Saturday, 26 March 2011

Europa birds now in the loft!

Today I took the 5 syndicate birds down to the Europa Classic loft in Cardiff. I spent around an hour chatting and being shown around by Mark Williams (the new loft manager) and must say how impressed I was with the loft and birds. The old birds especially were in fantastic condition and were that tame were eating out of Marks hand! They have had around 200 birds so far delivered to the loft. He was saying he has taken a lot of criticism since taking over but is in the process of changing quite a few things that fanciers have been unhappy about in the past. The birds were vaccinated on arrival and put in a secure section where they will remain for around 10 days. They had there rings covered up on arrival and this is something which will increase fairness. I was impressed with what Mark had to say and hope he has a good season with the syndicate birds doing especially well!!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Training starting soon!

The exercising of the race birds around the loft is going extremely well with the hens now topping the effort the cocks are putting in. They are ranging all over the town and I have been very pleased watching them from the attic window the last couple of days. They are covering a large distance and there fitness levels are well up. The cocks have gone off the boil to some extent but hope they will pick back up in the next few days. I am probably going to start road training Sunday afternoon which will be from a short distance as I have quite a few untrained late breds in the race team for both cocks and hens.
The youngsters I failed to get out as planned and have decided to concentrate on the race team to ensure they are as prepared as they can be come racing. The youngsters will be kept in for the time being and allowed to grow in their own time.
The stock birds are going well and I have 17 new babies in the nest at present with a few more down on eggs again. I have fostered a few more off my top pairs but with plenty of time left not I am not concerned that my numbers per round are down doing this.
I will update again when training starts and let you all know how the birds do! Fingers crossed.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Training to start soon

The 8 race cocks are now putting in about 1 hours flying at a time and are looking really well. The 13 hens are also exercising well. I will probably start them road training by next weekend. The youngsters are responding well when called for food and I plan to let them out later today for the first time. I have rung 6 of the 2nd round birds and another 10-12 will be hatching by the weekend. A full hatch should take me up to 50 youngsters in total which is a manageable number at present.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Cocks out!

The last 2 youngsters in the race cocks loft have now been weaned and after I cleaned them out this morning they were let out for the first time since September. They flew quite well and I have 6 back in so 2 still out and nowhere to be seen as yet. However, my hens did the same and then all returned so will just be patient. The young bird loft is starting to fill up now as there are 30 in there. The 2nd round hatch is continuing with 6 now hatched and more hatching as I speak.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Latest News

This years breeding is going exceptionally well. I put this mainly down to the birds being in super health. I have 26 youngsters weaned off with another 4 still in the nest and due to be weaned off in the next few days. All my stock birds are now sitting there 2nd round eggs with the first ones hatching last night. There are another 22 eggs in the stock loft so going to be another good round if they all hatch successfully.
The race hens as previously posted are now in their own section and have been out flying the last 3 days. I had some initial problems but they all returned safely with the exception of one of the latebreds who has a cut to her shoulder. I have put her in the young bird loft while the others are busy exercising. They have been flying for around 20-25 minutes which is pleasing as they are carrying excess weight so once this is burnt off and now the feeding is more regulated this will soon increase.
The cocks are bursting to go out and once the final 2 youngsters are weaned off the the final hen is separated these will be out raking the skies each evening as well. I have 8 cocks to race, and 13 hens when all is set.
Training is still planned for the first week of April and I will be hoping to train them hard in readiness for the first race.