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My Barcelona Dream Part 2




by Michael Feeney of Ireland

Part 2

I will start this piece by rectifying an error in my last piece. I mentioned I thought Jim Emerton was the record holder from Barcelona with the BICC but I wasn’t sure. I can now correct myself and say he is actually still the record holder for the longest flying member of the BICC from Barcelona.

Now that’s out of the way I will start this piece giving names to my co-conspirators here in Dublin involved in this heinous plot. Firstly a long standing friend of mine Martin Dunphy, not known as a successful flyer due to the fact he has always been a silent partner with another fancier. Now setting out on his own, his loft will be stocked with those beautiful specimens from The House of Aarden and also with the Emertons. Setting out with a job in hand and filling the loft with the right bloodlines. The second of these individuals is Alan Knowles. He himself a successful fancier in recent years sprinting here in Ireland but also clocking birds to fly into Ireland from both the U.K. and France. So this is the team here that is slowly growing to include others and as the team grows so will the enthusiasm, I hope, for clocking into Ireland from that race point of race points.

So birds are in the loft, but only recently I might add, so in actual fact although I mentioned breeding a few youngsters this year, next year will be the first team that will be produced. How to go about this is not really a mystery: cock to hen and hope for the best in the offspring! I do not believe this. Although I don’t think that it is by any means easy to produce a bird that will have the potential to fly from Barcelona to Dublin, Ireland, I do think we can help our own chances. The genes of the birds that have completed the task already are in the loft so that in itself is a good start. Now the question is how do we compound and add those genes together to produce that most elusive champion. My theories are linked to simple genetics, although this is anything but simple. I plan to line breed my birds to have the main pigeon in the pedigree of each youngster as many times as possible. In this case I will use the example of Padfields Invincible. This fantastic cock will be the stud sire of one line of birds. All young from each and every year must be no further than being a grandchild of this super cock. Again the question, how can someone be sure of this?

Firstly as long as there are a number of direct children in the stock loft, this is in itself relatively easy. After producing grandchildren, these grandchildren must be mated with their aunts and uncles therefore ensuring that Padfields Invincible is no more than a grandfather to a good portion of the young produced every year. At each subsequent year some of the young can be mated making him a great grandfather and again a selection of these can then again be mated back to his children in the loft. This will be my sole aim with these birds, to have Padfields Invincible as much as possible in every pigeon’s pedigree. Then we come to my second line. These from the Jim Emerton birds. All of the birds I have go back to his birds that he has already inbred to produce his family of champions. In mating these firstly I will mate as closely as possible again putting the subsequent offspring back to their closest relatives within the stock team. This is all done in the hope of compounding the genes I believe are the sole preserve of the champion. I believe these to be recessive in nature. Meaning it will be very difficult to have them represent themselves in the production of that elusive exceptional bird.

In getting the stock I now have there is a clear difference in those that I possess as specific families. The beautiful Padfield birds are a dream to hold and caress. Sleek, full bodied and worthy of their ancestry. However on the other hand the Emerton birds are also exceptional in a different way. These are tough looking and they are individuals in their make-up, the likes of which I have never seen before. So much so that one specific bird I have taken to calling Sparrow. It is so small it is hard to believe it would be possible for her like to complete the journey from Barcelona to Dublin but, believe me, I think she would. She is by far the smallest pigeon I have ever held but upon watching her wow, what character. Character again a trait that is individual in perspective and in how it is judged. This Sparrow is so collected looking and thoughtful I can’t wait to see what she produces. She is beautiful in the hand and well-proportioned for her size and well balanced with a tail like an anchor, meaning in the hand it is nearly pointing at the floor.

Sparrow. She is the smallest mature pigeon I have ever held. What a specimen.

To be honest, with the team of stock that I now have I think the only reason I will not clock from Barcelona to Dublin would be that I am a bad fancier. However I do not believe that. I do believe I will clock birds regularly into Dublin from Barcelona… eventually.

I will finish this article by way of thanks to a few people. Firstly to Steve and Lesley Wright of The House of Aarden for their courtesy and professionalism whist dealing with them. Secondly to Jim Emerton because without him I would probably not have got in contact with the last two people to thank, which are Chris Booth of York and also Nic Harvey of Taunton. To you two gentlemen I can only offer my sincere thanks for the birds which have arrived at my door. I look forward to our chats and exchanging over the next few years as I strive to conquer My Barcelona Dream.

Until next time...



Elimar - November 2014