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Feeding Tips - Tipplers vs Racing Pigeons

I asked Stan: How do you feed your tipplers for sustained flights? Answer: "In any case, my tipplers are fed a "depurative" type of feed for training that is barley, kafir, wheat, and safflower. They will fly about 5 hours or so on this type of feed twice a week only....long time flying...feed them more carbohydrate grains and not too many peas, and also give them oily seeds such as rape, niger, flax, oat groats, and peanut hearts though not much of the last two..."

What about oat groats? "Oat groats are high in protein and fat and give the birds a boost. However, the birds should only be given this boost prior to a contest and not in a large amount. A little goes a long way! Oats groats are given along with other with other seeds or grains that are high in fat. The fat content offsets the high protein being that the by-product of fat is moisture. If protein is fed on the day prior to a contest then the birds digestive system must convert the protein to carbohydrates for energy and in doing that the moisture that is used for digestion causes the bird to become thirsty... meaning that it won't continue flying much longer...Why not try a diet that is high in protein at first and then high in carbohydrates the last few days prior to a race?"

My reply to Stan: A high protein mix after a competition is what I do. By midweek the birds are on a 1/2 protein - 1/2 carbohydrate mix. By the end of the week, the birds are on a carbohydrate mix with added fat depending on the race distance. So, I think we both feed the same way, except that I have never used oats groats. I just bought a #25 bag of them for my birds. I agree with you that fat contains moisture, and that most things should be fed in very light quantities to pigeons, since they only weigh a pound or so.

More Notes

Use no drugs on youngbirds, use weakens natural immune system. If you breed from birds that had illnesses as ybs, and you cured them from some malady, chances are the parents will pass this trait of getting sick on to their young. Young birds should cure themselves of illnesses. Survival of the fittest is the only way to develop a healthy and winning team of birds. Drug resistant strains of bacteria which affect birds and humans are on the rise due to the misuse of drugs. Use no drugs and only the strong will survive. Keep your loft secure, safe, sanitary, spacious, good air transfer, and dry.

Only 10% or so of birds bred make good racing pigeons. It must equated with genetics. As some colors are recessive to others in pigeons - then likewise racing ability is recessive to loser pigeon. Genetics is why the breeding of two racers does not always produce a racing pigeon. If racing ability is recesssive, then you must mate two birds carrying the recessive traits together to produce a racer. It must take two recessives to make a racing pigeon. Is that why the majority of pigeons sent to races are blue? Since blue is a recessive color - does recessive color equate in any way with racing ability? Lack of racing ability ( only 10% or so really have it) and overcrowding have something to do with youngbird losses....more later (page 4).

Questions and Answers

Question: Jef asked, why wine? Answer: First, I use more of it than my pigeons do. Second I use it in their electrolyte mix. I add wine to the simple electrolyte mix by Basil Gossman and others. I use one teaspoon salt, four teaspoons sugar, and one tablespoon wine. Basil recommended adding this amount of salt and sugar to two liters of water. I disagree with this and use ten liters of water for my mix. This amount of water may seem like the mix is too diluted/weakened, but I don't think so. I think the mix was too strong with only two liters of water. After all, a pigeon only weighs a pound or so, and anything that small doesn't need much of anything to affect it.

Wine has added sugar, plus some acidity, and yeast. All of these ingredients aids the pigeons digestion. I give this to the birds once a week and after a race. Also sometimes before a race depending on the distance.