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Murray
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I was very offended at a pigeon club meeting some years ago, when I was told I don't know what I am talking about.

Turns out he was right. I certainly know nothing at all about feeding pigeons. 

A club member buys feed from a grain store some miles out, at wholesale prices, for the local flyers. He goes out once a month or so. He asked me what I wanted, last week. I needed five 20 kilo bags, one each of peas, maize, milo, wheat and safflower. 

100 kilos of feed for Au$96.50. Very good prices. 

I was getting very low on feed. I padded it out with some more maize. Not many peas. Then, yesterday, I get a call. The truck has broken down, the feed will be there tomorrow. 

So, last night the pigeons had maize and milo. They didn't mind. They had the same for breakfast. This afternoon when I let them out they went ballistic. They flew higher and faster and longer than they ever have in their lives!

Here's a thing. For about 3 days the pigeons got very few peas.  Then they had a day on only maize and milo.  

The result was, they were absolutely leaping out of their skins!

I made a mix up when I got  the grain today. I have gone back to a simple mix. 

1 tin of maize

1 tin of peas

1 tin of milo

1 tin of wheat

1 tin of Safflower.

002

I have been drawn into the old thing about them needing peas and beans to grow and moult, etc. 

No they don't. 

They need a mixture of grains, with some legumes. 

Not a mixture of legumes, with some grains. 

Just because we get older, we don't always get smarter.

I am good! They aren't firing rubber bullets at me. Yet.
Welcome to Victoria, 2021.


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killer
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The feed looks nice & clean , if that mix wins races for you stick with it ,if you want to sprint add some Bailey ,for distance add more staff & corn ,but a good basic mix in general ,


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Murray
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But look at this.

New season's safflower. A beautiful, clean sample. You can feel the oiliness as you hold it in your hand.

003

I am good! They aren't firing rubber bullets at me. Yet.
Welcome to Victoria, 2021.


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Murray
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Posted by: @killer

The feed looks nice & clean , if that mix wins races for you stick with it ,if you want to sprint add some Bailey ,for distance add more staff & corn ,but a good basic mix in general ,

Thanks, killer.

Coming from you, it is good advise. 

killer is a man who knows what he is talking about.

I am good! They aren't firing rubber bullets at me. Yet.
Welcome to Victoria, 2021.


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Buster121
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Posted by: @murray
Posted by: @killer

The feed looks nice & clean , if that mix wins races for you stick with it ,if you want to sprint add some Bailey ,for distance add more staff & corn ,but a good basic mix in general ,

Thanks, killer.

Coming from you, it is good advise. 

killer is a man who knows what he is talking about.

He sure does

 

Sadie's Loft's, home of great birds, just a poor loft manager


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chrisg2
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Your pigeons will teach you more than any fancier can, observation is the most important part of pigeon keeping.


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Andy123
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Posted by: @chrisg2

Your pigeons will teach you more than any fancier can, observation is the most important part of pigeon keeping.

Very true Chrisg. It’s spot sometimes the smallest of things that can give you the edge and tell you if a pigeon is right or not. 

I think far too much emphasis is put on the feeding. As I have said many times I don’t think what you feed makes much difference. There is so little difference in the composition of the different mixes, all made with the fancier in mind. As long as all the grains are of sound quality that’s all that matters. The only way you could be sure that every pigeon ate the exact mix that you give them would be to feed them all individually in a box and give them the exact quantity that they need. If fed communally some will eat more of one grain than others eating what they prefer first. If fed to much in a box they will just leave the grains they don’t like so much. 

You know plenty Murray, we can all see that, and both you and Killer are full of good advice. 

Home of the ukpigeonracing test loft.


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chrisg2
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Thats it Andy123, so many different permutations when feeding a mix, its like a lottery. They would never eat the same twice.

I,m going back to hopper feeding, as in keeping my feed pots topped up all the while so they can have what they want when they want. Last time i fed like that they flew flat out for over an hour twice a day, were super fit and i was winning 20+ firsts a year from all distances. They dropped all together from most races . Made no difference if i changed corn either, they were never hungry and never over fed.


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Andy123
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@chrisg2 I think the best way of not over feeding is to have food always available. If you handle pigeons that have food available all the time they rarely have more than a few grains in their crop. They don’t gorge themselves when fed wondering when the next meal is coming from. The only way you could feed consistently the same diet would be to just feed a pellet. 

Home of the ukpigeonracing test loft.


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Murray
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It just goes to show, though, we spend time and thought deciding what to feed them. Then when they spend a few days eating the bits and pieces from the bottom of the bins, they improve!  

 

They perform in spite of what we do to them I am certain of it. {pear}:laughingoutloud:  

I am good! They aren't firing rubber bullets at me. Yet.
Welcome to Victoria, 2021.


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Andy123
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Having a pet shop and selling wild bird feed of many descriptions and feeding birds in our own garden you’d be surprised at what and the way the birds eat changes through the year. Sometimes fat balls and suet will go most, sometimes sunflower hearts, sometimes peanuts etc. The birds seem to know what they need and will change accordingly to the seasons. A good variety of seeds in any mix is the best way, then they will take what is required. 

Home of the ukpigeonracing test loft.


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killer
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That staff looks good Murray ,about feed , we live about 80 k south of the CCF from Sydney ,so when they race south we offen see there birds going over ,one race I was up at our leading fanciers loft (Dave) a very well known fancier through out the world ,all the top guys have been there ,any way a kit or mob of 20 birds went over about 2 minutes in front of about 4;000 followed by thousands more ,he said to me how come are those 20 out in front ,seeing what my answer would be ,well for a start they must be the fittest & healthest of them , he said they must have there feed right as well ,he said it would be interesting to know haw each bird from that leading kit was fed , I said that would be hard to do ,as most pigeon flyers don,t tell there left hand what his right is doing ,thinking back on that day ,the truth proberly would be they were all fed differently ,but on clean good grain ,cheers 


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Murray
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Posted by: @andy123

Having a pet shop and selling wild bird feed of many descriptions and feeding birds in our own garden you’d be surprised at what and the way the birds eat changes through the year. Sometimes fat balls and suet will go most, sometimes sunflower hearts, sometimes peanuts etc. The birds seem to know what they need and will change accordingly to the seasons. A good variety of seeds in any mix is the best way, then they will take what is required. 

Clarify that for us, Andy.

I would imagine, while probably being wrong, {pear}:wink: , that the wild birds will appreciate fat being offered during the British winter. 

At the same time of year, the pigeons are on winter rations. I knew a Dutchman many years ago in Christchurch, NZ. It gets pretty cold there. I was at his place one day, in mid winter. Cold!

All the hens were in one section, and there was not a grain of feed in sight. 

He explained, "I give the pigeons a certain amount of barley in the winter'. 

No further explanation was offered, but I think we can safely assume that in mid winter they got barley. 

Every year that bloke had his pigeons lit up and hard to beat in the first old bird races, and won a lot of races every year.

I wonder whether what wild birds, who are on a knife edge of surviving the winter, are comparable to racing pigeons. Safe in their box, dry and warm, what we feed the pigeons isn't life and death. 

The climate is part of it too. In NZ, -18 degrees was not unknown. It gets cold. I remember warming bricks in the oven to put under the  drinkers.

Here, half a dozen times a year it dips under zero. And that is only until the sun comes up. 

The pigeons behave differently. They moult but don't hibernate. 

It is very different.

I am good! They aren't firing rubber bullets at me. Yet.
Welcome to Victoria, 2021.


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Andy123
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Of course you’ve got to realise that the public can be funny people. A spell of cold weather or snow and we have trouble keeping up with the wild bird food. It’s probably more that people feel sorry for the birds during hard weather than the birds really need a lot more, although they certainly do eat more during cold weather. They tend to eat more fats balls, suet and sunflower hearts during the cold weather. Then in warmer weather they eat less suet and fat balls and tend to eat more seeds. Mealworms, both dry and live, sell well during the breeding season. We sell a range of different seeds but the main ones are a standard wild bird mix that contains a lot of wheat, making it a cheaper mix than the premium wild bird that is wheat free and contains sunflower hearts. Customers often switch from the standard to the premium because they say that the birds leave all the wheat, which is thrown on the floor and if the odd wood pigeons or pheasants don’t eat it, it just attracts rats. It’s also surprising how often we get customers coming in saying that they have brought bird seed or fat balls from bargain stores or supermarkets and the birds won’t touch it. We also sell a lot of peanuts but these depend on what birds come into the garden. If you get woodpeckers or a lot of tits they will go through them. I think the biggest thing with what they eat is the quality. The cheap stuff is usually of poor quality hence why the birds don’t eat it. The difference with the wild birds and our pigeons is that they have a choice of what to eat. Our pigeons have to eat what we give them. Quality is the most important thing and not what the mixture contains. 

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Andy123
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@killer a good post and yes good quality corn is the most important thing regardless of what grains they are. But I still think that to much emphasis is put on the feeding as the secret to success. People say that you need to get the feeding right to succeed. I don’t agree that it is that important. If it was just down to the feeding how come there were only 20 odd pigeons in front of the main batches. Were they all from the same loft. No of course they weren’t and as you said Killer probably all fed differently. So if it was the feeding that got these 20 in front, where were the other, probably 100+, that came from the same lofts feed exactly the same way? What about the extreme distance races. Like Barcelona to us, 700+ miles. All the birds in the convoy of 20,000+ are fed the same food for the week that they are basketed before liberation. By that time they would all be in the same position food wise. Feeding may give you an advantage in sprint racing but not much at the distance. 

Home of the ukpigeonracing test loft.


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