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What are your views on eyesign?….

Ahhhhhh Eyesign!!!…..

it’s one of the biggest debates in our sport. Some absoluely love it and think it’s the best way of evaluating their birds and some absoluetly hate it and think it’s nothing but myth.

Well I wanted to start a discussion and see what your views are on eyesign? post your comments below and share your views on eyesign, share if you have any experience using it and what the outcome was. Is it part of your evaluation process? and if so what do you use it most for, finding racers are breeders?

So go ahead and share you views on eyesign by posting your comments here.

What are your views on eyesign?

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131 thoughts on “What are your views on eyesign?….

  1. Years ago, there was an online eye sign game run by fanciers in Canada, O & L Devries. They posted eyes of their race team preseason & guests were invited to pick the best x6 eyes & the birds would be allocated points for every race competed based on loft position. Cut a long story short, I picked my x6 birds based only on the pics of their eyes & won the competition at the end of the race season! It was much to my surprise also, but I did beat quite a few “well known European” pigeon enthusiasts. All from a backyard flyer in Brisbane, Australia. The eye to me is only a portion of the complete picture these days & I do prefer the “foot theory” … First foot over the landing board & through the trap !

    1. The reason you feel this way is because you think the eye is only for seeing and do not understand the reason eye sign works for long distance racing. Choosing a bird with eye sign matters nothing if you only look at the circles and do not see the depth and the function of the eye to the ability of the bird.

        1. The racing pigeons eye is very complex. It serves as a cooling area for the blood before it goes to the brain and returns to the heart via the return arteries. If you look into the pigeons throat you will see veins at the back center and on both sides. The thicker this vein is in the center will it better supply blood to the brain. Before it gets to the brain a large amount is sent through the blood vessels (pigmentation) in the eye and is cooled off, thereby making the bird able to navigate better. While the blood is in the eye section the pigmentation serves as a surface for cooling, If the vessels are thick and raised up (depth) then the blood will cool of quicker thereby giving the 106 degree temperature of the pigeon not to overheat. The eye has 5 distinctive layers and one must see all layers to give a true evaluation (for cooling purposes). The best way to see this is to hold the bird over your head in early morning sunlight (so as not to damage the retina in the back of the eye) and with your fingers over its beak turn it slightly from side to side and long distance pigeons will show you what they do while racing. Long distance champion pigeons will astound anyone who sees this.
          So to summarize. The eve and its pigmentation serves like a radiator to keep the bird from overheating. The thick veins supplies constant oxygenated blood to the brain so it can navigate constantly thereby being able to get ahead of other birds in a race. Your long distance champion pigeons will all have dept and usually carry a color sign as it is easier to cool off. Eyesign is very hard to learn and takes patience and study. The eye sign chart is simple to understand which was developed by S.W. Bishop in about 1948. But one must not forget that the ability of the birds organs to convert glycogen to glucose for energy is also very necessary.

          1. hi bob ,thanks for the info.
            the middle & short distance is it the same as the long distance pigeon.is the pigment also thick red.(if the eye is grey or yellow)

            can you tell me more about the breeding pigeons ,what is the different between racing & breeding pigeons. also eye sign.
            some of the fanciers look in the pigeons eye and say this is a good breeding pigeon not for racing. Tell me about that please.
            thanks for you help.
            jacques

            1. Hi jacques
              First I want to explain something:
              Eyesign is a man made theory based upon the fact that we would like to instill in our pigeons certain characteristics that are recognizable to separate our flyers from our breeders. And because of certain characteristics within ones family of birds it becomes possible to do this. So basically eye sign is more beneficial to someone who is creating a family of birds. Because a race course like Hawaii where I come from you can loose any bird on any day over the water. But it holds true even with crosses.
              The breeders eye??? Well the breeders eye must have all 5 circles. The inner circle which is just a muscle that the bird uses to focus near or far and is used to protect the retina. If this muscle is not used to focus (like breeders who are not let out they form a bottle cap looking effect because it has collapsed) However there are families who are born with a very thick muscle.
              The next circle is very, very important!!The circle of correlation must look like it is in a canyon (showing depth) The color of this circle must be the same as the base color of the eye (meaning if you have an orange eye but it has a yellow full circle then the color under the orange must be yellow. Which denotes strength for cooling purposes. If you have a gray full circle then the gray must be noted under the pearl orange eye. The third circle which is hard to distinguish should be able to be seen when holding the bird above your head you will see a mountain looking pigmentation which has arteries that runs down toward the circle of correlation (this is what is known a the Kings eye. A spacing between the rivers demotes more cooling capability. The fourth circle is the outer edge of the pigmentation and should be thicker and more clustered. The fifth circle which is also very, very important is the black circle that you will see on the extreme outer edge. This circle denotes a more complete circle for the blood to return to the lungs. In the circle of correlation there may be some black in it. If you can see through the black then disregard the black a grade the bird as having a full yellow, or gray which are your breeders. if the black is superimposed on on top then this is your ultimate flyers. Providing there is depth in the eye. For example when I started to breed color signs I bred 6 youngsters with the greenest eye possible but lost every one of them at 50 miles, because I bred for color and not depth. your ultimate super breeder is the recessive violet (gray, blue, white circle of correlation) Because they are sex related. For example if the cock has the violet then his daughters will breed and carry his characteristics and his sons will fly. If the hen has the violet then it is the opposite, cocks breed hens fly. The yellow or dirty yellow (green) this does not hold true. Now if you are very serious as I have been in the past then what you may do is have rules. Start with 2 pairs (pedigrees not necessary but come from a good fancier)with excellent breeder traits, good round back, good bone structure ,soft feathering, well developed lesser pictorial muscle and pliable greater pictorial muscle, thick veins in the back of your birds throat with a large open area while you look in. And a short wing butt which denotes distance. You breed these 2 pairs which if possible are 2 brothers and 2 sisters who are not related. Then you take the youngsters from these 2 pairs and breed them together (cousins of the same generation) From these birds you find 2 pairs of cousins and breed them to uncles or aunts. This mating will produce you champion pigeons but will also produce obvious kulls. You will be beating 80% your competition 80% of the time. So lets recap–Cousins of the same generation, uncle niece, aunty nephew mating. You can go a lifetime with very few crosses brought in. What is certainly not a breeder must just be a flyer. In closing I will attest that I have won approx. 60 races in my lifetime with some of the best fanciers this country has put in front of me. I won 5 out of 10 combines in a single season in Hawaii 60 to 90 lofts and all average speeds for the year. With 2 or 3 of them being 5 or 15 minutes ahead. I had the 1st place bird of only 2 home in our State Open Race. I had 76 placings within 7th place for the year (club & combine & specials totaling 26 first places for the year). Moved to California and joined the FVC I beat all of Southern California on a 550 mile race by 17 minutes. Moved to Florida and joined the GHC where I won a 400 mile head wind day by beating 56 members in the south section by 56 minutes. You can read any theory you want but when someone wins then pay attention to what he may say as you can then get better. Search for knowledge in feeding and health learn what feeds to feed in accordance to your schedule and training. learn what it takes to get them healthy–and do not starve your pigeons because once they dip into their reserved strength then they are finished as a competitor. I have had 2 birds win back to back Combine races and a 3rd that won back to back combine/futurity races (1 combine 2 futurities)

              1. Bob, thank a mill.
                if you have more to tell please tell. I will implement that and will came back to you.
                1 other thing how do you see a health & fit pigeons. reading to race. Some fanciers look @ the tail if their is n white strip in the tail.
                thanks
                jacques

              2. hi bob thanks for the info. I believe, I did reply. You did very well on your side. in your mail you said about health and what to feed.
                how can I see if a pigeon is health and ready to race. fanciers say you must look at the tail there is a white line by tail feather . thanks for all you help. jacques

                1. Health? What is a Healthy pigeon? Are you Healthy? Healthy as a marathon runner, probably not. So our pigeons can be healthy but not healthy as a champion pigeon ready to fly 500 miles. So what are the signs of a healthy pigeon ready to win a 500 mile race (or shorter) To me 500 miles is the preferred distance because I have seen what they look like the moment it hits the board after 13 hours on the wing. So here goes. I was a very young boy when fanciers in Hawaii began teaching me things that was probably common knowledge for them. To recognize if a pigeon has any respiratory problems–2 things can be seen immediately 1–with a loop for eyesign see if you can see any bubbles in the corners of the birds eye. If there are then you have a respiratory problem.. 2–Open its wings and look at the last two flights..If the flights are perfectly straight and outward then you have no problem (provided you do not have bubbles in the eye) If it is pointing toward the body and curved then you have a major problem 3–When you put the birds body next to your ear and listen to its breathing —if you hear a straining to breath then you have an air sac infection and it is hard to cure. But it can be cured. Certain medications can be given over an extended period of time to cure this but I do not want to favor any medication as there are a few. I once thought that if a bird got sick it would never be able to win. Not true…You can cure almost all ailments if caught early enough. So you need to open your eyes and ears when you enter the loft. Go at night and just sit there and listen and be still. You will hear things that will be important to win races. Look to see if you have tape worms because they hang out of the bird at night. There is a major difference between a healthy pigeon and a bird in “SUPER FORM” When you get a bird in SUPER FORM YOU WILL WIN THAT RACE. I have only seen 3 pigeons in my life who was in SUPER FORM. AND EACH ONE WON BY 15 OR MORE MINUTES. Now to get to SUPER FORM the bird must exert all of its energy every time you take it out. (distance does not matter as long as he has flow some races, how many depends on the birds capabilities.) Now to see with your own eyes what SUPER FORM looks like. first hold the bird in your hand and just let it relax as if it is a part of you, cover its eyes with your palm. After you feel the bird relaxed take it and turn it upside down and spread the breast feathers. You will see air trapped between the flesh and the skin, the skin will be going one way and the breathing movement the other way. This is because all 7 air sacks are completely full and ready to go. All of this matters and remember the loft is as important as the bird and the quality of feed with proper amounts to the type and distance of the race. So in pigeon racing there all these calculations going on at the same time and believe me when I tell you that when you calculate right and feed right and have the animal that can do the job and you beat your competitors by a long margin. Then this is pigeon racing. ( not winning $) One of my greatest joys and moments was when after 13 hours on the wing, the bird lander 2 feet in front of me and I got to see where his eyes were and what he did to contract his muscles–He was ahead by 17 minutes to the nearest competitor in all of Southern California. Pigeons will teach us if we watch, listen and learn. As always have fun…bob

                2. The same question I have. I’m from Sri Lanka and here the wether is mostly rainy. How do I get to know that the bird is ready for race. I just started to breed and race. I haven’t race yet, I need sugessions.

                  1. Mohammed: As I once was a beginner, I will give you the advice given to me 60 years ago and it holds true till today.
                    First: Do research to find a 7 day method that fits into your budget which includes treating for coccidiosis. Pigeons love regularity. Vitamins and minerals are essential. Keep your loft and feed dry at all times.
                    Second: If you are able to go to see any winner of a pigeon race, go and handle the bird and its parents. You will learn what is balance from these birds. A balanced pigeon wins races.
                    Third: Get a team of young birds as healthy as you can and train them as hard as you can till you loose every one of them. You will now learn where the end is in training a pigeon and will learn when they are tired and need a rest, thereby avoiding years of trial and error.
                    If you are young enough, 50 years from now you will be a great pigeon fancier.
                    Fourth: Intently study nutrition. Learn structure, muscle and any and all theories regardless of what others say. Knowledge will give you success and success will give you satisfaction to know that you can win a pigeon race whenever you so choose.
                    Fifth: You will eventually learn what to do and when to do it. At that point you career will be a successful one as mine was.
                    Six: Be aware that pigeon racing is not like surfing. In surfing the winner is carrier up and down the beach by others on his surf board. Pigeons racers are DIFFERENT so be aware and not let them discourage you in any way.
                    Aloha: Bob
                    Enjoy your successes and learn from your defeats.

  2. Hi Johnna all bird that are healthy show a bright eye clean wattle and there feathers are silky and
    shine and clean pink or red feet and when they are in form it is even easier to see also they quiver
    and the breast is clean and pink i would never just go by the eye Brad.

    1. Hi Brad, i agree all those signs you mention must present,but the eye is for me the window to look in , a dull eye tell a story and you must investigate.
      if the wattle came brownish and the feathers puff then you are late a problem hit your loft.
      i race widowhood system but my own way no cock or hen share their water bowl only when breeding a pair share , and no stock birds my racers are my breeders
      Brad are you from South Africa ? i am locate in Namibia the most beautiful country to race pigeons but also the hardest
      Best Regards
      Johnna

      1. Hi Johnna i live in Canada it is very hard racing here because of the weather a lot of bad storms
        and humidity and a lot of pop up storms.i know the eye has to be bright if they are healthy but young
        birds do get sick they are like your kids when they are young its just how bad they get or if its only
        one or two i will think on wether to keep them i do not believe in antibiotics unless they need them
        i believe that misuse of medications is why we have problems with young bird sickness ETC
        what do you think Johnna Brad.

        1. Hi Brad its a distance between us the storms wind and rain or snow and wind humidity thats a bad one . well antibiotics not for me garlic, apple cider, glucose , even not deworming mag sulph 3x i love it that work before basket 1 tablet per bird as i say out of nest box in the blue sky and vise verse water bowl and feed in nest box and then my story no sircle at loft straight road work you make it or you don’t start with squicker 5 to 10 meter away oh i love intelligent birds thats why my loft is not overcrowded each one earn his her nest box

          1. Hi Johnna i don’t like antibiotics not unless i need them the humidity is very hard on the pigeons
            i have a small loft here i keep about 12 pair of old birds and 35 youngsters and 8 pair of stock
            birds i use Alltech it is an acid for pigeons very good vitamins once a week antibiotics only when
            needed.Have a good day Brad.

            1. Hi Brad keep also 12 widow cocks and hens same with youngsters , i have 9 metre by 2metre loft divided in 1 metre sections i stay on a farm 18 km out of town. Best Regards

                1. Hi
                  Can someone help me. I have a problem in my loft ,my pigeons don’t look sick but when it is racing time, they are an our late.
                  Short toss they can fly eg. 45km in 30min time, yesterday 12km in 5 min .most of them open their mouth if they are chewing on something .
                  Some of my friend say they got the some problem and I lost 20 pigeon already. My first 2 racing I did good and their after, down hill .
                  [email protected]
                  thanks

                  1. Hi Jacques you could have more than one problem do you have a vet
                    in your area if not i would put them on a good 4and1 for canker respiratory problem if you are racing treat them for five to seven days
                    and if it is warm one half teaspoon full per gallon of water when you treat them give them the antibiotic when you feed them and leave it in
                    for three hours then you will give them fresh water and you will repeat
                    this for five to seven days after a few days you can loft fly them only
                    and let me know how the birds are Brad.

    2. In the Caribbean, alot of our distance races take place over the high seas between the islands, so as you would imagine the races are difficult an at times the losses can be high. so we pay alot of attention to the form of the birds and if the eyes are clear and bright, the feathering soft and silky, the bird corky and vibrant in the hand. then and only then we send our birds.

  3. Hi Jacques a good throat is pink and at the back of the throat is a curtain with a line in the centre
    it will line up with the rest of the throat you cannot look at the throat when birds are breeding or in
    the molt the best time is late fall if you buy Jim Jenner secrets of champions it is all on the video its is
    well worth the money Brad.

  4. Hi Chris i like a nice looking eye but as far as breeding or flying i use the basket until some one
    can prove its is a fact this the way i will go but i do know all good pigeons breeders or racers have
    a good throat that is a fact bad throat bad pigeon Brad.

  5. Well well what a story eye sign A yellow , purple , brown , red ,bull eye no matter what eye !!!
    i race all of them and win . its the same as say blue bar , dark check light check are winners
    i race ( widowhood system) what i say my meaning came to eyes sparkling colourfully eyes shows the health ,health most important n0 1 quality birds , 2 intelligent birds ,love for home
    test intelligence take squicker 5 to 10 meters in front of loft away release if flight straight to loft perfect watch this young one perform if go any other direction ????
    eye sign mmmm better keep less birds plenty of fresh air and space give them plenty love and watch the feeding and the trapping sorry i dont believe in so called eyesign

      1. Hi Jacques,
        As i say sparkling colourfull eye its bright and shiny take bird in direct sun pupil must direct (split of second ) shrink to the size of pin needle head, its beak is bright black look if you polish it the ear feathers bulb and the droppings nice round.
        when you enter the loft the cocks start performing , then you know their happy ( they welcome you ) when you enter the hens loft they pose and coo if you are their mate

  6. One could not be so conceted to count or discount eye sign theory ,only time will tell ,until then I shall enjoy ever aspect of the sport I have chosen and continue to listen to every one of my betters what ever there theory’s , happy flying

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