Here are 13 tips for pigeon racers that will help you during the season.
#1. How about racing on the “Dark System” with only half your pigeons? As you wean the youngsters place the young hens on the “Dark System” and the young cocks on natural light. The young cocks will be going through the motions anyway because their future is in the widowhood loft. The young hens can be pushed and raced hard because only the top ones will be bred from and the remaining hens will be used as widow hens.
#2. Want a secret ingredient for super feather, unlimited stamina and superb health. Mix flaxseed oil on the grain and add Brewers Yeast, Whey protein (never use chocolate it is poisonous to birds) and minerals. The flaxseed oil is loaded with Omega 3 essential fatty acids, and must be supplied to the pigeons from their diet. The brewers yeast and whey protein adds essential amino acids.
#3. Looking for youngsters to grow like weeds with the most amazing feather and muscle. A few times per week feed your breeders grain coated with flaxseed oil and mixed with Whey Protein ( never use chocolate is poisonous to birds). Whey Protein is the purest form of protein and comes from yogurt and cheese production. For years the manufacturers tossed it out. Now it is the craze in the athletic world for high performance.
#4. Young birds look sluggish and are not flying. Try adding 50% high quality barley. They will be flying around the loft with endless energy in about a week. Continue 50% barley right through training and early races.
#5. Are vitamins and minerals necessary? Soils are depleted of all the minerals, crops are not rotated, grains are harvested too early or too late, long storage, etc. Multivitamins and minerals are a must. Give several times per week. Let the birds have free choice by putting many types in small cups that are changed weekly on race return day.
#6. Salmonella is a problem that many pigeons battle. The healthy and less stressed the pigeon the less likely salmonella will be a problem. Here is the tip. Apple Cider Vinegar one ounce to the gallon lowers the pH in the gut, which makes the salmonella bacteria less likely to thrive. This vinegar also has many trace minerals in it. Use it everyday during the winter months and two to three days per week during racing and breeding.
#7. Ivermectin the wormer is not very effective against roundworms. Ivermectin is a great wormer but use another that will get the roundworms. Once the worms are eliminated the ivermectin may keep them worm free. Use Moxidectin for worming!
#8. Ivemectin Sheep Drench 3 cc’s to a gallon in the bath water will kill all parasites, lice, mites, flies, depluming mites etc. Give twice monthly and the birds will be pest free. It can be used as a spray, 10 cc’s to the gallon on the loft walls and nests to kill parasites and it is not harmful or will give off any fumes. Never get Ivermectin on your skin or it will penetrate into you. If you are spraying it wear protective gear like a mask and overall suit. Never inhale mist. We have not used anything but ivermectin for parasites in several years. One bath will totally eliminate the stubborn quill mite.
#9. To lengthen a pigeons racing career always give a minimum one day of rest for every two hours on the wing. Do not even let the bird out to fly, no road work. Your birds will all be very fresh come season’s end.
#10. If a pigeon is lost for a long period like a month to a year, treat it like gold. Anyone who has ever had a pigeon live wild and then return usually has a champion on his or her hands. Let the pigeon go through a normal molt before being raced hard and watch the vitality it has and the possessiveness it displays.
#11. Home attic fans that are thermostatically controlled are a super idea for loft. My fans are set to go on when the under side of the roof reaches 95 degrees.
#12. Rabbit pellets can offer the birds the best greens possible in an easy to use form. Try a couple of handfuls per section per week. Your pigeons and your results will be glad you did.
#13. Remember that are squab grows so rapidly the first 25 days that one missed feeding will stunt it. Feed the breeders several times per day or place the feed in large feeders. It is so very important that the babies are being pumped by the parents at sun up and sun down.
13 Tips For Pigeon Racers by McLaughlin Lofts