Young bird racing – some recommendations
TRAINING; FEEDING AND FEED ADDITIVES
To reduce loss of young birds (YBs) and to win young bird racing there are two major requirements:
1) As much training as possible, preferably daily releases along the direction for the races until races starts – typically out to roughly 100 km. The traing may start 3-4 weeks before the first race. After the first race, small distance training (15-50 km) in-between the races is recommended to keep them “ready”. Single training (YBs released one-by-one) may be OK in the start – but flock training is necessary to achieve the needed speed on return from traning and on race day.
2) Keep the YBs healthy.Special attention has to be on the health of the YBs as their natural immune defence system has not been completely developed. And they become exposed for diseases and paracites when gathered in the baskets in the warm and humidic summertime – sharing air and drinking water with YBs from other lofts with unknown health status.
A good indicator of the YBs health is their zest for flying around the loft – it should be at least 1-1.5 hours flying and preferably high in the sky and away in periods of 10-15 minutes. Preferably twice a day at the beginning of the week and once a day the last days before basketing. On basketing day we prefer to keep our YBs locked into the loft to build up energy and to avoid stressful potential attacks from hawks and falcons. Another good health indicator is that all the YBs should leave the loft immediately when they get their access and opportunity to fly out – birds sitting left inside the loft may need to rest and should be examined thoroughly for possible injuries or diseases.
We like to introduce our race performance and health programs to keep the YBs as healthy as possible through the coming races. First of all, feeding (amount and type of grain) shall be adjusted to distance and weather conditions. We suggest that you follow the recommendation of your grain vendor. Secondly, the needs for feed additives such as health promoters, vitamins, oils, amino acids, electrolytes etc, also depends on the distance. Our recommendations for the natural Pigeon Vitality Products are the schedules as the ones listed on our website:
One night in basket (100-300 km):
Middle distance (400-550 km) – two night in basket:
One warm days and if the race is next day (one night in the basket), we use a syringe and a plastic tube to fill each YBs with 15-20 ml pure water (room temperature adjusted) just before the basketing. This is to reduce dehydration on the race next day.
THE HEALTH PROGRAM
The health program is very important for all racers – and as pointed out above, in particular, the YBs since their immune defense system has not been developed completely yet. Note that our best sellers Improver and AntiFungal are recommended the first days in the week in both of the above mentioned schedules. The combination of these two products has been reported to reduce the loss of YBs and increase the performance and number of prizes won, see e.g. this reference. Additionally, we treat our YB racers on regular basis in the racing season against canker and respiratory diseases with our natural products TriColi-STOP (powder or capsules) against canker and against respiratory diseases, Broncho Plus and Clearify alternating. The following schedule is recommended:
DOSAGE ON THE GRAIN WITH TRICOLI STOP POWDER (moisture with Omega-3): 1 heaped tablespoon (8 gram) per kilo grain. This 1 kilo grain mixture shall be given to 50 YBs Tuesday evening.
Against respiratory diseases
In the racing season: 2 ml per liter water 2 days per week after the race
In the racing season give every 2nd week or when needed (e.g. when warm and humid weather) Can be mixed with all Pigeon Vitality products
Before racing season. We recommend to give Broncho Plus (2 ml per liter water) in 5 days.
We have found that the pigeons respond well on 3-4 successive days with Clearify every 2nd week (10 ml / liter water), i.e. the week when they don’t get Broncho Plus.
Wish you all great success with the coming up YB races!
For Pigeon Vitality,
Dr. Frode Brakstad