I’ve had my young birds flying both in the AM and PM each day for several weeks. They are flying very well. They are almost all through the moult now and the birds that I pulled flights on have grown them back about 60%. These racing pigeons are looking spectacular. Two Saturdays ago I got up early to fly the birds and was hoping they were routing. I shot the following video and ended up disappointed that they didn’t route. I went in to clean the loft and when I came out, they were gone. They routed for over an hour that day and a few were gone for 2 hours.
My pigeons are getting strong and filling out well. There is a few that I wish had a little more “beef” on them so I have increased their feed a little bit. I still have my young birds on a “moulting mix” I put together mostly because I want to feed it all. This mix contains the following…
1 50 pound bag Breeders Mix from Wheatland. Austrian Peas, Maple Peas, Green Peas, Yellow Peas, Red Milo, White Milo, White Millet, Canola (Rape), Flax, Hemp, Safflower, Red Wheat, and Pop Corn. This feed is coated with probiotics. 16% Protein, 6% Fat
1 50 pound bag straight Barley. 12% Protein, 2% Fat
1 50 pound bag Turkey Grower Pellets. 22% Protein, 5% Fat
12.5 pounds (1/2 a 25 pound bag) Calf Manna Pellets. Soybean meal, corn, hominy feed, feeding oatmeal, dried whey, dehydrated alfalfa meal , linseed meal, brewer’s dried yeast, vegetable oil, fenugreek seed, anise oil, calcium carbonate, monocalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, salt, sulfur, iron oxide, ferrous carbonate, ferrous sulfate, copper oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, calcium iodate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin, propionic acid.. 25% Protein, 3% Fat.
In a couple of weeks, this feed will be gone and I will switch over to the regular Wheatland Top Flight Racing Mix.
Maple Peas, Green Peas, Yellow Peas, Red Milo, White Milo, White Millet, Canola (Rape), Flax, Hemp, Oat Groats, Safflower, Red Wheat, and Whole Corn
Crude Protein: 15.0%
Crude Fat: 7.0%
Crude Fiber: 6.6%
Last Saturday again I got up early to fly the birds. I wanted to make sure they were still routing well and evaluate whether or not it was time to start road training. I don’t get to see my birds fly in the morning during the week because I have to leave before it’s light for work. So since it’s summer and the kids are out of school, I have had them taking care of morning loft flying. Taking a chance there as sometimes they don’t get up until after 9am, but I figure it’s better than not flying them.
First Training Toss
Satisfied that these racing pigeons were ready, I decided yesterday to take them out on their very first road toss of the season. Last season I started with around 34 birds and I was able to haul them all in two baskets. The other loft is also very easy to load birds in as I can just put the baskets in the aviary and the birds will fly up and walk right in thinking they are entering the aviary. I discovered while trying to catch 64 pigeons yesterday, that I’m going to have to get them in the dark or build a way to load them easily. It’s quite a task to catch that many pigeons! Also I used 3 baskets yesterday and they were quite crowded. I’ll be taking 4 baskets along for each toss going forward.
Accompanied by two of my best loft helpers, we set out for a 2 mile toss yesterday morning.
We hurried home back to the loft to find that the birds had beat us home. Some had trapped and the rest were lounging on the roof of my house. Not much of a challenge for these racing pigeons but I was glad to find that all the birds made it home.
I will continue to loft fly both AM and PM going forward and during this week I will try to take them to 5 miles. Next weekend I hope to fly them from 5 miles on Saturday and 10 miles on Sunday.
It’s hot! We’ve hit 100 degrees a couple of times this year already. Remember to keep plenty of fresh water in front of your birds and check that the K Factor isn’t abnormally high before you fly your birds. Best of luck to you in the 2012 Young Bird Season ahead.