 birds - 193 miles
2010 -Club Result not known,74th National 2,649 birds - 196 miles
2010 -Club Result not known, 119th National, 1,679 birds, 368 miles
1st Club Maidstone
2nd Club Newbury, 17th Fed (3,000+)
2nd Club Guildford, 7th Fed (3,000+)
1st Club Newbury, 11th Fed (3,000+)
3rd Club Newbury
5th Club Epsom

To say I am over the moon with my new addition is an understatement! 4 times in the top 120 of the National in 1 season!
I am trying to find out further results especially from last season in the National races if anyone has any I would love to hear from you. I have contacted Clive but because he was in partnership he only has limited results/information at his address but he is going to have a dig and see what he can find! I also purchased a Wall, Lunt and Green Cheq Cock that Clive had brought into his loft in 2009 for stock purposes. 2 full sisters to the sire have topped the fed and combine in 2007. His dam has bred 5 separate fed winners. So fingers crossed this cock will produce the goods! I also bought a son from this cock that Clive has bred this year and was keeping for stock until he decided to sell up.

More new introductions will be brought in the end of the month and I will put their details on here once they have been secured!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Serious Planning

I have been very busy planning and working out what I am going to buy in for the coming season. I had a list of 90 pigeons 2 days ago and now I have whittled that list down to 33 with around 11 as my top targets! I hope to get 5 or 6 of these to add to my existing stock loft. I like this part of the season, planning your targets and then keeping your fingers crossed you can afford to bring a few in.
I have also been working out what in my loft will be staying and what will be moved on. I have a number of latebreds that will be sold to make room for the new birds that will occupy the stock loft nest boxes. The first birds will hopefully be brought in a week Saturday so will be saving my pennies now in readiness for the auction!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Busy working on new introductions!

I have been quite busy lately what with the auction site and the new websites. The birds in the loft are ticking over quite nicely and coming to end of the moult.
I sat down last night to plan for the breeding season and on looking at the numbers in my loft I believe I have 23 hens and 16 cocks! That is giving me some cause for concern of what action to take and I will decide over the next few weeks regarding this.
I have been busy also planning on the pigeons that I intend to bring in over the next couple of months that are going to enhance my stock team. I currently have a list of 90 birds that will be cut whittled down to around 15 in readiness for the auctions. Out of this 15 I will be very disappointed if I fail to bring in at least 6 or 7 of these to join my existing stock team. I have a few ideas of the birds I definitely want to introduce and will keep my fingers crossed I am able to introduce them. Until next time...

Friday, 15 October 2010

Pigeon Pixels has expanded!

I have been very busy lately working on the Pigeonpixels group of websites. To date the auction site is doing ok, with 34 now registered on the site. The online directory is ticking over and will improve once the flow of traffic coming to the other sites increases. As well as these websites, we have today launched a brand new Online Forum and Chat Room for pigeon fanciers. This will take time to lift off but once has done so will be a massive hit! We are anticipating 12 months for all 3 sites to be productive. Anyone looking to access the site should go to and then click the banner for either the auction site or the forum.

In my own loft the birds are continuing to moult out and all the sexes have now been separated and relaxing in peace and quiet. I have been making some plans for next year and will update in a month or so when these can be confirmed.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Busy day in the loft!

We have been very busy in the loft today making several changes to the layout in readiness for the breeding season. We have sectioned off the stock loft and the young bird section for next year. We have installed a new set of next boxes in the stock loft and encased them with wire mess and ply. I have also put lights into the new section we built last April. The corn shed has been demolished in preparation for the new aviary which will be erected as soon as possible for the stock birds.
I am very pleased with the alterations and think they have improved the loft. I am looking forward to finally adding the aviary which will complete the setup I envisaged when I first started back up in 2008. These are exciting times in Rasbull Lofts and we are progressing each week towards our target of creating a quality loft setup, housing a winning gene pool and competing against the best lofts and fanciers in the country!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

All over!

The final race turned out to be exactly what I expected. I had 7 out of 8 birds home (the one I am missing has been my best young bird this year and I am seriously disappointed to have that one missing!) They were behind in the club however, but with a North wind that was always going to be the case today. So the season is over and I have around 25 youngsters left which will now be taken through the winter and prepared for next season. I intend to make some changes to the loft over the next couple of weeks in preparation for the winter. All in all it has been a good season with some steps taken in improving the quality housed here. I have some valuable information regarding the birds now and I will be putting that to good use in the hope of improving next year!

Final race of the season

The final race of the season is here and the birds have been liberated at 8.30am from Swindon (76 miles). I looked through my birds last night for basketing and decided on 8 that were suitable for the race. I had to leave 6 behind because of the moult. I am expecting them home between 10am and 10.30am so will update on here after I return from the club around 3pm. Good luck to anyone else who is racing today.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Time for forward thinking!

The end of the season is almost here with this Saturday being the last race of the season for us. We have a comeback race from Swindon (76 miles). I have been looking through my pigeons and working out what I will have for next year and trying to make some plans with the numbers I need etc. From a quick glance I see I have about 8-9 hens and 2-3 cocks from my race not too happy!
In the young bird loft I currently have 24 birds. I have taken 13 of these training twice this week from 20 miles and I am hoping to enter 12 into the race on Saturday.
In the stock loft I have 13 birds in total after selling 'Rasbull Shagger' last night. I have also decided to sell anything I have bought in that has not raced themselves.
Its all change here, but I think every loft needs to go through what's what after the end of each season otherwise you have a loft full of free riders which you got to carry through the winter months.
I have a few pigeons earmarked to bring in when they come onto the market. I don't like this time of year due to the uncertainty. I like it when you know what you got, what your final figures are and what you are going to take into the breeding season with you. Hopefully in a 6-8 weeks that should all be finalised and then I will sit down and work out the individual pairings!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Europa 500 Share Syndicate!

The 3 young birds we entered into this years Europa Classic we are pleased to announce will be activated for the Europa 350 miles race as yearlings next year! They will fly 2 Hotspots with the final race being from Crieff around the 11th June 2011. We will be setting up 1 syndicate for all 3 birds and there will be 4 shareholders! The cost of a share is £94 with the first prize around £15,000 if all the 350 places in the loft are full! That 1 share will give you a 1/4 share in each of the 3 birds! First come, first served! to book yours now!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Auction site has now gone 'Live'

The Online auction site has officially gone live today. It is 100% free to join, list, sell and buy! The site is going to be advertised in the British Homing World within the next 3-4 weeks. We hope you join and help make this the No.1 pigeon market place on the internet! The site is

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Pigeonpixels and Auction site - Update

The site is now live, however the company that provides my hosting is having trouble with their server at the moment and it is causing an error message to be displayed when accessing any sites they host. If you get an error on the or the site please realise it is beyond my control at present and they should have it corrected in the very near future.
The Online Auction site is very nearly ready to go live, but due to the problem with the hosting server, I am holding off until this is sorted out. It should be tomorrow or Tuesday at the very latest I would think. The auction site is 100% free for sellers or buyers and it only takes a minute to register. Please spread the word that this market place is soon going to be available. Access to this is through the site and by clicking the advertising banner on the head of each directory page.

Thank You

Over for another year!

I don't quite know what to think regarding the final race. Part of me is happy yet the other part feels let down! Firstly I would like to congratulate the winner, Mr Ken Darlington on winning 1st Open Europa Classic and a cool £21,000.
All 5 syndicate birds arrived home safely and recorded 178th, 202nd, 403rd, 565th and 614th. They promised so much yet when it counted have delivered very little!

In terms of my own loft I have to be content in knowledge that I sent down 3 and all 3 timed in the final race. There were 1278 birds in the race from the start and I placed all 3 of mine in the top 44% of the initial birds entered. I have improved on my first years attempt at this race when 3 made the final race but only 1 made it into the result finishing 422nd. So in terms of improvement they have made big strides forward in that respect. My 5 year plan included finishing in the top 100 this year, and although we have come 78 places short of achieving this I have to be satisfied. However, when you dedicate your life to winning - anything less is going to be painful to swallow!

I will now plan for a breeding season with the birds that have not made the grade being replaced with new stock that have been proven and we will start again. The birds that have bred this years entries will be given new partners and we will see what is produced next year. They will have one more chance in the stock loft and if they come up short that will be their last.

My ambition of winning this race burns as bright as ever and I am even more determined to now improve on the 178th position I have obtained this year. So all in all, I am disappointed in the result of today but have to look at the series as a whole, and all things considered it has been very pleasing. Its when you don't move forward and stand still or fall backwards when you are in trouble!

The Rasbull Share Syndicate will be back next year and I promise it will be bigger and better than ever before! A big thank you to all the Shareholders in this years event. Anyone wanting to reserve a share please email me at Watch this space!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Europa Classic

The Final of the Europa Classic 2010 is finally here! 817 have been race marked and will take to the starting line with an expected liberation Sunday 12th of September 2010 around 8am. The birds took 7hrs to complete the distance last year but with a tail wind forecast they should be arriving a lot quicker this year!

The Share Syndicate has been a resounding success this year with all 3 of the original entries making the final race and 2 out of the 3 'additional purchased' birds also making final. The birds have performed well in the training tosses and have been as far as 160 miles. The highlight would have to be in the 4th Hotspot with the syndicate birds timing just 3 seconds behind the winner and 3 of the 5 in the top 100 of the result!Added to this the birds have obtained the following results in training/hotspots -
1st, 4th, 5th, 5th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 19th, 20th, 23rd, 27th, 28th, 33rd, 37th, 37th - A decent set of performances against up to 1,000 birds!

I would like to thank all the shareholders for participating and I hope you have enjoyed following the birds progress as we have gone through the various stages towards the final race.
I will be running the syndicate again next year and would like everyone who was involved to be so again as the way the pigeons are being bred they can only improve year on year in an attempt to find that 'Golden' pigeon who is capable of winning 1st Open Europa Classic......and who's to say that won't be this year! I also believe you have a decent run for your money and if they can pull it off in the final then that would put the icing on the cake!

I am going down to the race myself on Sunday and any shareholder who would like me to call them upon the result being known please email me with a phone number and I will phone as soon as the winning pigeons arrive at the finish line.

The below is the anticipated prize money of the final race (this is not official and based on last years payouts when a similar number of birds entered the race. It will give an idea of the prize money structure and what to expect. Obviously if one of the syndicate birds finishes in the prize money positions that amount will be split 4 ways between the shareholders within that pigeons syndicate. The prize money is a 3rd of what was planned but when there is only 1/3 of the loft full this is to be expected. I know the lower prizes are small but the aim when we entered was to win and the prize for that remains what was advertised when we set this venture up....£5,250 each shareholder if we win!

1st - £21,000
2nd - £4,500
3rd - £3,000
4th - £1,500
5th - £900
6th - £600
7th - £450
8th - £390
9th - £360
10th - 19th- Between £330 and £210
20th - 30th - £180
30th - 40th - £120
40th - 70th - £90
70th - 100th - £60

Thank you and Good Luck!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Thats it - now time to wait!

The last training toss from 35 miles was today and the syndicate birds were 12th, 69th, 75th, 379th and 699th out of the 807 that timed in!

Well that's it! The final training toss of the 2010 series has been completed and after 33 races ranging from 35 miles up to 160 miles - all 3 of the birds I bred have made it through to the final race and 2 of the 3 birds the syndicate purchased are going to be there as well! It is a great achievement as asking people to pay for a share and then the bird could be lost within the 1st few tosses is a bit worrying to say the least! However, the people who have been involved this year have more than had a run for their money and each will have a crack at the £21,000 first prize that is up for grabs!
I will be attending the race this year again and this time will be more than optimistic of getting one in the top end of the result. I entered 3 last year and only one made the final result and finished a disappointing 422nd in the final. (the other 2 were lost in the final). The stock loft saw a big transition as a direct result of this and after starting back up in 2008 parted with the birds I had heavily invested as the results were not up to scratch. A new plan was then formulated to obtain quality proven birds and to start again. The results we have achieved this year (only our second year back) have by far eclipsed the results the old generation of stock birds produced the year before!
We will hope for a good result in the final and then we will continue our plan of introducing quality, proven birds into the loft to create that golden gene pool that we all strive for!
We will be running the syndicate again next year and will be hoping to send 12 young birds all bred by Rasbull Lofts to the race, anyone wishing to have a bit of fun throughout the summer in addition to their racing please feel free to get involved. I have a number of people already on the list for shares and anyone who might like to join us please drop me an email at and I will reserve a space for you!
That just leaves me to say thank you to all that have been involved this year and may we have every success in the final this Sunday. C'mon the Rockets!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Europa Training

Well there is just 1 more training toss planned for the Europa birds before they are basketed up for the Final race taking place on Sunday. They were trained from 35 miles today and all 5 of the syndicate birds clocked within 74 seconds of the winner. They recorded the following positions:- 13th, 89th, 252nd, 466th and 545th from the 808 birds recorded. This is the 2nd time I have entered this race and barring any mishaps in the last trainer, on both occasions I will have got all 3 of my own bred youngsters to the final race!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Counting up!

On return home from work today I noticed a pigeon on the loft roof that I thought had returned from this week's race from Folkstone. On closer inspection it turned out to be '89' a blue cock that I in fact lost 2 weeks from Maidstone (171 miles). It is in super condition so where has he been until now?
Checking through my computer records I have been working out how many youngsters I have lost in racing this season. I have sent to 6 races and they have been up to 200 miles which is what I planned to do at the start of the season. In those 6 races I have lost 14 birds in total, which sounds quite a lot but considering I sent 26 to the first race and also another 2 in races following, that equals 28 birds that have been raced and I still have 14 of which 10 have flown the full 200 miles. So that is 50% of the birds that I raced have completed what I have expected of them. I believe that is a good percentage of birds to carry through the winter.
In addition to these 14 I also have 14 late bred birds which will be trained up through the winter on chosen days. I plan to take them at least to 76 miles the site of the 1st race and what is left will be kept through the winter as well.

The Europa birds were trained today from 50 miles and they recorded 130th, 154th, 292nd, 375th and 401st out of the 811 that trapped with the 401st bird being within 2 minutes of the winner!

Monday, 6 September 2010

2 more back!

On return home from work this afternoon I was pleased to see 2 youngsters waiting to come in. So that is now 10 from 12. The reason I say 12 is that I had one bird in the race that had gone to a club mates in its previous 3 races so I didn't regard him as one of my race birds and was sent as a test! We agreed to put it into the race and see if it went back to him again and we would see about transferring him if he did it again - that would be his fourth time! He had been in my mates loft all week since the Maidstone (171 miles) race. So in he went and to my surprise he was waiting on the loft with my other bird this afternoon! Crazy hey? So in all he has had 4 races up to 200 miles and only come back to my loft once!

The Europa birds trained today from 35 miles and all 5 trapped within 1 minute of the winner recording 85th, 201st, 252nd, 290th and 367th out of the 814 that timed in.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

So so disappointed!

Totally disappointed to say the least with todays result from Folkstone! The birds I believed were in super condition and the wind was ideal for my location - perfect race then? It should have been but didn't turn out that way! The weather was very up and down to be fair but my birds were miles behind in the club result come knock off tonight so no excuses! At nightfall I have 8 from 11, so not bad returns compared to some. A lot of birds are still missing so that is the only positive I can take from today's race. They were slow, they were totally uninterested in trapping when they did finally arrive - so frustrating!

Congratulations to my brother Neil, who in his first season has beaten me for the first time and in all fairness he deserved it. He timed way in front of me today and was over the moon with his 4th Club result! He also had 3/3 so I think I will be taking some tips from him for the next race!

Next week is Lillers (270 mile) but I am attending the Europa Classic so will not be sending. The following week is a comeback race from Swindon 76 miles. I will be sending to that so I will get the back on track and try to finish the season on a high!

Europa Classic Training

The Europa Birds were trained today from 35 miles and the syndicate birds achieved 5th, 37th, 234th, 481st and 650th from the 806 that timed in. The birds arrived quite spaced out considering it was a short toss! They are going to be trained daily next week from 35 miles in the build up to basketing the birds on Friday!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Folkstone tomorrow

The Welsh South East Combine race from Folkstone is tomorrow and I have just returned from the club after basketing. I decided to put in 11 in total and have to say this week I really fancy them to do well. The wind is perfect for my loft location and they are in super form. The club sent 72 birds in total this week. Out of the 11, 10 have been entered into the breeder/buyer so hoping they come well in this as the first prize is £200. I think they are hoping to be away around 8 so hopefully with the wind should be home around 11.15am onwards. I will update after the knock off tomorrow evening!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Europa Training / Build up to Folkstone

The Europa birds were trained from 80 miles today and recorded 147th, 291st, 342nd, 366th and 395th from the 812 that timed in. The last of these was just 3 and half minutes behind the winner.
So just one last big toss to go now tomorrow before they have a well earned rest over the weekend. Then 35 mile tosses up to Friday and then they will be basketed for the big one from 250 miles on the 12th September! They have so far done everything asked of them, have rarely been outside the top 300 in the result. They have peppered the top 100 on a regular basis, have been 1st from the training tosses and are now ready for a crack at the main event!

The build up to the Welsh South East Combine race from Folkstone for my own birds is going well and I would go as far to say they are in the best form/condition they have been in all season! They have exercised around the loft every afternoon this week flying with vitality and vigor for up to 1 hour and 30 mins. They have been fed as much as they can eat to get the body weight back up and they are looking well inside the loft. The droppings are like marbles and I am 100% happy with them. The only concern I have is several are quite far advanced in the moult but they should be able to go on Saturday night with a bit of luck! I plan to give them a training toss from 35 miles tomorrow afternoon as a warm up and then they will go to the race with every confidence of achieving a good result!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Europa Training

The Europa birds were trained again today and this time from 95 miles. The syndicate birds recorded positions of 116th, 156th, 225th, 328th and 682nd out of the 809 birds that timed in. They have had a tough week so far with training tosses from 80 miles, 60 miles and now today from 95 miles. They are planning on going from 60 miles tomorrow and then 120 miles on Friday! So certainly a tough week for these youngsters and to their credit they are standing up to the test so far! 4 of the 5 syndicate birds timed within 1 minute 12 seconds of the winner and the last one was about 9 minutes behind.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Could be a good race for us!

This weeks Welsh South East Combine race from Folkstone is due to take place on Sunday. It is the biggest race I would say I have been involved in since rejoining the sport. Although I have flown from Reims in France during this Old Bird season this will be with the new dynasty of Rasbull Rockets and this is the biggest test they have faced to date. They have currently flew in the South East Combine from Maidstone and put up a good performance in an unfavourable wind winning 2nd Club. This weeks forecast is for a South East wind which is the best we could have and quite strong as well!
The birds are exercising well around the loft and tonight put in their best work for weeks. They have put the weight back on they had lost coming out of the Newbury race last week. I plan to loft fly them all week with a training toss on Friday just to sharpen them up ready for Sundays big one!
If all the preparation goes as planned, I get the feeding correct (which I got completely wrong last race!) and the wind stays as South East there will be no excuses come post race time on Sunday if they have come up short! I am so looking forward to this race it can not come soon enough! I have not yet decided how many I am going to send and will decide nearer the time.

The Europa Classic today announced that the first prize for this year will be £21,000! The others will all be 30% of the advertised prizes as the loft is only 1/3 full. The birds have a tough week ahead of them with training from 90 miles, 60 miles and 120 miles planned for the next 3 days. They have already been 80 miles and 60 miles already this week. If they come through this week they are more of less guaranteed a place in the race for the final on the 12th September!

Europa Training

The Europa birds were trained today from 60 miles and the syndicate birds recorded 15th, 113th, 274th, 286th and 641st from the 816 that timed in. The first bird was just 3 seconds behind the winner and all 5 had timed within 10 minutes of the winner.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Europa Training

The Europa birds were trained today from 80 miles. Firstly syndicate 6 bird was not in the result so it looks like he has been lost. The syndicate birds recorded 42nd, 204th, 325th, 344th and 681st out of the 812 that timed in. Our first bird was 8 seconds behind the winner and our last bird was 11 minutes behind the winner.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Won't be making that mistake again!!

I sent 10 birds to Newbury (97 miles) and didn't they struggle! During the last week I did not have the birds trapping that well and thought in my wisdom that I would keep them hungry in attempt to increase the trapping speed. I sent them to the race having been fed lightly Thursday and a handful friday. So they were very hungry going to the club last night. Waiting for the birds this morning I knew I had made a very big mistake! To be fair my first timed in before a few of the club members but the race turned out to be a hard affair with clashing suspected. The birds come in dribs and drabs all day and I am currently missing one (who was having its first race). The winner in the club timed at 9.20am with the 2nd member clocking at 9.32am. I was in at 9.49am and there were people clocking at 10.20am etc. So all very spaced out which from 97 miles is a surprise. My returns by the end of the day were very good compared to some but I really didn't give the birds any chance to be competitive today and thankfully have got away lightly!
I have spent the afternoon ripping all my lofts apart and restructering my loft. I have scrapped my stock section and removed the partition so the L shape is now one loft. I have moved all the next boxes into the young bird compartment and fitted it out with 5 sets of boxes. I hope this will allow more sunlight into the loft and increase airflow. I have to say I am pleased with the results and hoped this translates into results further down the line. I have a few extra plans in my head but they will remain for another day!
Right - Next week is the big one - Folkstone (200 miles) with the Welsh South East Combine so where do we go from here?? Firstly the birds have eaten all they can eat tonight in an attempt to get the weight back onto the birds as some have returned like a bag of bones! They will get a days full rest tomorrow and will have all they can eat. I will remove the food at 6pm and then on Monday they will get to exercise around the loft. Depending on how they do I will decide on the weeks preparation. I would like to get a training toss into the birds around Thursday if I feel they are up to it. Today could have ruined my plans for a good race from Folkstone but you learn from your mistakes and I certainly have learnt from today!

Friday, 27 August 2010

10 Gone!

I checked over the birds tonight and out of the 14 in the loft, I was planning to send 12. However, handling them prior to basketing two of them had hardly any tail feathers and as they have flown 177 miles I decided to leave in the loft. The other 2 left behind were the one who has broken his ankle and a bird I had return 2 weeks late from Guildford (131 miles). He arrived back this morning. 2 birds out of the 10 are having their first race and a pigeon which returned last week after being away for 2 weeks is back in the basket. How these 3 do I haven't got a clue but the other 7 I am hoping come through ok. The birds handled well although haven't pleased me in exercise this week and I am not holding out much hope for a repeat of last weeks excellent result in the club. The wind is the worst possible for them so I am expecting them to off the pace this week in the club result.
A pigeon who keeps going to a club mate sure enough hasn't let me down again from last weeks 177 mile race. He arrived the following morning with my club mate! This is his 3rd time he has dropped in from 3 races. He will not race again this season and I will pair him up and train him back up next year and if he goes there again will be transferred. He keeps coming but to the wrong loft!!!!
I also have one to pick up from Burnham on Sea on Sunday. He is in a rescue centre after I lost him in a training toss from 14 miles away. It was a dreadful toss and lost 10 altogether in their first at that distance. I only had 3 on the night from 44! So how this pigeon has crossed the Bristol channel is crazy, but that is pigeon racing for you!
Back to the race and 7 members sent 109 birds. I will update tomorrow evening on how we got on but not holding out much hope. They have mainly gone as a preparation race for next weeks Folkstone race. For the shorter races its almost impossible to be amongst the club result from our position but we will see what tomorrow brings!

5th Hotspot Europa Classic

The 5th Hotspot was flown today from 160 miles. 884 pigeons raced and by 3pm 818 had timed in. We had all 6 syndicate birds participating. The syndicate pigeons recorded the following:-

Winning pigeon arrived 9.51.35

96th (9.52.04), 224th (9.55.26), 320th (9.56.41), 584th (10.00.44), 599th (10.01.21)

As can be seen only 5 of the 6 syndicate birds have timed in, the one that is missing is a Europa Venturer that we activated after the 1st Hotspot.

Our 1st pigeon has now been our best pigeon in the last 3 hotspots and has recorded 124th (22 secs behind the winner), 37th (3 secs behind the winner) and now 96th (29 secs behind the winner). She is bred from 'Rasbull Trish' who herself was 24th Open, 250 miles and 9th Ace Bird in 2009! So hopefully this little hen can go a few steps higher up the result sheet come the final race!

The other syndicate pigeons were all timed within 10 minutes of the winner. All 5 hopefully now have earned the right for a crack at the big one! So good luck to all shareholders!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Right whats the plans?

With just 5 races left for the season I have been thinking a lot about the future of the loft.
As it stands we have 9 birds that have raced 177 miles, 1 who has raced 97 miles and 2 who have been trained up to 37 miles. I have 12 late breds in the loft, as well as a special pair of youngsters from my number 1 stock pair who are still in the nest!
This weeks race is from Newbury (97miles) and I am going to be sending all 10 birds who have raced as well as the two who have been trained. The weather has been dreadful all week and I have been unable to get the birds out of the loft. This is not too much of a concern as the marathon of a Maidstone race was on Monday and 2 birds returned Tuesday so they have had a well earned rest. I will use this race as preparation for the Folkstone (200 mile) race the following week.
For the Folkstone race it is our breeder/buyer and I currently have 6 who are eligible. I will not send the 2 birds who will be having their first race on Saturday but the other 9 will be expected to go.
The moult will be progressing quite rapidly by this time and with the Lilliers race the following week and with it being the final of the Europa Classic we will not be sending.
That will then leave 2 comeback races from Swindon (76 miles). The 12 latebreds will not be ready in time for either of them so I will see how the 12 race birds are doing regarding the moult and they can go to these.
Breeding wise I have been planning what I want and what will be making way. I have highlighted 3 or 4 new additions that I hope to add to the stock loft and these will brought into Rasbull Lofts when they become available. At this moment in time I am looking to take 8-10 pairs of stock through the winter and up to 24 race birds so quite manageable!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Europa Birds tested today!

The Europa birds were trained today from 100 miles and the result shows the field were well spaced out with the winning bird timed at 12.53 and the final one in the clock 837th at 15.32! The wind has been blowing a gale all day here in Brecon so the birds would have found the going tough on the journey back to Cardiff!

The positions of the share syndicate birds with their times is brackets are as follows:-

Winner was clocked 12.53

73rd (12.55), 179th (12.58), 237th (12.58), 308th (12.59) 612th (13.09), 641 (13.11)

So a tough training toss for the birds but this is why we sent them to be tested. All 6 syndicate birds remain in the loft and that can only be positive!

This weeks 5th Hotspot is due to be on Friday but may be sooner if weather permits! Watch this space!

Few more back!

I have had another 2 birds return from yesterdays marathon of a race! My brother's breeder/buyer pigeon which has been going well for me and Clive Harris's breeder buyer pigeon who also has done well so far. Pleased to see these 2 return. I also had a bird I lost at Newbury 2 weeks ago return so the team is rising in numbers slowly! I am now up to 12 for next weeks race with another 1 who has raced recovering from her broken ankle. So all very pleasing but still 6 more to come from yesterdays race!!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Mixed Fortunes!

What a stinker of a race the Welsh South East Combine had today from Maidstone! The weather was unbelievable and turned the race into a marathon for these youngsters! I sent 15 and to date have had 7 which judging from others is good returns. Some top flyers are missing huge amounts with reports of 2 from 15, 1 from 16, 2 from 14 etc. The birds have really had to work to get back home today and throughout Wales there will be a lot of empty perches in fanciers lofts tonight!
Although I only had 7 back I achieved my best finish in club racing since starting back up in the sport with 2nd, 6th, 7th and 8th in the club. This was achieved despite a lack of south wind. What I will be hoping for now is a strong south wind for the Folkstone race in 2 weeks time!
So all in all, shocked the birds were liberated, mixed feelings about the returns and over the moon with the result in the club!
However, it is not 1st place and 'Defeat is not an Option' so the birds will be back hard at work come Wednesday ready for the Newbury race on Saturday!
A special mention to my Brother Neil, who took 9th in todays race and had 3 out of 6 return in his first ever season. Well done!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

If one goes!

Made my decision tonight and thought to myself if 1 has got to go then they all go! So with this in mind 15 were basketed including two who had hit the wires 2 weeks ago. They have healed up and have been training since. That has left me with 1 in the loft with a broken ankle and 2 who have not yet had a race but these 2 will go next week to Newbury. The weather is forecast to clear up around midday so a liberation is expected around lunch time. Only 7 of the 12 members in the club sent with 91 birds in the race. However the birds are being liberated with the Welsh South East Combine so a massive birdage is expected! I will update later tomorrow night when the birds are home, fingers crossed!

Weather changing!

The weather forecast has improved and it looks likely that the Welsh South East Combine will get a race tomorrow after all! The birds are being basketed tonight and I have made my mind up that I will be sending. The only thing I am unsure of is how many will go! I have 12 that are definitely going and possibly another 2 who hit wires but have healed up apart from a little feather loss. So I will make my final choice this evening when basketing the birds. The race is from Maidstone -177 miles, so will be tough as an West wind (headwind) forecast all the way! But I have never been frightened to test my birds and will not be shirking on this one either!

The Europa birds trained from 35 miles today and all clocked with 35 seconds of the winner. Their positions were 125th, 133rd, 137th, 319th, 332nd and 349th out of the 900 that timed in. I believe this weeks 5th Hotspot is going to be from 160 miles and they will go on the first nice day. I am hoping for a big performance from the syndicate birds as they have been improving rapidly as the distance increases so far to date.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Europa Classic Final Race!

Just been confirmed the final race will be from Hexham on Sunday 12th September! It was due to be on Saturday 11th. Admission is free but food and drinks this year will be at cost price!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Maidstone Race

This weeks Maidstone race has been changed now due to the weather. Basketing Sunday for a race on Monday! I am not sure what to do now as the weather is still not ideal for Monday. Added to the fact I am going to struggle for transport for the clock reading and working Monday is it worth risking the birds for this one race or pass the opportunity and leave them for a more suitable week?
In the past I would have pumped them in and thought nothing of it. Now I have to think long term and these babies are my race team for next year. So one bad race and they are gone and something is telling me this could be the one! I will continue to monitor the weather over the next 36 hours before making a decision on what to do. But at this moment in time its not looking promising.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Europa 4th Hotspot!

Todays 4th Hotspot from 110 miles was a great success for the Syndicate birds with 3 being in the top 65 and all within 5 seconds of the winner! All 6 syndicate birds have returned to the loft and their positions are 37th, 54th, 65th, 175th, 521st and 646th from the 925 that were in the race.

The birds are improving with each Hotspot and below shows the improvement they are making as the distance increases!

06601 - 1001st, 681st, 207th and now today 54th!
06607 - 710st, 851st, 124th and now 37th
06604 - 728th, 318th, 197th and now 175th
04668 - 753rd, 566th, 145th and now 65th

So all looking great as we start to get to the real distance where the cream rises to the top and leave the also rans behind! I have every faith in the syndicate birds and believe they will not be letting any of our shareholders down come the final race!


Just had the other bird I was missing from yesterdays training toss. He has made it back despite a badly broken leg. He is now going to go into the latebred/injured birds loft and have as much time as he needs to recover! Glad I have had him back and just hope the injury heals now.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Preparing for Maidstone!

The race team have been loft flown this week so far for about 45 minutes each evening. I have changed the food in readiness for the race on Sunday from Maidstone, 171 miles, with the Welsh South East Combine. I lost my first bird off the loft last evening when the race team were out for a fly. I let 19 out and only 18 were in the loft at feeding time! I checked through them quickly to discover the missing bird was '15'. This pigeon has had 3 races up to 131 miles and was one of the most consistent birds in the team. I have no idea where he has gone but he hasn't shown up today either so not looking good for him.

I decided to give the birds a training toss tonight from 35 miles and decided it was time to send the whole lot. I have had 4 birds who were recovering from injuries and had healed up so in they went as well as 2 birds who had returned from previous training tosses late. So in total 18 were basketed up and liberated in Shirenewton. The birds made it back in 49 minutes so quite pleased with that but I am missing 2 at present. One is my most consistent young bird being 3rd, 3rd, and 1st bird home in the previous 3 races and was 10th Club last week, 193 birds. The other is another bird who has had 3 races so far. So out of the birds I was expecting to drop these were certainly not amongst them! But plenty of time yet for them to work back. ***Update*** '19' has just returned before nightfall!

The Europa birds trained today from 50 miles and recorded 221st, 233rd, 240th, 284th, 378th and 387th from the 900 that were timed in! All 6 timed within 2 minutes of the winner.
The 4th Hotspot is being flown tomorrow they are going a minimum of 110 miles and hoping to get to 160 miles depending on the weather. Hoping all the syndicate birds put in a good performance and make it back! Good luck to all share holders for tomorrow!

Monday, 16 August 2010

2 more back!

On return home from work today I was pleased to see 2 more race birds from yesterday. I was especially pleased as out of the 7 these 2 were the ones I would have picked to get back if I could!

I have been looking through my results and have worked out the following:- I started the 1st race with 26 birds and currently I have 17 of those in the loft after 3 races. I started with 13 of my own bred birds and currently still have 11. I started with 13 Foreigners and currently have 6! So in total with the late breds in the loft I have 34 young ones in total left.

The Europa Birds were trained from 70 miles today and the result was a little disappointing but judging the times there was very little in it. The results of the syndicate birds were 119th, 232nd, 646th, 714th, 732nd, 825th out of the 877 that were timed in. So they obviously need to improve and believe the training is going to be from longer distances with a 120 mile toss thrown in as well some time this week. All 6 still in the race that is the important thing!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Down but not out and plenty to work with!

Todays race from Guildford turned out to be disappointing in truth. Out of the 19 birds I sent I have had only 12 back tonight! I was 6 minutes behind the club winner, and finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th section, 9th in the club from the 193 birds that were sent. It was always going to be a hard race with the strong North wind but to lose 7 is not ideal!
I plan to give them a hammering this week in training in an attempt to shape them up a little. I am hoping to get them out to 35 miles at least 3 times next week. I will also change the food and quantity in an attempt to be more competitive. Next weeks race is from Maidstone (177 miles) and mine will have done plenty of work in preparation for the race!!!

P.s I would like to give a special mention to Mr Roderick a club mate who thought he had timed the winning Breeder/Buyer in the club and almost killed himself trying to get to the knock-off so fast to have his clock checked! However, he was to finish 4th in the competition. But a good effort all the same!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Race from Guildford

After checking over the birds tonight, I decided 19 were fit for tomorrows race from Guildford,133 miles. 2 of the race team are on the injured list and 2 I have re-introduced into training are not yet ready for their debut races.
12 members sent 193 birds tonight. The club are running a nom race tomorrow, with each member selecting one bird for £10. The 1st Nom bird clocked will win £80 and the 2nd £40, not bad for a maximum of 12 pigeons competing!
I had one of the birds I lost in last weeks race back tonight. Well I actually lost him 2 weeks ago, He went into a club mates loft so I resent him to last weeks race when he brought him to the club for me last Friday. Needless to say he went into my club mates loft again and tonight I have him back for the 2nd time! He is now in his own loft and will remain there for some time to get himself sorted out!
I will update later tomorrow evening when the birds are back home from the race! C'mon the Rockets!!

Friday, 13 August 2010

3rd Hotspot - Europa

The 3rd Hotspot was raced today with a reduced distance. Instead of the planned 120 miles they ended up 25 miles shorter at 95 miles. The reason for this I am not yet sure of, but will more than likely be due to the weather.
The birds recorded 124th, 145th, 197th, 207th, 593rd and 792nd out of the 948 birds that were sent. Our first birds was 22 seconds behind the winner, and our first 4 were timed within 2 minutes of the winner. Even our last bird was clocked within 9 minutes of the winner.

Looking at the results the birds have had so far it is very pleasing to see that the birds results for the majority of the syndicate birds are improving each Hotspot they are sent.

06601 - 1001st, 681st and now 207th
06607 - 710th, 851st and now 124th
06604 - 728th, 318th and now 197th
04668 - 753rd, 566th and now 145th

So very promising as the race distance increases. All 6 syndicate birds still in the loft after the 3rd Hotspot and what we need to remember is that these Hotspots are bonus races and they were entered in an attempt to win the big one! They appear to be getting themselves into form each week and that is a good thing!

Thursday, 12 August 2010


The birds had a training toss tonight from 14 miles and out of the 22 I sent, dropped 1. This was one the cat had a few weeks back and was having his first toss since. I have had to put two of the race team by as they are nursing injuries sustained from wires from Training the other day and they didnt go this evening.
The young ones are really starting to moult out at the minute and I wish they had been on darkness really as it is going to get harder and harder to compete with them falling to bits!
I plan on sending 19 this week to Guildford (133 miles). The are basketing on Saturday so I hope to get another toss into them tomorrow hopefully from 27 miles. They have done very little work this week. So they are in need of the toss tomorrow and all being well will come through ok.

The Europa birds were trained from 35 miles again today. Only 5 of 6 were timed in however. They all clocked within 1 minute of the winner. Their positions were 131st, 256th, 297th, 392nd and 463rd.
They were also basketed tonight for tomorrows hotspot from 120 miles. I was pleased to see that the basket list included the missing bird from tondays training result so a full team will take to the starting blocks tomorrow along with 946 birds in total.
I have no idea who I fancy and cant make my mind up who I am going to do in the pools. I have gone for syndicate 1 bird the previous two occasions but on both times he has disappointed. I will give it some thought before deciding. Hopefully they will put up a better performance than the previous 2 hotspots as I have been bitterly disappointed with them up to now. In training they have been peppering the top 200 all the time but come the hotspots they have not performed! Hopefully they can put that right starting tomorrow! It should be a good one!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Things looking better tonight!

Well today has seen the return of 4 of the 5 missing young birds from the training toss last evening. However, it looks like they hit wires as two of the four that have returned have gashes and cuts down their chests. They are two of my race bird team so this will put them on the sidelines for a little while. I wasn't sure which birds were missing last night but upon closer inspection I have been able to establish that the missing young bird was not one of the race team and a youngster that returned late from the bad Cwmbran training toss about 10 days late. It was having his first training toss since his return so out of them all that would be the one I would choose to lose if I had to pick one. The other plus point was the late bred that has been out for two nights finally come in tonight and that now sees all the new ones who were let out back in the loft.
I have tonight vaccinated all the new latebreds which needed to be done. The weather was lovely this evening but I spent it doing jobs around the loft and the vaccinating. I will try and get a training toss in tomorrow, hopefully from 27 miles to make sure they are sharp. This weeks race is now on Sunday so they will have an extra day for training again this week.

The Europa birds were trained again today from 35 miles and 5 out of 6 were clocked within 15 seconds of the winner to record 122nd, 233rd, 258th, 289th, 326th. The 6th bird was 1 minute and 9 seconds behind the winner and was placed 776th. The number of birds timed in was the lowest so far with 913 being recorded. The 120 mile Hotspot on Friday will hopefully space the birds out a bit and I think there may be some losses. Hopefully the 'Rockets' will all return safely to the loft, be in good time and achieve a creditable position.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Ouch that was a bad training toss!

Well its been an eventful day with 3 of the latebreds still out for most of the day! Pleased to say 2 are now back in the loft. One via the normal trapping method and the other via next doors chimney! So still missing the other one, but he has been sat on the house roof for most of the day so may choose to come in tomorrow!
I had a bad toss tonight training. I put in 2 birds that have returned from training tosses and rested until now. So in all took 22 (1 race bird) didn't go. On return to the loft I am down 5 in total! I went with my brother and he is also down 5! Hopefully these will all return early tomorrow morning.

The Europa birds were trained from 35 miles today and the syndicate birds recorded 88th, 260th, 374th, 465th, 496th and 840th from the 935 that were clocked in. For such a short toss the times of the birds were quite spaced out so whether they hit trouble on route I dont know!

Monday, 9 August 2010

I hate this moment!

I let the latebreds out for the first time this afternoon and I must say I dont know whether I enjoy or hate the moment you open the door. I have not bothered with them at all and they have been left too long if anything. So I thought today was the day! I have 12 in total that went out today for the 1st time and I have another 4 still in the nest. I also have my top pair sitting one last round of eggs. They potched around the garden and flew upto the roof. Then it started to rain and they lazed about having a bath! I still have 4 out somewhere at nightfall!!! I hope they have found a safe place to spend the night and hope to get them back into the loft tomorrow. I hate this and sooner they are under control the better. It is my own fault, as I have not taught them to come when called. But the main race birds have taken my time up so these will have to learn and learn fast. I have just been working out what I have in way of young birds if I get all these back into the loft what with the ones still in the nest and the 2 eggs. I total it to be 43 in all, of which 21 have had 2 races up to 100 miles. So another team of 22 to play about with for the comebacks - although 6 of these will not be ready in time.

The Europa birds were trained today from 35 miles and apart from 1 being 9 minutes behind the winner, the other 5 were all timed within 1 minute. The positions were 87th, 201st, 293rd, 294th, 398th and 924th out of the 940 birds clocked in.

Sunday, 8 August 2010


The birds were raced today from Newbury (97 miles). I ended up sending all 26 birds and I have had 21 so down 5 tonight. They arrived steadily. With the wind being NW (the worst possible for me) it was always going to be a hard task to gain any club honours. However, they put up a spirited performance. I ended up 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th section and 9th club out of the 210 birds that were sent. I was 9 minutes behind the winner and 5 minutes behind 2nd. For the 2nd week running I was 4th member of the 11 that sent. I have to be happy with that given the conditions and hopefully next week will be assisted by a more favourable wind direction. I hope the other 5 work back during tomorrow.

I plan to give the birds a rest day tomorrow and they will have a bath in the afternoon. They will then be back at work on Tuesday morning with a tough week planned ahead!

I have made some radical changes to the loft and sections this evening in an attempt to claw back the 5 minutes I am behind. I hope the changes have a positive impact and don't upset the birds too much. But they have a week now to get used to the new setup and how I want to progress for the rest of the season. Its a matter of them having to get used to it, because it will not be changed back. I will talk more about the changes in the week when I see how things are going!! ;-)

The Europa birds were trained today from 35 miles and were 65th, 96th, 182nd, 287th, 432nd and 501st out of the 948 that were timed in. All clocked within 1 minute of the winner.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Europa Training

The birds were trained today from 40 miles and the 6 syndicate birds had positions 67th, 183rd, 253rd, 266th, 277th and 645th. All were timed within 1 minute exactly of the winner! The main thing at this stage is for the birds to remain in the loft and to be there for the longer hotspots and the final race.

He made it!

The 1 bird I was missing returned last evening shortly before 8pm. Thats all mine now back. I had a phone call from my mate who was missing 1 and he had his back about 10am this morning.
The birds have been fed this morning before 9am in readiness for the race. I have done my race sheet and have put all 25 birds into the race and see how they do. The wind is the worst it can be for me. NNW forecast so any hope of a club result has gone if it stays as planned. Will update tomorrow with news of how the 'Rockets' have done!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Tough toss

Tonights training has been a hard one with the birds coming in batches from 27 miles. The weather at the home end was light rain and low cloud. The birds were liberated from Usk at 6.30pm. They cleared well. On arrival home 17 were in the loft and I was missing 8. Four then flew over the house and the the other 3 arrived on their own. The trapping was once again shambolic with 4 refusing to enter the loft. I am putting this down to the change of feed I have given over the last 3-4 days which I think is starting to have an effect. With this in mind the feeding I regime I had planned for tonight was scrapped and altered slightly to take into account the lack of hunger! I am currently down 1 bird and I know my one mate is missing 1 of his as well. His arrived in batches as well. I have not heard how my brother has got on and how many he has home but I am hoping they are good. The birds will now rest until tomorrow night when they will be basketed up and taken to the club ready for Sundays race from Newbury (97 miles). I am looking at sending 25, but if the one is not back by tonight it will be down to 24. I have not picked up the race bird from a club mate as yet that was missing from the race last week, so he will have a week of training before he goes into a race again.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Training went ok

The birds were trained this evening from 18 miles with 2 other batches. They cleared ok, but hung around further down the valley which I was not happy about. I want them clearing and heading for home as quickly as possible. I am hoping the weather is good for tomorrow evening as another toss from 27 miles is planned. The race has been confirmed as expected for Sunday. I and the other 2 fanciers all had 100% returns tonight but 4 of mine didnt want to trap and stayed out. Needless to say they have gone without food tonight and no doubt will be the first through the trap tomorrow. I also had a bird back in the loft on my return that I lost from the Cwmbran toss about a week ago. No idea where she has been but is home safe and sound. Also just picked one up that was reported in Blackwood so that is also back in the loft.

Mixed bag

The 2nd Hotspot was a bit of a mixed bag today. The plus points were all 6 syndicate birds are home and still in the running for the big one! Syndicate 6 bird was 33rd and just 3 seconds behind the winner. And Syndicate 3 bird put in his best perfomance to date. All 6 birds were clocked within 12 minutes of the winner. The most consistent two birds were trailing behind the winners so that is the negative! The positions of the 6 syndicate birds were 33rd, 296th, 318th, 566th, 681st, 851st.

2nd Hotspot

The 2nd Hotspot is from 90 miles I have just confirmed. There are only 5 syndicate birds being displayed in the marked list. However, I have questioned this and the 6th Syndicate bird is definitely in our name. The bird is down as Europa Venturer and probably will be for this race unless changed but will still be one of ours!! Well hope they do themselves justice. I will personally will rooting for '06601 and 04668' as I have back these heavily in the pools! But all have a good chance I believe. I also expect there to be a few birds not making it back to the loft today as the field begins to thin out as the race distance increases. The cream will always rise to the top!!!!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

2nd Hotspot brought forward!

The Europa Classic 2nd Hotspot has been brought forward to tomorrow due to bad weather forecast for Friday. I am waiting for confirmation what the distance will be. The initial schedule planned to be 100 miles but due to the difficult time the birds had the last time from 60 miles Derek was considering keeping them at that distance for another crack. I will update this as soon as I am aware.
The birds today had a poor day in truth, a training toss from 30 miles with positions 98th, 159th, 639th, 727th, 737th and 909th! Must do better tomorrow I am thinking! ;-)

Rest day!

The birds have received a well earned rest day today. They have been trained for 7 of the last 9 days with one of those free days taken up with the race from Swindon. So apart from last Friday they have been worked and worked hard every day.
I let them out this afternoon and they enjoyed a bath and lounging around the garden. It was nice to see as they have earned it. They were out for about an hour in total. I fed them on return to the loft and they will have one last training toss tomorrow evening - probably from 27 miles - in preparation for Saturdays race.
At the moment the race is due to be on Saturday but it would not surprise me to see the race put back to Sunday as the weather appears to be somewhat better. But which ever day it is, Rasbull Rockets will be fully prepared and waiting!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Another good toss!

The birds went tonight again to Shirenewton (35 miles). Around 60 birds were liberated from 3 members at 6.40pm. On arriving back at my loft all mine (26) were home. A couple missing from the other 2 members but I am sure they will return shortly. A phone call to my brother confirmed the birds took about 55 minutes to complete the journey. I am not happy with the times they are doing this distance in and will continue to be trained until they are achieving a faster time than this!!
The weather is looking bleak for tomorrow evening so it could be a rest day for the birds with just a loft fly the order of the day. I plan to get to Shirenewton again Thursday if the weather permits.

Been knocking on the door!

Syndicate 1 bird has been knocking on the door for quite some time now and today delivered with 1st place in the 40 mile trainer in the Europa. This really is a speed machine. His breeding oozes speed with quality results from both his sire and dam! Quality breeds Quality! This pigeon has now been 5 times in the top 35 (1st, 5th, 11th, 20th and 35th) in the first 9 races that have been published on the site! Quite an achievement when then are roughly 1,000 in each of these races!!
The other syndicate birds were 66th, 171st, 189th, 568th and 630th out of the 950 that timed in.

My own birds are off for another 35 miles toss later this afternoon. We had the other 1 we were missing return this morning at 6.30am and my brother and my mate have had a good many return as well.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Back to work!

After the good day we had with the birds yesterday I made the decision to get the back on the road as soon as possible. With this in mind I basketed up 25 young birds. My brother basketed 21 and my mate 23. We took them to Shirenewton (35 miles line of flight) and let them go at 6.15pm. I had a phone call at 7.10 to say my brothers had trapped but he was missing 2. On arrival at my loft 23 had eaten and were on the perches. I was missing 2. A phone call from my mate confirmed he was 15 down after getting 8. I had 1 later on in the evening and my mate also had 1 of his. So between us we are missing several birds. I dont know if they have mixed with another batch as my mates were less experienced than my brother and myself and he is the worst affected. So will have to wait to see what he gets in the morning.

The Europa syndicate birds done well today obtaining 3 results in the top 28! Our results were 11th (by 01 who now has 5th, 11th, 20th and 35th to his name), 27th, 28th, 151th, 282nd, 898th. So all going well at present!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Fantastic day all round!

Well we have had a great start to the season. Out of the 26 birds we entered for the race, 25 are home safe and sound in the loft. The 26th went into a club mates loft 20 miles away. I picked the bird up and tossed it out on the Beacons on the way home, about 15 mile away - if 1 is expected to fly the distance they all are! I do not allow skivers in my loft. I hope he returns but he doesnt then he is not worth keeping. The birds were quite spaced out and worked hard to get home even though it was only a 76 mile race. The other members in the club have had indifferent returns with the best being 19/20 and the worst 2/20. So to get all but 1 of mine home on their first race I am chuffed to bits with. Out of the section (the 3 lofts within 2 miles of each other) I finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th! In the club out of the 227 birds that went I finished 7th and out of the 12 members who sent I finished 4th. So I am over the moon and will give me a great platform to improve and I have no doubt they will improve for the next race.

The birds are going to be trained and trained hard again this week with 35 mile training tosses planned for the next 4 days prior to the race. I am planning on going with 2 club members tomorrow and will be liberating the birds all together.

In the Europa Classic the syndicate birds put in a good performance in todays 40 mile trainer with 5 out of the 6 timed within 1 minute of the winner. Their positions were 99th, 104th, 127th, 160th, 163rd and 754th. So all still in the race and I am hoping they put in a big performance in the next hotspot on Friday from 100 miles.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

The eve of the first young bird race!

Tonight we basketed the birds for the race from Swindon - 76 Miles. We sent all 26 in the end. 12 members in the club sent 227 birds. I expect the birds to be away early in the morning and be doing the distance in about 1h 45mins. I will update later tomorrow to let you all know how we got on! C'mon the Rockets! P.s Good luck to my brother having his first ever race, he has sent 10.

Good news!

Syndicate 1 bird has arrived back at the lofts and is back in the race! I spoke with Russ this morning and he said 31 still missing from yesterdays race. That is a boost as he has been doing very well up to now.

Secondly we have secured the purchase of a 6th syndicate bird. The bird was bred by Europa lofts from the Europa 500 entries and was 4th in yesterdays 1st Hotspot from 60 miles and would have won cash if he had been activated. I have sold 3 shares and have 1 left for sale. 1st person who contacts will secure this. - NOW SOLD!

Friday, 30 July 2010

The race is back on!

I have now sorted out my work and pleased to say that I am now off on Sunday so the birds will be sent. They have received their 17th and final training toss this afternoon, again from Shirenewton (35miles). The birds all arrived safe and sound and have been fed as much as they want tonight and apart from a little seed tomorrow morning will not get anything else until after the race on Sunday. I am planning on sending 25 out of the 26. I am looking forward to it but at the same time quite nervous hoping they come ok and do themselves justice. Time will tell....

First Hotspot Disaster for Syndicate Birds!

The first hotspot turned out to be a disaster for the syndicate birds. 1048 birds were liberated at 6.45am from 60 miles. The winner clocked at 8.24am and the remaining birds were clocked during the following 3-4 hours. It appears they have hit trouble somewhere along the line as pigeons should be able to complete 60 miles in under 2 hours easily. The birds that have been doing well in training are either missing or a long way down the result sheet. The result is not good reading for the share holders in the syndicate but as there are 90 birds missing we should be grateful they are still in the loft ready to fight another day. We recorded 710th, 728th, 753rd and 923rd. Our best bird who has been doing very well has not timed and this is a major blow, but he has plenty of time to make his way back to the loft. We activated birds for synciate 4 and 5 this morning and details are on the share holders / results page on the website.
A blow to us, but we live to fight another day.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

All home!

Sent the birds tonight with 2 other batches and tossed them from 14 miles. All home safe and sound. Just been confirmed that the race has been put back to Sunday. This has ruined my chances of sending as I am working Sunday morning. So they will now not be sent and another weeks training will continue ready for the next race from Newbury (97 miles).
The Europa birds were trained today from 40 miles and once again syndicate 1 bird was leading the way this time with 20th position. This was his 3rd result in the top 35 from 5 training tosses. The other syndicate birds were 527th and 808th. Both clocked within 2 minutes of the winner.
The 1st hotspot race is tomorrow from 60 miles so I am hoping all 3 put in a good performance in the 1st prize money race. The extra 2 syndicate birds will be confirmed as soon as Derek (Loft manager) replies. Hopefully that will be in time for the bird to compete for prizes in the 1st Hotspot. As soon as the birds are confirmed I will post on this site.

Another one under their belts

The 26 strong young bird team were basketed up for their 7th toss in 5 days and taken to Shirenewton (35miles). They all come home together in a group and trapped with no problem. They have been fed some small trapping seed and in an hour and half will be basketed agin and taken 18 miles to Blaenavon for another. This time they will be liberated with 2 other batches of birds and we will see how they deal with this. These birds are going to be super fit and fine tuned come racing but I realise there is a thin line between this and burn out. However, I believe I know their limits and will take it day by day and just hope I get it right. I need to give them every chance of coming on race days and I see this as the only answer with the time scale I have to work with. I will update this about 8.45pm when the birds have successfully returned. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Good toss tonight!

We had 1 bird back from yesterdays toss so that gave us 27 out of 31. The little blue hen will now join the latebred team and will be fully trained up later in the year. The remaining 26 were basketed up and taken to Shirenewton (35 miles) this afternoon. They were liberated into a strong head wind at 5.05pm and returned home at 5.55pm so taking 50 minutes for the journey. I was very pleased considering it was their first time there, furthest they have been and into a strong head wind. I had 20 come in a bunch, then 1 minute later 5 and finally 1 which about 10 minutes behind. They will go again tomorrow from the same place and then after that toss will decide who if any will go to the Swindon (76 miles) race on Saturday. I would ideally have liked another week to get them fine tuned ready for racing. I still have a number of things I need to do to prepare them fully. Until these are complete I will not risk the whole team, so it looks like I will select 4 or 5 to race this week and get these extra things complete in readiness for the Newbury race (97 miles) in 10 days time.

The Europa birds were trained again today from 40 miles and the syndicate birds scored 174th, 363rd and 988th. The first two were clocked within 90 seconds of the winner with the 3rd bird about 14 minutes behind so he had better start to pull his socks up I think!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Another messy training toss!

A complete mess this training toss turned out to be from start to finish! Firstly I planned to go to Cwmbran (25 miles) this afternoon, then decided to go to Newport (30 miles) instead as we approached the turn off for Cwmbran. We looked for a suitable place to liberate but before we knew it we were in the Newport City centre! We eventually pulled over by the docks just opposite the bus station! We unloaded the birds and were about to liberate them, when my senses kicked in and decided this was not the place to be letting them go. We loaded them back into the car and decided to head back towards Cwmbran. Again we looked for a place to stop and nothing suitable appeared. Before we knew it we were in a built up area again. We eventually found a Homebase car park and decided enough was enough and they would go from there! We liberated 31 pigeons at 4.30pm. We arrived back at the loft at 5.30pm and nothing! At 6.15pm 3 pigeons dived towards the loft and trapped ok. A minute later 1 more arrived. Throughout the next hour we had 20 back all coming in 1, 2 and 3's. By 9pm we had 26 back so down 5. A hawk attack if ever there was one!!!!! We also had another drop through the traps which was lost in the training toss about a week ago where we lost 11! He was looking like a picture and as if he had been on holiday to Barbados for the last week. I have put him in with the latebreds/injured birds loft and these will be trained up later in the year. There is 8 in there so far and another 9 will be weaned off now shortly so will have a nice little back up late bred team. I am planning another toss tomorrow from Shirenewton (35 miles) and will hopefully get there again on Thursday.
I am undecided yet as regarding sending to the race on Saturday. I will see how they come in the next two tosses and make a decision after training on Thursday.

Monday, 26 July 2010

2 more tosses completed tonight

I had 1 bird back this afternoon from yesterdays toss so ended up dropping one. The birds were basketed up at 5pm and taken 16 miles with a friend and liberated together. They cleared well and made good time all returning with one being late. They had an hour rest in the loft before being basketed again at 7pm and being liberated at 8.10pm from 20 miles. Again they recorded a good time. Have dropped one but had my doubts about him anyway. It was the one that returned from yesterdays toss and then returned late from the first toss tonight but none get a free ride in this loft and if the team have to do it so to does every pigeon in the loft. If they can't hack the pace then they are free to drop out any time. (With exception of injured pigeons who are given every chance to recover.)
The Europa birds had another toss from 40 miles today and recorded 434th, 493rd and 650th. All 3 still in the race! Think the speed machine has hooked up with a girlfriend who was slacking behind at the back. Think she is leading him a stray! Will have to speak with the loft manager and ask him to put him into isolation so he gets his mind back on the job!! hehehe

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Training went well

The weather has been kind today so made the most of it with 2 traning tosses with my brother Neil. We basketed up 32 of mine and 28 of his this morning and went 16 miles. It was the furthest they have been since the smash I had last Monday. (The only other time they been to this distance.) The birds were liberated and cleared immediately and beat us home all arriving safe and sound. They had the afternoon to rest and then we decided to basket them back up for a toss from 27 miles! With racing in 2 weeks time, this was a gamble and one ideally we would not have taken with the birds only having 6 from 6 miles, and 2 from 16 miles. They were liberated together but on this occasion we beat them home and they arrived shortly after. I was 3 down but 1 returned about an hour later. All in all, a good day with good training being accomplished. Hopefully we can really push them on now this week in the hope of making the race from Swindon on Saturday.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Speed machine on our hands!

Todays trainer in the Europa saw syndicate 1 bird score 5th from 1035 birds clocked in. Add this to the 35th he scored yesterday and it looks as if we have a real speed machine on our hands! The other two syndicate birds scored 103rd and 793rd. All clocked within 3 minutes of the winner!
My own birds were loft flown today and will hopefully get two tosses under their belts tomorrow before the longer tosses start next week!

Friday, 23 July 2010

The Europa has begun!

The Europa had its first training toss published on the site tonight and I am pleased to announce all 3 syndicate birds are still in the loft. Out of the 1032 birds that were clocked in we finished 35th (just 6 seconds behind the winner), 367th (30 seconds behind the winner) and 878th.
Our change of policy has paid dividends already. Last year we got all three entries to the final rae but they didn't deliver. The best result they put up in all the 32 published results was 163rd. So already in the 1st published result they have improved on this. If we can keep imroving year on year then I will be happy.
C'mon the Rockets!!

Another training toss under their belts

The birds received there 7th training toss tonight from 10 miles. 31 young birds were basketed and arrived safe and sound at the loft. The time was nothing to write home about and they will be kept at this location for a further two tosses (hopefully tomorrow) to ensure they are aware of the job required of them before we step up in distance.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Back to business!

After the chaos of the last 2 days, the birds were let out this afternoon and allowed to do what they like. They flew for 20 minutes and as soon as they landed I called them in and fed a handful of conditioner. I decided to get back down to basics and decided the best way was for an 8 mile toss to restore their confidence. They circled for a while upon release but once found their line were soon on their way. On return to the loft I was pleased to see all 32 safe and sound. (The one the cat had didn't go for obvious reasons.) I plan to give them another tomorrow afternoon from the same place and hopefully another one later in the evening.

And another but......

My 33rd youngster returned today and found him on the loft when I returned home from work. A bloody cat had attacked him and he has 3 big holes in him but he managed to escape and is currently tucking into an all you can eat buffet! So missing 11 to date. The birds will be let out this evening for a fly and will see how they do but they will be given as much time as they need to recover and get their confidence back after this dreadful training toss they have endured. Racing is supposed to be in 12 days but I really think I am going to be struggling to get them anywhere near ready come this date. The thinking hat is going to have to go on to plan what the birds will now do!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

What bravery, heart and determination!

Updated......Phew, now got 32 back from the 44 that were sent! Had 3 return before 7am, 8 mid morning and 18 this afternoon. The weather has been dreadful all day. It is lashing down with heavy rain and low cloud. These birds have no right to be flying, let alone returning home. They have shown great heart and desire to return and this gives me great hope for the season ahead! I have 12 still missing and hopefully will get a few more home over the next few hours and days!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Gutted and Distraught!

I let the youngsters out at 5pm tonight and they flew really well for an hour. I then basketed up 44 for their 5th training toss from 18 miles. I waited and waited and just after 9pm I had 2 come. About 15 minutes later I had another 1. At nightfall these are the only 3 I have had and I am missing 41! To say I am gutted is an understatement. I have never lost more than 5 in any one training toss so to loss the lot is heartbreaking! The weather is not good for tomorrow with heavy rain forecast for most of the day so the chances of them returning is looking rather bleak! My season could well be over before it has even begun. I just have to sit and wait and see what works back! Its going to be a long night I think waiting for the light to come back up!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Share Syndicate Venturer Birds

I am looking to purchase a few extra birds in the Europa Classic and South West One Loft race. These birds I stress will not have been bred by myself but will be raced in our name. The price of these birds will be £100 each and will be available for activation into the main race around the 1st hotspots in these races. The syndicates will follow the same lines as our own syndicates that have been set up with our own birds. It will be £25 each share held, what a great way to enjoy the summer months and also have a chance of winning a nice amount of cash if we get lucky! Anyone interested please get in touch to reserve your space!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Shares for Europa Classic 2011!

Shares are available for next years Europa Classic 2011 Share Syndicate. The format will be the same as this year. Shares are £33.50 for a 1/4 share in one of the entries that we send down for the race. There is potentially £30,000 1st prize up for grabs and I would love to send down between 9-12 birds to give this race a real crack. All birds will be bred from my top 3 pairs. Shares are on a first come - first served basis. Anyone interested please email me for further details. No payment is required until April next year. Come and join us on our quest for 1st Open! Keep up to date how this years share holders do by clicking on the Europa Share page on this website!

Please let the weather be good!

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the weather comes good this coming week. My birds have been going out in between the heavy rain showers but training has not been possible. I have still only had the 4 training tosses and need to push the birds on now as soon as I can.
The first club race is tomorrow and then another short one next week. I hope to get them to the 30 miles stage at least in time for the 3rd race.
The youngsters in the nest are coming along nicely, with 13 in the nest. I will take another round from all my stock birds (7 pairs). I have 2 coming from my friend so will have around 29. This will be a nice amount of late breds that will be kept away from the main race young birds in a separate loft. I will let them mature and grow and then train them hard once young bird racing is over.
I vaccinated the remaining young birds in the race team that hadn't been vaccinated so all now ready to race. I have a few transfers to do which will enable me to race the birds and these will be sent off on Monday.
I made a few changes to the young bird loft today and hoping this helps bring the birds into better condition ready for racing.
Until next time........

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Bad Weather & Young Bird Sickness

The last few days has seen the weather being very unpredictable. Training has not been possible over the last few days. To date they have had 4 training tosses from 6 miles and every time have come quicker than the previous.
I have noticed that one or two of the birds were retaining corn and believe it was the start of the dreaded young bird sickness that nearly all lofts seem to encounter this time of year. The birds were treated and are looking and digesting there food a lot better now.
I am hoping for the weather to improve significantly as the first race I am planning to send to is just over 2 weeks away. I am going to have to push them hard in training if they are to be ready for this date. I have another week if required up my sleeve, but that will then push my first race out to 97 miles and would be the 4th club race of the season.
The training has been kept to 6 miles so far and a few more at the distance will then see them increased to 14 miles. After they are coming well from here, they will then go to 27 miles and I will concentrate on getting them coming like rockets from here. I will give them 1 or 2 at the 45 mile stage but time is against me (and at the moment so is the weather!)
However, I am in no rush and will not enter the youngsters unless they have had the correct training and education and I feel they will do the business.
Once training has started every bird in the loft will be expected to fly Folkstone (200 miles) and then the majority will be put by for next year. I will select a few that will then go over the water to Lillers (272 miles). Can't wait now.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Europa Classic Share Syndicate

Good news! The 3 Europa Classic Share Syndicate birds are still in the loft in Cardiff and have been trained up to 10 miles to date. They have had a slow start this year and have put it down to the birds not ranging from the loft. They have lost a total of 120 birds from the original entry of 1178 birds, these have been through a variety of sickness, lost of the loft and in initial training. So that should leave around 1050 birds in the race at this stage.
Due to the slow start, they have revised the dates of the 'hotspot' races and the final race. Training is expected to reach 40 miles within 2 weeks and then the positions of the birds from each training stage will be displayed on the website and will also be published on the Europa Share Syndicate on this site.
The date of the 1st 'Hotspot' will now be the 30th July 2010. The final race is now planned for the 10th September 2010 from Hexham (250 miles).
C'mon Rasbull Rockets!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

2nd Training toss went well!

After the 1st training toss, on counting the birds all had returned safe and well including the 1 that was missing for a short time. I did plan on going to the same place again yesterday but low cloud, strong winds and drizzle in the air I resisted and just had the birds out for a fly later in the evening. Today was a better day all round and I chose to let the birds out for an hour this evening and then basketed the birds and took them training for their second toss. All birds arrived together and trapped very quickly. I was very pleased with the toss. I now plan to take them again tomorrow afternoon and will again take them to the same 6 mile spot. Hopefully they will improve again. At the moment I am looking to be sending to the 3rd race of the season on the 31st July (76 miles) so have a good amount of time to get the birds fully trained up and ready for action.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


The first training toss has come and gone! The birds were taken 6 miles down the road and 46 were liberated together. Upon arrival back at the lofts there was nothing. Then about 1 minute later a blue dropped onto the landing board. It was one of the 10 later bred birds and had only been flying out of the loft about a week. Then about 3 minutes later a group of 5 birds whizzed over the loft and carried on flying. I was starting to get concerned they had been hit by something but as those thoughts raced through my head the main bunch arrived. I believe I have dropped 1. It was the very last youngster I weaned off and to be honest was not ready but I cant wait any longer for the sake of 1 bird. So all in all a pleasing day. I let them out this evening and they will hopefully go to the same place again tomorrow.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Tomorrow is the day!

The young birds have been out flying for an hour each evening since the shut in last week. I was planning on starting training today but fed the birds well yesterday evening and could only go at 2.30pm this afternoon. With the birds not being hungry I didn't feel this was the correct way to begin training.
So after their 1 hour fly this evening, they were fed a smaller amount and will go training at 2.30pm tomorrow afternoon. I was going to basket them up earlier and let them stay in the crates overnight, but after some though I decided against this.
So I will take them 5 miles tomorrow for the first toss. I handled all the young birds on Saturday and disposed of 2 which didn't quite look the part.
Should they all come tomorrow from the training toss, they will then have a 1 hour fly at 5pm and fed at 6pm.
I will continue to do the same for the next week to 10 days dependant on the weather. When the birds are coming well from 5 miles, I will step them up to 15 miles. I don't like to spend too much time with short tosses and feel the birds if capable should be able to do 30 miles in no time at all.
So this is it! Just hoping a hawk doesn't go through them on this first toss!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

All quiet this week!

This week has been very quiet in the lofts. I have kept the young birds in the last 3 days and they have had plenty of rest, food and water to build them up ready for the task ahead. In previous years I have rushed them into training early and concentrated entirely on that. However this year, I am going to take my time ensure the birds are flying well around the loft. I will probably keep them in again now Thursday and Friday. I plan to let them fly Saturday and Sunday and then on Monday training will be begin for this years youngsters. I am in two minds at the minute on the direction and the stages I am going to be training from. The normal place I go, I seem to get hit by hawks quite often and do not want a hawk going into them on their first toss.
There is the final race of the Old Bird season on Saturday but as the birds have not been out or trained '518' is not fit enough or prepared to go so I doubt I will be sending. He will now be kept ready for next season and will be raced as a 2 year old.
I have my 8 pairs of stock pigeons all sitting eggs at the moment, with 4 youngsters in the nest and about 6 eggs due to hatch by tomorrow. I was slightly down the other night when finding an egg off my best pair had been damaged in the nest. But that is how it goes.
I will update again on Monday to let you know how the first training toss has gone!! Its a matter of luck and I have just have to keep my fingers crossed they come through unscathed.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Getting closer!

The 10 youngsters have now started taking to the sky and 5-6 have started flying with the main bunch. There are 3-4 who have a few laps and then seem happy to land on the loft but this will soon sort itself out. Training is still looking likely to start around the 5th July, so another week.
I have spent today washing the lofts out with Harka-Mitex to rid the loft of any Red Mite and also dipped all the birds using Chlorcarb. I do not think there any but its always nice to have a good wash out and keep the loft and birds in good condition to help bring them into optimum health.
Most of the stock birds are now sitting eggs and I have 4 youngsters that have been rung. I have now transferred most of the stock birds that will be retained into the 6 x 6 stock loft. Racing can not come soon enough now!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Training/race/young birds!

All 48 young birds that will be raced went out of the loft for the first time today. I have 38 that are flying very well. I have been reluctant to train until all 48 are exercising around the loft. The 10 had a walk around the garden and when out with the older young birds will soon take to the sky. I hope to begin training by the 5th July at the latest! The first club race is on the 17th but the first 2 races are only 50 miles, so will be looking to send to my first race on the 31st July.
'518' went to the race from Newbury on Saturday and was slightly behind but that was to be expected with him having his only 2nd race of the season after returning 10 days late from his first. He will go again to the Newbury race in 2 weeks time and then will be kept to race as a 2 year old next season.
The stock birds are now mostly all paired up to their new partners with several pairs sitting eggs and 2 sitting youngsters. I still plan to take a round of late breds from these and keep them over the winter to race next season.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Looking forward to good things!

Today saw the 9th and 10th youngsters hatch from 'Rasbull Trish'. I am looking to create a family around this fantastic hen who was 9th Ace Bird - Europa Classic 2009 from the 1203 birds that were entered. I also have her nestmate 'Rasbull Kate' (herself 17th Ace bird) and between these 2 birds I am hoping to form a fantastic family. I have been fostering eggs from 'Trish' so she is sitting another 2 eggs as I write this. Its the 2 that have hatched and the 2 she is sitting that excites me the most. The father is 'Rasbull Mr Perfect' a Willy Jacob pigeon from Ernie Goodyear. 'Trish' and 'Mr Perfect' between them were in the top 39 birds in 7 out of 12 races ranging from 1203 - 754 birds! Outstanding flying by these two super pigeons!
P.s - I have entered 3 birds out of 'Rasbull Trish' -06607, 'Rasbull Kate' - 06604 and 'Rasbull Mr Perfect' 06601 into this years Europa Classic. Keep an eye on them to see how they get on. Click the Share Syndicate link on my site and the results will be posted when the training starts around 10th July!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Disappointing day!

It turned out to be a bridge too far for 'Rasbull Demon' as she has not made it back from today's race from Reims (378 miles). She is by far not the only one, with only 12 out of the 46 in the club making it back. There is always tomorrow and we will have to wait and see if she gets back.

This now leaves me with 1 cock left to send in the 2 remaining come back races this season. I am not too concerned as these were out of the birds that were purchased 2 years ago and a new generation of stock birds have been introduced as the previous generation we deemed to be not to the standard I require. I have used this Old bird season to fill time if truth be known until the youngsters from the new generation start racing. I have enjoyed the season and surprised that I have been able to compete in 7 races so far with just the 3 birds I started the season with.

Today started a big clean out of the older stock birds that were deemed not up to standard. I have repaired 6 pairs that will form the basis of my stock team over the next 12 months.

The youngsters are flying well with 38 now flying out with another 9 that have recently been weaned off. That gives me 47 youngsters to compete in the young bird season with. I am in the process of taking a late bred round and these will be off the new stock pairings.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Can't wait now!

'Rasbull Demon' was basketed tonight for Sundays Race from Reims (378 miles). She has been in good form this week and the preparation has gone perfectly. There will be no excuses if she fails to make it home. The wind is not ideal with a north wind expected at the liberation site and a west wind when entering the United Kingdom. The weather is good at the liberation site and an early liberation is expected. I hope she makes it back and I will update you all on her arrival!