Young bird problems (30 aug)
Young bird problems (Aug 30)
Again, the young bird season progressed with fits and starts. Nowadays there is always something with young birds, especially problems with health and losses. Why in previous years we did not have these problems is a mystery. The good news is that Adeno seems to be less of a problem. Hopefully, it will go in the same direction as canker as this ailment seems to be regressing. By the way, Adeno has nothing to do with the quality of the pigeon. Even the biggest champions and veterinarians must deal with it. There is no link with hygiene either. Once I wrote on some research in Germany. The result showed that those fanciers who didn’t clean (deep litter) seemed to have fewer problems than those fanciers that scraped and polished regularly.
I don’t want to get into young bird losses in depth. There has already been enough written and said on this subject. How is it possible that a youngster can be lost from a training toss of only 5 km but, effortlessly flies back to its loft from the loft it entered by mistake 30 km or even further away? Can’t understand it. How can a youngster, already flown from Quievrain, be lost of the roof at home? Just as much of a riddle. You know what I experienced? A bunch of youngsters were trained out to about 20 km from home, all let up at the same time and they came home one by one. Never two together, not even once. What inspired those youngsters to break up, one has to ask himself.
Then once we get past July, strangely enough, the losses are suddenly finished. You see it every year all over again. From the end of July youngsters trained just a few times can be put into the race baskets. That is healthy youngsters.
I’m thinking about the youthful champion from North Holland. His youngsters were far from healthy, he treated them and apparently, they were better. They began to exercise well around the loft and were trained from 30 km several times and asked if they could go in one jump to 140 km on the next club race. “Should be not be a problem” I said. If only he hadn’t asked me anything. Of the 80 youngsters two thirds of were lost.
By the way, I do not believe that the distance was to great. He said there were training well around the house, but they didn’t ramble away from the loft. They made the required circles around the loft but that’s not what I call “training well”. The duration of the training is not what is important, it is the manner of training that matters.
Why they should be able to jump to 140 km in one go? A few years ago, on a Tuesday I had basketed my youngsters for a training race from Quievrain. They had a total of 3 training tosses from around 30 km. I was confident in doing so as they were super healthy. But, it took them so long to come home from Quievrain that I started to have doubts. I made a phone call and it seems a mistake had been made and the youngsters had been sent to Saint Quentin (215 km) for their first training race. “I won’t see a feather back” I thought. To my surprise they came home easily. Afterwards, by chance I heard that on that same day, Bart Geerinckx had experienced the same thing. His youngsters had also been sent to Saint Quentin by mistake instead of Quievrain and his also made it home with no problem.
A fancier in my area could hardly get on the race result. Now, he had read somewhere that some force their youngsters to exercise, with the use of a helium balloon. He decided he’d do that too. Both in the morning and in the evening, he forced them to exercise for an hour. Result? They performed even worse! I had seen those youngsters. Their heads were not clear and I ask myself if forced exercising for such pigeons is not counterproductive.
Still someone else whose youngsters were not coming home well was hoping for improvement after a cure. It hadn’t helped one bit. When I asked him with what he had treated them and against what, he shrugged his shoulders. He still had some “stuff” from the veterinarian, so it couldn’t be bad. Poor pigeons and poor fancier.
South East wind
Still, something else I totally don’t understand, is why races with a SE wind and you can add SSE wind to that, are usually problem races. Florian Hendriks, Maarten Huismans, Christian van de Wetering are some of those youthful pigeon talents, a la Verkerk. Marten and Christian, both not yet 30, are from time to time, unbeatable. Limburger, Florian focuses on the middle distance and with remarkable success. In a report, he remarked that he would no longer race pigeons with a South-East wind. That young man has learned a lesson. From the old days, I remember the “019” for the Janssen Bros. Over the best pigeon fanciers of all time, we don’t read or hear too much these days, but that aside.
In his glory days when the “019” won first prizes, one after the other, he missed once. The time he was hours too late, was on a good day weather-wise, but with a South-East wind. With SE wind, you not only lose pigeons, especially young birds, but proven good pigeons often miss their prize. When a stiff South-East wind is forecast, I no longer race my young birds. I’ve already experienced enough misery!
Predicting A good friend of mine, the word “friend’ I use less and less as I get older, has the habit of taking his youngsters for a training toss once a week. As I write this, he has raced four times, three times quite well and once very bad. You know what is so curious? Believe it or not I had predicted the bad race beforehand, without seeing or handling his youngsters. The man lets someone train his youngsters, always in four groups, each group released about 3 minutes apart. The first three times they homed quickly and… In groups about 3 minutes apart. Those 3 minutes were long enough so that they couldn’t catch the earlier released ones. The fourth time was different. They took way too long to home from 30 km and … they all arrived at the same time. The following race was very bad!
Do you know what else is a bad omen? You have trained your pigeons and when you come home you see there are still some on the roof. That shouldn’t be. I don’t like seeing pigeons sitting quietly on the roof. Not widowers either. These are seemingly trivial things that many fanciers fail to notice, but make the champions eyebrows pucker. Because they are seemingly “small things”.
(with thanks to Nick)