Monday, 28 May 2012

All home!

I am pleased to say the final bird arrived the day after the race and was very thin indeed on arrival. The heat and the distance she had flown has obviously taken its toll! A few days rest and good food will soon put her right though. So I am very pleased with the returns this week. The 7 yearlings don't forget were unraced as youngsters and have now had their 3rd race of their careers and so far they have had 2 x 97 miles and now 1 at 176 miles. Next week we are at Folkestone 200 miles and I am sure they will come well again. They will be worked around the loft this week with hopefully one or two training tosses from around 25 miles thrown into the mix as well!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Just 1 missing!

We had one bird arrive back this morning so we are just missing 1 from yesterdays Maidstone race. The birds have only flown 2 races in their lives prior to this and they were both from 97 miles. So they had been jumped to 176 miles and I am more than happy with how they come. I hope they continue to improve in the same way they have shown so far this season! Hopefully the last one will arrive some today to give us 100% returns but as it is now 11am I am not to optimistic. I can't wait for next weeks race from Folkestone.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Maidstone 26/5/2012

Our 7 birds were liberated at Maidstone (176 miles) at 7am this morning. A very strong East wind ensured a very fast race. We clocked at 9.50am doing 1826ypm. Our first bird 3 birds were all brother and sisters! We bred 3 last year in a round of 50 birds. We have 7 birds left and all 3 of these remain! Something in the family I think!! We are currently missing 3 but I am a lot happier how they came today. Not sure of many times in the club today but the winner last week was clocking at 9.35am. So we are 15 minutes behind and he has to give us 7 miles overfly so going to be about 8-9 minutes behind him. (The standard time difference if we have no South) I am very happy with that as we live 20 miles North of this and with no South in the wind I am very pleased. The leading times in the Fed were around 23/24 minutes past so the Merthyr boys (further North) clocking 10 minutes after this and I am clocking 10 minutes after the Merthyr boys! Location plays a huge part in pigeon racing from races under 300 miles and thats just a fact I have to accept! Added to this all our birds are unraced yearlings and only having their 3rd race in their lives I am very pleased that we now have something to work with in the longer races to come this season! Roll on next week and Folkestone and hopefully some nice strong South winds after that for the longer races across the channel!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

This weeks race!

After lasts weeks race was cancelled due to the weather the birds find themselves pushed further across the country for this weeks race which will be from Maidstone. (178 miles). The 7 birds we have in the loft are all unraced yearlings having their first season. So far they have flown Newbury (97 miles) twice. So it will be a big jump for the birds and should test them a bit! I was going to send them to the South Road National from Carentan this week providing they come well from Guildford last week which would have been 131 miles. But to jump them 100 miles + put them across the channel (due to race being cancelled) was asking too much of them in my opinion. So Maidstone is the race they will go to and all being well we will send all 7.
So they have had 2 weeks since their last race and they have worked for at least 1 hour every day with some days putting in 2 hours around the loft and basket training. In the past 2 weeks they have had around 4 x 26 mile training tosses and I hope they come well now on Saturday as we look to progress to the longer races when the fitness and stamina will start to count!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Happy days regarding my youngsters!

This weeks race from Guildford has been cancelled due to the weather. I have never known a start to the season like this with all this stop, start, stop, change program, start, stop! It is a nightmare and I wish the weather would pull its socks up!
The problem I have now is that I was planning on sending to the Welsh South Road National next week from Carentan. As long as the birds came well from this weekends race from Guildford I was going to skip the Combine race from Maidstone on the South East and put them South over the water. This has somewhat ruined my plans now as my entire race team have only had 2 races from 97 miles so far in their careers and to jump them 100 miles and expect them to fly the channel is a big, big ask. I was going to take the chance had they completed tthe 131 mile race scheduled for tomorrow. I will have to wait and see what the Rhondda Valley Fed plan to do now and maybe they will look to have a midweek race and if that is the case then my plans will still be on track!
I took advantage yesterday to get out my 40 youngsters for only the 2nd time! This included 5 birds I bought last week that were having their first time out. On getting them in I must have been 2 down as these were on the loft this morning waiting to get in. One of these was one of the new ones having his first time out. So very pleased all back. On counting up the birds I couldn't understand why I had 42 in the loft. They were all definitely mine! I had been missing 2 youngsters having their first time out last week. '08' and '21'. I checked through the birds and to my delight both these were now in the loft as well. What a bonus! So I had 44 youngsters to start with and dropped 2 when I tried to break 15 in for the first time. Since then I have broken in 27 and not lost anything off the loft. Considering these were all 4/5 month old youngsters which had never been out until last week I am over the moon! So 42 youngsters in the loft and all have now been broken into the loft - happy days!!! The next quest is to now get them kitting together and I should imagine that will happen very quickly as they are all so strong. I can't wait to get them out in a batch and watch them raking the home skies!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Birds stepping up a gear!

The birds have stepped up a gear this week in training and around the loft. They have put in 2hrs every day. They have just been loft flown today. 1 hour this morning and 1 hour this evening. I am hoping to get them out in the morning for another 1 hour fly and all being well will basket train them tomorrow evening from Raglan (26 miles). This I believe will stand them in good form for the race from Guildford on Saturday!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Trying to put things right!

I have been disappointed with the birds in the first two races of this season. I am finding as they were not raced as youngsters they are following the group and not breaking where I need them to. This has resulted in them flying another 20-25 miles further than they need to. I have therefore been keen to give them some additional training this week in readiness for this weeks race from Guildford (131 miles). They went to Raglan last night and took an age to get their line and strike for home. When they did eventually set off they were hit by a hawk on route and all arrived on their own. By nightfall I was missing 1 and my brother missing 4. His 4 were on the loft by 8am this morning but the one I was missing has failed to arrive.
Tonight my 7 birds were again basketed and taken back to the same place and released with my brothers 6 birds. They cleared far quicker tonight and that was very pleasing. They were flying into a strong head wind but all arrived in good time. I am a lot happier tonight and if the weather permits they will go again before the next race to sharpen them up and make them realise what is expected of them.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The race from Newbury (97 miles) proved as tough as I expected. We sent 10 and had 8 on the day. They were a long way behind with the best times coming from those furthest South in the Federation. Another good work out for the birds though and they will once again learn from the experience.  I really want to try and get a couple of training tosses into the birds this week as they are still not breaking and coming back from Merthyr instead of the way they should.
I took the chance yesterday to let out all my 37 - 4/5 month old youngsters for the 1st time! 15 had gone out last week and I ended up losing 2 after the majority returned after 2/3 days. So yesterday I took Ant's advice and decided to let them all out in one go. All 37 were on the garden picking away when they got spooked and took to the air! It was like a dog fight in the war with birds all over the place ducking and diving! At one point just 10 birds could be seen. I closed the loft last night still 16 youngsters missing and nowhere to be seen. 3 were on the loft this morning when my brother came to check and by the time I arrived home at 2.30pm from work it had been raining pigeons with 14 of the 16 waiting to get in. That leaves me 2 down at present.
So all in all I had 39 prior to letting any out and currently have 35 that have been out and have now trapped correctly. I have 5 which I purchased the other day and these are going to go out next week. I think I have got away very lightly and will not be doing the same next year or any year for that matter!
The stock birds have been paired back up and a few of the stock pairs are now sitting eggs again. I am looking to take another 2 rounds from these which will be 24 in total if they all hatch out. I will then train these up and enter them into the comeback races. 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Some back at least!

We were missing 6 youngsters after letting them out for the first time the other day and I am pleased to say we have had 3 back so far! I am sure there is another still in the area and hopefully he will make his way back to the loft in the next day or so.
The race birds have been out exercising around the loft the past few days and although they are not putting the work I desire in as yet they are slowly progressing.
This weeks race is from Newbury (97 miles), the same as last week and we will be sending 10 all being well tomorrow night. The weather is good for Saturday so hopefully a good race is in prospect. At this stage of the season and with all the birds having raced last for the first time last week I am once again only concentrating on returns. I would have have liked to have got a training toss into them this week but the weather has once again beaten us.
****The one that I thought was in the area is now safely back in the loft! Just 2 missing now! ****

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Why leave it so late?

I had the race birds out around the loft tonight and they flew for 1h 20 minutes. I have introduced the one the hawk had a few weeks ago back into the team.
After the race birds trapped I took advantage of the weather to get my youngsters out for the first time! They were bred in January and February and some are massive! They are much bigger than my race cocks so knew I had left it way to late. I had been concentrating so much on the aviary being built and then the race birds that time has just gone on too fast!
I clip ringed them one by one as I placed them on the trap to the loft and within no time 8 birds were outside! I then decided to let the race birds back out to hopefully keep them close to the loft. I kept letting them out one by one until I got to 15. At this time I had 21 birds out as I had only let out 6 race birds. A quick count up I could see I was missing 4 or 5. They were out for about an hour when I tried to call them in. They had not been in the trap so it was all completely new to them. At 5 or 6 months of age this is not recommended at all! After another hour I had 10 out of the 15 young birds on the loft. They started to drop through the trap one by one. Another quick count up revelaed I was now missing 6 in total! It was starting to get dark now so I decided to let the race birds back out to do a few laps around the loft to try and attract the birds back to the loft. It proved fruitless and as we speak it is dark outside and I am missing 6! I still have another 25 in the loft who have not ventured out yet and I am now worried they will go the same way when they get their freedom! Hopefully a few will be on the loft in the morning. Why Rich didn't you let them out when they were weaned?????

Monday, 7 May 2012

2 have made it today!

Well 2 brave birds have made it out of the 7 we were down last night from the Newbury race. One was on the loft by 10am this morning and then nothing until around 6pm this evening when it was hammering down with rain. This now leaves us down 5 as we speak and as all these birds have had nights out during training I will not rule out at least another returning in the next day or two.
The weather has once again been dreadful this afternoon and apart from a clear spell when we had the birds out for 15 minutes it has been impossible to get them out. They have had a good feed tonight and hopefully we can get some work into them again tomorrow evening if the weather holds off.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Tough first race!

Well today has been a good experience for my team of unraced yearlings. It has proved very tough for them and the fact that I have had only 7 from 14 to date shows exactly how tough! They were having their first race today from 97 miles and apart from 1 they all followed the batch into the valleys and didnt break. My birds then had the Brecon Beacons between themselves and the loft! This is what usually happens when I send to the first couple of young bird races. As all these birds have not raced before it would have been a whole new experience to them. Only my grizzle cock came the correct way (up the valley from Abergavenny). All the remaining birds that have arrived have come from the Merthyr direction. My first bird was 15 minutes behind the club winner and I am not concerned about that as this is unraced yearlings racing against experienced birds and I wanted to get returns rather than blistering performances today. I am disappointed with the returns at present though. Hopefully a few will negotiate the valleys and head for home soon.
My brother raced as well today and it proved a close contest between us with myself clocking at 2.56 (1312ypm) and him clocking at 2.59 (1288ypm). The birds that went through were 1+ hour later than these first 2! This goes to show how difficult it is to get a bird to pull out from the batch and head up the right side of the Brecon Beacons and the struggle they have if they miss the breaking point.
The focus now is on returns and hopefully we will have a good few more show their faces in the next 24 hours. The birds that did arrive were very tired and the fly will have done them the world of good and as I have mentioned the experience will push them on that bit more.
I will update tomorrow when I get home from work with details of any late comers. This week will see the birds have regular loft flying and we will see what next week brings. This is the first race of the season from an extra 20 miles than the initial race programme was planned so it has been tough but the birds will be better in the weeks to come!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

First Race of 2012

Finally after 3 weeks of frustration and uncertainty the racing season is finally here! We have sent 14 birds tonight to Newbury (97 miles). The wind is against us but we knew that was going to be the case last week. It will be the first race for all 14 and I am just hoping to get them home tomorrow. The experience will do them the world of good.
They have had a quiet week again due the weather causing hassle. They have been out just 3 times this week. They did put in a hour and half on Wednesday and I was very pleased with that. They have been kept in due the weather Thursday and Friday.
The Federation have changed the race programme so we are effectively starting the season again from scratch which is great news. The South Road National programme has also been put back and that is great as well as I plan to send to a few of these races this season.
The youngsters have still not been out and I must really try and get them out this week as some are 5 months old and very, very strong. The weather and work have been against me up to now but I must try and get them out in the next week or so. They are in the aviary, so at least they have been able to have a good look around and see the race birds coming and going. 
The bad news is the Rasbull Share Syndicate for 2012 has been cancelled. All shareholders have been informed of the decision and the reasons and I will update the Share Holders page tomorrow evening when I have a bit more time. I am pleased to announce though we will definitely be sending next year and many of the Share holders have kept there shares for the following year. Any that are available for purchase will be put on the site and will be up for sale.
I will update after tomorrows race and if you are sending good luck!!