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My Barcelona Dream Part 7


My Barcelona Dream Part-7

So I believe the last article it was moulting and resting time for most. For others it was selection time and worry if culling is necessary or not. I explained I did not have this worry about this as explained I am on a 4 yearly cycle..

 So for me breeding began in January around the 15th. I have to say it was not a good start and I did not know the reason why and still do not. I had the lights on as usual for 3 weeks prior to breeding in order to have the birds in form for it.  All went as normal the same as previous years and so I started to pair. I must say I have never had so many birds to work with. To have 28 pair of stock is a very new thing to me and has taken some getting used to. Pairing went without a hitch though and they all took to each other with no issues. I was pairing up 13 pairs as normal and the others were the hens I was putting on the Bull System with 2 different cocks. Up to 2 weeks after pairing I only had 13 hens had laid. I was not a happy bunny to say the least. I had let the race birds pair up at the same time in order to use them as feeders. And so I floated the 13 pair of eggs in order to separate the stock for a week.  After this and a week later I again paired up without a hitch. The birds that had not laid the first time were a mix of birds on the bull system and also those just paired naturally so I could not put my finger on why this happened. Luckily this time round from the pairing day 26 from 28 pairs were down in 10 days. This I am extremely happy about. Of the other 2 that didn’t lay 1 is a very late bred hen and I’m not worried about her she will lay when she is ready and has the freedom of the section. The other pair are interesting. I rarely have a problem sexing birds but was stuck this time round. I thought I had 2 cocks and 2 hens from the Polish birds I had gotten in last October. However this is not the case. 1 of the hens has turned out to be a cock this giving me 3 Cocks and 1 Hen. Funny thing is that this cock has never behaved like a cock. He is a summer bred youngster from 2015 and so should have been well mature by January and this is why I’m surprised. Anyway it is no matter I will be holding the youngsters from the hen so I can pair the hens to their uncle. 

As it happens breeding has gone to plan for the most part. The mixed bag as I call them that arrived at Safe Haven Lofts last year have been breeding well. These include birds from John Halstead, Dave Delae, Frank Kay, Chris Gordon and some from Nic Harvey of Taunton. All in all to date I have approx. 30 youngsters from this mixed bag and am finished breeding from them. So far I have bred some beauties from the mixed bag. You can see here pics of 2 of the of these birds. The first I have bred from the pair of birds sent from Frank Kay whilst the second is a bird I have named Black Beauty and I’m sure you can see why. She is bred form a pair of birds sent to me by last years BICC National Winner from the Barcelona International Dave Delae.


Blue out of a pair from Frank Kay. The grandsire flew Barcelona in 2015 for Frank so  a blue blood through and through. A mere 879 miles of flying to Franks loft.

 Black Beauty. Sire is a half brother to Dave Deale’s BICC National winner  2015 from Barcelona. Dam is out of Dave’s second clock pigeon from the same race.

I’m now breeding from the Padfields for myself now and also I have Nic’s Addiction on the Bull System with 10 hens and all are laying at present.  I have done these in sets of 3, not as I would normally done as 2 sets of 6. These youngsters will be hatched over a week as I am doing the matings in sets of 3. A little spread out I think, however it is to suits my time that is available to carry out the system. I’m looking forward to seeing how all these youngsters turn out. It’s been an interesting journey so far breeding and I’m almost done. Hoping to be finished by the end of May. Then I can relax and just enjoy watching them fly around.

I’m also prepping for the races I’m hoping to enter. These are the Irish National Flying Clubs Yearling National race from Penzance and the BICC Poiters. Both of these races are on the week of the 9th of June so preparation is under way in earnest and the birds are looking well. They have had 1x50miler opener followed by 3x75 milers, followed by an 80 mile single up toss. Last training will be 200 single ups if I can get it in by the 7th May. From there the birds will be allowed to pair up and go to nest and will be set up on 2 or 3 day youngsters for the day of basketing for their respective races and I’ll be hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. I will have no yearlings or older birds if the do not make it from these races. My friend and mentor Mr. Jim Emerton terms this Race Reality. We shall see how these birds fair up under these testing circumstances. Feeding for these races is fairly simple following the Emerton published system and with advice from my friend Nic Harvey of Taunton. I’m hoping for good results and only one thing will see this happen and that is time.

So hopefully for the next instalment I will be reporting good news…..

Until next time

Michael Feeney

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