The few pigeons we have are doing well but I did notice something with one of Ebony’s pairs. There are two young birds in the nest and every time I put the tonic/vitamins in the water their droppings around the bowl went loose and were just spraying mostly white water out. I have come to the conclusion that they are, or at least one of them is allergic to something in the addition that I am putting in the water, so I think while rearing that product will go off the program. The reason I think they are allergic to something in the mixture is because once I take them off it and put them back on Vior, within 24hrs the droppings are sound and even with clear water they are sound. From the 6prs that are in the section this is the only pair that I have seen this happen with.
Through watching the veterinary programs on the TV, I am seeing things that I never connected animals too. I am hearing that so many animals are allergic to one thing or another and they are handing all sorts of medication out for cats and dogs. The veterinary practice’s have moved on so much in the way they treat animals, at one time they would look at an animal and put it down if it looked at them the wrong way. Things are much different now; they test them for all sorts, and they charge for all sorts. We have also found out to our cost that as soon as you take the dog into the practice, they want to do what can be a costly blood test. Probably if I took a swab from the two young birds whose droppings change, I could find out what they are allergic too. They could easily go but then we do not find out what the reason is for the issue at hand. What I will probably do is when they are moved, I could put them in an area on their own and give them the vitamins and then see what the droppings are like. The other thing I have looked at is, did they get a chill on the two occasions, because we have had some cold nights, or was that a coincidence. Apart from that I am looking at the best small team of young birds that I have ever reared, probably a bit overweight but they will soon get that off when they start to fly.
Just when I thought I had finished on this subject a knock came on the door and it was Mick Stockton from Sandbach. I was telling Mick about the stock and so showed him where we are up too. I was pleased with his reaction to seeing them and his views on the pigeons in general, especially the young birds that had already left the nest. I pointed out the box where the droppings had change and he said he stopped giving his tonic in the water while they were rearing because it happened in his breeding program as well. I was glad to hear that because I know I am on the right track. By the way Mick was impressed with the way they had gone down and all egg’s full plus they were already down on egg’s again.
On the subject of liquid that our pigeons consume I had an email from a fancier about pigeons drinking water. “A couple of incidents with pigeons and such. First off, last year during lockdown I found a race bird sat by a path beside the local canal, clearly exhausted and thirsty staring at the water but no place for it to get a drink as there was no access to the water where he was. It sat quietly as I scooped it up, took it home and fed and watered it for a few days and by the time it left it was fighting to get out from the place I kept it, strong and keen for home. Yesterday, a racer landed in our garden early morning and sat in my bird bath, drinking so much I thought he'd near drained it, poor thing, not seen him since but apart from thirst he looked in fine fettle. My point is, water, we must never underestimate the need for water to all life.
I moved into my current house 3 months ago, as keen wildlife watchers there were no birds at all here for the first month at least, then by continually feeding and providing water, birds have arrived in the garden, blue tits are nesting in the box I put up the first week we arrived. We now regularly see a variety of birds feeding etc., including the thirsty racing pigeon, providing water in our gardens and back yards is so important. Just a thought”. Water is what keeps life going and we as a human race cannot do without it, in one form or another. The only thing about liquid is what it actually is and how much we consume at times. Water is something that we should all keep an eye on because you can pick up so much through drinking water. We prefer to use bottled water for general drinking and what we do use out of the tap is boiled for whatever we use it for. We were in a conversation about drinking water and a couple were using one of these filters you buy, and they were saying they were getting bad stomachs. They stopped using the filtered water and within a few days they were feeling much better. I think how good water is depends on where you live, we have travelled round and found that water varies from one place to another.
The weather in April was really good and a chance for a lot to start training but as we know at this time of the year the BOP are often feeding their young so are on the look out for an easy meal. The fancier’s I have spoken to regarding training have had mixed results, some say they are coming well while other’s saying they are not yet responding. Then I thought about the people I had been talking to and the ones who are mostly in the frame are the ones whose pigeons were doing well in training. Ray was telling me that his early tosses saw the pigeons have no interest in going straight home. As with all good pigeon fanciers his, then all of a sudden, they got themselves into gear and off they went from the basket, no circling, straight home.
I have mentioned him before, the master trainer to me was Brian Beardsmore who singled them up 1 minute apart from 20mls and local fancier Johnny Barton often watched them dropping in at the loft 1 minute apart. I was at the liberation point with Brian one day and he said let one of yours go with one of mine. I did and they circled for ages, I never tried it again and more to the point Brian did not want me to do it. Over the years I have heard fanciers say they do not train once racing has started but as Elizabeth will tell you we have seen those same fanciers out training their pigeons. Training can be an expensive part of pigeon racing and when we get the loft and young birds sorted, I will be looking for a van to train them, no more training in the back of the car. Ebony will have her own to train so she said her dad Steve will do it for her, do not know if she has told him yet, I know she has told him that he is taking her down to the marking nights.
At the moment some of the stock birds are at our house in a small 8x4ft section so not a lot of room, but she does come to see them and keep an eye on their growth. There are two absolutely beautiful mealies from the Murphy Nationals so it will be interesting to see if they are as good racing as their looks. Ebony’s stock birds from Ray Till who are with our good friend Nigel Shaw who is rearing us a few off them which will be ready to move when the loft goes up, if all goes to plan, but as with all plans it only takes one to be awkward and they are soon put on hold.
The photo is of the space where I am hoping the loft will be going, that is unless something unexpected happens. The garden is 45ft across the bottom and 60ft long so there is a good space to work with. The one thing I need to do is get rid of the bamboo in the corner where the loft is going, Mick Stockton said he can see that off.