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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At what point do you make the decision to retire your racers? Do you retire them at Ace pigeon status or do you wait until they have made it to registered champion status? Does multiple diplomas as a YB earn the spot in the breeding loft or does the bird have to prove itself as a OB?
I am curious to see what drives everyone else to retire that racer. As OB season approaches I am torn on whether to fly a couple of birds that I believe can win as OB's but certainly have earned the right to retire to the breeding loft. However, I dont at this point, need more breeders. On the other hand I dont really want to lose a ACE pigeon as my loft is not exactly stuffed full of them.
Ken
 

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At what point do you make the decision to retire your racers? Do you retire them at Ace pigeon status or do you wait until they have made it to registered champion status? Does multiple diplomas as a YB earn the spot in the breeding loft or does the bird have to prove itself as a OB?
I am curious to see what drives everyone else to retire that racer. As OB season approaches I am torn on whether to fly a couple of birds that I believe can win as OB's but certainly have earned the right to retire to the breeding loft. However, I dont at this point, need more breeders. On the other hand I dont really want to lose a ACE pigeon as my loft is not exactly stuffed full of them.
Ken
An interesting dilemma, but one which a fancier who flies both YB's and OB's faces more often I would think. I only fly YB's, but even then, one is sometimes faced with such a choice. I won our Combine's YB auction race at 250 mile, with 1st Place no less. And the next weekend was our 300, which for me is 330 miles. I had this idea in my head, that every YB should go to the 300 race. Well, you already know what happened don't you ? Gone....I have lost a number of multiple diploma winners, trying to master that distance, when it sometimes produces terrible smash races.

The same dilemma could show up this year in the One Loft Events, such as the Winners Cup and the Flamingo. Say I am fortunate enough to have the "Top Gun" bird, which is the best of all the races, 150, 225, 275, 350 etc. and you then are faced with the "special" 400 mile race. Do you roll the dice, and send the bird to that additional race, and then possibly clean the board, and end up with a winning pigeon which no one can dispute, is an honest to goodness undisputed and undefeated One Loft Champion ?

Well, do you feel lucky ? I don't know if there is any right or wrong answer. What I do know is, if you don't put your helmet on, and get into the game, you will never be a big winner. There are dangers either way, but trying to "play it safe", may be a smarter way to go, but then you will never have your day in the sun with a real honest to goodness, undisputed Champion.

My gut tells me, if the bird is in perfect condition, and ready to race, then let him or her show their stuff. If you are faced with a situation, where the bird is not in the best shape or condition, then don't push the envelope just to run up the score. Once the bird has achieved Champion status, then his or her value may be in the breeding loft, unless it's one of those situations where a great racer is a so so breeder. And by this time, you should already have an idea what kind of YB's this OB has produced. If he has been a so so producer, then you might as well go for the gold, as his value as a breeder is nil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Warren, Thank you for the reply. I know what you mean by pushing the envelope that extra time. I have done this more times than I care. Helmet is on and it is time to "put me in coach". I talked with a few guys at the combine today and have decided as long as I have the parents still producing of the birds in question I will let them try to get their "registered Champion" status. It will be gut wrenching each race until they achieve it though.
Ken
 

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Warren, Thank you for the reply. I know what you mean by pushing the envelope that extra time. I have done this more times than I care. Helmet is on and it is time to "put me in coach". I talked with a few guys at the combine today and have decided as long as I have the parents still producing of the birds in question I will let them try to get their "registered Champion" status. It will be gut wrenching each race until they achieve it though.
Ken
The challenge, if that is the word....with some of the birds you are talking about, is some of them have already proven themselves valuable as breeders. That makes the choice I think, more gut wrenching. I think I would get a little wobbly in the knees, if I was sending proven breeders, just to earn another piece of paper. If I had a choice between a Champion racer, or a Champion Breeder, I would choose the breeder. Now, of course the hard part, how really "good" of a breeder are these birds you are considering sending to additional races ? If you are risking a star proven breeder, just to earn another diploma, so the pedigrees look a bit more pretty, then perhaps you should reconsider.

My loft manager/partner showed me a bird several years ago, which had won four combine diplomas in a single YB season. It would have made Ace, or some other award, and I was irritated ! "Why in the sam heck didn't you file the paperwork for the National awards " ..."Do you know how much more valuable this bird would be !!" ? He shrugged his shoulders....he had no intention of selling it, no intention of producing pedigrees, and really didn't care. For all I know, it could have earned some National status, but he's the type of guy, that wouldn't pick up his diplomas and for the most part, views them as a waste of paper. From his perspective, he would think if you had a proven racer and breeder, he most likely would stock the bird, if all you were competing for was a piece of paper. Now, if it was a wad of paper, with pictures of Ben on them...well that might be a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is not so much the paper wins for me as it is allowing the bird to show its true potential. As far as the breeding some have proved themselves as good YB producers and we are wanting to move into the next arena of OB racing as well. In order to do this we have to determine if the current breeders are producing just YB racers or all around YB/OB racers that will compete at all distances. If it were just about YB racing the decision will have already been made for me on these birds. I just dont want to have a few birds I look at and say "Wow I really wished I would have flown them to see what they would do." On another note, I have heard several folks say they have YB's that just dont fly past their YB season yet have bred from them and the majority of them did not produce in the breeding loft. However, when their OB's that flew well for 2 or more years and they bred from them they had a higher success rate in the breeder loft than from just YB teams. I have no way of proving or disproving this but it is an interesting concept. I think for this first OB season I will observe the signs the birds are giving me and use my better judgement on when and if to send. I am not much concerned about average speed and loft of the year as I am about letting the basket determine which birds will go to any one individual race. If they are not ready they just wont go that week and if it messes the "KandD Lofts" results for 2009 then so be it. Birds first.
 

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That's great stuff Ken. I'm a beginner with no actual racing experience. This is a learning year for me. It's interesting how the same bird in some cases perform well as a YB and bad as an OB. You would think that if the bird performs well as a YB it would do the same as an OB. That's totally something to watch for as my YB's this year mature into OB's.
 

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I for one, would not send a multiple winner, to another race. A "bird in the hand", and all of that. There are plenty of other birds to send to races. A breeder that produces winners, is much more important than an actual race winner.

On one hand, you may lose a bird that you will miss. On the other hand, you may have a multiple winner that produces nothing of value. On the third hand (WHAT!), you may get someting that has real marketable value, after winning "it all", whether or not it actually produces anything of above average value. On the forth hand (okay, let's pretend you have four hands), you will "never know and always wonder", if you don't send "it".

Forks in the road. Which way to go. Which way to go.

Question: would you rather have a bird that produces very nice young bird racers, or a bird that wins most a lot, but is not a good producer?

Answer: how big is the prize money in the races "it" won, and if "it" wins a lot of races, does it really matter whether or not it produces good racers, since I will have sold its' babies for big money, long before it is found out that it produces nothing above average?

Logically speaking. The only way to actually lose with the original bird described, is if you lose the bird on that "one more race". If you do send it and you do well, then you are "set". If you don't send it, you are "set". If you do send it and it doesn't come back, you are back to square one, and sad.

But then, you do still have its' parents, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Conditionfreak, Yes the parents of the birds in question are still on the premises and fertile. I agree with all of the "hands" and there lies the problem. A breeding loft only has room for so many breeders and when the parents are only 2004-2007 and have plenty of years left (I hope) I think their young need to be tested as OB's. I have heard all the nightmare stories of the racer that got shipped to one to many and never came home and hope I dont make this mistake. I actually pulled one last year after 4 diplomas in the top 10% but am going to put her out this year provided she is in shape and isnt overflown during the season.
I recently aquired a cock that flew for 6 years and earned a boat load of diplomas in each of his years and he was the highest selling pigeon at the auction because of his record as no one had breeding info on him due to the death of the owner. I consider a bird with this kind of record to be more valuable than a bird that won only as a Yb. Just a personal opinion.
Ken
 

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Not sending the bird to me is settling for second place. Losing the bird was a chance you took in every race you put him in thus far. I know each time the bird wins a race it's value increases which in turn makes it more difficult to know that he might not make it home, but I say go for it! He deserves a chance to be an elite bird. Take him as far as he can go! I say all this from inexperience so please excuse me if sound naive of the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Henry, I like your enthusiasm. (sp) I agree with you, we take that chance every time we open the loft. so why not let the bird "go down in a blaze of glory" (I have always looked for a chance to use that phrase :D )
ken
 

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Good thread, Never got to fly old birds, Maybe in another life.
I believe in not pushing young birds to hard, BUT fly them if they are not overflown, and they are in Form. I would think, if it is a good flier, baring any accidents it should not get lost. it may not place as well but should get home.
If you have the Parents, you are cheating them, possibly out of a place in the breeding loft by not testing their young, completely as old birds.
Sending them to every race is asking for problems, but with Judgment,They should be able to fly until their Performance drops of from age ect.
Then you will have something...JMHO Dave
 

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Henry, I like your enthusiasm. (sp) I agree with you, we take that chance every time we open the loft. so why not let the bird "go down in a blaze of glory" (I have always looked for a chance to use that phrase :D )
ken
Lol....:D. That's the spirit!:D. There should be no room for "IF's".;)
 

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Good thread, Never got to fly old birds, Maybe in another life.
I believe in not pushing young birds to hard, BUT fly them if they are not overflown, and they are in Form. I would think, if it is a good flier, baring any accidents it should not get lost. it may not place as well but should get home.
If you have the Parents, you are cheating them, possibly out of a place in the breeding loft by not testing their young, completely as old birds.
Sending them to every race is asking for problems, but with Judgment,They should be able to fly until their Performance drops of from age ect.
Then you will have something...JMHO Dave
I totally agree. You don't have to work the dogs*** out of them to see what they're made of. They ARE birds.....not machines.
I remember in 2006, a person in our club had a YB that simply kicked butt, week in and week out. In a couple of instances, it was the ONLY bird shipped and STILL won.......however, they flew that crap out of that poor bird. First race of OB's........bottom of the sheet. 2nd race......gone, never to be seen again. I'll always believe that it was flown and consequently hurt in the YB races.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I believe in not pushing young birds to hard, BUT fly them if they are not overflown, and they are in Form. I would think, if it is a good flier, baring any accidents they should not get lost. it may not place as well but should get home.
If you have the Parents, you are cheating them, possibly out of a place in the breeding loft by not testing their young, completely as old birds.
Sending them to every race is asking for problems, but with Judgment,They should be able to fly until their Performance drops of from age ect.
Then you will have something...JMHO Dave
Dave, You covered it all right there. I agree 100% they should get to show their full potential with sound judgement from the handler.
 

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I totally agree. You don't have to work the dogs*** out of them to see what they're made of. They ARE birds.....not machines.
I remember in 2006, a person in our club had a YB that simply kicked butt, week in and week out. In a couple of instances, it was the ONLY bird shipped and STILL won.......however, they flew that crap out of that poor bird. First race of OB's........bottom of the sheet. 2nd race......gone, never to be seen again. I'll always believe that it was flown and consequently hurt in the YB races.
This reminds me of the football player Earl Campbell. The Houston Oilers gave him the football almost every down. He was a running back. He won big yardage almost everytime. But the constant "giving him the ball" eventually wore him down. He only lasted two or three seasons and then he was done. He was just used up. A good running back usually lasts five to 8 years.

I have visual images of Campbell dragging two or three tacklers holding onto him, for an extra five or six yards. He was unbelievable. I liked how he never "danced" or celebrated a good run or touchdown. He did get up very slowly a lot, and that became his trademark. But he may have just been needing the extra few seconds of rest.

I don't see any of his children in the pros though. They must have paired him up with the wrong hen :)

Seriously though. Using the human sport angle, isn't it the same as giving Earl Campbell the ball over and over again. Isn't there something good about quitting on top, instead of like Mohammed Ali (Cassius Clay)? Many great sports participants quit on top and are legends. But many go too long (for the money or for the glory) and really hurt their reputations somewhat.

That can happen to racing pigeons also. A bird that wins three or four races in a row, can "hurt" its reputaion by losing the next two. Thereby hurting his value in the breeding loft, or sales of his offspring.

Off Topic. Isn't this just the most awesome fancy pigeon you ever saw (besides your own)? :)

http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/General/10237023.html
 
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