Monday, 31 May 2010
I returned home from work today at 3.30pm and on the loft was '518' the cock I lost in the Newbury race 10 days ago! He is very thin and flown out. I didn't think I would be seeing this bird again. After giving him a Canker tablet I allowed him into his section and he just about managed to fly up to his box! I thought it was 60-40 when I sent him, and in hindsight I shouldn't have. However, he will soon recover his strength and in a week or so will be back to his old self. This experience will have done him the world of good I am sure and I bet this cock has covered some miles in returning to his home. I will give him 2 weeks and hopefully can get him right for the Basingstoke race which is in 3 weeks time. If this is possible, he will also go 2 weeks later to the final comeback race of the season - again Basingstoke. He has shown great character is returning and will be given every chance to prove himself when fully fit.
Posted by Richard Shepherd at Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, 28 May 2010
Well the gamble to send the cock unfit backfired! He didn't make it back from the race. I knew it was a gamble but thought it 60-40 in his favour and therefore took the risk.
This weeks race from Lillers was flown today due to bad weather forecast for Saturday and as a result it ruined my plans for transport and I was therefore unable to send. However, the birds have been exercised every evening this past week and 'Rasbull Demon' will go to Basingstoke (109 miles) next Saturday and providing she comes well will be jumped into Reims (378 miles), which will be a massive test for her!
The youngsters are doing ok and 40 have now been weaned off. I have another 7 in the nest and currently have 8 eggs in the loft. I plan to continue breeding for a while yet as I want a team of late breds for next years Old bird racing, as I don't ever want to be in the same position as I left myself in my first season in having only 3-4 birds for racing.
Posted by Richard Shepherd at Friday, May 28, 2010
Friday, 21 May 2010
Well after a day of mixed decisions I finally decided to send to this weeks race. I only decided to send about 3pm this afternoon. I sent '518' the cock bird who has been out all season with broken flights. He his unfit and I have sent him viewing the race as a training toss more than anything and not expecting him to come in a good race time. The 97 miles however, will set him on his way for the rest of the season and will do him the world of good. I have taken a risk in some respects and could lose him, but that's the chance I decided was worth taking. Will let you all know tomorrow how he comes!
Posted by Richard Shepherd at Friday, May 21, 2010
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
My 2 race birds which have paired together have gone off the boil and are a big doubt for Saturdays race. They have been reluctant to fly the last 2 days and although put up a decent effort in a training toss this evening from 15 miles, I am not happy with them. I will decide over the last 2 days before making a decision if they go or stay at home.
The youngsters are flying well and doing an hour each evening, so very pleased with the effort they are putting in and how they are progressing. I will update before Saturday.......
Posted by Richard Shepherd at Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Saturday, 15 May 2010
With no racing today I took the time to get a lot of jobs done which were in need of doing. Firstly the lofts were all cleaned out and disinfected. Then I set about tweaking the nest boxes as a few were not fitting as I wished. Once this was done the fronts of the nestboxes were added to the stock loft and 3 new pairings were put together. 'Rasbull Trish' has now been paired with 'Rasbull Mr Perfect'. This is a pairing I had planned since purchasing the birds at the Europa Classic last October. But despite being placed together neither appeared interested in pairing up together last February. I am extremely excited about the young birds I will be getting from this pair. Another 5 pairs were also settled down together and I am looking forward to them all sitting in the near future. The young birds went out in the late afternoon and I have now separated them into 2 teams so the younger ones are not bringing down the main team. The youngsters are still not trapping at all well and very slack. This has been happening since the new loft was added and whether the new loft has unsettled them I don't know, but within a week I hope to have this problem well and truly sorted out. Bad trapping will not be tolerated and they are going to learn this very quickly.
'Rasbull Demon' has now been given a box and she has taken to this very well with '518'. She has been racing between 3 sections and this has obviously had an affect on her racing. Now she has a box and paired to a cock I hope she will renew her racing ability which saw her just 2 minutes from winning the club a few weeks back.
'518' the other racing old bird I have in the loft, has now grown back his last 2 end flights and things are looking good to him going to next weeks race from Newbury (97 miles).
Posted by Richard Shepherd at Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thursday, 13 May 2010
I decided to change my mind after on Sunday regarding the race on Monday. I wasn't going to send but decided it was best if I did. I thought that with all the work going on in the garden this coming week the birds would be badly disrupted so as there were 2 races could afford to miss one. So I opted for the 1st. I sent 1 hen and she come home but was a long way behind the club winner. I was not concerned with the race and she went merely for the experience and the benefit she had from a 5 hour fly. She hadn't been out at all since the previous race. Now she has a full weeks rest and will loft fly before she goes to Newbury (97 miles) on the 22nd May. The following week she will go to Lilliers. This is the first 'over the water' race this season and one of the top targets for this loft in the coming few years.
I have taken this week to separate the stock birds and they will be repaired in the coming week with different partners. I have planned it well and hoping all goes smoothly. I now have 37 weaned off with 11 in the nest and 6 eggs. (I smashed a lot of eggs when splitting the existing stock pairs.) The loft has now been finished and the picture has now been updated on the main website.
Posted by Richard Shepherd at Thursday, May 13, 2010
Saturday, 8 May 2010
I had decided to not to send 'Rasbull Demon' this week to the race from Folkestone. The weather forecast was bad and with building the new loft the birds have not been out in over a week. After this decision I was then informed by the club secretary that the race has been put back to Monday due to the weather. But I will still keep her at home this week and wait for the 2nd Folkstone race next weekend instead.
The new young bird loft is now complete and I am over the moon with it. I will update the photo on the main site of the new loft as soon as I can but it is spot on. Its a 9 X 9ft young bird section which has been directly attached to the main loft as shown on the main page of the website.
The youngsters now total 32 weaned off, with 16 in the nest and 12 eggs. So on track to have 60 youngsters which will have had at least 1 race come the end of the young bird season. I also plan to take a latebred round from selected stock birds and these will be just trained up in readiness for next years old bird programme.
Posted by Richard Shepherd at Saturday, May 08, 2010
Monday, 3 May 2010
Saturday turned out to be a disaster of a race. I sent the 2 hens and the wait for them to return went on and on! I finally got '88' a long time after the expected arrival time. I didn't even bother clocking her. '78' is sadly still missing, and I feel I may have seen the last of this gallant little hen.
This weeks race is from Folkstone, 200 miles and as yet '88' has not been out of the loft since her return. There are 2 Folkstones in a row now, and I will decide Wednesday or Thursday if she will go.
I have been extremely busy this last 4-5 days building my new young bird loft and I am over the moon with it. It is 9 x 9 and when inside looks massive! I have extended the main loft and will put a picture on the site when complete. Its not far off being completed. I have partly blamed Saturdays poor show on all the disruption the week before in and around the loft!
The breeding is going well, with 12 youngsters in the nest and 15 eggs. This should take me up to 59 if all hatch and stay well.
I will update again around Thursday when I will have made a decision about '88' and hopefully be able to report the new section has been completed!
Posted by Richard Shepherd at Monday, May 03, 2010