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L J Parkinson 26-02-18

Parkinson L.J.


I was talking to Mike O'Hare just before his two weeks in Tenerife about having the birds on the open hole and how the pigeons liked it, when I was doing this they were exercising far more and instead of the usual flopping around home they changed. After a couple of weeks on this system they start actually racing around home with what we call winter fitness. Then in early February they would start to range a bit more, I am a firm believer that the pigeons much prefer those kind of days to the hot weather in summer, not that we get that much here in the UK. At this time, they handled much better, not that I did handle them much, again something I stopped doing as much as I had done in previous years this was down to their extra free daily exercise over a large part of the day. I would also notice a change in the pigeons when the odd bird of prey started to appear, the pigeons watch them and appear to know their tactics better. This is no doubt down to the fact that they see far more of them and learn how to avoid them in much the same way that the wild birds and feral pigeons do. When they have more freedom, they are going to learn more about what goes on in the open outside world, OK we might lose the odd one, but I think the more they are out the more they learn. With the increasing numbers of birds of prey, the pigeons and owners need to change their tactics and the only way is to let the pigeons learn for themselves. Let them wise up to what nature is all about instead of being in a warm secure loft all day long. The one advantage that the racing pigeons have over wild birds is that they are far fitter or should be and therefore more alert to danger, that is if they have had a chance to learn in the first place. Birds of prey spot the weakest and there shouldn’t be any weaklings in the race team if there are then they are better off being someone’s breakfast. We do need to look at how we exercise and train the pigeons and where we do the later from because the birds of prey are increasing year on year in most areas. I must add that the further I was racing the pigeons the better they came, and I put that down to the way they were able to fly whenever they wanted to. Even when the odd pigeon flew over the house you would see the cocks chasing after them. I was on the natural system when I did have them on the open hole, it would be no good if you were on the widowhood system. Having said that it would be interesting to see how a team of widowhood cocks would go on if they were on the open hole. If they were fit and on widowhood they would more than likely be chasing anything in the sky with feathers. I still wonder if we make racing pigeons too hard when it shouldn’t be it is a hobby. When I first started racing you would go down to the club for the races and it was a pleasure. But as we know the numbers are so much reduced and there are not enough people to go around, I think this causes a bit of stress to those who are doing jobs in more than one club. We have got to the stage where you see the same people down at marking in Middlewich doing the jobs in each of the clubs. It would be much easier on everyone if when fanciers came along to have their birds marked they took a turn putting pigeons through. When all said and done it is much easier now with the ETS system’s that are in most clubs.

A few years ago, I was writing about my nephew Wayne who had pigeons then he didn’t, things have still not changed. This is where we get pigeon racing in our blood and it does not go away with some people no matter what we do, and Wayne is one of those people. I always think to myself “How long will he last before they are all gone from Wayne’s back garden again” I understand his position with asthma because I, like many more fanciers have it, so it is nothing new to pigeon fanciers. Before he moved from Newman Road he was thinking way ahead of himself and you could see that he had thought a great deal of how he could keep pigeons. He had that loft made and with advice from others thought about everything and it really was a good loft for anyone with breathing problems. Ionizers, roof vents, extractor fans, open loft, all were going through his mind and to me that doesn't sound like someone who is going to give up that easy, he is already looking for solutions. I said in a previous article that he would have made a good pigeon man, and he would, it's a pity that things have worked out the way they have, he cannot get everything right at the right time. I know how hard it is wanting to have racing pigeons in the back garden and circumstances don’t allow it for some people. Wayne does have them but getting settled and racing them is another matter. Some months back he moved to Cambridge where he bought a house and spent a lot on it and now the house is going up for sale. He still has the pigeons, but another move shows how keen he is to keep them. In my 20’s and early 30’s I was moving houses and breaking pigeons which became easy, you soon learn the best way to get pigeons to do what you want. Going back to Wayne, I wonder where his next home is going to be, when I spoke to him after he returned from holiday in Thailand he was saying that he will probably move out of Cambridge but where he does not know. What Wayne did say during the conversation, he will be looking for a bigger garden where he can have a good loft, sounds as if he might be looking for a last move. As I have said he is keen enough to race a good pigeon but needs to settle down and have a long-term plan.    

Kim does a lot of work on the website now and I don’t always see what goes on, she was telling me that she had received some photos from Mark Walker along with some info on the extension of his business of collecting and delivering racing pigeons. Mark advertises in this magazine for most of the year through his work in mainland UK and Europe. He is now going all the way with a similar system into Ireland which will no doubt see some healthy competition on that route. One thing I learnt many years ago and that is if the fanciers in Ireland want pigeons they will get them into their lofts one way or another. It would be interesting to see how many of the Irish fanciers get their pigeons from the same places over here because when I have seen John Millar he has always had a van full of pigeons that he has collected around mainland UK to take back with him. John was saying that there are also a lot of pigeons that also come out of Ireland.

“We are now running a Charity Sale for two hospitals on Elimar Pigeon Services web site. Ian Stafford and James Parker of JPS Lofts are offering 24 birds for sale on Elimar with 100% of the money being raised split between the 2 hospitals that treated Ian for cancer and James for his brain tumour the two hospitals are The John Radcliffe neurology unit in oxford and the James cook haematology department Middlesbrough, Ian and James are well aware that this is not the best time of the year  to be selling old birds so with this in mind they  are also giving a high quality young bird (grandchild of choice) of any of  the main breeders on to each purchaser of the old birds that will be ready no later than the end of May, what an offer. footnote from JPS Loft’s. A big thank you must go to Les Parkinson and Kim Crowley (Elimar) Peter Bennett (the photographer) Mark Walker (walkers transport) The British homing world, and Lee Fribbins (The racing Pigeon) who have all offered their services for free ,with this in mind the starting bid will be £65 on each bird which means that if you get the 2 birds for £66 they have cost you £1 as the courier and photo would of cost that so please help these worthy causes as you never know what is round the corner in life” Thanks IS.

I have not done any loft reports for a few years, but I have just started on a fresh one and at the present moment I am not sure whether he will come forward with enough information to make a lengthy report Billy is known for not having a lot to say about his pigeons, we shall have to wait and see but should be in my notes following this report.  

Les J Parkinson.

11 Rushton Drive, Middlewich, Cheshire,

CW10 0NJ.

Tel: 01606836036   Mobile: 07871701585.

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