Tuesday, 20 December 2011


The stock birds are now settled in their section. I have 1 pair that have still not paired up but I am happy to leave them pair in their own time. I had a pair that turned out to be 2 hens! So I have 7 pairs of stock birds that have paired up. 4 of those pairs have now laid and I will transfer these eggs under the race birds who have been left to their own devices. I have 14 pairs in the race section and about 8 of these have settled and several are sitting eggs. My main aim with pairing up early was to foster several of my best pairs and get them back down on eggs so hopefully by January I will have 4 eggs from all my top pairs. If I only have 12-14 young birds by January then I am happy with that as it still leaves plenty of time to breed my team of young birds for 2012.

Monday, 5 December 2011

One or two proving stubborn!

I still have 3 pairs that are not showing must interest mainly due to the fact that the hens were paired to other cocks in the same section last year. We will get there though! I have my top two pairs now paired up and that is good news! The race birds are together but they have been left to their own devices and will pair to who they want to.
The Rasbull Share Syndicate is now fully booked up this year and I am pleased to announce we have 8 different people who make up the syndicate for 2012. This is very pleasing and we have some old faces from previous years that prove the syndicate is fairly run and you get a run for your money. I can not wait now to breed the 10 youngsters that will make up this years team. Hopefully this will be a good year for the Rasbull Share Syndicate!!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Birds being paired!

I have spent the last few days pairing the birds up and taking advantage of this milder weather. Last year proved quite difficult pairing them up in the cold and they were uninterested. I have nearly paired them all up now. I have decided that I will not be bringing any more new birds in this year and we will roll with what we have. I have spent several hours updating various parts of the webiste and I think they have improved the site (especially the stock section!)

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Could be another top stock pigeon arriving within a week!!

We are still planning another 1 or 2 introductions to the stock team and have targeted a number of birds. We will bring news in the next week or so if we have been successful in aquiring them. The two new hens that have been purchased (both bred fed winners) will be arriving at the lofts sometime this week. I will say this - the 2 new birds we have in mind are equally impressive regarding the breeding of winners!
We are also in contact with various fanciers regarding entering two more test lofts so our entire stock loft will be put to the test in the coming season. We currently have 9 pairs of stock and I think I am looking at 10 pairs of stock for this season. We have 6 youngsters going to Somerset One Loft race, 4 going to the RPRA, 4 going to the test loft of B.Williams & Son and hopefully another two test lofts will be taking 2 each. So that will be the entire first round of stock birds more or less sent to be tested.
The birds in the loft are now settled and the cocks are picking their boxes. I hope to start introducing the hens in the next few weeks and get them ready for pairing. They have been treated for canker and worms already in the last 3 weeks and currently being treated for cocci. This year I will also be treating for Paratyphoid and hope to do this in the next week or so. I believe they will then be more than ready for the exciting breeding season that lies ahead!

Monday, 14 November 2011

First introductions of the year!

We have dipped into the market to acquire two superb breeding hens that were just too good to not purchase! We were short of one stock hen but decided both were worthy of a place in the stock loft here at Rasbull Lofts and I am pleased to announce both will be arriving in the near future!

"Flying in the Pontefract South Road FC we have been either the Highest prize winner or runner up since 1999, and flying in the Pontefract Central we have been the highest prize winners for the past three consecutive years. In this time we have been the highest prize winners in both the old Castleford & District Federation and our current Federation, Normanton. This year being our best channel season to date we have topped the Federation at 335 miles, 400 miles and 501 miles. In our Club we have won 12 out of the 15 channel races flown over the last three years, topping the Federation on 6 occasions. Below are five of our best stock birds, you won't get much better than these:

Rasbull Lofts purchased 2 out of the 5 and they are detailed below!

Blue Hen - Bred 2 Federation winners and numerous 1st Club's including 4, 1st prize winners from 6 children in the current race team of J&S Toon! A direct Peter Van der Merwe!

Blue Hen - Bred 7 x 1st Club, 1st Fed, 2nd Fed, 2 x 3rd Fed, 4th Fed plus many other positions. This hen is a Wall, Lunt & Green Koopman!!

2 Excellent hens that have produced endless winners between them and wil be a superb addition to Rasbull Lofts stock loft!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Rasbull Share Syndicate 2012

We can confirm we will sending to the RPRA and Somerset One Loft Races this year. We are going to enter 4 into the RPRA race and 6 will got the Somerset One Loft Race. There are 10 birds in total and therefore 40 shares. These will be sold on a first come, first served basis. I will be having at least 1 share in each bird so that leaves just 30 shares available! The birds will be bred from my top stock pairs and anyone wishing to enter please email Rasbull@hotmail.co.uk to book your space. I will need the deposit as soon as possible as the RPRA race in particular sells out very quickly. More information can be found on the Rasbull Syndicate 2012 page of the website by clicking one of the banners!

Monday, 7 November 2011


There is not much happening at the lofts at present. The birds have been separated with the stock and racing cocks being put into their respective sections for the coming season and allowed to pick their nestbox. The hens are all together at present and will remain there until mid December when they will be paired up in readiness for breeding. There have been no new introductions to the stock loft this year although a big deal is being worked on at present and I hope to bring news before start of breeding...Watch this space!

Monday, 10 October 2011

New section completed!

The loft alterations are coming along nicely with the new widowhood section now completed. The front has been changed with the trap moving towards the right away from the door. The section now houses 20 pairs of widowhood birds. Just a new vent is needed to complete the front. Work will then turn to extending the loft on the other side by another 7ft. Will update when work has started. The birds in the loft are moulting well and I will be glad when they are all through the moult. The birds are confined to the loft at present and will be until spring time.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Work continuing

The work on the loft is continuing. I am currently working on the new widowhood loft and hope to have this complete in the next few days depending on how quick materials can be delivered. The loft will be used for widowhood next year with the nest boxes and the whole front of the loft being changed around. The picture shows the work that has been done and I will upload one of the work when completed.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Loft Changes

This week has seen a lot of work being carried out at the lofts. I have changed the entire loft setup around, I have stripped out all the sections and have created a new stock loft equipped with 12 nest boxes which is 8 x 6ft. I have also restructured the old bird racing loft which now has 20 nest boxes and is 9 x 9ft in readiness for next year. I have a 4 x 6ft section which will have boxes perches installed and will be used for the widowhood hens next year. I am planning an attaching polycarbonate sheeting to the front of the loft on all the windows and will be lowering the shiplap to allow more sunlight into the loft. The entrance for the old birds will be drop down which will allow for open door trapping (likely to be 6ft x 4ft!) I will be installing extra vents in the sections to improve air flow. I have also stripped out the 6 x 6 section and that will be used as a store room for the next month or so. After that I am planning to extend it by another 7ft to create a 13 x 6ft section which will be used for next years young bird team. This loft will also have a drop down window which will ensure maximum sunlight and air can get into the loft and be controlled depending on the weather. To complete this work means new brick work being completed to the existing L shape loft. I will also be attaching a 5 x 4ft aviary to the young bird loft which will also be accessible to the stock birds. I am very excited about the changes and believe when they have been completed will make this a fantastic setup for racing and breeding pigeons. This has been my aim for a long time and I believe within the next 2-3 months all the work will be completed and the birds will have a superb loft to race and live.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Some returns today

6 out of the 8 missing birds have returned today. 2 have very bad wire injuries and I am guessing the one with the worst is the bird I saw land in the trees after hitting the wires. He has cut from his chest to the top of the neck. He is in a right mess but will heal with time. The birds have once again been rested tonight and had a good feed.
I will be working on the loft in the next few weeks rearranging sections and boxes etc to get the loft setup how I want it for the coming season.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Another bad one!

The birds were trained tonight after a couple of days rest after the horror show from 28 miles 3 days ago where I ended up losing 8 birds. I took 39 this afternoon back to 28 miles and although the weather was not great they had to go. I have trained at this location for 2 seasons and never had a bad one from there until 3 days ago with one hit the wires upon release. I let the 39 birds go in the same spot with the only set of wires for a good distance about 50 foot to the right. The birds were let go facing directly away from the wires and they took off and turned immediately still flying to gain height. Once again they went directly into the wires with some going over and some below. 1 at the back went straight into them! They then did a full circle and did exactly the same thing again! This time the injured bird nose dived into the trees on the other side of the river. Unbelievable! They were clearly visible yet the birds flew into them twice in a matter of seconds! On arrival home once again there were no birds which I was not surprised about. I then had a group of 15 or so arrive and hit the loft. They were followed by another group of 10 or so. I then had birds coming back on their own until I had 31 from the 39 that were sent. Missing are 7 youngsters and my most experienced old bird that has had 15 races for me and has flown the channel! Between the hawks and wires I am being hammered every time I am taking the birds at the moment and I think I have made my mind up that will be it for this season. The race has been brought forward to Friday this week but I do not think I will be sending now. I have one who is all cut under his wing and he must have been the first one to hit the wires! Hopefully the missing 8 birds will return in the morning. The last two training tosses have hit me hard with 16 birds missing at present! That is a huge loss for me and I can't keep taking hits like this in training but if I don't train I am going to be hit even more with losses as the birds will enter the South Wales Valleys and that will be the end of them!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Time to get them going again!

I have had another few return and now I am missing 8 in total from the training toss on Saturday. It gives me 39 in total of which 36 are young birds. I have loft flown them tonight and they will be back in the basket tomorrow afternoon for another training toss.
My brother took his 38 training yesterday and only had 11 back by nightfall. He has had some return today but is still missing 11. There is a very well fed hawk in the valley on the line of flight our birds come. It is impossible to avoid this valley though as this is the only way the birds will come from a race and they have to fly up the valley into Brecon. Hopefully he will be sleeping off two very good meals he has had in the last few days when I take mine again tomorrow!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Returning slowly this morning

The birds are returning slowly this morning with 15 having returned up to 10.45am. There were 5 or 6 on the loft on daylight this morning so they can not be too far away. I am currently down 14 in total. All 3 of my yearlings have made it back. The weather is terrible here again this morning with heavy showers lasting 10-15 minutes and low cloud. Hopefully the missing birds will make it through sometime today. I am going to rest them now today and whatever returns today will then be back to work tomorrow. There is just 6 days until basketing for Swindon and I hope to give them at least another 2 tosses in that time. I will give them another from 28 miles before going to 50 miles. This should set them up for the race and give them the best chance of returning. Most of the birds have now experienced a night out and that is a good thing and I hope will benefit them in the long run.
**3.45pm - another 2 have returned so that is now 12 missing. The weather has improved and what does not come now are the unlucky and the rubbish!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Dropped a big clanger tonight!

I decided to take the birds tonight to 28 miles and didn't liberate them until 6.40pm. It was clear they would have to shift to make it back before nightfall. To my horror 5 miles into the journey on the way back the weather turned to heavy rain and all around us black. Cars had their lights on and windscreen wipers were on full blast. It has to be the worst decision I have made all season and I knew I would be cutting it fine with the light but didn't factor in the bad weather!
On return to the loft I was not surprised to see no birds home. About 10 minutes after getting home a group of 4 brave birds shot over the house and onto the loft. They were closely followed by another. They all sat there for 5 minutes before going in. They were seriously spooked and not keen to move at all despite being hungry and food waiting in the loft. I had 2 yearling cocks then arrive together about 10 minutes later. By now it was getting a lot darker. I had 2 or 3 groups of 2 and 3's arrive over the course of the next 10 minutes. I was upto 17 when it had become totally dark and on standing by the back door thinking over my mistake another pigeon landed on the loft and trapped. Unbelievable as it was pitch black!! On checking which bird it was, it turned out to be the bird that broke its leg in at least 3 places and whose leg now juts out to the left as he damaged his hip joint. Brave little bird this is turning out to be!
So in the end I have ended up with 18 out of 47 and that is all my fault and nothing to do with the birds. I suspect a hawk strike on top of the weather and darkness as the birds were totally on edge on return. One of the worst decisions I have made with the birds to liberate so late from so far away. The weather was unknown to me but that is no excuse. I have a feeling most of the missing birds are not far away and expecting a large number to be hitting the loft early in the morning. I believe this experience despite my stupidity, will do the birds that return the world of good and will prove to be invaluable experience for them. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the majority of the birds make it back tomorrow!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Training again!

Two out of the four missing birds were on the loft this morning but the other 2 have failed to arrive. That now puts me down to 44 youngsters with 3 yearling cocks also. All 47 were again trained tonight from 14 miles and all were safe and sound in the loft upon my return. I am very pleased with how they are coming at present and hope to step them up to 28 miles tomorrow if the weather permits.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Todays training

The birds were stepped up to 14 miles tonight and all 49 were basketed once again as the missing bird from yesterday was on the loft this morning before I left for work. The wind is a lot calmer today and this showed with the birds hammering us back home. I am down 4, which includes the one that was missing yesterday. 2 of the 4 were only brought in for the Dove Release company I am planning to setup and the one of them is the bird that has now been late 2 days running. The other 2 though are bred by myself and I want to know what they are. As they are now at a distance and condition that they should be able to keep up with the group, they will have 3 strikes and they will be out. I can not be doing with the same birds returning late. They just cause problems and come the first race they will be the first ones to be reported! I am very pleased with how they came from 14 miles as half of the team were doing that distance for the first time. I will now jump them again to 28 miles which depending on the weather will hopefully be tomorrow.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Birds trained today

My youngsters were trained today as I took advantage of the break in the cloud even though the wind was still very strong. I took 49 to 7 miles and I am missing 1 at nightfall. I am hoping for some good weather now this week to be able to push these on now in time for Swindon 76 miles, on the 24th September.
I will be entering 4 young birds into B.Williams & Son's test loft for next year. I am keen to try my own pigeons when they are competing on a decent playing field and think they will be able to show how good they can be given a fair crack of the whip. I am looking forward to it. I believe there are 48 test loft birds being entered next year and all will fly the program and compete in the Nationals etc.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

No news

There is not much to report at present. The birds in the loft are being restricted to flying around the loft in between rain and strong winds due to the awful weather we are having at the moment. These youngsters are now desperate to be trained but until the weather improves they are going to have to stay where they are!

The Europa have not updated their website as yet so still waiting for news of the syndicate birds to see if they have returned to the loft. Hopefully they will update shortly.

I am now planning the loft layout for the coming breeding season and will be looking through the birds I have to select pairings and numbers that I will be carrying over the winter period.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Syndicate for 2012!

Rasbull Lofts Share Syndicate will be again running for 2012 and will be looking to enter the Europa Classic and the Somerset One Loft Race. I will be entering up to 14 birds next year and these will be divided into 56 shares - 36 shares in the Somerset race and 20 in the Europa. Depending on the race these will be £30 a share. (1/4 share in one bird per share). They are on a first come, first served basis and these will soon be gone so please don't miss out! Results through this years series of the Europa Classic:-
1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 6th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 19th, 19th, 19th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 34th, 35th, 35th, 36th, 36th, 37th, 38th, 39th, 44th, 48th and 49th!

Anyone interested please email Rasbull@hotmail.co.uk and I look forward to welcoming you on board for next year!!!

Disastrous Final Race

The final of the Europa turned out to be a disastrous race for everyone involved. Only 44 from 501 birds have made it back with only 3 on the day. I dont think anyone is to blame and its just one of those things. The weather was ok and the birds were in great condition (confirmed by at least 3 people who were at the marking). Its a shame as the syndicate birds had been coming so well in the hotspots and the training. But you can't account of the hawks, weather etc and at the end of the day you pay your money and you take your chance. Hopefully we will get one or two on the result sheet in the next day or so. I am worn out as my brother and I were the last to leave last night around 9ish and travelled 50 miles home and then were up at 4.30am and arrived at the loft at first light! Mad but good fun, just shame I didn't get one but then there are 457 who are in the same boat!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Its here!!!

The final of this years Europa is now upon us with the birds having their training toss of the series today! They were 19th, 56th, 152nd and 324th. They have performed so well in the training and hotspots that I am hoping to get at least 1 in the top 50 of the final result from 240 miles. They have hammered the top 50 all series to date with them taking:- 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 6th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 19th, 19th, 19th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 34th, 35th, 35th, 36th, 36th, 37th, 38th, 39th, 44th, 48th and 49th!
This has been with a team of just 4 pigeons competing with on average 600 birds per race! I hope they don't let themselves down now in the final with a poor performance! The final is on Sunday and the weather is not too clever but hopefully they will thrive and produce a great performance for the loft!

The birds in my own loft are exercising very well with up to 1hour 20 mins work being put in when out exercising. They have had two 7 mile training tosses which were Monday and Tuesday and they are going now this evening to 14 miles. So hoping to get them in a good time. The race is just 9 days away and I am feeling it will be very difficult to get them ready for this in time so they might go to the one on the 24th instead. I have kept them all season and I am not prepared to throw them away due to rushing. I am wanting the majority of the cocks for a team of widowers for next season and can't wait for the REAL racing to start next year!!

Sunday, 28 August 2011


That's the word that best describes our birds in this years Europa Classic. They have produced all series so far with them being 44th, 48th, 61st and 223rd in todays training toss from 40 miles.

I am hoping to give my own youngsters a training toss this afternoon which will include all the youngsters yet to be in the basket. I will start them at 7 miles and then hope to increase that to 14 miles and 27 miles in the next few days.

The birds in the loft are moulting heavy at the moment with feathers everywhere. I am glad when the moult is over as hate the feathers blowing all over the shop!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Burger van closed?

The burger van I mentioned yesterday must have been closed today as the 3 birds who stopped of at it yesterday were on the mark today. They were 6th, 7th and 8th! I am keeping my fingers crossed that this burger van is closed on the final race! lol. The other bird we have was 160th today. They were trained from 40 miles once again.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

All flying and ready to go!

The last of my youngsters are now flying for an hour at a time and grouping very well. That now gives me 46 youngsters in total plus 3 yearling cocks who have raced this season. All will now been trained in the basket and I will be aiming at the 10th September for their first race. Some of the older youngsters are falling to bits with the moult but all will have a race this year.

The Europa birds trained today from 40 miles and it turned out to be a funny one for our syndicate birds. '07' was again our leading bird and she has now overtaken '13' as the bird I fancy for the best position in the final race. '07' was 39th today and the others were in a group of around 30 that arrived a long time after the main group. Their positions were 462nd, 466th and 485th! (Think they must have been sight seeing or stopped off for a beef burger or something!)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Easy Day

The pigeons were given a loft fly this evening around the loft with them putting in a good hours work and trapping like rockets! Hopefully the weather will keep nice over the next 2-3 weeks so we can get some really good training into them.

The Europa birds were trained once again today from 40 miles and the entries were 39th, 58th, 105th and 146th so very pleased with that.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Training again

The youngsters in my loft were trained again this afternoon and were taken to 14 miles. I basketed 41 and all were home before us in a good time. I am hoping the weather is good tomorrow but I think rain is forecast. I want to get plenty of training into these youngsters before the race on the 10th September. Half the team have been trained twice to 28 miles with the other half having their 2nd toss today.

We are back up to 4 in the Europa now after '12' returned from the 5th Hotspot. The Europa birds were trained today from 40 miles. We had 11th, 168th, 339th and 466th. Under 2 weeks now until the final race! Can't wait!

Monday, 22 August 2011


Our youngsters were trained today. We have had 30 out to 28 miles but have halted training while we are waiting for the final round of youngsters to be up and running with the main team. We have 47 in total (2 of which have broken legs). We have rushed the other 17 to get them grouping and flying out around the loft. Today was a cracking afternoon so I decided time had come to basket all that I felt were ready to go. I decided to leave the youngest 6 at home who have only been out flying for 4 days! So in total 39 youngsters were basketed along with the 3 old birds I have left. They were taken to 7 miles and they beat us back. On checking numbers I am 1 missing. I have no idea who it is at present but will check tomorrow. I am going to get these 39 on the road regularly now and hope to get them into the race on the 10th September.
After training tonight I let the team back out and they put in a good hours flying. They are exercising and trapping as well as I have ever had pigeons which is a promising sign of things to come!
By the way '09' made it back in the Europa 5th Hotspot so that means we will hopefully have 3 in the final race this year!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Europa 5th Hotspot

The birds had the 5th Hotspot today and '07' did the loft proud being in the first group home after 4 and 1/4 hours from 165 miles. She trapped just 16 seconds behind the winner to claim 35th. I will have at least one in the final race and hoping when the rest of the result is published it will show the other 3 have also made it in to the final.

I am quite excited as this pigeon is off my Number One stock hen who herself was 24th Open in the Final in 2009 and finished 9th Ace Bird. She also won 4th Hotspot, 15th Hotspot and 39th Hotspot. Her nestmate finished 29th Open in the Final race in 2009 and was also the 17th Ace Bird. Their half sister last year was entered and won 4th Hotspot and 74th Hotspot. Added to that that the No.1 Hen bred a youngster last year to win 37th and 96th Hotspots and now this year has bred 25th and 35th Hotspots. It is a very good line of pigeons and one I am hoping to develop over the next year or so to produce the pigeon to go that step closer!

**The Bullet has also recorded on the result being 196th and 14 mins behind the winnner. At least thats two for the final and to be honest the 2 I wanted to have in the final! Hopefully the other 2 will also make it back. There are 444 birds home at present so still 114 (or 1/5) still to come!**

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Quick Update

The Europa birds were trained today from 40 miles and all 4 of our birds are still in with a chance of the big one with them being 26th, 110th, 266th and 491st today from 40 miles.

The youngsters in my own loft are now all (47) grouping and hopefully another week of loft flying will get them ready for the basket work again. There are only two races we will be sending them to this season as young birds and the first one is on the 10th September and the other on the 24th September. We are going to have to rush them a little more than I would have liked but thats just the way it has worked out.

Monday, 15 August 2011


For the 2nd week running after the Hotspot the birds performed well. The birds were trained in the Europa Classic today from 35 miles with the birds recording 3rd, 29th, 59th and 351st! Why they didn't perform like that yesterday is so annoying! I am hoping they have a good week now in training and then go well in the 5th Hotspot on Sunday.

My own youngsters have now all been outside the loft and all bar 8 are grouping well. The main team are putting in good work in the evenings and once the weather comes good will be back in the basket in readiness for the races in a few weeks time.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Bad day at the office!

I am struggling to remember when I have been so disappointed with the birds this season. The 4th Hotspot in the Europa turned out to be a complete let down. The birds have been so consistent this season and we have usually had at least 3 in top 200 throughout the whole of this series. Today didn't go to plan though and the birds struggled into positions 368th, 431st and 511th with '12' not showing on the result sheet. I guess they are entitled to a bad one, with the only positive to carry forward being that they still have time to put things right. I will be eagerly waiting for the 5th Hotspot now and hoping they can get back on track! There were 599 birds sent today and at present 65 birds missing.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Training in the Europa

The birds were again trained from 35 miles and the syndicate birds were 30th, 165th, 174th and 579th. Once again it was 'Smoking Bullet' who was our first bird home and he now has 13 top 50 finishes from the 22 races to date!

In our own loft the youngsters have been exercising around the loft the last few days. I think I have decided to sacrifice the majority of the racing this season and concentrate getting the team of 48 (thats every youngster in the loft) up and running in time to be entered into the last comeback race of the season. My main aim is to form a team for next year.

I have 2 cocks left from racing old birds and have had another return today after being lost 2 months ago from Lilliers in France. He is in super condition so obviously been in somewhere! So that is 3 cocks for the widowhood system next year before they are topped up with the best cocks from this years young birds.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Europa Training

The birds were trained again from 40 miles and I am pleased to announce we had 1st, 127th, 128th and 176th! '09' was the pigeon that arrived first and it came as a bit of a surprise as he has been middle of the pack for most of the races to date. The other nice surprise was that '12' is now back in the loft and was 176th. He has missed the last 6 tosses but appeared in last place on yesterdays trainer so at least he has made it back and came in the main pack again today. So that takes us back up to 4 pigeons in the race and with the way they are flying that can only be good news! This result means that all 4 of the entries that started training have now been in the top 6 at least once!

Monday, 8 August 2011

I wish!

I wish todays result in the Europa Classic had happened yesterday in the Hotspot! The birds that I pooled yesterday were 2nd and 6th today in the training toss and the other entry was 146th! They have hit super form and I can not wait for the next Hotspot as they are on fire at the moment! We have top 50 positions galore this year and are now up to 20 in total with 8 in the top 11! The stock birds have really produced this year. I have been ruthless with them and it is paying dividends at present!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Europa 3rd Hotspot

The 3rd Hotspot in the Europa Classic was held today and 638 birds were raced from 120 miles. We had one in the leading batch to arrive and clocked 10 seconds behind the winner to record 25th. The other 2 entries performed well also winning 163rd and 210th. The birds are performing well at the moment and things are looking bright for the bigger races ahead! '07' is now up into 92nd in the ACE bird standing so hoping she can continue to climb the leaderboard and follow in her mothers footsteps!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Europa Training

The birds performed well in todays trainer from 40 miles. They were 10th, 19th and 200th. Roll on the 3rd Hotspot which should be the next race they compete in!

My own birds have been just loft flown the last few days and I have taken the opportunity to break in the 16 later bred birds that have been just left to mature in their own section for the past 3-4 weeks. I made a mistake by not allowing them to go outside when they were younger. They were pretty strong so thought I had better make it sooner rather than later to break them in. I let them out and being so strong they took to the sky and went everywhere! On the end of the night there were still 14 out around the surrounding streets. Not the way to do it really and one I will be trying to avoid in the future. I am now up to 11 so still missing 5, but at least another 1 is in the area. I guess you learn by your mistakes! ;-)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Europa Stat!

The birds were trained today from 35 miles and the 3 birds we appear to have left in the race were 9th, 174th and 230th

I have been looking through the charts that I have produced in the 3 years we have sent to this race to test our birds. My first year back in the sport, we sent 3 and had no top 50 positions out of the 32 race series. (In fact our best position that year in all races was 163rd). Best Final race result was 422nd.

The 2nd year we sent 3 again and this time we had 8 positions in the top 50 including 6 in the top 20 from the 34 races! We did get a 1st in one of the training races and our best Hotspot position was 37th. Best Final race result was 176th.

This year we sent 5 but only 4 started training. Out of the 16 races so far we have totally eclipsed last years already and we are not even half way through winning 15, top 50 positions and with 9 positions in the top 20! Added to that we have had 36th in Hotspot 2 which is the best Hotspot position we have achieved in the 3 years to date.

I gave myself a 5 year plan to win this race and we are currently well on track to progress for the 3rd year in a row! I am already planning my breeding pairs based on the information I have obtained from previous races and hopefully next year will be another step closer to winning this race. Mind you this year isn't over yet! ;-)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


My birds that were fit were basketed and taken to 28 miles this afternoon from their 2nd toss at this distance. 25 were liberated and 24 have returned in one group which was a relief to see! Hopefully now I can get another 4 or 5 tosses in this week and then increase the distance for next week.

The Europa birds were trained from 60 miles today and the syndicate birds were sloppy to say the least and has to be the worst they have performed to date. 313th and 422nd were the positions the birds had with the other 2 failing to make the result. Hopefully they will have returned now and will be on the result again tomorrow.

Monday, 1 August 2011

So much where do I start?

The last few days have been crazy that's for sure!

Firstly the Europa held the 2nd Hotspot on Sunday and we had 4 birds in the race. There were 679 birds in the race. I am pleased to announce in the 3 years we have entered the Europa we have achieved our highest Hotspot position with 'Rasbull Smoking Bullet' taking 36th. I am over the moon with that as we have a 5 year plan and we have seen significant improvement year on year. I have a very good feeling we will be seeing a higher position in the remaining hotspots! The other 3 birds were 429th, 469th 636th so they need to start upping their game!
The birds were trained today (Monday) from 35 miles and we had 49th, 128th, 449th and 627th.Once again it was 'Rasbull Smoking Bullet' leading the way with our best position. He is flying unbelievably well at present and has now recorded 10 x top 50 positions out of the 14 races including 5 in the top 11....outstanding!

Our own birds have had a nightmare in the last 48 hours. 36 were trained 28 miles on Saturday evening and after 1 hour I had a group of 10 return. Hours passed until nightfall and nothing else came. The following morning 3 arrived before I left for work at 7am and by 9am I had another 12. So that totaled 25 in total. I was fully expected to come home from work in the afternoon to see at least 7 or 8 sitting on the loft but to my horror I had just 1 more! I did have another arrive about 6pm which put me up to 27. Two birds have broken legs with one having totally shattered his left leg and I dont think it will heal as it too bady smashed. I have splinted the both birds legs and have given them every chance. Today I then had a phone call from Llandrindod which is north of Usk and one of the missing 9 will be picked up soon. So that will leave me with 28 in the loft of which 2 to have broken legs!

The bird have been fully rested today and given plenty to eat to build them back up. They will be back in the basket tomorrow which will again be from 28 miles and hopefully the 2nd time will be nightmare free!

The youngsters in the breeding loft are now coming close to being weaned off and I have just another 8 to come over now. The eggs are being removed and the boxes closed down. I will have a backup team then of around 23-24 which I will allow to mature and then get them out exercising in the next month or so.

I will update when I have been training next and all going well that will be tomorrow evening!

Thursday, 28 July 2011


The Europa birds were trained from 40 miles today and once again 'Smoking Bullet' put in a good performance coming 11th. He has now been 8 times in the top 30 from 11 races! It was pleasing to see all 4 of the entries on the result sheet with the other birds taking 186th, 326th and 399th.

My own birds were loft flown tonight and then basketed for another toss from 15 miles. I had 4 in with the younger ones as they were carrying knocks etc. But these were basketed as well and in total took 37 on the toss. On arriving back home 35 were sitting on the perches. Hopefully the missing 2 will come a little later! They will go again tomorrow but we are looking at 28 miles tomorrow depending on the weather!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


The Europa bird are still going ok and '12' is showing as being in the loft after training today. '13' returned to form after his poor showing in the 1st Hotspot by coming 29th yesterday in training. The others were 116th and 404th yesterday. Today they were trained from 35 miles again and they were 129th, 220th and 504th. '07' has failed to time today but hopefully returned late and will be on the result tomorrow.

The loft birds have been busy training. Yesterday they were loft flown for an hour before being basketed and taken to 15 miles. It was a weird toss for them as 7 miles from home they came right over the car and going like the clappers. I arrived home fully expecting to see them in the loft but to my surprise they arrived the same time as us! I counted them up and found I was 7 missing!!! Only 1 returned later that night and I have only had 1 return this morning. So whether they have hit wires or something in the 7 miles between when I saw them and home I don't know. On closer inspection I found one tonight with his leg all cut open. So I suspect they have hit some wires somewhere on route.
So after yesterday sending 41, I am was missing 5 so that let me 36. The two that returned late were kept back today so 34 were trained tonight This is their 10th toss. Again I loft flew them for an hour and half before basketing. They were taken to 7 miles and all home in good time.
I am now going to finish this week at 15 miles before increasing to 27 miles all next week starting on Sunday 31st July. Depending on how they come I will then make a decision if they go to the race from 76 miles on Friday night (6th August) or if I will then give them another solid week from 50 miles before the basketing on Friday (13th August) for the race from 97 miles.

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Bullet is Back!

Get in there! 'Rasbull Smoking Bullet' has returned in the Europa Classic! He had flown for 8 hours and returned on his own. This could turn out to be a real blessing in disguise as he would have learned a lot from his experience! Hopefully after todays rest he will be back on form in training this week.

My own loft birds were again trained twice today. First they went to 10 miles at 3.30pm before going to 15 miles this evening at 8pm. Missing 2 from the second toss and currently have 39 in loft having had 8 tosses.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Training stepped up today

Our loft all is now geared to getting the young birds fully trained up. They were taken to 10 miles at 3.30pm and 38 from 41 arrived in good time. They were then rebasketed and taken to 15 miles for the first time. All arrived in another good time. They have now been trained the last 5 days and have been taken 6 times in total. We will go again tomorrow from roughly the same area before moving on to the next stage.

Europa 1st Hotspot

Well that turned out to be a disaster! Only 2 of the 4 home, my best pigeon so far not home, my second best performer not home, lost the lead in the Grand Averages and didn't win any pools! All in all a bad day at the office! lol. The 2 birds that did arrived were '07' who is off my number 1 hen, who was 193rd and has now moved up to 28th in the Grand Averages. The other is '09' who has been my worst bird so far and he came 275th. Hopefully the other 2 will make it back and live to fight another day! There are still 170 odd birds to arrive so plenty still to come and plenty of time still left in the day as well.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Training going well

The birds were trained Friday afterwards as cleared up nicely. 42 were taken to 10 miles and 41 made it home. Today the birds were taken to the same place and took just 15 minutes to fly the distance - all home safe and sound. I will take them there again now another 2 or 3 times before moving them up in distance. I am in no real rush as the first race I am planning to send to is the 5th in the club so that still gives me 4 weeks to get them just right. Last year I jumped a few of the later ones to quickly and a hawk strike resulted in me dropping 10 birds with them being reported up to 80 miles away. Learn by your mistakes is the only way to progress!!!!

The Europa Classic 1st Hotspot is tomorrow from 60 miles and there are 728 birds on the basketing list. Hopefully the syndicate birds can do themselves justice. Good luck to all those who are in the race.

Friday, 22 July 2011

And he keeps coming!

'13' is really making his mark in the Europa Classic this year! He has already exceeded my expectations with his consistency in the first 6 training tosses winning 160th, 33rd, 7th, 5th, 2nd, 8th and now today he is 4th! He certainly likes to trap that is for sure! The other 3 birds in the syndicate are also doing well with them being 28th, 388th and 419th in todays trainer.
The next race is the 1st Hotspot on Sunday and I hope they do themselves justice as these 4 birds have been bred specifically for this years Europa Classic.

In my own loft the training of the youngsters is underway. 46 were taken to 6 miles on Wednesday afternoon and all returned. They were then taken to 10 miles yesterday but we were hit by a hawk and 6 returned on there own, and then came in ones and twos and finally ended up with 42. The weather is dreadful here today and training has been cancelled but I hope to get the birds out around the loft for an hour if it clears up later.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Europa 6th Training Toss

Another fantastic result for the syndicate birds in todays trainer. 6th, 8th, 153rd and 441st. '13' again in the top 10 for the 4th day running with position 8th. He has now increased his lead in the Grand Averages to over 2 minutes of the next bird! Hopefully they will put up a good performance in tomorrows training toss before the 1st Hotspot on Sunday!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Europa 5th Training Toss

Wow, '13' is going great guns and very keen to trap by the looks of him. He was 2nd in todays trainer just 1 second behind the winner. He is now leading the Grand Average by over 1 minute after 5 training tosses. Also great news for the syndicate as 2 of the other birds are now showing as being on the race result from todays trainer.
The positions of the syndicate birds in today's trainer are 2nd, 229th, 305th and 371st,

Monday, 18 July 2011

Europa 3rd Training Toss

By the looks of it we have 2 speed machines on our hands! '07' who is off my No.1 Stock hen, when paired to 'Rasbull Mr Perfect'. This was my intended pairing last year but they failed to pair in time to enter the Europa and instead had to be paired to different mates. I have waited 2 years to get this pairing's youngsters tested and what I am seeing so far I am more than happy with. Between them last year when paired to different mates, they produced 2 pigeons to win 1st, 5th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 20th, 35th in the training races and 37th, 54th and 97th in the Hotspots! Now I have paired them together I am expecting huge things from them.
The other bird '13' is off a pairing I introduced from the Europa Auctions last year and are having their first breeding season with me. The youngster has been 160th, 33rd and now 7th in the first 3 tosses so very pleasing indeed. He is currently sitting 5th in the Grand Averages after 3 tosses!
Todays results in the training toss were 7th, 27th and 151st. The one pigeon seems to be hit and miss at the moment with him not being recorded again today for the 2nd time in 3 tosses sandwiched between a 71st! Maybe he has a girlfriend on route or something! hehehe

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Europa 2nd Training Toss

The Europa trained today from 30 miles again and its great news for the syndicate as the result shows we have got 4 birds in the race! Syndicate 3's bird is showing on the result sheet. That leaves us just missing 1 bird out of the 5 and given they have lost 1/3rd of the entries that is great news!
The results today were very pleasing with 17th, 33rd, 71st and 482nd. Hopefully this team of youngsters will eclipse what last years entries achieved!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Europa Classic 2011

The first training has been completed and the result is showing we have 3 out of the 5 birds in the loft at present. The Europa have had a nightmare start to this season with 1/3 of the entries having died or been lost prior to the 1st training toss from 30 miles. The loft manager has changed and a lot of people have lost nearly all their entries. They have 670 birds left out of the 1040 that were entered. They had a bad outbreak of Ecoli and Circo Virus during the intake period. I am relieved that we still have 3 for definite and potentially 4 or even 5 as there are still around 40-50 birds that had not returned when the result of todays trainer was published. I guess we will know for sure come Sunday when the birds are trained again how many we actually have in the race but as it currently stands it is going to be 3 for sure! The birds were 160th, 194th and 533rd in the first trainer today from 30 miles. I apologise to the people who have shares in the birds that are missing but that is the nature of the beast and you pays your money and you take your chance! But don't rule anything out at this very early stage and lets see what Sunday brings! Good luck to us all!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Young birds full steam ahead!

My enthusiasm for the young bird season has really increased the last few weeks. Up to now I have not had much interest in it at all to be honest. But now the old bird season is over it is full steam ahead.
Before I go any further, I would like to review the old bird season we have just had. To sum it up we have had up and downs the whole season. I think the first 6 or 7 races we were at the races and the birds were coming well. The second half of a season was somewhat of a disaster. We started the season with 14 old birds. At the end of it we have just 1 left in the loft. Bearing in mind we only lost 1 pigeon in the first 7 races and one was killed by a hawk just goes to show what a downer we have had for the second part of the season. We achieved our aim pre season of getting birds to Reims (378 miles) but we failed to have one of the three entries return! This has to be the biggest disappointment for the Old bird season for me. There are no excuses even though the club only timed 5 birds on the night from the race. The main thing I have concluded from this is the birds were just not up to it. They were sent healthy, flying for an hour a night around the loft and were fed correctly prior to the race. So you have to face facts!
There have been highlights to this season (my first proper old bird season with more than 2 birds as I had last year). Without doubt the biggest highlight has to be the 1st club, 1st federation result I achieved from Newbury (97 miles) with 3,549 birds. I have said on here many times to get a club card is nigh on impossible unless the wind has strong south in it, so to top the federation has to be a massive achievement for the loft. We will try even harder next year with the old birds and hopefully will have a bigger team to start with and the main aim of the season will once again to get the birds to Reims (378 miles).
Now onto the youngsters! They total 46 in total which are currently flying around 1h 30mins - 1h 45 mins around the loft in the evenings. They are flying really well and putting in good work. I am a little concerned that they are only flying around the loft and not yet ranging away and out of sight. I am planning on flying them for another week to ten days around the loft and around the 20th of the month will be starting the basket work with them. They will be trained up to 50 miles prior to the first race. The first race for me will be the 5th race of the young bird season and will be from 97 miles. I made this decision a long time ago due to a second batch of youngsters who joined the 46 and I felt I would have to rush them through loft exercise and training just to catch the first race. This was not an option and therefore gave myself a further 4 weeks to get them exactly how I wanted them.
I am not racing darkness and my sole aim is to educate the youngsters in readiness for next year as old birds. I will have another team of 26 who are in a separate loft and are being allowed to mature before they will start the loft exercising process.
The targets for the young birds this season are to get the first team of 46 to Folkestone (200 miles). All will be expected to fly before being put by for the following season. The later bred team will be expected to compete in the last 2 comeback races from 76 miles in September.
In addition to our own loft races we have a team in the Europa Classic this season once again. We are looking for a further improvement in this years team to add to the improvement Rasbull lofts pigeons have made the previous two years. A third years progress in a row will be very pleasing and one that I will expect the birds to make. (please see progress charts on the One Loft Entries section of this site). We have a team of 5 and they are going to be starting training from 30 miles in the next few days and the results will be displayed on this site and also the Europa Classic site.
Well thats all for now and I will update again when the Europa training starts and also our own training which will be around the 20th of this month!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Last race is a just a training toss!

The last race of the season for Old Birds is just going to be a training toss for Rasbull Lofts. We have sent 3 birds who have only had 7 races between them. All are latebreds from last year. I have no expectation of them coming very well at all and have not had the clock set for the race tomorrow. This is merely a training toss for them and they will then be kept for next year to fly as 2 year olds. All my efforts have no turned to the young bird team. I am exercising them every evening for up to 1 and half hours. I will be starting them road training in 10-14 days!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Youngsters Update

The youngsters are really hammering it in training now. They are flying for an hour and half in the evenings. They look like they are going to go ranging very soon. They have been flying a lot higher and in far bigger circles the last two days. I will give them another 2 weeks of loft flying and getting themselves familiar with the loft surroundings before the basket training will begin. There are 47 of them in total and I am going to be training them in small batches to avoid the risk of hawk attacks.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Stock Reduction

We are due to scale down our existing stock loft and therefore have a number of stock birds that have been purchased in 2009 and 2010 for sale. These have mainly been purchased from the Europa Classic races from the last two years. Many of these pigeons are having their first breeding season with us this year. There are winners of top 10 Hotspot races, 1/2 sister to Scottish One Loft races etc. We have sent 2 youngsters to this years Europa Classic bred from these pigeons. They are not rubbish and if given the opportunity to breed will produce some super youngsters I have no doubt! We have to scale back though as the current stock loft is going to be replaced within a smaller section with the existing loft and numbers have to be reduced. To see the birds in question please visit http://www.rasbull-lofts.co.uk/WeBid/

Friday, 1 July 2011

Wipe Out!!

The birds at Reims (378 miles) were liberated at 6.50am. I have waited and waited and nothing has arrived! Gutted. However, only 5 birds in the club have arrived home. Bobby Thomas has had 4 from 20 and Lynn Birch 1 from 6. No other birds have arrived by 8pm tonight! There were 57 birds sent in the club so that leaves 52 still to come. A shocker of a race for the club but a good batch must have got through as other fed members have clocked from 3.45 through to 4.30pm. A mystery of a race as its not as if they have clashed with anything as no other feds racing on Friday! Hopefully there will be some more arriving tomorrow and just keeping my fingers crossed my 3 are among the ones that do get back tomorrow!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

The big one is here!

Well, this is the race I have set my sights on all year. All the racing and preparation has been geared up to this race from Reims (378 miles). Off the 21 birds, I started the season with, (9 were untrained latebreds), 2 were killed by a hawk so that left me 19. I currently have 6 left in the loft and 3 of these have made up the team that are heading to Reims! The first bird is a Dark Cheq Pied cock who was a later bred pigeon last year and rushed into training. A hawk strike on his first toss resulted in 10 later bred pigeons being lost from 18 miles. I had the bird reported in Burnham on Sea, not far from Western Super Mare. The pigeon was returned via courier and he remained in the loft until this season. He is off my No.1 Stock hen, who was 24th Open, 754 birds, and 9th Ace Bird in the Europa Classic in 2009. He has had 11 races this year being my first bird home 3 times this season, including Folkestone (200 miles) and Lilliers (272 miles). My second pigeon is another I bred in the stock shed. A little Cheq hen, being out of the Alistair Hogg pigeon when paired with the Janssen Hen that was sitting 5th in the Ace Bird Standing after 5 races in the Europa Classic in 2009. She has had 10 races this season being my first bird home once. She went off the boil mid season but is looking good again. My final pigeon is a Breeder Buyer from Bobby Thomas in the Gurnos club who is flying very well at present. He has topped the fed this season and won the combine last year. He is a Cheq cock, is a small type and has had 11 races in total this season. He has been my first bird home the last 2 weeks but his refusal to trap is a major concern! He stayed out for 5 minutes last week :-(
So that is my team and I am hoping they put in a good effort for the loft on Friday. I hope they do themselves justice and return safely! Good luck to all that are in the race!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Exercising like demons!

I have had the race birds out Sunday and this evening and they are exercising very well indeed. I had to call them out of the sky after 1hr 15 mins tonight and they trapped very quickly were fed and shut up for the night. I aim to left fly them again tomorrow night and then give them a good feed ready for basketing on Wednesday evening.
I have weaned off the first 7 of the second young bird team and another 8 will be following in the next week or so. The stock birds are down on eggs again which total 19 at present.
I am eagerly awaiting news on the Europa Classic with the inventory for this years race due to published any day. The training will be starting in the next couple of weeks and can't wait to see how the Rasbull Share Syndicates entries do this year!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Todays Race

Today's race from Newbury (97 miles) turned out to be a slow one! The birds were finally liberated due to poor weather at 3.30pm. There was quite a strong head wind. My first bird arrived at 6.04 but would not trap for love or money! He hit the loft but then proceeded to fly onto the house roof and drink from the gutter. Not impressed at all! He finally clocked at 6.09pm. I thought I would be way behind with that time but the early times in the federation are showing birds being clocked from 5.44pm onwards and they are mostly fanciers who have to give me 7-8 miles overfly. Still behind but not as bad as I first thought! I ended up sending 6 to the race and at present have had 4. I am now going to prepare 3 of them for the 'big one' from Reims (378 miles). They are basketing on Wednesday for a Friday race. All 3 of the birds intended to go to Reims have flown Lilliers (278 miles) earlier this season and were my first 3 birds back today. So fingers crossed they can put up a good performance.
A special mention to my brother Neil having his first Old bird season. He started the first race with just 1 bird and 11 races later still has him left having flown 279 miles! An outstanding performance and he was even in the clock before me today! Well done Neil. Hope you get him from Reims next week!
**Update - The latebred hen that was picked up in Maesteg 5 or 6 weeks ago has just returned, so pleased with that as she has had to work back on her own something she failed to do when she was lost weeks ago. Just one more to come now - 'Rasbull Injury Prone' who will no doubt drop through the trap half dead having been hawked, attacked by a cat, run over, half eaten by a cow and hit the wires on his journey home! hehehe'

Friday, 24 June 2011

Change of plan!

The Rhonnda Valley Federation has just announced the race for next week will now be from Reims (378 miles) due to the fact they had to be brought back last week to 200 miles due to bad weather! The race was set to be from Pont A Mousson around 465 miles. But having to therefore jump nearly 200 miles from the previous furthest race from Lilliers they have again attempted to race from Reims. This has worked out perfectly for myself. I wasn't going to send next week due to the jump but now it has been brought back I am planning on sending the lot. I didn't really want to carry over pigeons that had not done anything for me and this will now give me the chance to test them a little. Anything that comes back will earn his/her perch for the winter.
I will be basketing the birds for tomorrow now in the next hour and I am going to be sending 5 or 6. I have a feeling one of the cocks is missing his end flights so I will have a look at him when basketing.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Looking towards the young bird season!

Exercising has gone very well around the loft this week with the birds putting in a full hours work in the evenings. I will be sending 6 to this weeks race from Newbury (97 miles) with just one held back due to recovering from being lost. My main concentration has now turned to the youngsters and I have 47 out flying for the hour. I had a count up the other night and found I was 4 or 5 down from what was in the loft so whether these have been taken by a hawk or gone off on their own accord I dont know. But I will work with the 47 I have left now. I have another 19 in the nest and another round of eggs and this second batch will be put into another loft so as not to hold the 1st team back. I aim to loft fly the youngsters now regularly each evening up to the middle of July and then start the road training around the 20th July in readiness for the first race on either 6th or 13th August (probably the 13th as this will give me another full week to get the birds spot on!)

Friday, 17 June 2011

Birds back on track!

The birds have been rested and will be back in exercising this afternoon. They have been confined to the loft since Saturday. I don't know if they picked up a virus or something but they are looking a lot better than they did a week ago. I will be sending them to Newbury next Saturday and hoping they exercise well this week in preparation for the race. There are only 5 races left for the Old Bird season now and due to missing Reims this week (378 miles), I will not jump them into the longer ones. I will now send all I have in the loft to the 2 Newbury races that are left and then keep what is left for next year as 2 Year Olds. I currently have 7 in the loft and if they manage to complete the last 2 races that will be a nice number to carry over for next year.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Biggest disappointment of the season so far!

Today's race proved to be a big disaster! I have had 3 from 5 but they were way behind and I am very disappointed in them. I am missing 'Rasbull Injury Prone' - the cock who has had 3 races in 2 years and come back injured each time. I am also missing a Mealy cock that was having his first race since damaging his flights.
I have a few ideas to what has gone wrong and I have already started to address these issues. The first thing I have decided is the race from Reims (378 miles) and the target race pre season has been scrapped! I will not be sending and the birds will undertake a regime to get them back into action ready for the following weeks race from Newbury (97 miles).
I will update later in the week with an update on how things are progressing!

**'Rasbull Injury Prone' is back and what more he has no injuries! I am amazed to be honest hehehe!'

Friday, 10 June 2011

Race Day Again!

This week seems to have flown! The birds have been exercising around the loft since the last week and have been flying for up to a hour and half each evening. I decided after the Lilliers race that I was going to put the birds back on widowhood and sure enough come Monday they were parted from their mates. I have kept them apart all week. This has meant that I have sacrificed racing the hens this week. I have 5 cocks in the loft and I had one reported in Western Super Mare so he has been picked up to take me back up to 6. This weeks race is from Newbury (97 miles) and I have put in the 5 cocks only. I have kept back the one that was picked up as well as the 2 race hens. There were 121 birds sent in the club tonight. I have been hoping all week for a South wind but this has not happened and a West wind is forecast. I hope the birds will be slightly closer tomorrow but I fear with the wind they will again be 10-15 minutes behind. I will update tomorrow after the race.

Saturday, 4 June 2011


The race turned out to be a lot quicker than I thought it would be today. My first bird arrived after 6 hours and 17 minutes. It was the same dark cheq pied cock bird that has been my first bird the previous 2 weeks. He is off my No.1 stock hen and was unraced as a youngster due to getting lost on his first training toss when I lost 10 youngsters after they were struck by a hawk (all having there first toss). He was reported 80 miles away in Burnham on Sea. I had him returned and looking at it was a good decision!
I have currently had 3 from 5. Returns in the club seem to be a bit erratic with some having 3 from 17 while others have had 10 from 13 etc. I was behind in the club this week but with the North wind was expecting that. I am hoping the other 2 make it back as well as there is plenty of time for them to show up.
I am now going to put the birds back on widowhood and get them ready for Reims (378 miles) in 2 weeks time. At the moment they are not racing home like the first 3 or 4 races when I had them widowhood. Since pairing them up it has taken something off them so hopefully I will have enough time to get things sorted out in time.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Busy Day!

It has been a busy day here trying to sort out the webcams etc. I have 4 cameras in total and 3 are now installed in permanent positions within the loft. The 4th (outside loft) has been setup for now but I will look to find it a permanent home tomorrow. The glare of the sun is causing me some difficulties but hopefully will find a solution tomorrow!

Just having a count up of the youngsters and I now have 55 weaned off, 13 in the nest and 12 eggs. That will total 80 if all hatching. I think that will now conclude the breeding for this season with anything that is laid now being discarded.

The weather has been so hot today and if the birds have this heat to contend with tomorrow as well as the strong north wind it is going to be an extreme test for the race birds at Lilliers (272 miles). I am expecting an early liberation and around a 7hr flight time so if they go at 6am they are going to be due around 1pm. I will have the camera up and running to record the birds as they arrive home! Good luck to all that are racing!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Birds off to France!

I sent 5 of the race birds tonight for Saturdays race from Lilliers (272 miles). I didn't have any of the missing 3 return from last weeks race. That left me with 9 race birds in the loft. 6 are these have been to 200 miles and out of these 5 were sent tonight. I kept back a mealy cock bird as his feathering is damaged. The wind is very strong NNE and the birds are going to have a tough flight on Saturday to make it home.
They have put in some good work at home this week with a hour a night put in every evening. I have no idea how they will come in the race and can only cross my fingers and hope for the best.

The cameras and equipment has now arrived and I will be spending tomorrow putting everything in place and then hopefully by tomorrow evening the loft will go 'live'. If all goes to plan the race birds return will be available for all to see on Saturday.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Hey got 1!

Typical out of the 4 I was missing the one I least fancied and to be honest wanted back the least is the one that has rocked up this evening. She arrived about 6.30pm. Wherever she has been hopefully if she can make it so to can the other 3 that are still to put in an appearance!

No more back!

The 4 missing birds from yesterdays race have failed to return today! Pigeon racing is crazy at times as 2 of those 4 have flown 200 miles twice and 177 miles three times yet I lose them from 97 miles - just doesn't make sense on times. I have had the birds out flying this afternoon and they have put in a hours exercise and have just been fed.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Todays Race

Well the birds finally were liberated at 4.30pm today into a strong head wind. I had the webcam setup and was ready for the birds. The first one arrived at 6.58pm and there were big gaps between my arrivals. At nightfall I am still 4 down from the 11 that were sent. These include 2 that were having their first race as well as a white hen that has been pretty consistent for me since a youngster. The other that is having a night out is my fed winner from a couple of weeks ago.
I knew I was in for a sticky one when the race lib time kept being delayed as the birds were not fed yesterday in anticipation of an early liberation today. Needless to say that has backfired. The fed website is showing early times around the 40-50 mark so my first bird will be behind by some 10-14 minutes.
The webcam proved to be a success apart from my f'ing and blinding because of the brightness affecting the camera and me not realising the microphone was on! So apologies to anyone who had to witness that fowl language I was blurting out unaware I was being recorded! hehehe.
Today was just a trial and at one stage had 11 people viewing the stream, so that was pleasing! I just wish the birds had come in a bit better time.
The proper cameras will be here early next week and these will be installed over the next week so next week the whole loft will be going live on the web!
I have been checking the forecast for next weeks race from Lilliers and the wind is seriously bad for me with a fierce north wind forecast. This is terrible news for me and with the birds crossing the channel for the first time I am unsure if they will be going at present. The WNRF had a disastrous race yesterday from Lilliers and suffered huge losses so I dont want to be in the same position as a lot of them come next Saturday evening! The wind is forecast to be NNE wind between 20mph -30mph so that could cause huge damage when the birds are trying to cross the channel. I will monitor the forecast the coming week but unless it changes I really can't see me entering the race.

How lucky was that?

I think I made the right choice in terms of which race I sent to this week! I picked this race last minute over the Lilliers race. How lucky did that turn out to be when the Lilliers race saw huge losses with my mate who has topped the fed this year and won 4 from 6 races in the club having only 4 from 28! Others all over South Wales reporting similar returns. Lucky escape I think as a race like that could have seen me wiped out for the rest of this season!

The birds at Newbury have been held and looking for a liberation this afternoon. The weather is due to clear a bit and I think they will go around 3pm or thereabouts. I have therefore dropped a clanger with the feeding for this race as I was expecting an early liberation. The wind is more West than South and therefore expect to be a bit behind. I will settle for 10 from 11 home today as one hen that I picked up 3 weeks ago I really can't see returning but I guess you never know!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Camera Live Feed

I have been busy setting up a live webcam that will broadcast events within Rasbull Lofts. I have trialled it today with great success and aim to have it up and running permanently by next weekend. I will setup 1 camera within the loft which will be moved around to show the stock birds, young birds and racers. I also plan to have one outside showing the line of entry onto the landing board and the the landing board itself. I will be trialling it again tomorrow morning for the race birds return from Newbury! I can't promise what it will be like but going to try and get it up and running with the gear I have here before the new stuff arrives next week. I will put the camera on about 30 minutes prior to the birds arriving. I will post on here the ETA of the birds in the morning when I know what the liberation time is. It is something I have been planning to do for a long time and now I am finally going to get it sorted out. The link is on the main page of the website. If you click the rasbullloftscouk name that is highlighted it will open the video on to a bigger screen for you.
**Update - I can confirm there will be 4 cameras setup in the loft within the next week and will feature the stock section, the young bird section, the race section and the trapping area. I am very much looking forward to getting this project completed.**

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Race decided

This week I have decided to send to the Federation race to Newbury (97 miles). The wind is not quite as I had hoped but better than it is for the Lilliers race. I will be sending the 8 regular race birds with 3 new ones being reintroduced to the team. These are '39' a latebred cock that was sent to the first race but was then injured the following week in training. '14412' is a cracking blue pied cock that was bred by my brother and gifted to me as a latebred. I have high hopes for this cock as he is exercising around the loft better than any bird I own. He will be having his first race as he was struck by a hawk and returned injured just prior to the first race of the season. The last one is another latebred that I picked up 3 weeks ago from Maesteg after a hawk strike in training. I must admit I do not out much hope for her to return but she has to go. That will be 11 birds in the race this week for me with just one then left at home on the injured list. 'Rasbull Injury Prone' is making good progress from his latest injury and went out of the loft for the first time in a month yesterday and hopefully we can get him right for one of the Newbury races in a few weeks time. The weather is still looking a bit dodgy but the fed have just informed members that they are still planning on basketing as normal with an expected race on Saturday. I will update again on Saturday following the race. Good luck to all those racing.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

This weeks race

Just had confirmation that the loft report has now been published on the Rhondda Valley federation website following the federation win from Newbury. www.rhonddavalleyfed.weebly.com
It has been back to work this week at the lofts with the birds back to daily exercise of 1 hour at a time and tonight was the best work they have put in for a while. I am as yet undecided if the main race team of 8 will go to the Welsh National race from Lilliers (270 miles) tomorrow night or send them with the other 3 race birds to the Federation race from Newbury. I have checked the weather forecast and not convinced either way as neither really suit the loft location. I am tempted to put them into the Lilliers race as these are the types of races I want to do well in and this will be the first race over the water apart from one race in 2009 when I sent a hen to 378 miles but she failed to return. However, part of me is thinking to send them to the short one (97 miles) and then put them into Lilliers next week with the Federation. I will have a think tonight and make a decision early tomorrow and go from there.
The youngsters out flying are now growing in numbers and I currently have 43 that are going out regularly and flying well. I will be weaning another 13-14 in the next week or so and that will be the first team for this years young bird racing sorted. The remaining rounds will then form a 2nd team and will be let out separately so not to interfere with the 1st team and there progress.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

It'll be back to work this week!

The rest I gave the birds has not worked out really the way I planned. Todays race I was behind from Folkestone (200 miles). The leading birds in the club were around 10.25 and I was clocking around 10.49am so with the overfly around 19 minutes behind which is just not good enough!
The birds have had their rest now and from tomorrow will be back to work to correct things. I have had 6 from 7 so far. I kept one back as he has damaged his flights when checking at basketing last night. The one I am missing is the Fed winner, typical! Hopefully she will return later today. My first bird home was the one that returned a day late last week at 9pm on the Sunday night!
They will be put through their paces now this week in readiness for next weeks race. I am disappointed with the result today but then having rested them last week was unsure of what to expect. So back to drawing board!
**Phew, panic over, the fed winner has arrived and now all home so thats 7 races, 3 from over 177-200 miles and only lost 1 bird, so very pleased with returns just need to flap there wings a bit faster now! hehehe**

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Thats that then!

Well in the end my mind was made up for me as the marking for the South Road National meant it was impossible for me to attend as I don't drive. So that leaves the 8 race birds all going to Folkestone for the Welsh South East Combine tomorrow night. I am not too disappointed as the wind is in my favour.
The birds have had a very easy week and I am hoping this doesn't come back to bite me! They have been out of the loft just twice this week. For 10 minutes yesterday evening and for half hour this evening. The main reason for this is they have worked extremely hard since the beginning of April, so for 6 weeks they put in huge efforts. I thought they deserved a good rest and recharge of the batteries before the longer races start. This week was the only chance I had really as after this week its into France and I want them on song for the coming weeks. So we will have to wait to see if the lack of work has been a blessing or a hindrance.
For any Welsh fanciers reading this who are going to be in the Combine race, Tenny Tipper is planning on publishing early times on the www.Pigeonpixels.co.uk website so fanciers have some idea how they have done quite early on after the birds have arrived. Anyone wanting to have a look or publish their own times then feel free to make a post on the forum. There will be a section put up on the day under the Early Times Folkestone heading. Good luck to all in the race!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Hard to make up my mind!

This week I have been observing the weather forecast all week. The beginning of the week it was looking like a poor wind forecast for the Welsh South East Combine race for Folkestone so I decided that the birds would go to the South Road National race from Carentan.
However as the week has progressed the wind has become perfect for my location from both race points with a South wind forecast nearer the home end from both race points! I have struggled to determine which not to send to and think it would be criminal to miss out on either given the wind forecast.
I have therefore decided to send to both races and split the race team into 2 teams of 4 pigeons. The Folkestone team will be headed by the fed winning hen who is now sitting eggs. The Carentan team will be headed by a cock bird who was the first arrival home from the National and also my 2nd bird last week. My leading hen in the loft championship still has not laid eggs so will go to the Folkestone race as she will only have one night in the basket instead of 2 if sent to Carentan. The only thing that will change this plan now is if the wind changes, if the basketing time for the Carentan race leaves it impossible to attend or if either of the 2 remaining race hens lay in the next two days.
I will update tomorrow night to confirm what has actually happened but this is the best plan I have come up with to date! hehehe

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Late comer!

The one bird I was missing rocked up tonight at 9pm! Very pleased he has returned so that is just one bird missing from 6 races having flown 177 miles twice! That is excellent returns by anyones standards and all yearlings as well. I think including the fed win that is the most pleasing thing I have taken from this season so far. They really did have a thorough grounding as youngsters and were pushed out to 200 miles and I think that had stood them in good stead for this season.

2 of the 4 race hens have laid eggs tonight and that is fantastic news and unless they laid in the basket on friday night will be sitting 2 eggs come basketing for next weeks race. I am under some pressure to ensure the other 2 hens lay tomorrow night as they will then lay again wednesday night just in time for the race. Should they not lay I will have to make a decision regarding them and they could well be left out of the race team for the coming week.

I have looked at the weather and wind forecasts for this coming week and I have decided that I will be entering the Welsh South Road National race from Carentan. I have not had my distances for this race through as yet but looking on Google Earth it appears to be around the 205 miles mark to me. This will be the hardest race the team have flown to date as it will be around the same distance they flew as youngsters but this will be in a totally different direction and they will also have to cross the English Channel. I am wary of this and have been a little uncertain as what to do but if you do not try you will never know!

I plan to give the birds rest this week as they have put in so much effort the last 2 weeks. They will be rested in the loft and allowed to lay the eggs and enjoy each others company. I plan a few things later in the week to boost motivation and the basketing for this race will take place a day earlier on the Thursday.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Wow that was tough!

The birds at Maidstone were liberated at 6.30am and based on the time my birds flew last week in the National expected them to be slightly slower today due to the wind. I waited and waited and waited and nothing! My first bird arrived 11.10am after 4hrs, 40 mins! On phoning around it seems like a shocking race with other club members reporting 2 from 17, 7 from 20 and 2 from 14! The best club time is 10.44am which puts me around 20 minutes behind, a little further than I thought today but as I said yesterday with todays wind I was always going to be struggling. I have now had 5 from 8 and hoping for the other 3 to arrive but they will have been flying 6hrs already!

Looking forward the birds will now be rested today and tomorrow and start exercising again come Monday. I am missing 2 cocks and 1 hen from todays race. My first bird was the Fed winner from last week and my second bird was my 1st pigeon I timed in last weeks National race.

**Update - now missing just one cock from todays race so very happy with the returns once again!**

Friday, 13 May 2011

All gone!

The 8 race birds were all fine and therefore all 8 were basketed for tomorrows South East Combine race from Maidstone (177 miles). The wind is against me this week and I am not expecting any repeat of last week and infact do not anticipate a top 6 club result either. It is very frustrating as the birds are in super form and condition but that is how it goes! I hope for 100% returns this week and will move on to next week. I will update after the race. Good luck to everyone flying!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Back to work!

Although I have been celebrating the fed win, I have ensured the standards haven't slipped this week with regard the work the birds have put in. They have had an excellent weeks work and I have to say they are the best I have ever had pigeons at this present time. They raced 97 miles on Sunday, 177 miles on Monday, loft flew 1hr 20 minutes Tuesday, 1hr 20 minutes Wednesday and they have put in another 1hr this evening. So they are super fit at present.

The weather for this week is terrible for me and I will struggle to be amongst the cards in the club let alone the fed as there is a strong WNW wind forecast and that therefore spells the end of my chances. However, the birds will still race and keep improving on their experience and fitness in readiness for the longer races and a south wind! I am unsure how many I will be sending this week at present as my hens are still due to lay eggs. So it will be matter of waiting and seeing what tomorrow evening brings come basketing time.
On the plus side 3 of the 4 on the injured list are now back exercising around the loft and I will be looking to get them into the next Newbury race (97 miles). One of these has raced while the other 2 are latebreds and will be having their first race. So looking forward to seeing how these 3 do. That will leave me just 'Rasbull Injury Prone' in the medical room and he is recovering nicely but will only be catching the last few races of the season.

The youngsters are doing very well and I have 43 weaned off with another 17 now in the nest. The stock birds are starting to lay again and I have 8 eggs at present.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


I have just had it confirmed that I have won 1st Club, 1st Federation 3,500 birds from Newbury, 97 miles! A dream come true and my first win since restarting in the sport in 2009! I have been sweating the last few days hoping but never expecting to hear this news. The phone hasn't stopped going and I am so proud of the birds as they have worked ever so hard and have made me one very happy fancier! Time to celebrate I think!!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Bridge too far!

In hindsight this National race was a bridge too far! Considering the birds arrived home yesterday at 2.20pm from a 100 mile race and then were re-basketed at 6pm for todays race from 177 miles it was asking too much. The birds were liberated at 7am with my first arriving at 10.39am recording a velocity of 1417ypm. No disgrace but on return the birds are looking very tired. I am unaware of the times in the National as yet but expecting to be quite a bit behind. However, I am going to take plenty of positives from this though. I have had 7 from 8 so once again very good returns and hoping to get the last cock bird later today and the birds fitness will have improved as a result of this race. They are going to be rested tomorrow and hopefully the hens will lay their eggs. I am yet undecided which race I will enter next week with Maidstone (177 miles) in the club and Folkstone (200 miles) in the National my two options. It will depend on the condition of the hens regarding eggs and also the wind conditions.
***Update**** The one remaining bird has returned so I now have 100% returns.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Best Day!

I decided to send all 8 race birds to Newbury (97 miles) after handling each one. They were liberated at 10.25am and my first bird arrived like a rocket at 12.19pm. She hit the landing board and went straight in. On making a few phone calls it was clear this little hen had put up a great performance. At the knock off it was confirmed this hen had taken 1st Club and to say I over the moon is an understatement. (Picture of the winner on the results section of the website). All 8 arrived safely home to give me 100% returns once again. I am now hoping she makes the federation result and keeping my fingers crossed she makes the result!
A change of plan was quickly made on the back of todays result and on checking the weather conditions it was decided to enter all 8 race birds into the National from Maidstone (177 miles) with the birds basketed tonight and released tomorrow. I have taken a chance that the eggs are not going to arrive tonight and will hope for the best. Not ideal with the birds having flown 100 miles today and then basketed this evening but hopefully they will put in another good performance. I am eagerly awaiting their arrival tomorrow. So this has to be the best day I have had since returning to the sport in 2008 and I hope this is the start of many more good performances to come! I will update tomorrow when the National birds are home!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Decision made!

The news coming through tonight indicates the club race from Newbury (97 miles) will take place on Sunday with a liberation expected to be after 12pm. I have now given up on any hope of entering the National as the hens will be ready to lay eggs. I will monitor the hens tomorrow night and any looking like they are about to lay will be kept back. So I have 8 who could be sent in total and we will have to wait and see who goes exactly nearer the time. It is a blow not being able to enter the National but that is life and we will look forward to next week.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Weather - what a downer!

The weather has ruined the weekends racing! The National birds are now hopefully marking Sunday for a race on Monday with the Rhondda Valley Fed looking at marking Saturday for a race on Sunday! To say I am frustrated is an understatement! I know these decisions have to be made but with the wind suiting me for a long, long time why did it have to be this weekend! hehehe. Thats the Uk weather for you! I am now undecided what I plan to do as I am working on Sunday and Monday and going to have to make some plans pretty quickly and work out what I will be doing. At this moment in time I am tempted to enter them into both races but unsure what numbers etc! I will have a think and update when the marking has been confirmed for both races.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Fantastic Preparation

The race birds are now paired up and they have been out exercising with the young birds every day. They are putting in 1 hours worth of work in the afternoon and another 30 minutes in the evening. They really have improved their fitness this week and now you can see the race birds loving it as much as the youngsters.
The weather for the weekend is a concern. There is a bad forecast for Saturday and equally as bad on Sunday. It is quite frustrating as the wind forecast is absolutely perfect for my location with a 19mph south wind forecast!
I picked up a latebred from Maesteg last night and this pigeon was lost in one of the first training tosses of the season. I will allow her to settle back to the loft and then enter her into the comback races at the end of the season along with the 3 birds that are currently on the injured list.
I will update this as soon I find out what is happening with this weeks National race from Maidstone.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Very pleased with that!

The birds were liberated at 7.30am and my first bird arrived at 9.50pm recording a velocity of 1634ypm. I have had 8 from 9 and judging by the times will be about 6-7 minutes behind the club winner. Given the wind that we had today I am totally over the moon with that result! I was expecting them to be quite a bit further behind with the East wind with some North in it. To be that close given those conditions bodes well for the races in the coming weeks.
I have now paired the birds up and they will be left together to go down on eggs. I hope I have timed it right that they will be ok for next Saturdays National race. I am keeping my all my fingers crossed that the wind is in my favour for next week and I fully expect a big, big performance from them!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Managed to get there!

After some late minute phone calls I was finally able to get to Merthyr (20 miles) to mark the birds for tomorrows race! I think if there is one thing I need to do its learn to drive as times like this drives me nuts having to rely on other people.
Anyway the 9 race birds were sent and hope they do well in tomorrows race. I still believe my season will start the following week from the first National of the season from Maidstone. But first of all we have to negotiate a difficult test from Guildford (131 miles). There is a really strong East wind forecast which will not help my pigeons but hoping to get 100% returns for the 3rd time in 3 races. I will then look forward and start preparing for the bigger races which are fast approaching!I will update tomorrow on the birds return!

Friday, 29 April 2011

Loft flying

The race birds have been exercising with my youngsters the last few days and I love this time of the season as the young birds fly with such enthusiasm the old birds can't help but try to keep up with them. I feel this is great for the race birds as they are having up to 1 hour flies at a time as opposed to 20-25 minutes when they are out on their own. I hope this will help raise the fitness of the birds come race days. Due to working early I am working on a system where old and young go out about 3pm and fly for an hour. They are fed very lightly on depurative and then they are going out again about 7pm and put in another 30-45 minutes before being fed well for the night. This seems to be working at present and hopefully with a few minor adjustments will get all the birds into good form and condition.

This weeks race appears to be nothing more than a training toss for the birds as my brother is away this weekend so will not be able to take me to the club. I will not be able to clock in this week and that is a shame but the most important thing for me at the moment is to prepare the birds for the longer races in the coming weeks so although I am not actually 'racing' the birds do not know that and it will be another step up the ladder in readiness for what is ahead! I am probably going to be sending 9 this week and I have 3 on the injured list. The hens are putting in tremendous work when out with the youngsters and I have a feeling these will be beating my cocks when Sundays race comes!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

'Rasbull Injury Prone'

This cock returned after hitting wires as a youngster and on return to the loft was then attacked by a cat! He survived and heeled and had one race as a youngster! This year he has matured and was starting to look the part. He raced the first week and was one of the last birds back for me and then in his second race he was 2nd bird home. Great things expected as he is out of my No.1 Stock hen. Then the curse strikes again with him hitting wires yesterday from training and grazing the front of his chest. Thought he would be ok so sent him training again today only for him to return at 8pm with an even bigger hole in his chest, cut to his wing, half his wing missing and looking very sorry himself after what looks like a hawk strike! So this is the 4th injury he has picked up and he has managed 3 races in total! I will leave him heel up now and he take as long as he needs. His season is over and hopefully he will mature into an even better 2 year old cock!

And again!

I had the 2 missing birds waiting on the loft at 7am this morning. They had a little to eat and they along with the 10 other race birds were basketed and trained from 27 miles again. I have pumped the food into them this week as I felt they had become to hungry. This showed in the time they took to return from todays trainer! I will cut the food back down a bit now they have restored their supplies! I am missing one bird and hopefully he will return later. He is the one that knocked himself on the wires yesterday but as it was only a scratch felt confident to send him again today.
This weeks race from Guildford (131 miles) has been put back to Sunday due to the better weather forecast for this day. It is quite welcome as will give me an extra 24 hours to prepare the birds for the race.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Training today

The race birds were trained from 27 miles this afternoon and had 9 from 12 return after 33 minutes. My 2nd bird on Saturday returned later having hit some wires and has cut his chest! This is an increasing problem for me and something I have picked up on especially this season. I hope the other 2 missing (both having their first toss after they suffered knocks) also return.

My race plan for this year's old birds!

This is the race programme I have decided to follow for this years old birds. As I only have 12 yearlings it is very adventurous but I hope to follow this as best as I can for this year. It gives me plenty of opportunities to fly in the biggest races in Wales and will test my birds to the full.

16th April - Swindon 76 miles, (Rhondda Valley Fed)
23rd April - Newbury 97 miles, (Rhondda Valley Fed)
30th April - Guildford 131 miles, (Rhondda Valley Fed)
7th May - Maidstone 176 miles, (Welsh National Flying Club)
14th May - Folkstone 200 miles, (Welsh National Flying Club)
21st May - Carantan ? miles, (Welsh South Road National)
28th May - Lilliers 272 miles, (Welsh National Flying Club)
4th June - Messac ? miles, (Welsh South Road National)
11th June - Liege 399 miles, (Welsh National Flying Club)
17th June - Reims 378 miles, (Rhondda Valley Fed) or 18th June - Cholet ? miles, (Welsh South Road National)
24th June - Newbury 97 miles, (Rhondda Valley Fed)
1st July - Pont a Mousson 460 miles, (Rhondda Valley Fed) or 2nd July - Niort (Welsh South Road National) ? miles.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Youngsters coming along nicely now!

The youngsters are finally starting to take shape. They are now out around the loft flying and the main group is growing in number each time they are let out. I have 41 now weaned off with 34 of these out flying. I will put some work into these this week and hopefully all should be grouping nicely come the end of the week.
I have just had a count up in the stock loft and have 8 youngsters in the nest and 16 eggs. So hoping they all hatch will have 65 youngsters when they are all finished hatching and weaned off.
The race birds have had a good feed tonight and will be let out to fly around the loft tomorrow and I will decide on the build up to next weeks race depending on how they do.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Bit further behind than I would have liked!

Just returned from the knock off and the birds were a little slower than I would have liked. With the overfly taken off I was 9 minutes behind the winner. I would have preferred to be around the 5 minute mark but that is the way it goes. Still I am looking forward to the Maidstone race in 2 weeks time. I will be sending to the National that week with the Welsh North Road Federation. So will possibly have 2 races that week as the Rhondda Valley will be at Newbury again. I have joined this National to have more races at the distances my birds will realistically have a chance in.
So next week will be back to work with the birds exercising and training in preparation for the Guildford race on Saturday. All 10 birds are home from today so that is 2 races down and no lost pigeons which I am very pleased about. I will try one or two things different now this week and hope to get that bit extra out of the birds next race.