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whitesnmore whitesnmore is offline
Posted 5th April 2005, 09:07 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Country: United States
Location: Chicagoland area
Age: 50
Posts: 628

What to Look for in a Mentor


What should a new flyer look for in asking for a mentor. What types of things should a flyer expect out of and give back to a person offering to be a mentor. I was wondering if a mentor should be someone within or outside your club. What are some of the things a new guy or gal should ask from their mentor -- ie advice, training assistance, loft setup, etc. etc. I am sure there are many out there other than me that would like this info.
Ken


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relofts relofts is offline
Posted 5th April 2005, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Tulare CA USA
Posts: 515
Ken,

It has been quite a few years back that we started and we had multiple people advising us, which can be good but also over whelming at times. I remember the club that we joined had a few members that provided us with birds, loft advise, clock advise, and they came down to our home and gave us suggestions. We then attended a few of the functions and shows and learned of a judge Brad Laverne that would grade pigeons and was very good at it. We met up with Brad at the show and later loaded the birds and drove them a couple hours to his house and had him go through everything we had for breeders. Brad Laverne was very good at his grading, he told us what to breed, what not to breed, what he was looking for, what type of muscle you wanted, how you wanted a one feather tail, the feather condition, the personality of the bird you wanted, what to feed, what not to feed, how to train and I am sure some other things, well I took me a note book and I wrote down everything Brad told me so I wouldn't forget anything. Well we took what Brad gave us and set out to do a lot of the suggestions he gave us as well as a little from the members and we started out our first season I want to say with at least 5 wins agains't senior members. We have sinced tried to pass on what we know, what we have learned over the years to other new flyers. You want a mentor that will teach you all about pigeons, health, anatomy, nutrition, training, one that has experience and better yet one that knows your race conditions, one that is successful in their flying or at least holds their own. You also need to read what you can, watch video's and don't be afraid to ask questions. One mentor is good for your base, but be willing to except other's suggestions or at least give it some thoughts as one persons way is not always the best way for another.

Ellen
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SmithFamilyLoft SmithFamilyLoft is offline
Posted 5th April 2005, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Country: United States
Posts: 5,367
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Mentor Selection ?


Ken,

Excellent post, I gave it 5 stars. I don't know if I can improve upon what Relofts has said.

This is a competitive sport. There are mentors, that have been highly successfull at winning races, yet may be very poor in regards to their love and concern for the pigeon.

There are mentors, who may not put you at the top of the race sheet, but have a real love of these birds. I could give you a graphic description of what I mean by this, but I will instead say, that some treat their birds worse then livestock, and some as highly valued pets.

In the end, it is my opinion, that the enjoyment and fun, is what you should look for. If you want to enjoy this sport, it helps if you win once in awhile. On the other hand, winning at all costs, may take the fun out of it. I would go with the fun.

I myself, am in between two worlds. I have some internationally known fanciers, who I can call on. And I have some local fanciers who have many years of experience. If I were to follow some of the advice I have recieved, I would not like the guy I look at in the mirror in the morning. Perhaps this advice, would bring more "wins", but I am convinced, there are more important things then winning.

My advice, would be to seek out a variety of "Mentors", and to use your own mind to determine what advice to use, and which to discard. After all, no one person, has all the right answers.
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Motherlodelofts Motherlodelofts is offline
Posted 5th April 2005, 07:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Age: 56
Posts: 318
All good points here, I might also add a good one is also happy for "you" when you start beating them LOL

Scott
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re lee re lee is offline
Posted 5th April 2005, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: enid okla
Posts: 4,098
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I think thru the years I learned more about birds and what to do what you should not do ect. Thru being active in a club. A good club. Will share info. And members become friends visiting each others loft and rounding there knowledge. As far as racing different strains perform different in the different areas of racing. So local breeders can tell what they have noticed with there birds. Now if you are lucky enough to live near a top flyer And he will share his out comes. That is a good out let of knowledge. There are several basic steps to breeding racing and training the birds. And these steps lead to the key answer. Getting the birds to perform for you. And I think a good club will be the answer to learning a balance of knowledge. Thru shared ideas.
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whitesnmore whitesnmore is offline
Posted 6th April 2005, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Country: United States
Location: Chicagoland area
Age: 50
Posts: 628

Mentor info


Thank you all for these great responses. I really need help with identifying which things to look for in that special bird and or breeder. This is an area that I think will greatly help me decide which birds to keep in the loft and which ones to give away. I would love to win but just having fun and spending the time with the family and like minded people (not to mention the birds) is the primary reason for doing this. I have to say I am a little on the anal side and wont do anything in life unless I can give 110%. I have read may books on the subject and found there are as many opinions as there are books. Gets very confusing at times. Elen, You wouldn't happen to have that notebook laying around would you?
Ken
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whitesnmore whitesnmore is offline
Posted 6th April 2005, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Country: United States
Location: Chicagoland area
Age: 50
Posts: 628

Notebook


Sorry I thought it was you who had the note book Ellen, but any tips from anyone is appreciated. I know how some folks hold their secrets tight to their chests and I can understand that. I did figure out what the single tail feather is but heard that some birds have more flights than others. Is there an advantage to having more flights? Also, I noticed one YB always comes out of the nest before the other has anyone ever noticed if this has shown a pattern of whether the 1st out means this bird is more aggressive or a better bird? Just things I am noticing.
Ken
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re lee re lee is offline
Posted 6th April 2005, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: enid okla
Posts: 4,098
The average is ten flights. I think more might not be as good. About a young bird leaving the nest earlyer. I do not put much faith there. Depends to on breeding holes. Smaller nest area makes a difference. And some people will lock down there breeders for 100% surety of who the parents are. When you are building a family and work on traits. You can even be real sure of which is a cock or hen by the time they leave the nest. The wing it self can help there. Tail can be 1 to 1 and a half feathers 1 prfuerd by most. Some people when flying will look at the breast blow the feathers by the keel to see the meat color. When its dark they hold the bird back. And when its light colored its ready for the next race. Some people will look for the bird that watches you when you enter ther loft. As it is aware and alert. But habits and breeding goes to the breeder. How they train and work with the birds. Not over crowding the birds is a big plus. health happieness less loses. Then the other is do not breed for numbers. breed for quality. Some people will look at young birds and watch the ones that earn a higher perch and defend it well. several ideas have helped different flyers.
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relofts relofts is offline
Posted 6th April 2005, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Tulare CA USA
Posts: 515
Re-lee,
Very good post, the only thing I can tell you that is not even 100 percent true to fact but the cock bird in the nest as a youngster is the one that is usually trying to get you while the hen shy's away a little.

Ken,

I will have to see where that note book is. When I am looking for that breeder quality bird, I look for a well muscled bird not over muscled though, muscle even with the breast bone and maybe a little over it, subtle muscle, nice straight breast bone, nice one feather tail, when you hold the bird check the vent you want a nice tight vent bone, you want a strong back so when the bird is in your hands with feet kicked back with your hands rolled around the wing and supporting the legs up you can move the bird up and down and the tail doesn't flip up or down, the bird almost feels boyant in your hands. Now all this doesn't make a difference if the bird doesn't have anything for homing ability so the only way you know is to breed for quality and then start training the bird and if passes training then competing the bird. If the bird is consistantly late then you want to split the pair and put with 2 different mates to figure out which is the better breeder, this is not something that happens in a year but is worked on over years and great records of breeding, training, racing. Ok I think that may be enough for right now....lol

Ellen
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whitesnmore whitesnmore is offline
Posted 7th April 2005, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Country: United States
Location: Chicagoland area
Age: 50
Posts: 628

Bird differences


I find it amazing how 2 birds coming out of one nest can have such different personalities. I think you are right about the cock birds being the ones to greet you as I have seen this pattern most often turn out right. Does an aggressive bird in the loft usually mean a better bird for racing if all else is equal? Does the aggressive behavior make this bird want to break away from the flock and want to get home faster. Is this one of the traits that one would look for --an aggressive bird for this reason?
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SmithFamilyLoft SmithFamilyLoft is offline
Posted 7th April 2005, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Country: United States
Posts: 5,367
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Breeding Qualities


Hello Ken,

I am sure every breeder could give a list of preferences of what they like in terms of physical characteristics. Ellen mentioned one feather tail, tight vent, avoiding tail flippers, etc. Some might mention eye sign, feather, muscle, shape of wing, feel in hand, etc. etc.

In the end Ken, your pigeons will begin to become, what you yourself select on. Now the million dollar question, is wheather or not ANY of the above qualities, have anything to do with racing. Or if these qualities are there because they simply please the breeder. I have heard, seen, and experienced, too many examples of birds having "poor", (fill in from above) win races.

I have seen and heard of great racers, who only produced "average" birds, regardless of the mate. And poor racers, which have produced winner after winner.

There are very few fanciers, who have the "gift" of being a master selector. Those that are, normally have a strain named after them. There are quite a few painters out there, a few that are artists, and fewer still, there are the great masters. Out of a loft of say a hundred pigeons, the fancier may have 3 super birds. The challenge is knowing which three are really the super birds.

Ludo Claessens, is one of those rare "Selectors". He can sell out his entire loft, and start all over again, because he knows how to select and pair birds. He used a lost stray bird, that came into his loft. He was able to "see" the qualities in this bird. That bird's youngsters now sell for $3,000 a piece.

http://www.ganusfamilyloft.com/goldenwitten2.htm

My suggestion, would be to read as much as you can get your hands on, on how the masters went about creating their great master pieces. Then get your note book and paint brush out, and begin to work on that great "K & D" line of famous pigeons.

And if you haven't read the interview with Ludo, I have a link at the bottom of my web page called Ludo News:

http://hometown.aol.com/smithfamilyl...e/profile.html
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re lee re lee is offline
Posted 8th April 2005, 03:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: enid okla
Posts: 4,098
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Warren I think You let the cat out of the bag. With the 2 or 3 bird fact. Thats where lofts build there key family lines off of. You gave the million dollar answer. We all breed hundres thousands of birds over the years. And produce few key PREPOTANT birds. When its done. Family lines need to be built right there. Thats why a good loft will have several family lines going on in the breeder loft. Then testing the young off that line to see which picked up the needed tools. Keeping the select few. Looking back over old pedigrees. You will find direct links to a line. AND Then about matings that click. Those birds need to be repaired thru the years keeping that hit going Then spreading it thru the young that were raised. Its harder to find key hens. And they are very much the key to the breeding. I have looked at birds wing from differrent lofts. Then looked at the remaining birds after race seasons over. The weaker winged birds Seem to get lost faster. because they create wind drag. from feather coverage breaks. Making the birds work harder to maintain speed and flight. Making them as the sesaon goes by being forced to sett down. Or basicly give up the job to return home. Less breaks in the wing means less work in flight. At least This is my way of seeing it.
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SmithFamilyLoft SmithFamilyLoft is offline
Posted 8th April 2005, 03:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Country: United States
Posts: 5,367
Cool

Ahhh Shucks Robert !

I should have saved that for my book !

Do you think anyone will notice ?
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re lee re lee is offline
Posted 8th April 2005, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: enid okla
Posts: 4,098
Lets hope alot notice. In every majar breed thhere is a bird that comes along and takes you forward. Turns things around towards the better. Hard part is relizing its use and building around it.
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