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message posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2011

"Don’t be afraid to go slow, just be afraid to stand still..."

It’s not the first we noticed, that a little hygiene can prevent many problems. Just a couple of days ago, my wife said to me :”Be sure you clean the tables because they weren’t cleaned since the end of last season.” On each racing loft we have tables, which we can pull up or let down, just below the windows where they get inside.

Here we feed the pigeons after the training flights and when they arrive back home from a race. Because we add several by-products on the food, it’s not imaginable that after some time you get a certain layer on the tables. Hereby you get mould-microbes, which don’t have a positive result on our birds. So my wife and I cleaned the tables with warm water and Dreft. With a wide and sharp cleaning knife, we worked the tables. It really is unbelievable what came of these tables. “You don’t feed the birds here anymore” my wife said, ”just some candy seeds when they come inside.” And indeed, I think many fanciers don’t think that much about the hygiene on their loft and I already talked about this before. But to me it’s so important that I want to mention it again. Specially the bowls you feed them in are infected by microbes and mould. This must be because we moisten the food with oil or other products and this is mixed with beer yeast, Winmix, Optimix, Tempo 60, to make it all dry but still the mixture will get sticky. In fact it’s not easy to keep the usual bowls clean and so they become a danger to our birds.  Since about 4 years, it’s almost not possible that our birds get infected by the bowls on our loft.  How come, you might ask?  On all our racing lofts, we have special bowls from Germany, HERWI bowls (Herman Wienekamp), with plastic containers (see photo’s).

Every weekend when the pigeons are away, we clean our containers with hot water and let them dry in the sun. Like we, also our pigeons prefer to eat out of clean bowls.  To us, these bowls are very practical and you can get them with NATURAL. To win or to loose, can depend on very little things in our sport. These can make the difference between winning or no prize at all.

Here on BLUE HEAVEN LOFT we started.  The old and the yearlings flew the race from Momignies (110 Km.) on May 1st. The result wasn’t astonishing but to us it was a kind of a last training flight. We mostly watched how they got home and this was our satisfaction: 35 pigeons within 10 minutes at a speed of 1200m/m. Of course, they had to work hard with a East-North-Eastern wind but the pigeons are looking good. The last week of April, the racers, the youngsters and the late youngsters of 2010 were examined; a bacterial research.  When I received the result of the research, I frowned. Here the result of the research: all pigeons were free of worms, of coccidiose and negative of Paratyfus. A little cancer with a few of them and with all birds, they found Hemolytic stafylococs and streptococs. Not a lot but they were present. With the hens, it even pointed at E.coli. And what did the scientist say? ”If they train well (which they do), I wouldn’t do anything.” But I couldn’t live with the thought, I was worried and I choose for a treatment of 5 days. Being sure, puts the green light on. The research also showed that they were sensitive for Chlooramfenicol and/or Sulfa-thrimethoprim, with which we have good experiences. You can by it with the pharmacist or with the vet. The name of the product is “EMDOTRIM” of the firm Ecuphar.(see photo)  When you give this at the beginning of the moulting, for about two or three weeks, refresh the water every day and 3 ml per litre water, then you’ll see that it will be good for your birds and everything goes smoothly during the moulting period. As you know, at the beginning of the moulting period, the first two weeks go well and then suddenly something goes wrong; less feathers and the manure isn’t like it should be by some disturbance in their system. Usually the problem solves itself and the only thing that can happen is that the end of the moulting  slows down.

Some days ago, we stopped the darkening of the old and the yearling birds and so now they have to train twice a day; between 6 and 8 in the morning and between 17.00 and 19.00 hours in the evening. As I already mentioned, we played Momignies on May 1st.  A couple of hours after they got home, we put a bath outside and as well the cocks as the hens enjoyed it and afterwards they went back into the sky. Since May 3rd, we’ve driven up the intensity of the training flights till 90 minutes and this as well in the morning as in the evening. Today we also brought them away by car till 30 km. It only was 10°Celsius and a East-North-Eastern wind with a power of 2-3 Beaufort. Everything went perfect and with a daily training of 180 minutes, they should be ready for next Sunday. We don’t let them do Toury(376km.), but Soissons(210km.) on Sunday May 8th. Toury will follow on 15/5 and the hens will probably fly Vierzon on 22/5. The cocks will have to go to Toury again. I usually decide the day of basketing. On May 28th, we play Bourges National, for old and yearling birds and this is what we live towards…this will be the first national confrontation…we can’t escape anymore…

Next weekend we will get a change of weather… finally the wind will turn South, so it’s time to get the youngsters in contact with the large basket and bring them away by car for a very short distance…So there will be enough to do the next few days…As always, my wife will have to help out which she always does, without asking. We men may have found the fire but women thought about how to use it…  We will be back before the national race from  Bourges knows its national winners.


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