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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Interesting article that shows differences in some gene in different breeds:
http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cach...f+homing+pigeon+gene&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

The most important to remember is Table 1 where it compares top racing pigeon, average racing pigeon and non-homing pigeons. Apparently top racing pigeons have higher LDHA(A) allele compared to average one and/or almost none to non-homing pigeons. That gene has something to do with lactate.

"The LDH gene family is involved in
aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, therefore it
determines muscle endurance, recovery and
aerobic capacity."

Q. So how can we use this knowledge?
A. So let us say that I have money and I am racing, then I would probably hire someone to do the experiment as mentioned and try to figure out whether my pigeon has higher LDHA(A) allele (0.200+) count. That may indicate that my pigeon might be top pigeons.

The article is confusing to read at first because it tells the procedure for isolating DNA, amplifying that DNA and cutting it into pieces to see differences and sequencing it. It might also help just to click on the pdf file and read that.
 

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Interesting article that shows differences in some gene in different breeds:
http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cach...f+homing+pigeon+gene&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

The most important to remember is Table 1 where it compares top racing pigeon, average racing pigeon and non-homing pigeons. Apparently top racing pigeons have higher LDHA(A) allele compared to average one and/or almost none to non-homing pigeons. That gene has something to do with lactate.

"The LDH gene family is involved in
aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, therefore it
determines muscle endurance, recovery and
aerobic capacity."

Q. So how can we use this knowledge?
A. So let us say that I have money and I am racing, then I would probably hire someone to do the experiment as mentioned and try to figure out whether my pigeon has higher LDHA(A) allele (0.200+) count. That may indicate that my pigeon might be top pigeons.

The article is confusing to read at first because it tells the procedure for isolating DNA, amplifying that DNA and cutting it into pieces to see differences and sequencing it. It might also help just to click on the pdf file and read that.
Couldn't you simply just "test" the pigeon by sending it to a race ? Of course some DNA type test could be done, but if the pigeon is missing flights, out of form, improperly fed, or sent the wrong distance for his type, then what will you have really learned ?
 

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Rod, there is no magic "Genetic" Formula, Flying them and testing them is the only thing that works... You would have to work on at LEAST six or more Genetic "markers", Homing ability, speed, how Smart the bird is...AND.. That does not even cover the Birds Physical abilities. The ONLY way to tell, is to FLY them. Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Understood guys, but these are some clues as to why we can have average pigeons and top pigeons.

Warren,

Obviously, we should compare all birds having none of those features that you mentioned. What we are comparing then is the internal or genetic makeup. That gene I believe has those two allele (type A and type B). Each allele seems to affect whether we have an anaerobic or aerobic performance where type A maybe more for sprint birds (anaerobic) and type B for long distance bird.

Dave,
I wish there is no magic "genetic" formula in that we can just fly our birds and see who is better. But flying them, looking for a good one, and breeding those is in itself a genetic program (breeding). I am thinking of doing the same, but closer to DNA level. Although it seems controversial, but what we are is because of our DNA.

I have decided to use the knowledge above as one of my arsenals in my future racing program. I got the feeling that someday when I start racing I will be using science as my tool. For now I am happy just a backyard flier.

kalapati,

It is crazy isn't it? Now that they can know our potential flawed gene, they can use that for medical purpose and probably insurance wise. Unfortunately, some diseases have genetic links in that if your parents have it, you might have it, too. That would be a boom for insurance companies.
 

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Understood guys, but these are some clues as to why we can have average pigeons and top pigeons.

Warren,

Obviously, we should compare all birds having none of those features that you mentioned. What we are comparing then is the internal or genetic makeup. That gene I believe has those two allele (type A and type B). Each allele seems to affect whether we have an anaerobic or aerobic performance where type A maybe more for sprint birds (anaerobic) and type B for long distance bird.
I think I understand where you are coming from. But, at the end of the day, I think some sort of DNA testing, as you suggest, will most likely not occur in any way which would assist us in knowing which birds should go to say a One Loft race, at least not in my lifetime. There is another marker which also may have to be found or discovered...Motivation....if a pigeon has all the tools needed to race home, but is not really motivated to do so, because of "Love of Home"....then what ? Most likely such discoveries, would not be applied to racing pigeons anyway, more likely the race horse industry, would get the nod first.

Gee...maybe some day, we could even give up the actual Olympic events themselves, simply submit the DNA of the participant, as there would be no need to actually conduct the event ?! What would be the point, the winning genes would already be known !....:rolleyes:
 

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Now I want you all to stop and think about this THE BIRD DOES NOT KNOW THAT HE IS IN A RACE,all the bird wants to is get home how fast matters not to the bird,so he /she must be motivated in the hope that motivation will cause the bird to come faster. GEORGE;)
 

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Now I want you all to stop and think about this THE BIRD DOES NOT KNOW THAT HE IS IN A RACE,all the bird wants to is get home how fast matters not to the bird,so he /she must be motivated in the hope that motivation will cause the bird to come faster. GEORGE;)

OH GEORGE!! TELL ME IT AIN'T SO!!!! And all these pep talks I've been giving to my birds were a waste of time..........:eek:
I'm SOOOOO depressed now.........:(
 

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Now I want you all to stop and think about this THE BIRD DOES NOT KNOW THAT HE IS IN A RACE,all the bird wants to is get home how fast matters not to the bird,so he /she must be motivated in the hope that motivation will cause the bird to come faster. GEORGE;)
I got to stop agreeing with you George!
May I add, I believe all bird's want to make it home. None that I know of think to themself's, sod this,I'm going to live in the field's.
 

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AND, i see NO way Motivation could be told from Genetic markers, Ect. Dave
I agree. Motivation is a singular.
Ie. you and everybody else on this site are motivated by what may be the same thing (pigeons). But we all are motivated in our own way...Racing, showing, rehab.
Now that's an interesting question? How many people who have pigeon's. Have blood relative's who have had, or still do have pigeon's, or anykind of bird?
 

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Homing is an instinct that only some pigeons have. Science at this point does not know how or why some pigeons have it and some do not. It may very well be in the DNA makeup so if it is then you breed that DNA into your flock so the enternal compass is in good working order so then the breeder can focus on strength and endurance; And of course the love the bird is given at Renee's loft that makes them hurry home for so more loving.
 

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Mumblers

OH GEORGE!! TELL ME IT AIN'T SO!!!! And all these pep talks I've been giving to my birds were a waste of time..........
I'm SOOOOO depressed now.........
Hi RENEE, Years ago when I was a young pup :rolleyes:all the old guys that raced were known as PIGEON MUMBLERS:p as they all talked to their birds. I still do it today:eek: and the nice thing is they are good listners and never any back talk.LOLGEORGE;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree with motivating birds and training it properly. But I believe there is a limit to that motivation. I mean during race day your competitors also motivated their birds, trained them properly, fed properly , and yet their birds may have won more consistently than you. Therefore, there must be something in that bird that other birds doesn't. Table 1 shows differences between the controlled (average homers) compared to top racers (from different places.) with respect to some genetic marker.

Dave,
I think motivation is an emotional response and emotions are govern my hormones which is controlled by genes (or genetic marker).

Big T,
I like your idea. All these breeding (selection) that we do is just locking that gene that we don't see. We are in a sense working on the whole organism part instead of just plain DNA.

Renee,
I think talking to them soothes them. I think there was research done before with respect to human babies that caressing them and talking to them softly changes their biochemicals and they ended up with "good feel" hormones and they fall asleep. I think there was also experiments done that touching human babies actually changes their brain neurons. Untouched babies actually have different neuron connections and their future adult behaviors are changed as well. I wonder if this applies to pigeons as well. I wonder if touching them and talking to them make them tamer.
 

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.... THE BIRD DOES NOT KNOW THAT HE IS IN A RACE,.... GEORGE;)
That has always been assumed to be true....but how do you really know ? Any way to prove that pigeon does not know he is in a race ?

He might not be thinking "Race" as you or I do, he just might be thinking that the cock bird next to him in the crate (which he may not like very much) is going to the same place he is, and he wants to get home before that other bird steals his perch and/or his girl ?

I'm open minded enough, that if you can explain why he can't possibly know he is in a race, I might be convinced, but I need some proof.......:rolleyes:
 

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Warren,Why are you taking what I said out of context. The point I was making was that the bird is motivate to come home and this motivation does not mean that the bird will fly home faster. That is why we have widowhood and natural racing systems and the various motivation systems used by the people that fly these systems. It is all done in the hope that you can get your bird to fly faster and that is done in the hope of winning the race.GEORGE;)
 

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Warren,Why are you taking what I said out of context. The point I was making was that the bird is motivate to come home and this motivation does not mean that the bird will fly home faster. That is why we have widowhood and natural racing systems and the various motivation systems used by the people that fly these systems. It is all done in the hope that you can get your bird to fly faster and that is done in the hope of winning the race.GEORGE;)
;)

OK...then......in the bird's mind, he may be in a "Race".....:p....but, I concede, the microchip or counter mark machine, may go over his head. :p
 

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Regardless of how important motivation is, I still say the genetics is the most important part. You could motivate and condition a roller all you want, but if you send it on a 300 mile race, it aint coming back :p

Genetics is what makes a homing pigeon, motivation and prepping is what makes a winning homing pigeon.

I say do the best you possibly can, and hope for the best. There's not much more you CAN do, unless you're a scientist that can design your own perfect birds. That would get you one step closer :p If the breeding is right and you lose, then maybe the other things are wrong. If everything you do with them is right and you lose, maybe the breeding is wrong. It's all nothing but trial and error either way you look at it.
 
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