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message posted on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

"Women are like pigeons, the more interest you show, the more trust you get"

In BLUE HEAVEN LOFT everything goes by plan. We’re ringing a lot although there are still some couples that were a bit later by laying eggs, which don’t have any youngsters. But I’m sure they will follow. There was only a short period of giving light and that what we feel now. Hereby again the prove that the condition of our pigeons depend on THREE important aspects: the play between LIGHT and DARK, the TEMPERATURE (heath) and the MOISTURE on the loft.  When you know how to make a good combination of these three aspects, you’re far ahead to the other competitors. Although it’s a kind of utopian dream  to make these fixed values… All of this is different on every loft and they’re influenced by certain circumstances like: the situation of the loft, the environment, the used materials to build the loft, the aeration and of course also the weather conditions are very important.

Sometimes you see that certain lofts score less when the weather is bad with a lot of rain and wind. When they get a long dry period with a lot of sun, they do much better. Isn’t this the prove that there are no fixed values on a loft? DARKENING and/or GIVING LIGHT?  Sometimes they ask the question how we use the  DARKENING SYSTEM on the BLUE HEAVEN LOFT?  Before we answer this question, we would like to tell more about the system of darkening and giving light. Also why the system is used a lot on almost every loft? By darkening, we try to make sure that the pigeons hold on longer to their pinions but they still throw their little feathers (head, breast and neck) which will be renewed. Also the functioning of the hormones is slowed down.

By giving light, you get the opposite : the pinions will fall sooner, one by one, not two at the same time like it sometimes happens in autumn. Hereby we try to stop the break so that everything goes by a normal and natural procedure of the moulting.  That’s what giving light takes care of.   From now on the functioning of the hormones will be stimulated too.

When all of this is clear, you have to decide for yourself what you want to achieve and when you would like to score the highest.  The beginning of darkening is very important here and the same with giving light. We in BLUE HEAVEN LOFT do it a bit different as others. Here not only the youngsters get darkened for 4 months, 14 hours a day and this from March 1st till the end of June.  Also the old birds, the racers are darkened 14 hours a day from half February till the end of April, always from 18.00 hours till 8 the next morning. Mostly everybody else starts at the longest day and the shortest night.  This seems normal and generally used.  We can say and also found out that these lofts will hold on till half of August. On our loft, the lights will get on much later because we want to play our pigeons every week till half of September… So the stimulation of the hormones will only start at the end of July, beginning of August …

Also our racers, which are doing winter breed, got more light. When we returned form the national days in Oostende Nov.20th), we put on the light. But once they laid their second egg, the lights go out.  It’s also important to separate your racers in time and again, even if their little one isn’t big enough. You have to prevent that your hens will lay a second time. This is only wasted effort.  There’s always the problem that they will throw their first pinion and we have to prevent this by moving the hen to the lof ton which she will race during season. So early separation is necessary.  Of course this is different when you don’t play with the hens, then it’s not that important...

Once the hens are staying in their compartment, the circulation starts on BLUE HEAVEN LOFT. This means that the hens go out twice a day, to come back to their youngsters.  At that moment the cocks are moved to the compartment of the hens. When the cocks are training, the hens get the time to eat and to feed their little ones.  Afterwards they move again to their compartment, where you only find a drinking pot and after some time of freedom their locked inside.

Now the time has come to take all pigeons in the hand and to take a close look.  You will probably find some birds which have blue flesh next to the chest-bone. Usually this means that the liver isn’t functioning that well and this can lead to strain of the kidneys. At that moment it’s important that you start to feed less and lighter. Also a treatment with Sedochol is very good. Make sure that you have a lot of oxygen on the loft without causing draught.

Sometimes when you go on your loft after dark without putting on the light and listen quietly.  It’s possible that you can hear your pigeons stamp and when you see them peaking their feathers more than normal during the day… this can be a sign of vermin. Probably the blood-louse isn’t far away and you have to take care of it.

Conclusion : Already for two years we all have the thought that to pair at the beginning of February, like they used to do in the good old times. With these youngsters you can easily play the national flights of the youngsters if you bring them on a nest. This can be easily done when you pair them to an older partner and you don’t have to darken them either. Also the child-diseases are reduced because nature can do it’s own work without treating…Nevertheless we still didn’t do it…although the winter is long and cold and my wife always is very cold when we have to take care of our feathered friends. Not long ago she asked: ”Is it all worth it to do the winter breed, when you see that already we have so many lost long before the national races start?”  Of course this is a true fact but to me it’s all clear now: everything my wife notices something are says something, she’s right.  Finally I have to admit: ”Women come from Venus and we men from Mars. Women always need to feel special, while we men are living to be appreciated. To me it’s important that women see that I want to help and that they thank me for it. Usually they do so without asking.  Till next time, we’ll be back...


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© 2004 Michel Vanlint
Michel Vanlint
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