Monday, October 26, 2009

Join the Evansville Racing Pigeon club

If you love working with animals, being outside, going for long drives (training drops), and you're competitive, this might be the family hobby for you. Great for 4H'rs too. Check out our local club (Evansville Racing Pigeon Club) and the national organization we're part of (The American Racing Pigeon Union).

Race Season's Over - Pairing up Young Birds

I had previously thought you could simply pair up "fastest" to "fastest". I've seen guys that did that with success. But this article has me rethinking that. The author says out crossing causes chaos. Very interesting. I DO have two really large, apple bodied Houbens from Mark that are from the same family. Both are blue checks. I'm not a fan of blue checks and blue bars but I like their other attributes. Same for a pair of Ganus Janssen blue bars. Both are HUGE - very tall birds. They are also from the same family. So there's my first two pairs. 2619 and Splash are both throwing pretty good racers - that makes 4 pairs. That big old silver Ganus (I assume all birds from George are from his initial Ganus stock) always produces first bird on the drop. So, pair him with his daughter (his mate died). That's 5 good pairs. The rest, I will use on the old bird team or use as foster parents. So, that's the plan. I'm ready. Too bad I have to wait until December to pair them up and let them set eggs. Right now I really need to get them separated and rest them up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Yup! I'm done

I sat out both 300's. 225 left me with 12 birds. I'm stopping ("No Whammy! No Whammy!). Time to separate the pairs for a while and let everyone rest. I'm not even going to do the 165 repeat of the earlier canceled race. I like the 12 I've got. A pretty bunch! They've all been to Alabama - that's good enough for an Indiana young bird, IMO. Just wish 385 would've made it back. It'll be interesting to see the old bird team next year. I have nearly 40. The largest team I've ever had.

Friday, October 9, 2009

366 Returns

This little blue bar is lucky to be alive. When she was only a few days old, her nest mate was more than twice her size. I don't know if she was late hatching and just able to compete with 366 for food but her parents weren't feeding her and then abandoned them both. (Their mother was a strange blue bar hen that showed up this Spring and paired off with my Silver Bar). I fostered out both separately. 363 did well under one of my best breeding pair. 366 was rejected again. They say the pigeons can tell when there's a deficiency and intentionally let some of the weak young die. When I found her on the loft floor, she was cold, her crop was empty and she hand been trampled - a lot! Her body was red and bruised all over. I put her under 2619. She was too weak to raise her head to feed. I didn't figure she would make it, but she did. She was one of the last three I trained out late. I sent her, along with the other late hatches and a couple of birds with short flights on the shorter 165 mile race. She's not a strong flyer and has came in late on training drops. 4 days for 165 miles - not too good. But, she found her way. A lot of times, they get much better after being lost and finding their way back.

Welcome back 366! No you won't be going to Birmingham - not this year anyway. We'll see how she does as a yearling next Spring.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

2nd Alabama Race

The original plan was to skip the 2nd 225 on Saturday and then fly the 300 mile on Sunday with another club. I only had 13 left, but the 13 I had left were pretty good, in my opinion. They were all pretty consistent and one time. So I wasn't going to fly but instead have a skirmish sprint with a couple other club members for fun. Then that looked like it was falling through so I decided to just rest the birds. Probably not a good idea - but I was also resting myself and saving a lot of gas. Then, on Thursday, they changed the race back to the original schedule. I hadn't trained all week. I knew better. I should've put them all on the B race (which was 165 miles) instead of 225 miles. The weather was not kind to them either. A strong cross wind blew them east and I am, by a good distance, the furthest loft west. I only got back 10 of the 13 I sent. The next day, I got another - in the afternoon! It was a late hatch I sent on the B race. I only lost two - but for some reason, I lost my two best birds - and my personal favorite, 385, a beautiful Black Eagle cock. You can't see it in the picture, but after his moult, and a few hard races, he looked good enough to show. He had really put on some muscle and his feathers and neck were beautiful. I'm still hoping he'll straggle in.

I am considering NOT racing either of the 300's. But if I don't, no amount of road training I can do will get them in shape to compete the ones that do when we make up the 165 mile race that was canceled.