Occasionally we find a super breeding pair. We then try to monopolize the young produced from the pair by swapping eggs to foster parents. Maybe the racing results are not what we expected from the fostered out babies. Are we missing something? Could there be a link between the immunity/antibodies passed from the parent’s pigeon milk , to the baby, to performance? We know pigeon antibodies are passed to the young through milk. We always talk about the quality of this milk but never the quality and diversity of the antibodies in this milk.
Genetics plays a big factor in strong immune system. Exposure to pathogens many relatively harmless plays a big factor in the development of a strong immune system. Vaccines also play a major role in the strengthening of the immune system and increasing the immune response to pathogens. Is there something else?
I have a theory that old pigeons have been exposed to many pathogens in their lifetime. What they lack in the quality of their milk may be enhanced by the quality and diversity of antibodies in this milk. Now to my first thought……Consider that champion breeders may be passing something other than genetics to their young.
Bottom line is mate the old breeder to a younger pigeon. Let them raise the young and send these out to the big futurity. The youngsters from the old pigeon may have an advantage with a better immune system. The common theory is the older pigeon has less quality pigeon milk than the younger pigeon. I am not sure if any studies have been done on this. It could be older pigeons have less vitality (due to age) and interest to pump such milk to their young.
If you have a choice let your old champion pigeons raise their own youngsters. Use these youngsters for breeding. Why not give yourself every opportunity for success. We see many late breds from the old superstars go on to be exceptional breeders. Usually it is the late breds that are actually raised by the old breeder. Here at McLaughlin Lofts our breeders raise nearly 100 % of their own young. If there is a connection between a champion racer or breeder and its immune system (genetics/pigeon milk) I like to give the champ every opportunity to pass this to their young.
Nearly all of us in the Baby Boomer generation were bottle fed babies. I feel many health issues we face in our adulthood could be connected to being bottle fed. This is very tough to prove but worth considering.
In case of Emergency… Break Glass!
is a list of emergency medications/supplies a fancier should never be
caught without. If your best pigeon is sick you do not want to waste
time placing an order. If you need to hand feed a youngster please be
Live Saver Capsules http://www.vitakingproducts.com These capsules work when all else fails. I start with Baytril and or Amoxicillan and if an immediate improvement is not seen begin the Lifesaver Capsules. You can also follow up a treatment with the Lifesaver capsules. This product tends to bring the pigeon around and eliminate the problem.
Amoxicillan Powder 10% If I pigeon looks extremely sick and listless, mix 1/8 teaspoon in one ounce of water and use the bulb syringe to fill the crop of the pigeon. You should see an improvement the next day. Do not offer feed or water for 24 hours after treating. Give the same dose on the day two if you see an improvement. Continue treatment for up to ten days going to 1/16 of a teaspoon of amoxicillan to one once of water each day. Let the pigeon eat and drink normally after the first 24 hours of treatment.
Metronidazole Tablets Usually if a pigeon does not look well I give it a tablet of metronidazole and then start using the baytril or amoxicillan immediately. If you eliminate canker and then start treating for salmonella and ecoli you should cover and cure the major diseases.
Baytril Liquid You must ask the supply house for this. They do not advertise. Seven tiny drops each day down the throat for ten days. Can be used in place of the amoxicillan or if the amoxicillan shows no improvement use the baytril. I use tiny drops off a small syringe that I use to vaccinate the pigeons.
LA 200 Keep an injectable antibiotic on hand for any one eye colds,rattles or respiratory issues you may have. We use LA 200 an oxytetracycline. Inject 0.4cc at the base of the back of the neck and in two to three days all the symptoms will be completely gone. Buy a very small bottle of LA 200. It goes a long way.
Breed from the Crosses!
1.Breeding top performing racing pigeons takes some skill, some luck and some excellent stock. With that said, many US fanciers are always on the quest for pigeons that are pure, inbred, line bred, straight etc. Many here are looking for endless generations without the introduction of a cross.
What do the real champions do? The greats in a sport keep a line of related pigeons and constantly cross in the blood of other superstar pigeons. If these crosses win in big competition the cross is then used for breeding and the line continues. Do not be afraid of breeding from the cross especially if it dominates on the race course.
What do the following sport changing pigeons have in common?? Kleine Dirk, of Koopman, 178 and Den Dikke 584 of Engels, Invincible Montaubon and Bronze of Casaert, all the famous original Meuleman pigeons, Bliksem of Vandenabeele, Daniel and Dikke Prinz of Van Reet, Shadow of Myrtle Lofts, Dromer of Sablon etc etc etc. These pigeons were all total crosses and all started a legacy of champions in our sport.
Sure there are plenty of inbred pigeons that have become famous breeders but I bet there are more crossed pigeons that have had a bigger impact. Next time you are contemplating on breeding from a cross, please think of the above list.Secret 51
1..Sometimes I feel our pigeons are more likely to train us than us train them. An example of this is how quickly they learn to act very hungry at feeding time. They can put on such a show of starvation when they may not be hungry at all.
One trick I use to keep feed consumption down and make sure the pigeons are fully satiated in the winter, is to add 25% high quality rabbit pellets to the mix. The pigeons will eat the rabbit pellets if they are truly hungry. In the winter I feed until there are a handful of rabbit pellets left over in the feeder after the daily meal. Grain costs will drop drastically because the pigeons will eat noticeably much less when rabbit pellets are in the mix.
The rabbit pellets are highly nutritious and provide greens in the form of nutrient rich alfalfa. The rabbit pellets will help with fertility and fill in the micro-nutrient gaps only to be found in vegetable matter. 5% rabbit pellets year round in the mix will provide all the greens pigeons will ever need. I buy rabbit pellets that have the #1 ingredient as alfalfa or alfalfa meal. 50lbs of rabbit pellets will be less expensive than the low cost grain blends. Mix in the rabbit pellets, your pigeons and your wallet will be thankful you did.
Super Feather Usually Equals Super Pigeon
One thing that is a constant amongst the greatest pigeons in our sport is they all have super feather quality. It is tough to describe the amazing feather quality of National Ace pigeons. I once compared trying to describe what the feather feels like on one of these elite champions to describing the aroma of fresh baked bread. Once you handle the pigeon or smell the bread you just know what it is. I was in the pigeon sport for 15 year s when I first traveled to Belgium and Holland. That was the first time I handled a pigeon with elite feather quality.
There are many great pigeons with excellent feather quality but very very few have feather quality that is freakish in nature. These freaks are so few and far between. In most cases they can never breed a pigeon to compare to themselves. This might be because it is nearly impossible to find a mate that will be equal. Cherish the pigeons winning in major competition that have elite feather quality.
Feather quality definitely offers a competitive advantage but more likely this outstanding external quality is a mirror of the outstanding internal quality. If you are selecting pigeons start by selecting the pigeons from a long line of champions with incredible feather.