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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone!


1. Since 2014 is not far away I'm interested in knowing when people are planning to begin breeding next year?
2. How many breeding pairs are a "good" number?
3. How many rounds of babies do you plan & recommend to get from each pair?
4. What approach do you take:
a. breeding early and getting a group of young birds early in the year but not doing much loft flying until later on
b. breeding early and flying early when you feel its a "good" day, losses to hawks is something that is a part of the sport
c. breeding later but not having a 3rd round of babies or a 3rd round of babies that are not as mature by the time races come along due to their late birth
5. If your area gets hit by hawks hard (and I mean HARD), how many young birds do you think someone should have on their team?
a. 30-40
b. 40-60
c. 60-80
 

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Hey everyone!


1. Since 2014 is not far away I'm interested in knowing when people are planning to begin breeding next year?
- I'm putting mine together around the first weekend in December. Will have to check the date of our club's auction and count backwards - may tweak a little.
2. How many breeding pairs are a "good" number?
- However many you can handle. I have about 20 pairs but would love to get down to 10 just to make it easier on myself and less expensive to feed.

3. How many rounds of babies do you plan & recommend to get from each pair?
- 3

4. What approach do you take:
a. breeding early and getting a group of young birds early in the year but not doing much loft flying until later on
b. breeding early and flying early when you feel its a "good" day, losses to hawks is something that is a part of the sport
c. breeding later but not having a 3rd round of babies or a 3rd round of babies that are not as mature by the time races come along due to their late birth

- I breed early. But regardless of when I start breeding I always get the YBs in the air as soon as possible. It prevents fly aways. I would rather lose a couple to hawks and get the others hawk smart than keep them locked up for months and then have them fly all over the place and get lost when they get hit for the first time.

5. If your area gets hit by hawks hard (and I mean HARD), how many young birds do you think someone should have on their team?
a. 30-40
b. 40-60
c. 60-80

- The most they can comfortably have. It depends on your loft size. It may take a few seasons to find a number that works well for you.
There ya go.
 

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1. February 15th, I have tried raising early youngsters two years in a row, I loose most in the settling process plus they don't perform better than my 2nd round, my 2nd and 3rd round always flies better than my first round.

2. I say have 10 pairs, because that number will increase next year, so have ten pairs this year, then maybe you'll stock a pair and buy a pair next year and you'll already be sitting at 14+ pair before you know it. You don't need a lot of pigeons to do well.

3. I breed two rounds from my breeders but three rounds from my super stars (that's only 2 pairs that I do three rounds for).

4. Neither, if bird hatches by May 10th it can still race competitively but I'll hold it back from any tough race (head wins, unfavorable winds for my loft location, long distances).

5. 40-50 pigeons, to be honest the more pigeons you have the more you loose. Luck is a part of it as well.
 

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I try to have my first round ready to wean the end of February. If you're sending birds out to OLRs they usually don't want them much before that and if you have them ready to go it will give you the chance to replace any that are lost early on. Have to agree with Sho on most every question. Tried it several ways but it boils down to his suggestions.
 

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See my replies below. Can't disagree with what anyone has said yet.

Hey everyone!


1. Since 2014 is not far away I'm interested in knowing when people are planning to begin breeding next year?

I've finally settled on putting my birds together in early to mid-December. The guys in my club that were dominating were banding birds on Jan. 1. Their birds were simply older and more mature, so that's what I started doing. I also want to try and have enough birds to send to OLR at any given time depending on the race and handler, so starting early helps with that. Statistically, I can't say that my younger ones or my older ones race any better than the each other.

2. How many breeding pairs are a "good" number?

All depends on your space. I don't have room for more than 9 pairs. I like that number. If forces me to make hard choices and remove birds that aren't up to standard. If I add breeders, I remove breeders. Nine pairs also gives me enough babies for what I do with them. I add a small handful from my race team, too. And they serve as pumpers for my breeders quite often. If I had more breeders, I wouldn't have enough room for all their babies.

3. How many rounds of babies do you plan & recommend to get from each pair?

Typically 2 rounds. But yes, 3 rounds from my best, but I float the eggs. I took four rounds from a couple of them last year but they only raised 1 or 2 round themselves.

4. What approach do you take:
a. breeding early and getting a group of young birds early in the year but not doing much loft flying until later on
b. breeding early and flying early when you feel its a "good" day, losses to hawks is something that is a part of the sport
c. breeding later but not having a 3rd round of babies or a 3rd round of babies that are not as mature by the time races come along due to their late birth

I do B. I let the birds out when they are ready. Waiting too long is more of a risk than the hawks. The hawks are around even if I waited til April so they are here regardless. But I baby sit them and stand guard among them like a shepherd for hours to deter attacks. Doesn't always work but I try.

5. If your area gets hit by hawks hard (and I mean HARD), how many young birds do you think someone should have on their team?
a. 30-40
b. 40-60
c. 60-80

I think you should determine your team size based on your shipping limits. We have a 15 bird shipping limit, but we have A and B races, so I can ship 30 birds if I shipped the limit. So I'll start with about 35 young birds. Plus, if I have more than that then I have to use three crates for training and that's one more trip back and forth from my loft to the truck :D. In other words, 30 birds are far easier to care for and train than 40 in my case. 30 birds is much more comfortable in that section, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Personally speaking I have a lot of testing to do this coming year.
I have 10 pairs of white homers and 9 pairs of racing pigeons to test. All have been bought over a span of 2 years and I did some breeding but didn't fly many and didn't breed many especially the white homers.

I'm aiming to pair them up last week of December in order to have mid-January babies. I hope to breed 3 rounds of ybs from each pair, maybe 4 from a few select pairs.

So I would technically have 60 white homer ybs and 54 racing pigeon ybs. But thats in a perfect world so I'm expecting around 100 ybs only. I have the loft space that can handle 75-80 ybs easy so I think I should be fine as far as space goes since I will only probably have 40-50 ybs in there at a time due to losses.

The white homers I plan to be a bit more lenient in training with as far as distances go. I'm suspecting some of them have mainly been bred for their colour so their homing instinct may need some time to become strong again.

However for 2015 breeding will increase to:

10 pairs of white homers (out of which 2 pairs will be grizzled birds used to improve homing ability + racing ability)

14 pairs of racing pigeons (including whoever passes the 2013 tests, 2013 ybs that perform exceptionally well, and new birds brought in to be tested).

Eventually the 10 pairs of white homers will also be transformed to be more competitive and race-able birds. Slowly the training will become similar and eventually they will all get the same training. Through selective breeding I can improve the homing ability of the whites/grizzles.

I need the high number of young birds where I live. Terrain is favorable for birds of prey and lots of them around. Weather isn't so bad for most of the young bird training season (March-September is pretty decent) but its mainly the hawks you lose birds to. My flying loft is located in an area with lots of feral pigeons so that will be interesting to see if the birds get hit as often or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes I am. I mainly want to focus on young birds. I'm a member of a club that has races up to 300-350 kilometers in young birds.

Youngest member in the club so I'm hoping to find a nice foundation of breeders to work upwards with. I have friend who is also a pigeon fancier and I may get him to do some further testing for me since he is a long haul semi-truck driver. Maybe something along the lines of 500km & 600km? (Keep in mind its kms and not miles so it just sounds like a lot).

500 km = 310 miles
600 km = 372 miles

That is a distance I believe young birds should be comfortably able to fly.
Birds that prove themselves without a doubt during the young bird season will be stocked.The birds which are questionable will be the birds that will be further tested. Keep in mind the distance is not too much to handle and everything including weather, health, diet, etc will be taken into account.

Essentially I want to set a standard to which every bird is tested to before they are even considered to be a breeder.

I'm thinking I may work on a level system where some birds are given higher ranks due to their superior performances. Kind of like a sports team where you have your elite superstars, secondary scoring, support players, rookies, veterans, etc. If each bird has a profile and its updated regularly you end up with almost having a scouting report to rely on similar to the one used by sports teams on draft days (drafting junior/college players).
 

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Our club goes up to 250 miles usually in YB season.

As for your scoring system, you could always go by the points on the side of the race sheet. Or if too low on the sheet, make your own point system just for your loft. Also average speeds and such are useful to look at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Our club goes up to 250 miles usually in YB season.

As for your scoring system, you could always go by the points on the side of the race sheet. Or if too low on the sheet, make your own point system just for your loft. Also average speeds and such are useful to look at.
Do you think 400/450 miles is too hard for a young bird to accomplish even after the entire young bird season (lots of training/races)?

I want to have the speed in the young birds but not at the cost of losing that good homing ability that is needed in the longer races.
 

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My new club has one 400 mile race at the end of the season but a lot of the flyers don't fly this one. It was added for the short enders. We do fly two 300s and two 350s before the 400.
 

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Both the Albuquerque flew a 400 the same day with great results.
48/61 birds clocked with 24 day birds
118/147 birds clocked with 63 day birds

I think it depends on how tough the 400 mile race is for the birds. I am sure a few birds returned after the clocks were pulled. I had 12 birds in the race 11 returned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think its a good way to judge a bird better in order to see how they handle a longer distance after lots of training over a number of months. I intend to do a 400/450 mile test after the end of each season in September.
 

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Some birds may handle it and some will not the first season. Some will need more maturity.
 

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Just make sure what kind of birds you have, my President birds don't have the wing for it and would never make a 400 mile race.
Dave
 

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Yes, it depends on the kind of birds you have. Faster maturing birds would be fine but some take longer to do any good at that distance.
 

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1. Since 2014 is not far away I'm interested in knowing when people are planning to begin breeding next year?
Middle of January
2. How many breeding pairs are a "good" number?
I like to have all of my young birds about the same age. So, 20 - 25 pair of breeders will raise around 40 - 50 young birds all the same age.
3. How many rounds of babies do you plan & recommend to get from each pair?
Just one round for the young bird team then some special pairings for breeders.
4. What approach do you take:
a. breeding early and getting a group of young birds early in the year but not doing much loft flying until later on
b. breeding early and flying early when you feel its a "good" day, losses to hawks is something that is a part of the sport
c. breeding later but not having a 3rd round of babies or a 3rd round of babies that are not as mature by the time races come along due to their late birth
I am more inclined to to do "a"
5. If your area gets hit by hawks hard (and I mean HARD), how many young birds do you think someone should have on their team?
a. 30-40
b. 40-60
c. 60-80

b. 40-60_________
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Looking at the lofts that I got my birds from, some are from a guy that does well at the sprint races, some are from a guy that does well in young birds in general, and a few birds are some of the long distance blood (really big, long birds).

So I have a good mixture of all distances and 400 miles should be good but I'll take it one step at a time and see how the team stands after the racing season next year. For all I know I may not have very many young birds left (since all my birds are untested by me at least). It can go either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Positives

I found out today that the club I'm in has no minimum or maximum number of birds that can be entered for each race. So essentially I can send 50 birds to a race if I wanted to. However, there is a clocking limit of 5 birds per participant on all races under 300. Does this mean only my top 5 birds would count in the race?
 

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The Positives

I found out today that the club I'm in has no minimum or maximum number of birds that can be entered for each race. So essentially I can send 50 birds to a race if I wanted to. However, there is a clocking limit of 5 birds per participant on all races under 300. Does this mean only my top 5 birds would count in the race?
Yes. That makes it so the guy who can enter 50 birds can't dominate the sheet while the guy with only 10 or 20 gets pushed way down. Also keeps the sheet short and simple. Instead of having hundreds of late birds that don't even get any points taking up more paper to print haha. In our case, the clocks SHOULD put a merge file on the computer of all the clockings and then you just merge them all into one on winspeed. But ours won't do that. So we have to print out the clocks and enter the results into winspeed by hand. 5 birds each is about all we ever do just to keep it simple haha. But it is still a pain in the butt.
 
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