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Dealing and playing with young birds (part 9)

Dealing and playing with young (part 9)

For example, you don't suddenly move nest pans closer together. This does not start the evening of basketing, but a few days before. You should never basket pigeons in a hurry or nervously, neither old birds nor youngsters. All in all, a lot of time will be spent on the youngsters' game if you take it seriously. Just look around you. The 'specialist' is a man who is at home or has help. Because playing with youngsters has become a kind of art.

Sometimes you hear that the last race, races such as Bourges in Belgium or Orleans in the Netherlands have to make up for a whole year. It didn't go well before, and now it has to happen. But pigeons that have previously proven to be out of form cannot be put on track in a few days' time. If the youngsters were always late before, counting on a good result in that important ultimate race is speculation and nothing else. The standouts will again be those men who performed excellently before. The organizers want a lot of pigeons, understandably.
I advise if the youngsters didn't fit in before to pass.
And don't reach for the medicine jar in some kind of desperate attempt.
Furthermore it is not advisable to dedicate yourself entirely to ONE race. You only have to have the wind against you and you can forget it even with the best pigeons.
To race well locally, good pigeons and form are enough, but to perform at national level you also need a lot of luck, you have to be located well.

If the pigeons are in shape, then you really only have one thing to worry about: Don't make mistakes. With feeding, for example. For example, basketting hungry pigeons is just as wrong as basketting pigeons with bursting crops. So never feed pigeons just before basketing. The pigeons will be hungry and eat a lot because the time span between the previous feeding is too long. There is also a danger that they will no longer drink before basketing.
The result can be that they get into the basket with thirsty feelings and that will certainly not get any better in the truck. If they also encounter warm weather, they are lost. Such pigeons will be the first to drop out on their way home as soon as they see water.

Pigeons that have drunk a lot should not be raced. Young or old doesn't matter. Such pigeons not only have no form, there is something wrong with them! Pigeons with blue flesh are also questionable pigeons. By the way, I rarely check that. If you have to blow away the feathers along the sternum, it's already wrong. With a pigeon in shape, they will automatically slide to the side if you lightly stroke.

Does your youngster have to race the weekend before a long distance race? There are different opinions on this. "Keep at home" claims one, "put in the basket" says another. I've done the test many times. Pigeons raced and also pigeons kept at home the weekend before National Orleans for example. It made little difference, with a light preference with pigeons that were raced. However, it should be mentioned that I practice road training then. It doesn't have to be far. Three weeks of "rest" seems absolutely wrong to me.

Although you rarely see a photo of a winning pigeon that does not have a full wing, a missing flight is no problem.  As long as it is not the fifth (with pigeons that are not darkened of course). The fall of the fifth feather is followed by the moult of the body feathers. And pigeons that throw "stud feathers" do not win a prize any more. Like than pigeons that moult above the nose or on the ears. Keep such birds home.

We conclude with a few points that seem to be important in the youngsters' game.
-Youngsters should be strictly selected for natural health from the very first day of their lives. The stricter this selection, the fewer problems later on and the less you need the help of the vet.
-When youngsters are a few months old, they should not be fed too heavily. You may give a quarter to a third purification.
-Discipline is an absolute necessity. Bad trappers are made by the fancier.  Youngsters need to be trained thoroughly.
-An introduction to the basket alone is important. Of course, never train youngsters that are not in order.
They show whether they are okay by training spontaneously and for a long time at home. A first acquaintance with the basket with a strong head wind is playing with fire, even if the weather is good. And it is a misunderstanding to assume that only bad pigeons are lost.
-Once the game is on, the youngsters do not benefit from rest, on the contrary, they have to fly, every weekend.
-Youngsters that moult are hopeless pigeons. Darkening has the advantage that you can basket en masse. Youngsters "on youngsters" don't moult either, but the problem with such ones is that they don't fly and you will have to go on the road with them yourself.
-You can perform well both "on the nest" and with "separated sexes". The big difference (and disadvantage) is that youngsters on the nest do not train like separated pigeons. As mentioned, you will have to do something about that. Furthermore, catching "nominated pigeons" is a lot more difficult when you race with separate sexes.
-I don't believe that you can keep youngsters 100% motivated for months on end with the same "system". Playing separately for long periods of time doesn't seem right to me. Neither did one nest after another. I think a combination is best, a while on a nest, and a time separated, the order doesn't matter.

In this series I have not talked about points by which the better youngsters can be recognized. That's no coincidence. Vitality and health can be recognized, but quality cannot. The huge lot of youngsters that more and more fellow fanciers have flying around is living proof of the insecurity and ignorance of even the greatest champion. You can get rid of pigeons with defects such as hard feathers, unbalanced build, bad throat and faltering health. But even if you are left with perfect babies only, the reality will still be that there are few good ones. And no one can say in advance which one.

End of this article series.