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01 November 2000

1. Sexing Pigeons.
2. GENERO INFO: Artificial Insemination of Pigeons (AI)
3. Young Birds and Falcons.
4. Sexing

1. Sexing Pigeons.          Jack

Hello Jeff and all,
I thank you for the kind comments about the video, and as you say it looks so easy on the video.
That is because the three cocks and one hen on that poster were old birds and not young birds.
As I mention there, the system is not infallible but it is the way I sex them and although it works it still leaves one guessing at times. I have tried most of the methods Jeff and they all fail some of the time.The more you are in the sport the more astute you will become. Often people send their birds to me for rating and mating and not knowing the process send them all mixed together. Usually brought to me by his there spouse or one of their children, the job is then left to me to separate the sexes before I can start on the job in hand.
I must tell you, I do not like it, but eventually by judging the half bottom lid and the distance it comes close to the bottom of the pupil I do most times get it right.
Jeff all I can say is persevere looking at all characteristics of cocks and hens and you will learn to be a good guesser like most other pigeon fanciers. Remember the bottom lid becomes more dished and the corners more pronounced with maturity. The only advice I think anyone can give Jeff is
Yours in Sport
Jack Barkel.

2. Artificial Insemination of Pigeons (AI)          Bob

Hi All,
Bob Phillips here and I just returned from the AU Convention put on by our great host city Detroit. What I gleaned from meeting so many very fine people was that (AI) has now reached the stage where I left off in the mid 1960's.
Simply put it is now possible to store semen at a -300 degrees and bring it back in a usable form.
Working with Ohio State University I was unsuccessful at finding the correct suspender that was necessary to be successful. Well while at the convention I talked to the man who has done it. He has been able to inseminate up to 30 hens from one collection in a day. WOW this just blew my mind. He has knew and better equipment than I had however, the main thing is he did it.
I met a young man from Alaska at the convention who had heard that I had tried this in 1968 and he wanted me to try it for him on an old cock bird that has not and can not due to injury. This is what started it all over again with me and my search to help this flyer. Please due not at this time e mail me and ask for more information as I wish to be able to test this for myself then I will place it on the PML for those who might find it interesting.
Bob Phillips
Lithopolis, OH USA

3. Young Birds and Falcons          Linda Joneli

Alan and All
In my honest opinion I don't think you are doing it wrong, but of course everyone has their own methods with young birds and what works for one flyer often does not work for another, as lofts are configured differently.

Our young bird loft is built so that the birds only have to learn to come in and out of one hole, this hole leads to a large aviary, the whole front is hinged and opens down to the ground, therefore the whole aviary floor is the landing board, one distinct advantage of using this system is that when the aviary front in folded down to the ground there is nowhere for the younguns to go under the loft. I am attaching a picture of our loft and the young bird sections are the two at the far right hand side.

My method is this, I leave the hole in the young bird loft open all the time, so that the babies have access to the aviary as soon as they are weaned off usually about 30 days, once I see that they are all going through the hole and sitting in the aviary and have been doing this for about 1 week, the front is then dropped down and the birds are allowed to venture into the outside world in their own time, never forced. The other distince advantage of our loft set up is that the birds only have to learn to use one way in and out, our ET sensor is set up from day one.

As for Peregrine Falcons, I am interested to know who actually released these birds into the wild, was it an organised bird protection society or was an individual. I have been known in the past to vociferously voice my opinions and will continue to do so whilst these birds are being released into areas where hitherto they were not indigenous. I was speaking to a lady in England who told me the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) are actually training their Juvenille Peregrines with live pigeons before releasing them into the wild.

With nutters like this about, what chance do our pigeons stand.

Linda Joneli
Red Rose Lofts WA.
PS The photograph was taken whilst the new sections were under construction,these have now been completed

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4.Sexing         Alan

Hi Jeff, yes I also have a great deal of trouble identifying the sex of young bird, Jack had put an article on the pet site that described what is probably in the book you have. I would like to know if sexing has ever been tried, as chicken sexers do with chicks, that would give us some control over what we preferred to breed or at least a more accurate way to separate. My process Jeff is not to worry just race them as young birds before they're interested in the sex game. I then concentrate on them as two-year-olds.


02 November 2000

1. Loft
2. Feather and returnees

1. Loft         Leon

Hi Linda and all fellow fanciers.

Linda, I must just comment you on the beautiful loft that you have.
I was wondering if you would mind posting the plans of your loft so that myself and all others interested could take a look at it.
And maybe a few pics of the inside aswell would be much appreciated.


2. Feather and returnees         Val

We have a race on Nov. 4,2000. I like to ask for advice regarding 7 to 10 long feathers. In case of lost fether, in what number between 7 to 10 that can still be included in the race? Can I include them if the ten fether is totally pulled/moult? etc.

I have several returnees, they are lost in the training. What do you do to them, do your consider them reject or do you retained them as a precious pigeon?
I have some which was lost for three weeks returned with very dirty fethers and very light but still active and the plastic ring still intact. Some returned with the plastic ring already taken out therefore it could be trap by the other fancier and they escaped. (palstic ring is the removable ring from a foot aside from the permanent ring with numbers).


04 November 2000

1. Apologies
2. Vaccination
3. Vaccination
4. Pox
5. Late Returners
6. Pox
7. "Hottentots-vy"
8. Member

1.Apologies         Manfred
Hi Everybody,

The South African Pigeon Mailing List fell prey to crime, when our telephone cables were stolen on Thursday evenning. We do apologise for any inconvenience you might have suffered whilst eagerly awaiting your posting on Friday. Herewith the SAPML :


2. Vaccination         Almero


I'm sending this message again because i had no response to it.Are the fanciers scared of this subject?Seeing that everybody must vaccinate somebody should be able to answer my question.

Hope to hear from someone


3. Vaccination         Manfred

Hi again,

Please visit the Allpigeons Chat Room, should you wish to read or submit replies to Almero's Question. This particular subject has as many opinions as our list of members, and will therefor be continued on the Chat Room due to the flaming nature.

I trust you will find above in order.


4. Pox Heather

My birds have been innoculated but that does not seem to have helped - I have pox in my loft. what can I do?

The Laser Transport Group (Pty) Ltd

5. Late Returners Mike

Hello Val,
I would like to respond to the question of birds returning late, weeks after a race. I consider every returning bird a special bird. After all, the bird has done something other lost birds have not, that is, return home. There must be some drive for them to continue looking for their loft. I posed this very question, of what to do with late returning birds, to one of our club's best flyers. I was asking because I had several late returning bird and was in the process of culling some birds. His response was, "The all time record holder AU champion in OBs was lost for more that a year." I've looked at these birds more seriously from that time on. One criterion that I now use is how well other close relatives have done. If there are sibling from this mating that are still in the loft, maybe we should give this wayward racer another chance. If you have a lot of birds from which to choose, maybe they are not worth it. Just some random thoughts.

6.Pox Jack

Hello All,
Heather writes,

Well Heather, your birds that have got it will never get it again, they are immune for life.If some deaths occur do not worry because this is the way I started towards a Pox free loft. Many may not agree with me, but these birds that survive will carry that pox
in there system for the rest of their lives. When they have young, the babies will contract the pox from their parents in the regurgitated food or in the crop milk. It is so minute, that usually the youngsters go through it as babies without one even noticing it. Pox vaccinations have often been disappointing as in your case they still seem to get it. The natural immunity that my birds have built up over the last ten years have meant no more outbreaks of the disease. It has proved to be virtually one hundred percent effective, which is more than I can say for the people who innoculate. If the lesions are in the mouth you can bathe them with an ear bud dipped in iodine, but if on the eye cere be very careful, for if it gets to the eye it can blind your bird. I would suggest that in this case you let it take its natural course. My advice would be not to isolate these birds, the more that get it the better under my method. Heather I have told
you the way I do it, the other way is to inoculate every year, the decision is yours.
Best of Luck
Jack Barkel.

7. "Hottentots-vy" Thumper

Hi guys and girls.
I wonder if anyone can help me, i would like to know what the "Hottentots-vy" (probably not the polaticly correct word, but who cares) plant has that pigeons are after, because my pigeons are crazy about it.
They virtually eat it to the ground, I would also like to know if someone knows of any other plants that one should plant around the loft for the pigeons should feed on.
I would also just like to thank Mr. Jack Barkel, my star cluster cock produced 4 excellent looking babies , I have high hopes for them.
The Sire is a Blue Bar, the Dam a Red Check and from the 4 youngsters I have 2 Blue Bars, 1 Blue Check and 1 Silver.
Yours in sport

8.Member Linda


This is a shot of us, welcoming our returning bird in the AU Convention race held last week, we did not place well, 1446 birds were liberated and AU 2000 NCI 735 placed 316 - Oh well there's always next year.

Best regards to all

Linda Joneli
Red Rose Lofts WA

06 November 2000

1. Vaccination

2. Loft Design

3. Hotnotsvy

4. Plants

5. Loft Design

6. Hottentot's Fig

1.Vaccination Linda

Hi All

At Red Rose we vaccinate the youngsters as soon as they are weaned off.


2.Loft Design Linda

Sorry for the late reply Leon, I only received the mail on my puter about 1/2 hour ago.

Steve designed the loft himself and I will ask him nicely to draw up a plan which I can scan and send out to the list.

Basically it was planned round the systems we intend to employ next season, breeding on the Bull system (2 "Bull Pens") with 12 nest boxes in each, a dual widowhood loft for 24 pairs, 2 young bird sections and the North wall (Backside) is individual breeding pens, utility room, office, feed store and toilet facilities.

I will try to take some photo's of the individual sections inside when I go to "scrape out" later today.

Thanks for the interest


3.Hotnotsvy Lance

Hi all,in response to Thumpers question,I have been told that the vygies helps in controlling worms and canker.During the past racing season down here in Durban I fed vygies to my pigeons until Tuesday afternoon and my birds were allways very healthy and flew very well.I finished 2nd in my club yearling averages(Durban Racing Pigeon Club) and 6th in the Federation.Mind you this was also wiyh some help from Uncle Jack Barkel.Fortunately the hotnotsvy grows wild on the Durban beaches and is freely available.So you up country boys when in Durban for the holidays bring a large container and return home with your supply.Keep up the good work on the chat line.

Lance in Durban.

4.Plants Linda


Personally i would desist on planting any plants which piegons love round the loft, you wouldn't want them coming down for a snack on their way in from a race!!!!!!!!!

In England I used to buy the packs of cress which we growing in compost, I used to feed on of these to the birds once a week, I took it out of the container and put it on the loft floor, compost and all and it would be gone in a few minutes. I was told that there was some mineral in the cress compost which was very bebeficial to the birds. I haven't found any yet here in America, although I have been sent some seeds from England, I will let you know how it goes when I try these.

Yours in sport


5. Loft Design Linda

    Leon & Jack. Thank you for your complements on our loft.   Linda tells me you're interested in seeing more so I'm attaching some pictures.   I will send them in 2 e-mails as to not jam things up. 

    The loft is a result of undoing mistakes I made on other lofts.   The steep roof is because last year I lost a race by 3 seconds because a bird landed on the roof before trapping. As you can see in the first picture from the outside there's no way a bird is going to land on that roof.  (15/12 slope).   All the compartments are along the front (south) side with 4 foot deep aviaries.   On the flying lofts the aviary fronts hinge downward to the ground.  On the prisoner lofts they hinge upward.  When we train or race the birds come in and land on the aviary floor and trap in the same hole they go in and out of all the time.   One hole for the aviary and for racing.  I have seen lofts where the birds had to take different paths to go in and out of the aviary and then different paths when racing.  I think this stupid.  And un needed.  A single hole is much less confusing.

    Starting from left to right there's a 12' young bird loft with perches, a 4' door and hall way, then another 8' YB loft with perches.  The young bird lofts have window shutters for darkening.  All compartments have lights on timers.Then on to the left there's a 20' widowhood loft with the 2 outer 4 feet on each end being for cocks and hens for flying dual widowhood. See pictures.  The center section has 24 nest boxes for 24 pairs.  I haven't made the nest box fronts yet.   The out side sections which are 6x4 feet have box perches.  The center nest box section has a outside door for basketing. 

    to the left of the widowhood lofts are 2 6x8 foot bull breeding lofts with a 4' door and hall in-between.  We have 2 favorite cocks we are going to breed on the bull system this year.  Pictures of these lofts and the hen widowhood loft are on the next e-mail.

    Just behind the bird compartments running almost the full length is a 4' hallway.  Along the back wall are 12 2'x4'x6.5' breeding pens.  A 4x8 foot utility room with deep sink and hot and cold water.  Then 6- 4'x4'x6.5' breeding pens and then to the far left a 8'x8' office. 

    There are 7 thermostatically controlled fans on the roof peak for ventilation.  The air comes in the front bottom of the loft and exits through the ceiling where the light fixtures are above in the rafters.  The loft stays dust free and in the hot summer fairly cool.  Each fan flows 1700 CFPM.  But there not always all on at once.  The high roof vents fairly well in it's self. All perches and nest boxes are made out of particle board with a plastic laminate on them.  This makes scraping real easy.  The wood floors have been sanded so scraping them is easy also.  Plus each loft has a "shit shoot"  lift the door and scrape it out.  Quick and easy.  No feeders as we feed on the floor.  Every day we clean a compartment, takes about 5 minutes.  put feed on the floor and just sit down with the birds.  This is our "Quality Time" together.  We do this with each section. 

    I hope you have enjoyed our quick tour and not got bored.   Please feel free to ask any questions.  And thank you for your interest

Steve Joneli
Red Rose Lofts

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6.Hottentot's Fig Jack

Hello Thumper & All,

Hottentots Vy is a Sour Fig of the succulent family, it is used mainly in the Karroo and semi desert for binding or holding the sandy soil together. I believe it's correct name is Vygie, and that the astringent juice it carries, helps bind the pigeons system against watery droppings etc.

In other words a cleansing effect without purging. It does sometimes display pink , yellow and white flowers so causing some colour around the loft. The other plant that is growing on the Yorkshire Moors in profusion and can also be grown in warmer climates similar to South Africa is the Wild ansy,( VIOLA TRICOLOR) known by the Romany Gypsies as Hearts-ease and

introduced to the pigeon fancy by my mentor S(Stan)W. Bishop many years ago. I suggest as he did, that fanciers grow their own near to the loft and let the pigeons eat the new green shoots. The flowers are also yellow or purple and sometimes a mixture of both colours. It strengthens the heart, and has been proved to increase heart size of youngsters weaned by parents that have it mixed as a tea in their drinking water. My wife Margaret used to make it

and bottle it for many of the local fanciers, and also on our tours whilst staying with fanciers. At sixty four, my blood pressure and Sugar need daily medication, but my heart still beats slow and perfectly up until now.

Could it be this old gypsy potion which I take as regular as my pigeons. By the way Thumper, I forgot to mention, Hottentots Vy makes beautiful Jam.

Yours in Sport,

Jack Barkel.

07 November 2000

1. Vaccination / Plants

2. Glucose + Vitamin

3. Feathered friends

1.Vaccination / Plants Herman

Hi Almero and all from a very warm Johannesburg

[The first part of this posting, was submitted to the Allpigeons Chat room, in order to group all postings on PMV to one central posting.-]

Lance in Durban (not the real Zulu I hope!), thanks for your offer but no thanks, we do not want to import foot and mouth disease or cholera to our lofts on the highveld! Keep your hotnotsvy to yourselves, it does not grow wild here by us, but it is relatively easy to get going and our birds love it just the same! Congratultions on a good racing performance!

Thumper, if you know Cas Matthee on the West Rand, give him a call. I know he grows quite a lot of plants in his garden especially for his birds but please don't ask me their names. I sometimes cannot even remember my own wife's first name!



2.Glucose + Vitamin Val

Our clocking is on sunday. Will there be any negative effect if I give my Racing team Glucose + Vitamin in the drinking water everyday from monday to friday? how about calcium block? Thank You.


3.Feathered friends Linda


On Sunday November 12th, in London, veterans of The Royal Pigeon Corps plus members of todays Fancy will take part for the first time in the Veterans March past the Cenotaph, this is The United Kingdom's National Act of Rememberance to the men and women who gave their lives in 2 World Wars and a host of other conflicts.

I would ask you on Sunday to spare a minutes thought and contemplation for our gallant feathered friends who at long last are being remembered not only in this Act of Rememberance but on a War Memorial which is to be errected in London. Currently the Birtish Fancy are raising funds for this

Remembered with Pride

USA 43 SC.6390 'GI Joe" DM. Saved the lives of 1100 British troops in the Italian Campaign.

NURP.40.WLE249 "Mary" DM. Wounded 22 times, flew for the Allied powers over 5 years - Killed in Action.

NEHU 40.NS1. "Winkie"DM Flew through the night into a gale to report the last known position of a ditched flying boat crew off the coast of Scotland.

NURP 40 GVlS.453 "Royal Blue" DM, pigeon from The Royal Lofts of King George Vl, who saved the lives of a ditched bomber crew.

In total 31 pigeons were awarded The Dicken Medal (Animal Victoria Cross).




Red Rose Lofts WA

08 November 2000

1. Babies

2. We will remember them.

3. Glucose + Vitamin

1.Babies Lance

Hi all thanks for your reply Herman,Unfortunately Im not Zulu.I would appreciate any thoughts re the following.Im considering training my babies (2000) rings up as far as 120 km before they go into the heavy moult.Does anyone think good or bad idea.Please give me opinions and if any why?Thanks again 

Lance (lekker by die see)

2.We will remember them. Jack

Hello Linda and All,

I myself had several magazines in the 1940,s they were the Gazette, each month there was a large circular photo of one of these famous feathered war heroes on the front cover. I have no idea where my Gazettes went. They are lost forever, but one I will never forget was a pigeon that the Brits trained to fly in the dark and to fly down the searchlight beam. Some of you may say it is a tall story, but I am sure it can still be traced somewhere so don't take any bets on it, it actually happened. He was a lovely Cheque Pied Cock and some of you can guess his name, yes you are right, he was named "The Searchlight Pied". Linda, THANKS for reminding all of us about these feathered war heroes and their mostly forgotten trainers. Living in a coal mining / shipbuilding area I saw many of my school mates maimed or killed by the incessant bombing of our area, I watched planes shot down between the cross of the searchlight beams, and watched them burn out in the sea. Through all this, these little feathered brave hearts flew on with a chest not big enough to carry their Dicken Medals. My father promised me his when they returned from the war, but they must have been lost or killed in action as were most of these wonderful creatures that were never to return. We will remember them Linda, thanks to you for this blast from the past.

Yours in Sport,

Jack Barkel.

 3.Glucose + Vitamin Val

Hello Val and All,

Your concentration of glucose is far too high, it is better to only give it on return from a race. To give it the way you suggest the bird stops eating because its sugar level is too high, it substitutes glycogen/speed for stamina so you have defeated the whole object of build up for a race. To add to this you also have a very thirsty pigeon on your race sheet, it is certainly going down for water and will be far behind the winner. Vitamins you are overdosing also, but the birds system will reject what it does not need, but it is a frightful waste. The calcium block I do not know but I see that my birds have calcium supplement on their food, this way they get it whether they like it or not. Remember that when you put anything in the water the bird if it does not like the taste will reduce his intake of water drastically for that week. It is a proven fact that a reduction of 10% to 15% water intake for the week, will give a drop in performance up to 40%. Val, racing pigeons today is a science, but stick with it, and you will come right. This is what this list is for, to help others avoid the pitfalls that we fell into a long time ago.

Yours in Sport, Jack Barkel, South Africa.

09 November 2000

. Training babies.

2. Training babies.

3. Heroes

1.Training babies. Leon

Hi Lance & fellow racers.

I think your idea with training the babies is a good idea, I am planning on doing the same up to about 100km if all goes well even up to 200km.

I tried it last year up to 70km and it worked perfectly, I only lost one out of 80 babies.

And I think the one that got lost, was not anything to cry about, I think it just sorts them out.


2.Training babies. Herman

Hi all,

Lance, every year I tell myself I am going to give the babies a few training tosses. Every year I refrain from doing it, and they keep on winning races the following season. I know fanciers who do give their birds road training, some do well, others not so well. A lot of guys keep their birds locked up from now until after the big moult. Some of them do well in the following year's races, others not so well. At Sun City where the birds are now being trained for January's Million Dollar race, some birds were kept inside for thirty days or more during the quarantine period. Thereafter they were soaped for another week before gradually being forced to fly around the loft. I do not know which bird is going to fly away with the boodle next year. What I do know is that some of the quarantine birds will end up high on the list of performers and others won't. So would some of the later entrants who started circling around the loft almost from day one.

A close friend of mine was all fired up in January of this year when their YB races started. He almost convinced me that YB racing was the way to go, that he would clean up the opposition with those selfsame babies come June and the yearling races. He did well in the young bird series and I was a bit envious of him when I had to time his birds in on one particular Saturday. I actually worried a bit, because his youngsters looked well and mine were still sitting on their perches for the better part of the day.

The end of the story was good enough for me. My birds were allowed (not forced) to circle the loft at least every second day, cocks and hens apart. They only got their first toss in April, after the heavy moult. They were a bit slow in taking off during the first few races in June, mainly because I could not give them as much roadwork as I would have liked to do. It worried me a bit, because doing well in those first few races is a habit we acquired some

time ago. Even then I knew that they would still be keen to fly come August, September, when the big money is at stake in our organisation. I was not disappointed in them, although the tough season we had probably suited our training methods this year. My friend did not finish the racing season.

This morning I let the cocks out and thought to myself that maybe I should take the youngsters on a few short tosses. Thanks for your question, it made me reconsider! Why the hell should I waste expensive fuel when I know the birds will come into form (and condition, Jack!) next year under my old methods.

Having said all this, the only logical conclusion one can reach is that some pigeons will do well with a bit of road training now and some will do well without it. Suit yourself. If you are travelling somewhere and have a bit of space for the youngsters in your vehicle, take them out by all means. Provided they are flying in a close kit at home, that is. I might still do the same with mine, because I do not believe it can do them any harm. But I am definately not going to waste fuel on them now. We are going to spend enough on gas next year, so why start wasting so soon..

I know my answer is about as long as one of your minister Buthelezi's speaches and I apologise for that. I also realise that I did not give you a simple yes or no, but you should know that there are many ways to skin a cat. It is up to you to find the

one that works best for you!

One final note: The million dollar race at Sun City in January 2000 was won by a German bird. Second was a South African bird that did not spend the mandatory thirty days in quarantine. The two birds arrived at the loft together! I rest my case! Rather save your money now and come visit the good old Jhb in December when your beaches are overcrowded and our streets deserted! I could even arrange a quick visit to Sun City to see how the birds are doing!



3.Heroes Bob

Hi all,

Linda and Jack at one time I had a very small booklet that would fit in my breast pocket that contained the names of all the receipents of the Dickens Medal. Much like Jack I can not recall where it is today. I picked it up in London at the PIC from Colin Osman in 1967 the month I retired from the Air Force. I may be wrong on this but I seem to recall that GI JOE was No. 53 in the award book or it could have been 153.

Linda we all will pause for a moment and remember all of our hero's and those that faught and perserved our liberty for us.


Bob Phillips

Lithopolis, OH USA

10 November 2000

1. Glucose + Vitamins

2. Heroes


1.Glucose + Vitamins Val

Thanks Jack. Today (wednesday) I stop the glucose + vitamin in the water and I give plain water only for thursday and friday before basketing on saturday morning for the sunday race. I hope its not too late for the bird to get condition. I give G+V last sunday up to wednesday. I try to give many maize for thursday and friday also.


2. Heroes John


I've recently joined the list, and noticed Linda's scribings about the Dicken Medal Pigeons. Here's a list of the 31 winners:

NEHU.40.NS.1 - Blue Cheq. Hen "Winkie"

MEPS.43.1263 - Red Cheq. Cock "George"

SURP.41.L.3089 - White Hen "White Vision"

NPS.41.NS.4230 - "Beachbomber"

NPS.42.31066 - Grizzle Cock "Gustav"

NPS.43.94451 - Dark Cheq. Cock "Paddy"

NURP.36.JH.190 - Dark Cheq. Hen "Kenley Lass"

NURP.38.EGU.242 - Red Cheq. Cock "Commando"

NPS.42.NS.44802 - Dark Cheq. Cock "Flying Dutchman"

NURP.40.GVIS.453- Blue Cock "Royal Blue"

NURP.41.A.2164 - "Dutch Coast"

NPS.41.NS.2862 - Blue Cock "Navy Blue"

NPS.42.NS.15125 - Mealy Cock "William of Orange"

NPS.43.29018 - Dark Cheq. Cock "Ruhr Express"

NPS.42.21610 - B.C. Hen "Scotch Lass"

NU.41.HQ.4373 - Blue Cock "Billy"

NURP.39.NRS.144 - Red Cock "Cologne"

NPS.42.36392 - "Maquis"

NPS.42.NS.7542 -41.BA.2793 - "Broad Arrow"

NURP.39.SDS.39 - "All Alone"

NURP.37.CEN.335 - "Mercury"

NURP.38.BPC.6 -

DD.43.T.139 -

DDD.43.Q.879 -

NURP.41.SBC.219 - Cock "Duke of Normandy"

NURP.43.CC.2418 - B.C. Hen

NURP.40.WLE.249 - "Mary"

NURP.41.DHZ.56 - "Tommy"

42.WD.593 - "Princess"

USA.43.SC.6390 - "G.I. Joe"

See: for more details.

John Ledger Bacup England

3. PMV/POX Bob

[The first part of this posting, was submitted to the Allpigeons Chat room, in order to group all postings on PMV to one central posting.-]

When I speak about most cases, this year and last year were a goofy ones for me with POX VACCINATIONS as I did this as normal when the birds were 90 to 120 days old but had a very strange reaction to the vaccine. This is 2 years in a row using 2 different vaccines where the pigeons still came down with pox at a later stage again. Unusual as I was always told that once they have pox, they will not get it again. WRONG!!!

Now, when I said 2 different vaccines, I used 1 type last year and a different type this year as I felt that the wild doves or some other similar family of birds must have a pox that is unique as our pigeon pox vaccines have not given me 100% coverage.

Another strange thing that I noticed is that I have always just slid a needle under the skin that had the pox vaccine on it and never had a problem but this year, I did the same as always and the birds literally developed a pox lump that grew quite large and settled into different parts on the pigeons. All were under the skin rather than on top as usual. I had some with these lumps on the side of the breast which is where I have always vaccinated but some even had growths develop in the

thigh of the pigeon. These lumps grew to be approximately 1 inch long (25 mm) by 3/8 of an inch (10 mm) in diameter. I have never seen this before but I suspect that because they did not bleed or have an open exit for the pox to grow out of and give an external lump, this was my suspected thought of why they grew internally. Will try a different method for vaccinating next year.

I personally would prefer not to have to give vaccinations but any time I have tried that, always just around the time when large money races would come up, many had the pox. With that in mind, I never go without vaccinating and especially if you are bringing in strange birds for special races. You are now bringing in the entire disasters of the breeders from which you accept birds and their weakness may infect the entire loft at an inopportune time..

Use extreme care about what you introduce to your loft and always make sure you have protected your self and your birds by vaccinating against the common viruses. Remember, it is the virus that we are trying to stop and not the bacteria, although bacteria is never a good thing, they can be treated with antibiotics whereas a virus can not and must run it's course.

Hope this helps someone:

Bob Rowland

14 November 2000

1. Picking Pigeons

2. Saturdays Show

3. Help Again

1.Picking Pigeons Rassie

Hello all.

At a sale with rows of pigeons to pick from, I will appreciate if anybody can help me out on this one. What must I look for?

Thanks Rassie

2. Saturdays Show Linda

Hope all had a good weekend.

Our club held a fun show on Saturday with out of the ordinary classes, Colours, Matched pairs for Colour, Golden Oldies (over 10 years old) and unbanded.

Red Rose won 2nd Colours, pencil pied Continental Class Janssen Cock 3rd Colours, Gay pied Jan Aarden Hen 2nd Golden Oldies 1988 Dark Chequer Stichelbaut Cock who is named Grumpy.

The different classes were well received and the event may be held again next year. Steve and I put a small press release out about the Show in our local newspaper who came to photograph our birds. We had a teriffic response from Joe Public and about 50 non fanciers payed us a visit, hopefully we have a new flyer in a young boy who has always wanted racers and came clutching $50 to purchase his first bird from our auction. He went home with an excellent bird bred by Rick mardis and 4 gifted Verbruggens.

We will keep in touch with the young man and hopefully have him flying his young birds next season.

Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

3.Help Again Val

I like to ask some comments about the following pigeon myth or truth, & questions:.

1.) Some book says Rapeseed is poisonous, some fancier said its their secret for good flying. which one is correct.

2.)One of my pigeon is very thin but still active, I dewormed him

already but still very thin, you can feel the keel already, what could be the problem?

3.) Should we deworm the breeder even if he or she is very healthy with round body and good weight?

4.)Red corn is better than yellow corn, which is which?

5.)Pigeons will leave your loft if you have very few stocks? true or false?

Thanks Val

15 November 2000

1. Special Races & Functions.

2. New Flyer

3. Selecting pigeons

4. Replies

5. Saturday Show

6. Selecting pigeons

7. Replies

1.Special Races & Functions. Thumper

Hi guys & girls.

I think your "Fun Show" is a great idea. i think we could use this mailing list as an idea to trade ideas for special races or events.

I would like to run this one past you.

We implemented this race this season and it worked like a charm, in this explanation I will use $`s so that everyone will understand.

Depending on the size of your club you pick a amount of rings.

For this demonstration we will use 100 rings.

The rings will be drawn out of a hat, if the fancier draws ring number 1, he/she pays $1 for that ring, if ring number 87 is drawn the ring will cost $87 and so on.

If you count 1+2+3+4+5+6........ i guarantee you that you will be suprised at the amount of money can be made.

100 rings = $5 050

200 rings = $20 100

300 rings = $45 150 (really, no kidding)

I suggest you start with 100 rings the first season so that everyone can see how it works, the next season you will have an idea of the demand and the amount of rings can be upped.

In our club we have a limit of 10 birds per loft for this race, but the fanciers who are flying less than 10 can fill up there quota by having members of the public draw rings so that the pigeon can be flown from the fanciers loft. Prize money split can be arranged between fancier and buyer.

I would love to hear of any other ideas.

Thanx 4 reading


2.New Flyer Linda


The young man's dad contacted me yesterday morning to say they wanted to join the club and order 2001 bands.

Now the rest is up to Steve myself and our fellow club members and I am sure after he visits with us Saturday he will be going home with loft equipment and some good pairs of stock birds to start him on the right path, now the hunt is on for a clock!!!! 

Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

3.Selecting pigeons Lance

Hi all , Interesting to read Rassies letter.As a novice this year I was paid loft visits by some of the big guns in Durban.After they had left i wrote their comments in my book.Not one fancier (3 Fed champions ) selected my best pigeon as being a decent pigeon.They all did not like it.One fancier went as far as suggesting i cull her as it has nothing going for it.Another pigeon one said "Now this is class"Of the same bird one said no good.One was right the other wrong.Obviously we need to have standards however I believe the basket is the best method.Im sure if the pigeons are well performed from good stock etc they should be okay.How to choose I dont know.I leave it to the experts.Ha Ha.By the way Herman I will be in Jhb Friday and Sat.It would be nice to pay you a visit .My cell no. is 0827714932 if you you want to contact me.Keep up the good work people Lekker by die see.


 4.Replies Jack

Hello all.

I would like to give my opinion on the following questions. At a sale with rows of pigeons to pick from, I will appreciate if anybody can help me out on this one. What must I look for?

REPLY: I have on the allpets site said what I look for in a pigeon to some considerable depth, too long really to repeat here. But if you do not wish to handle every bird in the pens, this is my way of selecting the birds to take out for scrutiny. If you look at the pigeon straight on, beak and body

facing you, the bird needs to be oblong in shape, that is to say narrow from side to side, and long from top to bottom, if square or long from side to side or narrow from top to bottom, ( barrel chested), do not waste your time. We are just taking the shape from the base of the neck to the keel

bone and across the chest.

1.) Some book says Rapeseed is poisonous, some fancier said its their secret for good flying. which one is correct. Neither are correct, it contains a lot of oil, but has a very hard sharp shell, be careful, better alternatives on the market.

2.)One of my pigeon is very thin but still active, I dewormed him already but still very thin, you can feel the keel already, what could be the problem?

ANSWER: Sounds more like Coccidiosis,put one dessert spoon of Sulphamethasine on one litre of water for five days or get some fabry Tricoxine Pills and administer one each day for three days, or do both these things and the bird should recover and start to put on weight.

3.) Should we deworm the breeder even if he or she is very healthy with round body and good weight?

ANSWER: Breeders in captivity should not need deworming, any deworming must be done before breeding not during breeding.

4.)Red corn is better than yellow corn, which is which?

ANSWER:If you are talking about Indian corn or Maize the red in colour is the best by my tests, the yellow long tooth is also good, but the pigeon does not like the white which is used for maize meal.

 5.)Pigeons will leave your loft if you have very few stocks? true or false?

ANSWER:False, they can still leave the lofts for various other reasons, but fly aways are blamed on overcrowding.

Yours in Sport Jack Barkel.

5.Saturday Show Jack

Hello Linda,and All,

Well done at your Saturday Show, and may I say an example to us all, by bringing this youngster into the fold and seeing he procures good stock and not the rubbish cast offs which seems to be the practice with many new starters into the sport. Well done on both accounts Linda, I am sure we

would all like to here of any future progress he makes in the sport. The sport needs more like you.

Jack Barkel South Africa.

6.Selecting pigeons Mike

Hello Rassie,

This is about as unscientific as I can get, but when I go to a sale, with rows of pigeon to pick from, I look for a bird or two that catches my eye. Something that I enjoy looking at. After all, if I'm going to take a bird home and breed out of him, I'm going to have to look at him for at least 2 years. If he doesn't catch my eye, I don't want him. After I've picked out a few to look at I then handle them. I want a bird to blend into my family of birds, not stick out. My birds are on the small to medium size. If there is one that I like the looks of but is very large, I put it back. I've been in many lofts where the birds are of all sizes and shapes. Often the flyer has no idea of which

direction he is going in his breeding program. I have a goal in mind and try to breed to that goal. This has probably not been very helpful, but it's another idea.

Yours in the Sport,  Mike

7.Replies Bob

This post is in response to some questions that were asked and it is my opinion that they are very good. It has to do with myth or fact and all too often we all hear something and grasp at it as if this is the absolute truth with out having any research data to substantiate the material as fact or myth.

The first question asked was:

1.) Some book says Rapeseed is poisonous, some fancier said it's their secret for good flying. which one is correct.

It is my opinion that any of the seeds could be poisonous depending on where they came from or even how they were bagged. I know of a large pigeon feed manufacturer that also produces fertilizers and other farm related products.

In review of their facility, I did not see any other mixing equipment other than what I knew they mixed the feeds in so how do we know that they were treated in such a fashion as to make sure that none of the fertilizers or other products do not end up in our feed?

Now back to the main question: Rape seed had been used by many and is said to be a secret but like anything else, too much of anything can be detrimental. The thought of any seed should first be what there properties are and what are the effects of that seed as it breaks down in the digestive system. One of the by-products of rape seed, as I have been told, is that moisture is supposed to

be one of the by-products of breakdown but whether this will give pigeons the extra moisture so they can fly a race without going down for water is not known to the best of my knowledge.

Had this product been tested scientifically in a wind tunnel or some other means and shown a benefit over other seeds, then we could say it is an edge but until this data is tested and proven, rape seed will continue to be poison to some and the secret to others.

The second question asked was:

2.) One of my pigeons is very thin but still active, I wormed him already but still very thin, you can feel the keel already, what could be the problem?

This could still be a worm problem but the only way to truly know is to do a fecal exam to see if there are any worm eggs present. Not all wormers hit all kinds of worms so even though you may have treated for worms, that treatment could have been totally ineffective.

I have always promoted getting tests done so you know what you are treating for. I have my own microscope and even then, I may miss something but at least I am not generally treating blindly. If all of us would realize that so much of what we do is based on hear-say and old wives tales rather than documented fact, how can we expect to be lucky enough to make the proper diagnosis every time?

The third question was:

3.) Should we worm the breeders even if he or she is very healthy with round body and good weight?

This question takes us right back to question number 2 and the answer provided. Why would you treat a pigeon that did not have a problem or why would you not treat a pigeon that does have a problem???

First, we must understand what we are attempting to do and why we are doing it. If we are only doing something because it makes us feel good, think about driving down the road when you get the urge to accelerate and exceed the posted speed limits. There are penalties to pay when caught and this only helps to show us that we must be aware at all times of what we are doing. Ignorance of a problem will create more problems for us and you can't go back and re-fly the race you were just beaten in. History should serve as a lesson for the future but some of us are making the same mistakes over and over.


The fourth question was:

4.) Red corn is better than yellow corn, which is which?

Many manufacturers like using red corn as it gives a great appearance to the feed. Add some highly polished green peas and some maple peas and you have a very colorful mix. Is it any better than a bland looking mix or not? This would all depend upon the following:

Either of these corns can be good or bad. This all depends on the condition it was stored, whether it was treated with sprays and most importantly, what the fat content of the product is.

We must understand why we feed corn. In most cases, corn is used as the distance gets longer or when we are racing or training hard so this is used to restore the energy to the pigeon through it's fat content. At least, this is the way I understood the purpose so if there are other reasons, I am all ears to learn.

If the corn is old and will not germinate, it doesn't matter what color it is as it will not give you any food value to speak of. Another problem that can be found with corn is it can have rodent urine on it if it has not been stored properly and the premises kept free of rodents.

In conclusion, we worry about color when we should worry about quality. What is really the most important? Now, why not consult a chart that shows the value of different corn as to red or yellow and you make the decision which you prefer. Remember the chart is only theoretical and may not reflect what you are actually getting in the feed you purchase. Again, QUALITY is the main concern.

The fifth question was:

5.) Pigeons will leave your loft if you have very few stocks? true or false?

I am not familiar with this term so perhaps someone can enlighten me to what is meant by this. I hope my answers have given you more to think about than just the questions as asked:

Bob Rowland

16 November 2000

1. The color Yellow

2. New Flyer

3. Raising cash

4. Selecting pigeons

5. Sport Promotion

1. The color Yellow Daneile

Hi All from a scorching Franschhoek

It's me again with my novice questions. There is one fancier here in our village who is breeding yellow pigeons. I have never seen his stock before and at first I didn't believe it but some other fanciers told me it's true. They say it isn't yellow like in true yellow but you can see the traces of the color. I think his breeding pair is a red hen and a dunn(excuse the spelling) cock. Can anyone please tell me how this color is possible?

Thanks again  Deneile

2. New Flyer Linda

Thankyou Jack

I have always been of the opinion that we should as we say in England "Bend over Backwards" to help new starters, in particular the Juniors.

It seems counterproductive to me to pass on low quality birds to beginners, they could soon be discouraged and leave the sport if they are at the bottom of the sheet every week.

When Steve started he was gifted birds by his clubmates who told him, "you've got of our best now the rest is up to you", and this year we topped the Concourse by 10 minutes with a bird bred down from one of these gifts.

I am amazed that here in America there is no Loan a Clock system. In England the RPRA hold a bank of clocks which have been donated and pass these out on loan to Junior flyers until they can afford a clock of their own. Normally they are the 10 or 12 bird Toulet but to a Junior this is a good help as a new or indeed good second hand clock is sometimes out of the reach of a kid

who is flying on a pocket money budget.

I could go on all day abut promoting the sport, so I'd better put up andshut up now before I bore everyone to death <vbg>

Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

 3.Raising cash Linda

It has always been my contention that you cannot continually hit flyers week after week for the cash needed to make the club attractive, but to bring money in from the outside.

An idea John and I used very sucessfully in England, was to contact Local Business and ask them to sponsor races, we didn't ask for a lot of money 30 pounds sterling and in the first season our races were oversubscribed. 66% of the cash was given in prize money and the remainder put into the coffers as a little fall back fund. We always gave the donators maximum publicity in the local and fancy press, and invited them along to our presentation afternoon. I believe the same people sponsored races this year.

Aother idea we had sucess with was collecting all our members unused and broken power tools which were repaired and sold at Car Boot sales. Members also donated unwanted items which were also put on sale and this provided prize money for the old bird season.

A lot of effort you may say, but it brings in the cash, from outside sources.

This year, our Concourse are raising funds for a new shipping truck, so I have asked every flyer to donate a pair of 2001 birds, these are going to be sold as 6 bird kits for $300 including box and shipping. So far I have sold 4 kits, but if every member donates and all the kits are sold it will nett the fund $4000.

Hope these ideas help Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

4.Selecting pigeons Rassie

Thanks for the reply (Jack, Mike, Lance) on selecting sale birds. Note that these birds will have to race for a specified sale race, and I think to bay a bird with high price money on his head could be a waist of money, " If I don't know what to look for. "


 5.Sport Promotion Bob Rowland

Some ideas for sport promotion by Bob Rowland

I have been wanting to put some ideas out about sport promotion but find this very difficult because:

We have a sport that is not really friendly by it's nature. When we race pigeons this is a situation where we have every body against everybody else. Compare this to any other hobby and we find that there are usually teams competing against other teams.

Some prime examples of this are the other hobbies or sports that never seem to lose the support of the next generation. Why is this? It is my opinion that people can be a part of a team and whether they win or lose, they are doing things with their friends. For example, most bowling teams have 5 people of which all have some other common bonds or interest. The same is true for golf leagues, baseball, basketball, etc., etc., and so the story goes.

When you go to the club to ship your birds, everyone is feeling they will be the winner but the truth of the matter is there is only 1 winner and then the rest of the people or entrants. When one person dominates too often, eventually even their former friends become bitter or even stop participating.So how do we correct some of this? It is my opinion that we need to have other things each week where we form some type of team and not based on which two are the best!

For years we had what was called a partner pool and all or most of the people got into it and then names were drawn to determine who the partners were for the next day's race. This was a nice way of creating an opportunity for those less gifted to get a partner that may hold up the team or not. There were many times I drew a poor partner and down deep inside, I felt as if we didn't have a chance but imagine my surprise when I was the one who let the team down! My poor partner held me up more times than I would care to admit so it created good fun when calculating the race. This is just one idea of what we need to do more of so we, as a club, can help the new beginner to feel as if they can compete in some of the activity.

Now, I happen to compete in what I believe is the largest club in America and everyone wants to be the winner. Nobody really cares what your excuse is for not having an early one and if you are new to the sport, it is really difficult as my club has no clocking limits so if your first bird is 854th in the race, that is exactly the position you get.

I believe if more seminars would be done or open pot luck dinners where everyone brings a dish to pass around and then some friendly activities are held on a monthly basis, more people would find enjoyment in our sport. Shows are a great way to introduce people to our hobby but we need to get the free publicity and open our doors to the public.

Now, I just mentioned that it is a tough bunch of guys that we all compete against each race, but our life here goes beyond just the races. Let someone be sick or in the hospital and the organization and especially the ladies are there as an extended family. Is there any question as to why the sport is growing here? Although there are few if any new people, the rest of the US finds the attraction of Florida and the Greater Tampa Bay Combine one they have longed for.

As a lad when I first raced my pigeons, I was just happy to get them home but to this day, I can tell you that my club mates seldom if ever, gave out any useful information. I believe in many cases they actually fed bad information so that you would not become too good. A sad state of affairs and we wonder why our numbers have shrunk.

OK, we are never going to lose the one on one competitiveness of this sport but somehow the team concept which would have to be implemented as an additive rather than try to replace something. By doing so, we can help the under dog feel a little more successful on occasion and this could be the spark that keeps them excited.

My idea of a team concept would be to take the top finisher and the last finisher from the previous week and they are a team for the next race. Take the second finisher and the second from last finisher and they are team number 2. Continue as such until all the lofts have a partner and

if it is an odd number of flyers, the person directly in the middle would not have a partner for the next race. It could either be a no contest or they would go it alone.

This was merely a simple little game that could be played and you can adapt whatever rules you wish to the basic concept.

Another game we played was an elimination process where all names were drawn and put on a rotation as to who was their challenge for the next race. If you defeated your opponent, you advanced ahead and if not, you were out. All the poorer loft had to do was to beat 1 of the champs on the first week and they advanced while the ace sat on the sideline. It was a lot of fun and everyone has a bad day now and then so even though you may be on top most of the time, it only took once to be eliminated from the contest. This was a sort of sudden death scenario.

Now back to the idea about promoting our sport. This is a great opportunity for us to do things to have our family involved if we allow it to happen. Many women have been down on the sport because it took the man away from the family and other activities such as picnics and other friendly occasions. Why haven't we done more to have these types of occurrences more often. Where I came from, the winters were long and drawn out but when I was in Belgium, they had shows where everyone came and made a day of the occasion. They visited freely and ate and had refreshments and the women were happy to be a part of this great sport rather than watching their spouse go away and leave the family to find other entertainment.

Creating an occasion will get new people through the door of our clubs and if it is a wholesome and healthy and friendly environment, we can grow. However, if all we worry about is how many 1st's one person can win regardless of the others, stagnation will become the pattern.

It's nice to be a winner but when we go to our final resting place, it would be nice to have 6 friends to take you there. If our whole life is only towards benefiting ones self, then they may find it lonely at the top.

Hope this can help trigger some new ideas towards changing our sport for growth in the future. We certainly know what we did in the past has not been a positive influence to our sport so as I always have said, "If you do the same things you've always done, you'll get the same results", and that means our sport will continue to shrink.

With great anticipation,

Bob Rowland

18 November 2000

1. General Help

2. Team Plan

1.General Help Help

I want to give some credit to Jack Barkel.

I am a novice fancier, flying a small team of birds (28) in the strong Schweizer-Reneke club (with great fanciers like Johan and Maans van Zyl, Butch Einkamerer and Willie Munnik, to name some). The previous season I had mediocre success and I was looking for an old hand to help me, but I could nowhere find one who was willing to help. After another mediocre start this season, I met Jack via his articles on the web and decided to ask him for help. He immediately responded and made me change my whole feeding system. The guys at the club shooked their heads in disbelieve, but I went through with the plan, for I had nothing to loose. For the rest of the season I scored 10 positions under the first 5 in the club, including one 1st and two 2nd positions. I ended 8th of 20 members (6th on the single point system) in the Middle distance. Thanks "Uncle" Jack for your help!!!

I do believe that there are people who can pick out the good ones just by handling the birds. Jack is one of them. I took a few birds at his home that he could help me select and mate them. I included a hen, scoring this seasons, a 1st, 2nd, 7th, 18th and 22nd place in the 5 races she was basket. Not knowing her performances, he immediately at looking at her eyes stated that she was a super bird. He also picked out her parents as two of my best stock birds! I am exited to see what the matings he made will deliver.

Now for the questions: Pigeon racing has become an expensive sport. After making my budget for next year I saw that I could not effort to go in big in pigeon racing. To stay in the sport I must go in small and as good as I can. I decided to keep only 12-16 pairs of racing birds and fly them next season on the Roundabout system. I am also planning to race only for the last 8 weeks (16 races) of the season (Middle an Long distance) and bring them into form as Jack suggest in his articles. (If I try these system I do not have the loft space – or time - to bring two separate teams into form, therefore my decision to go in for 8 weeks as good as I can.) The other guys in the club think I am out of my mind to take part in such few races with s little pigeons. (Remember in South Africa, the most fanciers have big teams of pigeons and do not specialize in certain races as overseas. We also do not give very much credit to individual winning performances, but rather giving al the credit to the overall winner in the club or union.)

Question 1: What do you think of my plans of flying a small team of bird the way I describe above?

Question 2: Can on build up a winning family of birds with a small team of birds?

Question 3: I bred too much youngsters and must get rid of more then halve of them. How do I select them (we don’t have Young bird races.)? Do I:

1. Select them on last year’s performances of birds of the same pair?

2. Select them on physical attributes?

3. Ask someone like Jack to sort them for me?

4. Give them roadwork and keep only those that home in the best time? (By the way, what are you thinking of the method to get them fit round the loft and then jumped them to 100 km or further?)

Thanks for helping. My you enjoy the love of our Lord this Christmas season. (Lekker in die Wes Transvaal!)


2.Team Plan Mike

Hello Bob, Linda and the SAPML,

Nice post, both of you. The team concept is a good one. Maybe we should divide up our clubs into teams and have the teams compete for average speed. There are an infinite number of variations on this theme. And we are a creative bunch. I'm going to make several of these proposals to our club for next year. We have several new flyers in our club and they don't have established OB teams. So flying the distance races will be tough if not impossible for them. I'm going to propose shipping an 80-100 mile speed race every weekend that we have a long two day race. This would keep these flyers interested every week instead of them sitting out every other week.

Linda is right. Asking everyone to support the organization equally when a few benefit the most leaves those on the bottom out and soon out of the organization. There must be someone to fly against or our organizations fold. Making the financial burden easier on everyone in one way to disenfranchise fewer.

Keep those offbeat ideas flowing. If everyone would think the same way, the earth would still be flat.

Yours in the Sport,


20 November 2000

1. Keeping Pigeons

2. General help

3. Pigeons WW.II

4. Special rings, team races, yellow pigeons

1.Keeping Pigeons Bob

Hi Hennie and all on the list,

Hennie I can only speak for myself and my desire to keep pigeons. I only keep six pair of breeders and raise the first round for myself on the light system here in central Ohio, USA.

I raise the next round to send to the AU Race etc. My results have been much better since I started keeping less birds. I will give you an example in 1998 I started the young bird season with

10 birds and ended it with the same 10. They have a tough schedule and I do not live on course.

After seven club wins I did not like the weather on the upcomming 300 mile race and only shipped 2. Took first club and first combine. I must tell you that I do not fly old birds. One man on the East Coast bought nest mates and mated them to his best and sent them to your high $ race and did quite well with them. I sold them all that year for the first time I have ever sold birds.

This year I went back to giving them away to new members. I can say with some pride that a 13 year old young lady out west in Or. Received the father of the bird that was 9th in our rather large AU Race. I enjoyed this more than selling the birds as she will hopeful remain in the sport for some time.

Best Bob Phillips Lithopolis, OHIO USA

2. General help Jack

Hello Hennie, and all members.

I would like to say thank you Hennie for the recognition you gave for my assistance. May I say that this is all a person needs to feel their efforts are worth while, recognition. I have met Hennie twice when he visited me, but have answered a lot of queries from him by e-mail. I only found out on his second visit to me, when another visitor pitched up and addressed him by his title, that he is not only a keen new fancier, but also an Afrikaans Minister of Religion. I only hope my behaviour was impeccable on his first visit, when I had no tip off to watch my language. I can slip up sometimes. Now Hennie,

Answer to Question 1. Yes you can fly this way, many do specialise in most countries. Yes, for the roundabout pair up the 90 days before the first race you wish to participate in. Also remember that the beginning of the season is very cold in the far Western Transvaal where you reside, so your diet must consist of dehisced sunflower in the morning andan even mixture of Barley/Wheat/Maize for the evening meal. The sunflower will give the energy and oil they need, the barley will keep the weight of the birds down, the wheat will give enough Vit E for flexibility of muscle and the Maize will fortify your birds against those bitterly cold winds and frosty mornings and evenings.The whole mix, although sustaining your birds in a healthy state will prevent them from peaking this early in the year.

Answer to Question 2. Yes Hennie you can fly a small team the way you have described, but here is the strategy. Because your competitors although everyone of them have attended my seminars do not do this preparation there birds all come into form at the beginning of the season or the middle, or the end. Therefore everyone of their birds are fighting to come into form at the 90 day period after they paired their birds, so two thirds of the season they are not flying on form, only condition. This eliminates 25 to 30 % of your competitors, from giving you stiff competition in the last 8 weeks. The others have peaked and they do not even know it. They will not get form until the following year. You also have a better chance of choosing the right pigeons with a smaller team. The motto is Quality not Quantity. I did this for two fanciers in your Federation the previous year and they ended up Fed champion and runner up and this year they would not even let their club fly in your federation. These results can be verified on the allpets site if anyone is interested, see Stefan Coetsee and Japie Poolman from Ventersdorp.Fed=180 members strong.

Question 3. I would get all these untried pigeons on the road now, train them up to 150 kilometres early in the morning while the day is still cool. This will sort out quite a few for you and the rest you can bring to me, and we can single up the ones I reject for you, and take the rest back home in the basket to fight another day.

To the rest of the list, let me say that Hennie although an ordained minister of religion has already been put to the test by members of our fraternity or other persons unknown. He has had his loft broken into twice this year and some of his best birds stolen. What an introduction, and what a bad incentive to carry on in our sport. I hope that he will be the shining light and example we need to carry on, no matter what trials and tribulations we have to face in this sometimes difficult path we tread as pigeon fanciers. Welcome to the list Hennie,and may your biggest problems be over.

Jack Barkel South Africa.

3.Pigeons WW.II Jack

Hello John and All,

I was going to let this question slide, but on the re-post of the list of the Dicken Medal Winners, I feel I must ask, is there anyone out there, that still has that write up of "The Searchlight Pied" He made the front page of the Gazette and it was a circular edged photo with his particulars underneath. I hope I am not going back to my second childhood, as they say this is a bad sign, but this bird made a big impression on me as a young boy, he had fairly large wattles as I remember and he was a magnificent pied, which in those days would have gained him a medal from me in any case. He obviously never made the honours list, but he was good enough to make the front page so someone somewhere out there may be able to throw some light on the subject. Do not tell me it only existed in my mind, I would like to think it is not a case of premature senile decay on my part. Come on John help this 64 year old and find some record of the searchlight Pied.

Can't stop wondering, Jack Barkel, South Africa.

4.Special rings, team races, yellow pigeons Herman

Hi all from a nice and cool Johannesburg,

I have been a bit quit of late because of work pressure and illness, but her I am back in the sadle again.

Special rings.

Thumper, selling rings at R1 for no.1 , R2 for no. 2 and so on is a great idea. With a bit of luck you can buy into high stakes very cheaply and even if you pay the maxi mum of say R200 you still stand a chance to win back a substantial amount of money.

Team races

Bob, thanks to you and all our American Friends who take part in this list. Also to our friends from Europe. This started off as a South African mailing list but has now truly become a United Nations gathering every time one opens the mail.

I like your idea about team races very much, and as Mike says the options are almost unlimited. It is something that I would also promote in our club next year. Keep those ideas rolling in from Florida, man you managed to keep the whole world in suspension for over a week with your Presidential election!!

Yellow pigeons

Daneile, I have seen yellowish racers before. They were bred and raced (rather sucessfully) by a fellow club mate on the West Rand. I asked him once about their origin and he did explain to me in great detail, but I must admit my memory is too short to recount all the details. They were bred off dunnes and there were sometimes off whites amongst the babies as well.

Ask our good Mr Barkel about those yellow finches he is trying to cross with racing pigeons on his farm outside Potch!

Speaking of which, I am pleased to read Hennie's praise for the old goat. I have only recently met him and do not know him that well, but it is good to know that there are still people around who likes to share their knowledge with the rest of us. And it is as good to know that there are still people like Hennie and Lance who gives credit where credit is due. I know a lot of fanciers who would never admit that they got sound advice from so and so, and if you happen to find out about it, they would deny everything.

Keep them flying in the good old Wes Transvaal, Hennie, and remember Butch and the rest of those guys will never be able to win every single race you fly against them. It is good to have names like those in your club, you have got to measure yourself against the best and believe me it is o so nice to beat them every now and again. And with the birds Jack put together for you, you should have the fire power to do so. A small team of birds can still produce winners. Why dont you pack your bakkie and let Jack have a look at what you have available? Or ask Butch or Willie to help you?

Kap daai Stellaland flou!

Regards Herman

21 November 2000

1. Single tosses

2. Giving away pigeons

3. General

4. Yellows, Lemons, Biscuits.

5. Differnce between Short and Long distance pigeons.

6. General

1. Single tosses Nico

Hello , I would be interested in hearing from anyone with information on the use of single tosses for training. Advantaces and Disadvantages. Is this statement True or False? When you single toss a bird the bird will fly slower and not race home, so tossing in smaller groups teaches the birds to race and fly faster.

Thank You Nico

2. Giving away pigeons Herman

Hi everybody

Way to go Bob. I hope your 13-year old lassie wins a lot of races with the offspring of your great cock. Thank you for doing your bit to keep our sport alive.

I am not saying that all great fanciers should give away birds for free, but I fear too little is being done to assist the beginner. I have pleaded with our cash-flush organisations to allow at least one new member free transport, but to no avail. When my son started racing pigeons they were a lot of juniors in the Federation, we had at least six in our club if I can remember correctly. Sadly though I must report that the youngest member in our present club is in his early thirties. Maybe we should put up pigeon lofts at our local schools and spend some time teaching interested kids the ropes.

Jack, thanks for tipping us off on Hennie's proffession. Man, did I rush back and re-read my previous article to make sure I did not use any profound language!! Thanks, Jack I owe you one. And I will not tell Hennie what language you used when I was at your place the other day! And I do hope you find your pied cock, or then at least his photo! Great to read about these war veterans, by the way. I bought a hen with a Swiss Army ring at an SAHU auction last year.

Cheers for now Herman

3.General Terry

Bob, you have reason to be proud. Miss D. and Miss P. both speak very highly of you.

Take care Terry Reimer

4. Yellows, Lemons, Biscuits. Jack

Ask our good Mr Barkel about those yellow finches he is trying to cross with racing pigeons on his farm outside Potch! Speaking of which, I am pleased to read Hennie's praise for the old goat.

Hello All,

I must have somehow missed the posting about yellow pigeons from Danielle, anyway I had to laugh at Herman, first for referring to my new strain in the making as yellow finches, and secondly his reference to me as an Old Goat. I suppose if I did have a beard I could look like an old goat, but I have not got a set of horns either. Anyway, you having visited me twice Herman, I think I can say that what you say is not disrespectful, but rather your way of using it as a term of endearment. To Danielle I am in the process of creating a strain of Lemon Racing Pigeons. They have near perfect attributes and although still in development have shown promise in Capetown and Groblersdaal, which is far north and far south in South Africa. I refuse to sell these pigeons as it will not become a strain of it's own before the end of 2002. I chose these birds because of their colour as I have successful Mealys,Reds, Grizzles, Blues Cheques and Pieds and Opals. My critics would have said that I had just developed a family around all these birds. After much thought I decided that I would acquire this beautiful Lemon Hen, which was perfect in every way for me. I delved into her history and found she was a Slimme, but could not find any record of Lemon or recessive red in the Slimme strain. By intensive breeding and strict selection, I managed to breed Lemon Cocks of beautiful build, feather quality and eye-sign. These birds are very hard to fault by the connoisseur other than their rare colour. Once I have several of these selected Lemon cocks, I will pair them back to all my top Slimme hens that have all the characteristics of Slimme and Buren. These were Cheque and Pied respectively. I intend to mould intelligence physical attributes and feather quality, with instant recognition to even the layman of what they are. In the beginning I was not sure I had the capabilities of achieving this, but since 1997 this goal has come well within my grasp as it has become an obsession. To be a great racing man one is forgotten very quickly, but to create a successful strain it lasts a long time if not forever. My mistake was to let some of these creations go, while still in the experimental stage, fortunately they had enough quality genes not to let me down, but it did put my breeding programme behind as two of them turned out to be excellent stock cocks. To Danielle, I think the correct name for these are Lemon, but if they do what I expect of them and I intend to place them in the lofts of a selected few, that I know are good, the name of this Strain, will be "Barkel's Biscuits." Please remember I bred these Lemon Cocks from Chequers that both carried the Lemon recessive gene. So I am line breeding to cocks and stole the colours from this beautiful near perfect Lemon Hen. Some of these Lemons have the chequering factor and some do not. I have made the process sound simple, but far be it, it holds a lot of rejection and disappointments along the way. It is an up hill struggle not to be attempted without strong dogged determination and resolve. So Hennie, may I say in jest, do not make fun of my canaries, they are not finches. The Guys that Hennie mentioned from his club, have used me for their selections and pairings, and most of that club have followed suit. So I think it better that he comes to the person that is doing most of them in any case.

I hope I did not bore anyone with my project, and that it was of interest to some.

Yours in Sport, Jack Barkel, South africa.

5. Differnce between Short and Long distance pigeons. Nico

Hello All, Do you think a pigeon has the capabilities of racing both short and long distance races? Some articles state "there is no difference, it is all in the feeding and training". Is this true?

Thank You Nico

6. General Rassie

Mail from Hennie

Subject: Thanks "Uncle" Jack

I want to give some credit to Jack Barkel. I was looking for an old hand to help me, but I could nowhere find one who was willing to help. After another mediocre start this season, I met Jack via his articles on the web and decided to ask him for help. He immediately responded and made me change my whole feeding system. Thanks "Uncle" Jack for your help!!!

Rassie reply: Yes Hennie I must agree with you and if I should put up my results of last season then the champions of champions will hang their heads in shame and wonder how could that be possible. I also must give credit to a very good friend of mine (Darccheck) who are always on standby when I need him. So yes Gary and Jack " I SALUTE YOU"

Hennie wrote:

(Remember in South Africa, the most fanciers have big teams of pigeons and do not specialize in certain races as overseas. We also do not give very much credit to individual winning performances, but rather giving al the credit to the overall winner in the club or union.)

Rassie reply: I know a fancier who are the FED champion and he did not get one win for the season. Although no win his birds return in batches from the races and he clock 10 to 12 birds in the top 20 most of the time. I remember one specific race from 980km where he took 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th,8th, 10th,11th and 12th place on the one race and the 2nd release he also took 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 10th place. Both winners of these race have only the one bird in the top 50.

Hennie wrote:

(By the way, what are you thinking of the method to get them fit round the loft and then jumped them to 100 km or further?)

Rassie reply: Although Jack answered already your questions I would suggest that you never do that as you mention above. Give them a fair change to show their abilities to you and train them to win for you. The birds will try to get home and some of them will fly for hours and that could do more harm than good. If well trained, they will do the 100km in 45 to 55 min and some of these birds will win for you.

Regards Rassie

22 November 2000

1. Single tosses

2. Differnce between Short and Long distance pigeons.

3. During race week

4. North and South

5. Lemon creams

6. Yellows, Lemons, Biscuits.

7. Horses for Courses

8. Lemon's

9. Single Tosses

10. Differnce between Short and Long distance pigeons.

1. Single tosses Thumper

Hi fellow fanciers.

Just to comment on the single tossing, firstly I must say that I am in no way an authority on this subject.I feel that your pack always sticks together when you let them out all at once.

I do not think that it is possible that all your birds fly at the same velocity. If you let them out in a single toss maner I think that they have to think for themselves and in most cases they fly faster than they do within a pack, where the pack is only as fast as the slowest pigeon.


2. Differnce between Short and Long distance pigeons. Thumper

Hi guys & girls.

Hi Nico, I do believe that there are excellent specimens that can fly at any distance with great success, but they are few and far between.I think that in a way it is easier to try and breed a pigeon for a specific distance than one for all distances.that is why there are so few of them around.


3. During race week Val

I like to ask for this comment. We are in the race season. Can I give cocci treatment or respiratory prevention within the week?? Thanks.


4. North and South Val

Hi all, I like to ask if in case a have a pigeon raced in the north, can still include it for the race in the south?? thanks.


5.Lemon creams Herman

Hi Uncle Jack and all,

Correct, Jack I would never call you any name out of disrespect, but take it easy on that "term of endearment" remark! After all, I have only visited you twice so far.Seriously though, my first thoughts when I read the question from our Cape friend about yellow pigeons went to you and your biscuits in Potch. And no, even though you have already told me some of what was in your reply, it did not bore me one bit.

I think it is amazing that somebody would go to so much trouble to establish a very distinguishable new strain of pigeons. I would like to congratulate you on that and also wish you all the good health and good fortune you are still going to need in your efforts to complete the task. I can tell those PML readers who have not yet laid eyes on the Baker's Lemon Creams or whatever you want to call them that these birds are looking great. So much so that my son, who believes that any bird will fly well as long as its a blue check or blue bar, actually phoned me to the office one day with a request to try and get him some of those Barkel's Biscuits! Needless to say, Jack could not see his way open to part with them yet and we accepted his explanation.

I was very impressed by the feather quality of the lemons. We own a few recessive red Meulemans birds ourselves and I have found that the red feathers tend to be on the dry side and not of the same quality as that of the blue bars and chequers bred off the same parents. Not so with the lemons. I am certain that they would be able to complete a tough season of racing without wear and tear on the feathers.

Keep up the good work, Jack. Regards Herman

 6. Yellows, Lemons, Biscuits. Terry

Hi Jack

I am very interested in your "Lemon" project. I just received a yellow hen 2 weeks ago and I was thinking of tyring to build a family of racing yellows also. Do you have any pics of your canaries??

Terry Reimer

7.Horses for Courses Jack

5. Difference between Short and Long distance pigeons.


Hello All, Do you think a pigeon has the capabilities of racing both short and long distance races? Some articles state "there is no difference, it is all in the feeding and training". Is this true?

Hello Nico and All,

Let me assure you, there is a difference, there are fanciers who knowingly and unknowingly, breed short distance pigeons, who are good for nothing else, and there are similar fanciers who breed long distance pigeons with plenty stamina and intelligence and no vitally, so likewise they are also good for nothing else. Then you have the fancier who breeds to produce the pigeon that can fly most distances required of it as long as the preparation his done at the correct time. It is also a fact that a long distance pigeon can win a short race, but highly unlikely that a short distance pigeon will ever win a long race and if the birds are so split up that they are flying in ones and twos it is highly unlikely that the short distance pigeon will come home at all as in most cases he has a medium to large pupils, large correlation, and does not possess much navigational ability. Forgive me for going back to our two South African strains. The Puttrie put the vitality into the Slimme and the Slimme put the intelligence and stamina into the Puttrie. This way the two strains complimented one another. How many times have we heard it said," The Jansen pigeon will cross with anything" This is because a fancier usually loses his pearl eyed pigeons and ends up with predominantly yellow eyed pigeons that do not get lost as easily. Please understand I am generalising to show an example and not stating it is ALWAYS the case. The Jansen strain, when close to the original Arendoncks were pearl eyed pigeons with plenty of speed and vitality, hence when paired with ones pigeons that are becoming predominantly yellows and becoming two day pigeons, this Jansen outcross put back the speed and vitality that had been rapidly vanishing in ones family. Nico this may be a long winded answer to your question, but I feel it can not be answered with a plain yes or no. My Opal Jansen's are good up to 700 Kilometres, all weathers, and need a helping head wind if this distance is exceeded with them. My van Bruaene are the best I have seen at 850 to a 1000 plus kilometres. My Buschaerts on a medium to cool day are devastating at all distances, and my Slimmes on a hot day are in their own class at all distances. Nico, there is a big message in there about racing pigeons, horses for courses, different families for different areas, and climatic conditions. I do not think the readers will be aware Nico, I am not trying to sell you pigeons, you made the journey of 900 kilometres or so to see me and I made you a present of a pair of birds, but please beware of people that talk without ever making a study of the subject. We on this list are all here to learn as well as for the friendships that develop, but we must also be able to sort out if the answers are applicable to our particular area.

Yours in Sport, Jack Barkel

8.Lemon's Jim

My question goes out to Mr. Barkel. Could you possibly post a picture of one of these Barkel Bisquet Lemons and if possible an eye pic from one too? I am not a geneticist and as I understand it the term Yellow in pigeons is actually a brownish coloration.

Thanks, Jim

9. Single Tosses Mike

Hello Nico and SAPML,

I would like to respond to your question about single tossing. I have single tossed, double tossed, small group tossed and flock tossed. In my opinion, the best is small group, between 4-7 birds, tossing. I usually have between 1-3 birds home to my loft at a time during a race. I usually ship 5-15 birds to a race. Birds get used to coming home in small groups. I've talked with some pretty good fanciers with expensive single toss machines and they relate that there has not been a vast amount of improvement in their race results using the single toss method. Another flyer just told me that he was preparing his birds for a futurity race with the single toss method. A couple of his birds would not leave the area, and actually landed on the ground, and waited for another bird to be released. These were pretty good birds that have flown in the races well. So I use the small group toss method with good results.

I read an article by Horst Hackemer, one of the US's premiere flyers. He stated that in addition to using the small group method, that he never trains his birds farther than 35-40 miles. In years past I have always tried to keep up with the competition and train to at least 80 miles. Our first race station is 120 miles. So I met myself coming and going down the road several times a week, and and least one toss per week at about 60 -80 miles. I tried his method, small groups, 35-40 miles, 3 times per week. My race results were just as good as in previous years when training a whole lot farther. I've shipped YBs directly to 200 + miles from training and had them score well. The idea is to get the well conditioned and not to beat them up with lengthy training tosses. It seams to work for me and I'm going to employ this method next year also.

I had an experience in OBs this past year that I attribute to the small group training method. I had two widowhood cocks that were routinely tossed in small groups home together in the afternoon of the second day of a 500 mile race. There were no day birds. I think these birds recognized each other from flying so many small group tosses together and just stayed together on the race course.

I've rambled on long enough. Hope this has helped you.  Mike

10. FW: Differnce between Short and Long distance pigeons. Rassie

Hello All, Do you think a pigeon has the capabilities of racing both short and long distance races? Some articles state "there is no difference, it is all in the feeding and training". Is this true?

Subject: Single Toss

Hello , I would be interested in hearing from anyone with information on the use of single tosses for training. Advantaces and Disadvantages. Is this statement True or False? When you single toss a bird the bird will fly slower and not race home, so tossing in smaller groups teaches the birds to race and fly faster.

Thank You Nico

From Rassie.

Hello Nico, you will get different answers on this one and after all you will have to prove for yourself.

1) Difference between Short and Long distance pigeons.

This one is 50/50 true and false. 50% true due to that feeding and training plays an very important role on both short and long distance racing. 50% false due to that there are birds that perform very good on the short races and other on the long races no matter what you feed or how you train.

2) Single Toss

a Bird will not fly slower on a single toss, nor will he fly faster. Why should he? Al what we try to do is to teach the bird not to be scared to brake out and fly alone home. You need the power of the pack to let your birds fly faster, the trailer will have to shake up to stay with the pack, or he will be late and no food left for him. Please note that you must be sure that the bird is in a perfect healthy condition before you judge him for coming late.

Regards Rassie

23 November 2000

1. Horses for courses

2. Apple Vinegar

3. Training Tosses (Young Birds)

4. Barkel's not Bakers Biscuits.

5. General Help

6. General Help

7. Pearl Eye

8. North and South

1. Horses for courses Linda

For what it;s worth here's my two penneth (as we say in England).

Our loft is divided into short/middle distance stock and long distance. We fly Van Reets, Hofkens Janssens and Leen Boers on the short and middle and Fabry and Stichelbauts for the distance. It is our firm belief that over the years the homing ability of pigeons has been bred out as a sacrifice to speed. In order to redress this we have introduced into our loft a family of Grooters and will be shortly importing some Barkers from England. This is a long term project as the longer distance families are slower maturing than the short and middle. We shall be breeding them straight in 2001 and hopefully cross these into the Fabry and Stichelbauts the season after. Ours is a very hard race course weather wise, the birds can be liberated in clear conditions, but can encounter fronts which come in of the Pacific very quickly. It is our hope to develop a family of birds that will have the navigational ability of flying through such weather conditions on the longer distance races.

Jack: I would value your opinion on the introduction of these old hard core distance families to our stock.

When choosing a family of birds I feel that the race course you use and the prevailing weather conditions should always be taken into consideration, what will win for someone in Florida, the East Coast or the Mid West may not fare so well in other locations.

Yours in sport Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

2. Apple Vinegar Val

Does anyone know the positive and negative benefit of Apple Cigar

Vinegar? Is this the right term or just Apple Vinegar?? Thanks.


 3. Training Tosses (Young Birds) Linda

After we had a disasterous training toss with our young birds (55 lost from 16 miles), we decided to use the small groups method. Steve would drive to the release point and telephone me once the first group had been liberated, once these had returned to the loft I would call him to release the next batch, if the first batch did not return within the expected time the rest of the team were brought home.

We start our birds off at ONE mile and gradually work out to about 40, sometimes taking them down the road twice a day. We live to the east of the main course and our birds have to have the ability to break from the main pack at about 40 miles and take the east route along the foothills of the Cascades. This year we never trained beyond this point as we thought it very important to teach the birds the break point. It was a lot of very hard work but we had a great season winning 6 races, one by 59 minutes (Concourse win by 10 minutes) and one by 39 minutes- but the greatest thrill for me was having a drop of 10 birds from 188 miles and taking 1st 10 places in the club and 6 out of the first 10 in the Concourse.

One point worth mentioning, Highly strung sprint birds such as the Van Reets should be trained on their own, training them with the flock will encourage them to circle before striking off when it is their natural instinct to head for home as soon as the crate is opened. Incidentally one of the best flyers of Van Reets, Dean Pallatt never trained his young birds further than 12 miles.

Best wishes to all Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

4.Barkel's not Bakers Biscuits. Jack

Hello All,

To Herman who started this thing, and to Terry and Jim, who would like to see some pictures. I have no pictures up on the allpets site for my breeding station, the reason being that now I do this as a job, when there is time to do my own, I have no inclination or drive to do so. However, as soon as I received this post I forced myself and went out to take some pictures. Of course you will notice that I have doctored the eyes where the flashes were. I get two marks like this, one from my electric light and one from the flash. These are the only places where I retouch the eye. About these Lemons, most of these are 2000 birds as they are now conforming to my selection, and with the one 98 and the one 99, will be the basis of my strain with some dark cheques of the Slimme line to give me added strength, health and vigour. All Slimme cheques must contain the recessive lemon in their genes. The rest I think I have covered in previous posts. To Manfred, I hope I have not made your task too difficult, and it is already a great reward for me to be asked to display pic's of my new creations. Terry you have a tough trial ahead of you, but the joys exceed the disappointments so I say to you, GO FOR IT. To Jim, the man who I believe will gain recognition in time in the USA as a great eye sign person, I say please note that they all portray a large fifth circle and a very narrow correlation. Which means their distance qualities are greater than their speed qualities. All birds with large correlations are discarded in this new strain. I have tried to take off the outer perimeter of the Iris and put it on at the inner side of the iris. This is the way I have tried to select distance without sacrificing speed, it is a very involved theory and process and time will tell if I have bombed out on this one. Folks I hope you are looking at pigeon history in the making, it could go wrong, then I will say I should have kept it a secret until they proved themselves without any doubt.Well I have shared it right from the beginning which is my nature, and if I end up with egg on my face or Lemon, at least I tried.

Yours in sport, Jack Barkel South Africa.

All photos issued below is published at 1/2 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..

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5.General Help Nico

Hello Everybody , thank you for the reply on my Questions. I also want to give some credit to Jack Barkel.

Pigeon Racing is a determining factor in my life and I want to reach the top. It is a sort of burning passion which I can't explain. My greatest role model is Jack Barkel. When I heard 'The Champs' (on the allpets website) talking about Jack and his super-pigeons, it really fired me up. That's when I decided to visit "Uncle" Jack . This was purely from admiration and as an example for me of what I wanted to achieve.

Anyway upon my arrival I could see that I was in for a treat. We set ourselves objectives and goals - include this one on your list and place it right on top "Visit to the Jack Barkel Establishment" Like a child at Disney Land you will experience the same joy and pleasure when being there. The Racing heartbeat, the Quiver in your system when you behold class in pigeons "Never Seen Before" - The visit should be on every fanciers agenda. Imagine my suprise when he took me to his Young Bird loft and let me pick two of his Super Birds for FREE !! I almost kissed him. He could easilly take advantage of the situation and let me pay more for it.

To Jack Barkel The Change Agent: Thank You for your assistance. Pigeon Racing with your approach can only grow. Where most fanciers are currently racing at grass root level taking the occasional win and being happy with this, we now can take pigeon racing to another level. There is no doubt about the fact that he is full of enthusiasm for the sport and has travelled the world where he has met the best in the sport and probably seen all there is to see in the everyday world of racing pigeons. I wish him all the best and through the work that he put into the sport we may find that the everyday fancier will definetely benefit.

6.General Help Antonio

Hi List,

My name is Antonio Aldana from Argentina, I was reding the list for a couples of weeks and it is very interesting. I have two questions may be somebody can suggest me something. Please keep in mind that in Argentina nobody use the widowhood, we are in the south hemisphere and have races during the winter so sorry if any of my questions sounds not too clever.

About youhg birds I read in somo webs about widowhood does somebody practice  it, any sugestions????

About widowhood with old birds how can you make that the cooks train because when they have a couple it is impossible to make them fly.

Saludos Antonio Aldana

7.Pearl Eye Inge

Hi all.

I was wondering if Jack could explain why pearl eyed pigeons get lost more easily than others? Is this due to something relateing strictly to the eye or is it something else? Are perhaps pearleyed pigeons better for for example breeding?


Honestly curious if the pearleyed I breed from are worthless as breeders.

8.North and South Herman

Hi Val and all,

Val, I can only relate from past experience so here it comes:

We used to fly two routes in one season, starting from North up to about 600km and then swinging to the South route. From my observations in our own lofts and discussions with fellow fanciers, it transpired that there are some birds you can train and race in any direction with success, others that will need some time to adapt to the new route and still others that will never adjust to the change in direction.

I do not want to make a statement here that the birds who adjust easier are the better ones, for I do not have the backing of detailed research. I can clearly recall however that the great blue hen 2570 raced by Willie Bosch in Klerksdorp, won the 600 km race from Messina in the north one week, was switched around to the South route and immediately won the Belmont race the following week. We had birds in our loft that adapted without any problem, but there were a few that fle well Noth but could not repeat the perfaomance once the route changed.

So, unfortunately this is another one of those attributes you would have to work out for yourself in your own loft and under your own conditions.

Cheers for now Herman

24 November 2000

1. Antonio

2. Wings

3. Breeding Pairs

4. General

5. Cider (Apple) Vinegar

6. pearl eye

7. North and South

8. One final note on Jack Barkel

1. Antonio Thumper

Hi guys & girls

Hi Antonio, just would like to welcome you to the List.

I can`t help you on your problem unfortunately as like myself most people in South Africa don`t practise the Widowhood system either.

We also have our races mostly in the winter as you do.

I would love to hear how you guys race in Argentina.


2.Wings Thumper

Hi guys & girls

I would just like to ask a question about the wing. I don`t know if this is just one of the many theories floating around in the pigeon world, but here goes:

Apparently if you try and open the wing of a pigeon and it is quite stiff, then it is a hort distance bird. If it is slack then it is a long distance bird. I would like to know if this is true and if there are any advantages or disadvantages of in having a stiff or a slack wing (stop giggling).

Would appreciate any input. Thumper

3.Breeding Pairs Thumper

Hi all, me again.

Does anyone have an opinion on how many youngsters could be bred off a pair of stock birds in a season without draining them physicaly. I`ll tell you my predicament, I have 16 breeding pairs (way to many).

At the moment I am only breeding between 4 & 6 birds of each, what i would like to do is after this season have only 10 pairs or even 8 and then breed more youngsters off them. I just want to know where the limit is, because I have noticed that my 2nd round babies are the best, then my 1st round and then the babies seem to get smaller and I pressume weaker. (although there is always one last round baby that proves this theory wrong) Is there a way to get let`s say 4 strong rounds off a pair by giving them some diet? AHA !!! you thought that was my last question, but wait there`s more........

I have heard that to get your pigeons you should play music in your lofts, is this true? and if so what type of music do pigeons like. As long as it does not include "The 3 Tenors" I`ll be happy. Should i buy them each a set of earphones or do they need a full entertainment system with surround sound........ just asking.

Yours in sport Thumper

4. General Jack

Jack: I would value your opinion on the introduction of these old hard core distance families to our stock.

Hello Linda,

I think your reasoning is correct, when we flew in England we struck up a friendship with Dr Tom Rigg, He had the old N.Barkers and persuaded us to cross these pigeons with the Gits, stamina coupled with speed and vitality. I still remember the first specialist club we ever had in the North East we took 1st 2nd and 5th it was a five bird limit. Sid my brother has the opal Jansens, that fly the short to middle distance, he introduced the famous van Brauene to them with devastating results for medium to fast long distance. I would however Linda, try and avoid breeding the step in the wing, and if earmarked for the short to middle distance cut the step in those selections. In closing I would say you are definitely on the right track.To attain perfection or satisfaction one must design a bird to meet and contend with what I love to call ones Geographical Disposition. A tip for the fanciers in the Pacific North West, watch out for the Jonelies, they mean to change a few things AND WILL I BELIEVE. Best of luck with your theory, I am sure that you and Steve will succeed.


Hello Inge,

Pearl eyed pigeons have more vitality and speed than yellow eyed pigeons, but less homing ability. Yellow to Pearl will in most cases breed intelligent pearls, but two pearl eyes together will only breed pearls and there homing ability decreases rapidly. Two yellows will breed an excellent pearl eye, but as you know two pearls can not breed a yellow at all. I prefer to stock the pearls bred off two yellows. The original racers were pearls, the improvements to make the racing pigeon as we know it today were yellows, that is why I try to keep an equal balance of yellows and pearls and would never allow pearls to dominate my loft. As I say, I believe they are a necessary evil, to help maintain speed and vitality. The pearl eyes in the original days were called milers and originally flew over a given mile to a stop watch. Another creation of mankind that Mendel had virtually nothing or very little to do with.Remember two pearls together you are breeding to the Miler pigeon. Two yellows together you are breeding towards the carrier pigeon. A yellow to a pearl, and you have more chance of going forward rather than backward. That is why we must be careful how we breed, nature is continuously trying to return all new creations to the original, and will beat us unless we try and stay on top of it at all times. EASIER SAID THAN DONE.

Best Regards


Hello Antonio,

In South Africa no one flew the widowhood, because we also start the season in mid winter. If you read my article on allpets site you will read how to cheat nature and find form. Widowers must be separated at all times never fly or train together, this is also explained in my articles. When exercising widowhood cocks hide under a tree or something, if you train correctly the widowhood cock associates you with getting his hen when returning from a flight. So, if you show your self to the widowhood cocks while they are in flight, they loose all interest in flight as they think you are about to give them their hens. Remember he is like a circus animal, you have trained him to think a certain way and you must be consistent in everything you do or you will undo all your own efforts. You must out think the widowhood cock. The nearest most of my winning widowers got to a hen before his seven weeks was up, was a large mirror in his compartment. Go to click on allpigeons then click on articles by Jack, all what you ask is answered there Antonio.


Jack Barkel

Hello Herman,

The famous Pluto for Georges Busschaert won from 18 miles on the Wednesday and the following Sunday won Barcelona 600 miles. Herman, Willie Bosch's pigeon won 800 kilometres on the Saturday North and 200 Kilos South the following Saturday. This is the difference between condition and form, one can do almost anything with a form pigeon. If one was flying one week North Then one week South Consecutively you could do it successfully with a form pigeon for approx seven consecutive weeks. But if you wish to fly North for eight weeks or so then turn the same pigeon South for another eight weeks it can't be done successfully. Once the difference between condition and form is understood and applied to our racers strictly to the rules of preparation and time schedule for form, this type of racing phenomena holds no boundaries. What I am saying has been a closely guarded secret by few people throughout the world for many years. I do not know of anyone that has revealed this before I did, although I did not discover it,and I do not know who did, obviously it had to be revealed to me, for me to know about it. As far as I am concerned the perfection of the art of pigeon racing revolves around this the "Hidden Mysteries Of Nature And Science". Which is the title of my yet unfinished book. This is a big subject, that would take a lot of time and space to explain here, but it is up on the allpets web site. Anyone who has visited the site and read my article there on the subject, I am prepared to try and explain

any questions you may draw from that article" How To Find Form" I will not insist it is the only explanation, only that it is the one I have chosen until someone comes along with a more feasable one.

Yours in Sport

Jack Barkel

5. Cider (Apple) Vinegar

Hi everyone,

Use of cider vinegar in the drinking water is widespread, and does have benefits, as it makes the water (and the bird's crop) to acidic to support growth of pathogenic bacteria. This benefit though is due solely to the acetic acid. I see no disadvantage in using ordinary vinegar for this purpose at a fraction of the price.

John Ledger

6.pearl eye

To Inge and allI could not answer your question about pearl eye because i'm a new fancier but I want to tell you my current story about that. Now is our race season for North I started with almost 50 pigeons from the training day, now we are in third week of our race I left with 8 pigeons only and I only have one pigeon that clocked every week. This pigeon is a Hen which she already finished South training, and quess what? her eye is a pearl eye, not even good pearl eye. The body is medium size with no good traits to boost about but I don't know why out of almost 50 pigeons she stands out based on record.


7. North and South

Hi Everyone,Flyers in the southern counties in England train and fly "North Road" (i.e. N to S) for the first part of the season, then switch to "South Road" (S to N) for the races from France in the latter part of the season. The important thing to note, is that in the case of young birds they are switched to "South Road" without any training from that direction. I have asked several flyers about this, and they all report that there are no big problems.

John Ledger

8. One final note on Jack Barkel

Hi everybody,

I notice that the "I love Jack Barkel" club is growing by the day. He must be a very wealthy guy to be able to pay you PML readers to sing his praises! And no thank you Nico, I would not kiss him even if he paid me!

I do not know Jack all that well, having only recently met him for the first time. My thoughts when I left his farm after a shortened first meeting went something like this: Well, here we have an elderly Englishman who has made our beloved country his home and now he is experimenting with breeding pigeons of different colours to keep himself busy in his autumn years. No malice in my thoughts, in case any member of the "I love Jack Barkel" club wants to stone me before I finish my story.

I must also tell you that I am a very sceptical person by nature. Over the years I have met all sorts of people in the pigeon game. Amongst them fanciers who referred to themselves as "eye-sign" specialists. One such guy, whose identity I shall not disclose, is so full of himself that he actually scares me away from the eye artists. He never looks at anything but a bird's eye, and base all his assessments of the pigeon on that and that alone. Now, I am not an expert on pigeons. I have read a lot about what to look for and what to discard, and over the years have mastered a bit of the art of identifying a bird that in my opinion would produce something to race with. Yes, I do look at the eye, because even in my ignorance I realise that the eye reveals more about a pigeon than any other part of its body. This not only goes for pigeons but for all other animals including us humans. The colour of my late father's eyes changed with his moods, something I have detected in my son's eyes as well. So, do not for one monent think that I am an anti-eyesign person. What I am trying to say is that I do not believe that one could judge a pigeon on its eyes alone. And this is where I had more than one heated argument with the person mentioned above, who is a disciple of Jack Barkel.

So what does it have to do with Jack, I hear you ask. Only this, when Jack took me through his lofts I very soon noticed that, even though he must be the one of the most knowledgeable iridologists or whatever they call themselves in South Africa, he did not focus on the eye alone. When he spoke about his very fine stock birds it was not all eye and nothing else. That was an immediate plus in my book, it made him almost human!

I can only endorse what Nico said about the enthusiasm of this man. It is very rare that you come across a person which so much drive, so much passion for his pigeons. This is something I can associate with, what we share in this game. And even though he has not helped me win races by pairing up stock birds or advice or whatever, I will always respect him for being the enthusiastic pigeon fancier that he is. I am sure his biscuits are going to be a success, even though I may seemingly joke about them. Go for it Jack, may God bless all you efforts. Hats of to you and all others like you on this PML, wherever you are. With people like you still alive and well, our sport shall survive!

Ps I was not paid anything to write any of the above!



25 November 2000

1. Lemon Pic's

2. Lemon Pic's

3. apple cider vinegar

4. Recent Postings.

5. Medicating During race week

6. Differnce between Short and Long distance pigeons.

7. Re: FW: Single Toss

8. pearl eye

9. "lemon" coloured birds

10. Widowhood???

11. One final note on Jack Barkel

1. Lemon Pic's

Hello Everyone:

I want to comment on the pic's Mr. Barkel sent. Several of the eye Pic's appeared a bit blurred and the resaon (I think) for that isn't because they were necesarrily blurry. If you look at the ring/Band # on the pic's you should note that they are very young yet and not developed like an older pigeon.

However the older birds eye's do look much better. I think the younger birds will have a better looking eye when they are a bit more mature. So don't judge the eye's of a younger bird as most will mature into more recognizable features. When I asked Mr. Barkel to post a pic of his Lemons I think he did just that ! However several of those pic's are still of very young birds. So for those young birds lets concentrate on the Lemon color for now and perhaps we can view those eye's when they are a bit more mature.

Thank you Mr. Barkel for sharing those Pic's with the list.

Best regards, Jim Muckerman

2. Lemon Pic's

Hi All members

Please note that that the pics posted of the lemons by Mr Barkel was redused in size. Bigger pics will be on the archive within the next week.

Manfred cider vinegar

John wrote:

<Use of cider vinegar in the drinking water is widespread, and does have benefits, as it makes the water (and the bird's crop) to acidic to support growth of pathogenic bacteria. This benefit though is due solely to the acetic acid. I see no disadvantage in using ordinary vinegar for this purpose at a fraction of the price.>

So given the above, is there any necessity to use apple cider vinegar in the water when a probiotic product such as Bio Moss is used as part of the daily feeding routing ?

Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

4.Recent Postings.

Hello All.

I must say that our fellow member Herman is a very serious person and he surprises me with some of his subtle humour. However, let me say that I do try to help where I can, and I try to make the list interesting,and I feel many of us are contributing the same way.I presume therefore All these fanciers are young South Africans that I have tried to help when visiting me, so that occasionally one can expect to here these comments about ones self. It is very flattering and mainly it gives one encouragement to try even harder to bring ones experiences to the rest of the fanciers out there who may be able to gain from my experiences and mistakes. I must say however that I have a hate club as well as an appreciative club, I do have in excess over one hundred pages of insults that have been hurled at me over the last two years.

So as you can see, all the nice things said about me this week, make up for all the many bad things that have been said about me over the years.(My fan mail is larger than my hate mail). I would like to thank one and all for making this a list where we can go in without any fear of being shot down in flames and state what we find uppermost in our minds at the time. All able to state our views without challenging those that might not be in agreement with us. We all answer the questions the way we honestly believe it to be, and if our answers differ from the next person it should not cause aggression. Herman, I am not queer, but I am thankful you don't find me kissable, however after all what you said about me, I just want to let you and everyone else know, YOUR CHEQUE IS IN THE POST.

Have a great weekend folks,

Jack Barkel South Africa

5.Medicating During race week

[ I like to ask for this comment. We are in the race season. Can I give  cocci treatment or respiratory prevention within the week?? Thanks.


I am going to give you my opinion of this as this question is more appropriate than many may realize.

A short while back, an individual came to me in regards to purchasing a microscope so he could identify certain problems. Making a long story short, he bought a scope and then I went over to teach him how to use it.

Upon arriving at this mans house, we went to the loft and I looked at his droppings and they appeared quite normal and certainly did not appear to be a problem. However, being that I made the trip to teach him, we took some samples and floated them to get the bacterial eggs to float to the top. After an adequate amount of time, we viewed the slides and found a severe coccidia problem was present so he asked what my drug of choice was to treat it. I responded with my choice and departed to go home and play with my birds.

The next day was shipping night and we said our formalities and went about our business. The following day was the race and this particular gent was 18 minutes late on the race from a relatively short distance. When I asked if he had medicated for the problem he replied "NO" and stated it was too close to the race to treat. With that answer, I continued on about my business and said no more.

Now the moral to this little story is this: Knowing you have a problem is not going to make your pigeons race better unless you do something about it. By not treating for the problem, the man assured himself that he would have a bad race. Had he treated, he may have possibly gotten a few through in better time.

I relate this type of NON ACTION to having a match that is burning your finger. If you do nothing, the damage will be worse than starting treatment right away. It is pretty tough to bring someone back from the dead and especially after they have been embalmed. When you see a problem, take care of it immediately as it will only get worse with time and some fatalities may be avoided with early correction procedures.

Hope this helps:

Bob Rowland

6.Differnce between Short and Long distance pigeons.

Today has been my day to catch up on some long over due answers or more appropriately is the word "OPINIONS".

The question asked about long and short distance pigeons is a very good one as I have heard people make this type of statement for years. IT IS MY OPINION THAT THEY ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PIGEONS THAT BECOME TRUE CHAMPIONS AT A SPECIFIED DISTANCE OR TYPE RACE!!

When we look at the Olympics, we see different type athletes that compete in different events. All the long distance runners are slim and without any extra fat or weight on them and can run at a rapid pace for ever. Then we look at the sprint champions and their entire pace and body structure is different than that of the marathoners. If one type could do it all, why would we have these differences??

Now I will not debate the fact that a true distance pigeon can place high or even win a short distance competition but it is on a unique day that this will happen or in a competition where the talent is limited. I realize that there are those that will get stiff lipped about this statement but let's truly be honest! A pigeon racing against a couple hundred pigeons in competition is not the same as a pigeon that races against 20,000 pigeons. Not saying the champ of the smaller competition could not possibly win the big one but the odds are strongly against that outcome.

Many of us try to convince ourselves that we have this very special pigeon that would be "WORLD CLASS" no matter where they are raced but then reality hits us smack dab between the eyes and we have to admit that we can not verify that statement because they have never raced in that type of competition.

Today's world is one of differences among every single occupation and activity. Doctors now are specialized rather than being just a general practitioner and when it gets above their knowledge, they send you to the specialist. With that thought, why would we not send our specialists to their type of race? A pigeon that can win the speed races for you is a valuable pigeon every time you have a speed contest so why chance losing that one on a tough and long race? There are many short to middle race and this type of pigeon gives you the hope of competing in those contests so use them wisely and value them as they are also very hard to find.

I made the previous statement because each year I look to put speed back into my team by only racing my hens as young birds and then using the best as future breeders. This also allows me to eliminate the older hens that have not proven they have what it takes to stay. For the old birds and longer races, my boys get to do the honors as I fly absolute widowhood and the hens are there only for the boys and not to race. This is my approach.

When I had my "Scotty" and "Hudson" on the team, I knew that I was a one bird team on the long races clocking "Scotty" in all the longer and more difficult races and "Hudson" was my middle distance and sprint pigeon. On certain days at the middle distance, I got them together but more times than not, one was better than the other and that was because it was their type of race. They both were equally important to me and both are in my stock loft now and producing good clock pigeons at their specific type of race.

Getting back to our original thought: We all have our favorite types of races so naturally, this is what we are going to breed towards. A person that lives for the day when there are very few pigeons will develop a family that will survive these types of races and any speed pigeons they may own will be lost on a tough one. However, a speed loft will never send their best sprinters to a race where the possibilities of losing or hurting them may exist. I personally push many of my pigeons too far and too often so even when a true speed pigeon comes home, I may have broken some of their spirit. If I do this enough times, they will just become a homer so better to replace them with a younger pigeon and put the old boy away to produce some more speed birds.

Hope this helps answer some questions about differences of pigeons:

Bob Rowland

[allpets wrote:

Hello All, Do you think a pigeon has the capabilities of racing both short and long distance races? Some articles state "there is no difference, it is all in the feeding and training". Is this true? Thank


7. Re: FW: Single Toss


A question was recently asked about single tossing and in particular, it asked if it was true that a pigeon that is single tossed will race slower.

I do not have any scientific proof as to the answer of this but have had quite a bit of practical experience in regards to the same principle.

I found that when I single tossed my pigeons, AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN WELL TRAINED, that the effect was that I created a pigeon with confidence that they could home from anywhere but that their desire to race seemed less.

It is my belief that if you were going to single toss a pigeon, it should be done in the early stages of training and from a relatively short distance. This would only tell you whether the pigeon can find their way home on their own and not whether they will have the confidence to break away from the pack and race home. Motivation is the easiest way to get a pigeon to break out and come straight home and not single tossing.

Let's take this a little deeper in the thought process! How many times do you see the pigeons break up from the main group to have one pigeon come all alone to win out in front on a relatively short race against good competition???? Odds are seldom, if ever, as there are many pigeons capable of staying at the lead pace and coming in an elite group of leaders. As the distances get longer, the better athletes will then make their moves to hold their line and come alone. However, motivation is the easiest way to make this happen and then a pigeon with a little less talent but highly motivated can become the leader.

Many of us think we make our pigeons a champion by the training that we give them but I am under the belief that the training is very important, BUT, to have a CONSISTENT LEADER is from the heritage of the pigeon and then what we allow or make happen in the loft puts them one notch higher. Be careful though as what we do to make a pigeon shine can also dull the luster if we make a mistake. There are perhaps a lot more good pigeons than keepers of them. It takes daily care and the creation of a place where the birds LOVE THEIR HOME!!! Think about it! Would a pigeon race to come home to a place where something is threatening them?

I have written several times on my training methods and those articles can be found among my writings on several different publications both on-line and in hard print. The point that must always be realized is that we can break our back-side working with a loser and all we create is a BETTER LOSER but if you work with a pigeon of special qualities, with the same effort as the other pigeon, this one may become a champion.

In conclusion: Keep them healthy and safe and comfortable and be honest with your self as to their true capabilities. You may improve a pigeon temporarily but in the long run, the genetics and love of home will make them race. If they won't, WHY WOULD YOU KEEP THEM??

Hope this helps:

Bob Rowland

[ Hello , I would be interested in hearing from anyone with information on the   use of single tosses for training. Advantaces and Disadvantages. Is this statement True or False? When you single toss a bird the bird will fly slower and not race home, so tossing in smaller groups teaches the birds to race and fly faster.

Thank You


8. pearl eyes

Hi List.

Sorry about the empty message.

I was wondering about the pearl eye, again. In "The Strain Makers" Old Hand predicts that in a population of racers, selected among solely by performance, pearl eyes will be the only eyes left after a few generations. Since pearl eye is a recessive trait this means some heavy culling (losses). I am not sure which of the Old Hands wrote this book, but what I wanted was your thoughts on this prediction.

BTW, Thank you Jack, for good adivice. The photobox that you've helped me build is working wonderfully and attention is growing. It seems mine is the only one in my area.

Inge Fagerli

9. "lemon" coloured birds


Could anyone clear up what are lemon coloured pigeons? I have never heard of them before. Are they Cream or a Yellow "pigeon" colour?



Seasons Greetings to you all.

My wife and I are new to the list and the fancy of pigeons also. Having said that, we are wondering what this Widowhood system is all about.Is there a good web site that explains how it is done step by step? Is this done for all types of pigeon breeds?

I have built a small breeding loft (8 x 8) this year and will be building a larger loft (16 x 24) next spring. Is there anything I should do to the plans of this loft for this Widowhood system if I decide to use it?

I must close by saying that we have enjoyed the discussions on the list so far.

Happy Holidays to you all.

Fair Seas es 73's de

Frank and Linda West

of Woodcrest, CA.

I am responding to the question about apple cider vinegar and as John has stated, it is to increase the acidity in the system so salmonella will not be as likely to get a grip.

Now to respond with a caution as to how and when you use this product and also where you buy it.

It is stated that plain vinegar is a fraction of the cost but I would like to tell you that the amount used is small enough that cost should not be your primary concern. I buy my ACV at a health food store where the product costs more but the flavor is much better. This is also a product which is good for yourself so why not get the best available? There are books available that tell of many cures from the use of Apple Cider Vinegar. From them, take what you like and try it.

Our biggest caution is that we make sure our pigeons drink enough water so they can compete properly in the races. Therefore, my use of this product is upon return with several other natural herb or vegetable products. I take an onion and juice it so I have pure onion juice and this is put into a gallon of water at the rate of 2 tablespoons along with a couple tablespoons of minced garlic. I suppose with this that the taste of the ACV is hard to determine but refreshing your pigeons and keeping the bugs at bay is critical so do this on the evening of return and again the next day. I can't honestly tell you if it is any good or not but it makes me feel better that I have done something and although I preach about not forcing something down a pigeons throat, this is my exception to the rule. I am sure if I think a little more, they will be some other exceptions but

as a general rule, try not to force them to take minerals as these can be given free choice and will not upset the normal function of the system.

The use of natural products are wonderful and we have taken the opportunity for our pigeons to get these as we discourage the birds from going to the fields and in certain cases, we have them locked in so they must use what we give them. However, putting some of these products in the loft on a plate will allow them a free choice and you will be surprised what they go after. Just experiment a little and keep good notes as to the reaction and the days following.

Another good product that can be given is carrot juice as it is said to be high in carotene. I try to give many of these products and many times my birds are quite anxious to see me coming with the big white bowl as they are familiar that this has some goodies they enjoy.

If one will only observe their pigeons and take the time to see what they like, I believe we can create a better environment for our birds to live in and they learn that we are their friend and bring them treats. This works wonders on helping you get that little extra edge from your birds as they have a stronger love for their home.

Hope this helps someone:

Bob Rowland

[ Hi everyone,

Use of cider vinegar in the drinking water is widespread, and does have benefits, as it makes the water (and the bird's crop) to acidic to support growth of pathogenic bacteria. This benefit though is due solely to the acetic acid. I see no disadvantage in using ordinary vinegar for this purpose at a fraction of the price.

John Ledger] 

27 November 2000

1. Race Results

2. pearl eye

3. Crossed Wing Tips

4. Widowhood???

5. Visit by the Petzers

1. Race Results

Washington state Pigeon Racing Organisation North West Winter Pigeon


Red Rose Lofts won the following awards.

Young Cock Eyesign First Place with Red Rose Bred Hofken

Young Hen Eyesign First place Janssen hen bred by Daryl J. Honey Snr.

Old Cock Eyesign 2nd Place, Janssen Cock bred by Daryl J. Honey Snr.

3rd Place Desmett Matthys Cock

Old Hen eyesign 2nd Place Janssen bred by Daryl J. Honey Snr.

Cock Flown 300 Miles and over

Unflown Cock 5th Place by sire to Young Cock Eyesign winner.

 Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

2. pearl eyes

Hi List.

I was wondering about the pearl eye, again. In "The Strain Makers" Old Hand predicts that in a population of racers, selected among solely by performance, pearl eyes will be the only eyes left after a few generations. Since pearl eye is a recessive trait this means some heavy culling (losses). I am not sure which of the Old Hands wrote this book, but what I wanted was your thoughts on this prediction. Inge Fagerli

Hello All.

In reply to Inge, I would like to share what I believe are interesting observations, that I have perceived on my travels.

There are many areas in our land and I am sure overseas where the nearest race point for clubs to compete in their nearest federation starts at about 300plus kilometres. Now on doing my eye tests in these areas I have found that the birds are predominantly yellows, the pearl eyes for the most part eliminating themselves. Now ,I am not saying that there are no long distance pearl eyes, but these are recessives bred of dominant. That is why for those not aware of the fact you can not breed a yellow eye off two pearls , two recessive eyes cannot breed the dominant yellow, but to yellows will breed the recessive pearl. In my opinion this is the reason that there have been some very good long distance pearl eyes but these are in a very small minority. It is these sort of imponderables that will cause many doubts about eye sign. If people would only realise that it is all built on percentages. Two pearls can breed a champion, two birds with weak eye sign can breed a champion, the reason being because these genes can lay undetected in the gene pool of pigeons that have regressed. Again however the percentages if you check them out will prove them as they say, a fluke of nature. This in itself is insufficient evidence to condemn the eye sign as is happening in certain sectors of our fraternity. Inge, I would think that Old Hand was correct in his Statement for Short to Middle distance, and that it would favour the yellows in the medium to long hard races.

When looking at the eye, and I am speaking from my own experiences one can become fairly accurate with assessment without digging too deeply, but there again many bad decisions can be made if one is prepared to think they now have the full story. I have found that my perception of the eye 20 years ago was not as accurate as it is today, and I am sure that in the years to come,

there will be people come along who will raise this art to even newer heights. Eye sign people have many conflicting ideas about eye sign, many have tunnel vision and will not even look at other ideas on the subject. I try to keep an open mind whilst sticking to what has brought me the greatest of my success, but I investigate any new information that comes out from time to time. I could write a chapter on what I think has made this phenomena popular and unpopular with constructive reasons for both. An interesting observation of mine that I have noticed has never been spoken of amongst eye sign people and which I found out for myself is this.

Everyone or most fanciers know that when a creature dies the eye sign dies with it, well here is a mistake made by and I nearly dare say every eye sign person in the world, and it is this.

If your pigeons have been sitting in a basket or in the show pen without water and are very thirsty, there eye sign would fail on my inspection every time. I often wonder how many eye sign people have given a critique on a pigeon that was thirsty and condemned a super stock pigeon to death. This is only one of the many imponderables , that some inexperienced eye sign people ignore in their forecasts, it gives the art a bad name, I myself have tried to give seminars on the subject just about in all areas of South Africa. If they open the bar for drinks before the seminar, most of the imbibers turn into professional eye sign people and all wish to take over the stage. They re not there to learn but to criticise which is none productive and degenerative to say the least. If I go to listen to the Bill Carneys of this world, I go to learn, not to pull them to pieces, and if one of these interfering know alls jumps up to spoil it he soon gets a mouthful from me, plus the message to shut up and sit down. The subject lacks so much conformity that these people are never exposed for what they are, and are known in every other profession as a chancer.

What I am saying is, there is a lot to be learned still about this subject, one must never relax, but have a continuous quest for knowledge. If the top eye sign people could come together and share there practical knowledge with each other, instead of always trying to prove how superior they are to their colleagues by running them down, this subject could have progressed much further than it has. As a combined team effort they could challenge all those disbelievers that are insulting and damaging in their statements and make it as acceptable as homeopathy.

Inge I transgressed from the original question but I think I may have given some interesting anecdotes. I think I answered your question as to my belief in the pearl versus the yellow, everyone has the right to accept or reject the theory of the eye sign or parts thereof, the people who have done the most damage to the subject are not the ones who do not understand it, for they just live in the darkness until they meet one of the few that can demonstrate convincing proofs. It is the self professed eye sign people themselves that have a little knowledge and profess to know it all. When these are challenged with insults of being impostors or whatever, have you ever noticed how slow they are in telling these people they will be prepared to go on stage with their accusers and for both sides to put their money where there mouths are or stop their accusations. There are fair ways of conducting these tests, but I will forecast now that most eye sign people will back off, neither will they give any moral support to their colleagues in the profession. We seem to be a breed that would rather condemn than condone in case one or the other should get more recognition. These are some of my observations and frustrations on a subject that I strive to improve every day, and do not be mistaken other than my mentors who were there to teach not learn, not one reputable eye sign person has approached me and said, let us pool our ideas and recourses, and NEITHER HAVE I. Who will be prepared to give a person the chance to say, so and so approached ME to help him, and he is supposed to be one of the best. We, and I include myself, are too busy building our own reputations to even consider pooling our recourses and building the reputation of the badly damaged theory of eye sign. I am however, prepared to share the knowledge I have gained from my teachers and personal experiences, instead of giving it this aura of secrecy and mysteries. The only time I would ever consider criticising any information, is when I know it to be misleading and definitely could adversly effect others.

Your in Sport,

Jack Barkel.

3.Crossed Wing Tips

Hi guys and girls.

Hope you all had a great weekend, I sure did. Me and my father have this little issue we would like someone to try and clear up for us.

He seems to think that if a bird is sitting on the ground or perch in a normal natural manner, and the tips of the wings cross over the lower back or tail that the bird will be rubbish in the racing loft. I on the other hand think that it makes no difference.

Would appreciate any thoughts on this.



[I thought about this response for a while and felt some of my thoughts could perhaps shed some light to the subject.

Seasons Greetings to you all.

My wife and I are new to the list and the fancy of pigeons also. Having said that, we are wondering what this Widowhood system is all about.

Is there a good web site that explains how it is done step by step?

Is this done for all types of pigeon breeds?

I have built a small breeding loft (8 x 8) this year and will be building a larger loft (16 x 24) next spring. Is there anything I should do to the plans of this loft for this Widowhood system if I decide to use it?

I must close by saying that we have enjoyed the discussions on the list so far.

Happy Holidays to you all.

Fair Seas es 73's de

Frank and Linda West]

Frank, Linda, and all that are interested:

I feel the most important issue about widowhood is to first, have pigeons that have been bred and their genetics is from a widowhood family. This is not to say that a family of pigeons that have always been good nest pigeons may not be good widowhood pigeons also, but the odds are greater in your favor if the family is generated from widowers.

Every loft and champion fancier develops a family of pigeons which fit to their schedule. There are many different champions and all have variations of a system that works for them but they can be exactly opposite of their best competitors. Therefore, be patient and CONSISTENT about how you develop a system and the birds to go with that system.

I feel the most important part of the widowhood system is the territorial issues and just the other day I was by a friend that has several young cocks that are extremely territorial. This family of pigeons bothers him as he likes absolute calmness in his loft and I told him he could send 20 of those terrorists to my place. It all depends on how you like to structure your loft and the way you will motivate the system and pigeons. I would use these terrorists as my favorites as when I get a really good widower, they show me they are ready to rock and roll. The literally wrestle with each other on the floor and if I put a KING PERCH in the loft which could just be a bucket turned upside down, one of them will take it over and own it. That is my nominator pigeon for that race.

Now, I also fly a widow system where the first one home can have what ever hen he wants as I do not lock my hens into the box to await their mate. If I get a good one home early and his mate pays no attention to him, he may not race well the following weeks but give him any hen that wants him and if the hens fight over him, sometimes that is even better. I feel my widowers are similar to myself where I like to have my lady pay attention to me when I come home. If she growls and bites my head off, chances are I won't come home too quickly in the future.

The motivation part and feeding will vary depending on where you live and the type of races and pigeons you have. However, I do not mate my pigeons earlier that 75 days from the first race and then I train my cocks while they are supposed to be sitting the nest. This helps me and I don't want to have them use all their energy raising babies. That is what my stock loft is all about.

About 1 or 2 weeks before the first race, I pull the hens and 1 of the babies from the widow section and try to leave the young hen for the cock to finish raising. The hen and the other baby I put in their own section and the hens will feed all the babies that are on the floor. The cock on the other hand becomes territorial to his box and if you want to promote that, then feed the cock in his box.

I send my cocks to the first race with a baby still in the nest but upon return, they find the hen that has been absent for a week or two. The reason the time could be 1 or 2 weeks is totally dependent upon the weather. If it is real cold, I leave the hen with the cock until 1 week before the first race. If the weather is warm, I pull the hen 2 weeks ahead as I don't want them laying the 2nd round of eggs too soon and not at all if possible. My boys have the babies for their attention rather than setting a second set of eggs.

From this, I send the boys as many races as they show me they are ready to go and i enjoy that as this allows me several opportunities to find a good one. From the point where the boys are by their self, they will go through a brief period of depression but normally the babies help keep that to a minimum. Once on widowhood, I watch the boys for them to show me when they are ready. This is done in my yard while I drink a cool one as compared to the other people burning up their car training down the road. My training is all done before the first race and from the first race on, I only loft exercise and watch with great intensity for the one(s) that are telling me they are ready to fly with the elite.

Once you learn the widowhood system, I don't think you will go back to the nest but I will also be the first to tell you that a properly prepared hen that is sitting perfectly is hard to beat. However, you can not get the hens ready as often as I can get my boys ready so the champion bird is generally a widower. There are no set rules to this either as last year our champion pigeon in the federation was a hen being flown on widowhood and she went 10 weeks or more and placed well when there were only just a few daybirds.

Pick your system and grow with it but remember, the most important thing is the quality of the bird as NO SYSTEM WILL MAKE A DONKEY INTO A RACE HORSE!!

When you build your lofts or remodel to try this system, I prefer many smaller sections rather than 1 large one as this way I can do more things for motivation plus it gives me places to rest the birds when they return from a race and still allows me the luxury to exercise the others without the tired ones holding them back. I would rather have 3 sections 4 feet wide than 1 section 12 feet wide or 2 sections 6 feet wide. More sections IS BETTER!!

Hope this helps:

Bob Rowland

5.Visit by the Petzers

Hello All,Our own Thumper(Leon Petzer) who writes on the list and also visits the allpets chat room, decided to pay me a visit on Saturday Morning accompanied by his Father Gert Petzer. He brought with him 32 pigeons to have rated and some were selected and paired up on paper. They arrived at 7-25am and left at 12-45 pm without seeing half of the set up here, they took a fancy to my Opal Jansens and bought a pair for next years stock loft. My wife had an appointment at the hairdresser and left us about 10 am arriving home just as they were leaving, so the hospitality was not all I would have liked it to be. Anyway it was good for me to be able to put a face to the guy I only new as Thumper. So I have taken a photo of Father Gert and Son Leon together and would like Manfred to put it up so all list members can put a face to the name. I also enclose two pic's of their purchases from the Opal Jansen Lofts.

Yours in Sport

Jack Barkel.

All photos issued below is published at 1/2 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..

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28 November 2000

1. Crossed Wing Tips

2. Widowhood???

                            3. Eye sign and Wingtips

1. Crossed Wing Tips

Hi everyone

Thumper, fathers are always right! I know, being one myself. On the issue of crossed wingtips I would also not tolerate such a bird in my race team. I do not have any sceintific or other justification for my condemning such a bird, but the total balance just does not look right when the wings cross over the back of the bird.

Something appears to be out of balance, be it the wings, muscles or whatever else would cause the bird to behave in such an unnatural manner.Maybe you'll get a more sceintific answer from the more clued up fanciers on our mailing list, but my vote is one in favour of your father's view.

Cheers for now


 I will attempt to answer these questions one at a time and it will be after the question so you are seeing two separate posts combined to one. I AM ANSWERING IN CAPS SO YOU CAN SEE THE ANSWERS EASILY. I AM NOT MAD OR YELLING. JUST TRYING TO STRESS A POINT.

Thank you Bob ROWLAND for your comments on Widowhood. However. I don't think I made myself clear in the original post. I don't understand the concept of Widowhood. I don't know the steps taken to call it a widowhood loft.


1. What is done (step by step) in a Widowhood loft that is different that in other lofts?






2. Is Widowhood done for all types of Pigeons? Fancy? Rollers? Tumblers? Racers?




3. If Widowhood is done for some types of birds and not others. Why?




4. How does Widowhood enhance the bird's life? Conditioning? Stamina? Speed performance?




5. Would this make racing birds faster?




6. Would it make a kit of tumblers perform better? Rollers?




7. Is there a good web site that explains how it is done step by step?



Just the basic how-to would make everything else more understandable to me.

This is all so new to us, we are reading everything we can get our hands on

Fair Seas es 73's de

Frank and Linda West

of Woodcrest, CA.


Hope this helps and I have enjoyed giving out some of the secrets. The biggest secret is there are no secrets. Good pigeons and a sound management on your part will work wonders.

Bob Rowland

3.Eye sign and Wingtips

Hello All,

I had a private e-mail from Thumper (Leon Petzer) today, with questions on eye sign rating and mating. I answered him privately, but then I phoned him to see if he would mind me sharing my answers with the SAPML as you all were in possession of the photo's of his pigeons and their eyes. He said he had no problem with this, so here is the gist of the letters with those parts snipped that I feel would not have been of interest to the list.

Hi Jack.

Just writing to thank you for a very pleasurable and informative day. You probably would have noticed that I am not a very talkative person, but on the internet there is no stopping me. I plan to pick up the photographs as soon as possible, and I would like tocomplete the tour by looking through your racing loft if it is ok with you that is.


I have a question to ask you about pairing up the birds. On your evaluation sheet you have a P or Y for the colour, then you have the 30 or 40 etc, I presume for the percentage of black in the adaptation circle (excuse me if my wording is incorrect), then there is a D or SI or CL (Diluted, Super Imposed & Clear). What I would like to know is how they are paired up, what I have picked up is that the percentage of black should not exceed 100% and try and put a Y to a P. Are there any other things to look at ? Would just like to know as we took the birds to you in 2 batches, first the breeders and then the racers. What I want to do is see if our breeders can go with any of the racers. Would appreciate it if you could help in this regard.

Regards, Leon Petzer.

Hello Leon,

Yes you are right on all what you say above, but if you have a look at the pair of Jansen's you purchased from me, there is a lot of Composite= black super Imposed on both eyes, this will breed you very strong racers but those daughters with very little composite and yellow eyes are the ones that must go back to their father in the stock loft. The pair as they are now will breed racer breeders, but you will have to be very selective which hens go back to their sire. If you continue pairing heavy composite together from generation to generation your Jansen's will degenerate, so be on the constant look out for a yellow clear daughter for the Opal Mealy Cock. I will do the Jansen progeny for you for free until you have the right selections to keep you on the right track for years to come. I thoroughly enjoyed your visit, and I am looking forward to your next one.

Regards, Jack.

Leon, your query on the SAPML today, about crossed wings. Both of you are correct under certain conditions. If the body is too broad across the chest instead of being longer than broader and the wings are carried high, this bird with the crossed wings is out of balance, whereas if the bird has a long narrow chest and his wings cover well over the back they may also cross at the tips and in this case it is not a disadvantage. So in my opinion, without close scrutiny of what other physical characteristics of the anatomy are the causing factor one can be wrong in saying it is either good or bad.

Yours in sport, Jack Barkel

29 November 2000

1. Breeding of Duns

2. Eye and Beak

3. Mullein ( Herb)

4. Antibiotics and vitamins

5. Black Feet

1. Breeding of Duns

To Jack

Not heard from me for a while you must have thought i was dead , not so lucky , just very busy.

Question 1 . bred a dun chick froma pair of chequors one light cheq cock and a light cheq w/f  hen . How is this possible? Both the cock and the hen were bred from cheqs I have bred with duns and have not been able to breed any duns.

Question 2 . Are all duns always hens?



2.Eye and Beak

 Hi guys and girls

I have heard many people say that the line that runs from the corner of the beak (if it should carry on) should run through the centre of the eye. But of course a fancier came to the loft this weekend, and said that the line should run underneath the eye. Could someone clarify this for me? Does it really make a difference ? Hope you all understand what line i`m reffering to.


3. Mullein ( Herb)

I wonder if any of you might be able to tell me if this will be a usefull plant to have next to your loft. Whether the birds will eat it I do not know but from reading the fo;;owing extract that I took from the net it seems to have everything that one needs. Mullein  An attractive plant to grow in the garden, mullein has been used through the centuries as one of nature's important healing plants. It's still used today in ear and throat medicines.

Tall, stately, and easy to grow, mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a beautiful, biennial plant, native to Europe. Over the centuries it has been known as Aaron's rod, the blanket herb, our lady's taper and the flannel plant, due to the usefulness of the leaves and the metre-high yellow flowered stalks. These were dried, dipped in fat and burned as lightproviding tapers or candles after dark. Mullein also has huge, hairy, robust leaves that form a rosette and these were once used to provide a warm lining in the slippers of noble folk.

Medicinal uses

Mullein has been used throughout the centuries as a treatment for chest and respiratory problems, and for bladder and kidney ailments. It's also a good wound healer and a remedy for ear infections and haemorrhoids.

Rich in saponions, minerals and mucilage, mullein helps to clear mucous from the body ? this is why it's so effective in treating bronchitis, pneumonia, dry, persistent coughs, tuberculosis, throat infections, ear aches and blocked noses. It can be bought in tincture form from your pharmacy or health shop and an easy-to-make tea is extreamly helpful taken daily.


4.Antibiotics and Vitamins

Hi all, Does anyone have experience of giving antibiotics for three days and within that three days also give vitamins to the pigeons, is there any negative side effect?? Why do I give vitamins? because the coming week is another racing day so need to make them more healthy.


5.Black Feet

Jack, I like to ask your opinion regarding young pigeon (less than 2months) with black feet, almost 85% covered by black skin on the feet,is this a Hybrid Vigor??? Thanks.


30 November 2000

1. Dilute

2. Crossed beak

3. Subject: Racing Hen

4. Subject: Breeding

5. Subject: Pigeon Photographs

6. Subject: General

7. Subject: Duns

8. Subject: The Term Uncle.

1. Dilute

Hi everyone

In the most countries, the most widowhood fancier’s only train the birds around the loft, after the races have commenced. For the South African racing conditions, flying widowhood or roundabout, do you train the birds on the road, after racing has commenced, or do you only circle the birds?

Uncle Jack will you please explain the difference between "Super Imposed" and "Dilute". Is "Dilute" referring to the color of the Composite where the normally black is diluted to a more grayish color?


Hennie Pienaar

Subject: Crossed beak

 Hi guys and girls.

Have a situation for all of you to think over. I had a Blue Bar Hen, a very good looking bird bred out of excellent parents. But there was one problem, her upper and lower beak was crossed, in such a way that she had a permanent opening through her beak.

I did not think she would get very far but kept her anyway because as I said she was bred well. I had to feed her by hand as she was strugling to pick up the food properly.

Needless to say she flew very well and was one of my top racers before she was lost on a snorter. In a way I was happy she got lost as she would never have been able to breed because of her beak. Has any of you had a bird like this and did you give it a chance to show it`s potensial before culling it?


Subject: Racing Hen

Dear Jack

I like to ask for some opinion on this matter. I have a hen that I included in this racing season (north). This coming sunday is our fifth race week. This hen is feeding 10 days old YB as of now.

My question is, will feeding young bird decrease the stamina of the hen to race the next toss? I noticed some light body with the hen but she is still very active and eat a lot and happily feeding her YB. Should I include her for the next race?? I don't have any other pair for the YB to be feed.Thanks and hope to hear your comment before saturday.


Subject: Breeding

Hi guys & girls.

I want to ask anyone what there opinion is on the following. What I am planning is to have 12 pairs next season, 3 sets of four different strains. All the strain differ alot in size, shape and distance flown. I am planning on keeping them all clean and not mixing the strains, does anyone think it is better to stick to one family of birds. And are 3 pairs of a strain enough to test them out, and then of course how often do you have to bring in new blood to replennish them ?


Subject: Pigeon Photographs

Hi jack and all

Thanks for sharing your lovely photographs with us. At the moment Steve is experimenting with a photo box and is having varied results with the lighting, although the interior of the box is white the background comes out yellow and we are getting a shadow of the bird. What type of camera are you using, we are using a Sony digital but would we have more luck with the Minolta 35 mm

Any help and suggestions would be welcomed.

Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

Subject: General

 Hello All,

Loo wrote:

Question 1 . bred a dun chick from pair of chequers one light cheq cock and a light cheq w/f hen . How is this possible? Both the cock and the hen were bred from cheqs Silver Dunn is a recessive and if one of the parents carry this recessive gene, it can manifest itself in a baby and it will be a hen. If both parents carry this recessive gene they can breed a cock bird, some have the chequering factor and some do not. Dr T.H.Rigg of Parbold Lancashire, England had Blue Barkers and some of these carried the Dunn gene. They bred him a Silver Dunn Cock that was unbeatable in those days in that neck of the woods.

Thumper wrote

I have heard many people say that the line that runs from the corner of the beak (if it should carry on) should run through the centre of the eye. But of course a fancier came to the loft this weekend, and said that the line should run underneath the eye.

Could someone clarify this for me?

It has been said that the centreline of the top and bottom beak should carry on through the centre line of the eye. The pigeon because of the position of it's eyes in it's head should have complete circular vision to all horizons without moving it's head, this is mainly to guard against attacks from above by predators. If the eye line is below the beak this asset could become dis-functional, so Thumper I think your friend has the story incorrectly. The ball joint of the eye is designed to swivel to look down as it can see upwards without any assistance or eye ball movement. Hope this explanation is satisfactory.

4.Antibiotics, Vitamins and Black Feet.

Val asked about above, well let me explain, the Nitrofurans such as Furasolidone, Furaltadone, Oxytetracyclines, Young birds are especially susceptible to these and some old birds too. It seems to deplete there store of vitamins in their body, so I give the vitamins at the same time. Of course many manufacturers have added vitamins in their products just for such a reason, so it is best to read all formulas before administering products, but to answer your question yes you can give vitamins simultaneously with anti- biotics. As for the black feet, I believe it is just a skin pigment found in some families and not in others, not really indicative of anything special in my book. Black feet are not an indication of a hybrid as far as I am aware or vigour there from.

In closing, Thumper I am also here to learn, I like my herbs and believe in them, I have no knowledge of this one, but I will check it out. Thanks, maybe I have learned something else today. I am sure we all thank you for this interesting information. Can't we have some more interesting anecdotes from our list members, this is a friendly list, everything is accepted in a friendly happy manner. Manfred says any thing he perceives to cause or to be taken as aggression, he will put on the chat room and keep the list the happy friendly place it is. If anyone becomes aggressive or rude or attacks the rest of us, we will not here about it, it just will not get printed, therefore causing no offence to anyone. How about some more photo's of members etc, I liked the pic's sent by Steve and Linda, if your loft is not up to what you would like to share, lets see your faces so we can put the name to the face. Just some suggestions, that will help make this list something special for us all.

Yours in Sport

Jack Barkel.

Subject: Duns

Hi all

When you refer to Duns do you mean what we call in England Silvers, in the USA a mealey is a silver, if you mean silvers, we have an old family of grooters and both the silvers (Duns) are hens.

Linda Joneli Red Rose Lofts

Subject: The Term Uncle.

Hello All,

I have been asked to explain, how I have so many Nephews on the SAPML. Let me explain, here in South Africa if one addresses an older person they do not like to address them by there first name and prefer not to refer to them as Mr which sounds so formal. It is an Afrikaans custom or part of their culture therefore, to refer to such a person as Oom, direct translation Uncle or senior person. I have two sons and two daughters who have all married into Afrikaans families so my wife and I are quite at home in this kind of culture, with seven grandchildren who speak both languages fluently. Therefore I am known all over S/A as Oom Jack or Uncle Jack, it is a term of respect and not of relationship. My wife is also addressed as Tannie Margaret or Aunty Margaret, just a part of South Africa that grows on one along with the ageing process.

Sorry, not a pigeon related subject but it was suggested that I clarify this for overseas members.

Back to Pigeons.

Jack Barkel.

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