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message posted on Friday, February 18th, 2011

“Life is what you make of it...”

Loft of the youngsters 2011...
Look to the atmosphere in this loft

What’s going on in” BLUE HEAVEN LOFT” : we’re already half February…time goes fast.  During the 32nd Olympiad of 28-30.01.2011 in Poznan, Poland, we saw that our sport is still living, most certainly in the Eastern countries where the number of members are still rising. Finally a positive thing within our beloved sport and hobby.  In the meantime a lot happened. Youngsters are weaned and are already doing their “first steps”.  Some of them even do some experiments by flying around the roof.  The little feathers are falling, especially at the chest, the neck and the shoulders show some nude spots but we like this because it’s a sign of good health.  Our first job every day before we let our little ones in the corridor, we do some vacuuming on the loft, this is good for men and animal.  We don’t like the dust and the little feathers flying around and my wife is very consequent by this and she always wears a mask.  Mostly she has to point out that I’m not wearing my mask, it’s the kind the nurses and doctors use, very flexible and easy to wear.  Believe me, it helps and the pigeons get used to it, it’s cheap and it protects the bronchial tubes.  You should try it.  Before the daily cleaning, we start the air-condition system and this remains on till late in the afternoon, when all pigeons have eaten and get to rest.  Till March 1st, we let nature do it’s job.  What happens next, I will tell in one of my next articles.

You know by now that I like to talk with my wife.  Every day we talk about what happened that day; she about the breeders and the feeding-hens and I about the racers and the youngsters.  I think it’s important and by talking a lot we sometimes find good solutions; two know more than one.  Hereby we avoid several problems and if there are, we try to find a solution immediately.  By experience I know that women feel comfortable when a man starts a conversation.  To her it’s a prove that you are interested in what she sais and she doesn’t have to be afraid that she bores me.  Besides a woman feels loved and wanted if you show some sympathy for her problems.  How I know?  Well, this is simple; you learn to know women by living with them.  Often they agree with what you want but that doesn’t mean this is what they want…on the contrary.  Once I had a conversation with Madonna in Taiwan, after one of her concerts in Taipei.  You know hat she said? “Men don’t always get what they want because they’re afraid to ask what they really want.”

The compartment of
the racing-hens.
Look how they rest
despite they are locked up.

Let’s get back to the beginning of January…when all early winter youngsters were ringed.  I musn’t forget to tell you what I found out.  To avoid them from getting new eggs, we interfered, not like every other year but we tried something else.  We moved the hens to the section where they stay during the season when their youngsters were 10-12 days old.  Every day they got their freedom and then they could get together with their little ones to feed them.  Meanwhile, the cocks were moved to the section where the hens normally stay.  Once the hens get back on the loft, the cocks get outside and the hens back to their section, to spend the night.  So the cocks are always together with the little ones.  But then… after about two days by this system, something strange happened.  As well the cocks as the hens started to train like crazy.  I stood there and looked at it.  I let them be because it gave me a good feeling, not knowing that it was a mistake…even I make mistakes.  Result: as well with the hens as with the cocks, I noticed that they had the tendency to show some symptoms of “oblique flying”.  Now I panicked…I didn’t want to take any more risks and I soon turned over to the usual system.  We moved the hens, together with their youngsters to the loft of the youngsters.  Hereby rest returned and we could win about 10 days.  The little ones were already quick when they were left alone and the hens moved back to the rotation system.  The cocks are back in their boxes, which are half open and every week both sexes can come together for an afternoon or a night.  They also fly out together and when they get back inside they’re separated.  Why this story?  Well, we’re sure that those fanciers that only play the widowhood with cocks, best start the season on a large youngster.  Cocks that are played on this position, soon get their first super condition.  It’s even a fact that when this little one is a hen, you can play them till the young one fly in and out the box together with it’s father…Try it and you surely will be successful...

Loft of the widowers, red  bands : 1-12; Blue bands 13-24 ; green bands 25-36


Readers asked
“What about pea-straw on the loft of the widowers and the youngsters?” I used it all, all kinds of straw.  It seems nice at first but we don’t see everything.  When there are bad parts in it like mould, rests of mouse nests and other vermin, your choice will be made soon.  Within two weeks, we took away everything and burned it and as I heard, pea-straw is getting sparingly and no longer available in some parts of Holland.  When you’re looking for an alternative, you have a choice; cleaning every day or use the wooden rosters.  By cleaning every day, you have a good control on the manure, which is the guidance of the health of your birds.  Bad manure is a sign of a bad condition or health and you can react immediately.  With the use of wooden rosters, you don’t have to clean every day but make sure that the rosters are well applied.  The advice we would like to give: it’s best to apply them at a distance of at least 10 cm higher than the floor, best higher than lower.  It’s also best to apply them so that the bars are horizontally equal with the boxes.  Surely not vertical, which we did but we soon noticed that it was wrong and we asked the advice of the man who build our loft.  When the pigeons fly out of their box to the Floor, they need a grip when they land and when the bars are vertical, they often fall through the bars with their paws.  And another thing : when you don’t have floor-heating or warming plates, the manure under the rosters will pile up and with a damp climate the manure will form mould and you will soon smell it.  The smell is something you certainly don’t need on the loft, it’s not good for you nor for your birds.  In this case, it’s best that you remove the rosters every two weeks, to clean underneath (we always do so when the pigeons are away).  By this system the loft is always clean and free of smells, nice for the fancier and better for your feathered friends...


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© 2004 Michel Vanlint
Michel Vanlint
Bogaerdenstraat 33 / 3440 Zoutleeuw
Tel: +32(0)475 75 79 58 / Fax : +32(0)11 69 66 78
Email : michel@vanlint.be
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