BACKYARD MARATHON CHALLENGE
February 2014 Update
The off season seems to be drawing to an early end, Blackpool has been and gone and everyone seems to be concentrating on the breeding season with many fanciers already having babies away. In the yard at the back of Newport Street it has been very wet for what feels like an age and I am very glad that I paired the stock up on the last Saturday in January and not any earlier as dealing with 8 breeding pairs on babies over the last 2-3 weeks would have been an absolute nightmare!
I have been getting the cocks and hens out on open hole on alternate days through the winter since they were split up in the autumn and health looks good in all lofts at the minute. The breeding pairs have been moved to my house from my Grandparents house this year and that makes things a lot easier to manage when the birds are pairing up.
I cannot believe how much time I have spent staring at race programmes of the various National clubs throughout the weeks since Christmas, there are so many options that I have for my "yearling army" but ultimately the aim is to get as many of them as possible over the Channel a couple of times, with at least one of the races being a tough test for the yearlings. There are 4 two year olds with varying experience and two of them, a pair of nest brothers, are being aimed at Bordeaux with the MNFC, but whether they get that far or not will be decided by the basket!
There does not seem to have been too many problems with the stock birds, hope I am not tempting fate, and I think I may go into the loft and see some eggs tomorrow morning. The race birds are still not together and I won't be doing that until 4 or 5 weeks before the first race. I will probably look to time it with the stock birds going down on their second round so I can shift some eggs over. I am not too worried about all the race birds being ready for the first race as there are plenty of opportunities through the season to get them into the federation races and then onto the Nationals, thanks to the MNFC, BICC and the BBC for supplying programmes which allow the fanciers to get the birds into National racing at any point during the season.
So, the Holy Grail draws ever closer. I am 18 months down the line from when I first started and in 2 years time I will hopefully be within touching distance of getting the birds to the start line. My patience has been tested to the extreme during 2013 and I think it will be even tougher during 2014 as I will be sending to many more races. The rush of the birds dropping will be experienced many more times this season so I need to make sure the focus of the true end goal is there. I shall keep you posted with my progress and leave you with one of my little quotes. This is from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and every time I see it I am reminded of my date with destiny in July of 2016.
"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet."
Elimar - February 2014