“CONSISTANCY AT THE TOP ISRF”
Gerry O’Mara & Family
Family Background and Clubs
My name is Gerry O’Mara I am 45 years of age I have been racing pigeons for 30 years. I started to race
on my own in the Dublin NE where I became top flyer and then moved to the Kildonagh & District RPC where I have been the top flyer since I joined the club in 2004 to the present day. In the Kildonagh & District RPC we have around 27 members roughly and between 200-300 birds go weekly and on a good week 500 birds would be sent from our club.
Gerry's Racing Lofts.
Section for Hens
The strains of pigeons I keep are originally Van Loons, Buschaerts from Alan Hindhaugh and some Van Loons from Davy Reid, over the years I have introduced Herman Custers which I purchased from Trevor Taylor and also some Raynearths (figo) they have blended in quite well. At the moment now it is just a blend of all the families of top winning pigeons that have won many races and topped the Fed ( ISRF ) on many occasions for me from 8,000 to 14,000 birds.
Birds +Racing System + Breeding +Young birds
My team is 21cocks and about 24 hens on roundabout and in my Stock loft I would house16 pairs .
I would breed around 60-70- young birds each year.The pairing up for the Stock birds is around December and the same for my racers, there is no fixed day in December only when I decide if I get a nice day weather wise to pair up. I have tried out different times and days of pairing up and I have found no matter what time or dates I paired up on it still made no difference in my results, basically once the racers are finished breeding 2-3 weeks before the first race starts.
Cheq. Pied Hen 2- 1st Clubs. Another top racing Hen for Gerry.
YB Section with grid pull out tray Box perches. Gerry with one of his YBs.
What I like to see in a Pigeon
What I like to see in a pigeon is a good strong eye and nice silky feathering . When you pick a pigeon up in your hands I like to look for a type of pigeon from small to medium this is my preference, I don’t like large pigeons, and I like to see pigeons with a bit of character in them, they will let you know.
Chequer Hen has 5 x 1st Club and is Dam G. Dam of winners including a 1st - Fed 12 864 birds.
Pigeon Loft + Stock Loft + Duties in the loft
My lofts is a 40’ foot long wooden construction, front of my lofts has a few openings with wire framed fronts for light and ventilation with a PVC - brown wooden grain effect ( see photo of lofts ), no ventilation at the bottom of the lofts, I have sliding doors at the front and sliding lath doors inside the corridor as well. The roof of my loft has corrugated pitched roof with clear Perspex running full half length of the lofts for light, and the air ventilation through the ridge of the roof. Since the ETS system has came in the last few years I have used the TAURIS system which I purchased from Gerry Daly who is the agent here in Dublin. It has been a very good system over the years and hasn’t let me down
No.1 Ace stock Cock Rocket Ronnie hisbloodlines have produced wellover 381st Clubwinners and 6x1stFeds
Figo another top stock Cock Sired 20x1st Clubs and 5 Feds.
Top Stock Pair on left Sired over 30x1st Club and 1st ISRF Open 3x1st Feds Dam of Rocket Ronnie 60x1st Clubs and 9 Feds
Inside the lofts there is 4-sections with a 3’ foot wide corridor running the full length of the loft .There are 2 - sections for Young Bird with 50 box perches in each section, as I would always have extra box perches available.
I have one section with 21 W/H nest boxes for the cocks and another section for the hens with perches. I also have a separate stock loft, the lofts are cleaned out every morning and evening twice a day. I brush down all the walls as I think dust is the biggest problem for us fanciers and our pigeons.
Feeding + Minerals /Grits +
The feeding is probably the most important thing , I think that is what separates a lot of fanciers from not winning a prize to a top fancier in their club, yes it is an art. My feeding for the old birds is not weighted out, how I feed is what I would call “ hand feeding method “ they are fed by hand on the floor until I think they have enough.They are never broken down and get a good w/hood mix.
My young birds will receive a high protein feed up until the racing starts and then onto a w/hood mix .There is no one particular pet store that I buy my feeding from, I could get it in the Corn - Store, Heno’s in SandyHill; it doesn’t really matter, it all depends on what brand names that I am looking for. The grits that I prefer to use are pick-stones, red grit and pink minerals mixed together, they want for nothing.
Medications + Diseases + Treatments
When racing I might treat my pigeons by giving medication during the week, and some weeks I might not, all the time I am just watching the pigeons they actually they tell you what they need. I treat against most diseases at the start of the year, they are all cleaned out for worms etc, and everything is done before the racing starts medication wise. When my young birds are weaned from the nest they are vaccinated against PMV and only vaccinated once a year.
The cocks are trained from 23 miles and also the hens. And after the first race maybe just the hens would be trained. With young birds I start training 5 weeks before the first race. I start training them myself from a distance 6-8 miles and gradually go further with Mark Byrne to 23 miles. I don’t bother basket training them at all, you could have them in the basket for 2-3 days while some of the young birds still won't drink, so I don’t bother I think if they want water they will find it.
Pigeon Weeklies + Magazines + Books + DVDs + Videos
Every week I buy and read the RP, BHW and Racing Pigeon Pictorial International magazine cover to cover, you never know when you might pick up a little tip somewhere you are always on the lookout. I am also on my computer looking out for pigeon articles and going through the Internet, it keeps you focused.
I have topped the Federation 35 times including four opens, competing against 8’000 – 14’000 birds weekly, I have won from all race points from the short to long; I have been the top flyer in Irish South Road Federation 7 times. Plus top flyer in the Federation 3-years running which was never done before, and I also topped the Fed 3-weeks running, again this is a record and hasn’t be done by any fanciers in the ISRF before. I have won all the awards, and averages at Federation level and at club level I have won over 200 x 1st. My birds have also won for many fanciers up and down the Country with 1st feds and 1st opens and club winners reported regular.