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Hi there all,

This seems like a great forum for those of us who are just starting out in this fascinating world of Racing Pigeons.

I have a couple of questions that probably onlyt a noob could ask but here they go anyway.

  • Do any of you pay any attention to the so called "Eye Sign? If yes, does it hold any merit, if no, why do you say so?
  • What is the difference between giving a pigeon sunflower seed with the shell still attached as opposed to giving it shelled or dehusked?
  • It seems that part of the trick to racing pigeons is how you feed them. We have just started out the season and I am on the board but not doing too well, are there any tricks to feeding? How do you feed on basketing day, how do you feed from Saturdays return through to Fridays Basketing. This is frustrating me. My birds are full bodied, they fly well but something is lacking.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Andy
 

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Hi there all,

This seems like a great forum for those of us who are just starting out in this fascinating world of Racing Pigeons.

I have a couple of questions that probably onlyt a noob could ask but here they go anyway.

  • Do any of you pay any attention to the so called "Eye Sign? If yes, does it hold any merit, if no, why do you say so?
  • What is the difference between giving a pigeon sunflower seed with the shell still attached as opposed to giving it shelled or dehusked?
  • It seems that part of the trick to racing pigeons is how you feed them. We have just started out the season and I am on the board but not doing too well, are there any tricks to feeding? How do you feed on basketing day, how do you feed from Saturdays return through to Fridays Basketing. This is frustrating me. My birds are full bodied, they fly well but something is lacking.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Andy
Hi Andy,

Welcome to Pigeon Talk!

Your questions are two of the hottest topics on this forum, along with the more general question of "why aren't my birds winning?". The question of eyesign has been discussed, fumed over, yelled at back and forth, etc., etc. on this forum many times. You can do a search and find all the info you could possibly imagine on both sides of the fence. This seems to be a topic you either buy into or you don't, there is very little middle ground.

You could also do a search regarding feeding techniques and find dozens, if not hundreds of opinions on the subject. I think that the best advice I could give you is to do your research, get the facts and the opinions, try to discern between the two (that is the hard part) and make your own educated, informed decisions. The longer I am involved in this activity the more I come to believe that it is an art more than a sport. There are so many factors that go into winning consistently that it takes many, many years to figure it out.

The biggest problem is that what works for one will not necessarily work for another. There is no "how to" book. Actually, let me restate that. There are hundreds of "how to" books, there just aren't any "Andy, how to" books. In other words, you have to find the methods that are going to fit your schedule, budget, level of interest, willingness to train, etc., etc. that will work for you. It does you no good to spend $50 on a DVD that tells you you must train 5 days a week, 50 - 100 miles per day if that is not a reasonable expectation for your life style and budget (it certainly would not be for me!).

My personal viewpoint on the eyesign thing is that it has absolutly no scientific merit to back it up and, for me, it is of absolutly no significance whatsoever...but....do not take my word for it. Go out yourself, do your research, investigate the facts, weigh those facts against what you believe to be worthy justifications and make up your own mind about it.

For me, the journey is just as much fun, if not more so, than the finish line.

How's that for a long winded evasion of the original questions! Sorry i don't have any concrete answers for you but the truth is, at least to some extent, nobody does, at least not the answers that are going to work for Andy except...you got it...Andy!

Dan
 

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As far as eyesign goes, my dad is interested in learning it...but...I couldn't care less :rolleyes: I have my own eyesign theory - if it has two working eyes, with pupils that dilate according to the light, and they are bright, then I like it. It also helps to have some of those "mountains" or whatever they call it in the iris. Completely clear eyes remind me of feral pigeon eyes.
But anyways, I think it's crap, honestly. Especially those "speed and distance lines". The shape of the body and wings is the biggest part of that.

Anyways! On to your other questions.

The difference between hulled and whole seeds is mostly cost and how well they digest them. Pigeons do not crack the shell off of seeds before eating them, so instead they have to grind it all up in the crop and gizzard. So if there's no shell, they can be more easily digested, and the shell isn't really that important nutritional wise anyway.
There's the black oil sunflower seed, which is smaller and probably best left like it is. Then there's the larger, striped sunflowers. If you want to feed those, it's best to get the sunflower hearts. The shell is huge, pointless, and could hurt the lining of the crop.

I'm not really an expert on feeding. The day of shipping, I feed the same as any other day, except maybe with a few peanuts as a treat to go along with my bribing them :p The day of the race, I have some food in there all day so when the bird returns, it'll be sure to have food. Then on sunday, it's back to normal. They get a bath and an open loft to relieve stress and prevent sore muscles.

Feeding is important, but if a bird doesn't have it, then no amount of fancy food will fix that. If your birds are in good shape and condition, then maybe the feeding isn't the problem.
 

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Welcome to Pigeon Talk Andy! I'm also a beginner to racing so I don't have much to share with you there but we have a whole lot of flyers here who have been doing it for years and some of them should be along to help you out soon. Good luck!

Edit - There you go!...Becky was posting while I was posting....lol.
 

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As far as eyesign goes, my dad is interested in learning it...but...I couldn't care less :rolleyes: I have my own eyesign theory - if it has two working eyes, with pupils that dilate according to the light, and they are bright, then I like it. It also helps to have some of those "mountains" or whatever they call it in the iris. Completely clear eyes remind me of feral pigeon eyes.
But anyways, I think it's crap, honestly. Especially those "speed and distance lines". The shape of the body and wings is the biggest part of that.

Anyways! On to your other questions.

The difference between hulled and whole seeds is mostly cost and how well they digest them. Pigeons do not crack the shell off of seeds before eating them, so instead they have to grind it all up in the crop and gizzard. So if there's no shell, they can be more easily digested, and the shell isn't really that important nutritional wise anyway.
There's the black oil sunflower seed, which is smaller and probably best left like it is. Then there's the larger, striped sunflowers. If you want to feed those, it's best to get the sunflower hearts. The shell is huge, pointless, and could hurt the lining of the crop.

I'm not really an expert on feeding. The day of shipping, I feed the same as any other day, except maybe with a few peanuts as a treat to go along with my bribing them :p The day of the race, I have some food in there all day so when the bird returns, it'll be sure to have food. Then on sunday, it's back to normal. They get a bath and an open loft to relieve stress and prevent sore muscles.

Feeding is important, but if a bird doesn't have it, then no amount of fancy food will fix that. If your birds are in good shape and condition, then maybe the feeding isn't the problem.
Becky? are you really sure your 15.:p:D
 

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Becky? are you really sure your 15.:p:D
She may be 15 but like you spirit wings, lovebirds, learning, warren and others, I pay attention because I know good advice when I read it. I also bet that that young lady is going to give the racing world a run for their money just you wait and see.

Now for the questions:

The eyes; I look in the eyes for clear, focus, and alertness. Chances are if the bird get sick, the eyes will be the first place you notice. Long before any other signs. Other than that I do not buy into the rest, unless you breed for color, but you said you race.

Sunflower seeds, I believe Becky. She said it all.

Feeding that is one of the three part question for winning races. Breeding, Training, and Feeding; when you find the perfect formula you are the guy to beat. Start with the basics, keep excellent records and times on each of your birds, make a change and see if they improve. That's part of the game, just do not keep making changes and hoping for the best, you got to keep good records.

Good Luck and God Bless,
Tony
 

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I am not into eye-sign myself, but I like rich, mountainous(iris) looking eye. In short distance race those feature is probably not that important.

With respect to sunflower seeds, I think Becky already answered that.

Feeding is something that some might call an art. You are the only one that can tell how your birds react. Feed them different kinds with different ratio with different grains and see how they perform. Obviously you can't do this during racing season because it can break your bird's rhythm (and hence performance). For longer race maybe you can add more fat--safflower(?). Having sad that it doesn't matter what you feed if the bird's quality is not good. How you train your birds also affects how they do. Even motivations may also affect their performance. Health is important, too. It is not just feeding.
 

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Hi there all,

This seems like a great forum for those of us who are just starting out in this fascinating world of Racing Pigeons.

I have a couple of questions that probably onlyt a noob could ask but here they go anyway.

  • Do any of you pay any attention to the so called "Eye Sign? If yes, does it hold any merit, if no, why do you say so?
  • What is the difference between giving a pigeon sunflower seed with the shell still attached as opposed to giving it shelled or dehusked?
  • It seems that part of the trick to racing pigeons is how you feed them. We have just started out the season and I am on the board but not doing too well, are there any tricks to feeding? How do you feed on basketing day, how do you feed from Saturdays return through to Fridays Basketing. This is frustrating me. My birds are full bodied, they fly well but something is lacking.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Andy
My thoughts are out of all your questions that feed is the most important. With feeding comes control of your race team. Overfed birds are slow, lazy and do not mind. As for what to feed there are 500 different answers. Pick the brain of the guy in your club or area about what he feeds when and how much. I would keep it simple. Barley and corn are your friends, peas and protein for racing are not. Do not skimp on the protein when breeding, but regulate it during training. I have fed about 15% safflower this year for breeding and my birds are the best they have ever looked at weaning.

As far as eye sign, I stop at whether they look healthy or not. My worst eyed bird is my best breeder. If you breed for eye sign you get just that, birds with cool looking eyes. Listen to Becky. By the way, I want her to grade the birds I sent her.

As for sunflower, my birds do not like it much. I prefer safflower. It does the same thing and it is great for rewards and pavlovian control methods. In other words, birds will sit on your head for safflower.

keep posting questions, there are some experienced fanciers in the threads.

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey there all,

Than ks for all the great replies, I guess I will have to experiment with the foods to see what is best and what not. This seems to be the only way to do it.

Is there any merit in taking the food away after the first 2 or 3 have gone to water?

See you all around

Cheers

Andy
 

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Hey there all,

Than ks for all the great replies, I guess I will have to experiment with the foods to see what is best and what not. This seems to be the only way to do it.

Is there any merit in taking the food away after the first 2 or 3 have gone to water?
See you all around

Cheers

Andy
Hi Andy,
Smart question, now you are in part two, Training. Food is a great motivator for training. To Answer your question, Yes. I use a cow bell, but different people use different things. I always ring the bell when feeding, and I feed them all they want but take up the rest when they are done. I do this so the birds will trap train later when flying. It is good to have your birds come into the loft when you need them to.

Good questions, keep asking,
Tony
 

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I wait until all have finished and then take the rest away. Some times all the food is gone and they are at the feeder looking at me for more. I feed them a bit more until they all hit the water and leave the feeder. There are times that I do pull the food earlier. Such as the first time I let them out, or days of the first few tosses. Give them motivation to come home.

Randy
 
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