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L J Parkinson 12-09-18

Parkinson LJ.


What a season many fanciers have had with losses that have not all been down to the racing, many have lost birds in training and through other problems. It has been a great summer but not for the pigeons, because they don’t like flying when it is too hot. Even so many have come through with good teams for another year, there are always pigeon men come through with their birds no matter what. Problems weren’t the case for the YB OH’s National weekend which was a great success for one of our section L winners, Roger Sutton who has had many good races over the years in this club. This weekend saw him collect 1st section 1st Open Old Hens National plus 1st 2nd 3rd section L 3rd 4th 5th open Young bird National. Well done to Roger on an excellent race.


The Mid Cheshire Fed’s last race of the season was from Portland when 29 sent 364 birds that were liberated at12 noon in a south east wind. The local organisation’s have seen a big drop in birds these last few weeks. The last race saw the very good Burtonwood Lofts of R&B smith top the list from their entries in the Earlstown club. Dave Pritchard takes another red card in the Rudheath club while Mick Stockton tops the list over at Crewe. Broderick & Davies win the Kingsway club with Wrinehill seeing A Hughes collect the red card. It was also the Fed’s breeder/buyer that saw 1st go to Dave Pritchard as racer and J Parrot breeder, they get £460. 2nd as both breeder & buyer is Dave Pritchard with another £345. 3rd collecting £230 are Magee/Morrel/C Prevettes. 4th is Mick Stockton with one of his own


In the Middlewich 5B Peter & Dawn Latham continue to have a good run taking 1st & 2nd in the Yeovil race recording vels of 1696/1692ypm. First in the clock was motivated because she had just laid while the cock that was second was the same cock that won the week before. These are the Brian Dearn pigeons and they are certainly flying well for P & D.3rd & 4th go to DJ&CJ Wilkinson, we start with a blue hen which is a Curtis-Wall-Lunt cross Lambrecht, the sire being the breeder of 12 x 1st prizes. The dam has won herself and bred winners with every cock she has been paired too. They then saw home a chequer pied hen which is 100% Louella Jan Aarden being a sister to winners and was selected by Jim Emerton. The club then went to the final race of the season when it was the same result with Peter & Dawn 1st & 2nd and yes again it was with the Brian Dearn pigeons. Peter was saying that after an early set back the young birds have flown well and continued to stay in good health. 3rd & 4th went to DJ&CJ Wilkinson recording vels of 1506/1505ypm.


The 5B were racing with the South West Cheshire Fed in the Yeovil race when 33 members sent 475 birds that were liberated at 12.40 in a light south east wind.  They had a fast race out of Yeovil with the fed winner Tommy Hulme & Son clocking up 1736ypm, they were 140yds faster then the other local fed who were at Portland. Other club winners in the fed are, Mr & Mrs Keith Lovatt in the Crewe West End. Dave Beeston & Son over at Hankelow. Peter & Dawn Latham in the Middlewich 5B. Dave Pritchard takes the top three positions in the Moulton FC. Over at Winsford Hitchin & Horsfield take the first 4 positions, between the two Hitchin lofts they take the first 9. The Fed then went to Portland when 32 members entered 395 birds that were liberated at 10.30am in a south west wind. Dave Beeston & Son from the Hankelow club topped the list with a vel of 1602ypm. Miss S & T Soper had a good race taking the first 4 in the Crewe West End. In the Middlewich 5B Pater & Dawn Latham topped the list while P Dargan did likewise in the Greenbank Club. The top three in the Moulton club went to Dave Pritchard while G&K&C Hitchin took the red card at Winsford.


As most will know I have made many visits to the continent and through the people I know over there I do meet new fanciers, I say new, they are new to me. However, what I have found over the years is they are not new to other fanciers who have known them for years and also raced their pigeons with great success. The latest one is Joel Verschoot who I had not heard of before my last trip to Belgium but after the article I had an email and also a few calls from fanciers who know of Joel and how good his pigeons are. This is the email I received, "Hello Les. Nice to see a well-deserved right-up in the BHW on my good friend Joel Verschoot. I first knew about Joel when we lived in Belgium and I first went to Joel’s in 2013. I was the first person to bring his pigeons into the UK, they started performing immediately and I have had another good year this year. 4x1st Fed. 29 x in the first 15 with only 15 widow cocks. It was nice to see a very good right-up for such a good flyer. I shall be seeing him in September as I go every year. Best Wishes. RC" Yes it always nice to hear about winners to confirm that I was on the right track when I wrote the article. Another fancier called, and we had a lengthy conversation about the Verschoot pigeons, he went on to say that he had none direct, but they came his way via a friend and he has also improved his stock with these pigeons but has kept under wraps where they came from. Some of the top winning lofts do a similar thing by bringing new pigeons in and keeping them quiet until they are ready to unleash their new-found winning team on the fancy in general. Some probably only do it for the financial side and I don't blame them because they spend a great deal of money bringing them over so why give the source away straight away. These same fanciers get to a stage where they are in many lofts and by this time they are seeking out their next line of pigeons to start the process over again. I brought some pigeons over for a fancier in Scotland and he really did know how to race them, and he won more than his share with them. He kept the source of those winners quiet for many years, but Joe Murphy finally go the information out of him. When he had his clearance sale they were sold at the door and the loft was very quickly emptied. There were other fanciers who bought the best but failed to get the results that our friend in Scotland did. There are plenty of winning lofts about but finding the line of pigeons that suit you is another matter. No matter how good a line of pigeons and what top results they achieve they will never suit everyone. It will be interesting to see how fanciers go on after purchasing from the Crammond & Langstaff sale. These are really good pigeons and one thing you can be sure of is there will be fanciers who, in the future will owe their success to these pigeons. Who will they be, I have no idea, but they will be there with lofts of pigeons achieving top results, get the base right and you will get your rewards.


As I was pressing the keys for this article I stopped and looked through the window of the hotel, which is The Slaughters Country Inn set in the Cotswold countryside, a cracking part of the world and our 4-day break during a hectic time. Elizabeth asked what I was thinking about, so I told her I was just enjoying the view, the quick reply was, “That makes a change for you” probably right. I nearly always take my laptop with me when we go away because that appears to be the time when my mind is clear and no phones going to distract me, and I write a few words, mostly it is when I am waiting for Elizabeth to finish getting ready when we are going out for whatever reason. On this occasion it was the cracking view across the countryside that distracted me. Although I never look forward to going away I usually enjoy it when I get there. Plus, the fact there are now three of us here in the office so I can go away without too much thought on is everything OK at home, this time it was Kim who took charge and from what she was saying it was a nightmare few days, that’s the way it goes.


It's always nice to get feedback on what I am writing about because we all have our ways and they don’t always suit everyone therefore the more working ways that crop up the better. “Hi Mr Parkinson. I have just read your article about Young Bird Sickness and agree it is getting out of hand. I used to get YBS on the Monday after the first young bird race. However, 6 years ago I heard about a club in Cheshire where all the members were using the same system and no YBS. and since then my pigeons have been trouble free. Vaccinate when leave the nest Deep Litter on the floor. Don’t clean perches for first ten weeks. Obtain raw Colostrum and make into ice cubes and add to the daily feed I have also added Sambuco Elderberry juice and use in the water when weaning and before starting training. I also buy a bottle of Colodial Silver for emergency but never use it myself but give to Club members 5 ml down each bird’s throat and 10 ml to 1 litre water for 3 days and turns them round in 48 hrs. The positive is that this product is not an anti-biotic. Regards PH”


Moving on to the pigeons that are not lasting the course, Phil Buckton was telling me that he had pigeons return from the Bath race and the odd ones soon passed on to another life. He was saying that he had heard of others having the same problem so decided to take it up with the vet. The birds were tested for the usual problems but nothing showed up in the test so that went for further tests and they are sure it is Rotavirus, to date Phil has spent over £500 finding this out and to be fair I think the RPRA should reimburse him because it is in the best interests of the sport and I have seen no-one else go that far to try and at least put the sport on the right path with this major problem that we have. The sport needs to keep money back from the Blackpool Show and start to look after pigeon racing. This health problem is nothing new to pigeon racing with the first ones I knew of dying with no real answers was about 4/5yrs ago and until now I have heard of no steps to sort it out. It appears that each year has seen more and more mention that they have pigeons passing on, so I ask myself is this a case of more people now owning up to having the problem. The call from Phil was on the Sunday evening after we had arrived home from a short break but the next morning I had another call from a fancier who was aware of Phil’s tests. Not sure if he wants his name mentioning so I will leave it out, but he was telling me that he had the same problem in his pigeons. He sent samples away to his vet and he said the tests were inconclusive and further tests would cost a lot more. He did say that he was going to follow it all up but then heard what had happened with Phil. This is what he said happened with his pigeons, when he was feeding them they were on the edge and not taking a lot of interest in the corn, they were just pecking but not at all interested. He thought there was something wrong so picked the three pigeons up and inspected them. They were all fine, so he decided to put one in a box and keep an eye on it which resulted in 45mins later the pigeon on its back breathing heavily and then died, the same happened with the others. If he had not noticed what had gone on and had not kept an eye on them he would have seen them dead on the loft floor. Later in the day I was also talking to one of the more knowledgeable fanciers on pigeon health and he was saying that a lot of the problems are fanciers using too many antibiotics. He also went on to say he was aware of the Rotavirus being in pigeons in the UK and went on to say that this is not the sole problem of pigeons dropping dead with no prior signs.


The results from the Vet that Phil used are, "Brief clinical summary; Home bred birds but have been mixed when racing. 4-5 of group developed depression, anorexia and vomiting and 2 have died despite fluids and initiated therapy with enrofloxacin prior to death. All adults in separate loft unaffected at this point. Weight loss 420g cs 3/5 Hyperaemia of GI tract. Green Mucoid intestinal contents. Jones Richard Avian Veterinary Services of Northwich" We also have a piece from Mark F. Stidworthy this being the Histology Report". "Positive Rotavirus. Groups of Rotavirus particles were abundant in the liver sample by negative contrast electron microscopy. To the best of my knowledge, and that of the APHA electron microscopy laboratory, this may be the first reported case of pigeon Rotavirus following the presentations previously seen in Germany and Australia. I am hoping to be able to get the virus in the frozen sample confirmed and sequenced by PCR. The transmission EM on the paraffin block is also still outstanding" I wonder if fanciers reading this are thinking the same as myself. A lot of this has been seen with what we call Young bird Sickness, so I ask myself is this the next stage of the same issue that has mutated with too much use of antibiotics. I know there are people who are well up with the health side of pigeons who say the sport in general has overused antibiotics by treating them blind.


Les J Parkinson. 11 Rushton Drive, Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 0NJ.

Tel: 01606836036 Mobile 07871701585.

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