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NayNay NayNay is offline
Posted 15th April 2011, 09:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Country: United States
Location: Bellingham,WA
Age: 48
Posts: 805

YB losses during racing season..


Hey Y'all.
Well, I finally got in touch with my local club- man they were hard to track down! It is a small group of about 5 racers, but they fly in combine with about 30 other clubs in Western Wa . The president is being super helpful, and giving me a lot of guidance, but one thing has me concerned. He told me his first year of racing-4 years ago- he started with 40 birds, and only ended up with 10 in the end! That is a 75% loss. It seems way to high to me....Am I delusional? He is really concerned that I "only" have 10 birds that will be in my loft. Though I know losses are part of the game, I am a little freaked. I don't want to lose all my birds, and have nobody left when breeding time rolls around. And, I also want to be able to fly them, not just keep em locked up nice and safe.

I have been reading everything I can about training methods that can help with proper settling, etc, and I know there is a much more experienced flyer in the club as well, who can perhaps help me train without losing em all.

It just seems like an awful lot of birds to lose in one season...

Oh, and the more experienced fella apparently upgraded his clock, and has a Benzing for sale for $400. I don't know the model- the prez said it usually sells for $1000. It is compatible with what the combine uses, so that is good. I'm gonna go check it out, but I am wondering if that seems like a fair price? I know it depends on what model and all that, but how much do used clocks go for?

Thanks to all,


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Wingsonfire Wingsonfire is offline
Posted 15th April 2011, 10:27 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Country: United States
Location: Fort Worth TX, Mid Cities Area
Age: 56
Posts: 943
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayNay View Post
Hey Y'all.
Well, I finally got in touch with my local club- man they were hard to track down! It is a small group of about 5 racers, but they fly in combine with about 30 other clubs in Western Wa . The president is being super helpful, and giving me a lot of guidance, but one thing has me concerned. He told me his first year of racing-4 years ago- he started with 40 birds, and only ended up with 10 in the end! That is a 75% loss. It seems way to high to me....Am I delusional? He is really concerned that I "only" have 10 birds that will be in my loft. Though I know losses are part of the game, I am a little freaked. I don't want to lose all my birds, and have nobody left when breeding time rolls around. And, I also want to be able to fly them, not just keep em locked up nice and safe.

I have been reading everything I can about training methods that can help with proper settling, etc, and I know there is a much more experienced flyer in the club as well, who can perhaps help me train without losing em all.

It just seems like an awful lot of birds to lose in one season...

Oh, and the more experienced fella apparently upgraded his clock, and has a Benzing for sale for $400. I don't know the model- the prez said it usually sells for $1000. It is compatible with what the combine uses, so that is good. I'm gonna go check it out, but I am wondering if that seems like a fair price? I know it depends on what model and all that, but how much do used clocks go for?

Thanks to all,
I think that any clock would be worth 400.00? I would ask about the battery though as they go out and may need to be changed but thinking I do think that Benzing made one that did not use a internal battery????? Maybe I was dreaming. Ask too if you get any free bands tooooooo at that price
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Crazy Pete Crazy Pete is offline
Posted 15th April 2011, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nebraska
Age: 59
Posts: 4,256
Well if he lost that many birds his first yr his breeders were not very good or he trained to hard. I've been told to expect 20% loses and that seems about rite. Train slow put them in the basket for 2 hrs in the front yard, let them get used to the basket befor you let them out. Then take them 1 mi and do that 3 or 4 times, them 2 mi a few times. My young birds I take them on 15 tosses just to get them 5 mi out.
If your birds can't make it home from 50 mi you really don't want too breed out of them, unless you want more birds that are no good. I could ramble for hrs about birds, so I'll stop here for now. Smarter people than me will be along to help. Good luck with the birds.
Dave
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West West is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 12:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Country: United States
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 279
Well I can tell you from training my birds last year that losses are very high here in WA compared to when I raced in CA. We will be racing in the Evergreen Concourse and it looks like you're on the long end. I'm probably the shortest loft in the concourse. The losses are to be expected even with taking it slow and easy. One bad toss and your numbers drop severely. The Puget Sound Concourse had to stop racing after I believe it was 2 races last YB's because they had lost so many birds.
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rpalmer rpalmer is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 04:27 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Country: United States
Location: Toledo,Ohio
Posts: 991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Pete View Post
Well if he lost that many birds his first yr his breeders were not very good or he trained to hard. I've been told to expect 20% loses and that seems about rite. Train slow put them in the basket for 2 hrs in the front yard, let them get used to the basket befor you let them out. Then take them 1 mi and do that 3 or 4 times, them 2 mi a few times. My young birds I take them on 15 tosses just to get them 5 mi out.
If your birds can't make it home from 50 mi you really don't want too breed out of them, unless you want more birds that are no good. I could ramble for hrs about birds, so I'll stop here for now. Smarter people than me will be along to help. Good luck with the birds.
Dave
I don't know, you sound pretty smart to me and gave a very good answer.
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Jaysen Jaysen is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 04:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Country: United States
Location: Upstate NY
Age: 41
Posts: 851
The northern states, and mountain areas, are predator habitat with a slightly higher density than many other areas. Racing north of the Mason-Dixon, in either of the ranges of mountains, or over large marshlands will increase losses to predation. That would be a statistical constant though.

The non-constant is that the last several years seem to have had higher loss rates than previous years. This statement is made from anecdotal evidence (folks like you reporting the losses of others, older racers making observations) as well as looking at the records from our combine. It looks like the losses started increasing in 2004 and have continued to be high.

I wonder if the AU/IF or any other body is looking into this.
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george simon george simon is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 04:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Country: United States
Location: oceanside,ca
Age: 83
Posts: 4,163
Quote:
Originally Posted by West View Post
Well I can tell you from training my birds last year that losses are very high here in WA compared to when I raced in CA. We will be racing in the Evergreen Concourse and it looks like you're on the long end. I'm probably the shortest loft in the concourse. The losses are to be expected even with taking it slow and easy. One bad toss and your numbers drop severely. The Puget Sound Concourse had to stop racing after I believe it was 2 races last YB's because they had lost so many birds.
Hi WEST,I would like to know if your concourse flys to the east into the mountains or do they fly to the south more or less along the coast.GEORGE
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Goingatitagain Goingatitagain is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 05:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Country: United States
Location: Winston Salem,No Carolina
Posts: 172
We had our 1st OB race last week, and everone had losses. We shipped 10 birds and got 5.

Sometimes I wonder what is going on in the atmosphere. Maybe too many cell phone towers. to me it's a mystery. I know when I started racing back in the late 60's, everyone lost a few birds here and there, but not like it is in the present.

I think we all are hoping for a better year, just to get the birds back home.
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jpsnapdy jpsnapdy is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 290
My first year, I started with 12 birds and after winning the 200Miler, I stopped with ....... 12 birds.
Quality is what matters. Don't overcrowd.
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Alamo Alamo is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Country: United States
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,021
Reasons a club/combine loses pigeons in a race !!! (especially in YB racing).....

#1.......Hawks could get a few....

#2.......A few could hit telephone wires etc.....

#3.......The health of the pigeons is not good.......

#4.......The quality of the pigeons is not good......

#5.......Poor handling (no watering at release point).....

#6.......Poor training methods......

#7.......Bad "K" Factor (Sun Spot/Storms) effect on planet Earth,for the birds to navigate !!

What YOU can do and control.......Pay more attention to #3...#4...#6
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sky tx sky tx is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Country: United States
Location: Texas
Age: 78
Posts: 2,389
Just my opinion
Now a days we need to breed for homing ability----not racing
If you breed from Prison birds---they have no reason to keep their Homing Genes so-- did not have them to pass on to the young.
You buy those High Dollar birds and put them in the breeding loft---the young do not race as you expected.
And several of you know that birds breed form your Race team do very good.--If not better than birds breed from your "so called Breeders".
Just think about it.
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NayNay NayNay is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Country: United States
Location: Bellingham,WA
Age: 48
Posts: 805
Quote:
Originally Posted by West View Post
Well I can tell you from training my birds last year that losses are very high here in WA compared to when I raced in CA. We will be racing in the Evergreen Concourse and it looks like you're on the long end. I'm probably the shortest loft in the concourse. The losses are to be expected even with taking it slow and easy. One bad toss and your numbers drop severely. The Puget Sound Concourse had to stop racing after I believe it was 2 races last YB's because they had lost so many birds.
Dang! That is gnarly. So, given all the excellent and appreciated answers, it sounds like the YB's are easier pickins to the predators- of which we have many in the Wa. Makes sense, we live in paradise after all . Sounds like we are the NYC of the US pigeon world- "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere." .

West, do you happen to know what the local theory is on why so many losses? I would think BOP, but my yard/neighborhood/town has ad an explosion of squirrels over the last couple of years, which I was taking as a sign that the BOP population was in decline. maybe they are just getting fat on pigeons- of which I do not see any wandering the streets beggin for bagels like they used to. We have a ton of seagulls though- maybe they are too big to eat?

George- without even knowing a thing about the Concourse, i will venture that the birds fly either north or south, as WA state is divided physically and culturally by the Cascade Range. As for "the coast", while most of the westside has access to saltwater, it isn't really a "coast" per se. Not in a "top down, cruisin down Hiway 1 for a couple of hundred miles" kind of way. Put it this way- the most common amusing thing for a visiting relative to say is "So, what lake it that?" as they peer out at the puget sound, and it's layer upon layer of islands creating the illusion that it is a captive body of water.
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RodSD RodSD is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego
Age: 42
Posts: 4,102
We don't exactly know the causes of mysterious losses during racing season. It seems to be increasing and it applies to other countries as well.

To me pigeons flying these days have harder time flying than perhaps long ago. My guess is that it is not one factor. There are moments when birds get lost from the same training spot, for example.
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NayNay NayNay is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 08:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Country: United States
Location: Bellingham,WA
Age: 48
Posts: 805
Well, the world has changed a lot in a short period of time, and nobody really knows how the pigeons are able to find home, so I imagine it'll remain a bit of a mystery. But, sounds like for whatever reason, we get hit harder in Western Washington. :-(
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RodSD RodSD is offline
Posted 16th April 2011, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego
Age: 42
Posts: 4,102
No, we know how pigeons come home. They use multi-sense such as sensing earth magnetism, sun navigation, scent, visual, etc., We just don't know the exact detail yet on how they process all that. Rest assure that if they can't see the sun, they use their earth sensing ability for navigation.

What puzzles me is when their navigation gets all messed up at the same time. They supposed to have a backup system. But that probably got hay wired, too. Because of that some people assume it to be health issues. But I am still not convinced.
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