Frequently asked questions

The one problem I am aware is the anemic condition one may experience if organic acids (as e.g. formic acid, acetic acid, vinegar and similarly) are used as acidifier in the drinking water.

It has briefly been mentioned of Victor Vansalen in his wonderful textbook Champions Reveal, on page 68 saying : “The well-known dietician from Nijmegen, George Ubben, advises strictly against the use of vinegar and says it should be replaced by lemon juice because vinegar could cause anaemia“.

My research into this field showed that the reason for this anaemia is that organic acids metabolise folic acid (vitamine B9), see e.g “F.M. Huennekens and M.J.Osborn, Folic acid coenzymes and one-carbon metabolism, Adv. in Enzymology and related Areas of Molecular Biology, Volume 21.(eds. F.F.Nord, 1959, Interscience Publishers” . And lack of folic acid cause anamia (simlar sypthoms as lack of vitamine B12).

The conclusion is that if vinegar or formic acids, in fact all kind of small organic acids (not fatty acids!) are used as acidifiers, there should be added  correspondingly additional amounts of folic acids either to the pigoens feed or to the pigeons drinking water to compensate for the use of folic acid in the metabolism.

This is exactly what we did when we originally  formulated our Improver. To compensate for the metabolism of folic acid by the content of formic acid in Improver, we have added enough folic acid into Improver to balance for the extra need of folic acid.

So if sufficient amount of folic acid is added to the feed or the drinking water, vinegar may be a good supplement to the pigeons.

However, if vinegar og acetic acid is given without giving additional amont of folic acid, the effect will be loss of form, anemic and apatic pigeons.The racing result will drop and they will be mostly lost on long distance racing or even on middle/sprint distance racing if the the weather is tough, e.g. strong headwind.

I hope that this may be for some help.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

I have done some experimental tests on solubility on the folic acid variant we do use in our Improver, and it seems to dissolve well in water. This is in accordance with information from Wikipedia ( where folic acid is presented as watersoulble.

It is given a reference (ref.1) to in the ChemIDplus database saying a watersolubility of 1.6 mg/L at 25 °C. As 0.5 gram Improver contains more than 1.6 mg folic acid, the drinking water should at least be saturated with folic acid.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

Nutrient expert

For Border Canary birds I recommend to use Improver and AntiFungal 3 days at week. 1/4 measure spoon of each product blended into 5 liters of water.

This mixture may easily well be blended with apple vinegar, 3-5 ml /liter water.

Best regards

Dr. Frode Brakstad

Improver is a highly concentrated product (world wide patented) that is mixed with the drinking water to kill pathogenic bacteria. It will simultaneously stimulate the good bacteria and the normal micro flora of the pigeon and thus increase the immune system and the pigeons resistance against bacterial diseases such as: Paratyphoid/Salmonella, E.coli and the widespread protozoan parasite canker. The following strengthened  natural immune defense system protects again other diseases in stress periods..

Instruction of use: 1 measure spoon (2.5 gram)  per 5 liters (or 1 Gallon) of water, 3 times a week, all year long.

Content: Formic acid, mineral salts of formic acids, Vitamin B1, B6, B9 & B12, magnesium, & more.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

If it is the threadlike fungi Aspergilliose, then it may have spread to the lung and the pigeon may never be able to race anymore (biút you can breed on them). No treatment will cure this.

If it is  the fungi candida, the treatment for mycoplasma and respiratory will make it worse. If this is the case there is however hope in the following treatment:

For 10 days give:

1 measurespoon Improver and 1 measurespoon AntiFungal in 5 liters of water, every day. Add in addition 25 ml vinegar to the 5 liters (5 ml per liter).

Pls let me know how it turns out.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

I guess you already have treated your birds, in my experience treatment with Tiamutin or a combination of Terramycine & Tylane will do.

Remember that Mycoplasma often has a root coause, too much pigeons relative to loft space in combination with wet weather is a normal cause. Please try to find and repair the root cause, or else the disease will surely come back.

There is no problem to use these birds for breeding, even if the liver has ben damaged.

Thank you!

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

Thank you for your thorough description. Its not unlike what we do ourselves, with minor differences. For our racers (adult pigeons):


We use the basic feed advises from Matador,, which we have changed slightly. We give the hens on the turnabout system slightly less proteins, and for all pigeon we add 10% mixture of corn (maize) and brown rice (its 40% rice, 60% maize in this mixture) to the feed for the sprnt and medium distances (brown rice and corn has the lowest glycemic index and the energy from these will last some longer than from other grains).

For the long distance birds they will have 5 peanuts each each day the last three days before basketing. We do not fly overnight races (> 900 km), altough we plan to do from the 2013 season). Both sprinters, middle distance and long distance pigeons get som additional chicken pellets (maximum 5%) on their grains the days after race and the days thereafter. The chicken pellet we use contains  added amounts of the essential aminoacids methonine (0.5%) and Lycine (1.3%), two important aminoacids that among other is bulding bricks for Lecitine, which again support fat metabolism). The brand of chicken pellets we use is Kromat 3, a norwegian product that we import to Denmark for own use. Its really superb.


In mid-week we usually release hens 5 minutes befr the cooks each tuesday or wednesday. They are allowed to be together in the loft for 5-15 minutes. In this way we get them motivated and reduce the lesbian behaviour of the hens. The last three weeks of the season we let the cocks and hens in their boxes together 2-days (Monday-Wednesday).


We treat against Salmonella 14 days with Baytril or Emdotrin 60% in February, whereafter we vaccinate. 3 weeks before first race they receive a 5 days cure agaist cancer (usually Ronidasole 10%, but we try to alternate with as many cancker medicies as possible). Every third week we treat against cancker Sunday-MondayTwo weeks before first race we treat against coccidiosis giving Baycox (3 ml /liter) in their drinking water for two days. We repeat this treatment every 6th week through the whole race season.

We do not treat against ornithosis or mycoplasma on regular basis. However, we examine our pigeons carefully in periods with high humidity (rainy or warm weather), and if we believe it is nesessary we imidiately treat with either Timutin or a mixture with terramycine&Tylane. To avoid the need for regular treatment gainst air-sack diseases we have optimized the construction of the loft. Good and dry air and stable temperature without draught is the key. We uses fan in day time in the hot summer to get rid of high humidity and a termostate secure that oven tubes placed under the boxes (80 kWatt per meter) is turned on when temperature get below 18 degrees Celsius.


The drinking water:

We give Improver and AntiFungal in the drinking water the day of return (doble dosage 1 teaspoon- 5 grams- of each product in 5 liter of water) together with the electrolyte product Belgamax.

The day after they get normal dosage of Improver and AntiFungal (2.5 gram of each in the drinking water). Rest of the week pure fresh water. Every third weed we blend the canker medicine with Improver&AntiFungal on Sunday, but gives the medicine only in the drinking water on Monday. Every sixth week we give Baycox Sunady and Monday, both dasy without mixing with anything else.

By using Improver and AntiFungal we inhibit the spread of pathogenic bacterias in the drinking water, and we stimulate the microflora in the gut and intestinates. All securing as fast recupteration as possible.

On feed:

The day after race (usually Sunday) they get 5 gram Oxy-B per liter feed. Oxy B contain antioxydants purifying the blood and B-vitamins beneficial for metabolism, apetite and for rebulding muscles. It contain aslo the prober selection of  iron, B6, B9 and B12 which is elemens in building the reb blood legeems that transport oxygene the the muscles.

Mid-week we give 5 gram/liter feed with our multivitamin product MutliViTra, containing all the needed vitamins and traceelements that is need for pigeons. The content of traceelements and vitamines in Oxy-B and MultiVitra is balanced so they together gives exactly the right dosages of what is needed.

For both Oxy-B and MultiViTra there is a need to moisture the corn som the products get sticked to the grains.

We use our own omega 3 oils for the purpose of moisturing the grain, 10 ml per liter of grain. The omega 3 oil we prefer is a blend of 34% EPA and 22% DHA, these two most important Omega 3 acids secure high metabolism, endurance in races and is benefical for the immune defence system. This oil product we call Omega Optimal, although we have not started to commercialize it yet. However, on request we may ship a bottle.

So we use Omega Optimal on the grain on Sundays (with Oxy-B) and on Wednesday (with Multvitra). As an important energy source, we even give pure Omega Optimal the day before basketing on middle and sprint distances (usually on Thursday), and an extra day with pure Omega OIl on the grain on Tuesdays for the long distance racers.

We have used this system the two last years and we have won both the open sprint and the sport long distance championships on the system this year in our region (roughly 60 fanciers located around Frederikshavn in Denmark) . On the middle distance we ended up as no. 4, but last year we won the middle distance championship in the region as weel as in the district being 2/3 of the Northern part of Denmark (close to 900 fanciers competing).

It is of course not a fasit on how to treat, feed, train and motivate, but this is how we have done it the last two years with success. Hopefully you can get some ideas from our system that can be inckudd in you own system.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

We have two fillers for Oxy-B, one being based on calciumcarbonate and therefor grey and one being based on an immunostimulant called Progut (the colour is brown). You have probably got the grey one, havibng the same content of vitamins and antooxydants as the brown.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

To become a distributor for Pigeon Vitality products you will have to purchase a minimum of 50 products.

On approval a pricelist will be sent to you outlining the resellers purchase prices of each product.

On shows such as Kassel or Dortmund you should sell the products with a small discount to encourage sales.

We will take care of production, international marketing and patentcosts, while the reseller will be responsible for any domestic marketing cost.

Send us some information abour yourself and your interest (, and we can set up a distributors agreement.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

To be able to answer you exactly, I have to know where you are located and whether you raise youngsters in the winter or not.

If we assume no winter breeding, You should use our products as following for the breeders:

Daily: 1/4 teaspoon Improver and 1/4 teaspoon of AntiFungal in the drinking water, except in the winter months when pigeons are resting.

Twice a week give the breeders 1 teaspoon per liter feed with Oxy-B. In the winter period once a week is enough. Moisture grain with a 50:50 rapeseed (or flaxseed)  : fish oil. In the winter period you can change the fish oil with cod liver oil where vit.A and D is added. Once a week give them our new multivitamin mixture called MultiViTra, 1 teaspoon per liter feed. Again moisture with the mentioned oil mix.

Additionall grit, oysters shell and grit of course. Use a grain mix rich in fat and proteins. Also add some dry milk poweder twice a week, as this is an excellent source of essential amino cids.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

Before season we treat against canker, coccidiosis and Salmonella/parathyphus. If allowed by the goverment in South Africa, we aslo recommend to vaccinate against Salmonella/parathyphus.


We recommend Imporver+AntiFungal (IA) to the racing pigeons after the following scheme:

The day of return , usually Saturday: Double dosage  IA (2 Improver measure spoon = 1 measure spoon =5 gram in 5 liters of water) of each product together with electrolytes (we use our own electrolytes: BelgaMax)

The day after, usually Sunday: Normal dosage IA (meaning half measure spoon of Improver and half measure spoon with AntiFungal to 5 liters of water)

Rest of week: pure water

Except every third week (treating against canker):

The day of return , usually Saturday: Double dosage  IA(2 Improver measure levels = 1 teaspoon=5 gram) of each product together with electrolytes

The day after, usually Sunday: Normal dosage IA + anticanker products as Ronidazol 10-20% or Gambakokzid

Two days after, usuall Monday: anticanker products

Rest of week: pure water

Every sixth week (treating against coccidiosis):

The day of return , usually Saturday: Double dosage  IA(2 Improver measure levels = 1 teaspoon=5 gram) of each product together with electrolytes

The day after, usually Sunday: Baycox, 3 ml/liter water

Two days after, usually Monday: Baycox, 3 ml/liter water

Rest of week: pure water

Note . In addtion I give every Sunday on the feed Oxy-B (1 teaspoon per liter feed), and every Wednesday on the feed MultiViTra (1 teaspoon per liter feed). Both days I moisture the grain with 1 dinner spoon oil per 1 liter oil.

As Oil I mix 70% Flaxseed oil and 30% Fishoil (not cod liver oil, but EPA and DHA concentrates). Note ; in the winter time I give cod liver oil to all pigeons due to the D-vitamine content.


You should use our products as following for the breeders:

Daily: 1/4 teaspoon Improver and 1/4 teaspoon of AntiFungal in the drinking water, except in the winter months when pigeons are resting.

Once a week give the breeders 1 teaspoon per liter feed with Oxy-B. In the winter period once a week is enough. Moisture grain with a 50:50 rapeseed (or flaxseed)  : fish oil. In the winter period you can change the fish oil with cod liver oil where vit.A and D is added. Once a week give them our new multivitamin mixture called MultiViTra, 1 teaspoon per liter feed. Again moisture with the mentioned oil mix.

Additionall grit, oysters shell and grit of course. Use a grain mix rich in fat and proteins. Also add some dry milk poweder twice a week, as this is an excellent source of essential aminoacids. Many chicken pellets brands may also be beneficial to the breeders.


Weaning (first two weeks on new young bird loft). Daily normal dosage of IA (meaning half measure spoon of Improver and half measure spoon with AntiFungal to 5 liters of water), also add 5 ml vinegar per 1 liter water.  Thereafter:

Daily: 1/4 measure spoon Improver and 1/4 teaspoon of AntiFungal in the drinking water. Add 2-3 days a week 5 ml vinegar per liter water (to be mixed with IA).

Once a week give the YBs 1 measure spoon per liter feed with Oxy-B.  Moisture grain with a 50:50 rapeseed (or flaxseed)  : fish oil. Once a week give them our new multivitamin mixture called MultiViTra, 1 measure spoon per liter feed.

Again moisture with the mentioned oil mix.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

The active ingreedient of AntiFungal is potassiumsorbat. It is biological active at acidic environment (pH<5), so it should be given together with Improver (both products 1/2-1 measure spoon mixed in 5 liters of water).

To further lower the pH you can also add 5 ml vinegar per liter water.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

We will not lauch our omega 3 oil product before 2014, as we are not finsihed yet with the optimized formulation for pigeons.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

The Omega 3 oils has a great impact for breeders, YBs and racers as weel. Apart from being a fat source for energy (for the racers) , these fatty acids (EPA, DHA, ALA) are essential oils that have important functions for wellwere and intelligence (development of nerve s and even the brain).

I support my breeders with the Omega optimal daily form start of winterbreeding to after moulting. This support their and the YBs immune defence system. Twice a week in the wintertime I replace the Omega 3 with cod liver oil enriched with vitamine D. In the spring, summer and autumn, the pigeon syntesize their need of vit. D  from te sun. As too much Vit. D may be toxic, I only give cod liver oil in winter time.

The racers and the YBs have Omega Optimal on the feed two days after race and two last days before race (always moisutre with Omega Optimal when Oxy-B and MUltiViTra is given on the grain).

We have not yet started with a commercial sale of Omega Optimal, but have planned to do so from next year. What I do is that I buy high quality fish oil (with EPA, DHA) and flax seed oil(ALA), and I mix these 30:70, so the Imeag Optimal contain 70% Flax seed oil and 30 % fish oil (Note: Fish oil in NOT equal to cod liver oil, as cod liveroil contains  too much vitamine A and D for optmal performance).

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

The dosages on the tub is intended for pigeons, and should be lowered for  budgerigars.

Give 1/4 measure spoon (= 1/2 of the included measure spoon) to 5 liter water. And administer to the water  3-4 days a weeks. every second day wil do.

Best regrads,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

Yes, unfortunately Imporver attracs humidity. We have during the last year added ingreedients to minimize the problem, but still there a a bit to go. The active component of Imporver is a salt of organic acid, and it does not matter for that active ingreedient

if it is moisture present or not. Having said that, we have added some selected B-.vitamins as well and these may degrade if exposed to hunidity.

So honestly, thorugh that tub away. And next tub, keep it in a dry place, at least as dry as possible.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

In hot and humid summertime  I keep my Pigeon Vitality products products in the loft in a metal box with a cap. The cap is only removed the day in the weeks where I use the products, and then only some minutes. And in the box I have some ordinary salt with some rice grain in an open smalle box. The salt and  grain help to pick up the moisture  from the air and protect the Pigeon Vitality products to become moisten.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

The reason for stopping laying egg can be numerous, so it is really no single good advice for this.

In our breeding loft, it happens from time to time that one of the hens stop laying egg, even relatively young hen in age 1-2 years. These hens are in the breeding loft with all other hens, which lays egg perfectly in order.

I believe that the reasn for stop laying egg is one of two;

  1. A disease
  2. Malfunction for some reason that may be inherited and connected to genes (e.g. lack of calcium uptake, metabolism and similar).

If the reason in your case is 2., then it is really nothing to do.

If the reason belong to 1., my first guess would be an bacterial infection in the ovaries, I would have isolated the hen and given her e.g. Baytril for 10-14 days (1 ml per liter water). Thereafter I would have given her additives of multivitamins and B-vitamines daily for 3 days (MultiViTra and Oxy-B or similar products). A week after treatment I would have given my bird daily addition of Improver and AntiFungal in the drinking water ( to restore natural balance of the microflora in the intestines and to avoid picking up secondary infections). Also having the hen free flying and in relaxing atmosphere may help.  Cod liver oil do contain vitamine D, which also may be gived on the grain some days after Baytril medication has stopped. Vitamine D aid the uptake of Calcium.

If it is a valuable pigeon, you may also want to visit the local Vet to get his/her advise.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

I have heard the Vitamine E and Zink may help fetilizaton, so may be you could find feed additives wih these two nutrients are abundant.

If you have a tub of the Pigeon Vitality product MultiViTra, you could try to give them 1 heaped measure spoon MultiVitra per kilo grain daily in two weeks, there after twice per week.

Content list in MultiViTra per kilo (moisture the corn/grain with 1 dinnerspoon Flaxseed oil per kilo grain) :

Also  I have heard that old birds are more fertile if they are free flying around the loft, as  compared to the breeders kept locked in in the loft. But I dont know the scientific value og this.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

I will try to explain som of the motivation for the changes of Improver.

As many of our customers are using vinegar together with our Improver & AntiFungal, we decided to to increase the content of B-vitamins in Improver, and in particular folic acid. The reason is that vinegar tends to metabolize folic acid, and thus cause anemia in the pigeon. Result will be loss of condition. And as access folic acid do no harm for the pigeon, we believed it was a good idea to increase the folic acid content. And this is not in conflict with the patent, as the patent is on the boost using selected B-vitamins and formic acid and salts of formic acids in combination. So far so good. We have noted that the color becopme more brown-red, but did not reflect that this was regarded as negatively.

The new formula inhibits the pathogenic bacteria just as well as the old formultaion, as the active ingredient (formic acid and its salt) is in same consentration as previously. So it still has a beneficial effect on the microflora in the intestines, and imporve the immune defence system of the birds. Also it disinfect the drinking water and reduce the danger of bacterial disease being spread by the drinking water. Also, when we do changes in our product we, even if the changes are based on scientific based theory and in vitro test, we always perform in vivo test by our field loft. Last year our field testing loft did very well on the new formulation, as three different chamiopnship were won including 1st Ace medium distance pigoen and 1st Ace long distance pigeon in our region.

(see intervju with our field loft Jensen&Brakstad at

I also tested the products on our YBs last year. They had a great zest for flying, see video on

Anyway, again thank you for your feedback and good luck with your pigeons in future.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

We usually recommend half dosage of both products (Improver & AntiFungal) for the breeders (pigeons: 1/4 measure spoon of each product per 5 liter of water), and 3-4 days a week until the weaning of the YBs.

The first two weeks after weaning the YBs are given this dosage every day to keep stress related diseases away.

We do treat our birds before season against parathyphus/salmonella/e.coli by Emdotrin 60% (1 teaspoon per 4 liter water in 10 days), canker by ordinary Ronidazol and coccidiosis giving 3 ml/ liter water with Baycox in two days.

Thereafter 3-4 days with Oxy-B (other B-vitamin product than our Oxy-B will of course also do!).

Wish you all the best with the breeding.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

That should be OK. The electrolytes, salts and the selected vitamins will still be active.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

My canary birds get Bird Improver every second day all year around.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

No. Unfortunately it will not work.

The amount of active ingredient in the capsule is 90 mg. So there will be a need of 20 x 90 mg per litter to administer to 20 pigeons (each drinking 50 ml per day). So the concentration will be 1800 mg = 1.8 gram. And the pigeons will not drink more than roughly 1000 mg per litre, too little to kill the trichomonas.

TriColi Stop has been design and dosages to adult pigeons, so it should not be given to YBs at age less than at minimum 4-5 weeks.

Best regards,

Dr. Frode Brakstad

No. We recommend to give it every third week, and may be increase to every second week in warm periods.

Having said this, I must admit that I don’t know if it is beneficial to give it every week. As TriColi STOP was launched this spring, we really don’t have any field experience with its use.

I am a pigeon fancier myself, and I am this season testing what happen if we give it each weekend. I am doing this on my yearling. The yearling loft is divide in two room, one with hens and one with cocks.

The cocks receive TriColi STOP every 2-3 weeks, while the hens receive it each weekend.  So far, after 4 weekends I must say that there is no statistical significant difference on the performance, although the best positions have been received by the hens. After the season I will publish the results.

What University of Ghent found was that after the administration of one capsule the trichomonas was 100% killed in 60 % of the YBs, and almost completely killed in 40 % of the tested birds (in average 99.8%) 3 hours after the administration. 15 hours after the administration, there was still no trichomonas in the three birds with 100%, while the trichiomonas counts was reducted by 50%  in the two  birds that had small presence of trichomonas (so 15 hours after administration in average 99.9% of the trichomonas were killed) .

After 3 hours the TriColi STOP together with the water and feed in the crop goes further dome to the birds stomach, whereafter it passes the intestines. So I guess that after roughly three hours we can’t say that the TriColi STOP is effective in the crop anymore.  But the trichomonas has been reduced by in average with 99.9. The small amounts of trichomonas that is left in some birds, should be suppressed by the birds natural immune defence system.

Sio the idea is that the level of trichomonas shall be significantly reduced in the racing loft in-between the races, so the birds can develop peak condition. But of course, next time they are basked´ted they will probably pick up

trichomonas again from the drinking water….and it will be their natural immune defence system that must handle this new infection until they get their new capsule with TriColi STOP.

I use myself at return the following combination:

Rebuild + Belgamax (electrolytes) in the drinking water until the afternoon. The BCAA (branched chain amino acids) in the Rebuild secure healing of small micro fractures in the muscles, while the the electrolytes secure fast energy from the sugar.


From afternoon the day of return and the next two days my pigeons receive the mix of Improver and AntiFungal.

Rotosal is also an energy boosting product, so combining it with Rebuild is a good thing. The main active ingredient in Rotosal is butafosfan – a substance which boost the ATP energy giving process in the mitochondria. Note however that most fanciers I know who uses butafosfan, they give in 1-2 days before basketing and maximum 5 times during a season. The to use it every weekend may be some “over- do”

The combination of Improver and AntiFungal will be acidic (pH 4.8-4.9). If the pH of pure UsneGano is acidic, it will be safe to mix it with Improver + AntiFual.

However, if the pH of pure UsneGano is basic (i.e. pH > 7.0), chemical reactions that affect the pigeons performance may occur.

UsneGano contain Usninsäure, so my guess is that it is acidic. But to be sure, I would have bought so-called pH paper in the Pharmacy and tested. If it is acidic, I think the combination with Improver and AntiFungal is a good idea!