What to breed from.
Although it looks more than likely that we won’t get any racing this year I am still going to breed a round of youngsters.
My thoughts are that every year what you breed should be an improvement on what you have already. At least a few should be. If you miss a year of breeding you could actually be putting your plans back 2 or 3 years.
So which ones should we be breeding from? Do we know which ones are going to breed the goods anymore than we know which ones are going to be good racers. In my opinion no we don’t. I think pigeons need to be tested for breeding as much as for racing. With racing the only real test is the basket. With breeding the only real test is testing the youngsters bred with the basket.
I have never kept many stock birds. Although the aim for me with the Barcelona loft is to breed a family of pigeons that can compete at the extreme distance and yes it would be nice to bred around pigeons that have completed this marathon event I feel that a lot of years of test breeding would be lost. The pigeons wouldn’t compete at Barcelona until they are 3 or 4 year olds. If they then do well, and you would probably want them to do it more than once, you could then put them in the stock loft. You wouldn’t know whether they would breed good ones or not. You would then have to wait 3 or 4 years before knowing whether they had produced the goods. By this time the pigeon is 6 to 8 years old.
I would rather breed from my race team of younger birds. If I found a bird that was breeding good potential distance birds I would prefer to put that one to stock than one that had flown the distance and not been tested for breeding potential.
Admittedly by doing this you could find that you have lost the parents of a top bird if they were breeders rather than racers but at least you have that bird which you wouldn’t have had had you not bred from the parents until tested on the road.
I say this partly based on my own experience with my Lerwick winner. She was one of a nest pair of hens. The Lerwick winner never put a foot wrong when racing where as her sister was useless as a youngster. If it wasn’t for the fact that I raced widowhood cocks and liked to rear youngsters from the cocks before being put on widowhood I certainly wouldn’t have bred from the useless sister. As it turned both the youngsters she bred the first year were winners, she actually went on to breed many winners. The Lerwick winner herself never really bred me anything.
With this in mind and not knowing anything really about the pigeons I have here from other members I have decided to keep everything that hatches and see what we get. They will be treated the same as all the others and I will then get some idea on which ones are likely to breed the best in the future and once a bird had completed Barcelona I would already have a fair idea of its breeding ability along with possibly already have a few youngsters in the race team of various ages.
Maybe worth considering just single breeding this year mate, good luck with your plans
I think as you still have a reasonably new and untested team I would keep a pair from each of them, you can become more selective as the team develops.
All the best bruv.
Need youth in the team and ide go with wot your trev has said mate 👍🏻 Atb
hope you don't mind me using this topic have 10 year old cock last year 6 rounds all blank this year a yearling hen again blank so to-day starting him on 301 from Colin Leask will let members know what happens I will keep trying him for a few months just not the next round
Keep us informed George on how it goes.