Tuesday, 22 February 2011

First of the youngsters weaned

Tonight I have weaned the first 5 of this years youngsters. There are another 12 in the stock loft that will be weaned over as well in the next 2 to 3 days. I cleaned the loft out earlier and handled the youngsters in the nest and I have to be honest and say they are amongst some of the nicest youngsters I have ever bred. There are some real crackers among them and I can't wait to test them out.

I have split 4 pairs of the race birds and the hens are currently in their own section with the cock having the nestbox to himself. I have a further 4 pairs which are still sitting youngsters and once these have been weaned off they will be split as well. Once this has happened I will start exercising the birds daily - cocks and hens separately.

I have also been looking into joining the Welsh South Road National for the coming season. I have always fancied having a crack at this and feel this year I have the numbers to give it a go. The birds will be trained in the same direction as I train for the current South East route and then I am planning on giving 2 or 3 races on the South East route before switching a few of them to the South for the National races.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Back to normal!

The results of the Post Mortem came back and no cause was found. The tests that were completed for diseases were all clear and the pigeon appeared to 100% healthy. I could send the organs off for further tests but as the diseases proved not to be the cause and the rest of the birds remain perfectly well don't see the point. To pay for additional tests just to be told it died of a heart attack etc is not worth it. The main thing is the death has caused no harm to the loft and I will put it down to pure bad luck and concentrate on the breeding for the coming season.

The youngsters are all growing fast and I have 30 in the nest which are various ages but all but 2 have rings in place with the oldest feeding themselves from the galley pots in the nestboxes.

Tonight I have removed the eggs that the race birds were sitting and once they have weaned off all the youngsters I will start exercising them in readiness for the racing season. I plan on keeping the cocks in one section and the hens in another for the start of the season. I will exercise them separately to start with and go from there.

I have removed another 2 birds into the stock loft as they were late breds from last year and I would like to take a couple of youngsters from them and see how they perform before racing them.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Not long after posting the post below I went to the loft to clean out and after doing the floor, noticed in the top nestbox my No.2 Stock Hen, dead on the chicks that had just hatched that day! To say I am gutted is an understatement. She was in perfect health and no signs of illness or poisoning. I have just posted off for a post mortem to be carried out. I suspect she has died of a heart attack as all the other birds are in tip top condition and the two youngsters she was sitting are doing well now they have been fostered under another pair.
It is a definite blow for the loft though as this hen along with her nestmate were 24th and 29th in the final of the Europa Classic in 2009 and 9th and 17th in the final ACE bird standing from the 1,200 that started the series. I have another 1/2 sister who competed in this years race who won 4th Hotspot! A daughter from the 9th Ace bird was 37th Hotspot - just 3 seconds behind the winner in this years Europa Classic and a daughter from the hen that died was 178th in the final of this years Europa Classic. So all in all a very promising family that produces good birds in the One loft conditions. A blow to the loft but I have 8 youngsters from her, 4 this year as I fostered her first round eggs and she was sitting her 2nd round when she died.
Well that's pigeons for you I guess!!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Breeding continues to go well!

The breeding season for us is in full swing now and we currently have 28 youngsters in the nest all doing well. We have a load of eggs as well that are due to hatch in the next 7-10 days. Our hatch rate has been very pleasing being at around 90%. Considering the cold spell we had when the birds were first mated and when the eggs were originally laid this is very encouraging.
Once the racers have reared there youngsters they are currently sitting I will then start to get them out exercising in readiness for the coming Old Bird season.
We could do with an extension to the main racing loft and I have been planning heavily for this. I have decided to split this years youngsters into 2 teams. 60 in 1 loft and 30 in the new loft that will be built. Hopefully this work can be carried out prior to April so the birds are not disturbed too much when preparing for racing.