Thoughts on Health in the pigeon loft by Les J Parkinson
Healthy pigeons make winners and that is fact, you cannot get away from the fact that pigeons will not win if they are unhealthy, unless they get a strong blow home and are glad to drop out of a batch when they go over their home loft, which has no doubt happened many times, but we don’t like to admit it.
What should we do to keep our pigeons healthy and capable of winning races?
The best time to start looking at the health issues in pigeons is after the racing season has finished. I say that because they will no longer be mixed with pigeons in the crates, pigeons that you have no idea of how they are kept and what measures have been taken to make sure that they are healthy.
My suggestion is you get your pigeons tested to see if there are any issues with them in the first place. Once you get your report back you can treat them as prescribed by the people testing them. We now have some good people to test pigeons so why not use them, pigeon racing is no longer in the dark ages when it comes to people knowing what they are talking about.
While all the testing is in progress you need to look at what ranges of natural products are available and decide which brand you are going to use. Don’t do what most pigeon fanciers do, and that is leave it until the tests get back and then spend weeks thinking “I will have to chase those natural products up” By then the pigeons health issues may have changed and you need to start all over again.
After the pigeons have been treated (if needed) and had a couple of months on the natural products you need to get them tested again for your own piece of mind. If all is well then you need to keep them on the system right through winter.
What do we do when the breeding season comes along;
If you have done the above the pigeons should be healthy and ready to go, they will still need to be on the natural products through the breeding season. What I did was to give them a reduced amount of the recommendations for the products, there was no reason why, I just did it that way.
Then when all young birds are moved, they need testing again to see if they are still a healthy batch of pigeons. As we know old birds will peck anywhere when they are feeding in the nest. It is also worth getting a good spray and going around your garden just in case the wild birds are not as healthy as they should be. I used a product called FAM 30 on the advice of the local vet when I was farming so I used it for a long time. The one thing you must remember is, don’t put it on too strong, it won’t do the pigeons any harm but if it rains heavy you will have a foamy garden.
What I did do when the young were moved was to vaccinate all the pigeons in the loft at the same time late March/early April. They were vaccinated for Paramyxovirus and Paratyphus and they had a good One Spot on the back of the neck.
When everything above was done I used to either burn the loft out with a blow torch or spray it with Vircon S, blow torch was the preferred option.
They then went back onto their natural products for the racing season and then as soon as that was over it was back to square one.
There was one product I always stuck too, no matter what and that was Vior. I had a question for my reports and that was, “If you could only give your pigeons one product, what would it be” The answer was always Vior, they should be on it at least 4 days a week all year round. That is as good an answer of health I could give anyone.