Questions & Answers

Please note : Questions & Answers at the end of every article so please refresh regularly

Q36 - My best pigeon is a hen.I have tried to linebreed back to her.After reading your article 10 I am unsure of how to go about it if at all.What I have done was the following. 1.The hen has got a pearl eye so I paired her with a yellow-eyed cock 2.Their best son with a yellow eye was again paired with his mother.They bred 3 sons,2 with yellow eyes and a daughter. 3.The best son from 2 above was paired to his mother and I breb 3 youngsters. Must I continue or am I wasting the hen?

Thankyou for all the information.

A - Hello Hennie, Unfortunately you can not breed back to a hen, every cock you introduce to a hen produces an outcross to that cock which can be anyone's guess just as to what it is. The hen can not pass on it's sex genes to it's daughters, therefore there is no such thing as line breeding to a hen as every cock you introduce even if a son or a grand son has out crossed genes. The true line of descent can only be carried out by eliminating all other male matings. Line Bred, means True Line Of Descent. To attempt to breed to a hen you are out crossing and no harm in that, but you are definitely not breeding to the hen. You are correct Hennie, you are wasting your time as it is impossible to line breed to a hen.

Hello Jack

Q35I bought your video "It is all in the eye". In your video you said the the only way to reproduce your top stock cock is to pair father to daughter(same eye as the mother) etc. Then in your 3 or 4 generation you put brother to sister with the same eyes of the father together to have a replica of the father. Could you use the same principle to reproduce a top stock hen or is it better to breed towards a cock? How old should a hen be before you start breeding with her? Thank you once again for your advice.

Best regards Nico

A - Hello Nico, I thought you and Loo had deserted me, I thank you for purchasing the video which is only a taste of things to come. I will start by saying with regards to your question, I have been insulted, condemned as an idiot, impostor, that many of my statements are rubbish and many more adverse comments. The reason being that some people who use applied genetics will answer your question on breeding to the hen with a resounding YES, whereas I will tell you and warn you with a big NO!!!.

When you here a person say, my Cocks fly better than my hens or vice versa, you know he is doing one of two things, he is using applied genetics or he is thrashing around in the dark. You see, if you attempt to breed to the hen you will have to eliminate at least 90% of their progeny. Every cock introduced to a hen from generation to generation is an outcross and will breed you different colours , different sizes, different characteristics one on top of the other. The answer to this being that a stock hen can not give her essential sex genes to her daughters, only to her sons. Therefore a hen cannot dominate her daughters progeny.

You create the gene pool to which you are going to fish in, if you develop this gene pool incorrectly you will catch more rubbish genes than good genes and I am able to prove this in most lofts I visit, when rating and mating. I believe that the theorists use of applied genetics can not work to a greater percentage with creatures of human origin, as with the Racing Pigeon as well as your dog breeds these have many bad characteristics bred into them to improve other good and necessary characteristics. A good breeder must recognise the good and the bad from practical experience and demonstration, not by the knowledge you receive from a book.

Nico you have visited me, where else have you seen three families of one strain and four different strains with the exact duplication of these original imported champions. Half an hour at my loft and even the novice can pick out the families and strains without making a mistake and as you know they win all over the country in any conditions, but the harder the better. My breeding success rate starts at 50% and increases as people book me again year after year. Most of those who oppose my methods breed an average success rate of 10% and often get me in rather secretively to put right what they have put wrong or secretively buy in new stock.

There is one of the famous top fanciers in South Africa who has stated openly." It is time to get Jack Barkel in again to keep my breeders updated" many fanciers tell this story that heard it. Where are the great music composers of the past? where are the Master Breeders of the past, we produce very little of this calibre any more because the theorists have taken over from the practical people in the Arts and Sciences. If one is blessed with being able to apply both, all well and good, but I believe the practical gives the best results and is of more value. One can have a top stock cock and a top stock hen but if you can not recognise whether they are compatible or not you can waste best part of the life of these two birds trying to breed the Super Pigeon which will be as accidental if it happens as the lightning striking the toilet door whilst you are inside. Nico,---DO NOT TRY AND BREED TO THE HEN. As for your second question, this one is easy. The young hen will not lay until nature decides she is ready, but I prefer her to be a yearling, as I have found their laying cycle seems to last longer without problems if not called upon to perform maternal duties in their first year. To those who read this, please this is my experience and humble opinion, I am answering questions to those who have written to me. I will not get involved in arguments with those who's opinions differ,ask me questions I will answer, but if you have a different opinion, write to Manfred, put it up on the list without any references to me. We are all entitled to share our opinions for the benefit of all without making it a challenge by making references to others.


Thanks for writing all of these wonderful articles. I am just starting out in racing pigeons and have been scouring the internet for all sorts of information on racing pigeons. I would have asked lots of questions about your previous articles, but I only just recently found the web page that they are posted on. Anyways, on to the questions......

Q34. In the picture of the wings, the rejected bird's wing ended like a butter knife, while the accepted bird's wing ended like a sharp knife. Do you like the last 4 flights (ie 7,8,9&10) to get progressively longer (accepted bird) or too be all the same length (rejected bird), or do you like something entirely different.

A - Yes you are on the right track, one of the warning signs when your inbreeding starts to deteriorate, is the shortening of the 9th and 10th Primary flights. If you place your hand palm down on the table you will see that your small index finger and the next one in is smaller than your middle finger. You can liken these two fingers to the shortening of your 9th and 10th primary flights. It is then time to introduce an unrelated hen with the 7,8,9,&10 flights progressing in length. One can also detect it in the darkening of feather and eye colour.

Q33. You mention the "humorous bone close to the body, no more than a six millimetre ( žinch) gap". How would one go about in measuring this. If you try to feel the bird in your hand, will you not be squishing the wings together, as to get an incorrect feel.?

A - When you hold the pigeon in front of you, head towards your chest, raise the wing so that it is exactly at right angles 90 degrees to the body, no higher no lower. Slide your middle finger between the body and the humorous bone in this position. Pad of the finger touching the humorous bone and finger nail against the body. If it is a tight fit this is the average gap you are looking for. If I can get two fingers in there (and I have medium to small fingers) I reject it.

Q32. How do you look at the curvature of the wing? I tried, but do not really know what I am too look for.

A- Again hold the bird in your left hand, virtually upside down,tail towards you, open the wing with you thumb and forefinger, the butt of the wing cradled in the palm of your hand. The tip of the wing must be furthest away from you and you look down the edge of the wing like you would look down the teeth of a saw when checking their settings. The picture in the article should give a fairly good indication.

Q31. When you say "The step creates a faster speed because it forces a faster wing beat, which is all well and good for short fast races, but certainly not for prolonged flight." How long is the short fast races....up too 300 miles, 400 miles, or shorter.? Prolonged flight....300-750 miles...??

A- Short ? Up to 200 miles 350 kilometres. Fast= Over 1200 metres per minute

Q30. You mention the yellow eyes for the cock birds. Are yellow eyes better for breeding than pearl eyes.?

A- You must always put a yellow to a pearl, the reason being. Two yellows together will give increased stamina and intelligence, but a reduction in speed and vitality. Two pearl eyes together will give increased speed and vitality, but a reduction in intelligence: i.e. Homing Ability. A yellow to a pearl will help to give you a balance of Stamina, Intelligence(homing ability), Speed and Vitality.

Best Regards

Jack Barkel

Q29 Hi Jack
just spoke to you on the phone (hot line) forgot to ask about the mention of maleria. you give a preventative measure with the use of carbodust. How would one know if any of your birds have the "M" OR NOT. IF they do how would i go about curing this. thanks for the help

AHello Loo,
You need a blood test done by a vet, but you can treat all birds in any case for you most certainly have it. You can administer Premaquine which is just a fancy name for quinine with a syrup base, the dosage is on the bottle administered down the throat with an eye dropper. Remember Malaria is there to stay you can only keep it inactive by dusting your birds against the pigeon fly. If you do not do this every basket day, you will always have it and make the snake oil merchants rich.
Keep Well,

Q28 Hi Jack  , I am from Grootfontein in Namibia Afrikaans speaking so mind my English I just want to know when the other articles is comming we are waiting and when your book is going to be published. One question I have a cock 10 years old but its invertile what can I do to get some more babies from him thanks for the articles we are waiting for more please!

AHello Nico,
I am struggling to keep the chapters of my new book up to date, and that is why I am not getting material up on the Allpets site.
You see these articles are excerpts of the written chapters of the book. The only thing I have found to be successful with a ten year old cock is TESTOSTERONE , it is the male hormone drug for humans in pill form.
N0 1 Seperate the cock and keep him in a cage on his own.
No 2 Feed him a high protein diet and plenty multi vitamins.
No 3 When you see that the old cock is starting to make the signs that he is interested, give him 1(one) Testosterone Pill.
No 4 Seven Days Later give him the second pill and introduce the hen.
No 5 Seven Days Later give him the third pill and if the hen has not laid before the next Seven Days you can allow him a Fourth pill.
This has done the trick for many of my followers and people who have attended my seminars.I have lectured and rated and mated pigeons up as far as Koekenaap which I imagine is not far from your area. I have two sons and two daughters three were born in ENGLAND. Today there home language is Afrikaans so I understand the problems with the tenses living with a bilingual family. Let me know when the Old Cock makes your day,
Best Regards
Jack Barkel

Q27   I was wanting to know how to sex pigeons. Thanks,Jacob

A There in no infallable way of sexing pigeons that I have found and I presume I must have tested most all of these fallacies or supposed methods. However as a fancier who handles a minimum of 1000 birds per month in my job, not including my own pigeons the nearest way of recognising the difference is as follows. The cocks eyelids are round where a hens eye lids are dished at the bottom and is alike to the bottom eyelid of a human being. As they say, a picture can explain a thousand words.

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Q26 I am a beginer with pigeons,fantails some apear sluggish not active head pulled dowm not flying.Is terramycin ok and how much in the water? It is hard to find information on baisic pigeon care.hope you can help THANK YOU

A .. Hello Dave,
Your best bet is to get some plain JIK- household disinfectant without any additives, a similar product for pigeons is called VIRKON S. You put one teaspoon of either one but NOT BOTH, on 10 (TEN) litres of water for three days. Then give a flora for three days, then one week of multi vitamins and all should be O/K.  Terrramycin is for Mycoplasmosis and Croup, it does not seem to be your problem but rather Herpes Virus or some related complaint. Let us know if you come right, there are other remedies but let us try this first.

Hi Jack

Please note that i will ask questions for as long as you are breathing. I would like to also thank you for helping and answering my questions. No matter how small you always find time to help.

I am currently using the sound about system as explained in the current article. The birds are rotated, going out one side and entering the other because i do not have the passage. I would also like to say to everyone that this is so easy to manage and one cannot go wrong.(My wife is currently doing this for me AM and PM... fitting it in between a baby and household chores.)

Q25.... .......Would it be ok if i fitted W/hood boxes in one side and perches in the other. Thus pairing the birds up in a particular box and rotating when training. This would help a lot and would not brake their current routine. As you said they know the drill and my wife is amazed every time she rotate the birds. She reckon they know exactly what to do.

A........Yes Ranleigh in fact it would be better to fit Widowhood Boxes in the Cocks Section. Please remember to put a certain coloured marker ring on all the hens, so that one will never be able to dodge your wife and remain behind amongst the cocks, otherwise the magic is broken.

Thanking you stacks

Mr. Barkel, My name is Kirk. I have enjoyed your writings on the PML before and heard about your articles form my brother, Gregg. We are both new to the sport and are finding it most fascinating. I am 36, my brother 38 so neither of us is a spring chicken as the saying goes. We live in Minnesota, USA ( way up north !). The information you have given has been great and I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate it. Let me know when your book is out as I would like to get it before it sells out !! My question is this.
Q24. What affect would leaving a light on 24 hours have on ones breeders and their young ? Thanks again as the huge amount of time and dedication to these articles is very apparent.
Kirk Finch

A. Hello Kirk. Welcome to the Allpets site and thanks for the kind remarks, to answer your question. I do feel that to give your birds to much light is as detrimental as to little, in other words if your time of breeding is more than eight hours of darkness I would install a timer in the breeding section,so that there is no more than eight hours of darkness. This will ensure that babies do not go without food on long dark nights, whereas I feel that extended hours of light will only trick the bird into thinking it is mid summer and may increase their productivity which is not so essential in breeding pigeons.


A. Mark, I feel your friend is feeding the wrong food on basketing day, rather just a light feed of dehusked sun flower in the morning with two eye drops of iodine on a litre of drinking water. This should allow for normal water retention from your birds on the short races. Many races are lost the day before the race.

Q22, Jack, Thanks for the response on garlic issue.....I think I'll cut back on the garlic then. This year I hatched youngbirds towards the end of February and after reading volumes on youngbird race systems, I decided to try darkening with my birds this year. I have read Rotondo(sp) and several others (to bad you don't have a book out yet, I read everything I can get my hands on). The system sounded really good except I don't think my birds have read any of them. My birds have been moulting body feathers like crazy as everyone says they will, but about half way through moulting, they started dropping tail feathers and flights. They are still flying and routing like fiends. They average about an hour to an hour and a half flying every time I let them out so I believe everything is okay health wise. Our first race isn't until the beginning of August so I think they will be about finished with moulting before then. Am I on the right track here or am I in big trouble.
Gregg Finch
Minnesota, USA

A. Greg I think the Darkening down system is working well for you, where you seem to have made a mistake is the feeding. Young birds need lots of Barley in their diet to halt the moult of the primaries. It is just the body feathers that needs to moult for young bird racing, I suggest you increase the barley and road work and cut down on the protein to try and slow down the moult of the main flights. If this does not work, you will be prepared for next year.

Q21, I have a special squeeker race in five weeks from now and was of the opinion that this would be a good time to pull those tail feathers as you have advised. You mentioned that the blue tongue is and indication of wrong diet, interesting that for I have a hen that's tongue has that blue tip, she is the only one in the race team that shows it, although all that team are on the same feed as indicated above. Alan

A I do not know if your young birds will adapt to this system and drop their first primary, usually they exercise and train so much they tend not to go into the moult. However should you darken the loft down a little and feed a higher protein at the time you pull these tail feathers it should show some results. I myself have only done it with birds going into their second moult, that is
yearlings and older. There are several theories on the blue tip on the tounge, some theorists say it is just a skin pigmentation, but I have found I can make it come and go which tells me that it could be caused through toxeamic fluctuations in the body. Glutteny, selection of special fancied grains by certain birds, over training, wrong diet. I still say it is one of the barometers to the birds fitness. As it does not occur in all ones team I usually put a couple of garlic capsules down the throat of the effected birds.



,A Take one small segment or clove per litre of water you wish to administer, scald it first in a cup, so that it will start to brew, then pour this into your main container. I mix mine at 5-small cloves or portions to 4.5 litres or one gallon of water. Garlic capsules administered individually or garlic oil over the food leaves your water clean, and does not run the risk of a reduction of water intake by your birds, which is also a very important factor in the racing season.

Greg Finch writes and askes, Great articles and very interesting reading, I really appreciate your sharing of information I have two questions for you if you don't mind. Thanks in advance and keep up the great writing….It really is appreciated.

Q19, You have mentioned the use of garlic in the water(which I do use).Is there any harm in using garlic on a daily basis?(Sure doues make the loft smell good and keeps the flys out).

A, The only harm that I foresee is that a pigeon takes in less water if you have changed the taste from fresh water. Should a bird take in less than 10% of its normal required intake it can reduce its performance up to 40%. May I suggest that if you decide to use more than two days of garlic, that you use garlic oil over the food.

Q18, You also stated that 1 cup of food should feed 10 birds…. Is that one cup of food daily or twice daily?

A, I should have said, one cup of food twice daily…Morning and Evening. The widowhood flyers usualy feed one heaped desertspoon of food to each pigeon, twice daily.

Q17, Hi Jack, I certainly hope you continue this great information site. When you make up the depurative mix, what is the actual reason for the brewers yeast. I have tried sunflower seed, not appreciated by the birds at all but as you indicated and I probably do (spoil them, just a bit.) I don't know what the calorific value of sunflower seed is but your advice to try it is good enough for me.
Alan Barnes

A, Hello Allan,
To keep the birds on a depurative type mix, you unfortunately deprive them of some of the essentials that you would find in a normal diet e.g:-Phosphor , Thiamine B1. Riboflavin B2, Pyridoxine B6, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Copper, Manganese and Cobalt. The Brewers yeast has an abundance of these and also has a calming influence on the birds. Many top fanciers feed them in pill form, but I prefer it in the food. I myself take at least three brewers yeast tablets every day to assist my personal well being. The sunflower seed when dehusked is a good digestible food rich in protein and oils, also contains phosphor and Vitamins excluding vitamin "E" which of course the wheat which is half your mix is very rich in this vitamin. One must dehusk it and use immediately.
Best Regards,
Jack Barkel

Hello Jack,
Q16, Read your medication program with interest. Your recipe is for one liter of solution. Is this stock solution that you then add to the water at a future time, or is this the concentration of the drinking water that you give to the birds?
Yours in the Sport,
From central Illinois, USA
Mike Palanos
Hello Mike,
A, No, the mixture of the powders , Tylan Emtryl, and Terramycin are the Stock Powder. One teaspoon of this mixture on one litre of water together with one desert spoon of Sulphamethazine (which is a liquid) is a daily dosage for fifteen to twenty pigeons, depending on the heat of the climate. May I say that these articles should be coming up weekly and No 2 is already there, so one needs to go in live on a weekly basis to read each new article. All questions like this one will be greatly appreciated, as it will keep these articles alive, and help statements from being misinterpreted, as I try to explain. I hope you have read article two with illustrations. Thanks for your support.
Yours in Sport,
Jack Barkel

Jim Muckerman of Missouri wrote."I read with great pleasure your article on the allpets url". Just a couple of questions come to mind.
Q15. When medicating…. Do you recommend pulling the grit and when do you put it back.?
A. Yes, I recommend taking out the grit and salts and returning it 24 hours after cessation of the treatment.

Q14. With reference to medications and the mention of Oxyvital, which is not available in the USA, would you recommend that we above the equator use Mycosan T ?
A. Yes, Mycosan T will be excellent for the USA and the Continent, it should not effect the advancement of the moult as it does in similar climates and seasons to South Africa.

Q13. When you mix the depurative, how many birds does you mixture treat and can it be decreased for a smaller group.
A. Yes, you can decrease it proportionately to meet your requirements,I prefer to give all my race birds the depurative treatment whether they competed that week or not, but 20 birds get two normal size cups morning and evening. I think it would be better to adjust your mix to last your particular team for no longer than two weeks. You will soon work out what is the adequate mix for your particular team.

Q. Will these articles be weekly or daily or just how often?
A. I will endeavour to submit a weekly article, with a question and answer similar to this one. John Cline of California wrote, " I sometimes find it difficult to find sunflower seeds and it often smells odd like it was dirty or old.

Q12. Is there a substitute for sunflower seed?
A. Yes a person can use safflower, but unfortunately, in South Africa although we have the means and climate to grow it, we have not the means to harvest it as it grows on a thorny type of plant. The demand of safflower does not warrant the importation of such machinery or the production of such a crop, as sunflower is grown and harvested here extensively without any major problems.

Q11. I eat soup with different size soup spoons, please define the size or measure of the spoons you use.
A. A teaspoon measure is 5-grams if powder and 5-millilitres if liquid, A desert spoon measure is 10-grams powder and 10 millilitres liquid.

Dani of Oregon wrote,: Hi My Pigeon Grandpa! The site is wonderful, I hope it just prospers and prospers for you. I am sure your friends will be making the counter grow a million times more.
Q10. If I can't get these things here in the USA what do I substitute for……….. ( TERRAVIT)
A.A. Dani, Terravit is Terramycin with added vitamins, the alternatives are listed under tetracyclines, there are many alternatives, as your dealer will be able to inform you which are available in a particular area, but please remember these products will create a need for a multi vitamin build up, if they do not contain a correct dosage of added vitamins as does Terravit. Any of the Tetracycline's are excellent for Chlamydia & Mycoplasmosis.

Syd Randall of Australia wrote, Hi Jack, I have a few questions.
Q9. Do you place any importance on the length of flights when racing and training.
A. From the first to the sixth primary flight I pay little or no attention, but for the 7th 8th 9th & 10th, if I had to train or race a bird in this wing condition, I would only send when the flight was missing or was three parts grown with the next flight ready to drop out.

Q8. Is the cup you refer to the standard 250ml size.
A.A. Yes Syd, if you ladle 10 to 12 desertspoons into the standard cup of wheat or barley, you will see that it more or less is full. A pigeon in racing form should not eat much more than a desert spoon for each meal. For dehusked sunflower you must multiply by two if fed to the birds with the loose shells still in the mix as I do, when dehusking my own. Your question on suitable substitute for Terravit was asked by Dani also, so will not repeat the answer.

Q.Q. What would it cost to purchase your video in Australian Dollars
A.A. Syd, this question I can not answer, I suggest you contact:  and she will be able to give you all the particulars on this matter. If you have no success on this one, then I will contact her for you, but I do prefer you deal with her direct.

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Article 2 Jack Barkel 22 May 2000

Hi Jack

I clocked ok on Saturday. We had a strong S/E wind and the guys on the east (Springs) clocked good times. However, I was one of the few persons clocking a relatively good time in the west. 8 mins behind the winner. I took 29 & 31 provisionally.

Will have to wait till next week to see final result. Whats more, i had 9 in within 20 minutes. What i would like to mention. I am still battling to distinguish between form and condition. I would tell a lie if i say that i am flying on either. I've entered 4 of the same birds in the last 4 races from Ventersburg. There is a noticeable improvement in their times as they return faster every week.
Q7,..........I know you said that one can send a bird 7 times in a row but. are their some sort of warning after the seventh week. Would it be 7 weeks of long distances or am i still ok as i only stay 200km from liberation point.

A, .........Just as you have a noticable improvement in their times, you will also register a positive dip in performance when the form is gone,please remember it is gone for a year.

Q6,.........This question is important to me. Are the birds feet suppose to be warm or cold. I happened to handle some of the birds when i made my selection on Friday and left the ones with cold feet. If it is a problem what is it and what do a person do to rectify it.
A,............. The feet become warm as the birds temerature is raised, the temperature rises as the birds health increases. A method of keeping this temperature or to keep the feet warm is to cover the birds perch with a piece of polystyrene sheet. Cold water can also drop the blood temperature and loose form. Be carefull to give luke warm water in the racing season.

Q5.........I also noticed one bird yesterday regurgitating its food but isolated it as i did not know why it does this. This particular bird seems okay afterwards and at evening feed was eating ok and hasn't done it since... What could cause this?
A,.........Pigeons pick up many odd stones which they carry in their crops used in the breaking down of food to assist their digestive system, every so often they regurgitate these stones and replenish with fresh ones. This could be the cause but certainly nothing to worry about if the bird is not showing any other signs of discomfort.

Thanking you I hope you'll be able to give answers on the above.


PS. Not feeding on a Friday helps in these short races. I had no trapping problems for the past 4 Races.

Q4, I have one question: You mentioned that a strong dose of garlic in the water "IF the breast is blue" will soon rectified the problem. Do you think that B12 will also rectified the problem. Keep well my Friend and keep up your good work. Rassie.

A, If it is a blood problem yes it will help rectify the matter, if it is a gut tract problem the garlic will be more helpful, I would say give both and be sure. A good question Rassie, keep them coming.

Mary Asks,
Q3, Hi Jack, I have mostly relied on my husband when pooling my weekly race bird, we have a good money race coming up this week end and I have to choose between two good birds. My question is , what would I look for to choose between them.
A, Hello Mary, Make sure that your main choice has warm feet, that is first to go for a drink after eating, see that the mouth is pink, and does not have a bluish tint on the tip of the tongue. Look for an oil mark on the 9th flight=2nd from the tip of the wing, about 25mm from the tip of the wing and stretching for about 40mm. Wash feet before basketing and give a light ( hardly
recognisable ) smear of Vaseline. If you are going to feed on a Friday make it a light morning feed.( Dehusked Sunflower)
Best of Luck,
Jack Barkel.

Hi Jack  just wanted to say thank you for helping me to choose my pool bird. she won me $ 480.00 I looked for all you said and all was right.thanks again.when a bird has a bluish tint what does that mean? thank you very much ,Mary (REPORT BACK 11 JUNE 2000)

Howdy Jack,
Q2, If for some reason, eg: bad weather for several days) one is unable to let birds out for their daily training exercise, do you adjust feed in any way to compensate for the lack of flying. Are the birds subject to gaining too much weight.
Great articles
Syd.Randall .Australia.

A, Good question Syd, while on the depurative mix it will not make any difference, but on the build up mix, I would give Seventy Five percent your normal build up mix and add Twenty Five Percent Barley. This will keep them from putting on weight through forced inactivity.

HOW TO PREPARE TO FIND FORM. Article 4 Jack Barkel 29 May 2000

Ranleigh Delport writes and asks:
Q1, Hi Jack
I would like to try this condition thing as an experiment for one or two races. I.E. our sales race in August. You mentioned that a person should train as little as possible. Would that be loft flying or can we take the birds down the road at least once a week. Also, when would you reckon a bird peaks within the seven weeks and would that particular bird be useful in the future.
Does this bird have to be mated or can i just remove the feathers as illustrated.
I hope its not too many questions.
A, The idea was to try and induce the bird to drop its first primary flight, to overtrain will halt the moult procedure, to undertrain can keep you out of the prizes.You must use a very keen judgement on this one. Once a bird peaks and shows a drop in performance you must not use him again until next year, this way he will do it regularly for several years to come. This is what is called "Mastering The Art" To race this bird in August it should have been paired up 90 days before, however you are now too late for this year so take a chance and if it has not dropped the first primary by 5-weeks before this race,you can pull these two tail feathers, you should hit some kind of form by the time required for the race. If the loft is open, your birds will not drop their first flights in July however in South Africa. Phone me , we can discuss it.

E-mail Your Questions to

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Jack Barkel