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Thursday, February 01, 2001

Subject: Sun City
Subject: Sun City
Subject: Million Dollar Race Continue.....
Subject: Canker Treatment
Subject: Sun City



The Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race this past weekend was a wonderfull experience, I am however filled with a few doubts, many of which was already mentioned by Mr Barkel ( I am one of those people bombarding him with questions). The main aim of this SAPML is to voice our opinion and be subjected to other, which will give us the broad spectrum view..

When we received the Photo Attachment of Mr Barkel holding the winning pigeon, something triggered my brain. (Please keep in mind that this is my first year actually involved in this game). How come all our pigeons are busy moulting and this magnificent pigeon seems not to have lost one primary flight ??

The second question I would like to raise : Why is the traps located on the floor, from our own experience with the traps located in mid air (1.2m elevated) the pigeons after descending on the landing board, don't have time to waste on running around a small area and always trap straight away. The colour of the trap is of no concern to me. My opinion is that the birds at the MDPR was probably not hungry and therefore played around before going through the traps.

I know it was only a coincidence that the Dominee was actually sitting at the lofts, when his winning pigeon was trapped, but I really would like to know how he got to be there? I thought that it was not possible for the general public/entrees to go or stay close to the lofts at arrival time on the BIG day....Although the Superbowl is airconditioned, and they have huge screens, I would if it is at all possible for us to be able to sit and view these birds up close, rather sit there and keep my eyes peeled at the chance of spotting the winning bird (Imagine the adrenaline rush)... Shouldn't the organisers of the MDPR announce that the public may have access to the lofts, via the allocated seating ??

I know everything at the Million Dollar Pigeon Race is done for a reason, but I would still appreciate it if I could know what the reason is, my main aim is to gather all the information and if suitable apply it to our own loft.

I am not trying to prove anybody wrong or right, but if novices like me don't ask questions (Which seemingly seem stupid or irritating to others) I can not learn what is wrong or right.

Just another novice fancier...... Jog


Subject: Sun City

Hi Herman and all

Herman wrote :"Regarding the atmosphere at Sun City, it is just great. Every pigeon fancier in South Africa should try and be there " 

I would like to throw the cat amongst the pigeons with the following question: Why is such a great race held in January whilst our racing season only starts in June? This is my personal opinion.In January we have temperatures close to and sometimes well in excess of 30 degrees Celsius .I experienced this in Cape Town at the Grand Prix race.Some of the pigeons took some time to stand up after they have landed.On Tuesday, 3 days after liberation there were only just more than 500 pigeons back in the lofts, remember before Christmas there were more than 1000 birds. What happened to our feeling for the birds?Is this just a money making raquet to get the foreigners here because the weather is so great this time of the year?

Herman , I think what we must do is to negotiate a weekend in the middle of the racing season for this race to be held.All of the unions in the country can have a free weekend and we can take the wifes and children for a well deserved weekend to Sun City.A that stage they are so "gatvol" of sitting at home every Saturday that they would love to go. How wonderful would it be to have many more fanciers there and also maybe many more entries 

Almero Bekker


Subject: Million Dollar Race Continue.....

Hi guys & girls

Nice to have you back in the land of the living Mr Barkel. You must be tired after galavanting all over South Africa looking at pigeon after pigeon after..........

Well I must congratulate you on your mention in Frank Daelemans book, not bad, not bad at all. You must have enjoyed your two week stint, what with some of the birds off your pairings doing so well. And then of course the immenant introduction of your "Energy Power Supplement" into England. As I have said in my previous posting about the MDR, I think it was a huge success and will continue to be just that.There will allways be criticism of one kind or another, it happens with everything. You can`t please everybody all the time.

I checked up on the bird that came second HUN0003, that was bought on the Saturday before the race, of the previous positions flown he did not do to well, except for one exception, the longest training flight of 450km, he came 23rd. Which acording to some could be seen as a good sign of things to come. As for Ds Painter being at the loft, there are a few fanciers every year allowed near the loft, when I say near they are in no way troubling the birds. The fact that Ds Painter was there is just luck as far as I am concerned. I am sure that next year as in every other year changes will be made to make the race better, and it does get better.

Looking at the auction results, I cannot fathom the reason why a overseas bird would sell for more than a South African bird. I have seen so many fanciers sitting with imported birds in there loft, as if the abbreviation BEF or DV makes the bird better. And to tell you the truth , most of them are absolute rubbish. These birds are ordered by mail without seeing them, when they arrive the fancier does not like them but keeps them anyway because he paid so much money for them.

Ds Painter is not what I would call a champion flyer in his club, but who says that those same birds won`t decimate the opposition in the right hands. I think the pigeon fraternity will come back down to earth now in good old South Africa, we have been on an all time high these last few weeks. Hopefully it was all worth it and we could bag a few new members here and there.

Oh bye the way Jack, please apologise to Margaret for me, I was just on my way to greet her as I did not spot her sitting in the row behind you, when this guy I have never met started talking to me as if he knew me. It was confirmed later that he had no idea who i was when he started calling me Steven, I did not have the heart to tell him I was not Steven so I just chatted to him for about half an hour, telling him that my family is fine and the baby is doing ok. After we said our sad goodbyes I first had to take stock of who I really was.I totally forgot to say hello to Margaret.

Well here goes :Howzit Mrs Barkel !!!!Hope she heard it. I have to get in her good books as I am planning to visit you again soon Jack and I would not want her to throw salt in my coffee instead of sugar.(hehe)

Regards Thumper Long time since I have heard of Linda, where are you ? (Is it true that cannibals don`t eat clowns because they taste funny?)


Subject: Canker Treatment

Hi Erlo

Thanks for the info, I treated it mainly with Ronidazol & Cakerex. But on advice from Mr Barkel I squirted some Virkon S down her throat and it seems to have worked. She is on Vit B12 now as you have suggested and she gets a Brewers Yeast tablet everyday.

Thanks for the help. Thumper (To be intoxicated is to feel sophisticated, but not be able to say it)


Subject: Sun City

Hi Jack and all,

We are making a habit of sending mail on the same subject and the same day, one not being aware of the other. As I said in yesterday's mail, the slow trapping of the birds also worried me. I do however think that some of the points you raised are rather farfetched. I will forward your questions to the race director for his reply, but meanwhile here is what I can answer from my own observations:

1. On previous loft visits I noticed that the birds returned to the loft with food waiting for them inside. I assume the same procedure was followed on race day but we would have to wait for confirmation from the race director.

2. The traps are wide enough to let the birds through. I do not have the measurements at my disposal but I can assure you that those tiny little creatures I described in my posting yesterday could have walked through there easily.

3. I cannot comment on the colour of the traps as I do not have scientific proof that pigeons dislike either white or pale blue. Fact is, the birds have been going through the same traps all season without any problem.

4. The lofts appear darker inside because they are deeper than your normal pigeon loft. There is however sufficient lighting inside so that the pigeons should not be scared away. Once again, the birds are used to the openings and have used it more than a hundred times this year.

5. The enclosure where Ds Painter and his son sat is situated right at the bottom of the premises, I sat there last year with photographers, and you are literally locked inside for the duration of the race. Last year I got special permission from the organisers to be there and maybe Ds Painter and his son did the same. It does not really matter though, as there is no way he could influence the birds from that position. They would not hear him if he called, and besides would not have recognised his voice anyway. And even if they did, did you not see for yourself those two birds arriving at the loft together? The other 1 912 birds were beaten even before the first two landed. I doubt it if the Painters could even see their bird once it had landed, as the quarantine loft obscures about two thirds of the race lofts anyway.

6. I must say I do not like the tone of your message on the alleged inside information. If that was possible I would have been a rich man today. Please let me know how you or anybody in his right mind can assume that, and how I should go about next year to also share in the spoils. The fancier who had the foresight to buy the Hungarian world championship bird had every right to do so. A list of birds not paid for was published on the mdpr website from 22 January 2001 onwards. Any member of the public, including you and me had every right to purchase any bird on that list. Also, a complete list of previous positions flown in the training tosses was available on the same website for everyone to study and make his selection. If I had the money I would have paid for one of those world championship birds myself. They were bred by the top fanciers in each country, who would only have send their best. I also do not think the bird in question was the only WC bird sold on that day. I would be very surprised if that was the case.

In closing, I will pass your questions on to the organisers of the race for us to hear what they have to say, if any. Any reader of this list who have any question regarding the race should contact them at, or phone them on 011 402-7712. Hopefully I have not stirred too much, I am just exercising my right of expression. We all have that right and should use it. I would appeal to you though not to spread unfound rumours about our sport. If any of you have any evidence of irregularities I would be the first to urge you to bring it to the open. I detect a certain amount of malice in the questions you posted, Jack, and I am not accusing you as the culprit. I was also aware of questions raised, and tried to answer them to the best of my ability. I do however think our sport does not need unfound accusations that can only do harm. It is easier to break down than to build, but I think building is what we need right now. The sport has enough enemies as it is, we really do not need more from our own ranks.

Regards Herman

February 03, 2001


Hi all

I have noticed the recent discussions on the Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race, I appeal to you to keep all postings CIVILIZED. As from tomorrow any postings attacking any pigeon fancier personally, will be rejected without notification. I REPEAT the main aim of the SAPML is to educate and inform other pigeon fanciers. Feel free to ask any question you may have, and send your replies in a respectable manner.

Should you wish to send a personal email to any other fancier, send it to me marked : PERSONAL, and I will forward it to the involved fancierís email address. (Only if you donít have his address already).

Regards Manfred


Subject: Disinfectant

Hi guys & girls

I think I have asked this before but I cannot remember the dosages.Is there something that can be thrown "safely" in the drinking water of pigeon every day to disinfect the drinking water, and thereby killing all water transmittable diseases. And can it be used with vitimens & medicine in the water?I would appreciate if you could post the dosages as well.

Thumper (Women like silent men, they think they`re listening)


Subject: In Defence.

Hello All,

I am so sorry that people have taken the questions I relayed about the Million Dollar Race personally. No malice was in those remarks, and certainly not levelled at anyone who seems to have to do what he is instructed to do from those above him, rather than being responsible for any of these policies.

Many remarks have been made off the record, by people within this management circle, to others close to them, and these have spread like a veldt fire. Internal politics of any organisation should not be discussed outside that organisation, this is where the rumours start. What certain people have said was discussed in Cape Town in my presence, a week before the race, people talk and you or I, or anyone else can not stop that. Certainly I will not reveal the source of the questions posed to me, I worded them as I received them, and they are not my words, just a relay of many others, to show the kind of doubts that need to be dispelled by the organisers. I also was never told of any organised cheating as has been suggested, may I suggest that one is left alone, some of the questions may imply that, to some peoples way of thinking, but it was never suggested, neither would I have been prepared to write about it or associate myself with that kind of dialogue.

The only questions and remarks that I am prepared to be a party to at this stage, is that of the trapping of the birds, do you or anyone else realize that the whole world was watching what, after the first few birds landed made us a laughing stock world wide, for it changed from a race to a circus with very badly trained performers. Writers from the overseas pigeon press said they would fire the lot who were responsible for this situation which became the object of ridicule by HUNDREDS???maybe thousands. No excuses can be accepted, they must put it right, or get someone who can. Birds do not have to be chased in after being away from home for two days after a ten hour flight. They are glad to be home and run in to accept their reward. This is the trouble with these people, their excuses are a dime a dozen and will not be pin pointed accurately and rectified. The public do not want apologetic remarks, they want the problems rectified, I still say personally that poor supervision and policy making, spoiled what could have been the Worlds Race Of The Century. Unfortunately the majority of the S/A fanciers are not proud of what happened from the survey I have conducted, neither are they satisfied with the mistakes that are separating us from being world class. We have some of the best fanciers in the world, why do we not use them, on what sort of recommendation is management selected for such a job that needs to be carried out to international standards which means near perfection. I say make it right with the existing people, they can, if salaried, be made to work to certain standards, each one down the line must be responsible for their particular function, to pass the buck right down the line till the one at the bottom catches all the blame is unfair also, and achieves very little. One lady, the wife of one of the respected panellists interviewed that day was very loud about this situation, and you Herman were standing right behind her while she made her views felt to a Cape Town contingent quite loudly, I warned her you were standing right behind her, and she said she did not care, when I looked up in embarrassment you were gone. That is just one of the many incidents you would have heard or witnessed????? if you had remained ten seconds longer. There are many questions I myself personally would like to ask in connection with this pigeon comedy opera which was played out in front of my eyes, for which I took a good ribbing from my overseas friends and visitors. There are questions of the handling of birds before the auction which was pathetic and disgusting to say the least, and again no supervision, but I am not so sure that the organisers will not take it as a personal affront rather than constructive observations of what needs to be put right.

I will reiterate the words of an overseas official observer, unfortunately told to me second hand so I can not confirm it, and it was this; "These guys need to get there act together or this annual race will not continue much longer".Many people are asking why the World Championship birds were allowed in the race in the first place,had they any right to be there, or was it another unfair way of trying to make money. Was there a vote or a mandate given or asked for? from everyone who already had at least paid R8000-00 for there entry long before this was decided. My question is, decided by whom?, on whose authority?.

These are just a few of my own feelings after listening to many from others, and they are constructive, not destructive, and should not arouse anyone's anger. People who have paid as much and more in entry fees deserve answers to all questions asked, without incurring the wrath of the powers that be.They have asked me to point it out, as I did not have an entry in the race this year, and can not be accused of being a bad loser.

Finally, I was left with egg on my face for things that were completely out of MY control, but if I am to be subjected to this kind of embarrassment by people who I have endeavoured to respect, then I like many others will stay away from such venues, and I suggest to you now, that the support will rapidly deteriorate both locally and abroad as the people become more aware of these unacceptable situations.


Some of you may say, who the hell is Jack Barkel, well he is only one of those who writes on pigeon topics throughout the world, nothing special, but who is always willing to listen and lend an ear, to try and answer the questions and complaints of others. Fortunately for me this one is not my department, and fortunately for others, out of my jurisdiction.

Finally, I am not prepared to start writing to these people, I reported on the PML what I have seen and heard, as I was asked to do before I left Sun City on Monday. There were no accusations, just questions HOW & WHY certain things seemed to be that way. If someone else wishes to blow it up to a major issue, be prepared for things to come up that until now have remained dormant. Again, no underlying threats here, just knowledge of many more disatisfactions of contesters which I have declined at this stage to comment on.

In my job as a breeder and selector, I have the occasions when something is not to the satisfaction or liking of the client, I do not attack them saying I detect some malice of forethought or something to that effect. I rectify what is not to their liking, and it comes out of my own pocket. To defend the system or ones self, I will respect that!!! to attack those who relay the questions shows hypersensitivity, if I allow everyone who criticises myself or friends and relatives to upset me, I will have no friends, not even my wife. I will continue to discuss this subject, as long as things remain civil, as soon as it gets personal and becomes a paper war I will cease to contribute to this discussion. I am not blaming anyone! I am blaming portions of the system.

I am still contemplating writing an article , on what is turning this world class venue into a comedy of errors, maybe then the organisers will take notice that they must take their heads out of the sand and rectify these matters, it will not be libellous, just plane fact that can be substantiated by many. It will not go away, they need to rectify it now, or employ someone else to do it for them if they are too much otherwise involved to act themselves. This great race and the enormity of it, deserves better control and professional supervision than it is getting, some of the ladies are working very hard and professionally, but some people are regarding it as a once a year fun show, with very little obvious interest in improving it to the world professional standards we expect of it.

Nothing wrong with the visual and audio techniques, ten out of ten here, but there again it is another company and very professional at that. Without those people and the stalls, it would have been a disaster complete(fait accompli). Why do they not bring the rest of the show to the same excellant standard. Herman, you and I have become friends, and as you have informed me that you sent the previous letter to the organisers, I feel it is part of your duty to relay this message to them also. I am not just a brave face behind a computer, I have no fear in meeting them personally to discuss what I have written, there are many in my corner waiting for answers.

In closing let us remember people have travelled a long way at great expence, people have paid thousands to compete, there is plenty sacrifice and outlay to be part of this day for every visitor. They,the public of which I am only one, in my opinion deserve a better show for what it costs,give us, the attenders and supporters, value for our costs and support before we start asking ourselves, IS IT WORTH THE BOTHER.

Jack Barkel.

P.S. On a lighter note I would like to relate a story that happened infront of me on the bottom step of the super bowl. Herman, how is this for malice?. When the Dominee's wife said over the Mic "God is the one that brought my husbands pigeon home first", a man in the front row jumped up and shouted at the top of his voice" GLORY HALLELUJA" he immediately lost is balance fell flat on his face onto the floor of the arena, scrambeled up and limped and crawled away, never to be seen again, I am not so sure who was being malicious there, was it the one who gave help from above, or was it the guy who shouted and was struck down. This is a true story and can be verified by my wife and friends.


Subject: Panthotenic Acid

Hello, i'm back.

Does anyone know the beneficial effect of giving Panthotenic acid during the race season??I have a young bird that is borned with one blind eye, usually what is the reason for this type of birth defect??



Subject: Replies & comments

Hello All,

I would like to give my opinion on questions asked by Almero and Jog. Almero, the Northern Hemisphere birds go through a full moult before competing, whereas the Southern Hemisphere birds are at a great disadvantage having approximately four or five primaries still not renewed. Now all good fanciers know that a bird starts coming into form after dropping its first primary in it second moulting cycle. Therefore the Southern Hemisphere birds fly on CONDITION where the Northern hemisphere birds have the chance to attain FORM. To make it fair to all we would need to compete approximately in July.

To Jog, You are very observant, for what reason I am completely baffled, the winning bird had a full wing, I would like to bet it was the only Southern Hemisphere bird in that condition. Not only that it had dropped it's first primary flight on it's second moult and was coming into form. There are a couple of answers to this phenomena which I will explain could have happened, but it is not for the PML list, as I am sure no one had a hand in it, and was created by people I do not think know any better how condition and form works. In other words an accident. 

Almero, if the organisers of the MDR were to fix the date to make it equal for all continents, they would not get the gate they need to make it a success. At that time of the year all fanciers are doing their own thing, so we have to settle for the off season. The winning pigeon was a small to medium pigeon that I have advocated on all my seminars to be the right bird for this particular race because of the heat. Of course it was a long medium depth of keel pigeon with long breast muscles , ideal for the day and speed in question. If it had been a blow home as in some previous years it would most certainly have been a short keel apple bodied pigeon. No good for the twenty odd weeks of hard flying we do in South Africa.

Many have said , why didn't you lift its head up, a picture speaks a thousand words, and I wanted the PML and others to see the wing not the face.

Well done JOG, I give you top marks for a new starter to perceive what wasmissed by the Old Hands. You should become a great pigeon fancier.

Jack Barkel


Subject: More Sun City answers

Hi all, Jog, you are first in line:

If my memory serves me right the winning bird was through the moult. Remember that a bird stops moulting when it is excercised, you will find that most of the birds that arrived at Sun City from Jun 2000 were still moulting primary feathers. The nestmate of my bird there is three flights ahead of his sister who has done about 7 000 km in training these past three months.

Your question regarding the location of traps on the ground: Not everybody will agree with you that is better to have the traps elevated to say 1,2m above ground level. I know quite a lot of fanciers in our area who with the advent of electronic clocks, where you don't have to remove a rubber ring from the bird's leg, have built their traps on ground level. Whether that was the reason they were built that way at Sun City I do not know.

What I do know is that all 2 000 + birds' wings are soaped for about 2 weeks when they arrive at the lofts. I would not want to be the one to pick those birds up one by one when its time for them to go inside. The area where the birds land is actually quite big. There are several entances, each with four or five openings. In my opinion the birds were not tired after the flight, unlike those at the Grand Prix lofts, Elmero. Maybe that is why they they did not go in immediately. Also, it was the first time this year that the birds arrived at the lofts so late in the afternoon. Maybe the position of the sun and the shadows also played a part, as Jack already observed in a previous posting. My gut feel is still that any form of bad trapping can be ascribed to poor management, and that next years' trainers should focus on it more. It was not a problem last year, don't ask me what changed.

As I said before, the area where Ds Painter sat is right at the bottom end of the premises. It was enclosed and shaded off with shade cloth before last years race on the insistence of a few German fanciers. When they saw the place they opted for the Super Bowl, as I did this year after sitting there last year. You cannot see the top loft from that position at all (that is where the Painters' bird went in) and more than half of the bottom loft is obscured as well. Apart from toilets there are no other ameneties. Once you are in there you are in for the day. I was told by the race director that he did announce on Friday night at the welcome dinner that members of the public who wanted to make use of that area were welcome to do so, under certain conditions. Jog, there is no way you can see any bird up close. This year I could see the different colour electronic rings on the birds' legs, and spotted the stray without a ring. All on the big screen thanks to excellent camera work. No chance from the bottom end of the premises, unless you had the eyesight of those hawks that scared the daylight out of some people in the Super Bowl.

Elmero, the question about the date of the race has been asked many times, and I am yet to receive a satisfactory answer to it. The differing seasons with European countries was mentioned and a few other reasons I cannot even remember. Here again I would have to make an educated guess and say that maybe it is because historically all young bird races were flown and still are flown in January, at least here where I live and where the organisers cut their teeth. This is my personal opinion and maybe somebody should e-mail the organisers and let us know what the reply is. I agree with you that it is not the ideal time of the year to race birds up here. Apart from the heat, thunderstorms play havoc with your training schedule this time of the year. I do not take part in young bird races, as much as I love the pigeon sport. Maybe because I love the pigeons so much. Your idea of having a race in the middle of our racing season is great, but I can already hear the excuses. E-mail the guys at and let us know why we cannot have a great break as you suggested. Sun City is a great place to be in winter, nothing like the 33 + degrees Celcuis we experienced last weekend.

Thumper, you are 100% correct in your observation about the Hungarian bird. Hungary won the country challenge in the World Championship race flown under very much the same conditions two weeks before the main event. If I had money to "invest" I would probably have gone for their birds as well. You also hit the nail on the head when you mention that Ds Painter won the big prize without him being champion in his own club. I can name a few other fanciers and their positions flown just to confirm what Thumper is saying namely that virtually anybody can win this race. I am member of the same organisation as Ds Painter, the Transvaal Racing Pigeon Union (TRPF) Last year Ds Painter flew one position in the TRPF. he got 1st in the US$1m race. I finished 12th in the TRPF averages, no birds in the money at Sun City. Arnold Morey, past champion of the TRPF, had to be satisfied with a 45th in the big race. Charles Kerekes, current TRPF champion, got a bird in at 374th. Johan Schmidt, past champion of both TRPF and THU, got 147th. Gys Louw who flies so well in the VPU got 24th, Terrence Connoly, THU champion was in the fourties I think. I am not for one moment saying that X is a better fancier than Y, or that W has better pigeons than Z. All I am saying (and Thumper too) is that any good pigeon stand a chance in the one-loft race at Sun City. The Painters have good pigeons, the position Ds Painter flew in the TRPF was a 1st, and that takes some doing from where he lives. His son won a car race in their organisation. So the pigeons are there. And when put in the same loft under the same conditions as 2 000 others they proofed that they can fly. So can yours, we all have good pigeons, not just the few who always end up at the top of their organisations. And they don't have to be imports either.

I have some good imported birds in my loft, but just as many good birds bred in the most modest lofts of our country. Us South African pigeon fanciers can stand up and hold our heads up high. For once we were not beaten by an Australian (where were they, by the way?) in the finals. In closing, please note that my answers are based upon personal observations and does not reflect the opinions of the Air Sport Internationale organisation or their employees. They are the organisers of the Million Dollar race, in case you do not know. I do not have to defend them in any way, I am just trying to clear up issues where I think I can

Congrats on the addition to your family, Thumper, ons het genoeg dominees in die sport om te help met die doop!!

Regards Herman


Subject: I'm alive

Hi Thumper,

Nice to be missed <VBG> as the old saying goes "A Woman's work is never done", Steve works shifts and recently I have been Commander in Chief of the Scraper, this is a very busy time for us, breeding season and we all know the quantity of scraping involved when there are loads of "Little Champions" in the nest!!!!!!. I will also be silent (relief from everyone) next week, my son arrives from England, so I'm going to be very busy, Commander in Chief of the Scraper again and clearing up after and feeding a 20 year old. Our breeding is going extremly well, our first round will be weaned off next week and the second round are being floated under the widowhood team.

My good wishes to you all, As the Terminator said "I'll be back" Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts


Subject: Malice


While I do not wish to interfere with your right of free expression....May I say if you want to accuse someone of Malice lets "everyone" leave these types of accusations to ones own personal & private emails. I feel to put this on the list degredates the the integrity of this forum.

From what I gathered the questions were indeed asked at the Million Dollar race and Mr. Barkels relaying of them to the list seemed only informational at best. I recall he had no birds entered in the race himself and was there as a spectator and I also recall him saying somthing to the effect of not having an ax to grind himself. I appreciate your concern over these matters but again let me ask that if you indeed think somthing like Malice was being done"Please" communicate privately so as not to air any dirty laundry on this forum. I see things on other lists that I am really grateful don't show up here. thank you all for your time.

Respectfully, Jim Muckerman


Subject: Thanks

Hi all

Just want to thank Thumper and the guy from hongkong for their advice regarding my earlier problem - Thumper, it turned out to be cropcancer. I'm relative new at the sport, so I,m still learning. It is good to read through all your correspondence. What is interesting is that I have 3 lofts - 1 breeding, 1 racing, 1 weaning. The cancer occurred only in the latter loft. This loft is the only to be in direct sunlight mos of the day. My info is that the extreme warm temperature cause cropcancer. I'll place some shade net in front today to stop the most sun. Sorry for my poor english.

Greetings Dawie


Subject: Training for People and Pigeons

Hello All,

I have had several replies to my comments on the SAPML from people who wish to remain off the list, most of these are on how to basically correct what is wrong with bad trapping by most of ones pigeons. I therefore submit these quotes from
myself and others which are essential in the good control of ANY Pigeon establishment.

Training of Staff and Pigeons.

This was quoted today on the American PML by Joe Quinn, who was quoting an article in the Squills Year Book, cited in the Racing Pigeon Bulletin September 20th 2000. It is also listed as FOOD FOR NOVICES.

I quote from above:....
Trapping: "I wrote last week, it is useless to think of winning young bird races unless your birds trap well. Many young bird races are won or lost on trapping time. Quick trapping is an acquired habit and can only be instilled in the birds by teaching them to come in after every fly. You want to teach your young birds that they have to fly for their food. After flying out, they
should on entering the loft be fed, after a time, they will know that at the conclusion of their exercise food awaits them; therefore immediately they pitch, they will come in." Squills, The Racing Pigeon, London; as cited in the Racing Pigeon Bulletin, September 20, 2000.

Here is an excerpt from my book on the training of Young Birds. Obviously neither of these articles were practiced for some reason or other, for I shudder to think that the training management of our biggest race of the year are not aware of this basic knowledge.

. Always have the food ready and waiting for the young birds when they come through this fold down flap. You must never let them in until this chore is completed, if you ever let them in and their food is not there waiting for them you have lost the most important part of an immediate swift trap with young birds. No circus trainer will fool around with that part of the basic training. Your birds have come to expect that food to be there and I must insist it must be there on every occasion. I only wish you could see how they rush through to gobble up the food as quick as possible. You can see they enjoy it and they are always ready for it.
We must strive to keep this magic in the loft for the whole young bird racing season, the trapping is phenomenal better than any widowhood return I have ever seen. How they never kill themselves with their break neck returns never ceases to amaze me.

To read this full article go to click on articles, then click on article 8 My loft manager has no college education, far from it, but he would never let me see the birds showing him who is the boss, as many visitors can vouch for his control. WE work to a system that works as near to 100% control as can be achieved. We control about 500 pigeons and he handles all with the ease of a professional. In my system, I accept no excuses for what goes wrong, it is rectified immediately or out you go. One must be fair but firm.
I just wish to point out that I practice what I preach, and I am prepared to demonstrate these methods at any given day, to all who wish to observe and comment. Or, maybe learn???

Jack Barkel

February 05, 2001

Subject: Replies

Hello All, Thumper asks.......

Is there something that can be thrown "safely" in the drinking water of pigeon every day to disinfect the drinking water, and thereby killing all water transmittable diseases. And can it be used with vitamins & medicine in the water?

Well Thumper, If you are living in town, your water is automatically chlorinated and disinfected, and all that needs to be done is to clean your drinking vessels with JIK or any household disinfectant regularly. However 10 millilitres of Virkon "S" on three litres of drinking water once every two to four weeks should be sufficient to keep every thing under control. Two weeks in Summer, Four weeks in Winter.

To Val who asks.......Does anyone know the beneficial effect of giving Pantothenic acid during the race season??

YES...Pantothenic acid is an ingredient of B12 which is very important for flexibility of muscle, circulation of the blood and the general metabolic condition of your pigeons. No pigeon food is sufficient in this product on it's own, that is why it is one of the ingredients in my Energy Power Supplement

Val also asks.....I have a young bird that is born with one blind eye, usually what is the reason for this type of birth defect??

It could be one of several things, but I suspect one of the following two.

1.) Damage on hatching.
2.) Ornithosis transmitted at birth from one of the parents.

It could have also been attacked by some blood sucking insect, such as mosquitoes etc.

Yours in sport Jack Barkel.


Subject: Re: FW: Disinfectant

Hi guys & girls I think I have asked this before but I cannot remember the dosages. Is there something that can be thrown "safely" in the drinking water of pigeon every day to disinfect the drinking water, and thereby killing all water transmittable diseases. And can it be used with vitimens & medicine in the water?I would appreciate if you could post the dosages as well.


Hello "Allpets List and Thumper.

Thumper why is it so important to throw some kind of "safe disease killer" every day in the drinking water?All you have to do is to disinfect the drinkers every day, and not the water. I will not mix any type of disinfect with vitamins or medicine, it could kill also the goodies. If it is important for you to disinfect the drinking water, please do not do it every day. You can if you like put 8 drops / 2L Iodine in the drinking water once a week. You can also ask Jack how and when to use Jig and or Vircon S at the right time .

Regards Rassie



The attached article was published in last week's issue of the Racing Pigeon Digest, I hope you all enjoy - it may also bring on a bout of nostalgia for Uncle Jack

Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

Take an area the size of a soccer pitch Ė proper football that is, onto this area put 17 lofts or cabins as they are known locally, throw into the equation teams of hardy well cared for pigeons, some of the the families kept going back some 50 years, add to this a bunch of lads and lasses all with iron clad wills to win and there you have the recipe for English pigeon flying at itís best.

I decided to pen this diatribe after reading Mr.Rowlands articles on flying down in Florida on Unit 10, close proximity flying, just like on the English Pens or allotments as they are sometimes called.

Why do flyers have their lofts on pens, well in Bacup situated in the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire, which is North West England,27 miles north east from the great metropolis of Manchester , not many people have a garden big enough to support a loft. So they rent the space for their cabin.  Many of these allotments and pens can be found around the former mining areas of England, Scotland and Wales, it was considered expedient in the early part of the century for the mine owners to give their employees a piece of land where they could have some sort of recreational activity in the fresh air after working a hard day or night at the coal face.  Of course not all lofts, cabins, crees, coops (different area, different name) are on pens, I was fortunate enough to have a loft in my backyard about 1/4 of a mile from the Pens, but only had a mere 11 yards overfly on a 348 mile race.

To say the competition is tough on these pens is an understatement, just like Unit 10, but there the similarity ends.  99.99% of these areas do not have electricity or running water, so electronic timing is totally out of the question.  Not only do you have to be a good handler but you also have to posses a high degree of manual dexterity, with maybe only 2yards separating you from the next flyer, if you fumble putting your rubber (Countermark) in the clock youíve blown it. In the ďgood old daysĒ when only the rich man had a clock, the other flyers had to run with the race rubber to bell it in the rich manís clock, usually if he hadnít timed in, his door would be locked and you would have to wait to bell you bird in until he had his first bird, what a pity if yours was your pooler.  There is still an RPRA ruling which allows for time to reach the central clock, if my memory serves me correctly it is 6 minutes per mile on foot and 3 minutes by bicycle.

Now things have improved and most flyers are using T3, STB or Benzing clocks but some  guys still rely on the Toulet wind ups, the one I used was 72 years old.!!!!!!!!. I donít think ET will ever become standard in England, it would cost a small fortune to run services to the pens and many of the lads and lasses just could not afford it.  In my phone conversations with these guys I get the feeling that ET would take a lot of the fun out of the sport for them, their philosophy being, if I send  birds to races then I owe it to the birds to be at the loft to see him/her arrive safely and say well done lad/lass.

Training is also a joint effort,with gas being the price it is in England , approx 6 bucks a gallon,flyers take turns in taking other members birds on training tosses also they have the benefit of a trainer who calls twice a week to the Rosemount to collect the birds.

Like Unit 10, the ladies play a very big part in racing and the pigeon scene as a whole. It is not unusual to see a lady wielding a mean scraper, manning the marking table on shipping nights or even timing in, as a matter of fact, in one Midweek race last year every bird timed in was the work of the lady of the loft and in several Mr and Mrs partnerships the Mrs is the flyer.  The partnership of Carter and Dunn comprises 12 year old Charlotte and Grandpa Ernest and woe betide grandpa if he transgresses Charlottes strict regimen. One very smart pigeon gal!

The highlight of the old birds races is what is known as ďThe BrookĒ in other words flying from France with 88 miles of open water for the birds to cross.The Brook is better known as the English channel or as the Frenchies call it La Manche.The races start at approx 348 miles and move down to Niort which is approx.525 miles. Now that is when the pens really come alight.  When a channel bird returns and circles the pens, all handlers are on pins and issuing their usual call in signals and it is not unknown for a flyer to express is disgust by throwing water bottles and cussing when the birds traps into another loft.  When these races are held over perhaps until Monday the retired members ďmindĒ the workers pens and will sit all day with a pack of sandwiches and a thermos waiting for birds, and is usually as excited timing in for someone else as he would be timing his own bird in.  It is a credit to these lads and lasses who fly from the pens, that when ace Brook Flyer, Gordon Roscoe passed away suddenly in June of 2000, a group effort ensured that his birds were flown for the rest of the season to his honor and memory.

 The basketing station and center for all pigeon activities for these flyers is the Rosemount Working Menís club which is conveniently situated 20 yards from the pens and always serves a good pint of beer.The Rosie as it is known is home to several pigeon clubs, Bacup and District Flying Club, Stacksteads Flying club who are both Saturday  clubs and The Valley Flying Club who basket Tuesday evenings for short Wednesday evening races  The National flying Club, The North West Classic Club and The Lancashire and Yorkshire 4 Bird Championship Club also use the Rosie for Basketing and their clock station.

  Saturday lunchtimes always sees the bar quite full but as soon as the birds are due, everyone will decamp pint in hand to sit out by their lofts.  The club has the usual elected officials and the most important being ďThe SlaveĒ whoís job it is to run over to the Rosemount bar to fill empty beer glasses on long races or very hot days (about once every 10 years -Ėif they are lucky)

I have already mentioned the fact that there is no electricity or running water to 99.99% of these pens, so whilst you guys are basking in the Florida winter sunshine, spare a thought for the Tommy Procters, Steve Brewsters and Jimmy Chrishams of this world who at times have to trudge through snow early mornings Ė before going to work for the day, to break the water on the drinkers and feed their birds, helped only by candles or a Tilley lamp. Of course the fresh water has to be carried there also.  This journey of love is repeated in the evening dark after work to clean out and feed the birds.

Do I paint a black picture, not in the least, whilst the competition is severe, the conditions taxing, the camaraderie is second to none. Many a book could be written about the after knock off ďdebatesĒover a few beers and the excuses fancier employ for not flying well, the more he drinks the wilder the excuses become, <quote> next door had her laundry hanging out so they wouldnít come down.  <quote> I dropped my rubber through a gap in the floor and couldnít find it. <quote> I had my red shirt on instead of my blue so they sat on he roof. <quote> that ginger tom was prowling around and frightened the birds, it goes on and on.

The gang usually meet for a Sunday lunchtime pint or three throughout the year and many a dispute or argument breaks out, usually over channel races, when the alcohol level rises, these are usually resolved by delving into the inside pockets and pulling out the Boddy and Ridewoods loft Book, these are the only records kept by the pens flyers, computer pigeon management programs are something they believe only exist on Star Trek.  After many such a session, another duly elected Club Official has to step in and take some miscreant home and make sure he traps in without his ďhenĒknowing that he has had one pint too many.

The Presentation afternoon usually follows the All Card Winners shows, that is, all birds who win a card (similar to the US Ribbons) are invited back with their birds to compete for the Best in Shows.  Several Shows are run on Sunday lunchtimes and this provides may a flyer with a watertight excuse to his hen why he should go down to the Club on a freezing cold Sunday afternoon.

My lasting memory of flying in Bacup is the last race of 1998.  96 birds were sent and  96 birds came back as one huge flock, the wind was in the right direction so they passed over my loft, my 13 warriors peeling off, but boy oh boy when they hit the pens, it was like something from a Keystone cops Movie, every one made so much noise , whistling, shouting, rattling feed cans, running up and down the verandahs calling their birds in, the poor little devils circled for a good ten minutes before braving the furor and scurrying through the traps, needless to say I did very well that evening.  Of course a flyer will always remember for the rest of hisí/her life their first ever win. Mine came in my fourth  race, beating the field by 20 minutes over a 107 mile course.  The bird being a starting gift from 14 year old Warren Leyland.  I can still see his mealey tail going in through the trap to this day.

At the end of the day, there is a huge bond between the guys and gals from the pens and Unit 10, although their circumstances and situations are poles apart, they are joined together, as bother and sister by the love of their birds and this  wonderful sport of pigeon racing


Subject: Sun City Final

Hi Manfred and all, Please allow me to put the record straight on the Sun City issue once and for all, so that I can shut up and carry on with my work.

In the issue dated 3 February 2001 Jack wrote:

"I am sorry that people have taken the questions I relayed about the Million Dollar Race personally. No malice was in those remarks, and certainly not levelled at anyone who seems to have to do what he is instructed to do from those above him, rather than being responsible for any of the policies."

This is where you all go wrong. I am a full-time employee of Anglovaal Mining in Johannesburg and neither my employer nor myself have any links with Air Sport Internationale who sponsors the Million Dollar race. I have made it very clear from the start that I am in no way involved in the organisation of this race and I DO NOT TAKE INSTRUCTIONS FROM anybody in this regard. In view of my son being the trainer at Sun City I spend a lot of time there, but that is where it ends. I don't tell him how to run his job and he does not tell me how to do mine. It is therefor a pity that you folks don't put your quesions to the people who can make a difference. I can do absolutely nothing for you. I only answered the questions posted from observations I have made during my frequent loft visits.

I know that I would be very upset if, after winning the most prestigious pigeon race in the world, somebody would insinuate that I was helped by someone other than our Creator. So would any of you be. Whoever asked that question owes an apology to Ds Painter, and I hope this pigeon mailing list have the guts to publish that apology. It was after all you Manfred who published the accusation in the first instance.

Come on folks, don't hide behind nameless faceless useless nobodies. If you had the courage to publish question in the first instance you should also be strong enough to obtain an apology and publish that as well.

Regards Herman


Hi Herman and All

As most of you know I very seldom post anything on the SAPML, this is because I hate typing. After the last couple of postings about the Million Dollar race AND todayís posting from Herman I feel I must put my feelings about typing aside.

Firstly I would like to apologize on behalf of this list and the members of this list to Ds Painter if he feels that the questions asked insinuate that there was fowl play involved. I do not think however that the question was asked by various people to insinuate anything but the fact that the being able to sit at the lofts was advertised poorly. I have heard that it was announced at a function the Friday night before the race, however most fanciers only arrived on Saturday so how are these fanciers to know that they may go and sit at the lofts. Ds Painter please be assured that every person who asked that question knows that there was no fowl play involved. I know that Sun City will not allow any fowl play and has taken several precautions to ensure the race is fare, and I think it sure was.

Now Iíd like to say something. I started this list to help fanciers and to give fanciers the chance to ask their questions to other fanciers novices and experts. Some may ask why do you need to start a list to ask questions. Well Iíve been in the pigeon game for 1 Ĺ years now and in this time Iíve learned that to get help from fanciers is almost like trying to find out if there really was a UFO crash at Roswell. I donít know what itís like in other parts of the world. Fanciers will always start by saying that they will help where they can, but as soon as you start to ask to many questions they stop answering the questions which at the end of the day is better because they never gave you the full answer. In my opinion no answer is better than half an answer. So up to now Iíve learned more in the last 3 months than Iíve learned in the year prior to starting this list.

When I asked questions to fanciers about some topics I was told that Iím accusing them of various things. I once asked fancier about Parimixo because I heard some fanciers infect their pigeons on purpose before a race. He got mad as hell and said that Iím accusing him of infecting pigeons on purpose just to win a race. All I wanted to know is why would a person do such a thing. Up to now I donít have the answer Iím to scared to ask anybody else.

Now Iíve noticed that the same is happening on this list. We ask question to learn , to understand why things are done in a certain manner and to improved on the things that need improvement. If a member of this list asks a question is that question a statement or a question. It seems that members now get angry at questions. I appeal to the members of this list not to see questions as accusations or insinuations but rather answer them to enlighten the person who asked the question with the facts. We donít know which questions people take as accusations or insinuations so we rather stop asking questions. On this list we must be able to ask questions without being worried of accusing anybody.

Herman I donít think anybody is telling you how to do your job or how to manage your pigeons. We all are telling everybody how we (the members of this list) are doing or managing our own jobs and lofts to teach fellow members how everybody goes about flying pigeons. From all these different managements we can take the one that suites our lofts the best. Also if you recall in the previous postings one of these " nameless faceless useless nobodies" did come forward.

On Saturday I posted the following :

Hi all

I have noticed the recent discussions on the Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race, I appeal to you to keep all postings CIVILIZED. As from tomorrow any postings attacking any pigeon fancier personally, will be rejected without notification. I REPEAT the main aim of the SAPML is to educate and inform other pigeon fanciers. Feel free to ask any question you may have, and send your replies in a respectable manner.

Should you wish to send a personal email to any other fancier, send it to me marked : PERSONAL, and I will forward it to the involved fancierís email address. (Only if you donít have his address already).

I am sorry to say that you and some other people totally ignored this posting. I am trying to run a civilized mailing list and all Iím asking is the help of the members to stay civilized and keep personal attacks privately. I have rejected some postings to todayís list because of this reason. Herman yours was not because it was towards myself and those members of the list you revered to as "nameless faceless useless nobodies." As for getting apologies from everybody who asked questions on the MDPR I think that would be impossible as there was at least 1500+ people there and at least half of them as got at least a Ĺ dozen or so questions. Also I would not need to get these apologies if you werenít taking a civilized question and changing it into a accusation. As you stated in your posting today "I have made it very clear from the start that I am in no way involved in the organisation of this race and I DO NOT TAKE INSTRUCTIONS FROM anybody in this regard. In view of my son being the trainer at Sun City I spend a lot of time there, but that is where it ends"

You see Herman I donít need to get apologies, as there was no accusation made just questions asked, it was you who turned these questions to accusations, So I think you need to apologise to Ds Painter and the members of this list for turning this civilized list into a battlefield. If you have the guts?

In regards to the people who can make a difference, these questions have been put to them by you and by the means of this list for they are members of this list. They joined on the 31st of Jan so they have had 5 day to reply to questions in a civilized manner instead there posting for today is directed to one person alone. I, and most members of this list would like to have these questions answered by them in a civilized manner because we never accused them of anything (you did) we have questions which normally never gets answered. We have the opportunity to get the answers from the people who can make a difference. And they have the opportunity to promote next years race and inform the fanciers exactly how it does work at the MDPR. Let hope they do come forward and clear the air.

Lastly, Can we please keep it civilized in the future and if the MDPR people do state their side please ask any future questions about the MDPR to them.I Apologize to the members of this list for the last couple of days hopefully it will return to normal.

Regards Manfred

February 06, 2001

Subject: Mr Barkel

Mr Barkel, Firstly I recall the visit to Butch Einkamerís pigeon day a few years ago.

This was the first and only time I have been in contact with you. I do not recall having any unpleasantness on that occasion or any insult to you. If I did however do or say something to offend you, please accept my apology as none was intended. In line with the informality and which I conceived as a spirit of exchange of information on this list between persons promoting the sport, I answered in a similar vein.

Unfortunately this appears not to be so. For the purpose of clarity here are the answers again, firstly with the questions in brief

1) Are the birds given a tit bit?
Yes, a mixture of canary, linseed, de-husked sunflower and peas

2) The traps are very narrow
The traps are to the timing systems supplierís specification to accommodate the double system to ensure 100% reliability. This system has been exactly that.
The actual dimensions of the entrances are 120mm wide by 210mm high. This allows only one bird to pass comfortably.

3) The colour of the traps is blue and white.
What colour should they be; has there been any research? Please let us know.

4) Although never inspecting the lofts they appear dark.
Any person who is interested is most welcome to visit the lofts. Criticism is most welcome. Darkness has not been an issue.

5) Ds Painter was at the lofts as one of the chosen few. Did he have someone in his corner other than The Creator?
That this attacks both Ds Painter and the organisers must be obvious. These are serious accusations and should not have been expressed without through investigation. I repeat that a simple telephone call was all that was needed.
All of the 700+ people who attended the Welcome Party on the Friday evening were invited to be where Ds Painter was if they chose to be there.

6) Only one World Championship birds was bought on Saturday morning.
No World Championship birds were bought on Saturday, however several were bought on Friday morning.
Regarding the eligibility of the World Championship birds in the Race.
The 2001 World Free Flight Million Dollar Pigeon Race brochure that all entrants received and is on our Web Site refers.

"Olympiad World Championship Race

Air Sport Internationale are proud to host and prepare these birds for the Championship which will take place on 13 January 2001 from Sun Internationalís Flamingo Resort Kimberly. The final HOT SPOT will take place from the same point but with a separate liberation half an hour after the Olympiad World Championship Race birds. Obviously any of the Olympiad World Championship Race birds are also eligible to compete in the World Free Flight Million Dollar Pigeon Race if entered."

You echo the opinion of many others when you describe the race as magnificent.

It was gratifying in Cape Town when Tom Chalmers, the Master of Ceremonies, announced that Marcel Pratts the President of the FCI had recommended that future hosts of the World Championship visit Sun City as this should be used as the standard. Similarly in conclusion to an article in the American "Thoroughbred" the following was stated:

"Zandy Meyer with his team of Joan, Marion and Michael, have made a team that has built this race from its first year under different management, of mistakes, errors and fiascos into the only true INTERNATIONAL CLASSIC standard n the world in the succeeding four years."

That, except for the first two birds, the others trapped badly is fact. I once again appeal to you or anyone else that if they have a suggestion please pass them on. Surely this one aspect that did not go off perfectly does not deserve the condemnation given. I therefore appeal for charity in this regard.

Yours in sport, Zandy Meyer


Subject: Answers to Questions around MDPR

Hi All, As has been stated in the past our race is totally transparent and we are more than willing to answer any logical questions put forward. In answer to the questions that have been asked about the Million Dollar Pigeon Race please find below our reply.

1) Are the birds given a treat on entering the lofts?
Yes, mixture of fine seeds, dehusked sun flower and peas are left in the lofts for the returning birds. In addition a tape recording of food being placed in the food troughs as well as the sound of other birds in the lofts is played for the returning birds to entice them to enter the lofts.

2) Why are the traps are very narrow?
The traps are in accordance with the manufactures specification. If you have a look at the actual design of the traps inside, both sides slant upwards to give the birds more room to enter. The top portion of the trap entrance is also perforated to allow more light into the entrance.
The trap entrances are also longer than that used in a "normal" pigeon loft. This is our back up system as the birds have to pass over two "reading" areas to enter the lofts. This ensures a 100% accurate reading is achieved time after time.

3) Why are the traps blue?
Why not? The colour matches the colour the loft is painted. The traps are painted a dark beige and the traps dark blue. Does this hinder the birds? Not that we have ever seen at the lofts in the past five years.

4) Why are the trap entrances dark?
This was a problem brought to our attention after the last event. A modification was made to the traps earlier in the year in that perforations were made in the tops of the entrances to allow more light in. The sides and roof of the traps entrances were also painted white.
This is still not totally to our satisfaction so for the next event strips of white plastic will be mounted to the roof of the entrances to make the traps appear brighter.

5) Why was the winner at the lofts?
An invitation was made to all that attended the welcoming function that if they wanted to be at the lofts, there is a waiting area where we provide a toilet and a flask of cold water. The fact that the winner chose to sit there was basically good luck.
I have heard reports that this was also mentioned on Saturday, but neither the Race Director nor myself can confirm this.

6) How can we sell birds a few hours before the race?
From approximately a week before the race a list was published on the internet that gave the birds that had not been taken up by the entrants by their deadline of 19 January. It has been stated that the bird placed second was purchased on the morning of the race. According to our records the bird, along with many others, was in fact purchased on the Friday morning once the Race Administrator arrived at Sun City.
We give everyone who wants to be part of the race a chance even if they do not have birds of their own in the lofts.
The sale of unentered pigeons carried on until 12:00 on the Saturday of the race. The fact that birds were available was announced many times over the public address system.

7) Why are the traps on the floor?
Without meaning to offend anyone, how else can it be done? If you have a look at the results of the 85km training flight you will notice that over 2000 birds can be timed in less than 10 minutes. Granted on race day the birds come few at a time, but we also have to take the training flights into consideration.In year one landing boards where used briefly, but after seeing that the birds could suffer injuries as a result of being squashed by other birds trying to land, the traps were moved to ground level.

8) Why is the race held in January?
This is a traditional time of the year to race young birds as it offers more of a challenge to the birds. It also is a quiet time for pigeon racing in that the birds rarely clash with any other races on the same day.
Also bear in mind that this is an international event and is attended by hundreds of overseas visitors, if the race was to held during the normal racing season, it would be impossible for these fanciers to attend the race.

Finally, should there be any other area that anyone would like to ask us on, please feel free to contact us either privately or on the list.

Yours in sport, Michael Holt Systems Manager Million Dollar Pigeon Race 2001


Subject: Reply

Hello Linda, Yes your story did bring back some nostalgic memories, you yourself have actually stood on the plot of land where I with many others raced and kept pigeons in this manner for many years. This letter I will save amongst my souveniers and I thank you for sharing it with me. I enclose photo's of Fred Sharman the President of The National Flying Club, together with Daureen margaret and myself, taken at the Olympiad in Cape Town, also Fred together with Ken Hanby the past president and myself. I am sure that you know these visitors from England that graced our shores for a few weeks. They were also at the Sun City Million Dollar Race where I was able to introduce them to Manfred our Web Master.

Regards to All Jack Barkel

All photos issued below is published at 1/4 the normal size, in order to see them at FULL size, please right-click on the respective photo and save as picture on your hard drive..Then view them with your image viewer program.


Subject: RE: Million Dollar Race

Hi all, I don't know if my observation is correct, but it seems that it has become a trend in our sport to rather break down than to build it up.As it seems, improvements can be made to the MDPR. So, the guys that knows what is wrong, give feedback to the organizers and take a few steps forward for next years race. To become a champion you must have 30% luck and the other 70% is good pigeons, loft management etc. I do not think we can help each other with the 30% luck, but we sure can help each other to breed better pigeons and improve our loft management.

Cheers Erlo Kotze


Subject: Endangered Species

Hi guys & girls

I don`t know about you guys, but when last have you heard of a champion racing bird. I mean the pigeon that wins everything in sight. Sure each of us can name a few of hand, but how long ago did this happen ? There are of course the Belgium pigeons that have won like 35 x 1st prizes, but then again that bird was entered in 10 races for the one liberation and all of a sudden he is a 10 times winner ? I don`t know about you but isn`t that a bit misleading ?

I have an idea that we are putting our birds to stock way before there time. I don`t know about where the rest of you race but here to see a 4 or 5 year old bird in a race is very rare. What happened to them ? I for one do not believe that young stock birds are any better than old ones, if the older stock birds don`t feed properly they can always be placed.Would like to know if any of you have had the same thoughts ?

Thumper (Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day)


Subject: Too many stock pairs ?

Hi guys & girls I have a problem, NOOOO!!! NOT MENTALLY. I have the distinct impression that I might have to many stock pairs. At the moment I have 16 breeding pairs. I have a racng team of 97 pigeons.30 of which are 2 year olds, the rest yearlings. Every year I keep in the region of 30 good ones as old birds for the next season, not all of them good necesarilly, but the better ones anyway. I can then breed 67 babies of my 16 pairs.

That gives me an equation of 4.1875 babies per pair (a .1875 of a babie is like one leg) . My question is, can a pair be judged properly by the performance of 4 babies or should I have less pairs and breed maybe 6 babies of each ? The other option is to keep less old birds. The amount of pigeons kept is not an option as i never wan`t more than 100 racers. Hope someone can give me some help on this, and if your plan does not work, I know where you live.

Thumper (Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to ?)


Subject: Feathers on Squeekers

Hi Everyone

I have came upon a situation which I have never seen before.A fansier in Bloemfontein told me that several squeekers still in the nest, at + - 18 to 24 days of age has the following condition; Around this age ,when handling the babies it happens that they are dropping their plumage.It is really not something nice to see because some of these are virtually almost without any feathers.

I do recall reading something about this somewhere , but simply cannot remember what the explanation for it was. I am sure someone out there will be able to comment on this very unusaul condition.Just for clarification,it appears as if the condition only starts manifesting around the age of between 18-24 days.Furthermore ,I can mention that other than the loss of feathers, the squeekers appear to be normal I told this guy about PML and undertook to help find the answer to his problem.

Please advise!!! Greetings Theuns Bloemfontein(S.Africa)

February 07, 2001

Subject: Mr Barkel.

Mr Meyer, I am sorry that you and I ended up in a mud slinging match, I think we both were at the mercy of a third party. Well I am at fault for replying in an equally unmannerly fashion to you, although fortunately Manfred excluded both of our letters from the list.

Question 5. I wish I had omitted to mention it , for there are those that read more into it than was the case. When people saw him doing his dance of joy with I presume his son, many asked how they seemed to be there all alone, waiting for their bird( nothing wrong with this). Then later when I presume it was Mrs Painter who addressed the whole of the Super Bowl and let everyone know that God made it all possible, then these other remarks were made by many with several additions to it, and became a big light hearted laugh about something which has been branded as inflammatory, and not even a sick joke that I saw, was enjoyed by many. Remember not all people there are believers, neither do they like someone's religion forced upon them.

Also if you do not stop the alcohol stalls we can't stop these remarks which are deemed to be clever. Anything can be considered evil when taken out of context, and this is what was used as a weapon against me personally before you ever got in on the story. I am sorry I left myself open for this vicious criticism.

Question 2. I have answered in my reply to Mr Mike Holt what in my opinion is wrong with the traps, I know the design is flawed. I am busy copyrighting the modifications to make the trap efficient for all races. Those who wish to modify there own like yourselves, be my guest. Any company that tries to modify the standard traps to these parameters will find a copyright infringement slapped on them, and I am sure all fanciers would like that quick trap, they used to get on hard days when they flew to the old system before electronic timing. I have not seen a good design trap on the market, people make many items without eliminating the gremlins. You notice all animals do a circle or two before sitting down, this is natures way of proving the place is large enough, same with the birds hitting the traps. One does not patent or copyright an item, one registers the idea. Several large mining companies are using my patents today, so I know the patent and copyright laws. If you put it right and it proves a success, the rest of the world will follow, but they will follow at a price, the timing system suppliers cannot get it for free. An idea is so simple and easy after some one else has revealed it.

In conclusion, I would prefer that you and I start again, I hold out to you the hand of friendship, if you sincerely take it, you will not lose. I wish you and the rest of the MDR team every success for 2002, there are still problems I personally would like to see rectified but must be discussed privately.

Sincerely, Jack Barkel


Subject: Answers to Questions around MDPR

Hello Michael and All, I wish to take this opportunity to thank Mr Holt for clarification on the questions asked. I will send copies of your letter to overseas enquirers and locals that are not on the SAPML. I think all your answers are enlightening and acceptable to all and sundry. However I have noticed, that when most birds arrive from an exhausting race their wings are more open or expanded around the chest. Thus when the bird tries to enter from an exhaustive race his wings are outstretched further than the width of the trap and foul up on attempted entry. I know this is one of the causes to your problem, no matter how they conform to manufacturers specs. I feel and it is only my suggestion that this could be rectified to the advantage of quicker traps by these birds. As soon as there exposure is regained they fit the traps but not one was able to enter immediately, not even the first two birds. It is natural for any bird to hesitate at entry that fowls on both wings. I hope you find my answer to these problems constructive, this is what my original intention was to discuss ways of improvement. I have several engineering designs and patents that are working all over the world. NOT PIGEON TRAPS, but I have a flare for noticing and improving many existing, not so perfect designs.

Mike to item six, the question was not how can we sell birds on day of the race, although myself and others feel that no birds should be available from as soon as the birds can be handled by handlers or others on basket night. I can tell you most times which birds are right for basket night if I am blindfolded. Would this not be an unfair advantage if someone with the same talent and there are many, used this to there advantage. However the dissatisfaction was more against the World Championship birds being up for grabs more than being purchased on any given day. Many have asked why when they had to pay up front before they even sent in their entries and stand the chance of losing their money if the bird got lost, that some one can have their entries accepted after proving that there bird was worthy of a gamble without ever paying this $1000-00 dollars that I and all others have had to pay. The question was asked who decided this would be allowed and did they who ruled this fair, ever contact the competitors who were forced to pay up front, for a mandate on this decision. It has been suggested to me that these unentered birds that were not paid for by at least one entry from the owner could not have been a fair entry if not paid for and listed as a Million Dollar entry from the start.The concensus is , that at least one of breeders birds should have been paid for on being sent to the lofts initially, with one left over as a back up bird. I appreciate you taking the time to answer the questions asked of me by others, however there are other questions and suggestions that might attract the animal rights protectors, so if you are prepared to contact me privately on: I will gladly discuss it with you off the list.

I assure you Mike, my intention is to build up this once a year venue with any input I can make, not to break it down. I like Sun City , I like the atmosphere, I like to be able to brag about this great venue and occasion to all my overseas friends as many on this list will vouch. 

Yours Respectfully, Jack Barkel


Subject: Quetions in general

Hi to all I have a few questions upon which I would like to have respons , as wide as possible.The reason being merely that so many different views exist on these issues when one discusses it with different fanciers,so much so that it becomes a little confusing......especially when some contradicting ideas are tendered. The purpose thus, is to hear from our PML friends what their views may be.

If the questions sounds stupid, please bare with me ,as I still consider myself very much a novice.(He who doesnt ask will remain stupid)


Is it true that canker treatment(either preventative or full treatment) should be followed up with some treatment which will deal with the , quote, "fungi on which canker florrishes",unquote.? I am told that it is useless to treat canker,without treating this so called fungi,because canker "lives" on this. If then the canker is cured , the fungi florishes.The fungi must therefor be treated with eg.Lugols Iodene,following any treatment for canker.If so, What do you suggest ?


When is it neccesary to "repair " the gut flora? After any type of medication has been administered,or only after antibiotics had been given? For how long a period must the flora treatment be maintained to put back what was taken out? Can it be advantageous to do the flora regularly,say once a week ,Irrespective of medication.? If so which day of the week? Which type of product is prefered for the treatment of gut flora....Entero plus,..Ostrich plus,..BioRem,..Chevita liviferm,.. natural yoghurt ..etc.(your favourite)?

3.Cleaning of the Liver

A term often used, but the concept apparently perceived differently by different persons .How is the liver cleansed ? .Why is it neccesary ? .When is it necessary? .Which products both natural or others can be used and when?


.Is it true that "greens"i.e letuce,spinash,etc. should never be given when treating with sulphas and if so what is the reason .When treating for Cocci one should rather use green coloured sulphas (like Amprol) when a hot race is expected and red sulphas when cold races are expected.Is their truth in this?


Iron not to be given too close to basketting day,it puts "brakes " on the racers.Is this true?


Grit (Skulpgruis ens) not to be given later than on Tuesday before basketting,because the pigeon will carry unnesessary weight?


Why is it nesessary to detoxify ....,under which circumstances/when, is detoxification best accomplished?

8.Anti oxidants

When to be used,what products are suitable,both natural products and others?

Thank you in advance for your response . Warm Greetings from a hot Bloemfontein,35C



Subject: Training+Medical program

Hi all.

As I am a beginner I would apreciate advice on this subject. I also want to know whether you can train flyers during medical treatment. I once gave each of my birds a worm tablet in the evening and toss them the next day 60km. Nearly none came back. Some of the local guys said it was the worm tablets. Previous tosses went of well. Now I want to know - You have to treat for cancer,breathing, Cocsidiose etc. Each treatment is over 3 to 5 day periods. If I can't train when treating - what do I do? Say I treat week 1 for breathing, week 2 for worms, week 3 for cancer and week 4 for cocsidiose. Each siclis take 5 days out of a week. When do I train? Can someone please enlight me on this subject?

Greetings Dawie


Subject: Thanks

Hi all, Yes, I know I said I would shut up, but please allow me one last word.

Michael, Zandy thank you for taking the time to enlighten readers of the SAPML on how the wheel turns at Sun City. I have always been one of your fierce critics for not doing more to let the man in the street know what's going on behind the scenes. No, I do not want to start another fight now, and I will not thank you guys for all the hard work and long hours put in into this event. I am not on your payroll, remember! Thanks also to Manfred for publishing their comments for all on the list to read. Now you folks know who to put your questions to and this will hopefully assist to avoid any unpleasantness in this regard in future.

All that remains for me to say is to apologise to all I have offended these past week and a half. On this note I must love you and leave you.

Regards Herman.


Subject: Stock Birds Versus Racers.

Hello Thumper and All, In my observations of the methods of most of the Top World Fanciers, that do not just have one fantastic season, but continue to stay up there with the best year after year. I have noticed one thing which I believe to be of great importance and common to all these great fanciers, ant it is this. If you check the amount of stock birds in contrast to there racing birds, you will find that the ratio is about two to one. Therefore I would suggest cut down your racing birds to half of that of your stock birds, anyone can breed the odd good racers, even the new starters, but to select for stock is a matter often doomed to failure by young and old alike. Thumper your have mentioned privately that you wish to make another visit here, remember there are different ways to win with pigeons, many fanciers in my area can beat me, but most of there birds never perform more than two years and are lost or have to be replaced. I have racers and not just a few, that hold their own against these yearlings and two year olds up until their tenth year. They also can reproduce their like regularly, which is also a rare situation in lofts if you care to check it out. It has been my contention that the statement ,"If you want to buy top pigeons go to a loft that is winning" is not often the right way to go. I say, go to a loft that is breeding winners and stock pigeons regularly for others, and who is also prepared to give you a two year guarantee that your purchases will breed to your satisfaction.

If you build your stock loft on these suggestions, and at this two to one ratio, you will never be out of the game through losses or sickness, for this type of strong stock loft will keep you in contention for many years, and I can show you how if strictly adhered to will keep you strong for the rest of your life.  Remember, isolated stock pigeons do not need anti-biotics or injections, they build up a strong immunity against most viruses and diseases as they do not come into contact with race birds that in many countries including ours, have a strong immune deficiency. The subject is very intensive for the deep thinkers as you will see in one of my future works.  I hope this leaves some food for thought.

Yours in Sport Jack Barkel


Subject: Too many Stock Pairs

Thumpers concern about too many Stock pairs refers. Too many is a relative term , but as per your own definition it seems that 16 pairs of stock , to you are too many. You also ask the question whether a pair can be judged propperly by the performance of 4 babies?Very valid question. Should one not in this regard , be guided by the genetic principles as were previously discussed on the PML.? It has been stated in many literature and also the PML,that the basis of building a "line" must preferably centre around the COCK. From the performances of your older birds during the past,you will already know which pairs are made up of the good stuff and also which cocks are providing the goods.

Adding to this what was published in "Pigeon Racing journal" November 1995,no6, Vol 1,pg. 18, it is stated that the average success rate of breeding is around 7/ 100.This ,through sellective breeding can be improved to around 50/100.( Article by mr Jack Barkel )

If you therefor concentrate on only your best cocks,say the top 6 cocks and breed them to different suitable hens , and by using feeder pairs to raise the young, instead of then breeding only 4 babies per cock ,the ratio can be increased to 10 babies per cock (thouhg it will be with different hens)

Thumper ,remember this is not an expert opinion,but merely my thoughts on the topic. Fortunately my address is not known to you,so the comebacks wont blow up in my face.

Greetings Theuns


Subject: Feather loss in three week old babies.

Hello Theuns and all, There can be no straight answer to this one Theuns, it could be more than one of several things. The ones I would mention here because of lack of time to deliver a complete comprehensive run down on the subject, are as follows:...

No 1. The depluming mite.
No 2. A virus infection
No 3. Parasiticides or treatment thereof.
No 4. Lack of certain vitamins and trace elements.

Theuns the subject is more involved than this, as you know I will be giving a seminar in your town on the 16th of this month, just a few days away, bring your friend along and let him ask the questions, because I will be inviting the audience to do just that at the conclusion of my talk. This way, maybe a solution can be found for your friends dilemma

Yours in Sport Jack Barkel


Subject: Thanx

Hi guys & girls I would just like to thank the fanciers on the list who helped me out with the canker problem I had a week ago. The two birds are without canker now and are starting to pick up weight again.


February 08, 2001

Subject: Theuns

Hi Theuns Luckily you won`t have to worry about any sharp comeback from me. Thanks for the comments, I really appreciate it. What you said makes a lot of sense.



Subject: Herman

Hi Herman I hope this is not the last time that we hear from you, I think we are all grown-ups here (well maybe not me yet) and we can all forgive and forget. It would be a shame to lose your expertise.



Subject: Training while medicating

Hi Dawie

I do train while I am medicating for any other ailment, except deworming. I do not know which product you use when you de-worm , but there are a few products that can give a bird a bit of a shock to the system for a day or two. Give them one day grace after worming is my advice with a nice dose of vitamens. Better safe than sorry I say.



Subject: Idea for MDPR

Hi guys & girls I know everybody is probably tired of this subject but I would like to plant an idea.

Why not sell the birds that have not been bought for a smaller price, let`s say $100. Fanciers and non-fanciers can buy them from the Friday before the race, and those birds will compete for their own private fund ? Sort of like a $100 pool ? This way there will be no unfair watching from the sidelines and buying the best of the rest situations.

Just a thought Thumper


Subject: Q`s in Gen

Hi Theuns Most of the questions you asked I are questions that I would also like to know the answer to. But I do think I can answer the question on grit. I take my grit out only on the day of basketing, the reason for this is simply that some grits contain salts and could make the pigeon thirsty. I can not see how it can make the pigeon "heavy" as a pigeons digestive system works so fast the grit should be out of the system within 24 hours , probably less. If it is still in the crop after a day you have major health problems.


February 09, 2001

Subject: Pigeon politics

Hi all my learned pigeon fanciers.My question is ,Why is there so much politics in the pigeon sport?Down here in Durban it is generally the older fanciers that create a climate of aggro.They should be boosting the sport instead of all the negative vibes they send out.Our sport is such awonderful sport yet the same old people continue to make racing pigeons a backbiting backstabbing affair.This year is only my 2nd year in pigeons and already I can feel the tension.What with breakaway Combines etc.How can we sort this pooh out?Any people keep up the good work on this list.Remember when you point a finger at someone there are three pointing back at you.Cheers Lance in Durban.


Subject: grit etc

Thumper and All On the longer races in England, the water is taken out at lunchtime on the day of basketing, then a pickstone is given to the birds. Pickstones have a high salt content, when the birds have been fed ofen with a high perfentage of rice, the water is put back in, the birds are very thirsty, they take large abounts of water on board and the rice in the crop swells, this will keep the crop moist and help prevent the bird having to come down foer water.

Bests to All Linda and son Tony Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts


Subject: Re: SAPML 12 Jan 2001

DagsÍ Thumper So you say it is safe to toss up to 100km while under medication with say, dovabiotic,cankerex etc.

Thanks for response

Groete Dawie


Subject: 12 Step Of P.A.

Got this from a friends daughter that works in a treatment center, where they have a problem with street pigeons. This is based on the 12 steps from alcoholics anonymous.

12 Steps Of P.A. (Pigeons Anonymous)

1. We admitted we were powerless over pigeons and thier poop had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanition.
3. Made a decision to turn our roof and our pigeons over to the care of God as we understand him.
4. Made a searching and fearless fecal inventory of the creatures.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to bi-law enforcement the exact nature of their wrongs.
6. We became willing to have God remove all these defective creatures.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove their homecomings.
8. Made a list of all sidewalks they had harmed and became willing to clean them all.
9. Made direct attacks whenever possible especially when to do so would affect the offenders and other pests.
10. Continued to take perimeter inventory and when they come back promply annihilated them.
11. Sought through stealth and imagination to improve our conscious contact with birds, as we understand them, praying only for knowledge of their proximity to us and the power to wipe them out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other pigeon haters and to practice these principals in all our affairsXXXXXXXXXX

I am responsible, when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help with pigeons, I want the shotgun of P.A. always to be there, and for that I am responsible.


Subject: training while medicating

Dawie Your enquiry on training whilst medicating refer.

Thumpers respons concernig the effect of certain dewormers is very true.In this regard you should rather consider to deworm for instance on a Sunday morning,after the birds have done their morning exercising.They are called into the loft and dewormer such as Wormino,or Mediworm,both in tablet form and rather mild on the pigeon can then be given individually.No feeding however for at least 3 hours after the deworming treatment.Give them a luke warm bath later to allow them to rest and recupe It is also true that certain medication does influence the bird, which, when administered haphazardly, may result in exactly what has happened to you.

In this regard I want to point out the following.

When the race season is on,one should at that time have insured that the racers had been treated for whatever ailment you want to treat for ,prior to the first race. What I mean by this is that there is a difference between the required dose for treating an ailment and the dose required for preventative treatment.

You should therefor TREAT the birds prior to the start of the racing season. Normally the birds gets started up + - 6-7 weeks before the first race, when exercising begin ,by which time the moulting is also completed and the medication can thus not hamper the moultiong process. This is the time for treatment, even at full dosages.You will agree that during this period there is ample time for fitting in your treatment.If then you schedule your treatment program to start for eg. on the Saterday after return from the toss,you should finish the treatment in time before the next distance toss(80km or more)which will only be on the next weekend,allowing for enough time to "clean out".

By the time the races start,treatment as such had been completed and you now only have to apply preventative treatment. You will notice on the manufactures instructions on these different medications that the dosage required for treating viz a viz, that which is required for prevention ,differs notably. For eg.the period for treatment might be 7 days wheras for prevention, the same product is prescribed for only three days,or alternatively only half the dosage needed for treatment would be required for the prevention of such an ailment.From the aforesaid , what i am saying is that,yes ,medication can negatively affect the pigeons,even to the extend as you have experienced.

What you should bare in mind is thus to ensure that TREATMENT AS SUCH ,are dealt with timeously and prior to the actual start of the racing season.If this is done properly and cautiously,you will in all probabillity only need to apply preventative medication during the actual racing season which certainly will be much less harmfull.

Also note,Dawie, that certain medication, When overdosed will certainly result in absolute chaos in your loft.Furthermore you should note that certain medication "withdraws" important substances from the bird or alternatively hampers the bird s ability to "withdraw" the needed substances from its system through its ntural metabolism.It is here where you will have to do some reading/research in order to prevent that from happening.For example , when antibiotics are given, appropriate vitamines must be given simultaneously.I had the experience myself previously when treating for canker with Emptryl,I must have overdosed slightly, and did not provide the very important B12 vitamine .This caused a very strange dizziness with the birds,which was corrected by giving B12.

Just a final word of advice.....Never believe that when 5ml per liter water is prescribed , that 10ml per liter will be twice as good.Never ever should you overdose.Also remember not to just medicate for the sake of medicating,if the birds are healthy,just attempt to maintain that.Hope this could assist you in any way


February 10, 2001

Subject: Creators help?

Halo every one Was it the help of the Creator that made ds Painterís bird win?

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a Christian and that I believe I Jesus Christ as my Savior. In acting out my Christianity, I am of opinion that one must witness of the great things our Lord do on a daily basis for us.

In this sense I can understand Mrs. Painterís witness about the help of the Lord. As His children we donít want to take the credit to ourselves, but give the glory to our Lord. But maybe her statement was taken up totally wrong. Yes, it was the Lord that blessed them with an excellent bird. It was He that creates a remarkable pigeon, with the ability of winning the race. But, no, He does not have "witbroodjies" (people that he take special care of and for example will let their bird win the race.) I believe that the best bird won the race.

Yes, I pray a lot when I myself am waiting for my birds to return from a race. But I never pray tot win. I never even pray to have one in the prices. Because I live in Ďn personal relation with our Lord, and because He is my friend, I talk to him about my expectations and my sorrows, and when I have one back in a good time I am jubilant for the joy to time it in and the happiness to have one in the clock.

Every thing we do must glorify our Lord. (Maybe some day I shall share my views on how one can live out your Christianity being a pigeon fancier.) Uncle Jack, when you were attending the Olympiad in Cape Town, I asked a question about feeding in the off-season, what do you suggest? (I am attending a conference in Potch next week; maybe I find the time to pay you a visit.) How long does it take a pigeon to complete the mould? Can one exercise the birds when they have still pens to shed? And race them?

Greetings Hennie


Subject: Dawie

HI Dawie I could not comment on tossing up to a 100km on medication, I myself toss 50km a day, Monday to Thursday. I have had no problems training while medicating from this distance. However I do not train the birds if I am medicating on a Saturday when I normlly toss 200km. But then again I always try and keep medication away from the weekends, normally start on Monday, and preventative medication is normally only for 3 days or less.



Subject: Lance

Howzit Lance Long time since I have heard from you.

I agree totally with what you say, but it is not always the old guys that cause the aggro, I think there are quite a few cool old guys out there with open minds. I think it is more a problem of conservative fanciers who don`t want to try something new. The problem you guys have in Durban is not isolated, in fact I think it is all over where there are people who all have different ideas and won`t back down from there standpoint. In Gauteng we have the same problem with brake away specialist clubs, some would call it a problem. If this is true then I am a part of the problem as I fly in one of these specialist clubs. New ideas for new times I say. Sometimes it is just better to stay out of pigeon politics and concentrate on your racing, while everybody is fighting you can make plans sinking them in the races.

Thumper (The harder you work, the luckier you get)


Subject: Re: Politics in Pigeon Sport

Hi Lance, I just want to confirm that we are experiencing the same, here in the Western Cape, with the older fanciers that create a climate of aggro. And it is especially the better, older fanciers. Can anyone explain why it is like that ???

Cheers Erlo


Subject: RE: Treatment during Racing Season

Hi All, I think the treatment during the racing season in Gauteng/Freestate differs vastly from the treatment in the Western Cape, especially during the

Winter months. It is very wet during the winter and diseases spread easily. We have to treat (more preventative) every 2 weeks for something else. For eg: Week 1 - Breathing Week 3 - Coccidosis Week 5 - Breathing Week 6 - Crop cancer Week 7 - Breathing Weekly - Deworming.. and so it goes on ...and the cycle repeats itself Is this the right way of treatment? Does the other guys in the other parts of the country also do this ? Isn't there a wide spectrum antibiotic that can be use less frequent but still do the job? About deworming, is it enough to deworm weekly ? I read an article that the Germans deworm daily, is it true ?? Some of the guys make a mixture that they use in the warmer months (after September) for breathing. It is called "5 tripple 1" I think it consists of Terramycin, Tylan, ESB3, Furasol and Emtryl. Is this the corrcet ingredients ? What is the measurements of each product ? Is there something else that will do the same job? About feeding on the Vehicle after basketing. Our Pigeons don't get any food while on the Lorry. It works well on the short distance, because the birds trap easily, but I don't think it is right on the longer races. Can it do any harm to the birds especially when it is a long stressfull race 

Cheers Erlo


Subject: Re: Breeding, pearl-eye with pearl-eye ?

Hi Mr Barkel (or anyone else), There is a beleive that you don't put up a pair which both have pearl eyes. Can you do it? If not, why not ? I also grew up with that beleive, but I don't think it is wrong anymore. Our Union/Club champion doesn't care if it is pearl_eye on pearl_eye and he achieves great success, year after year.

Please inform Thanks Erlo


Subject: Observations and Opinions

Hello Lance and All, In reply to your question and observation, although not a pigeon topic I feel to give my opinion on your questions may be of help to maintain a peaceful list. You are correct when you say it is usually the older fanciers who criticise and attack. It is also correct that this is the case in most organisations not only the pigeon fraternity. I write on many forums and have received criticism from many countries.Always by the more supposedly mature fanciers. Because I feel I know what creates these problems, I endeavour to avoid contributing to these frailties as do many more mature fanciers throughout the world, and do not attack unless I am criticised unfairly or attacked in a jealous or aggressive manner. You will notice in this our first altercation on this list, that I never replied to all the other jealous snide remarks this person made to many of my postings. I brushed them off as not important, and continued to report as I thought would be of interest to the fancier. Manfred on several occasions phoned me and said this person is making references towards you that may not be acceptable to you, must I delete it? Of course as soon as I left a gap for criticism this person took advantage of this, and proceeded to try and turn people away from me as a pigeon reporter. Many Old Hands would like to keep the territory or area or list as their own domain and rule it as a superior authority, I watch this happening on other lists all the time, the sad part being that many that will be all-time greats have left these lists and their valuable knowledge is lost. I have said before, if someone writes on a particular subject, by all means give ones own opinion, but this should not include reference to the other person in any way. JUST ONES OWN OPINION. If we all can try and abide to this sort of ruling which is what Manfred is striving to achieve, there will be no flaming. Some old codgers that have a lot to give to the younger members in the sport, unfortunately, can not keep down their unbecoming thoughts and petty jealousies, and instead of sharing the domain, or the popularity roll with others on the various lists, unconsciously let their weaknesses and personal jealousies come out. My weakness is not this as I have stated, but more that I find it difficult to maintain dignity and decorum whilst under these attacks. Personally I am not on this list to read my own reports, but rather to read some good information from others, which I immediately file to use in the future and I try to repay what I get out by putting something back. It is a natural instinct to play the dominant male in all walks of life, we who are active in a particular field must be aware of this at all times and try and guard against falling into these ancient failings of the human race. I know Lance that this is not a pigeon topic, but you asked the question and I have tried to answer fairly to what we as human beings and more so pigeon fanciers must not let happen in this wonderful organisation. At least we have in Manfred, a mediator that immediately we get personal, will contact the person or persons at fault and tell them that their article will not be published on the list. I am 64 years old and have been insulted or attacked by two people on this list for trying to help others, both were by people my age and who were trying to show a superior knowledge on certain aspects of our sport. I myself have no intention of competing with this type of person let them do their own thing, but I am still finding it difficult not to retaliate when under personal attack. If I had only been blessed with being born with a reverse gear I could have saved myself a lot of mental and  physical discomfort also. 

Listen to any Parliament debate throughout the world and the speaker of the house can continuously be heard pleading for order. This is nothing new, and I have resigned myself to the fact that it will not improve until Humans have evolved much further than we are today. I am continuously trying to maintain greater self control, and try to not leave myself open to attacks from those who wish to compete against me, rather than share a cumulative knowledge. My motto is: If I can only be the person that my Mother thinks I am.( She is  deceased). I would just like to mention Lance, that in your home town, the first time I gave a lecture there, I was criticised and heckled continuously by three or four old men and if you still have to contend with these types you have my sympathies. No ideas more than thirty years old will be accepted by these people. I never heckle anyone when they are on stage, in my opinion to do so shows a flaw somewhere in ones own pedigree. I listen to what that person has to say and if I disagree I reject it quietly and personally without anyone else being the wiser. I am still learning about pigeons and self control and how to have patience with others. To those that agree with Lance, be very careful you do not end up being what you are despising in others. Some people have a greater opinion of there worth the older they get and this character change can be created by the YOUNGER PEOPLE who put them on a pedestal. You all read the little dig about the Jack Barkel fan club by the person who attacked me??? If the young fanciers praise one old fancier the other can become envious of his popularity and we are all going to get old and I hope more informative. Human frailties will always be there, remember none of us are safe or immune from these. May you my young fancier friends, grow old with dignity and self control and make a resolve now that you will never fall victim of the same mistakes.

I wish you all well. Jack Barkel.


Hi Theuns and all

Thanks for the advice. I don,t want to sound dumb but can you or somebody be so good to email me a program - medical+ training at: I know most people is secretive about their succesfull program - but just something to put me on the track. Can you please name the treatment and the spesific products by name. Time and periods of treatment - musts and must nots etc. As I understood you - treat preventitave. If the sickness really strikes there is no way to keep training and treat intense and fly saturday.

Greetings Dawie

February 12, 2001

Subject: Treatments

Hello Everyone, As someone said there is a time and place for everything. Medications when necessary and other treatments when appropriate. Keeping them healthy is not always a reach for the medicine packet. I've heard that honey is good for clearing up mucous. That garlic and apple cider vinegar are good for keeping bad bacteria at "acceptable levels", or is it better stated at "performance levels". I like using natural products when appropriate because they don't destroy the good bacteria along with the bad. And the pigeons immune system stays high and isn't depressed as when antibiotics are used. Theres one gentlemen in our club who wins consistently at the long distance and he never medicates or even gives vitamins/minerals. In fact  he rarely vaccinates for PMV or pigeon pox, though he does do it sometimes when an outbreak hits the area. He believes that a healthy immune system should keep the pigeon healthy alone. I think there is something to his " health regiment " , or lack of it. I bred some late hatches last year and didn't vaccinate them for pox, as I didn't have any at the time. All but 1 of them got pox and the one that didn't was only a few feet away from the others and the mosquitos must have attacked him also. I found it amazing that he didn't get it!

I paid a lot of money for a few pair of pigeons and I can't "gamble" on their health, I realize some people might take offense at the word , gamble, but that is just my personal impression and not meant as an attack on any system someone chooses as their own. So I vaccinate for PMV and pox and then try and keep them healthy with herbal based products and the like but, I haven't found any information on curing or preventing canker with natural remedies. I've heard of a gentlemen in England who ses Aqueous Iodine once a month and says he has never had a case of canker in 40 years. I suppose natural remedies are a "pet peeve" for me but, I try and restrain myself<g>. Does anyone use a natural preventative for canker and are you having success with it? I heard some won't breed from a bird or it's parents if it develops canker as they are trying to breed a "healthy immune system bird". I'm not there 100% yet but, I'm on the road.

Thanks, Roger


Subject: It's long, but well worth the reading

Canola oil from the rape seed, referred to as the Canadian oil because Canada is mainly responsible for it being marketed in the USA. The Canadian government and industry paid our Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) $50 million dollars to have canola oil placed on the (GRAS) List, "Generally Recognized As Safe". Thus a new industry was created. Laws were enacted affecting international trade, commerce, and traditional diets. Studies with lab. animals were disastrous. Rats developed fatty degeneration of heart, kidney, adrenals, and thyroid gland. When canola oil was withdrawn from their diets, the deposits dissolved but scar tissue remained on all vital organs. No studies on humans were made before money was spent to promote Canola oil in the USA. Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a rare fatal degenerative disease caused by a build up long-chain fatty acids (c22 to c28) which destroys the myelin (protective sheath) of the nerves. Canola oil is a very long chain fatty acid oil (c22). Those who will defend canola oil say that the Chinese and Indians have used it for centuries with no effect, however it was in an unrefined form ( taken from FATS THAT HEAL AND FATS THAT KILL by Udo Erasmus). My cholesterol level was 150. After a year using Canola oil I tested 260. I switched back to pure olive oil and it has taken 5 years to get it down to 160. Thus began this project to find answers since most Doctors will say that Canola oil is O.K. My sister spilled Canola oil on a piece of fabric, after 5 pre-treatings and harsh washings, the oil spot still showed. She stopped using Canola oil, wondering what it did to our insides if it could not be removed from cloth easily. Our Father bred birds, always checking labels to insure there was no rape seed in their food. He said, "The birds will eat it, but they do not live very long.". A friend, who worked for only 9 mo. as a quality control taster at an apple-chip factory where Canola oil was used exclusively for frying, developed numerous health problems. These included loose teeth & gum disease; numb hands and feet; swollen arms and legs upon rising in the morning; extreme joint pain especially in hands, cloudy vision, constipation with stools like black marbles, hearing loss; skin tears from being bumped; lack of energy; hair loss and heart pains. It has been five years since she has worked there and still has some joint pain, gum disease, and numbness. A fellow worker, about 30 years old, who ate very little product, had a routine check up and found that his blood vessels were like those of an 80 year old man. Two employees fed the waste product to baby calves and their hair fell out. After removing the fried apple chips from the diet their hair grew back in.My daughter and her girls were telling jokes. Stephanie hit her mom's arm  with the back of a butter knife in a gesture, "Oh mom" not hard enough to hurt. My daughters arm split open like it was rotten. She called me to ask what could have caused it. I said, "I'll bet anything that you are using Canola oil". Sure enough, there was a big gallon jug in the pantry. Rape seed oil is a penetrating oil, to be used in light industry, not for human consumption. It contains a toxic substance. Even after the processing to reduce the erucic acid content, it is still a penetrating oil. We have found that it turns rancid very fast. Also it leaves a residual rancid odor on clothing. Rape seed oil used for stir-frying in China found to emit cancer causing chemicals. (Rapeseed oil smoke causes lung cancer) Amal Kumar Maj. The Wall Street JournaL June 7, 1995 pB6(W) pB6 (E) col 1(11 col in).

Compiled by Darleen Bradley.

Canola oil is a health hazard to use as a cooking oil or salad oil. It is not the healthy oil we thought it was. It is not fit for human consumption, do not eat canola oil, it can hurt you. Polyunsaturated or not, this is a bad oil. Go to Ask Jeeves yourself: <A HREF=""></A> and type in (Where does Canola Oil come from?) and see what you come up with


Subject: Need advice ASAP

Dear fellow fancier, I have this concern which you may be able to help. We are in our second week race season, I have one birth with both 10th long feather dropped and just starting to grow with no showing of little feather yet. He was not able to clock on time from our first race, he come home late by two hours for him to able to clocked, this week race was a smash of sort.

My question: Do you I should include him in the second week race or not because many fancier is of the opinion that its really very hard for the pigeon to race home if his 10th long(last) feather is dropped specially if both wings? If I skip him for the second week is it ok to include him in the third week race?? Distance from first week race and third week is very far already. If you were me what would you gamble on, decrease of body condition and risk of lost, or risk of lost due to distance from 1st and 3rd week? Pls advice also what vitamins or medicine to give for him to grow his 10th feather faster and stranger, or any vitamin for him to get stronger for the second race even if he does not have the 10th feather.

Thanks to all Val


Subject: Pigeon Politics

Hi Thumper, Uncle Jack and All members. I have learned by bitter experience since I have been in the USA, that the only way to silence the "Good Ole Boys", who think they have a monoply on everything, is to work 25 hours a day with the birds and appear in front of them on the race result sheet., that really upsets them !!!!!!!. Having said that, when I was flying in the UK the older members of the club really were so helpful, donating young birds, advice, encouragement, I owe a lot to those flyers for the knowledge I have today. I am now back in the Land of the Living having said goodbye to my son this afternoon at Seatac airport after a wonderful week's visit to the USA. My good wishes to you all

Linda Joneli  Red Rose Lofts


Subject: Raising Young

Hi everybody, Just a note from an Englishman kindly invited onto your list ( sorry I have not posted before but I am usually so busy). I paired up my birds (12 pair+ 1 Stock pair) around the 6th January including my one pair of stock birds. (I am a small back yard man). They laid this year all over the place date wise, some after ony 9 days and one pair including my stock pair after 14 days. Then I swapped the eggs round so that the majority had only one good egg (with one plastic) some I left with both eggs just in case. So this left me with about 14/15 ( I only rear around 16 young a year) eggs from the pairs that I really wanted young from including eggs from my stock pair. The stock pair I re-paired after a few days for them to lay again. Then the trouble started, I lost 2 eggs through hens going into the wrong box and fighting. One egg was infertile, one egg died in the shell (chilled I think), one egg from my stock pair was abandoned just as it was starting to chip (the hen appeared to lose interest and got off the nest, the cock realised too late that she was not on the egg and it was stone cold when I saw him attempt to sit again, he soon gave up). This leaves me now with 9 young (from an expected minimum of 11 or 12) actually hatched and now thriving, therefore 3 pair have not got any young to rear at all. I will not make the mistake of swapping eggs round so early again, I think it was beacause the last 2 years breeding sessions have gone so sweetly that I forgot that things can go so quickly wrong. Things are now at last starting to look better again, my stock pair have relaid and are sitting quite happily, I have been given, on loan, another stock pair that are just about to lay (both birds are Fed and Club multiple winners). Plus a good racing friend of mine told me that he his giving me a pair of young of his best for repairing his daughters computer. I am also starting to put the rings on my early hatched young and the loft is full of the little cheeping of the 9 young. The only thing I need now is for the weather to warm up, this morning at 6.00 AM it was minus 3 deg C with a white frozen layer on everything outside. So my friends in the warm sunny areas of S.A. and other areas the valuable moral of this tale is the still true after all these years "Don't count your chickens(pigeons in my case) till they are hatched". By the way hiya Jack B. not spoken to you for a while I will try and keep more in touch.

Nigel A Wolstencroft   H.C. Lofts, Manchester, England.

February 14, 2001

Subject: 10th Flight

Hi Val , I do not send a bird to a race if he has dropped his 10th flight, maybe it`s just me, but i think if there is a flight that is more important than any other it is the last one. It would be even wors if the bird was sent with only a partially grown 10th flight. I only send them when the last flight is at least 3 quarters grown. As I have said before, I think the 10th flught is the most important, in my opinion it takes the most strain of all the other flights when the bird is in flight. So if it is only partially grown, all that strain on that small flight could hurt the bird. If you really think the bird is worth it, I would keep it out of the races this season, and maybe Mr Barkel can explain to you how to prevent this from happening next year.



Subject: How far is to far for a Y/B?

Hello everyone , I want to know if your young birds are bred in Jan' 2001 and you wanted to start race them in June (from 280km) when they are about 6 months old , How far is to far for these Y/B.

Thanks to all, Nico


Subject: Yellow spots in the throat.

Yello to all

I agree with Roger to medicate only when needed.Herbs natural ,products,etc.indeed have their place. I am sure you all ,at some time or the other have noted yellowish spots inside the throat,or mouth of a pigeon at some stage.Well so have I .Again , I have heard many different opinions on the cause of it,all of which may be true.However ,I would like to share the following extract of an article with you, which"OLD HAND" wrote long ago.It appears in the 2nd Volume of THE COLLECTED WORKS OF OLD HAND ' under the chapter on "Ailments and Diseases of The Racing Pigeon,page 62 He has his usual intro about his novice in training and then follows the story.

"when an infection (by germ,bacteria,etc.) attacks the sensitive membrane of a pigeons throat the white corpuscles of its blood race to the site where the invader has trespassed and wage war with it in an attempt to kill it before it secures a foothold and proceeds to propagate its millions and poison the flesh. The conflict rages night and day.Conflicts of this kind occur in the blood Whenever the flesh is attacked or wounded- the white corpuscles, the soldiers of the blood,rush toevict invaders and seal the wound against the air.Thenrefor a fierce battleensues between the germ and the residentwhite warriors of the blood,put there by nature to defend it against all comers. The white corpuscles fight and die in their millions during teh struggle.

This struggle between invading low life and the white and the white corpuscles causes juice to flow and create mucous. A notable developmeny of the fight for blood is local swelling and inflammation with subsequent discoloration.Eventually, the battle produces puss, the yellow filth which is the derbris of bacterial battle.IF the invaders wins the fight a real and serious infection takes root and the bird will begin sicken.Usually it is not until this stage of the infection is reached that the average fancier detects signhs that all is not well with his bird.

If the white corpuscles win the fight, which they often do, their bodies will clutter the battlefieldi.e. the area of the attempted infection.Calcined by the heatgenerated in the strife they will remain in little heaps on the battlefield as tiny white tombs which mark the spot.They are the geniune scars of a battle won.

It will now be obvious to you that by the time your eyes see these little white spots in the throat of a pigeon the infection has ended and your bird has been spared, saved from what might have developed into a very serious complaint,or even a disease,by the resistance put up by the white corpuscles of the blood.It is all over and the bird is no longer infected.

If you see white spots in the throat you may assume that your bird had built up strong resistanceto infection and was able to fight it and beat it What was said by Richard about building a natural imunity I think, is supported in the aforesaid article by Old Hand,Which appeared many ,many moons ago and which I think bares a lot of truth. 



Subject: Wing Theories

Hi guys & girls , I would like to know which wings you would like to see on your pigeons. I mean, do you prefer to have a step ? and if so where should the step be ? and why do you prefer this wing as aposed to any other ?

Thumper - (The harder you work, the luckier you get)


Subject: Pearl to Pearl

Hello Erlo and All, I have been unable to post anything since Friday evening as the telephone copper cables were stolen across my lands. Today Tuesday is back to normal and now Allpets have lost their Copper Cables, please you overseas fanciers try and bear with the New South Africa. Erlo, let me try and explain as easily and quickly as possible. The short distance racer which was the first of racing pigeons as we know them today were all pearl eyed pigeons, and the later introductions such as the Dragoon and the Carrier were yellow eyed pigeons which gave the stamina and distance. The combination was a great success bringing a type of bird that had speed, vitality, stamina and intelligence (homing ability). Today by the injudicious mating of some fanciers who know how to get the best out of a bird, but have very little knowledge about breeding, we have a mixed bag of racers, seven out of one hundred good and that leaves ninety three out of one hundred, good for nothing but the soup pot. So Erlo, if you persevere in putting pearl to pearl you will end up with very little of value eventually, and if you put yellow to yellow you will end up with highly intelligent very slow homers. I have known champions bred from two pearls but the deterioration of a family with a continuance of this habit will breed you rubbish. It is a long story, too long for the SAPML, but be warned, there are many famous fanciers in your area, who fly Margaret and I to Cape Town once a year all expenses found, and pay for the service of having their birds rated and mated. Saville Penkin and Mike Ormand who have trashed the Federation in Cape Town once again this last season, have been using this facility since 1996 and I did their latest birds in January whilst visiting the Olympiad. Grant Spammer of Clan William with my Opal Janssen's and my methods has been champion every year since I was a guest at his home.

The top fanciers in Paarl will tell you the same story, their success is mainly due to the top fanciers using my selections, I mention these areas and people because they are all in the Western Cape where Erlo resides. Yes you CAN do it and you WILL have a little success, two pearls together will give you extra speed and vitality and very little homing ability. Two yellows will give you increased homing ability and stamina and very little vitality or speed. It does not happen today or next week it attacks you slowly from generation to generation, until you are left with either short fast blow home pigeons which get lost the first time they are separated from the pack. Or you can end up with pigeons that never get lost but come home in their own sweet time. Erlo, in my travels throughout S/A I can count the number of breeders worthy of that name on my ten fingers. I know good fanciers in your own area that can win races on the short to middle distance with a pet shop pigeon, they are good racing fanciers, so I say beware not to fall into the category of the gullible. The Puttries were bred so much Pearl to pearl that eventually they could not stay in the sky, Sonny Kippen went to Vermeyen and brought into the Lady Dudley Puttries these gold eyed birds, immediately they were back in the running as Slimme/Putts. This cross saved the Puttrie Strain which was just about at it's end through putting pearl to pearl, generation after generation. Beware Erlo, do not listen to people who would like you to believe the world is made of green cheese, none of these guys have lasted more than ten minutes on any forum where I was a speaker. I feel very strongly about this subject and the ruination of some great families in our country, because some top racing men convince themselves that they know it all. Do not be misled because a person is successful in racing. We had a fancier here who is dead now, he bred a family of Blues that carried his name, he sold them out and spent the rest of his life trying to do it again, until his death it never happened. We have a guy here in Potchefstroom wins more than his share on Epsom Saltsand Dicestal, pumped in the crop with an enema syringe. His pigeons are worthless, but he has the cups and trophies to paint an impressive picture. My journeys in the pigeon world are many and varied, when this book is completed , I may write another about my experiences on my many travels through the pigeon world. The people I have met, the facts and the fallacies and beliefs, it should make for interesting reading. The next three weekends finds Margaret and I on the road again, with an average of 500 plus birds to be evaluated per weekend. This is a job I could only dream about as a young fancier, and it suddenly developed into a reality. I will give a free seminar in each City, and these usually take about three hours and more with question time.

Yours in better breeding techniques. Jack Barkel.


Subject: Treatment during Racing Season.

Hello Erlo and All, I think you have a lot of questions here which I will try and answer without making it too long. First let me say that in the North East of England and all of South Africa, the medication needs the same attention. I believe to medicate every week is the cause of the immune deficiency in the birds. This I feel is due to qualified Vets that sell all these patent medicines encouraging the fancier to buy and use their products. AGAIN, STRAIGHT REPORTING. Erlo, some of the top fanciers in the Western Cape from Clan William as far as the Southern Peninsular, Paarl etc, are flying on my medication system or birds from my selection and pairings or birds purchased from me, that have there own built in immunity.Six weeks before racing commences mix:...One part Tylan, One part Emptryl, Six parts Terravit(Terramycin with vitamins) You take one teaspoon of these powders mixed and serve on One Litre of water together with Ten Millilitres of Sulphamethasine. This will cure Canker,Coccidiosis, Mycoplasmosis. Now these diseases keep recurring so you need to give this mixture on a Monday once every six weeks in the winter and once every four weeks in the summer. Once per fortnight you need ten milligrams of Virkon "S" in three litres of drinking water for one day. If your birds show a drop in performance do not start throwing medication at them, fast them on a Tuesday for one complete day, giving them only Garlic water, then start the high protein build up on the Wednesday and by Saturday your birds will be straining at the leash. Most of pigeon husbandry is common sense and observation, and not the daily commercial hogwash the fanciers receive about medication. We South Africans next to Belgian's are known as the most severe medicators in the world, a Belgium rung bird is worth ten times the price of a South African Bird and the advice of a Belgium fancier is worth ten times the advice of any other fancier. This is the perception of the average South African fancier and I can prove it, we S/Africans are not short of gullibility, in fact it would not surprise me if we are the most gullible in the world. You say the Germans De Worm daily, let me inform you that the enlightened fanciers in South Africa have been using daily dewormers for many years, even in your own area. Fifteen milligrams of PIPERAZINE/POISON(I believe in calling a spade a spade) is highly toxic and does your pigeon as much harm as ridding it of worm infestation does good, 15mill spread over a period of a month which is a half mill per day, is more effective, more controlled and not harmful at all, and even the eggs are not allowed to incubate so ceasing the breading cycle of the worms, which is an ongoing treatment and cycle with your present way of doing things. Feeding on the transporter.:...When basketing on a Thursday, I use what Steven van Breemen calls his secret weapon, I take out the water on the afternoon of basket day, I feed as many peanuts as they can eat, and then 30 to 45 minutes before basket time I put in the fresh clear luke warm water.

The birds drink profusely and the peanuts provide sustenance for two days, they also absorb the water and having very little fibre intake do not make a lot of excreta like the normal grains do. A pigeon fed in this manner will turn its nose up at any sustenance offered on the transporter, a system which also aids the spread of diseases to your birds by carriers. A good pigeon will not stand in it's own faeces in the basket, but holds on until it is released, once the bird is released it forgets about ejaculating this waste matter. Once it has settled down to the journey home it cannot release this matter and it builds up toxins in the body. Remember this is only the tip of the iceberg practiced by the masters, yes they haggle and fight and cause aggro, but they still grin at you whilst they take the money and the prizes. Most of them will tell you that they have received a lot of attacks and insults for trying to help, so do not try any more, and get very cross with oldies like myself who try to persevere with the younger element who are not always deserving of this advice because of THEIR attitude. If I write a letter like this, I am criticised as writing letters that are too long.If I write a short letter I am criticized as not explaining clearly or fully.If I do not answer these queries I am criticised as not being interested in helping.If I try to point out things that do not seem to be right , I am interfering or causing aggro. So you see Erlo, it is not only the old hands at fault, many of the young people are also at fault as they do not always accept the information offered in the correct manner. We the human creature are not the helpful, reliable, loving, charitable, faithful, superior creatures we are made out to be, we all have our lapses of perfection which brands us all as imperfect. It takes a while to compose a letter similar to this one, it calls for sacrifice of ones time, and it is a genuine service to the younger fancier, which as it is faithfully given should be faithfully received and effectively applied. We all have human frailties, young and old, and let us not forget that the object of racing pigeons is not to make money, but to beat all our competitors, this will never be done without some aggro. Only the blind will not see that it exists in every competitive sport. We all criticise, we all are subjected to criticism, accept that it goes with the territory in whatever one does. These argumentative old hands will still pour their hearts out if accepted and respected for what they are and what they may have to offer.

Yours in Sport Jack Barkel


Subject: Creators help

Hello Hennie, Although not wishing to make this a religious discussion and as seeing there are many Nationalities and Religions amongst our members, I must agree that I also bear witness regularly for good things that happen to me and where my prayers are answered. I also would like to discuss with you and share your views on how one can live out their Christianity being a pigeon fancier. I do feel however that this could be sent to fanciers off the list as many who are my friends are none Christians but worship the Lord in another faith or by another name. There are over 800 Muslims I believe racing pigeons in the Cape Province and I noticed they were conspicuous by their absence at the gambling machines at Sun City. I am a member of an organisation that because it has people from all walks of life, they have a rule that when together they never speak Religion or Politics. Now Hennie, back to your question about feeding in the off season. In the Southern Hemisphere, the off season is the Moulting season, so the Northern Hemisphere mixes do not apply and could be just as equally fatal if applied. I see to it, that the birds are let out for one hour every day, with a once per week bath when it is Sunny. Breakfast every morning, consists of dehusked sunflower as much as they can eat. The afternoon meal consists of hard fibrous grain with a high protein content with 10% peanuts. I also add to this my own supplement, as all grain mixes need supplements to bring them up to the required nutritional value. I never force pigeons to exercise during the advanced moult, they seem to have better days than others, so whether they fly during this period is a matter of their own choice. The moulting process starts in normal situations about sometime in December and ends towards the end of May. That is for South Africa and most of the Southern Hemisphere.

For England and most of the Northern Hemisphere it starts June/July and ends before December. I have no idea what is the situation close to the equator, I think in those climates it may be a steady round the year process, depending on how the hormone system is induced into action. Hennie I am leaving on Friday for Bloemfontein, but from the 12th to the 15th I will be at home, you are most welcome and I hope you can fit in at least one visit during those four days.

Yours in Sport, Jack Barkel


Subject: Re: SAPML 12 Jan 2001

Hello Val, I would like to respond to your question about shipping your bird to the race without his 10th flight. I think it is pretty risky business to send a bird to a race, even a short one with his 10th flight missing. After all, he did not come in a timely fashion from the first race missing his 10th flight and probably won't get any better on the second race while missing the flight. Keep the bird training, but wait for the flight to grow in at least 3/4 of the way before shipping him to a race, preferably all the way in. Remember the roll of the last flight feathers is to provide the driving force to propel the bird through the air. Missing these "propellers" could be lethal. I know of no material that will make the feather grow in faster. Usually takes about 5-6 weeks for the feather to grow back totally.

As far as jumping the birds huge distances. I feel that too much is made of this. Well conditioned birds can make huge jumps without affecting the bird. I routinely ship YBs that have been trained only 35-40 miles to 200 mile stations. After all, my first combine release is 185 miles. Once an OB has been to 200, there is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with shipping a well conditioned bird to the 500 or 600 mile stations. We are not trying to show them the way home. They must have it in the head and heart, and it is up to us to condition the bird well, making sure they have the necessary fuel reserves to make the flight. Once the bird is conditioned, has the fuel reserves, and he is smart enough to come home, the distance is of little importance. Keep the bird in your loft until it has a reasonable chance of making the flight.

Yours in the Sport, Mike Palanos

February 15, 2001

Subject: Re: How far is to far for a Y/B?

Hi Nico. We pair our breeders in Dec and raise YBs on darkening. We train them out to 45 miles. Our first race is 88 miles in July. And we race the YBs to 325 miles. We have friends in Canada who raise a strain of long distance birds and they race there YBs to 410 miles every year. But I would not feel comfortable sending ours that far. I think 300 to 350 is a good number for most YBs.

Steve on Linda's computer.
Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts


Subject: Re: FW: How far is to far for a Y/B?

Hello everyone I want to know if your young birds are bred in Jan' 2001 and you wanted to start race them in June (from 280km) when they are about 6 months old , How far is to far for these Y/B.

Thanks to all, Nico

Hello all and Nico.

In front of me I have the 2000 final results. Open Championship: a Young bird against old birds. SA 76266/99
Short distance Champion bird SA 2000 35578
Middle distance champion Bird SA 2000 9010
Long distance champion bird 76266/99
Club Champion bird SA 35578 2000.

I believe that with the right management, the lifting power of the wing can achieve twice the distance in any bird. I also know that these young birds will continue to perform as O/Bs.

1998 SAHWF 1146/98 First from Drie Susters in Club (900km)
1999 Same bird First from Colesberg in Fed (640km)
2000 Same bird First from B/Wes in Fed (1020km)
There are lots of these facts to be proved but I am not going to do it, Nico you have to prove for yourself and if you don't, then you will never know.

Keep well , Rassie


Subject: Treatment and so on

Hello everyone , I have been reading all posting with great enthusiasm and enjoyed every bit of it. I feel a bit left out not saying anything. Seems like everyone enjoyed themselves at the Olympiad and S/C.

To Nico
Last year was my first season. I had the same question. Mind you I had answer for it also. But, I had no choice but to fly them until the last race which was almost 700 KM. (I only had young birds.) They did not do too bad. This year is a different story. I plan to fly O/B scheme only. Thus racing the young birds only till the 400 mark. We also started at about 280km's. and I noticed that they fly ok up until the 400Km mark. I will then leave them till the next year and fly them as O/Bs. I've just taken that from the little experience I have and what I observed.

Although I must say as the races got longer I bugged Uncle Jack and Rassie a lot for advice. And at the end of the season I lost only 5 birds and that was with the 2 hard races we had of which one was a smash. As for treating during the racing season. I did it as little as possible. and if I did I would start on the Sunday and stop the Tuesday. Wednesday Vitamins and Thursday and Friday clean water. Some might differ on this, but it worked for me. As Uncle Jack mentioned Virkon S.... Good stuff And every so often vinegar in the water. I reckon bacteria and all the bad stuff will not live in hostile territory.

Ahhh..... I hope my penny worth of advice helps someone. And just as a matter of interest to everyone. I don't always have the confidence to say something. Uncle Jack asked me why I don't say anything on the list... I must admit that I felt a little intimidated now I don't. You guys are a great bunch!!!!!.

Cheers Regards Ranleigh C. G. Delport


Subject: Wings,

Hello Thumper and All,

Thumper asks the question.......
I would like to know which wings you would like to see on your pigeons. I mean, do you prefer to have a step ? and if so where should the step be ? and why do you prefer this wing as apposed to any other ? 

Thumper the answer is simple and revolves around facts based on aerodynamics. The class pigeon that can win over all distances has no step in the wing, today because the money in Belgium is on the short fast pigeon, this class is being bred out of the strains and being sacrificed for speed. Of course some of the better fanciers breed birds with no step in the wing and cut ten millimetres off the secondary flights for those birds that are earmarked for the sprint races. That is why, myself as an avid eye sign person look for these characteristics in my birds also, for many people can destroy the attributes of the pigeon through not taking all aspects into consideration. When doing eye sign evaluations and pairings for others I expect them to have already decided on what type of wing and body conformation they have decided to keep. Therefore their decision will not be criticised by me unless asked for, however when I come across a pigeon that I grade The Best or The Very Best, or better still and the ultimate, MY CHOICE, I then quickly run through, body, bone and wing structure, and tell them if any, which to correct, but this advice is verbal and not computerised. A pigeon with a step in the wing can win at 1000 kilo's on a one day race, if however it stretches into a two day race this type of bird although many miles ahead when it goes down to rest, will not be an early riser the next day. Because of the extra wing beat caused by these short aerolons (wing flaps),it has been subjected to extra stress on the muscle and it will be a very stiff pigeon on the second day. I read an article the other day from the USA, where the question was asked," are we not sacrificing class pigeons for speed pigeons? the answer very loudly from me is "YES""YES"YES". John Vance of the U.S.A wrote on the American PML, a great article about pigeons in Belgium, which if you look at their race records are champions., and how these race points mean very little also these organisations which are very small. This is the case in the U/K also, while at the Olympiad I discussed with Mr Ken Hanby past president of The National Flying Club (over 6000 members) about a certain fancier from his area selling pigeons in the States and advertising them as if they were some of the best in the U/K. It turned out from his explanation that the man does not and will not compete against the top boys but prefers the titles that look good from a much more mediocre type of competition winning mostly in the 1500 ypm plus velocities. In conclusion, all of us need to do much more homework when selecting birds for purchase or breeding, I have now devoted best part of my latter life to exposing these type of faults in both humans and our birds. It does not make me popular in some areas, but if it saves one fancier from buying a pig in a poke, it gives me the satisfaction of knowing, that I have made someone a little more the wiser.

Yours in Sport, Jack Barkel


Subject: Correction

Hello All, Yesterday in my answer to Erlo on treatments I made the following statement:.... Once per fortnight you need ten milligrams of Virkon "S" in three litres of drinking water for one day. Once again I have made a mistake it should have read five(5) Milligrams of Virkon "S" on ten(10)litres of drinking water for one day. I have all these dosage figures in my head, and just write without checking my own dosages. Not impressed with once again giving the incorrect dosage, I promise to be much more careful in future, this time I noticed the mistake myself. Please don't tell me I'm getting old!!!!!

Jack Barkel


Subject: RE: Treatment during racing Season and Pearl on Pearl

Hi Mr Barkel and All, Thanks for all the answers regarding the above topics. Surely I have learnt a lot !! I also want to say that there are many older fanciers that are nice and willing to help, if you just ask them, and we need to learn from their experiences. I just want to ask one more question.

About feeding on the transporter, you say you give them peanuts on Thursday night basketing. Is it on any distance ? Our Thursday night basketing starts from 360km.

Thanks your long and informative letter. My Father told me when I was about 7 years old. "Son, you can listen to everybody's advice, but practice those advice that sounds the most logical to you." And sure, I will definitely put your advice in practice.

Cheers Erlo


Subject: Re: 10Th flight and tailfeathers

Hi Thumper, I agree totally with you on this topic. Something I had experienced before, is that one of my birds' tailfeathers fell out (it was accidental). I wanted to race her in a special race almost 3 weeks from that. At the time of the race the feather was three quarter grown out. On the race day, she came in at a good time and flew a good position. I told one of the older fanciers about this and he gave the following explanation: "The bird's blood ciculation is very good when the feather is at that stage. This "improves" the birds performance." He also told me that some of the fanciers plug the 2 tail feathers (on the side) about 2 and a half weeks before an important race to improve the bird's performance. Is there anybody that can tell me if there is any truth in this ???

Cheers Erlo


Subject: RE: How far is to far for a Y/B?

Hi Nico and All, I try not to race my youngsters further than 500 km in the first year. You will definitely get the results on the 2nd, 3rd and following years. There are guys that get great results with youngsters on the longer races, especially on the warm races. They tell me that a young bird does not know how old he/she is, which can be true, but if you race them too hard, normally they are worthless the 2nd year and you can lose a good bird very quickly in the 2nd year. You must also know your type of pigeon/strain. Some of the strains like to be worked hard with. But the safest is not to work them too hard in the first year. From my experience, nothing can beat a good 2 year-old bird.

Cheers Erlo

February 16, 2001

Subject: RE: Correction

Hi Jack You are not getting older, just wiser...<g>

Terry Reimer


Subject: Wing

Hi Jack & all

As for answering your question whether you are getting old.... I am afraid so, there is no hope for you, if there was a "Senior Tour" in pigeons as there is in golf, you would be the chairman .....JUST KIDDING (hehe) Remember, you are only as old as you allow yourself to be. Thanks for the answer on the wing theorie, you to Erlo about the tail feathers would like to hear myself if anyone knows of that theorie.

Another question about the wing is the coverflights, the flights that cover the gap between the secondary flights and the body of the pigeon. Should this be closed when the wing is opened, because I think it will depend on the way the wing is opened. Some fanciers open the wing to the extremes and pull it towards them in some cases. Then you get the "open back" effect. is this good or not ?



Subject: How far ?

Hi Nico

I must agree with Erlo, Ranleigh (thanks for joining in) & Steve. I myself also fly my young birds untill about 500km, then I take out the ones that I think have shown some promise. The rest go on untill they can prove to me that they deserve a place in the loft, actually some of them get better the further they go. But like Rassie has said, you are going to have to work it out for yourself, maybe your youngsters can handle it better than ours.



Subject: The art of Preparation.

Reply to the question below from Erlo, About feeding on the transporters, you say you give them peanuts on Thursdaynight basketing. Is it on any distance ? Our Thursday night basketing starts from 360km.

Reply:....Erlo, if you feed peanuts on Friday basket, you have fed for two days, and Saturday you will be out of the clock. Any race that you basket for on a Thursday, will give a good result with peanuts, but I would give not more than one and a half cups to twenty pigeons under a distance of 650 kilometres. Remember from Saturday right through to Tuesday night, feed depurative to your racers, starting the build up on Wednesday morning. The greatest secret is how to stop a pigeon from peaking prematurely, any one can make a bird peak, that is easy. Remember to Carbo Dust your pigeons before you basket and avoid Malaria. Remember at the same time to wash your birds feet in warm water and apply a very light smear of Vaseline. These points make for a very comfortable two nights stay for your pigeon standing in one place with no exercise. It is pathetic the amount of pigeons that have to have the faeces scraped off the ring before it can be read on basket night, it surprises me that some of these people still manage to share in the prizes. Remember do not bath racers after a Monday, preferably Sunday. Although the powder down must be washed out and replenished it is also a deterrent against friction in flight, therefore the bird must have time to build up this new down powder to make it friction free between the wing feathers. It amazes me that people can write articles advising that one gives the birds a bath just before basket day, without giving any reason why or why not. I try Erlo to back up all my statements with valid reasons, one should not make statements without finding out and explaining the reason why. This will instil a humble confidence in all that one says and does. Theuns, by the time you get this I could be with you in Bloemfontein, to the rest I will be back home on Monday, maybe with some stories to tell about Bloemfontein, which I believe has eleven clubs and an average of twenty members each.

Yours in Sport , Jack Barkel


Subject: Treatment and so on
Ahhh..... I hope my penny worth of advice helps someone.
Ranleigh C. G. Delport

Ranleigh, you are on the right track, you now have experience of long distance racing and nobody can take it away from you. May you grow from strength to strength and good luck for the next season. Hello Jack, no you are not getting old, I saw how the young girls at Sun City stared at you. Looks like you have much more to teach us outside the world of pigeon racing. (just a joke Margaret)

Keep well Rassie


Subject: How far is too far?

Hi Guys

It's me again. Just to clarify why I prefer to race a Y/B to the 400 mark. I mentioned that last year was my first season. I got involved the season prior to that. I also noticed a few things like guys flying birds race after race. I learn from my mistakes and have the ability to learn from others mistakes too. Cruel what we do to our birds. Flying them like that. One thing I noticed is that the birdage gets less and less towards the end. Why??? There are less birds to basket. We fly them till they don't come back. and that only in the first year of the birds career.

WHY I ask myself again... Is winning prizes all that matters to us? Guys please stop me if I'm too much off the beat. I would also like to read some comments about this. This is why there are so many strays around. during the year. Sometimes long before the first race even started. Again I ask WHY???

One Saturday morning I met a fancier tossing his birds, and I asked him how many birds he was going to toss, and he said 150 WOW...... By the time the first race starts he'll be left with about 80 birds he said....... I asked myself what was going to happen with the other 70? I had to cull a few birds the year before last(they were sick) Uncle Jack knows about it. He helped me cure most of them. The ones that were too far off I had to kill. And I promise you, that it was stressful to me.(killing the sick birds) This year I had too cull a youngster that was misformed(legs grew skew) I had to do it and it still felt painful. I would like to know if someone can cull 70 birds and still sleep.

Or was he training them hard hoping that some of them stay away. Guys just imagine 70 stray birds. I over heard one guy say that if a stray lands up in his loft, he kills it. Then my heart goes out to the guys that bought birds for stock and accidentally let it out. And when he pleads for someone to return it or contact him if they caught it. Yeah right.......

Which brings me back to what I initially started off with. I'll rather race them too 400 and leave them for the O/B races the following year. The other day I watched a video of pigeons and, there was one bird mentioned that won a race as an 8 year old or something like that. I know athletes (humans) that performed at an older age and even won prizes. George Forman still knocked a few guys out just recently. Ridley Jacobs who only made the team at age 31 or so, still plays cricket for the West Indies at age 33 when most guys retire. South Africans would know, that Wally Hayward finished his last Comrades marathon in good time at the age of 80(I stand corrected on his age). I can go on and on naming people.

Now wouldn't it be nice to race our birds for longer rather than spoiling them before they can mature????? Think about it. I would like to hear some comments

Thank you Guys Regards Ranleigh C. G. Delport


Subject: Treatments


You wrote:>>What was said by Richard about building a natural imunity I think, is supported in the aforesaid article by Old Hand,Which appeared many ,many moons ago and which I think bares a lot of truth. CHEERS ....THEUNS.>>

Old Hand, certainly has a colorful way of writing. I've seen his books in the pigeon catalogs and I am going to order a copy this weekend. Thanks for the article.

Roger Ragain


Subject: Eucalyptus Oil

Hi guys & girls

Do not ask me where I have heard this, like Jack I must be getting old. What you do is, yuo put a bit of eucalyptus oil in small dish and place it somewhere in your loft where the birds can not get a hold of it. The oil has a strong fragrance and is commonly used to treat colds and flu if you have a tight chest. This is apparently good for the birds as they will not contract any respiratory problems, I had tried it then but can not remember why I stoped. One thing I can tell you is that it did wonders for my breathing when I went into the loft, you nasal cavities feel so fresh and open. Any comments on this, maybe someone has used it before.

Thumper (The oil sniffer)

February 17, 2001

Subject: Eucalyptus Oil

HI all,In reply to Thumpers question rgarding the above,I heard of afancier who after cleaning his loft he sprinkles a few drops around the loft.It sure smells good.He also claims the breathing success.I tried it a few times and it certainly cleared my nasal passage.I tried it in racing season and there were no changes in performance.I stopped after 3 weeks and still no changes in performance.Maybe my birds breathing was already 100 %.Personally I dont think it harms the pigeons and anything to improve breathing can only be good for our pigeons.Thats all folks.Cheers Lance in Durbs.


Subject: Eucalyptus Oil

Hi There

Hi there Thumper. I also use the oil thing. But I put a few drops on a piece of cloth and hang it where the birds can't reach. The smell is strong and you have to be careful not to put too much. If it smells so strong for you imagine how it might be for the birds. With my first bottle I got a little bit too liberal. I spilled a few drops on myself (Cleared my nose ok but the smell becomes irritating after a while. I also just read the last posting. I think I may have said to much.... I just felt that I had to let it out.

On preparation. Hey, All I can say is. When you wait for your birds on race day. A lot of things go through your mind. Like, "was my preparation sufficient?" Well I think I did not always have it spot on when selecting my team on basketing night. I still have to get the hang of it. I think we must also exercise caution and not act like our mothers used to on a cold winters day. Mine used to make me wear almost the entire wardrobe.... I think Val can bear me out on this one.(Joke)

Cheers Guys and gals..... Ranleigh


Subject: How far is too far?

Hello Ranleigh and hi everyone, This is my first for this list and hopefully not the last.. been doing a bit of lurking, in truth too busy building a new old bird loft and simply worn out, but must make the effort here in response to Ranleigh C. G. Delport. Ranleigh, keep asking those questions mate, this is 2001 and unfortunately much of the fraternity is still stuck back at 1901 and what I got to say here just goes straight over the top. The only thing I don't know at this stage is what is the extent of the SAPML readership? There are many Ranleigh C. G. Delport's in pigeon racing and we're working hard to turn this ship around, but in the meantime... loose lips sink ships as Linda reminded me the other day. This is my 50th year in the sport and been done that... but it all quickly changes perspective when one's sport comes under serious threat and it is marvellous how you can then work through solutions when the chips are down. Major solution here is to get all our birds home.. nothing else is as important as that single challenge. By way of explanation and starting back at 1992, in Western Australia, the government of the day set up an Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) to examine the obsolete 1920 Animal Welfare Act and charged AWAC with the task of bringing the Act up to a modern standard. Since that time I have been involved in both the monitoring of that committee and its deliberations, including the drafting of the Bill, and the moulding of pigeon racing in Western Australia so as to give us the best possible chance of survival in this modernisation push towards animal welfare. The current status is that AWAC's formulated new Animal Welfare Bill 1999 is now before the State Parliament. It contains huge implications on the continuating of the sport as we know it here. Once this Bill is enacted we will very likely need to obtain a license to race pigeons under the section dealing with "Animals used in Sport and Entertainment" and in order to be granted a license we need a Code of Practice in place (have had an operational Code in place since 1994) with its first covenant being Duty of Care towards the animals involved. Imagine the implications of Duty of Care with pigeon racing? Most our people have got no idea. The cruelty definition within the Bill centres on the word "Harm" which includes injury, pain and distress. Offences against animals include torture, mutilation, maliciously beating or wounding, abuse, torment, or otherwise ill treating the animal.. the use of prescribed inhumane devices, intentionally or recklessly poisoning the animal, performs any prescribed act to, or in relation to the animal, or in any way cause the animal unnecessary harm. This last part "or in any way cause the animal unnecessary harm" appears everywhere throughout the Bill. Further offences cover Transport, confinement in transit, the animal is worked, ridden or otherwise used when not fit to be used, or is overused, or in a manner that causes harm, or is likely to cause harm. See, I now know all this stuff off by heart.. studied it enough times to recite it backwards. The Bill also covers food, water, shelter, protection from elements, the act of abandonment whether at a place where normally kept or elsewhere.. the animal suffers harm which could be alleviated by taking of reasonable steps, suffers harm as a result of a prescribed act (such as pigeon racing) being carried out on or in relation to..... or is in any other way caused unnecessary harm. Penalties for non-compliance are also a major cause for concern. $1,000 for a first offence by an individual and increasing to $20,000 and imprisonment. For the organisation, the formula is five (5) times the individual penalty and leading to confiscation of property... and it gets worse, offices of the body corporate (the organisations) are held personally liable for any illegal act (against the animal welfare Act that is) undertaken by the organisation in their charge, whether directly involved in a decision leading to the offense or not. Imagine your Board of Control, which includes any officer concerned in, or taking part in the management of the organisation being saddled with that personal responsibility/ liability? You can almost hear the stampede from here... big changes, a lot of soul searching, lots of problem solving and all without help from the major areas of pigeon racing. Anyway, I don't want to labour the point any further.. but just to say yes, Ranleigh, there are parts of the pigeon racing world that are highly tuned into the same thoughts as espoused by yourself. And like yourself, I don't take great joy these days in hearing about excessive losses or reading ye olde worlde methods of pigeon racing in the full knowledge that both excesses should now really be left back in the 20th century. If it can happen in this backwaters of pigeon racing, rest assured it can happen anywhere and ought to be a wakeup call for everyone.. we are no longer protected by the historical closed shop.. and whether we realise it or not, this internet has hit the game like a broadside and we got nowhere to hide. Guys, promise, no more lectures, but, Ranleigh, if you want to see lots more pls just contact me off line. Just remember though, you're not alone..OK? Regards to all,

Leo Turley Perth Western Australia

PS1: Note my mention above re new loft in construction.... a commitment and confidence in the future of our sport here in WA, but a lot of compromise sits behind that commitment though. Notice also I said old bird loft... must have a place to house the old birds, better methods coming up, a lot less youngsters etc etc. PS2: How far is too far? 1000km (620mi) is maximum under ideal conditions IMHO.. beyond that losses become exponential and completely unacceptable by modern standards of animal welfare.

Leo Turley

February 19, 2001

Subject: Welcome

Hello Leo: Welcome to the list. It is very good to have you aboard. Your piece was very interesting in regards to the Animal welfare act going on in Australia. It seems abit odd that a huge country like Australia with so much landmass and few people (in relation to other countries etc.) would put together such an "Act". However I should think if Australia does it, other countries will follow in time. So your work in that respect perhaps one day will benefit us all. I hope your weather is better than what we have here 25 Degress F and worse yet they claim the winter is longer this year since the rodent (Ground-Hog) saw his shadow.

All the best, Jim Muckerman Missouri USA


Subject: Young birds

Ranleigh and All, You have touched on a subject which I feel very strongly about - the way we treat our Young birds. We spend mega Bucks or Rand on our breeding pairs, then treat their offspring as if they were disposable razors. We are all guilty of breeding far too many birds,the smaller the team the more individual attention you can give to them. Young bird racing is in my eyes "Education" for the future. I see no glory in rearing a huge team of Babies and then being left with a handful when racing starts. Young birds are the future of our Lofts and our ultimate sucess. Why are there so many strays Renleigh asked, it's all down to the fancy, we overestimate their capabilities, send long haul young birds all the race programmes when they should me stopped and allowed to mature. We send sprint birds to races longer than we would dream of sending our old birds. Many times I have heard people say "If there's anything about them they will come back"- they won;t come back if the are raced heavily in the moult or jumped long distances or liberated in conditions that are not condusive to racing. Many clubs crowd the YB's in shipping crates, more to a crate than old birds, a lot of flyers do not educate their young birds on how to find water in the shipping crates, it goes on and on. Of course there is always the hawk problem, a team of young birds can easily be scattered to all points of the compass if attacked by preditors, they just fly until they are exhausted, then they are lost. Over the past week or so, we are filling our Yb loft with our 2001 birds, what a wonderful sight, all these curious intelligent creature. learning to eat and drink on their own, cautiously eating out of our hands putting their complete faith and trust in us as their humans. Never let them down !! As you can tell - I love Young birds and Young bird racing!!!! It's our awards dinner tomorrow, so I will post a couple of shots to the list during the course of next week. Best regards to all



Subject: awards

Hi Everyone It was our awards dinner today and I am proud to tell you that Red Rose Lofts were awarded 11 first place, 7 second place, 3 third place 4 fourth place and 5 fifth place plus. Young Bird High average speed and Jake Spoelstra Memorial Trophy for Yaarling Derby, we flew with 9 widowhood cocks OB and 8 of those birds gained diplomas, including 5 wins. Yours in sport

Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts


Subject: Eucalyptus Oil

Hello Thumper and all, Basil Gossman from Cape Town (South Africa) mention the use of eucalyptus oil in his book, "The pigeon, The Pedigree, The Performance. According to Basil it will prevent breathing problems and also chase every creepy crawly out.



Subject: theories or statistics

Hello - I have been thinking a lot lately (off season) and a lot of questions came up . All this theories in this sport , did it came from people watching what happen in their lofts over the years and it actually are statistics ,or are they really scientific. For instance the Eye-sign specialists. If I go out to the Parade (Cape Town ) and catch myself a few Pigeons and I apply the rules I should get the same results as with my birds . If not there is something wrong with the theory . I have a good friend that says that you can only look a few mm down the throat and not at all from behind and then we want to tell how good the bird is. I personally believe in the performance of the bird in racing . If it can fly it is worthwhile to breed . If statistics show that the eyes are those of fliers it do not mean that the eye are right it only show that it have the same genes as the father, mothert or family .

just a thought alwyn


Subject: Eye Test

Hi guys & girls

There is a little test going on at  It`s more fun than anything else. See if you can pick the eyes. The results will be available later.


February 20, 2001

Subject: Recent Trip.

Hello All, This week I had an interesting trip to Bloemfontein, where I gave a lecture  on Friday evening, to a very receptive audience. Theuns van der Westhuizen guaranteed me 350 birds to evaluate. After the talk this figure started to rise rapidly. I worked from 7-00am to 8-00pm Saturday and Sunday evaluting and pairing birds, and had to leave some dissapointed fanciers behind who did not make the list in time. Theuns our own SAPML member and his friend Gerard Fourie and their wives, showed Margaret and I excellent hospitality, with a lovely Braai ( Barbeque) on the Friday evening for about one hundred guests. We stayed over with Theuns and his wife until Monday morning and they were top class hosts. Theuns has some things to tell you about this, as he calls it amazing experience he had when I started the demonstrations. He had to go to a conference in Port Elizabeth this morning and will probably write his letter to the SAPML when he arrives back home later this week. I enclose a couple of photo's that were under exposed because of bad light in the hall. One is of myself with my display photo's, and the other is from left to right, Gerard Fourie, myself in the middle and our own Theuns on the right.

Jack Barkel

All photos issued below is published at 1/4 the normal size, in order to see them at FULL size, please right-click on the respective photo and save as picture on your hard drive..Then view them with your image viewer program.


Subject: Protect pigeons from fanciers that can "cause them unnecessary harm".

Hi Leo Turley and Others, I agree totally with you that there must be "rules" and acts that protect pigeons from fanciers that can "cause them unnecessary harm". One thing that can be addressed is when not to liberate the birds when the weather is bad. The past two years in South Africa, especially during Septemeber, we had disastrous races. Isn't there a way that the communication with the weather bureau or any other institution can be improved to prevent big losses. (I think the return rate was under 10% in the Western Cape from a Springfontein (780km) last year about Sept 16th).There must be people or a committe that specifically monitors the weather and then take a decision: Liberate or NOT !! I know it is nice to win a hard race, but not if you lose 10-15 of your star birds,, then it is not worth it !!!!

Cheers Erlo


Subject: Congratulations Linda

Hi Linda Your achievements are definately something to write home about. I can only wish for a racing season like you guys had. Hope their are many more successfull seasons to come.



Subject: Eye Tests

Hello Thumper and All, I was also invited to take part in this little game, by some of my Canadian friends. However on examination of the photo's , I can see some good birds, even from these poor pic's. Unfortunately some of the pic's are very poor, and not one good enough for an accurate assessment. Therefore, I believe that no one will pick out the best and worst in the correct order. Most of you on this list know me, I love a challenge, but as I said in my previous letter, it is like playing the party game where one tries to pin the tail on the donkey whilst blind folded. Please go ahead and have your fun, but for me this is a very serious game, especially with all the adverse criticism it has attracted to itself. Science is about to make a big announcement about Genes, DNA, and eye pigmentation and correlation, so do not get carried away if no person gets this little interesting game correct. It will surprise me if any even achieve a good guess with the little they have to go on. I do these tests live as you know for a living, without any fear, this one, yes I am afraid to give a critique, my reputation is too valuable to throw away on some poor pictures. I hope all who phoned me realise, I am not afraid to walk through a field, but I will decline the offer to walk through it if it is riddled with booby traps that are not visible.

Jack Barkel


Subject: Theories or statistics and by Whom?.

Hello Alwyn, and All, Most of the theories came either from fanciers observations or from books, but let me say when you define your example by singling out eye sign, then I must not only disagree but also try to educate you. If you had stuck to ALL theories it would not have prompted a reply from me. Firstly, unless a person has had some professional tuition in iridology, they are not qualified to be regarded as an eye sign specialist or to attempt to disprove it's credibility, so most all eye sign people, are not even qualified to help you start any survey on the beaches and the church spires. They are as I call them, meddling self professed fakes. Most of these people you refer to, look at a pigeon and condemn or pass it without asking when it last had water? or is this bird on medication?. A bird that is thirsty or ill or on medication, will have dilated sphincter muscles in the eye, and no one and I mean no one can give you an evaluation under such conditions. Neither can they be accurate looking in the natural sunlight, as this also gives you variations in light refraction, depending on the brightness of the day and the suns position in the sky. BUT THEY ALL DO. The reason being, they are either self taught, or got their knowledge out of a book. I can pick out the fakes and the world is full of them, some of which have written on the subject and others have followed and copied from their writings. The person who evaluates the eyes of the photo's on the site that Thumper mentions are trying to pin the tail on the donkey blindfolded, and we have all at some time or another played that futile game. The photo's are amateur and misleading to say the least, so nobody that truly knows this business would even volunteer a guess at those photo's.

Then Alwyn you mention that if you select the birds off Cape Town Parade as an example, with good eye sign you should get the same results as you do with your own birds. Alwyn, here is what any iridologist and I do not mean self professed eye sign specialist will tell you, and this is what I meant at the beginning about trying to educate you. There is no bird that becomes a street pigeon or returns to living wild that does not undergo an eye change in a matter of a few weeks. They go bright and glassy and the Iris and pupil take over all the pigmentation in the eye. This is how one recognises that a pigeon has gone ferrule. The top geneticists and biologists in England are solving the genetic code and DNA, by the pigmentation in the eye. Do not be misled, Eye sign is a scientific fact known by another name, IRIDOLOGY. I only know of two others besides myself that tours constantly, and is put to the test regularly. When I speak to another human being, I concentrate on looking at that person in the region of their nose and mouth, for to look into the eyes I can look into the brain capacity and health in next to no time. This is an invasion of their privacy and is done all the time by Homeopaths, so Alwyn let me assure you that I have only found another two in the pigeon world ( there may be More) that are as you ask, REALLY SCIENTIFIC, and I advise you not to challenge we three that do it strictly for cash, you will lose more than your shirt. I evaluated 400 racing pigeons on Saturday and 411 on Sunday.The City was Bloemfontein, I even selected the pigeon that came fourth at Sun City Million Dollar Race, winning R400,000 for Jacque Parsons. Distances they could fly or breed or where they were not up to scratch, every top pigeon whose record was known as a breeder or a racer was given an in depth correct critique, no mistakes and none missed out. That is why I call myself the pigeon iridologist,not an eye sign specialist or expert, as I do not want to be classed with the so called eye sign meddlers that have given the art a bad name. This was not a public show , but I still had sixty plus witnesses that just shook their heads and said majic, majic. I will be doing this for Ten Days in June at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December Month in the USA, and January in the U/K. Does this point to there being something wrong with the theory as you say, it all depends who's or what theory you are referring to. I hope the pilot who flies me out to these far off places is a fully trained professional, and not a one that learned out of a book or is self trained. This latter type can disprove all theories when they crash, if they live to tell the tale.

In conclusion, I have no axe to grind with any disbelievers of any thing known to science,and I have many friends who fall into one of these catagories, but will defend what I do successfully for a living against all those who may create the impression that I am a fake, as it is my vocation and not private avocation. Once again in defence of Modern Science and the Art Of Iridology.

Jack Barkel


Subject: Eucalyptus and Citronella

Hello Nico and All, About two years ago I gave a write up to the American PML about using Eucalyptus Oil and Citronella Oil combined. It is nothing new and I have advocated it and used it for years. You pour equal amounts of both in a small container in which you have placed a small piece of sponge. Put some holes in the lid of the container, and you and your pigeons will be free of breathing problems and mosquitoes. I keep a small tin with a sponge on my bedside table and my breathing is perfect at all times. I received letters from all over the world when this was published, and it is only an old recipe to aid asthma sufferers. Yes it is good, no it does not belong to I would think any living fancier today,being one of the old gypsy remedies.

Yours in Sport, Jack Barkel


Subject: Congratulations.

Linda wrote.
Hi Everyone It was our awards dinner today and I am proud to tell you that Red Rose Lofts were awarded 11 first place, 7 second place, 3 third place 4 fourth place and 5 fifth place plus. Young Bird High average speed and Jake Spoelstra Memorial Trophy for Yaarling Derby, we flew with 9 widowhood cocks OB and 8 of those birds gained diplomas, including 5 wins.

Hello Linda, CONGRATULATIONS, that is a performance that not only shows good pigeons , but two top class jockeys as they say in South Africa. Good pigeon managment goes a long way towards success. I think the list would like to hear your training programme, when these performances were being achieved. This way the fancier will be able to see, what sacrifices are made to achieve these goals. I said in a previous posting that your neighbours would have to watch out for the Joneli's. The writing was on the wall, KEEP IT UP.

Yours in Sport Jack Barkel


Subject: Hello Leo and welcome

Hi Leo and everyone

I want to welcome Leo on this list. I certainly did not expect any response from you. I thought the list only consisted of the few regulars like Linda Val Jack Thumper and so forth. Hell..... makes me wonder who's still lurking out there. I am honored to see that there are guys like yourself that shares my sentiments. I know there are people out there that are cruel to animals in general but do not know better. It is when you know very well it's wrong and you still do it, that sends me in a spin. I know that in your country there are laws and restrictions that in as far as animals and livestock are concerned. There was a big discussion by commentators during the Sydney Olympic games regarding the show jumpers that could not take there own horses in the country. Enough said of that. I think we can certainly learn a few things from you guys. I cannot say too much on the matter I only wrote of what I observed and I am happy to see I'm not alone. I'm new to the sport and I'm sure someone would remind me of that. (you know what I mean) Leo, you probably noticed that our friend Manfred don't post E-mail addresses but just names. (I think it's good Manfred) I would have loved to put your address to my list. Also to contact you private as suggested in your posting. As a matter of interest I've seen your lofts on a webpage somewhere on the net( don't ask me where) and wouldn't mind a floor plan of it. My birds could do with a well planned and constructed loft. I have a long way to go still. I just have to build up some guts and post a picture of my Lofts.

To Linda Congratulations...

I love my birds especially at weaning time. I spend hours watching them and how they develop their own characters fighting for perches. It is amazing how we sometimes take them for granted. Wonderful creatures they are for sure. Guys I can go on and on but I think I've said my share.

Bye for now Ranleigh


Subject: Fw: HELP!

Please help this fancier in his unfortunate problem. 'I am relativley new to flying pigeons. I have a loft with approx 30 pigeons. Over the past 2 or 3 days, 4 have died. The droppings are green and slimy but mainly water, they are huddled up with eyes mostly closed. Can you help or point me in the right direction? My loft is approx 12 x 6 x 8 ft and well venitilated. I am in the process of building a new, larger loft. Most of the birds are last years youngsters. I have kept pigeons in the past but not seriously, and have recently retired and started again last year with a serious view to race them eventually. They are fed on "Versele-Laga" best all round mix as a basic. I am from the UK (London).' Please Help this fancier please send all private mailings concerning this issue to me:

February 21, 2001

Subject: Re: SAPML

Hi Oom Jack and all I never tried to pick a fight . all I mean was that the DNA that makes up a good bird do not change and if the theory can not pick it up in a parade bird there is something wrong with the theory. But as you have stated you are a iridologist (spelling ?) and this is a qualifiction that you studied for and there are rules to be followed and you should be able to predict with 90% or more accuracy the outcome because that is science.

Yours in sport  alwyn bester


Hello Erlo,

Yes, most definately. Good weather monitoring is the key to successful racing. Problem presents in two parts a) our own pigeon fancier liberators are not succifiently skilled, in most cases, to correctly interpret the mass of meteorological data now available on internet and b) Meteorologists are not sufficiently aware of what weather conditions are unsatisfactory for pigeon racing. We could also throw in c) to cover those armchair fanciers that are never happy unless the birds have had a punishing work out.. sort 'em out stuff and we need to set the parameters on how much "sorting out" is legitimate.. and what's excessive. Anyway, solution is to bring them both parties together, everyone singing off the same sheet of music, and develop a specification that sets out unsatisfactory conditions that we all know affects pigeons and the collective race and then let the Meteorologist call the shot against what he/she can read in the specification and the climatic data being studied... same as they do for the light aircraft industry. I would have to assume that some if not many of my South African friends have climatic conditions similar to the southwest of West Aust.. ie the Roaring Forties system.. a fairly unique weather pattern made up of cold fronts with a leading NW edge and a SW tail...leading edge and trailing canopy that can pass over in the space of 15 minutes and up to about 5 - 7 years ago without much warning or data on intensity etc etc.. very damaging to pigeon racing. Two things.. I don't know whether SAPML permits attachments, but I will try and attach a sample race specification to give an idea and secondly, for those that are interested here is the URL of my Fed's website and if one was to click onto the weather section it will give a good rundown of the information available  and the same level of information should be available in most regions. Regards to all,

Leo Turley Perth Western Australia





The central aim of a race specification is to ensure that pigeons are given every opportunity to return safely from their races. To achieve this aim, there is a need to identify the atmospheric boundary conditions that are likely to place the pigeons under undue stress and jeopardise their chance of returning home. These identified boundary conditions form a parameter, within which the personnel responsible for race releases are legally permitted to act.


A specification is drawn up to describe the characteristics of each race station, together with the expected line of flight. Where possible, the line of flight shall also be diagramatically presented to show the segments of each race route, under varying conditions, and allow forecasters and race managers to better base their release decision.


Atmospheric conditions may be benign, helpful, adverse or dangerous.


Benign. No known effect on the ability of pigeons to navigate and negotiate the terrain.

Helpful. Recognised as an aid towards pigeons making home in an expeditious manner.

Adverse. A condition which is stressful for pigeons and, when prolonged, may be termed abusive.

Dangerous. A condition which is life threatening to pigeons, through a propensity to cause loss of direction, failure to proceed, or penetrate, through the atmospheric conditions, possible confusion from overshooting, the culmination of a series of failures to make home. See also abusive.

Critical Hours The calculated time between liberation and for two hours after the planned arrival of the first pigeons.

Abusive ill treatment of pigeons, as in causing unnecessary pain or suffering. Clause 2.1 Code of Practice, Pigeon Keeping and Pigeon racing.


A following-wind, up to 10 - 15 knots is helpful, but above 20 knots is dangerous.

A head-wind, in excess of 15 knots is adverse. Wind, in excess of 20 knots, from any direction, is dangerous and as a head-wind is also abusive.

A high pressure system, with moderate winds up to 5 - 8 knots, in any direction, is benign.

Cyclonic frontal systems, encroaching into the flight path, during the critical hours, is dangerous.

Stormy weather, anywhere, on the flight path, during the critical hours, is dangerous.

Cloud cover, along the flight path, and not associated with rain, is benign.

Clearing rain, along the flight path, and not accompanied by cyclonic frontal systems, is benign.

A heat trough, along the flight path, accompanied by Relative Humidity in excess of 80%, is adverse.

Temperature, along the flight path, below 00C and up to 250C, (Western Australia) is benign.

Temperature, along the flight path, in excess of 250C, (Western Australia) between the critical hours is adverse, except under a following-wind condition, see 1 above.

Temperature, along the flight path, in excess of 280C, (Western Australia) between the critical hours, is dangerous.

Fog, at the release site, or within 50 kilometres of the site, in the homeward direction, at time of liberation, is dangerous.

Rain. Pigeons are not permitted to be released into rain at the release site.


Where an adverse, dangerous or abusive condition is detected, or expected to occur, during the Critical Hours, the pigeons shall not be released. The order remains in force, until the condition abates, or until the order is overtaken by the prescribed holdover conditions as set out in clause 6.4 Race delays and holdovers, the Code of Practice Pigeon Keeping and Pigeon Racing published May 1994.


Overlander is the name of the road house situated some 650 air kilometres from Perth on the Coastal Highway and is located at the junction of the Shark Bay nature reserve turnoff. Pigeon races from this release site are held from late August and September. The pigeons are normally released at 6.30am and the leaders will be expected to arrive in Perth from between 1.15pm and 5.45pm, depending on weather conditions. The critical hours for the Overlander race are therefore between 6.30am and 5.45pm on day of liberation.


Subject: Iridology versus Eye Sign

Hello Alwyn, Yes, I know your letter was quite peaceful, and that there was no intention of picking a fight. I on my part, in replying was only defending a much proved scientific fact, that like in your article suggests it may be a disproved theory. As with medication of pigeons, we have an abundance of self made and appointed unqualified vets, with little or no veterinary back ground, applying medication like it is going out of fashion, and completely denuding the pigeons of any self immunity to illnesses but building up strong immunities to medication. We have the wing theorists that know very little about the contours of the wing, but even write about it. We have body theorists that know very little about bone structure or the function and position of the humorous bone, or long deep keels, in contrast to short apple bodied pigeons. They know what they prefer and tell you which you must keep, but never give the reason why. We have muscle theorists that show you where and how to build and create big muscle, when all the time we do not need big muscle, put the knowledge of how to create flexible muscle. When it all goes horribly wrong for them, instead of giving it up as their own personal failure, and remaining silent, they become authorities on condemnation of the subject. I will give you an example, I with a business colleague bough a half share in an aeroplane, I always wanted to fly, anyway I had three airborne lessons when I sold out my share fully realising that I would probably kill myself before I ever mastered the art. I also at the age of seven was given a violin and although from a professional family who had mastered the art I could make very little headway with this instrument. At the age of eight I went to the local colliery brass band to see if they would let me try to play an instrument. The bandmaster gave me a cornet to try and blow. I immediately without ever handling a brass instrument before played a hymn on the instrument. By the age of eighteen I was a much sort after cornetist in the area, playing on radio etc. Yet as I say, as a violinist I was an utter failure. The moral of the story is, if you fail, do not blame the system, without the correct tuition/education of any subject and without the capabilities to master that subject one will fail. I do not condemn aeroplanes and the theory of flight because I could not succeed to fly one of those things. Neither will I condemn any of the theories that have not been adequately disproved but condemned by many. Many of us, would rather condemn or criticise an aspect of our sport, than do a thorough study of it's origin, the source and knowledge of the subject by the people that condemned it. There have been many tests on the subject, why do they say when attacking the purveyor of the eye sign subject, "only let he or she look at the eye". I say!!!! Let the challenger and myself look at all aspects of the pigeon including the eye, let that challenger put up a reasonable amount of cash. Let that person and myself go on stage with a loft of well known performers. Let us both look at these birds unknown to both of us, each writes down the capabilities of breeding , distance and speed or lack of. We then go to the proven records of these birds and the winner takes all, but remember the challenger must be one who has attempted to disproved the theory of the eye. I have no interest in going up against another reputable colleague who has mastered the art. I would rather pool my recourses with a fellow believer, than attempt to prove I was better at it than they are. You see Alwyn in closing, my only aim is to make you aware that there are those amongst us that have and will when given the chance instil a humble confidence in those, to what we know and believe to be true. It is a proven scientific fact that DNA is NOT UNCHANGEABLE, in fact the quickest medication I know of to change DNA for the worst or kill fertility altogether is Bytril. I believe that soon because of it's abuse, again by amateurs, it will be taken off the market completely, or will only be available on prescription. All these abuses are visible in the eye as they take effect, the pigmentation rapidly changing colour. All brain signals such as pain, joy, sadness,anger,evil, jealousy, intelligence, vitality, sicknesses, bones that have been broken, insanity. It is all there for those who wish to learn and believe. Alwyn, without your letter , I could not have got this off my chest, as I said it is my job, and I must defend any suggestions that it may be a myth with all the proofs I have in defence. To be challenged to a verbal debate by those condemning the subject, I do ask people onto the stage, I do ask questions that probes the depth of the knowledge of my opponent, which I promptly expose with scientific facts. The best have lasted about fifteen minutes without going out of control or retiring. This would not be possible if they had extensive knowledge of the subject they try to condemn. I do not challenge those who do not believe people have walked on the moon. It is not my vocation so it does not matter, I only challenge those that wish to condemn what I do for a living, otherwise I am not bothered what anyone else wishes to believe in, that is there prerogative.

Yours in Sport, Jack Barkel.


Subject: RE: Theories or statistics and by Whom?.

Hi Jack and All, I don't know if anyone of you watched "Voorblad" on M-Net last night. There was a a guy, an Iridologist, who can tell what is wrong with a person (a patient), by just looking to certain signs or marks in the eye. He can almost tell anything. It was the first time I saw something like this and it was amazing. Jack, I am quite sure that we can all beleive what you are telling us about the eye and what you sees in it. As you said, only if you are educated to look into a person/pigeons' eyes, then you can really give educated comments on the eyes. I also uses the eye (and I think many other fanciers also do it) to determine a bird's condition. There are many things I like to see in a pigeon's eye, but am I looking for the correct things ?? , I don't know. So, Jack, this is the part where we can learn and take to heart from what you are telling us.

Enjoy the day. Cheers Erlo


Subject: Thankyou

Hi Guys Thanks so much for your kind and generous comments they were very much appreciated. When i get 1/2 hour to spare I will run through our training methods, I feel some will raise an eyebrow or two, especially my use of the big red flag. We let our widowhood team out for the first time yesterday from their new loft, all except three managed to trap in well, these three hens came in first thing this morning. This afternoon, we decided it was "Heart attack time" - in other words give the YB's their first open loft, this was brought to an abrupt end, when we spotted two red tail hawks circling over the loft., Maybe Tomorrow !!!!!

Until later Bests Linda Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts


Subject: Bird Training

Uncle Jack and All. Jack has asked us to tell a little about our training methods and Linda asked me if I would take this one on. I will start with the Young Birds as our old bird training is just the basic Widowhood Method. When the squeakers are about 14 days old we start feeding the parents in the nest box. This way the young watch them eat and soon are out of the nest eating with them. We wean the young at about 25 days, as soon as they are feathered under the wings. Our YB loft is 6 feet by 12 feet with about 90 perches. We will fly about 70 YBs this year. The YB loft is equipped with shutters for darkening and fans for ventilation. We scrape twice a day and feed twice a day at first. We always ring a bell when feeding as a training aid and always have the food on the floor before we call them in. This way they learn that when they hear the bell they know food is already down. We feed on the floor as we enjoy sitting with the birds and hand feeding them. We feed this way in all our lofts. We use "Bio Mas" very religiously as our only food and water additive and since using it have had no illness at all. It has made us a believer. Once the YBs are out flying we drop to one feeding a day. We feed about 25% pellets and about 75% grains with a 14% protein content. We also add additional peas to the mix. Our 12 foot loft has a 12 foot aviary on the front and from day one the birds can come and go in and out of the aviary. They go in and out of the same hole that is the trap for racing. When we fly the birds all we do is hinge the aviary front down and away they go. This way they never have to learn a different route for racing. I see so many lofts with different exits and entry points for the aviary or for racing and I think this is stupid. Why subject them to all that confusion. This year we put 28 birds from the first round in the YB loft all at the same time. After about 2 weeks we start loft flying every day. Only feeding once a day now. Still on natural light. When the second round are weaned we will stop loft flying for a week or so and go to 2 feedings a day until we start loft flying again. I think it's important for the young to get plenty of food for good developement. When we feed wk keep giving them as much food as they want in small hand fulls until about half have quit eating and then no more. When feeding the first cup or so will be pellets and then the grain. After the second round has had a week or two in the loft and aviary we start loft flying again and go back to one feeding a day. This gives the second roung a chance to get setteled before the're let out. We like to loft fly first thing in the morning as this works with our darkening system and my work schedule. At this time the birds are still on natural light. AND the wicked, evil flag lady has not been armed yet. I feel it's very important to get the birds flying well before going on darkening as the molt will tend to slow there flying down. Once the YB team,(both rounds) have been loft flying for a week or so Linda starts flag training. Our birds are only allowed in the air or in the loft. They can't land on the roof because of it's 15/12 pitch. The minute they try to land on the ground Linda chases them with the flag shouting obscenities in her "Queens Proper Language." It's very important to get the language right. It's a lot of work at first, those little devils will keep you running. But once they're trained they won't come down until the flag drops and when they hear the bell dive straight for the trap. This year every race our birds trapped so well and so fast we never had time to ring the bell. Once the birds start showing signs of going into a molt they go on darkening. I am a firm believer they need to see either the sun up or the sunset. I don't like to train late in the day so our birds see the sunup. When I get home from work at 7 am they are let out for loft flying and then called in to eat. They get 7 hours of light and then the shutters come down. We will keep them on darkening until a couple of weeks before the first race and then they go on 16 hours of light a day. OK to recap what I feel is important is.  #1 A lot of interaction with them. Hand feeding, spending as much time with them as you can. You want them to be comfortable with you. Some time just for the fun of it go in the loft and sit down on the floor and just sit there. With in a few minutes you will be covered with curious little creatures. Picking at your buttons and watch, your finger nails, pulling on your hair, they will be crawling all over you just exploring. (Then go take a shower). #2 only 1 hole in and out. The same hole for everything. #3 Having food down for them when you call them in. #4 Letting them see the sun come up and morning training. #5 Flag training. To be continued.

Steve Joneli Red Rose Lofts


Subject: YB Training part 2

OK our first round was weaned in February and the second round in March. It's now The end of May. They are still on darkening. They are loft flying every day and routing well. First thing in the morning. Sometimes flying for 2 or 3 hours. They are most of the way through the molt and we still feeding extra peas for good feather growth. There will be a time in the molt when they will not want to fly.We found adding 25% barley to the feed will get them going better. They are flag trained and stay up until the flag comes down. As long as the flag is up in the holder they will stay up. But you have to watch them. If it's hot or when they come back from routing and are circling close to the loft wanting to come in drop the flag and call them in. Don't abuse your power with the flag. Ok here we go with road training. Our first race is the middle of July and we like to be road training by the first of June. The first thing to do is basket train. We borrow a shipping basket or 3 from the club and for 3 days straight the birds are housed in the shipping baskets. Day one. As soon as they are called in and fed they are put in shipping baskets with attached waterers. They are kept in the shipping baskets all night and morning of day 2 released from the shipping baskets and allowed to fly straight to the loft and trap in for food. Now at this time they will come into straight safflower. They like safflower, it's like candy and it's good for them. And if on long training tosses if some birds trap a few minutes late they still get a treat and not the junk left over. Once they all get their treat they are fed the regular mixture. From this time on they will always come home to safflower. They will learn when they go in the shipping basket there will be "Candy" waiting for them upon their arrival. For 3 days they fly from the shipping baskets to the loft, eat, and then right away put back into the shipping baskets. We are training the birds to know where the waterers are so when they go to the races they will get plenty to drink in the shipping baskets. And will fight off the birds that haven't been basket trained. We have watched our birds in the training baskets shipping for a race and they will stay tward the end with the wateres. On my Mazda pick up I have made a carrier that has 4 compartments, 2 opening to each side. These are roughly the same size as our club shipping baskets. With a water trough running down the center. June 1st we start road training. First toss from 1/2 mile. I like to go pretty slow. I usually do 2 or 3 tosses from one spot before moving on. We always divide the team into the 4 baskets and ALWAYS only toss 1 basket at first. I will park the truck and give the birds 15 minutes to get located and then open 1 basket. Linda will be home and when the first group arrives she will call me on the cell phone and I will then release the other 3 baskets. Now the reason we do this if the first basket (25%) have trouble getting home for some reason I will just bring the rest home and toss from the driveway. This way incase of a smash or hawk attack you will never lose more then say half your first basket. As the tosses get longer it's a lot of waiting for me for her to call but this system really cuts down on the losses. All of our tosses are along line of flight. And since our birds tend to hug the foothills on the way home from a race I toss along the foothills. I will go 2 or 3 tosses from each spot and not jump them until they are coming good. Also on the first short tosses I will train 2 or 3 times a day. I go from 1/2 mile to 1 1/2 mile to 2 1/2 miles then to 6 miles then 16 miles then 25, 35, and 45 miles. These steps are because of good tossing locations. Once again I always start out with only 1 basket and wait for Linda's call before releasing the other baskets. Also at the 16 mile spot I will do 20 bird tosses and 10 bird tosses. At the 45 mile spot I will do 20, 10, and 5 bird tosses. Makes for a very long day. Again the birds always come home to safflower. We never train our birds with other peoples birds. We want our birds to be really familiar with their rout home and not get confused or misled by other peoples birds breaking at different spots. The birds are flown every day. On bad weather days such as our Wash. rain they are loft flown and kept out for 2 to 3 hours. This is to build endurance. Also in Wash it rains a lot and they have to get used to flying in the rain. 7 days a month I work day shift and can't road train so Linda loft fys them for 2 to 3 hours on these days. About 2 weeks before the first race they go off darkening and onto 16 hours of light a day. This will hold off the wing molt. Our first race is 88 miles, then 2-125 mile races, then 188, 235, 325, 235, and 325. Once we start racing the birds are rested on Sunday, Short toss or loft flown on Mon, and Tue. 45 mile toss on Wed. Loft flown or short toss on Thur. No fly on Fri. Fri is shipping day for a Sat race. Once we start racing we feed a light to heavy ratio dunning the week using Nigel's secret method. Still using Bio Mas on the food and in the water. We always "Snot" them before shipping.  Young Bird flying is a lot of work. You have to love it and love your birds. I will work a 12 hour night, get home at 7 AM then spend sometimes 3 or 4 hours on training tosses before I can get to bed. But when you win the concourse by 10 minutes and the club by 59 minutes or take the first 9 places with a 10 bird drop from 188 miles it's all worth it. I have tried to be as complete as I could with out being boring. Please feel free to ask us any additional questions you might have. And thanks for listening.

Steve Joneli Red Rose Lofts

February 22, 2001

Subject: Alwyn

Hi Alwyn Everyone else How are you guys. Have been very busy yesterday. I would like to say to Alwyn Bester don't worry. It was and observation on your part. Fair enough, you asked a question had me thinking for a minute. I read Jack's reply on that question. I'm sure it wasn't meant the way you read it. I see it as an enthusiastic reply from him. I've been in Jack's company a couple of times and I could just imagine how he would have answered you in person. The uncle is very energetic when it comes to pigeons. I've noticed that you learn about a few other thing when asking him a one question. Jack..! nice to see you back. I assume you enjoyed your trip to Mangahung(I think that's what they call Bloemfontein).

To Leo Turley

A very handy piece of info you posted. I'm sure We could use something like this. The climatologists gives predictions 3 days in advance if I'm not mistaken. I might be wrong but, I think these guys are accessible to the public. (so much so for the Organizations that are to large extent reliant on weather forecasts) In this day and age I don't think it would take that long if there is consultation between weather station club chairman and liberator to asses the situation before hand. Birds are probably only released 15 to 30 mins after sun up. I reckon that, that is ample time for consultation and making a decision on whether to liberate or not. Last years incident should be a lesson to us. For those of you who do not know. There was a few people that went around collecting birds not far from the liberation point as they(the birds) went down in bad weather. Many birds were lost that weekend. And up until today I still think that they did not get the recognition they deserve for their actions. I might not know but if they did get any recognition that I would say they deserve it.

As for training.

I would just like to mention that I found with training I only really had to force them up until 15 minutes. The birds would gradually increase their flying time on their own. The odd one will land immediately after 15 minutes but would get the message after a few sessions. (I hope this year would be the same.) My daughter has 2 dogs. occasionally they get the odd one that has the nerve to fool around outside.(I will not compromise the relationship I have with my daughter as the dogs were there long before the pigeons as she says. She's only 8 years old). There is not much I can do about this matter. The pigeons also get the idea after 1 or 2 slained friends. That is why I can toss my birds with confidence on my way to work and confirm arrival time of the birds by phoning home. There is no mucking around unless I am around. to watch. Thanks guys and 3 cheers for everyone.

PS.... No child grows up without dreaming of becoming successful. at age 32 I am still dreaming.....(Wish me luck)

Regards Ranleigh


Subject: YB Training 3

This is a picture of our YB loft with the aviary front closed. Notice the hole or trap where they go in and out is open in this picture.

Steve Joneli Red Rose Lofts

All photos issued below is published at 1/4 the normal size, in order to see them at FULL size, please right-click on the respective photo and save as picture on your hard drive..Then view them with your image viewer program.


Subject: YB Training 4

This is a picture of the aviary front open and our little champions taking to the air. Notice in this picture the trap is closed

Steve Joneli Red Rose Lofts

All photos issued below is published at 1/4 the normal size, in order to see them at FULL size, please right-click on the respective photo and save as picture on your hard drive..Then view them with your image viewer program.


Subject: YB training 5

This is just a fun picture with Linda, Abigail, and our YB team. (Linda is the one in the blue Jacket) This is the first time our YBs were let out. That's why the're on the ground. A couple more times out and the flag training will start and they won't be allowed to land on the ground.

Steve Joneli Red Rose Lofts

All photos issued below is published at 1/4 the normal size, in order to see them at FULL size, please right-click on the respective photo and save as picture on your hard drive..Then view them with your image viewer program.


Subject: Iridology versus Eye Sign

Hello Alwyn,

Yes, I know your letter was quite peaceful, and that there was no intentionof picking a fight.I on my part, in replying was only defending a much proved scientific fact,that like in your article suggests it may be a disproved theory.


Hello Jack, I'm not really aware here of the background for your challenge, but I'm well aware that one should never discuss politics, religeon or eyesign in open company and personally I'm anti all three. I just pick up on your comment "defending a much proved scientific fact" and question whether this relates to Iridology or eyesign or both. Or what is the scientific fact being defended? I always consider myself a both-feet-on-the-ground sort of person and place great store in proven performance.. and certainly scientific fact.. I feel that when we're in the realm of theory, and I believe Iridology and eyesign both fall within that scope, they should be supported by proper statistical analysis.. but I must say that the sampling required is enormous and way out of the scope of the everyday pigeon fancier, and I don't believe anyone has ever attempted proper statistical analysis to investigate pigeon racing theory. On the other hand, performance can and is analysed.. is very easy to understand... very easy for the layman to take on board... simply if it doesn't perform.. get rid of it! Jack, I'm new to the SAPML and no doubt striking a few sacred cows here, but I'm well aware of the trap new fanciers fall into if they don't place performance as their No.1 criteria. All the rest can be supportive, but as long as they don't lose sight of that first principle. Just need to add here that I have family in the horse racing business too and any of these hayburners can send you broke if you take your eye off the No.1 criteria.. performance, which pays the bills. I too am not looking for a fight.. just an opposing opinion.


February 23, 2001

Subject: Y/B Training

Hi Steve & Linda
I can see Linda is the clever one, making you type all of that info about your training methods.It is really interesting, do you feed your youngsters twice a day when they are road training ?



Subject: Facts or not

snip - company and personally I'm anti all three. I just pick up on your comment "defending a much proved scientific fact" and question whether this relates to Iridology or eyesign or both. Or what is the scientific fact being defended? I always consider myself a both-feet-on-the-ground sort of person and place great store in proven performance.. and certainly scientific fact.. - snip

Hello Leo And others

The way I interpret a scientific fact by example If I drop a stone from 3 feet It is a scientific proven fact that it will fall to the ground. I can go further, if anybody else are " teached to do that " he will get the same results and it can be done everywhere on earth the outcome will be the same. So this scientifically proven fact can be learned by anybody and the result will be the same. No can I say on this list it is a scientifically

proven fact (DNA) that if I take the best fliers in my loft and breed from them the chances are 90% ? better to get good racers compared to breeding with my parade specials.As proof for making this assumption I shall put forward , Go to any fancier and ask him what families he races and you will find that he got Hysken van Riels , Putteries, Stassards , Besters<hehe> and many more proven old names(I did once ask the question when are you allowed to call your birds your name but there were no response)

I think that this is a scientifically proven fact in the pigeon sport."good pigeon begets good pigeons" Then ,and this is not aimed at anybody , it is very interesting that these so called experts can always class a known big fanciers birds and always tell you how well the offspring's did in the one or two big races only once . You never hear about the beginner that bought the right stuff on his or her expertise and were classed and bred by his scientifically method's and all the sure wins , And VERY FEW of them are prepared to give a guarantee ( out of this ten birds you will fly 8 first positions in your club or you get your money back) that is what I find strange. And that is why there are more questions than answers . Very few people will try to disprove my stone theory .Hope this will help in explaining

Alwyn Bester It is better to ask then to stay in the dark forever.


Subject: Barkel in Bloemfontein

Hi to you all

I am back from P.E. As you know, Jack was in Bloem over the past weekend. On his arrival ,my two OPAL JANSSEN'S were proudly presented to me, with the old man insisting that I take them free of charge.Gerrit Fourie who assisted with the arrangements was also presented with a pair ,quite unexpectedly ( Thanks uncle Jack ) What was initially intended to have been a brief one day visit ,where a few fanciers birds were to be classed, changed dramatically and ended up in Jack having to stay over until Monday morning ,having classed in excess of 800 pigeons, including birds of some of our top local fanciers. We arranged with the Fed. management to extend the invitation to all Fed members, to attend the lecture which was scheduled for Friday evening. A total of 65 fanciers eventually pitched up, which was many more than what I had expected. The attendees included a number of new comers as well as some of the local top guns. I must admit that to me this was great but to Jack must have been a little intimidating. But as Jack is an experienced "talker" I knew that he would be able to deal with whatever was going to come his way , and so it was. The audience was absolutely magnificent( no wise cracks) and not a single person went out of his way to be offending, in fact all who had anything to say did it in a very constructive manner and wherever there was any disagreement , it was debated in the best spirit. GREAT FOR BLOEMFONTEIN, the hospitable city. The birds given to me and Gerrit were two pairs intended for breeding. We decided to auction the first two offspring of both pairs and an amount of R540 was made. This was donated to the Fed to be used for prize money on a race during the 2001 season. After the talk we had a nice braai and it was then that the questions actually came out. Funny how a little BACCHUS can change an introvert to an extrovert( Including myself!!).It was here where the guys really debated what was lectured a little earlier. Needless to say, the 300 birds which were originally scheduled for the Saturday rapidly grew to about 500 which necessitated a session for the Sunday ( which by the way, started in my lounge around 06: 30 in the morning). After Jack lectured his theory on eye sign, it was obvious that it had provoked a few , as yet unknown ideas, and I was "crowded" by fanciers wanting to have their birds classed. Jack agreed to this and the Sunday was not a day for rest ,but poor Jack ended up doing 411 birds on Sunday alone. A few "funny" things happened. We started at around 08:00 on Saturday morning and the first guy had 10 birds booked. He is a top fancier in my club and would not mind if I mention his name. Theuns Viljoen. He arrived with 15 birds. From these birds Jack pulled out his nr . 1 cock and some more excellent birds but also a few which he rated as racers or not for breeding. This man was astonished, and admitted that he did exactly that to put Jack to the test. Jack pulled out his nr. 1 Cock and other producers of winners without the blink of an eye. He insisted to have ANOTHER 30 BIRDS evaluated. The same story repeated itself, Many of the fanciers witnessing this , who had not booked any birds for Jack, stood closer and closer and it was not long before they started making bookings for either what was left of Saturday or for the Sunday. When Jack recognised a bird , coming from his own lines ( van Bruaene) three generations down the line, without any hint whatsoever, but merely on the eyesign,that was it. Amazing!!!! , that was the general feeling. Yet a few guys stood closer and yet,,,,,more work for Jack for Sunday. What truly convinced many bystanders to believe that there must be at least some truth in his theory was when he did the birds of Jaques Parson surely THE ace flier in Bloemfontein Jaques , been very much an eye sign man himself, had 32 birds for evaluation ,including his top breeders and racers. No-one could believe when Jack pulled out his top breeder ONLY ON EYE SIGN and declared him his top cock,My Choice, Double Star Cluster. This cock is sire to numerous winning birds in Jaques loft and is his nr. 1 breeder as confirmed by Jaques himself .But it did not end there. Jack pulled out FIREBALL the bird that came 4th for Jaques at the 2001 Sun City $million race ,winning him a handsome 6 digit amount. Then Jack seemed to be enjoying these birds so much that he became a little "windgat". He actually pointed out to him the birds distances of flying and was in the bull every time .Yet another few fanciers made bookings for Sunday. The same story repeated itself time and time again. Some guys were happy about his findings and some who did not have what he was looking for, may have been disappointed. Be it as it may, what he did was his own and honest opinion. He did not attempt to please or to favour. He gave an honest opinion and only that. I must however share my own experience of this whole exercise. Can it be coincidence that he managed to find the top breeders and the top fliers time and again and that from lofts he had no prior knowledge of, nor did he had any prior contact with the particular fancier. If he had managed to only pull out a few of these I could have argued that he had luck on his side, but this was not the case at all. Is eye sign fact or fiction????...or is it indeed a science mastered by a few committed people like Jack, who have spent ages in becoming the master who I perceive him to be. What is important to note is what Jack said during the lecture..NO PIGEON CAN BREED OR FLY ON ITS EYE ALONE!!!!!!. It needs the wing, it does need the muscle it does need the health and most importantly it must have the commitment of the fancier, then success is possible. Jack explicitly stated that he was judging only the eye and that the wings and other parts of the anatomy must already be acceptable to the fancier. Surely a bird with a defect in any part of its construction, although having a good eye will not perform. I must close be stating that this was not intended to be an advertisement for Jack Barkel. It was an effort to convey my impressions on the weekend in Bloemfontein. My own loft had its few good ones , its few bad ones , but at least I have learned a lot more about the eye sign, which I will attempt to put to good practice in future. I am convinced that Jack will have to be coming back again ,as what has happened here ,has spread like a fire and has people talking. Some may still have their reservations and it is their good right also ,and respected. But for those who dared to take the leap , I believe, will bare the fruit of their decision. Thanks again to Jack and Margaret, We really enjoyed your company.

Good Bye for now Theuns Bloemfontein


Subject: Reply to Leo

Hello Leo and All. I respect your reply and your opinion, and many of your other writings also, no problem there. In fact I am overjoyed you have joined the list, as I have saved many of your articles from other sources. Because of this respect I would not allow it to get out of hand, but would like to make a point as regards selection on performance. Scientific fact is that in the U/K, Scientists and Biologist are already using the pigmentation of the eye to select and eliminate unwanted genes, it has gone much further than that but I watched it on National Geographic and have not as yet acquired the scientific paper on it. I am sure I will be receiving it soon, through the Royal Society of Iridology. Proven fact is and although using a personal experience the similar cases are legion. We had a pigeon won everything in front of him in England, his pedigree andperformance was magnificent. In his whole career he never bred a winner. His eye by the way was an excellent 100% racing eye with no breeding qualities visible there. I imported a pigeon from England on pedigree, but mainly on eye sign, this bird could not fly out of sight on a dark night. This bird went on to breed winners all over South Africa, his record being that he sired Five National winners in his breeding career plus fed and club winners regularly. Thus, your statement if it does not perform get rid of it is frightening, It leads me to wonder how many would be great producers have lost their lives and value to the sport with this type of reasoning. Let us remember that all success rates are or should be recognised on percentages, of quality produced. There are many records of none performers that have bred winners, just as well as there are many performers that have bred nothing. My own experience has been that putting winner to winner will breed performers for one or two generations(it is in the genes) and then you get a deterioration in this winning family. It also can be observed in the eye. Nature has it's way of preventing filling the loft with winners on this method otherwise we would all have them. Leo, I have tried your method and it worked for me up to a point, so I do not condemn your method, but the understanding of the changes in the gene pool by the pigment of the eye has raised that success rate seven fold, from 7% to minimum of 50% and people on my books since 1996 are now tops in their area and their success rate from this type of mating is at best 90%. In most things in this world there is a factor of 10% added for error, I can give fanciers names and statistics to prove my statements. I have been an eye sign person for most of my life, and found that there was a lot of irregularities in the methods I gained from top eye sign people that had made history. By accident, the clue was given to me by a homeopathic friend, that was curious about what I was attempting to achieve. He pointed out to me where up until today most eye sign theories go wrong. It was amazing that no one in this interesting part of our hobby had ever stumbled on why their theory had its limitations. It made any book written on eye sign look like a fairy story. Oh well suffice it to say, I still to this day climb on any progress made scientifically in this field. From my use of iridology, I have proved in the newer and older, and unsuccessful and successful lofts that I can improve the quality to a production rate of at least 50% whereas the average success rate throughout the world is 7% these are surveys that have been carried out in the past. Eye sign as it is known amongst budding enthusiasts, who after picking out a couple of birds accurately, become specialists over night, have caused the disbelief in many. If you go to a Doctor and tell him you are sick, he will ask you what is wrong with you, he does not know, he needs you to tell him. If you ask myself, or any homeopath the same question, he will look in your eyes and tell YOU what is wrong with you, not only that, but what illness or accident has left it's mark on your system, from bone damage to liver and heart  irregularities. There are ways from SCIENTIFIC studies not eye sign books, to be able to select, health, speed , vitality, intelligence, and many other attributes from the pigmentation in the eye. I myself can even give you a photograph of the correct colour pigmentation of a bull eye, through modern technology, I only do it with my own pigeons, it is too expensive a process to make it profitable. In pigeons I can select Racer/Breeders accurately at all times, just racers, that will breed 7% and lower good pigeons, breeders that will not race to satisfactory standards and at what distances and speeds will be the limitation of certain birds. I must admit, that I am only as good as the loft manager, if they think that after I am done they can sit back and everything will happen they are going to be disappointed. Even this last week end, I was able to tell fanciers an accurate history of their birds after a few minutes, that had taken themselves many years of records to find out. I did not fail once out of 800 plus birds, from the new starters to the old hands. I was tested very stringently in a city that boasts more than eleven large pigeon clubs, with many ace fanciers that wished to see me put to the test. Understand, I turned pro in 1996, and only when the accuracy was above question. I have travelled the country, and only now did I get a request to do my stuff in this city that is one of the hotbeds of S/A racing pigeons. Leo, I never use race performance in my selection for stock, although I will admit I do give this bird a little extra perusal. I also know how to diagnose if this great race performer is a none performer in the breeding loft, and how to fish for these genes in the gene pool of his progeny. I have learned how to create a gene pool that is when likened to a fisherman, a breeders paradise. People are only starting to here of me world wide now, give it time, if age does not beat me, it will hit far off Australia also. We even had a greyhound at stud in Australia named Youthful Spring, and he stamped his authority on your progeny in that country, like your race horses we also know how to produce a good sire, in other athletes besides pigeons. Iridology is not only open to humans and pigeons but many creatures with round pupils. I was put to the test with six fighting cocks in Cape Town, and I chose the imported champion, just by looking in the eye. Leo, you select by the basket, not by what you see, maybe other than physical characteristics, therefore you and I can not compete. I forecast on what I see which is unknown to none believers, you read out of a book what is known from records of their performances, therefore it is a no contest. Your theory is basic, mine is not, therefore no contest, and no argument, we will both have some success, once again, I firmly believe the percentage rejection rate will be different. If there is a deterioration in a strain or family, the hens will fly better than the cocks as the deterioration shows in the cocks first. They both should in anyone's records be equal performers. This is how I can tell when a person is making mistakes in their breeding techniques, whatever is their  system. I only know of one brilliant fancier that can keep this balance without using iridology, and he does not need to use an outcross, ever. Maybe you are in this calibre, but what I know for certain, most are not. I only need to look at the first half dozen cocks selected at random to tell a fancier his breeding techniques leaves a lot to be desired. My only object in these letters is to prove that what I do for a living is a genuine service, and not to make anyone think I am the greatest, far from it. I do believe however that I am one of the leaders in my field, if only from all the practical experience that I subject myself to. That my own statistics prove that anyone who has used my service has a marked improvement in their position in the pigeon world. I have been tried and tested by some of the best in South Africa, I have not given a negative performance over several years. There was a dictator put winner to winner to create a master human race and we all know where his experiments ended up. I will always believe in my subject, although some classic books on eye sign from some people all over the world makes me shudder, for they are little more than fairy stories. Fortunately the writings on iridology are all of the same high standard( written by educated people) and if practiced in the art of breeding and selecting racing pigeons, are in my observations nearer to being infallible than any other method of selection I know. That includes MENDEL. Leo the background of my challenge was not against those who prefer a different method of obtaining results, but rather against those who try to make out that what I am doing is fake. Your methods might be better than mine, who am I to say. This is my living, and it cost me a lot of school fees to get to the standard where I am now, I can live with any other system, the less that adopt mine successfully the better it is for me. Although I do give very enlightening free lectures on the sphincter muscles, I explain the function of each, even how to tell the deterioration in those that try to go forward beyond the point, and also those who go backward beyond the point, and how to maintain the happy medium. All is explained how and why. Like you, I do not speak about religion and politics, and only get involved in my study of the eye, when asked the questions by others, or when I have to defend what I do for a living as would do a person of religion or a politician. I could have written pages on the subject of the eye for this list, but I have refrained from forcing it on anybody. If people wish to hear or read what I have to say, they can buy the video, or later this year the book.

Yours respectfully, Jack Barkel


Subject: Bull System

Hi guys & girls Can someone explain a simple way to use the Bull System ? I need to know if is a good idea to let the hen look after and feed the young on her own. Let`s say I need to pair one cock with two hens. Can I the first round let the Cock and hen(1) look after the babies together and hen(2) look after her babies on her own and then reverse the roles the next round ?

Thumper (Mooooo !!!)

February 24, 2001

Subject: The Joneli's

Hello Linda- Steve and All. Thanks very much for answering my request and putting on the list the photo's and some of your methods, I feel this is what we all are looking for here, this is what I feel is educational to all of us. Any method of racing or breeding that has had great success for anyone deserves to be shared with everyone, without anyone else trying to disprove it's merits to prove their own better. I also, see an article by you Steve in the Dec 1st issue of the Racing Pigeon Digest, most South Africans do not get this magazine, we pay for it and receive it two months late and sometimes not at all. May I suggest that you and Linda share some of your writings from there on the SAPML. We need articles, not criticisms, I do not write articles on eye sign on the SAPML, because of it's controversialists, although it is my forte, I have kept my articles to other aspects of the sport. If asked I must reply, but I have a book full of other interesting topics on pigeons of which the eye is only one portion. Linda, I think that you and Steve have a lot of interesting material you can give to this forum, you are a success, so what you are doing must be good, even if some one else uses another method. Please keep your articles coming, it is very refreshing.

Your in Sport Jack Barkel.


Subject: Re: SAPML

Subject: Reply to Leo

Hello Leo and All. I respect your reply and your opinion, and many of your other writings also, no problem there. In fact I am overjoyed you have joined the list, as I have saved many of your articles from other sources.Because of this respect I would not allow it to get out of hand, but would like to make a point as regards selection on performance. Scientific fact is that in the U/K, Scientists and Biologist are already using the pigmentation of the eye to select and eliminate unwanted genes, it

Hi Jack and all, Back again, doing this in shifts. time 7.15am and I got visitors at 8.0am so  may have to .. just heard a crash outside, bird hit the window, two falcons into my birds... bad time of year for them, birds heavy in the moult and vulnerable.. anyway, back to subject. I have not always been a sceptic, that took time to crystalise. On the 15.11.81 I won the Freming eyesign show with a cock against hundreds of contestants and backed that up with a further win on 14.12.84 at Armadale with the same cock and these were the only two eyesign shows ever held in West Aust. I was a disciple of Fleming, and SWE Bishop before him, and at the same time heavily in the doldrums with pigeon racing. Looking back I was clutching at straws amd totally distracted from the main stream of pigeon racing. Fleming was subsequently cited as a pigeon fraud in court and the findings are on internet if anyone interested. Based on his assessment I sent the best pair I'm ever likely to own to a Chinese consortium that processed meat birds for my father in law. How I know that is I did not send the four youngsters I had off them to the same fait and they subsequently pulled me out of the mess I was in, big time, and I still get sick in the pit of my stomach at what I did to their parents.. the golden pair. In 1990 I allowed a highly respected flyer to grade my new crop of youngsters, just for fun, many top flyers had engaged his services, but anyway scepticism had already set in and so I kept them all and he turned out to be 80% wrong! That's a huge error factor and is what I call a scientific assessment.. or scientific fact. Science looks for a minimum 80% positive result.. so I would have still been saying the same if he was more than 50% right but fell short of 80%.. but in this case this was a total failure and we were assessing my total team, not the ones I just brought along as hopefulls to the Fleming clinics.. which were not a representative sample. Getting back to race horses, Phar Lap, Mount Eden, the sway back disaster called Tullock are classic examples among hundreds that looks don't count.., including the eye, and brilliance comes from within and in all shapes and sizes and has to come out as performance to be seen. Just last year a fully committed eyesign expert.. studied under an alleged expert (name removed for privacy) posted this challenge.. word for word. "a while ago i stated that i would hope that i could pick out the best breeding pigeon in anyones loft on eyesigh alone. i studied under ....... and watched him do it on numerous occaisons if you dont believe in eyesign then answer this why does a doctor look in your eyes and what does he look for go to your library and look up iridology by dorothy hall better still talk to an optician" This was a classic and I was compelled to comment as follows: "......, mate, I'm resigned to sit here and let all this bull wash over me, but don't challenge an unbeliever's intelligence. If you put it out, it's got to get knocked off. My doctors haven't looked IN my eyes since Adam played centre half back for the Israelites... same as they haven't looked in my ears, etc etc etc, unless I got a raging head cold. Last time I talked in earnest with a GP, he told me that people's eyes are important in his initial assessment of a patient's health but it is all done in the distance between him in his chair, and you in your chair, and the desk in between... one of many aspects he takes into consideration, same as you, a pigeon expert, judging your bird's health from 2 metres away... it comes with experience. Apart from that, you're mixing up the profession of a medical Doctor (GP) minimum 6 years intensive study, with the certification of an Iridologist, which requires as little as 38 hours study and one year of College level anatomy.. Wow!. Iridology has no official standards of practice in most countries. Anyone can call him/herself an Iridologist, often with little or no training or experience. So, you're a pigeon Iridologist, but I'll bite.... what does an Optician have to say about eyesign?" after a half baked reply I concluded with the following:

"....., I've spent a lifetime questioning things... some things just don't stand up in the cold hard light of day.. and eyesign is one of them, but, go for it... I have already conceded (and apologised) to all in the past that I should not make fun of someone elses occupation/hobby. All I came out of the woodwork for, on this occasion, was because I was invited by yourself, challenged, no less... remember, "if you dont believe in eyesign then answer this" and then you went on to envoke the good doctors, the iridologists and finally the classic "better still, talk to an optician" and I simply resonded with "what does an Optician have to say about eyesign?" ........,

mate, I'm not really interested in what an Optician knows about eyesign, any more than I do the Motor Mechanic down on the next corner. Just for information, an Optician is a person who has trained in the skills necessary to grind and shape glass and plastic materials to the optical powers as prescribed by an O.D. (Optometrist) or M.D. (Ophthalmologist)and both these latter guys are equivalent to our good doctors, we mentioned previously. On the other hand, an Optician's education consists of trade school and apprenticeships and they may hold many other certificates and licenses, according to country, very honourable occupation, but none of them are permitted to examine eyes. OK?" Out of time again... I will come back. My only concern here is that new fanciers will repeat the errors I made myself... it's like my old man telling me things that I didn't listen to.. so Jack, my thoughts here are fairly simple that I see you having a major responsibility here in making sure your "patients" retain that necessary global view.. there is far more to the process, and I can see that you know that from your writings, than the guy I had a shot at above, but there are lots of guys like that around and really stuffing the game up in my opinion. 8.05am, these guys are right on time, can hear them outside.. I will come back.

Leo Turley Perth, Western Australia


Subject: Re: Y/B Training

No. Once the YB start flying they are just fed once a day. We have just now started loft flying our YBs. They have been out twice so now we have gone to once a day feeding.

Steve Joneli Red Rose Lofts


Subject: Re: Bull System

Thumper IMHO it is far better to foster the eggs out when using the bull system. good luck. Ed


Subject: How to build a peaceful forum.

Hello All, This is not a pigeon related topic, but rather a list related topic, from which I hope will come some rules and guide lines. Once when teaching at a school an 11 year old child, unwittingly taught me something about what I had been teaching for years, that turned around my whole concept for the better of myself and my pupils. Therefore I say, to all the new members in the sport, you also say what you think may be of benefit to the list members, we are not here to criticise you, we are here to assist where possible. Lately we have gotten away from this outstanding feature of this list, unfortunately with myself right in the middle of it. AND I AM AWARE WHY I AM SO SINGLED OUT FOR CRITICISM. It has happened on other lists, where my controversial SUCCESSFUL pigeon topics have intruded on the unchanging lives of the Old Fashioned Dogmas. The list was formed to present our opinions and not to criticise the opinions of others. If we adhere to this rule then more novices and nervous people will stop fearing they may be attacked by others if they contribute, and it will be back to the happy list it used to be. With most members joining in with their opinions and questions. Manfred, may I suggest that anything that any of us post, that can be misconstrued or construed as a criticism of a fellow member should not be accepted for publication, I suggest that you must be the strong censor here. Different methods are all welcome, opposing a method should not be tolerated, it is not what we wish to read here. It should be allowed to say you personally disbelieve a certain method, but the minute one starts opposing this method they are argumentative and disruptive. I feel this must not be tolerated, if we wish to keep this lists reputation. This list was launched for all thickness of skins, not just the thick skinned, which has been the demise of other lists. The human being can not discuss a subject, we have not evolved enough yet,just look at two well respected statesmen in politics detroy each other like wild dogs, it happens in religious debates also, and even on what should be a peaceful list like this one, it invariably ends up with the most well informed on the subject having things thrown at them, either verbally or materially. If it is a public forum, again the speaker is open to the abuse of uncouth hecklers or the target for rotten fruit etc. We are all entitled to our opinions without knocking the opinions of others, but for peace we must not condemn or criticise the opinions of others. List members should write their own interesting articles about anything to do with pigeons, whether one finds it controversial or not, if one cannot live with that, I feel we should not be on this list, as that was supposed to be the prime reason for this list, not to try and gain recognition by condemning the beliefs of others. This is argumentative and causes bad feeling, let us write for the improvement of all, like the Joneli's, and not to oppose the writings of others, which is common practice on other lists. I myself when reading about something which I do not agree with, I leave it alone, if there method is opposite to mine, I leave it alone. When I write my articles friends, accept them or reject them, but do not try to destroy them, no one will let anyone break down what has taken them a lifetime to build. If someone writes there method here and I challenge it's credibility, then I am looking for an argument. To pick holes in anything is destructive. So I say, if one wishes to adopt this attitude thinking it is clever or constructive take it to one of the other lists, it is common practice there and will be welcomed with open arms, they love their paper wars. We need everyone's contribution to keep this list the best, let us all keep our opinions of other peoples writings and methods to ourselves if they are not supportive, and enlighten the list on ones own methods, and if one finds it annoying, write to them privately, and maybe without an audience, it can be settled in an amicable manner. I am not talking down to every one as if they were children, it is only for them that would choose to use the list to provoke and contest others writings to take notice. Keep it off the SAPML,we do not wish to here your opinion of others, but only the opinions of your own, or sacrifice what could have been a DEBATE, for a BULL-BAIT.

Not targeting anyone. Jack Barkel.

February 26, 2001

Subject: Re: SAPML

Hello Everyone, The following article was sent to me and shows what some on this list are talking about when it comes to over medicating our birds. The article is several months old. Thought it's about poultry, not pigeons and speaking about the United States, for the most part, it makes for interesting reading.

Roger Ragain


Thought you might be interested in this article.

Oct. 27 (CBS) The FDA reportedly plans to ban two antibiotics widely used by poultry farmers because of a risk that humans could become infected with germs that resist treatment. Public health organizations have advocated such a ban for years. Officials warn that resistance to antibiotics is threatening to render penicillin and other infection-fighting drugs ineffective. The ban, however, is ruffling some feathers. Bayer Corporation's Animal Division, of Shawnee Mission, Kan., which makes the drug called Baytril, dominates the market and it says it might contest the proposed ban. "We want to take a look at the basis of the (FDA's) decision," senior vice president John Payne was quoted as saying. "We have always said if we thought our product is causing harm, we would do the right thing." Public health organizations, including the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, have advocated such a ban for years. But agriculture and pharmaceutical interests have successfully held them off until now. The drugs, known as flouroquinolones, were approved for chickens, turkeys and cattle in the mid-1990s. Since then the incidence of resistance to flouroquinolones in humans has increased dramatically. They have been available for human use since 1986 and are often used to treat serious gastrointestinal illness. The FDA ban would not affect the availability of the drugs for humans. Resistance develops when antibiotics are overused, both by doctors treating people and by farmers treating animals. The drugs treat respiratory problems in chickens and turkeys. Because the birds are raised in large flocks, it is impossible to treat them individually, so the drugs are put in drinking water for the entire flocks. The FDA is also reviewing the use of flouroquinolones in cattle as part of a comprehensive examination of all agricultural antibiotic use.



Subject: Fate,effort and time

Steve and Linda

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you on your great performances, it takes courage and fortitude to carry on, and it calls for skill and planning the hole year. Well done!!

Jack . You said: I have a book full of other interesting topics on pigeons of which the eye is only one portion.You know that I and many others will read your topics. (Remember you owe me a letter. )

Fate,effort and time.
This is explained by the example of a farmer. First he must prepare his field , ploughing it, sowing the seeds and making everything ready. (Breading) Then he waits for the rains to fall. He has no control over the rain, only fate. If the rain fall and he has not prepared the field, there will not beautiful crops, however if he does put in effort, only time will tell. Based on our past and present activities, we will suffer and enjoy the results.How much we enjoy or suffer the results is dependant on how we use or misuse opportunities that came our way. Without effort one will never be able to avail the opportunities offered.Don't wait for the fall, to remember good advice.



Subject: Young bird trailing

Greetings from a very wet Washington Thumper, you are quite wrong ! Steve is the smart one - he installed an automatic scraping last year in his loft -ME!!!!!!. Just to keep you upto date on the progress of our young bird team - known as the Black Sheep Squadron. Thursday, we let them out once again, they did extremely well and took several turns round the loft, they seem to have got the hang of landing now !!. One youngster flew into a nearby tree as they do occasionally, it didn't stay very long, came out like a bat out of hell with a hawk closely following. Being this bird is a Hofken it managed to out run the prey, the hawk veered off East and our bird was flying subsonic in the direction of Canada. We were a both downhearted as we hate loosing our babies. Two hours later he returned and promptly trapped in, pretty kool for a bird on his second outing.

Bests Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts


Subject: Feeding in the racing season

Hi guys & girls Last season my birds were a bit thin in the racing season. They got more than enough food to eat, I just get the feeling that they were not getting the correct diet. I have no specific mixture that I make, I just buy the "Racing Mix". Is there a specific mixture that can be used for the race season, short distance mixture and long distance mixture ? I would like to know the percentage of protein and carbohydrate in each if possible. Do you guys feed the Y/B before basketing on a short race and if so what and how much. Sorry if I am being a pest, but you should be used to it by now.

Thumper (Now I`ve got the munchies)

February 27, 2001

Subject: Pigeons wear sequins to prevent attacks

Racing pigeons are wearing spangly sequins to protect them from falcons. The reflective sequins looking like large eyes are fitted to their wings to stop peregrine falcons from attacking. The Royal Pigeon Racing Association has adopted the idea after research by Lancaster University scientists. Falcons kill thousands of the racing birds each year but there's been a drop in kills since the sequins were tried out, reports the Daily Record.


February 28, 2001

The art of "Flag Training"

As told by Steve Joneli, Red Rose Lofts

When Linda came here from England we spent many a night comparing the different flying methods between American and English pigeon racing. She had always relished flying "over the Brook", the English Channel. And had specialized in long distance flying. Flying strains I had never heard of, Barkers and Kirkpatricks. And she flew mostly hens on the natural system. Where I flew only cocks on the widowhood system.

Another system of training she used that I had only heard of was "Flag Training" Quite frankly, the thought of forcing your young birds to stay in the air with a flag scarred the hell out of me. I pictured our young team flying off never to be seen again. But since she was giving in to my widowhood flying I let her take the young bird team and flag train them.

What she wanted to accomplish was to teach the young birds they were only allowed in the air or in the loft. So coming back from a race they would land on the landing board and trap right in. I took a 16-foot fishing pole and we attached a piece of red satin about 2 by 3 feet to make our flag. When loft flying any time anyone tried to come down she would wave the flag at them. When we were done flying she would hide the flag and using our bell call them in. And I have to admit, this eventually worked quite well.

Now this training became quite a competition between Linda and the birds. Some would land on the ground to the left and when she ran over to flag them another group would land over to the right. Those smart little devils had her running back and forth like a ping-pong ball, laughing all the while. And then there was the day they had her running up and down the creek, splashing water all over the place. But she was more determined than they were and eventfully won. Just picture this. Youíre a young pigeon having fun and decide to sneak down for a bit of sand. All of a sudden you see this short little lady running full steam down the hill at you, swinging this long club with a pair of red knickers tied on the end, shouting obscenities at you in "the Queens proper English" and trying to whoop you in the but. You bet youíd take to the air, and right now! After the birds became flag trained, all we would do was put the flag in a holder and as long as it was up they would stay in the air. As soon as it came down we immediately ran the dinner bell and down they dove. So coming back from a race seeing the flag down their instinct is to dive for the trap to go straight in.

Well she made me a believer. We didnít win every race but did win our fair share. But I can honestly say on every race they dropped from the sky, straight to the landing board and trapped right in. Iíve never seen birds trap so well. Ant not a single bird flew off into the sunset, as I had feared.

So if you want an edge on your club mates, give flag training a try. Itís a lot of work but well worth it. And if you ask Linda real nice, she might even give you a hand by teaching you some "Queens Proper English"


Subject: Hours of Darkness

Hi guys & girls

I was just sitting here and thinking (does happen occasionally) about the hours of darkness.I do not know what the normal practice is in the European and American countries are, but i feel that in some instances it could be unfair to award a pigeon that arrives at night with the time 15min before the sun rises. I can understand this argument when the members of an organization are spread out over a large area. But in a club where the area between east and west only covers 20km! I mean come on. Taking into consideration that most of our races are from the south, and the difference from the most southern to the most northern fancier is about 10km.

You can probably hear that this might have happened to me, had our club not used a system where the birds that are clocked during "hours of darkness" are worked out on "real" time to determine their position. The birds following the next day might then have a faster velocity but they still have to fall in behind the birds that came the night before. My argument is that if one bird can do it, what's wrong with the other 1000 odd pigeons?

I had a bird that was clocked at 22:15; another fancier about 5km from me clocked one at 22:25. (Remembering that it is dark outside by 19:30 here) The next bird in was at 04:00 the next morning. It was a full moon and quite clear outside. Now you tell me who should have won this race, luckily with our clubs rules I won the race, but if we had used the old rules I would have achieved 3rd position! Is that fair? I would have been highly upset to say the least. I would like to hear any suggestion out there to simplify this rule. Then I have another question (I'm not done with you guys yet). Would you say that a bird that flew in the night would be more prone to do it again as opposed to a pigeon that has not done it before?

Thumper (The Dark One)



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