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.
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.