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Questions & Answers

Question 1

"Richard A. Montagna" wrote:

I've noticed that when I release my birds in the morning (usually around 7:00 am) they range for about 1.25 hours. Most of that time, they are completely out of sight. In the evening (usually around 7:00 pm) I release them again and they only fly for about 20 minutes and all of their flying is within sight. I don't think that they are any hungrier in the pm than they are in the am. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong? (Frankly, I like the evening flying because I at least get an opportunity to watch them soar and fly around . . . in the morning I only get to see the first few and last few minutes of their loft flying since they're out of sight for so long.)

Also, what is the general consensus regarding the actual distances flown to during good ranging? I've heard anywhere from 2-5 miles. We're located in a pretty flat area and there's really nothing between me and those distances that the birds would have to "fly around."

Thanks for any information.


Answer to Question 1

Richard and all others interested:

Pigeons will normally fly longer in the morning as they have just rested through the night with little activity so they are fresh and ready to go. If they won't fly for a long time and the weather is cooler, you have a health or molt problem or both.

What I do to get my birds to fly longer in the evening is to feed more of their daily feed after their morning exercise and feed less at night. I watch them for their desire to drink and this has been a good indicator when they are through. This gives them extra energy for the evening flight but does not put them to sleep with a large amount of feed to turn to fat.

I also empty waterers each evening so I can check their droppings first thing in the morning when I put fresh water in the loft. Many times we think we have loose droppings but the truth may be that they are consuming lots of water and passing it through. If after emptying the water and the droppings are not perfect in the morning, you have an indicator of a health problem. Birds should drink somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 gallon per 40 pigeons per day. If they are using a lot more, look for the problem.

I like to give my birds all the feed they want but not one piece more than they will pick up. Any feed laying around should be swept up or taken out with the hopper as this can only give you health problems. It is best to feed your birds in a hopper and then remove it and sanitize after each use to prevent future health problems. For those just throwing their feed on the floor, you are winning less than you could if you were more conscious of hygiene. If you worry about overfeeding, give them barley at the end of their feeding and when they start to leave it, they have had enough.

In answer to how far pigeons go when routing or traveling, is a good question and I don't think you can state an exact distance. A few years back, I had to go to a supply house that was 25 miles north of my loft so I let my widowers out to exercise just as I was leaving with a friend and we went north on the freeway. About 10 miles north we saw a team of pigeons racing to the north so when we got next to them, I could see it was my team as I recognized several of the birds and the count was the same as my time. I only raced 16 widowers in old birds so recognizing them and form was easier than having too many.

I believe pigeons will travel sometimes too far and if the heat comes on before they decide to head home, a disaster can occur. Quite often, people have had their birds tie in with a group of someone else that could be 30 miles apart so one team or the other had to travel at least 15 miles so they could get together.

Hope this helps,

Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FLorida

Question 2

Lawrence Lucas wrote:

How long after pox vaccination is it safe to road train young birds again? I have been given various options: two day; three days; one week. What time frame have those of you who fly young birds found to be best?

Larry  Blaine, MN  USA

Answer to Question 2

For all that would like my opinion:

I suggest that you give the birds a rest of as much as 2 to 3 weeks prior to any serious road training after pox vaccinating your pigeons. The reason for this is that the birds can be in the FEVER STAGE which one would not notice and losses can be great.

I prefer to pox my pigeons at least 2 weeks prior to starting to train and then I watch to see when they start flying well around the loft again. Generally, they will be a bit sluggish for a while but then appear OK. This can be the real time of problem as if they are in the fever, they may go on a toss and not return.

Some years back, when I was too smart to vaccinate, I sent 35 pigeons to races on 1 weekend and lost 28 of them. There were pigeons that had been racing very well and many were diploma winners that did not return . Upon a close examination, all I could find were minuscule pox lesions on the toes and no other signs. These were so small, you almost could not see them but that was it and it destroyed what had been a wonderful season.

Since that time, I ALWAYS VACCINATE for pox and the problems are much less of a problem. If anything at all should show up due to a bird that was gone or did not take, you only have 1 or 2 down and not the entire team.

Generally, the pox will show up for the non vaccinators at about the 5 or 6 week mark after the first race. If it delays at all, you may be smack dab in the middle of your specials and futurity races. Better to be safe than sorry.

Hope this helps someone:
Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FLorida

Question 4

Richard sanderson wrote:

hi again, my young birds are being sick then the others are eating it! this only happens just after feeding in the morning and evening! please help!!!!!!!


Answer to Question 4


I have helped a few friends in the past when similar things happened to them. What I would suggest to you is to immediately switch to pellets until you get this problem under control. The pellets will breakdown quickly and should the birds vomit it will not be in an eatable form so the other birds will not be able to pick the regurgitated food up. It can also be cleaned and disinfected without continually passing the problem to more pigeons. If it is only one or two birds causing the problem, I would pull them out immediately but I believe you have several with more on the way unless you react quickly. The main problem that takes place when the birds are unable to keep anything down is that they quickly begin to dehydrate. This then makes the bird susceptible to other forms of sickness to further drain your birds of their energy and health. There are other easy digestible feeds but the problem is that they are whole grains and can be vomited up so your problem will only get worse.

Also, I would get a culture started with a reputable PIGEON VETERINARIAN so he can prescribe any medications necessary to halt the problem. If it is a virus, there are a few very good vets that can develop certain vaccines that will give immunity to some viruses but specifically the one you may have. You should be able to find a very good pigeon vet with
the numbers of fanciers in England.

Hope this helps:
Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FLorida

Question 5

Larry Davis wrote:

To all the dark system fliers, Do the birds flown on the dark system complete a full wing ( flight ) moult and go into there yearling season with all new flights or do they carry some nest feathers? Also, for those that flew some dark and some natural or light birds, what is the comparison in the yearling year as far as race performance?

Larry Davis

Answer to Question 5

To Larry Davis and other interested people:

Birds flown on the Dark System can complete a molt or not. Most of this depends on when you finish young birds and when you start Old Birds. When I lived in Wisconsin, it was not a problem as we finished Young Birds at the end of September or Early October and began Old Birds in late April or early May. My birds would molt through the entire winter until completed but to do this they must have super health.

In Florida, we finish Young Birds at the end of November or the first week in December and begin Old Birds in early to mid February so this time is very short having only 60 to 75 days between seasons. Trying to put the birds through a quick primary and secondary flight molt would require almost plucking all feathers from them and a real strain of regrowing them in such a short time. However, they can be flown on their baby flights and do quite well. This past year, 2 individuals came here and raced late hatches from 99 in the old bird races and did very well. Just shows that sometimes we make too much out of something in an attempt to try to build an excuse for poor performance.

When flying in Wisconsin, I would totally lock up my pigeons after the race season ended and within a week to 10 days they would generally kick their primaries and in some cases some would kick out as many as 3 flights on each wing at nearly the same time. I learned to lock them in as the first year I raced on the Dark, I did not lock them in and the hawk ate well with taking every winning Cock Bird from that young bird season. I wanted to make a bargain with the hawk that if he would show
me how he could select the very best of my racers, I would gladly give him the rest to eat.

Racing yearlings that were raced as Young Birds on the Dark System is not a problem. I have done this for several years and some of them turned in exceptional performances as yearlings but remember this, "95% of our pigeons will never make a significant impact to our loft" regardless of what system you use. I have found that Excellent Racers perform well on just about any system. It's the dogs that we can work our butt off with and all we do is make them a better loser. The same energy with a good performer can develop you a Champion so be honest with yourself as to their abilities.

However, use extreme caution as to how you decide to cull as many of my best pigeons were not my first ones until some of them became 2 year olds. Then they kicked into high gear and truly did some wonderful things. You must know your family and also be a complete racer by racing both seasons. The person that will only race young birds is on a different schedule as they want pigeons that only have to perform well for 1 season and never again. This is not my idea of a complete pigeon. I want to fly as many races as possible in the BIGGEST COMPETITION I CAN HAVE. If I could get the entire State of Florida to release together, I would think that fantastic. Better pigeons would soon be developed. Pigeons that fly against limited numbers could be the best in the world but one can never prove that as they are only as good as the pigeons they beat. A winning pigeon against big competition is truly exceptional and now all it has to do is prove it's ability to produce good pigeons. If it can do this consistently, it is a FANTASTIC PIGEON. If not, it was just a super racer and nothing more. Their offspring are not worth any
more than any other pigeon unless it is important for you to say that you own one off of or from some special name.

Because I am an Old Bird Racer as well as a Young Bird Racer, I try to use what I consider to be the absolutely best systems to get maximum performance. If I felt that racing my young birds on the Dark would hurt my performance in Old Birds, I would not use it but I DO so this tells you that I believe it is NOT A PROBLEM. To be a big winner requires that you give your pigeons the best opportunities to perform to their optimum. If you do not, you can not adequately judge your pigeons. A
great one in this type of loft could possibly become a REALLY GREAT ONE in a loft utilizing better systems.

In conclusion: I would rather be the WORST OF THE BEST rather than the BEST OF THE WORST. The BOTTOM OF THE TOP rather than the TOP OF THE BOTTOM. Finding systems that allow your pigeons to perform at their best is a big part of playing in today's game. ARE YOU A PLAYER OR A CRIER??????

Hope this helps someone:
Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FLorida

Question 6

Mike Thomas wrote:

Texas Center Convention Saturday I received a letter from the AU signed by Brad Laverne that the Texas Center was dissolved. This concerens me because I was at the Texas Center Convention at Lafayette, La. (A fun convention). Not one
person said the Texas Center was leaving the AU nor, did I hear anything said about the Texas Center dissolving. Dick Weber who was president until Saturday night assured everyone including me personally that the Texas Center was not  leaving the AU. Also, our new President, Gary Thornley, and Vice President, C. L. Gage, assured everyone at the banquet and at the membership meetings that the Texas Center was not leaving the AU. The message I got from all three, Weber, Thornley, and Gage that the Texas Center has opened it's boundaries to any club, person, or state. And, that anyone that wants now may belong to the center regardless of whether they belong to the IF, AU, NPA, etc. The members on this list have seen me support the AU and I still do and will continue to do so, but I am also a member of the Texas Center. For those of you that don't belong to our center you now have the opportunity. This doesn't mean the Texas Center is asking you to give up your present affiliation you just have another option available.
Mike Thomas

Answer to Question 6

I have heard a little about this situation and what I believe the problem is:

When the AU had Centers back in the old days before United Parcel Service and overnight express mail, all supplies for the AU affiliated clubs were ordered through their centers.

This allowed for delivery of different products to what we would now refer to as a regional distribution center but some of this was way back when and some large cities were in their self a Center. This was the case where I came from as Milwaukee was 1 center and Chicago was another center. Ok, now we understand what they originally were meant to do and so there were no problems between the centers, if your club was within the center boundaries, you could not become part of another center.

Also, to be eligible to host an AU CONVENTION, you used to have to be a CENTER for this to be acceptable. Needless to say, being a center was a highly valued commodity and all centers were proud of the status. Well, times have changed as have the rules of who can host a convention as well as how we get our supplies so if I were in a position to deal with the Texas
Center, I believe I would try to find out how the AU and the TC can put their heads together to promote our sport. Any bickering and fighting is totally not beneficial to the sport or the future of pigeon racing. Times have changed and will continue to change so it is our responsibility to IMPROVE WHAT ALREADY EXISTS. Any acts of threatening the stability of our sport should be viewed as not favorable by all the PIGEON PEOPLE of the world. Regardless if you are a racer, show person or just plain keeper because you love pigeons.  It would be great if all the organizations can get together to promote and
improve rather than to separate and divide. We are limited by sheer numbers and if we all pull together, there is no way of knowing how far we can go to improve what we have. Let's not crumble the cake but rather enjoy it as we all sit at the table of friendship and respect for each other. Enough said,

Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FLorida

Question 7

Hi Everyone
I am wondering if any one can advise me if now would be the proper time to vaccinate for Pmv and pox. I have my birds all separated now until breeding season starts. I have not vaccinated before. Also I want to treat the whole flock with Baytril to be sure to sure that I don't have any lurking Paratyphoid Or E-Coli. I assume I should not do them both at the same time. I also have not used the Baytril before either so any advise anyone could give me would be appreciated.
Brett Savage
Ocklawaha Florida

Answer to Question 7

Brett and anyone else thinking this way:

Fine thought and now is fine but perhaps you may want to wait until they complete the molt. Hitting them now could fret the feathers and that is something you would have to look at for another year.  As for hitting them with Baytril!!! Unless you have a problem, why would you do this. A drug of this strength should only be used as a last ditch effort when something really bad hits your birds. The best cure for e-coli and /or paratyphoid is rest and sunshine. Anytime you stress pigeons is when the ugly monster rears it's head and comes out to bite you. If you use your ace in the hole at this time, you have used your wild card and you are up the creek without a paddle. I suggest you watch your birds carefully and if you had no problems breeding young ones this past year, you more than likely have no problems. Another problem that is self inflicted is bringing in new pigeons and we all do it. This year I had 60 pigeons from others around the country as entries for the IF Convention Race ands also the Gulf
Coast Classic Race.

What new [pigeons do is bring you any problem that ever existed in another loft. Those birds generally have developed an immunity to the problem as antibodies build in their system because of continual exposure, much the same as a vaccine does. When I introduce those problems to my pigeons, they are defenseless just as the others that came here for me to race have no defense against my loft's inherent problems. Every loft has had a problem which when they overcome it, the have a so called immunity. I prefer to think it is more of a tolerance and stress can allow it to jump up again.

In conclusion: Know when to vaccinate so it gives you the least problems and do NOT RANDOMLY USE ANTIBIOTICS unless you have a problem. There is no such thing as a PREVENTATIVE MEASURE. ONLY A CURE!!! NO problem, no drugs. BIG PROBLEMS, get a culture first to find sensitivity and when all other avenues have been tried other than elimination, then go for the most highly effective BIG GUN but only as a last resort.

What we truly need are some veterinarians with AVIAN KNOWLEDGE. Most vets have less knowledge of the pigeon diseases than we do because they make their money treating cats and dogs. A pigeon is a new game to them. If you still feel concerned, spend $50 or so and get Dr. David Marx book on pigeon diseases and treatments. It is less expensive than buying
Baytril and you will ultimately need the book sooner or later.

Hope this helps someone;
Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FLorida

Question 8

Would like to know if training my YB racers is harmful while being treated (day 8) with Amoxicillin fo a bacterial infection. would this be too stressful.

Answer to Question 8

I privately e-mailed Dom on this question but it appears that there are many more that are asking the same thing.

I responded that this all depends on what you were treating for. If it was just to make sure your birds are cleaned up before you begin racing, there would probably not be a problem. However, if the pigeons were really beat up prior to medicating, it will depend on how they are acting now.

When in doubt, it is best to back away for a bit. Smashing them or further drainage of their system will be counter-productive to what you are trying to do. The care and tending of pigeons is a 365 day responsibility unless something jumped up totally unexpected, you probably knew there was a problem well in advance. This should have been taken care of when it first surfaced.

Most pigeon problems are what is referred to as opportunistic which means when one disease or problem weakens the pigeon, another bacteria jumps up and joins the battle. With too many problems, the maximum threat could be death to some of our stock. It is our responsibility to observe EVERY DAY so we don't get surprises.

If you are right down to the wire and need to be training, do it very slowly and carefully. A pigeon that is hurting may not be able to get back from 60 miles but 6 miles is another story. Secondly, if they have not shown good homing or locating abilities, they are just as lost at 6 miles as they would be at 60. The difference is they may locate some visual points when closer and find their way home but at a greater distance, everything will look different.

Once you start pigeons training, even just a short distance, this generally gets them to start routing if they were not doing so before. Now they can begin to work better for you around the loft and from that point forward, use GOOD COMMON SENSE!!!

Another major mistake most people make is to hold their pigeons short on feed as they begin training. If your birds are already hurting, why not give them an opportunity to rebuild? An automobile will not run with out any fuel so why should you expect your birds to operate without their fuel?

In closing, use common sense and in the future, if you are going to treat your pigeons for bacteria, do it early. Don't wait 'til the last minute and then sacrifice everything to win a training toss. Winning races are the only things that go on record unless you are just happy to see them come home. That is normally what the lazy people say that lose often!!

Hope this helps:
Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FL

Question 9

First I want to say that I agree with those who do not advocate the use of drugs unless you need them. Like they say, "If it ain't broke don't fix it." I can see why some of the racers need to stay on top of it before something starts. I on the other hand don't usually start looking for the solution until I see the problem. Sorry if I didn't put enough information in my first post to explain why I was asking about the Baytril. I guess my best bet would be to have a culture done on some of the suspect birds to be sure what if anything I am dealing with. Dose any one know where I could get that done in central Florida without spending a fortune?
Brett Savage
Ocklawaha Florida

Answer to Question 9

Waiting until you see a problem is not necessarily bad. The best thing to remember is that if you have put your pigeons at a risk of getting something and you decide you don't want to take that risk, then medicating SHOULD BE DONE. Shows, exposure to other pigeons, loft visitors, stray pigeons, new pigeons, and other such risk is the cause of most problems. Another great problem is rodents and once they get into your loft, the risk of salmonella is almost a guaranteed result. You are the only one
who can control most of the above. Every now and then something will get to your birds because of wild birds leaving droppings on the board or aviary or such but in general, we expose our pigeons to the problems.  Thinking that a problem will cure itself is just foolish thinking. Once a problem gets started, odds are that it will go through most of your pigeons and the frustration of severe problems make many feel like quitting. Some do!!

Now, I would like to say that a culture does not necessarily identify what the problem is. Basically what it does is to make a solution that is put into a little disk shaped container called a PETRIE DISH and in this container is several different types of pill shaped medications. The drug that is most effective will have a ring form around it where there is no growth as it is keeping the bacteria of the culture from growing. Those that allow the growth to grow right up to the pill are totally ineffective so if you are using that drug, you are flushing your money down the drain. This is a simple thing any vet can do as long as he has an incubator
type oven. It generally only takes about 24 to 48 hours and the price should be reasonable. I have paid less for cultures than some of the most expensive meds cost. For pricing, call any vet in your area and see who does them or recommends who. Make sure they are doing them in house rather than sending out as when you have a problem, time is of the essence.

This is a positive identifier of what med will work and is so important because if you are hitting your birds with an ineffective med, the problem continues and your money goes out in today's droppings when you clean.  Cleaning and DISINFECTING the loft pays you big rewards as the normal path of pathogens is from the mouth to the floor in the droppings and then it gets recycled a second time as birds preen or pick up soiled feed and so forth.

The common problems are Salmonella, E-coli, Worms, Coccidia, Ornithosis, and Respiratory Problems. These can vary depending on where you live and personal loft habits. In some cases, they become extreme but proper disinfecting of the loft lessens the opportunity to go wild. Identifying the above problems becomes second nature after a while and for us racing people, we generally treat as a cure when we are racing. Those that use a lesser dosage in the form of PREVENTATIVE MEDICATION are creating the opportunity for the Super Bug. If you are medicating, always hit them at the precise dosages for a cure. If you feel that the medications are too expensive, you are better off not to hit them at all than to under dose them as doing this makes it tough to cure when you do have a problem.

Hope this helps:

Question 10

Franklin Estabrook <REstab6829@AOL.COM writes:
The fancier you got your birds from...do you know what treatment he used to bring e-coli under control. He might of given them Baytril, but here again one has to know if it was the 5% or 10% medication, and how much doseage did he use. Now you get the birds, and the same disease flares up again, and you begin your treatment. Think of what these birds are going through.
Interesting point Frank, I had not considered that it could be the treatment that caused the non laying in the original hen. I don't know what he treated with except it wasn't Amoxicillin. I was told this by another breeder at Louisville last year. The other 2 hens that won't lay are Komorners, one of which I raised and they have not been treated with Baytril only the Amoxicillin last fall. So it probably unlikely that's it. Of course my concern is, IF it's the E-Coli causing this, then did some survive the Amoxicillin last fall? I suppose the 2 KT hens could have been damaged by the E-Coli before I treated. The more I think back about the time frame the more likely this sounds that they may have suffered damage before I treated with the Amoxicillin. My biggest concern, is the E-Coli bug still around? I didn't have babies dyeing this year like last, so maybe it's not. The question remains what should I treat the flock with to be sure it's not?
Brett Savage

Answer to Question 10

Brett and others,

Now the facts are coming out and this is just as important as asking questions about what is happening now. To make proper assessments of a problem it is always critical to have the most amount of history possible. If you have a problem and go to a
new doctor, they always ask about your personal health history. If you have chest pains and you have had heart problems before, I would imagine this as a good place to start looking for problems.

Finding out now that you had problems raising babies a year ago would automatically set me to think of paratyphoid as your previous problem rather than e-coli. For lack of a better word, many like to use the e-coli word rather than saying they have salmenolossis as I guess they feel it is not as embarrassing. There is no embarrassment to having a health problem If You Have Done Everything In Your Power To Not Have A Problem. If you were lazy and ignored early signs of a problem, then you should be embarrassed. It is our responsibility to keep our pigeons healthy as they are NOT WILD PIGEONS fending for their self.

Now to get back to the original question about Baytril! After realizing you had a salmonella problem before, it is entirely possible it still lingers in your loft. A lack of sanitizing with the proper solutions which are acidic in type allows the bacteria to hang on. One should also clean up the pigeons by running a full treatment as though they are treating a current problem. This all came about when the cards were laid face up on the table.  There are way too many people that want to play poker with you laying the cards face up and theirs hidden. They want your knowledge but many are not willing to give anything back in return. When this happens, we all are put at risk to future problems as knowing there is a problem in the area puts one at guard and one will react quicker when they see a possible problem symptom beginning.

Do your self a big favor and disclose as much information as possible about any problems as hiding them and not disclosing is ultimately hurting you as the medications one generally starts with if they are knowledgeable are normally not the big guns. Those are saved for severe problems but if you have had a severe problem, then by all means, use the Big Guns and if this does not work, dispose of potential problems quickly.

Hope this helps:

Question 11

barb and hans wrote:

Has anyone ever experienced his/her birds overdosing on Ridzol (or other medication)?
Hans Windgassen

Answer to Question 11

Yes Hans,

The most common one that birds overdose on is Emtryl. The problem is that the old dosage for the US Product was greater than the Canadian or Mexican and the other problem is people using it in every drop of water they are giving in the heat.

The easiest way to stop this from happening is to remember that pigeons consume somewhere around 1 gallon for every forty birds during reasonable temperatures. This does NOT MEAN the extremes so temperatures above 80 or below 40 will definitely effect how much water a bird will drink. The overdosing comes in the heat as the problem is a pigeon may consume 2 to 3 times as much water on a hot day so if they have the same dosage in the water, they will get 2 to 3 times as much medication. NOT A GOOD THING!!!

The easiest way I have found to handle this is to make your medicated treatment at the prescribed dosage and this you give to the birds the first thing in the morning. Now to help make sure they will drink the medicated, dump their water each evening so they are thirsty when morning comes around.  This serves two other extremely important functions and that is that should you have any rodent problems, they are not drinking from your birds waterers and spreading disease such as salmonella. You can then put out liquid poisons where only the rodents can get it and this will end your rodent problems, as well. The other advantage you get is to check droppings in the morning, and they should be perfect if all is proper in your loft. When you get wet droppings, it can be because the birds just drank recently and the water went on through them in their droppings.

Now back to finishing the water routine: When the medicated water is drank, then put plain water in the loft for the balance of the day. This way your birds should not become toxic. You could always reduce your dosage but I am not in favor of that as we have a tendency to forget what we do so the next time we prepare medications, we may use the hot weather dosage and not remember that we had cut this in half because they were consuming twice as much water.  It is easiest to remember only one dosage and use that but only at the rate of approximately 40 pigeons to 1 gallon of water per day. The additional water they drink should then be plain and you will treat at the proper dosage.

Hope this helps someone:

Question 12

Robert L Fragoman wrote:  First I want to say that I agree with those who do not advocate the use of drugs unless you need them. I seldom use anything on my birds outside of vaccinating for PMV and Paratyphoid. I also worm my birds and medicate for canker a couple of times a year. I give them something called Cocci-Cide for a few days when they look stressed. I do keep Tylan, liquid Tylan and Aureomycin Sulmet around for eye colds that my birds get in the Spring. I have never used Baytril, but I know of those who have and one gentleman who uses Baytril like candy can't figure out why his birds won't lay, or when they do, he seldom raises a youngster. I give the first shots, (usually for Paratyphoid) when the young are 15 to 25 days old. Many times over the years I have had hens that would not lay, but if they are something that I want to breed from, I keep them and when they start making a nest, I give them a wooden egg and if they sit on it full term, I give them a youngster to feed and I have found that the hen eventually lays on her own without any medication. I have a 1997 hen now that was sick as a youngster. It started to lay for the first time this year and after a couple of rounds of infertile eggs, it now lays fertile eggs on a regular basis.
Bob Fragoman Memphis, NY

Answer to Question 12

Just a quick note to say that there are many roads to Rome and here are my thoughts.

I try to wait as long as possible with my young ones before vaccinating because I believe that the longer I wait, the more natural immunity they have the opportunity to develop. They get exposure to the normal bacteria of my loft by not jeopardizing their immune system. However, we must all use a little common sense and if there is an outbreak of anything in your area, it is better to vaccinate than to take the risk of getting a problem. Now we are talking 2 different things as vaccinating is one thing and
using antibiotics is another. Just because someone in your home has a health problem, we don't all start taking antibiotics as a general measure or as so many like to call it preventative medication.

Yes, I do clean up my birds before the races or breeding cycle begin because if you don't you are starting out with a handicap and giving your competition an edge. I want to be at least on an even keel with them but I prefer if I can be ahead of them. If I can, I have the opportunity to put some early prizes on my side of the table and then I play with those prizes for the balance of the season, hopefully. They have to dig in their pockets each week until they get ahead.

In addition, you can't win all the races unless you win the first one and this is the real competitors idea of how we want to race. Anytime I ship a pigeon, I would like to be the winner. I don't ship to lose. and when people visit you, they normally are coming to see you get beat. Now this is pretty hard to do all the time but if you don't start out properly, you are playing catch-up. Better they chase me than I to chase them if I have my preference. When people visit you, they normally are coming to see you get beat or this is at least what they would hope for unless they are truly a real good friend. The other reason they come is to hope to find out a little secret or method without you knowing they have discovered something.

Normally when a hen that did not lay comes around to laying at a later time, they have finally gotten their system back into check and through the rest of not rearing young, they have had NATURES TIME to heal their self. Now, I am not foolish enough to think that time can cure all problems but if you develop a family that is so drug dependent, they can not survive without that when push comes to shove.

As I have said so many times before, "95% of all our pigeons will never make a significant impact in OUR LOFT. If you are one of the champs your cull pigeons may be better than another persons best but that cull is probably never going to be one of the elite unless they made an error in judgment when they culled it. Always ask yourself the question of whether you really need a pigeon that is giving you problems. If the answer to that is yes, then by all means, do whatever is necessary to preserve that pigeon but if the answer is NO, then why are you even troubling your mind as to what to do. A bad apple CAN SPOIL the WHOLE BARREL.

Hope this helps someone:

Question 13

"Onorio V. Catenacci" wrote:

Hi Bob,

Yes, I think that's what's meant by "burning the loft". I guess my question would be, again, how effective is that particular technique? I mean how long can bacteria and virii live outside of the host pigeon? Say, for example that a given bacteria can live for 24 hours outside of a host pigeon. So 24 hours after the pigeon drops on the floor the bacterium  is dead. Which makes "burning the loft" seem a bit redundant and maybe even pointless.
Onorio Catenacci
NPA State Representative For Michigan

Answer to Question 13

Torching of the loft by Bob Rowland

I am not an expert on the subject of torching a loft or on most subject for that matter but I try to listen when those with more knowledge than I, speak.

I was told that if you took some droppings and put them in a pile outside of your loft and they were exposed to all of the elements such as freezing weather, severe heat, rain snow, and then time of say 5 years, that if they were sampled they would or could still be harboring such things as coccidia or worms and perhaps even more. Just what I have been told but would rather believe it possible than to ignore the obvious and have a problem.

Now I can not prove that this does in fact happen, but there are those that believe strongly in torching and some of them are truly top competitors so there is some credence to torching a loft.  I also know for a fact that Dr. Jon Kasmarek (not sure of the spelling) who is a veterinarian and an excellent racer flying under the name of Copper Beach does this as he showed it in one of his videos.  He is an excellent speaker and would truly be a remarkable addition to any list as a contributor. He has medical knowledge and he wins races in BIG COMPETITION.

I had the good fortune of listening to his seminar back around 1993 talking about the fat in the muscle and the need for it to race
effectively and he filled in many holes about things I believed but had no proof.  If he says to torch, I torch. No questions as he is really good.

Hope this helps someone:
Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FLorida

Question 14

Clay Hoyle wrote:

Hans, a couple of inches of DRY pigeon droppings is probably the best. Any new droppings quickly dries out. Dry pigeon droppings is what Levi recommends in "The Pigeon". A wire floor may be better but a wood floor that is "clean" will let any loose droppings stay wet a long time. This is trouble.
Clay Hoyle

Answer to Question 14

Clay and others:

You are precisely correct in what you say about a couple of inches of dry droppings being more absorbent. I have been told (again I am not an expert) that if you get a deeper litter system established that it will create an enzyme that is friendly to the pigeons and detrimental to bacteria.

Art Hees who is one of the premier racers in America uses such a system and he is always very competitive. I had tried this back some years but with my breathing problems, the dust was a deterrent to me using such a system.

When you clean daily, the droppings are not absorbed and any droppings that are small and not picked up can be ingested by the pigeons and this is the path that bacteria follows. In the mouth and out the backside and back into the mouth. To break the cycle of bacteria spreading means to eliminate as much as possible the intake procedure.  With a dry loft and deep litter it would seem that this should create the possibility for bacteria to stay but again, if the enzymes created in the deep litter destroy certain bacteria, the cycle has been broken.

There are many roads to Rome but you must decide what is convenient with you and then follow it through. Constantly changing tactics gives the possibilities of many problems.

Hope this helps someone:
Bob Rowland

Question 15

wesley wrote:

I am not a homer guy but I bet I can tell you why your birds don't return.....JUNK BIRDS.........If your family was inbred and there were two hundred members do you think they all would be smart.......??????????

Answer to Question 15

Wesley and others that think this way:

You are correct that there are a lot of junk birds around but more importantly is the amount of junk handlers as well. I believe most of us try everything we can to get our birds prepared and well trained. When we make a foolish mistake or have a bad toss with no explanation, some of us feel pretty devastated.  Then there are those that have no animal sense or feeling towards their charges. These are the ones that would rather beat them up and in their mind the good ones will stay.

I would venture to say that there are more good pigeons than there are good keepers of the pigeons. It's just a good thing the pigeons don't have the opportunity to train us as I am not so sure how many of us would make it back.

Hope this helps:

Bob Rowland

Question 16

barb and hans wrote:

Bob, As the layman, I would like to ask you what hybrid means to you. Are you referring to a cross between two "strains", i.e. racing homers which have been bred "among themselves" for a given time? I assume you don't outcross to something other than homers, 'though that would make for hybrid vigor, would it not?
Hans Windgassen

Answer to Question 16


You are very astute and mating two differnet types of pigeons would in fact give you what is referred to as hybrid vigor but unless their purposes are the same, why would you do this?

Now, In reply to your question, I feel a hybrid is anything where the gene pool of the two pigeons are totally different. On one of my earlier posts I gave my opinion of what different things mean to me but I will repeat this for those that perhaps did not read those posts.

Inbreeding to me is Father to Daughter or Mother to Son. Nothing else in my mind is inbreeding although some would say that if the pedigree would show more than 50% of a certain pigeons blood that that is inbreeding. I feel that the above statement with more than 50% or the blood being of one pigeon is line breeding to a certain pigeon and this is quite common with Aunts to nephews and Uncles to Nieces and half brothers to half sisters. With full brothers and sisters I like to refer to that as being a double line bred pigeon as in theory the offspring are supposedly carrying 50% each of the blood of two pigeons. However, each could be carrying a stronger percentage of one of the parents genetics as even as far as to carrying only all of one pigeons genes and none of the other. There are geneticists that can show you the odds of this happening which are almost impossible to achieve but it is possible. Remember, all genes come in pairs and one gene becomes the dominant and the other is hidden
and can come out down the road a bit.

The fine line comes when breeding any two pigeons together as if they don't work, regardless of what the pedigree says, they are just an expense. When the dust settles and you have nothing left to show any achievement from that line, that is frustrating.

I also believe we get ourselves too involved in trying to figure out what we are doing without looking at the individual specimen we are trying to deal with. By merely looking at how good the pedigree can look if we mate this one to that one we are on a sure course for disaster. We must know what we need to add to our pigeons to improve them or eliminate to improve them and then understand what the odds are to make this happen. It is not too difficult if we pay attention but in most cases, most people have not handled a pigeon of world class performance or proven breeding status. We tend to try to produce what we feel others will approve of. Most of them have no idea what they are really handling as well.

Now, I do feel that the pedigree is of maximum importance as a place to start but then we must look at the other characteristics these birds have and then at HOW WE WILL USE THEM TO ACCOMPLISH OUR GOALS!!! Now, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS????

Many people will purchase a group of sprint type pigeons and then insist on making them perform at the long distance races. If you want long distance pigeons buy long distance pigeons. If you want sprinters, buy sprinters and understand that this is their only purpose. Do NOT ATTEMPT to use a pack mile to win the Kentucky Derby or a thoroughbred to carry your gear up the side of a sheer rock mountain.

In conclusion, Get what you need to fill your gaps. If you are failing at all distances or competitions, and are doing the proper thing with your pigeons, perhaps the entire family should be replaced.  Hopefully I have been able to enlighten some as to how I view things. Just my opinion!!

Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FLorida

Question 17

Steve and Emery, Because breeds are the result of manipulated genes, selected for this trait or that, we may well trade off some abilities necessary for the over-all well-being of the birds, that we are not (yet) aware of, but the lack of which turns up sooner or later. Species on the other hand develop strictly according to the needs of the time/environment, in other words, manipulation of genes is done by nature. From what I have learned from the pigeon greats like Dr. Hollander, Dr. Gibson, F. Mosca et al., the mistakes we (almost invariably) make by "breed" creation, can be corrected, it's an on-going process. It seems to me that the "Trenton of Yesteryear" is somewhat like the good old days, something to be wished for or longed for without foundation in
reality. Hans, who has been told that the modern racer is the result of putting everything together which stayed in the air long enough....no purity, much as we would like such a thing.

Answer to Question 17

Hans: I agree with most of your post and those that are looking to give credit to the old strains that are having a tough go, should reread your post as well as my thoughts. I do NOT BELIEVE that the modern racer is a pigeon that could stay in the air long enough. I believe we now have SPECIALTY PIGEONS that we are trying to make them an OVERALL PIGEON and
failing miserably.

Well, it seems as if this type of conversation is bound to come up every so often. We are all proud individuals and would like to be able to lay claim to some specific greatness of our pigeons. I know the flames are going to come my way for this thought, but I feel we must go back into previous posts and think a little harder. I am probably going to offend many by this statement but here goes: MOST ALL OF US HAVE A TENDENCY TO BREED OUR PIGEONS TO MEDIOCRITY. period..

We would like to think that we have really done something when that real good one finally comes to the top but the truth of the matter is that a blind chicken eventually gets a piece of corn if the peck long enough.

To develop a pigeon was easier back when, as there were a lot less pigeons being kept by the fanciers. The lofts were smaller and when it came time to retain next years stock, many were eliminated. Now if you came from the poor side of the tracks, those that did not perform became very good soup. Just a fact of the times.  We now live in an international economy and we all have some pigeons in our lofts where the ancestry was from the other side of the ocean. This happened because after we bred our pigeons to a point of mediocrity, we now felt we needed to put something back into ours to make them better.

I did this back around 1979 or 1980 and all of a sudden the light came on and I realized I had improved my old stock, BUT HAD DEGENERATED THE NEW STOCK. Any new pigeons coming in must prove their worth before being introduced into mine unless there is something so special that mine are lacking and the new pigeons can put that into my family. However,

Again, lets repeat that!!!! If you purchase stock from a new source, they should be kept straight to see if they are better than yours or not. When you cross them, we have no idea when something works of where the gene pool came from. There are very few Golden Pairs that breed everything that wins. Again, MOST PAIRS will not make that significant impact in your loft.

Another point to consider is to look at how successful breeders of other stock go about it. If I were breeding thoroughbred race horses, I would not use any old stallion or any mare as the offspring would very likely be poor quality. With this thought in mind, it is time for us to start using our heads and getting more from our best producing male by breeding him with several females and determining if he stays. If you have a TOP PRODUCING FEMALE, only use her on proven males. Don't waste
her eggs on a tryout until the tryout is a SPECIAL PRODUCER.

If this pigeon is not your future, find out quickly and move on to the next step. Continuing to do what you have always done will give you the same results you have always had. PERIOD. Anything that deviates from that is like winning the lottery. It won't be because we were so smart but in fact, that somehow there became a nick in the genetics and it came out in that one special pigeon. Now, ARE WE GOING TO RECOGNIZE THIS SPECIAL ONE BEFORE WE THROW IT AWAY????? PROBABLY NOT!!!!

I am of the belief that a strain name that is older than I am means absolutely nothing. PERIOD. It is always the individual pigeon or pigeons that make you shine. Without those few stars, where would any  one be????

If you are so insecure in your program that you must refer back to an old strain name, chances are you have not won much recently. Only you can change that!!!!


I hope this helps someone:

Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FLorida

Question 18

Sarrett Jason M SrA 75 MSS/DPMAR-O wrote:

Hello everyone, I live in Northern Utah next to the Great Salt Lake. Does anyone have any experience with keeping mosquitoes away? I am raising  a few  late hatches and when I go into my loft at night, they and their  nestboxes  are covered with mosquitoes. How would I go about getting rid of them  in my  loft or at least deterring them. Also, on a few of my birds, I have  found a  few of these flat fly like things living in the feathers of my birds,  what  are those? I have heard the term pigeon flies before, is that what  they are  and if so what do they eat? i.e. blood/feathers?   Thanks, Jason in Utah

Answer to Question 18

To Jason and all the others with pigeon pests:

All of the pest problems can be handled quite quickly by individually spraying your pigeons with any type of dog or cat flea product. These are readily available no matter where you live but they are more costly than need to be.

The dog and cat flea products are generally produced with a large part of rubbing alcohol or a similar product along with a pest killer. The main ingredient of the pest killer is PERMETHRIN and is found in many products that are highly concentrated so your cost can become much cheaper to use. If you buy the dog and cat spray it is in there but a good one will cost about $13 for a quart or more and it does not go as far as buying the concentrate and then only using 1 1/2 teaspoon to make a quart.

I buy a product called insectrin and this should be available at just about any chain store where they also sell plants and garden products. I MIX 1 1/2 TEASPOON TO 1 QUART OF RUBBING ALCOHOL AND THIS I USE IN A SPRAY BOTTLE.

I found it easiest to grab the bird by the breast area and lift the wings up and slip the birds head in between the 2 wings so as to protect the eyes. This also keeps the birds from squirming when you try to spray them. I then mist them under each wing, over the back near the tail and then under the tail near the vents. Takes all of about 2 seconds once you have the bird positioned.

The reason for the alcohol is that it makes the feathers capable of absorbing the product. For whatever reason the alcohol will allow you to separate feathers as well when you are vaccinating so you can see what you are doing.

I tried the moth ball system here in Florida and it made a pleasant smell for a few days but evaporated quickly as we have pretty high humidity.

You can also help yourself and do some flock treatment but it is not as effective as individually spraying. Each time I give my birds a bath I use about 1/4 cup of BORAXO Laundry Detergent Additive to about 2 1/2 gals of water. This helps but is not as effective and I also spray my birds when I ship them to a race so the visitors don't come home with us from those that have them. I inventory my young birds about every 2 weeks to note when any disappear so I can make decisions as to my stock birds. At this time, I find it ideal to spray them and then I know I have protected myself for another couple weeks.


I forgot to mention that pigeon flies are blood sucking type pests and they can give you serious problems with Haemoproteus which is the pigeon malaria.

How this happens is that the pigeon fly rides along on the back of the pigeon and then sucks the blood as their meal. If they take blood with the Haemoproiteus problem and then jump to another pigeon and go for another meal, the problem begins to spread.

The pigeon is the carrier of the problem and once they have it they rarely perform well. They will look perfect and drive you crazy because you are always late in the races. The only way to identify this problem is to do a blood smear and check it under a VERY GOOD MICROSCOPE capable of doing blood work.

OK, Back to the little trouble maker. He is called a jockey in some parts of the country in America because you will generally find them on the back of the pigeon if you have flies. He jumps from one pigeon to another and the easiest way to identify them is when you are feeding your pigeons on the floor in a trough NATURALLY and if you OBSERVE THE PIGEONS BACK, you may see them. If you see one, assume you have several as here is a reason they are in your loft and one of them is normally health problems that create a certain smell alerting all the pests that this is easy pickings.

Keeping your birds healthy is easier if you practice good preventative methods such as bathing and spraying for insects. Doing this may help eliminate some of the more bacterial type problems.

Again, an easy way to spot lice is to wear a white T-Shirt and after handling your pigeons, if you see any lice, you are susceptible to other pest problems.

Hope this helps: Bob Rowland Spring Hill, FLorida USA

Question 19

Sarrett Jason M  wrote:

What is the main ingredient that we should look for, for the  application of   flies and lice? And Bob is this the same stuff that you mix with  alcohol?    Brett Savage writes...  the powdered Insectrin GP. I found it at Walmart under the  name Garden and Pet Dust for a fraction of the cost of the Insectrin   Brand  (exact same ingredients). Comes in a shaker can or cheaper in the bag,   in  the  Garden section.   Thanks for all the help so far everyone!!!!   Jason in Utah 

Answer to Question 19

It is either permetherin or as Mike Thomas has also pointed out is melathion. I prefer the permetherin only because it is what they are using on pets as a flea and tick type spray so I am assuming it must be fairly safe as pets are also around some small children at times.

The product I spoke of is a liquid and not a powder. I assume that the powder is probably a weaker solution then the CONCENTRATE that I use. I would think the powder is for immediate application without mixing anything and threefore is not a concentrate.

I prefer the concentrate as it is less expensive but more importantly is you can make fresh batches as you need it and this will give you a potent solution. OI don't know what the shelf life would be on the powders or even the premixed stuff such as the dog and cat sprays.

Hope this helps: Bob Rowland Spring Hill, FLorida USA

Question 20

Hi Bob,What is the best way to treat for  (adenovires)?????  Mark M  daybird@localnet.comMark,  

Answer to Question 20

Are you sure you have adeno virus??   Generally you can NOT treat for adeno but you can give them an  antibiotic as some other bacteria are opportunistic which means, when  the system is weakened, they jump onto the weakened specimen and   further  beat them up and sometimes this causes death.   Adeno is a VIRUS so someday a vaccine must be developed that will  fight  this but generally the birds will pull through it much the same as a  kid  does with measles.   To stop the opportunity bacteria, feed only pellets to the pigeon   section where you notice adeno. What this does is not allow other  pigeons to pick up puked feed. By feeding a pellet, it is easily  digested and if regurgitated, the other birds will not pick it up to  eat  as they would if you feed a grain.    Now you must let it run its course and you will have some immunity   developing in the loft for future years.   Hope this helps you!    Bob

Question 21

"Richard A. Montagna" wrote:

My current loft is 10 x 12 and it has a partition across the 12 foot side,   dividing the loft into two equal 6 x 10 sections. Thus far I have only  used one side of the loft and the aviary and landing board are on that  side. I'll be separating the sexes soon and because of the way the loft is  set up, I'll have to add an aviary and landing board on the other side -  there's no way for me to fly the birds so that they could come into the  same trap and end up on the "proper" side of the loft.   Therefore, as you face the loft, the birds will be confronted with two  identical traps, one on each side of the main door. What's the chances  that I'll be able to get the birds to fly into the new trap as opposed to  the old trap? I imagine that others have had similar experiences. (The   current trap has an "outer door" that I close to keep out unwanted   quests. The new trap will have similar set up, so I'll be able to open or   close the trap that I want.)   Thanks for any advice or suggestions.    Richard 

Answer to Question 21


You can use what is called a round-a-bout system which is where the birds exit from one side and enter in on the other.

While the first group is out exercising, the second group is pushed over to the release side. When the first group is brought in to be fed, they return to the return side and the group that was originally in the return side has been transferred to the release side.

Now when the first group has all returned and trapped in, then the second group is let out to exercise. When the first group is done eating, they are transferred back to the release side and when the second group is called in, you have made the entire cycle and all are back in their original section.

It becomes quite simple and this way you only utilize one trap.

Hope this helps,

Bob Rowland Spring Hill, FLorida USA

Question 22

Meatyard Chrys A Civ ASC/FBL wrote:

Hi, Bob,   I was reading your post on the PML regarding checking droppings, etc., for pigeon "bugs." I've been trying to learn how to do this myself. The problem I seem to have is how to prepare the dropping/slide to be read under the microscope....I'm not sure I'm doing this correctly. Can you give me any guidance in this regard (sounds like you're experienced with this) or lead me to some good reference material?   I started out just looking at droppings/crop smears without mixing/suspending them in any type of medium, just to get some experience (didn't have any idea what I was looking at). Since then, I've learned there are different types of medium (fecal flotation liquids), stains, etc., for different types of illness/disease or for ease of identifying things under the scope. Then comes the problem of knowing what I'm looking at and figuring out if what I'm seeing is normal, low, or high. I have a website reference, I have the Racing Pigeon Digest articles a year or so back with pics, explanations, etc., and then I have Levi's book, as well as some other avian veternarian reference manuals. I have several scopes, as well as supplies, stains, and just about everything I need to perform my own tests, just need to learn how to do this right! Information is hard to find.   Any advice would certainly be appreciated.    Chrys Meatyard

Answer to Question 22

To all that are interested in learning how to use a microscope:

I will give you the method as I was taught and it may be correct or not but has worked well for me.

To do a fecal sample one must prepare a solution that changes the specific weight of DISTILLED WATER. The product that is used to do this is SODIUM NITRATE and this makes the water heavier after the sodium nitrate and distilled water are mixed together. The purpose of this is to allow the eggs from the bacteria such as coccidia or worms to float to the top of a container where the eggs will collect on a slide COVER SLIP. I suppose you could apply a slide directly over the top of the container holding the solution but I find it less of a problem to use the cover slip. After giving the solution a time of 2 hours or more to float the eggs to the top to collect on the cover slip I then place it with the solution side to the bottom and place the cover slip on top of a microscope slide. From this I can then put the assembly into my microscope and view the results.

To do this test, one takes a few droppings from around the loft and place them in a beaker or in my case, I use a small sample cup that I get through a veterinary supply house. The product I use as my solution cup is called "FECALYZER" and the purpose of this is it a small container so the amount of fecal floatation solution is reduced.

Another way of doing an examination is to take a few droppings and put them into a beaker and add some flotation solution and mix up the dropping with the solution and then strain it through a fine screen mesh strainer into another beaker so only a solution is there. You do not want pieces of straw or feathers or anything else to be on your slide as it is more difficult to spot what you are looking for. From this method you take the strained solution and put it into a test tube and fill the balance of the test tube capacity with more fecal floatation solution. Now place a slide cover slip on top of the test tube.

Now either way will work to get the fecal sample ready to allow the eggs to float to the top of a container such as the one I use or you can do it with a test tube but generally requires more solution and to reduce the amount of solution requires using a smaller diameter test tube.

Either way will give you the same results but the trick is to fill the container 'til it just forms a slight liquid bubble over the top and this is where you set your slide cover slip.

Of extreme importance is the amount of time you allow the eggs to float to the top as too short of a period for the floating up to take place can give you a faulty reading. Several years back, my good friend Louie Bernardone and his wife Lorraine from the Bronx, of New York City came to spend a week with my wife and myself so we put on a fourth of July Pigeon Picnic for anyone interested in getting together in my area. We made one solution of stool samples for test and left them at different amounts of time to prove what I am telling you now! Remember, the sample was the same on all three tests, but the time to float the eggs was different.

The results of this test was that sample 1 after 20 minutes should just a slight trace of coccidia with a count of 2 or 3 eggs in the viewing area. Sample 2 was allowed 1 hour to float up and the count read somewhere around 15 or 20 eggs for coccidia and a worm egg as well. Sample 3 was allowed 2 1/2 hours to float up and the count was perhaps 100 to 200 coccidia eggs which are also called occysts and there was a couple worm eggs in this slide.

The test proved to all in attendance that just because someone tells you your pigeons are clean of bugs is not necessarily correct. If the solution for floatation was mixed slightly wrong, the specific weight of the solution could be weak and therefore the eggs will take longer to float up. TAKING THE EXTRA TIME IS CRITICAL.

Getting a correct reading is essential or why do it at all. You will also find that if you do not have a problem, why medicate? The savings of drugs and the ability to win the pool prizes becomes more of a sure thing rather than chancing that all is well. You may be called a mad scientist by the nay sayers and disbelievers but after a while, they will be coming to you for a stool test to see why they are not getting a team performance.

To check for Trichamonosis or commonly called canker is also quite easy to do but it requires STRAIGHT DISTILLED WATER and NOT FROM THE MIX SOLUTION of Sodium Nitrate and distilled water.

To do this get a small cup and pour some distilled water only in the cup. Now take a long stem cotton swab and I prefer the ones on a long handled wooden stick. Dip this into the distilled water and then open your pigeons mouth and put the swab down the throat and rotate it around but always in the same direction. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ROTATE BACK AND FORTH or the cotton tip may come off. Now remove the swab and apply the rubbing to a slide cover and this you can inspect immediately as the bug is alive and you can see movement if canker is present. Even if you don't see movement, once you have learned to identify the various bugs or eggs, you will know exactly what to treat for IF TREATMENT IS REQUIRED.

At a later date, I will get into explanations about blood work but I am at this time doing some studies of the blood to see if I can find some key things to tell me more about each individual pigeon. To do blood work requires a very good scope with an oil immersion lens.

Hope this helps someone: Bob Rowland Spring Hill, FLorida USA


EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS TO BOB bgrowland@earthlink.net