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Your Questions Answered- Canker and Respiratory Treatment

Your Questions Answered No. 3

If you have a question you’d like answering, email it to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll do our best to answer it, either ourselves or by passing it on to one of a number of successful fanciers who have indicated that they are happy to give advice.

Question: Hi Les. I’m really enjoying Chris Knowles’ Month by Month series on Elimar and was wondering what he uses for treatment for canker and respiratory. I have just paired up my birds and wondered when he treats them i.e. sitting or at other times? Thanks again – Charlie.

Answer: It is nice to hear that people are enjoying my Month by Month series, which was compiled to give an outline view of what is happening in the loft, along with pictorial support to illustrate things like weaning crates, which are difficult to picture from just a description.

Charlie asks about canker and respiratory. The treatment of my breeding pigeons is done whilst they are sitting eggs and after youngsters are weaned. The race team, every fortnight for two days after the race, except when there is a hold over, when I always treat on return. I think that it is important to mention that the reason I follow this practice is to control the levels caused by stress. I use numerous products such as De Weerd BS. The reason I use various ones is to prevent the build up of immunity to the medication by the flagellate which live on the mucous membranes of the crop and throat. These are present most of the time with no visible signs but can cause a high level of irritation and they open the gate for anaerobic bacterial infections.

Respiratory problems when present in pigeons are probably the biggest cause of pigeons not performing in races, next of course to incorrect/over feeding. My process of dealing with this issue is a simple and logical one. When the racers are at the correct body weight, they begin their pre-season exercise routines. Once they have reached a level of fitness, where I think that they are ready for road training, I treat them for respiratory, prior to the commencement of the training. During racing I use oils on my corn that contain eucalyptus and find that I do not need to treat again unless following a hold over on channel racing and I feel that they would benefit from it. Once again I have found the De Weerd products very effective but have also found Lincospectin and Suanovil very good. It is important to deal with both mycoplasmosis and ornithosis to ensure that the whole of the Upper Respiratory Tract is clear and free of irritation.

I approach the above problems in the same way with my young birds and try at all cost to avoid medication over the moulting and winter seasons. During this time, I use herbal teas and provide supplements with broad spectrum vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

I hope that this is helpful to Charlie and any other readers of the Month by Month. Charlie sets a good example of how to approach this sport, which is, if you are not certain, then ask and if you get a chance to help others by sharing what you know or have experienced, then do so!

Bet wishes to all for the up coming race season!

Chris Knowles