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I think it is just about impossible to pull off in Florida, you would be better off trying the Light system if you want to affect the moult in your location.
 

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And why not follow Mother Nature's way ? Pigeons need to sleep at night (approx 10 hours minimum) that is what regulates the 4 seasons. And we humans would have less health problems if we did the same.
Different systems may work for different people, I've always tried to let the birds sleep at night and their normal activity during the hours of daylight, without always succeeding because of my own difficult work schedule. For years I had to put the lights on to feed them in the evenings but I hated doing it that way.
So if you are lucky to be home throughout the day, I would recommend that you set their clocks with that of the sun.
But that is just me...
 

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jps...its done in order to affect the moult so that the majority of the youngsters in a loft will be in prime shape for the race season. To be honest I have never used the light or dark system so I'm not sure how it works. You could probably find some write ups on it though with a google search, or wait for someone that has tried them, I know they are around.
 

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The idea with the darkening system is so the birds will not molt the flights when the races come around. The maximum hours of light (sun or artificial) a bird is allowed to get is 9-10 hours per day, then close the loft so there is no light. When to open and close the loft is something you'll have to figure out per your own schedule. But, use the 10 hour max light as a rule for darkening.
 

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Yes, we all try to have control over the moult. I stopped racing young birds a long time ago, but the system I used was to breed at the exact time before the races to have them in the proper moulting condition I wanted them in and control the moult through more or less tough road work (at the end of the racing season they had done at least 2000km down the road) and the feeding mixture. And keep them happy.
Good luck and cheers,
JPS
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It is too late to use the light system this year but next year turn your full spectrum lights on when you put the first squeakers in the young bird loft. You will need to give the birds 17 hours of light until May 1st. You will also want to cut the 9th & 10th flight feathers...
Thank you. I plan on getting a book on these systems.
 

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good day sir I'm from Philippines i had hard time to study the proper way of darkening system...Here we had only 3 races a year a derby aside from middle and short distance races..right now we had a race 7 laps the 1st lap/race already done last Sunday, and this Sunday is the 2nd...in ordinary races/winter race that what we called here, the training starts on 2nd week of august and by 2nd week of October it starts the derby race..the second race season training start from last week or 3rd week of December and the derby race whole month of February until 1st week of march..and the last is the summer race wherein,,start from march until the end of may..hope someone send me a reply. i Really want to know the proper way of using Darkening system...thank you...here's my email [email protected]n thanks
 

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I think the idea of darkening system is to fool the bird thinking that it is winter when it is not so they molt their body feathers, but not their flight feathers. That way during racing season they have full complete flights. Depending on what country you are in you can put the birds in 9-10 hours maximum daylight for couple of months. In other words they experience shorter days. So, for example, you can close your loft around 4 pm and open it around 6 am or maybe even close your loft around 6 pm and open it around 9 am. The loft don't need to be totally dark, but dark enough to confuse the bird. You will know if you are doing it right because you will see that they will start to moult. If not then vary the time again (as in the range). To be specific if the sunrise shows around 6 am and set around 6 pm (which means 12 hours daylight), you can put a cover for extra 3 hours "sleep." So you might end up covering the loft around 6 pm and open it around 9 am. That way the birds losses 3 hours of daylight. You do that for couple of months until they complete their body feathers (3-5 months?).

You probably have to adapt that principle for the Philippines.
 

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I didn't read all the replies but your first season I would really advise staying as natural as possible till you get a feel for things and just the normal day to day things that go along with caring for a race team.
 

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skybendersloft and klondike goldie :yes sir i do both...i started pairing them last week of january and our club training starts on last week of august..then the race start last week of october till november...my bird can fly up to 400 + km..but sad to say Im not able to clock them on the given time..Until i found out the darkening system so i want to use it or maybe try to learned what it can do to my racers...thank you sir GODBLESSS
 
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