Article 9

THE ART OF FEEDING

SCIENTIFIC FACTS AND DOGMAS

I have wrestled for several months on how to start any subject on breeding and racing pigeons without first exposing facts, dogmas and fiction whilst doing any intelligent preparation for these two main items in a pigeon fanciers year.
Without being armed with the knowledge of how to produce a good egg, robust youngsters, or how to prepare for the long flight ahead in the classic races and not just the fast blow home races that can be won by the young, old, experienced or inexperienced alike with the aid of sometimes the over relied upon flight fuel, one is beaten before one starts.
So many other things come into play of which flight fuel and its counterparts or other aids only play a small but not very significant part.


It is wonderful that there are races that allow the newest of fanciers to win against the most experienced of fanciers. But let us not for one minute think that this performance brings this new starter to the level of the ranks of those that have become famous because of many great achievements. The sprint artists that adore races over 1150 meters or 1257 yards per minute have no answer how they often are beaten by a new starter or someone not of mature age in these type of races.


We also know that these birds when sold to an experienced fancier where the prevailing winds and other weather creates different velocities that these pigeons on the whole fail miserably. Whereas the pigeon with all the right equipment for a hard race can win the easy race, but NEVER and I mean NEVER will these pet shop pigeons as I refer to them ever win a hard classic. In these races only those with POWER, ENERGY, INTELLIGENCE, GUTS, and the correct FEEDING, will ever put your name on the roll of honour and respect in the pigeon world.


These statements and they are only my opinions have made many, warm under the collar, but have been applauded by most of those we can respect as racer breeders in the sport. For these are the people who endeavour to breed and race a superior bird and not try to make a business out of selling fast blow home rubbish. These individuals are branded in the circles of the well informed fanciers as feather merchants.


Should I decide to write about the art of feeding without exposing, what can happen by the commercials who create the above situations and pray for a tail wind and no heavy rain, then some of you the readers may doubt what I am telling you.


So, no offence to the fancier that fits into this category, I just wish to point out to my readers that these people are out there in the sport.When you prepare a pair of pigeons for mating, before you put them together they need a low fat diet for approximately two weeks. I am assuming your stock pairs have individual pens when mated. One week before mating, put them on a high protein diet, make sure they get all the salts, calcium and other minerals plus essential vitamins in their daily ration. Your birds if in separate pens will be quite settled to their home with no interfering amorous males around trying to get in on the act. This is why the male drives the female to the nest and no matter how many times you here the dogma that the male feeds the female at this time, I assure you that the hen is being deprived of a large percentage of protein vitamins and minerals to make a good egg.


How many times do we see in our own world of humans where a pregnant woman in a hostage drama no matter how physical or intelligent she is either ends up having a miscarriage or giving birth to a child not equipped for the hazardous world we live in today, and in the world of racing pigeons, this type of offspring will not be capable of competing in the world it is expected to perform in.

Many fanciers say their expensive purchases are not producing the goods, maybe they forgot to feed them correctly. You will struggle to make a petrol engine run on diesel. So many breeding hens go lame or are ruined through calcium deficiency, in human females they suffer from bone shrinkage and many other ailments, fats float about in the blood stream and builds up to fatal proportions while the bird is under stress. Most of these things are the cause of unbalanced diets. Many pigeon dieticians concentrate on a particular aspect of feeding which has an improvement in one department and a negative reaction in another. I have even seen grain merchants put sunflower seed in breeding mixes!!!!!!!

I in my lifetime with pigeons have tried to justify the methods and philosophies of most that I have come into contact or read about. Many are honest people with a genuine desire to help their fellow human beings and others are just a bunch of con artists. From this dogged pursuit of mine I have had the fortune to share the discoveries from which fanciers have improved the sport, also the patent medicines and hoaxes that have sent many budding young fanciers to mediocrity for the rest of their lives.
I believe that dewormers and wrong feeding before a race fill ones birds full of toxins, many choose to ignore this saying it is in minute proportions, what a pity they get away with this because of their rank and fortune in the fraternity. I sit down to breakfast in many strange places these days, and I am amazed at the amount of vitamin pills spread about the breakfast table, it looks like a chemist shop. One must stop and think, why is this the way the world is going, not only the pigeon fancy. In plain and simple words, wrong foods, wrong diets, if we can't balance our own diet, how can we qualify to manage the diet of our pigeons. I myself am overweight, I am a diabetic and give more attention to my pigeons diet than my own. Many of us are guilty or unsuspecting or just full of stubborn dogmatic practice. This article is to make some of us aware of where we are going in the pigeon world.


You may ask, where is all this leading and what has caused the problems. I dare to venture to answer MODERN SCIENCE, that is why my book is titled " The Hidden Mysteries of Nature and Science" I said in the beginning of my book, all things have a positive and a negative and so it is with the advancement of science, whether it is plastic utensils to genetically engineered crops. The plastics will come into the chapter on "Pigeon Hygiene."

Agriculture versus Genetic Engineering, we will deal with now in this chapter. Scientist have created bigger and better yields of crops for the farmer, more hardy and less susceptible to adverse climatic changes. What is the price we pay for this in the food chain, well that is easy to discover, lack of supply of natural proteins, minerals and essential vitamins to keep the mind and body in perfect health.


This is the reason why the shops are full of supplements to keep us going. I myself have decided that our pigeons for breeding, racing and moulting need something better than they are getting to give them the necessary balance they need to sustain the health, strength and mental vitality which is at the moment becoming a rare combination of assets in our birds. I have had the assistance of some distinguished people to get this product to where it is now. I have picked the brains of top American and South African scientists to discover about how to replace hormones on depleted birds that have become infertile long before their time through lack of isoflavones in their diet, overdosing of DNA sensitive drugs that are available freely on the market and administered at sickening prolonged treatments to our pigeons.


Has anyone gone into the bone loss or hormone deficiencies in our pigeons, I do not think so, the people who are selling us the quick fixes are too interested in selling patent medicines, to cure the illnesses they are catching regularly because of their inadequate diet together with other reasons, rather than being concerned what is causing the problems.
The pigeon fancier will not seek out these products to increase the isoflavone intake, so I aim to take it on myself to bring it to the fancier so we can start breeding and racing super pigeons once more. I am not a pigeon supply store, neither am I a snake oil merchant, but have decided to specialize with food supplement and pigeon utensils to replace the e-coli breeding plastic utensils we use at the present time, so much for the advancement in modern science to the detriment of our pigeons. It is my intention to supply an essential service for the items that are missing in our sport. You will not buy anti- biotics or quick fixes or vaccines from me. I will only supply that which I am of the opinion will help you to dispense with that muck and bring the health of your pigeons to a level of other countries who are not plagued with the dozens of illnesses you get here in South Africa week by week.

Here is a perfect example
The pigeons are plagued with Malaria week after week in South Africa and other parts of the world. The salesmen are selling quinine etc like it is going out of fashion. Someone is making a lot of money as the pigeons keep catching it and the fancier keeps buying it. Not one of them either has the knowledge or maybe the integrity to say, look this is the third or fourth time you have been in for this medicine, something is wrong here. Here is the answer to prove my point, it has been prevalent throughout the whole winter when there are no mosquitoes so what causes the Malaria. Well the answer is the Pigeon Fly the one that runs side ways similar to a crab. Some fanciers put their birds in the basket crawling with these things, he jumps straight onto your bird as you introduce it to the basket and your bird is quickly injected by this flying crawling hypodermic syringe. A liberal dusting of carbo dust on your birds before basketing will keep this filthy horrible visitor away from your birds during transit. He can't stand the stuff and no more Malaria or Quinine for your birds. Get rid of the carrier and you do not need a cure.

We all need to get smart before we turn our birds into inferior specimens. I do not sell carbo dust, it is a Horticultural product, but you can believe me it will soon be in the pigeon shops now. If you can't sell quinine sell Carbo Dust or similar.

Now that we've got these explanations out of the way, the following article will be : " My Breeding Methods "

Jack Barkel
Potchefstroom

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Jack Barkel

E-mail: jack@allpets.co.za