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10 October 2000

1. Pigeon Olympiad
2. Winter Feeding
3. Olympiad
4. Green eyes
5. Olympiad
6. Green eyes
7. Winter Feeding

1 .Pigeon Olympiad                                  Jack Barkel []

Hello Folks,
Has anyone noticed the lack of enthusiasm of overseas fanciers to participate or visit the Pigeon Olympiad held in South Africa in January 2001.
It cannot be affordability as the Rand is so weak that overseas visitors can have a grand holiday at a quarter of the spending cost of most places in the world. It is also situated in the heart of the most beautiful wine lands. It's picturesque beauty can bring one to tears if you are an emotional person like myself. Yet in spite of all this the overseas contingent seems to be very low key. We need to start this discussion group off somewhere, and I feel we South Africans, need the comments of our overseas fanciers to find out what may be the cause of our problem. Could it be the odd spate of bombings we here about but never see, which is putting fanciers off, or is it poor world wide advertising by the South African publicity organisers. It perturbs me very much and I would like your comments both from at home and abroad. This letter is to get this mailing list going with a question that I hope will involve everyone who has decided to join together in friendly participation.
Yours in Sport,
Jack Barkel
South Africa.
P.S. As I write and advertise regularly on the allpets site, I would like to state that I have no more right, influence or power on this list than any fancier who decides to join. Other than Manfred, we all enjoy equal status. Let us endeavour to make this a great friendly list.

2. Winter Feeding              xcalibur

Hello All:

I am curious if anyone out there has a winter feeding regime? I have just finished my yb season and while I know the birds deserve a rest period etc. I am always having to restrict the diet as breeding season approaches due to fat build up over the winter.

Monday , 09 October 2000

3. Olympiad              Ed

Hello Jack and all new members to this list. Hopefully it will be a very robust list about what we all love and enjoy, Pigeons.... Jack I appreciate the offer to join and look forward once more to reading more of your posts. Now as to the Olympiad in SA, I really do believe the cost is probably one of the more common reasons you do not get more over seas visitors. Another reason is more than likely the lack of Advertising done about it. This is not meant to be anything but my observations. Later guys and gals..
Ed in NV, USA..

4. Green eyes             xcalibur

Hello All:
I would like to ask an eye question. There has been some discussion lately in other circles regarding green eye's. I personally have never seen a green eye but I have to wonder if they arent just yellow with a greenish cast to them. Does anyone out there have any knowledge regarding this? Is it true that the grren eye'd birds make better breeders? I have my doubt's regarding this but until I hear it from enough people I shall reserve my opinions. Does anyone out there have a picture of a green eye that they might share with us? I am not sure if this list can handle a pic so if you have one, would you send it to me
privately I would appreciate it.

Best regards,
Tuesday , 10 October 2000

5 .Pigeon Olympiad          Jack Barkel []

Hello Ed,and members,
In your reply on the lack lustre enthusiasm of visitors to visit our shores for the Olympiad, you have probably hit the nail on the head. The advertising in S/A alone has in my estimation been pathetic. What our leaders in tourism and organising heads for this event expect for these mediocre efforts I do not know. To make any venue a success one must make it attractive and while I agree that it is a long way to travel the benefits to the tourist are enormous, we always have had a fair amount of visitors for our million dollar race. This year they are both held in January 2001, and I can't see any greater influx of visitors for this dual event. Thank you for your opinion Ed, I was worried that it might be have been bad publicity from the recent spate of bombings, but obviously our overseas friends are about as much aware of this as they are of the Olympiad itself. We still do not do enough to get things moving in our country, we tend to leave everything to just a few, whose main object seems to be to get their photo's in the paper and not to really promote these historic events in the pigeon world. Unfortunately I myself am too old and lack the inclination or finances to take an active role. I am just sad that such a great occasion for the pigeon fancy in our country seems as if it will go off like a damp squib. That is to say, no fireworks whatsoever. Let us hope I am proved wrong.
Your in Sport
Jack Barkel.Concerned South African

6. Green eyes              Jack Barkel

Hello xcalibur, and all new list members.
Let me try and explain, there are only two basic colours in a pigeons eye, they are Yellow or Pearl ( Pearl = pale pink).
The violet is an enhancement of the Pearl eye just as the green is an enhancement of the Yellow eye. Now to photograph the green you need special filters otherwise your green will be filtered out and you are left with a yellow based eye. The violet does not seem to present these difficulties when photographing and becomes much less difficult to the amateur photographer. As most photographers are not pigeon fanciers they do not realise the colours we as fanciers see and therefore when your pic's are printed ,alas the green that is reflected in the eye is not apparent on the photograph.
Yes the green eyes do exist, but are very rare, yes we have dirty yellows that are falsely named green in desperation at not being able to find a genuine article. There are many variations in depth of colour in the pigmentation of our pigeons eyes and what constitutes a true green or a dirty yellow has caused great arguments. When you do see a green and not a borderline case you will have no doubt that you have one, a few green flecks in the iris does not constitute the green eye as it should be.
Most greens fade to a yellow within eighteen months, so when I discover it in an eye under this period of maturity I do not get excited. There are very few records of green eyed champions or top breeders, but that is probably because they are in the minority.
I can also state from my records, that I have seen the pure green with a very low value rating, no matter the colour, if the sphincter muscles do no marry together you are wasting your time no matter what the colour. If however we have a top violet and a top green of the kind that takes your breath away and we pair them together, I would expect great things from their progeny.
I would put two greens together, but never two violets as this will lower the homing ability the more you do injudicious matings of this kind. To have a true green the correlation is a paler hue than the adaptation and the perimeter or fifth circle, that is because a person puts on these two circles and they look darker because they are similar to an extra coat of paint. I can not find an easier way to try and explain it. I enclose a picture of the green which I have enhanced to try and maintain some purity to leave the viewer in no doubt what they are looking for. It is very accurate in colour to some I have seen and I only bought one in my life, it was a Delbar on the Arthur Chadwick sale back in the 1960's in Manchester England. Do not criticise the eye, I have cheated a little, but I do it only to help and not to confuse, they do exist like this in all there purity and if it is like this one it is a gold mine.

greeneyes.jpg (38062 bytes)
I hope Manfred can send this out with the letter and that it helps to make this new list interesting with what we can show each other from around the world.
Yours in Sport,
Jack Barkel

7. Winter Feeding              Rassie

Hello Jim,
I will leave the "eye" answer to Jack.
About the winter feeding, well there is nothing to worried about, just do not over feed the birds and there will be no need for a diet. Yes they will build up fat but when training starts, and you follow a good program, the birds will be ready for the first race. Keep them healthy as well during this rest period, you have to.
South Africa

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11 October 2000

1. Malaria
2. Anti-oxidants
3. Winter Feeding

1. Malaria              Casper Smith (Kirkwood)

A question to Jack Barkel
We meet with your last visit at Kirkwood and I have a problem and beleive that you can help me.
This is al about Malaria and the treatment thereof.
The most common one to use is Premaquin, but according to the Vet, it is actually useless.
The Vet's reason for this was the following;
A fanciers pigeons was tested and a severe Malaria infection was diagnose. The fancier treat the pigeons for 10 days with Premaquin and after one and half week the birds was tested again. All the pigeons still had malaria and another 10 day treatment with Premaquin followed. After the test the third time, the pigeons still have Malaria.
The Vet then prescribe Larium. I did not know what was the test results after this treatment. But what I did know and that is that there was a drastic improvement in the performance of the pigeons.
What I was also told is that it is impossible to cure Malaria and that the pigeons must be tested on a regular base so that the pigeons can be treated.
No my question is this, if this is all true did you not think that our beloved sport is on its way down the drain. And my reason for this statement is that how can we be involved in something and where a problem is, but there is no way to solve the crisis. Each fancier I know who took there pigeons to the Vet, was diagnose with Malaria.
The symptons are as follow;
losses, they did not want to train and show signs of weakness and your results is bad. There droppings are normal and the pigeons did not look ill. In fact I did not think that they will die.
I am very eager to hear from you, because I am actually in the prosess of leaving the sport after 18 yaers. For all the other poblems in the sport, there was a cure or a seloution, but for this one it is impossible.
Than you very much.
Casper Smith (Kirkwood)

2.Anti-oxidants                  Jim

Hello All:

I want to say thanks for the picture to Mr. Barkel. that was a very nice pic. The only green one I have ever seen.

I do want to ask another question to the list: What are your feelings in general toward the use of anti-oxidants. (ie) B-15, Garlic oil & brewers yeast to name a few. Good bad or indifferent I would like to hear what anyone out there has to say about them.

Does anyone out there have a source for B-15 ? supply house etc.

Best regards,

3.Winter Feedings                      Mike

Hello Jim,
I am responding to your winter feeding program question. My ratio of food in the winter is as follows:

3 parts whole yellow corn
2 parts barley
1 part no corn conditioning feed
1 part pigeon pellets
fresh grit daily

I feed all they want to eat once a day, in the evening. I keep placing handfuls of feed in the feeders until they no longer eat the barley.

The temps in north/central Illinois get to 20 below 0 F. in the winter. The birds need to have some insulation. I never worry about them getting too fat. As soon as they mate up in the spring and start driving, they lose the fat.

Hope this helps.

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12 October 2000

1. Winter Feeding
2. Winter Feeding
3. Malaria
4. National results - South

1. Winter Feeding                      Jim

Hello Mike:

Thanks for the info on winter feeding. I shall take that into consideation. Please tell me where in IL you are located?

Best regards,
Jim Muckerman

2. Winter Feeding                          Linda Joneli

I find a good way to work of the Winter Fat on the birds is to place the nesting material in a pile on the loft floor,the birds will make countless trips carrying this up to their nesting boxes.

Linda Joneli
Red Rose Lofts WA

3. Malaria                  Jack Barkel

Hello Casper,
I remember our visit to Kirkwood and the excellent welcome and hospitality shown by the pigeon fanciers there to my wife and I. Now to your question on Malaria, I know I have answered this question somewhere before and that my revelations caused quite a stir. Let me say, I will still stand by my convictions and reveal what I believe is correct about this problem. A person can take it or leave it, no offence given or taken, this is my belief and method of eradication. It is my experience that the birds that are infected show no visible signs of the disease, such as Anaemia and loss of condition, in fact the birds look perfectly healthy, they just have poor returns or get lost. Immediately this tells me that the birds have not got Malaria at all, but a Pseudomalaria. This is not transmitted by mosquitoes, but by the pigeon fly or louse fly and is known as Haemoproteus Columbae. There are other insects capable of transmitting this disease so the reason, is louse ridden pigeons, basketted at the club with yours, that are constantly injecting your clean birds with this disease. South Africa, where we are told by our President that HIV does not cause aids can never hope to stop this disgraceful approach to the pigeon fancy. We have been Government Gazetted to vaccinate for PMV, which I believe is very rare if any in S/A.But fanciers are allowed
to keep louse ridden lofts, with there pigeons riddled with them, and other domestic creatures riddled with tics etcetera. No check of any kind is made by the powers that be on adequate housing of all pets, other than their obsession with a virtually none existent PMV(here I am referring to South Africa). What I have said up until now is to explain why we do not combat and defeat this disease in the pigeon fraternity. It needs to be legislated and made compulsory that all lofts are
disinfected, and checked amongst all flying members in any club. That will be a start on the road to improvement, then what a fancier can do to make sure he does not contract this type of malaria is to powder all birds before basket ting with Carbo Dust or something similar. When this louse that crawls sideways like a crab just much more rapidly decides to find a new host and jumps on your bird from the dirty fanciers bird, he immediately looks for another host or dies before any harm can be done to your pigeon. It does not matter how often you treat, if that live hypodermic syringe is in the baskets or race panniers you are making this disease permanent. If one has fleas in there house they have a dirty house and must clean it out and disinfect. The same applies to our pigeon lofts and pigeons, I know many fanciers who are successful and do not clean out regularly but there are no creepy crawlies of any kind tolerated. It is sad that dirty infested pigeons are allowed to sit overnight and compete with the clean healthy entrants. You are right Casper unless we act our beloved sport will go down the drain, but you are wrong when you say the solution is impossible. The solution is that we come down very hard on DIRTY LOFTS and pigeons. Everything gets blamed in S/A on PMV, I will be proved correct on my statements as soon as the people who are making vast sums of money selling all these snake oil cures and who have no interest in solving the problem are made to give some guarantees. Any quinine based product will help the situation, but if you have allowed this parasite into your pigeon dwellings and have not protected by powdering your birds on basket night, you will never cease from having these carriers. My advice therefore is as follows.
FORGET about fancy vaccines,
CONCENTRATE on squeaky clean lofts and pigeons.
TOLERATE NOT, those who are not prepared to meet this standard of hygiene.
REMEMBER, most of these people who never suggest how to prevent, but only what medication to apply, are Snake Oil Merchants making big bucks out of the dilemma of the trusting fancier.
Finally my plea to you Casper is, do not leave the sport, help combat the imbalances in our sport. I will support you by going up on any forum to get this legislated, the guys who are selling the cures are not helping you or the pigeon fraternity, they are living out of you. Fellow members, this is not meant to cause arguments, but only my suggestion of how to improve matters. We must cut the problem off at its source, and I have patiently waited to see if these peddlers would give any revealing advice before I ever published mine, which is a portion of my future book. Unfortunately it cuts off a portion of their regular income, so I can't see it being forthcoming. Please folks lets all put in our own opinions, without condemning the opinions of each other. This way we can all see the other side of the coin without having to do combat in a paper war.
Yours in Sport,
Jack Barkel
P.S. Birds with Malaria can be seen to be sick and will have coccid and several other of the common ailments as it makes them susceptible to these. Birds with Pseudomalaria show know signs of sickness, but show no performance and get lost very easily. I myself have selected birds that had it, thinking they had top condition. Medication for both these ailments is Quinine.

4.National Loft - South          Almero Bekker

Hi all

R100 000.00 First Prize

The results ( prizewinners only ) of the Main Race of the National loft-South are now available on our website:
Please note that the sale will take place on 28 October at 11h00.
Have a look at our Club as well as Fed Results and sign our guestbook

Almero Bekker

5.Antioxidants              Mike

Hello Jim and All,

There is a great controversy about the additional use of antioxidants and vitamins in people, much less pigeons. Americans have the most expensive urine in the world. We take more supplemental antioxidants and vitamins that any other people in the world. But for all of our vitamin taking, it has yet to be proven that all of these extra chemicals really do any good, other than increase the pocket books of the pharmaceutical companies. If I'm stepping on anyone's toes out there, I apologize. There is no question that vitamins and antioxidants naturally found in food do their job. But there is a great question about how effective supplementals are. Feed good quality
and variaties of feed and your birds should have everything they need. Massive doses of vitamins or antioxidants are questionable.

Yours in the Sport,


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13 October 2000

1. Antioxidants
2. Herpes

1. Antioxidants                  Jack Barkel

Hello Mike and All,
I said in one of my articles on the allpets site, that when I stay with people I see more vitamin pills on the tables than you may see in a chemist shop or drug store. This is slightly exaggerated, but I repeat this to show that up to a point I agree with you. However, once again it is all the fault of clever humans again trying to make a fast buck.
My son has just returned from an agricultural visit to America, so I have records of facts what is happening there. I also had tests conducted and listened to excerpts of a seminar here in South Africa and armed with this knowledge I am prepared to stick my neck out and say, that if one does not take these supplements you will lack the nutritional value you need to sustain a healthy life. Our grains today (let us stick to the pigeon products) and not to the none nutritional seedless tomatoes etc for human consumption, are very low in protein, isovlavones and many other ingredients needed to sustain a healthy well being. I have tested all the pigeon mixes I could find on the market here in South Africa, we have several good laboratories in my home town, which makes it an easy and cheap exercise for me. My findings are that most grains today are genetically engineered, may I suggest you plant a small patch of these grains and you will be surprised what comes up, certainly not what you planted. The pigeon grains are so short of isoflavones that regular laying hens are subjected to Osteoporosis (Bone Shrinkage) several kinds of cancer not CANKER. There fertility is deteriorating, their strength, their stamina, their resistance to bacteria,
all because of the foods they eat which is not natural any more. I write this letter mainly in defence of what I have done, which is the following. Because of the imbalances in our grains I have had developed a supplement for our pigeons to correct this imbalance, we have a Soya extraction plant here in Potchefstroom unique to the whole world I am led to believe. It is a water extraction method which leaves behind all the fibre and impurities and extracts pure protein, we can do this with the maize also. All the anti-oxidants and vitamins and protein that is lacking in the pigeon food is added by slightly dampening the food and mixing the required dosage onto the food. The change within three days is incredible, I am not writing this to try and get the readers to buy it, we advertise elsewhere, it is just to make a point in defence of what I am doing to promote healthy
pigeons. To Mike, yes we do over indulge in antioxidants and vitamins, but we need to use some correctly.
Our food is similar to eating plastic and the same for our birds, so I say, if you desist from supplements completely and eat the junk foods we get today (Lots of junk pigeon food also) we or our birds will get sick. I say, use them we must, but in moderation or you will not sustain a normal healthy life. Dulling of the brain, lack lustre attitudes, suicides are all being helped along because of the plastic type or artificial hybrid junk we accept readily as food today. So Mike, I agree with you all the way with every thing you said, but add that it is most necessary in correct dosages for ourselves and our pigeons. I have surveyed this problem for a few years, I hope you find it
interesting. It is another excerpt from a complete article or chapter.
Yours in Sport,
Jack Barkel.

2. Herpes                      Herman

Hi all from a sunny Johannesburg,

Jack can you please tell me about the pigeon herpes virus: causes, cures and preventative measures. One of the local fanciers had the virus confirmed in his loft, and every bit of information we can get would be much appreciated.

Thanks for the opportunity to share our ideas/questions on what is fast becoming a very active mailing list. Keep it up!


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14 October 2000

1. Herpes
2. Flying

1. Herpes              Jack Barkel

Hello Herman, and Members,
Many times when people start treating for PMV, they think the vaccine will cure, vaccines cure nothing. To give a vaccine after a bird has contracted a disease, boosts the illness even more and can be fatal. We as fanciers must remember this before going crazy with medication. If your birds get Salmonella, Newcastle, Paratyphus,etc the first and most ridiculous diagnosis, by most fanciers and Vets is Paramyxo. It is as if it is the only word they know, and not only that, we in South Africa have not got the facilities to test for PMV!!. Yet our clever guys can diagnose it by site. What a poor bunch of specimens we have looking after the health of our pigeons.

If your pigeons are showing signs of these several diseases I have just mentioned, it is nearly certain as I have proved by curing peoples pigeons for them, that what there birds have contracted is nothing more than the Herpes Virus. But in my opinion because it is so easily and cheaply cured no assistance will be forthcoming from the guys who provide all the expensive vaccines and anti-biotics.

Many lofts harbour infected birds, and 75% of pigeons tested have shown to have this viral disease. Still the powers that be concentrate on PMV and not Herpes Virus, I still say it is money that creates this shocking brain washing of the fancier, nothing else. If you live in South Africa, and you have your birds tested for PMV, show me the lab report and signature and I will show you an untrue document unless it was sent overseas to be analysed. If one treats their birds for Herpes Virus you will have a healthy loft within a week. I can provide evidence of many lofts that were treated professionally for weeks for PMV with no improvement whatsoever. They have come to me, and the following week are back in the clock, I am not a clever guy, do not get me wrong, I learn from genuine people not commercialists, it is cheap and easy to keep your birds healthy. I hire a virologist to keep my birds healthy, I have too many birds, to run these lofts any other way,
therefore I have no microscopes any more or other testing equipment. But I learn from people who get paid for results not for how much useless medication they can sell me.

Herpes Virus (PHV) has even been described as an Avian Paramyxovirus type 1. It can look like Newcastle, Canker and Paratyphus all rolled into one. It can effect the digestive tract as well as the nervous system that is why people are too willing to believe they have an incurable disease.

Purchase Virkon S, it kills all 18 viruses known to your pigeons and the price will not make a hole in a school child's pocket money. Read the dilutions on the packet, and disinfect the entire loft with this solution. Mix one teaspoon = 5-grams on 10 litres or 2-Gallons of drinking water for
three days and your birds will recover, then for three days give them a flora treatment to replace the good germs in the gut tract. It is cheap, it is easy, and IT WORKS, simply because you are using the correct product for the 18 viral diseases known to pigeons. I do not say that other treatments are no good, but I do know I have one of the healthiest lofts in South Africa, housing hundreds of birds at any one time. It is a business and it is run as a business, no margin for mistakes. No unnecessary medication, this all creates unnecessary overheads and immunity problems. I do not say that you must do it my way and I have no intention of offending anyone other than those who earn a living by being less than truthful in order to bleed the pigeon fanciers dry. I learn from the people who keep my lofts and birds squeaky clean and I pass it on to
other fanciers, so that maybe they can use what I consider valuable information in maintaining HEALTHY PIGEONS. I would give 1-Teaspoon of VirkonS on ten Litres one day every two weeks to ensure that my birds remain germ free.
Yours in Sport
Jack Barkel.

2. Flying              Val


My Racing Pigeons do not fly very long in the air, the longest I think is only 15 minutes,. but they do fly very high. They could come home from a far distance when tossing/training. I'm concern, is there any problem with my pigeons health?? they all look very healthy inside or outside the loft.

I'm very amuzed to see some statement like " my team fly for one hour and 15 minutes a day and most of the time they go very far that I can't no longer see them" its maybe true but sometime their pigeons may land in a place where the owner cannot see them, that is possible also.

Pls advice how to let my pigeons fly longer than 15 minutes.



3. Rules & Clocks              Deneile

Hi Allpigeons

This mailing list was the best thing that could have happened to the homing pigeon community here in South Africa. I was hoping if you could help me. I want to join my local club for the next racing season. I find this sport very exciting. Like any new beginner I still need to learn all the ropes and tricks and to do this I need the help of other fanciers. I would like to know more about the rules and regulations of pigeon racing here in South Africa. I have the loft and I have own a few "good" pigeons but I don't own a clock. Is there anyone who can tell me more about the different clocks you get. I would also like to buy a used or new clock but I can only pay it off in terms. My only income is from a government grant. So if anyone is up for my offer please email me at with your offer.

Kind regards

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16 October 2000

1. Herpes
2. Flying

1. Herpes          Gregg Finch

Do you know if this pigeon herpes virus is worldwide or just a SA problem. I don't currently have health problems but it would be nice to know for future reference. By the way, I did fairly well this year racing with my team of 1 young bird. He finished third in our first race and sixth in our last out of area futurity race. I raced the bird every young bird race and am really pleased with his performance considering the circumstances. I never did get the mink, but leave my dogs out at night now for predator deterrence. Thanks for the great posts.

Gregg Finch
Janesville, Mn, USA

2. Flying              Jack Barkel

Hello Val & All,
One can usually tell between a pack of birds that aimlessly return home after an hour and immediately sit, or the birds that keep reappearing at a hell of a lick, circle a couple of times just to see that everything is O/K and disappear into the distance once more. This is how to recognise a fit
team from a team of fielders.
Obviously your feed is wrong if your birds will not show massive reserves of energy. If you shell your sunflower seed just before morning feed, and if you have not got a separator and feed with the shells mixed in with the seeds, then feed at a rate of 4-cups of seed and shells mixed for 20
pigeons. This must be the sole morning feed and never to be given after midday but as early as possible. To feed any later than mid-day can cause an oily build up similar to slime in the throat as the bird is inactive the later the day becomes. The wrong feeds produce white fat, which is alright
for long distance or stamina racing, but the fat from the sunflower is easily changed into the red fats which gives instant energy. If you follow these guidelines, you will see that your birds are exercising freely within a few days. Maize fed in winter months will give this new found energy, but in hot summer months, tends to make the pigeon overheat. If you can give me temperatures for different times of the year, I will send you a feeding plan to suit your particular weather conditions. Remember, in the racing season there are in my opinion only two places a pigeon must be, that is in the sky, or in the loft. Val, from your explanation you need advice, my advice is for free, if you need more advice than this I will give it freely, but what is right for your conditions may be a variation to other parts of the world although the advice I have given here is a good basic for the rest of the world. There are many methods different to mine and they work and I feel just about all of us could write a different approach here to Val's problem. May I ask if all of we new members can give advice on this list to help new members, we are all learning every day, and I would like us to share this new gained knowledge with all members of this list. If we can
all submit the knowledge we gain without criticising the other persons input that we may not agree with, a member can decide which path they wish to tread. This will make this list most popular and a library for all of us to use to our advantage.
Come on folks, I know its new, but let us all try to ask and if we have answers reply in return. I would like to see this list work for all of us, but especially for Manfred, he and his wife Deirdre are very special people. They visited our place for the second time yesterday. I would like with Manfred's permission to do a special article on him and his wife when the list has been going a little longer, I think it could be a revelation to all of us. It certainly is to me.
Yours in Sport,
Jack Barkel.

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17 October 2000

1. Sour Crop
2. Puttrie
3. Eye Sign
4. Herpes
5. Pigeon Illness

1. Sour Crop         Herman

Hi all from a Johannesburg with golden sunlight on its high windows,

This year I noticed something in my breeding pens that has me baffled: When the babies are about ten days old, the hens tend to develop sour crop. They respond well to treatment (bicarb injected into the crop) but for a few days thereafter the droppings would be wet. It only happens with the hens and only when the babies are about ten days old. And no, I do not feed my birds bread or yeast or anything else that may cause sour crop.

Theire feeding ration is exactly the same as previous years, with a lot of peas in it (maple and yellow). The maize content is lowered this time of the year because of the summer heat.

I have treated for canker before the breeding season and again after every round of babies. Apart from those few days mentioned, the hens are all in good shape and lay their eggs exactly on the right time. While it has only happened to about five hens, I am still concerned and would like to know if anybody out there could come up with an explanation for this problem.


2. Puttrie Barry              Yon


3. Eye Sign              Nico

Hello Jack
Regarding to your video "It is all in the eye" you have mentioned, if you want to consider a pigeon for breeding the bird should have 5 circles in it's eye. What if the eyes are different? Do you grade the pigeon to the worst eye? Thank you.

Best Regards

4. Herpes              Jack

Hello Greg,and all,


Dr Wim Peters in his book fit to win, states that and I quote:" The disease has been recognised in the USA, Australasia, many European countries and Africa". Unquote.

It is often mistaken for crop canker, and after treating with Emtryl or other products with no improvement the bird is usually culled or expires and the blame placed on the ineffectiveness of the drug. As in most cases the problem lies with incorrect diagnosis, the point I have been making all along about PMV!!!. We are not so much trained in the art of diagnosis but more into being hoodwinked into buying expensive medicines, because so and so prescribed it and diagnosed without a proper test.

As with the pseudo malaria I wrote about, if you go to the drug store or chemist and buy a bottle of Daramel S, give o.8mil in an eye dropper, then next morning 0.4mil, then that evening 0.2 mil your bird will recover much better than these other fancy potions at three to four times the price. It
is for humans and usually not sold by snake oil merchants, Muti Peddlers as we call them in South Africa.

I often get criticised for the help I try to give, one smart Alec is already saying that Virkon S causes cancer. Well let him carry on, we have an outbreak of Cholera here in S/A and what are the authorities putting in the drinking water????? Well you have guessed it, I suppose the cholera outbreak will now be contained, but the same people will die of cancer. Anyway I will
continue to give what advice I can to the pigeon fraternity.

To you Greg congratulations, that is a big achievement with one pigeon, wait until you have a team like that one, then you will make your competitors sit up.

Manfred informed me by telephone that another three members joined the list today, it is building slowly. I am looking forward to the day when there are lots of questions and lots of replies other than my own. I enjoy it, but would like a little more company.
Yours in Sport
Jack Barkel
South Africa.

5.Pigeon Illness              Inge

I have three cases of this syndrom among some fifty YBs. It is definately efecting the nervoussystem. The pigeons start by being passive and docile, then start having cramps in legs the next day. They seem to be kicking off, but no other respons follows so they hit the floor head first. Later they started pulling their heads to one side, while cramps in the legs continue and they continuously flap their wing, the one oposite to the side to which the head is pulled. Does this sound familiar to anyone. All three birds died within 36 hours after symptoms appeared.
Thank you.
Inge H Fagerli
ICQ 17932284
Club Homepage:

6.. Feeding              Manfred

In South Africa we are almost at the end of our racing season. With summer approaching, our temperature is soaring. I know maize increase the temperature of the pigeons, shouldn't the feeding adapt according to the temperature as well. Am I supposed to decrease my daily percentage of maize and replace it with something.?

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18 October 2000

1. Puttrie Story & Summer Feeding
2. Info
3. Sour Crop , Eye sign , Pigeon Illness
4. Breeding

1. Puttrie Story & Summer Feeding          Herman

Hi all from a hot Johannesburg,

1. Putterie story

Barry, to answer your question about the Putterie strain in South Africa would take a whole book, so I will attempt to summarise it very briefly.

Frans Putterie was a Belgian of birth who came to Kimberley, South Africa in the thirties to persue his trade as diamond cutter. Having grown up with pigeons, he arranged to have pigeons from top lofts in Antwerp sent to him. They were from the most famous Belgian strains, viz. Vincent Marien, August Ramael, Alphons van Engelen, Alphons Lambrecht and Frans Cools.

He started with eight pigeons, of which I think three hens escaped from his loft in the first year. He then had to use some of the young hens in his loft for breeding purposes, and around those few pigeons he built what became the very famous strain in South Africa. The mere fact that he
managed to establish a strain that would up to this day have an impact on so many lofts in South Africa speaks a lot for his expert skills.

Frans moved to Johannesburg in the forties, having send his birds up to a friend about a year before he moved. The friend was supposed to try and sell the birds, but could not find buyers, because of the depressed economy no doubt but also because fanciers did not like the shape of
the birds. So when Frans finally settled he had a number of birds available for racing. He started winning from race one, and his birds soon became very much in demand. Apparantly he was a very generous gentleman, always prepared to help other fanciers even to his own detriment. I am fortunate enough to race in the same organisation with older fanciers who knew him very well, like Monty van der Burg and Jannie Koekemoer. They always talk highly of the man Putterie.

Because of his generousity, the birds, which soon became known as Putteries were soon sitting in most lofts in Johannesburg. They started dominating the results of the TRPF (Transvaal Racing Pigeon Federation) and were sold/donated to fanciers further afield. Because they could win races from 100 to 600 miles in all weather conditions, and crossed well with other pigeons, the birds became very popular with pigeon fanciers all over Soth Africa.

The pigeons adapted well to South African conditions. Their most salient charactaristics are the distintive eyes (Jack can tell you more about that), superb plumage, strong bone structure and the short curved appearance of the flights.

This the story in a nutshell. I do not profess to be an expert of the Putterie story, but have read a lot about them and will be basketing a few birds with the Putterie blood on Thursday for our longest race of the season. I have nothing but respect for the Putteries, and they still win for me. Maybe somebody else also responds to your question, Barry, then I can also learn something new about this great strain. I myself can tell you a lot more, but we do not want to upset Manfred today, do we?

2. Summer feeding

Manfred, good question about summer feeding. I feed a whole lot less maize for my breeders during the summer months, but the racers still get plenty of it in the off season. Your question has prompted me to think about our off season mixture, thanks for that!

What we do do is to add up to about 15 % barley to the mixture, and put more peas in when the moulting season starts. I know almost every second fancier will differ from me on our feeding methods, but what the hell, the birds are looking healthy with good feathers all year round and they do their job on the road as well. I do not have to please other fanciers, the birds are what count for me. As long as they can win races I am more than happy.

If we do want to replace maize it would have to be with something that does not overheat the blood of the pigeon, something with a lower starch content. I am not a grain expert and would like to hear what the people who know have to say about this one.


2.Info              Manfred

Hi Herman and all,

The success of this SAPML lies in you our subscribers, if we do not receive posting from you on all topics, we cannot succeed in educating fanciers, so rest assured that any size posting will do.

It is always nice to hear the whole story.. We all want to Learn.

Anxiously awaiting postings from all our members.


3. Sour Crop,. Eye sign, Pigeon Illness          Jack

Hello All.
In answer to Sour crop-Candidiasis, it has never been proven to only be caused by the Candida albicans. Therefore to try and pin it down to any particular reason would be guessing. What I would say is ensure that your food has always been washed or polished, to ensure that these yeasty
deposits on the food are not harbouring Candida albicans. Then I always give generous amounts of shell grit mixed with the Black Iodised salt whilst they are feeding youngsters. The treatment we all know, cheapest is charcoal pills from the chemist shop/Drug Store, or more expensive emptying the crop and dosing with Mycostatin or Nystatin, fungizone or Alcoban. The powers that be, have not come up with an explanation, sorry Herman, if they don't know how are we to know.

If the eyes are different and one is leaning towards or is a bull eye, then you must read only the eye that reveals the pigmentation and judge accordingly, if however your query is about one eye being paler than the other it can only mean one of two things which becomes recognisable with
experience. The pale eye is either damaged which if this is the case you judge the bird by the other eye. If the eye that is pale is not showing any signs of physical damage then your bird has obviously had one of the more serious illnesses and although probably cured has left behind a legacy of damaged liver, this reduces the chances of breeding a good youngster from that type of parent if a cock, to about one in ten if any and none at all from the hen as it will manifest this weakness or disease in the egg. Sorry Nico, not good news, but this has been my experience.-

Pigeon Illness - Inge.
This seems like Paratyphoid to me, if a mouse drops its faeces in the loft stupid young birds will pick it up and eat it, then you have got it. Fortunately Inge nature did the job for you which I was going to suggest and that is eliminate any bird that shows a defect in the nervous system. It has
been my experience that such a bird never becomes more than mediocre. It could be Salmonella in its many forms. The lameness in the legs plus the attack on the nervous system does however give a strong indication of Paratyphoid. It has been my experience that if it was PMV, where such
outbreaks have been proven, there are no such isolated cases as you describe, they all succumb to the illness. This is my deduction and diagnosis from what you have stated.
Yours in Sport,
Jack Barkel
South Africa.

4. Breeding              Terry Reimer

Hi All

I have a question about breeding for breeders and racers. I know some flyers that will do more inbreeding to breed breeders and less for breeding racers. I was wondering if the eyesign gang breed by eye alone or if they will also incorporate inbreeding practices to produce breeders?

Terry Reimer
Pinawa MB

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19 October 2000

1. Bird Seed
2. Breeding with racers
3. Puttrie & Bull Eye
4. Pigeon Health
5. Eye Sign Breeding
6. WNV
7. South African Strains
8. Genetically engineered grains

1. Bird Seed         Val

Is it OK to give bird seeds everyday to the race team?? Our Bird Seeds consists of linseed, millet, hemp, saffflower, rice, canary, etc. Together with bird seeds I give Glucose Monohydrate in the drinking water. Is it ok to give this to everyday.


2.Breeding with racers          Almero

Hi all

Our racing season is coming to an end with only two races left for us in the Eastern Cape (EPPU).
Some fanciers suggest that you must breed with your racers, or some of them, at the end of the season.My question is , is it a good thing to pair your racers at the end of the season in high summer temperatures?

Almero Bekker

3. Puttries & Bull Eye          Herman

Hi all,

1. Putteries

Manfred, my remark was made with tongue in the cheek. I am a lazy bugger when it comes to typing, that is why I keep the stories short.

One correction though: I reread my book on the Putteries last night and must apologise for an error in the number of birds Frans Putterie imported to South Africa. He actually brought in six pairs of which one hen died on the ship. The remaining five hens all escaped from his loft in Kimberley, presumably because kids who went to look at his birds opened a corrugated iron sheet, allowing the hens to get out. Kobus Muller, who wrote an excellent book on Putterie, is of the opinion that the cocks were all sitting on nests at the time, and this is the reason why they did not also fly away. The fact that Frans had none of his original hens left speaks a lot for his ability as breeder of quality pigeons. He was left with only a few baby hens bred before the incident, and he certainly knew how to make best use of them!

2. Bull eye

Now I have to put tongue back into cheeck and ask the leader of the eye-sign gang a question about bull eyes: How do you rate pigeons with two bull eyes, or do you breed away from it in your own loft?


4.Pigeon Health         Rassie

Hello members, all of us know that the birds must be healthy before they can do good for you, and if they fail to do so then we cull them and bay new ones from the big champion.
All preventive measures should aim at bringing the pigeon to a state where it has no deficiency and infectious diseases and only if the pigeon is completely healthy, can he perform for you.
Jack told me about the Herpes virus and to treat with Vircon S. What a surprise when a bird that never perform in the past did it in style this year with 2x Fed win. Is this bird now a good pigeon, I suppose not. (just healthy)

To Inge, it sound like your birds have PMV and you must treat them immediately. As long as they still eat there is a change for recovery.
South Africa

5 Eye Sign Breeding          Jack Barkel

Hello All,
In reply to Terry's question, as an eye sign person I do it this way. I line breed Sire to daughter to the eye continuing down the line until I get the exact likeness to the Sire. These I find race very well and have even won a race by fifty minutes with this type of breeding, but must state these are bred in the process of selecting for stock to replace the original Sires. As I have several lines of each strain, when it comes to breeding particularly for racing, with no chance of putting them to stock should they become double or triple winners, I will cross not the strain, but the family.
This at first glance seems like an outcross, but again must be defined. It is not a Strain outcross, but a family outcross and as they are earmarked for racing this is the only time I try to go over 100% in the addition of the two composite signs of both pigeons.
The composite is the Dilute or Super Imposition on the Circle of Adaptation. Sometimes wrongly named the Bishops Sign. I see many are confused with the circle of Adaptation and the circle of
Correlation, they were named over a hundred years ago and then someone in there confusion got them mixed up and named them wrongly in a book and now we have two schools, I have even seen them named ADAPTION and Colouration, so be careful that you relate to the purists in this field or there will be much confusion. If they can't get the names and the sphincter muscles correct,we can't realy rely on these persons.
To be truthful and accurate in summing up, I must state that I try mainly with the perfections revealed in the eye, plus the physical attributes needed to suit prevailing conditions in a particular area, to produce Racer Breeders, dual purpose pigeons. However should I be sending a bird to
another loft where it will although my property be housed and raced under my name for my prize money by someone else, then I will endeavour just to breed sports with only that in mind. So folks if you see one of my birds on auction from one of these events, do not buy it, because if I have got my story right it will be a flying machine and nothing else. This is the practice of experienced fanciers at the Million Dollar race here in S/A. and the fanciers bid there bank account away to acquire a bird from these top lofts. I have photographed some of these birds and their eyes, what a
revelation. One would condemn it outright if it was not for the famous breeder behind the bird.
Remember these people have served their apprenticeship, they know the game and where as most of the voluble fanciers are mainly playing a guessing game, these time served fanciers have left as little to chance as their techniques and their gene pool will allow.
There are few guarantees in this game, but some have learned how to reduce the odds.
Someday I would like to write an article on "Fishing In The Gene Pool" Some know how to fish, but most do not or are very UNLUCKY????.
I think I may have strayed a little in my explanation, but Terry's question could never be a two paragraph answer to do it justice. I believe what I have stated is just the tip of the iceberg, with several underlying connotations.
Yours in Sport,
Jack barkel

6 WNV         Bob Phillips

Hi All,
This is Bob Phillips from the state of Ohio in the USA writing to inform you the best I can on this deadly disease they try to pin on our pigeons.
As AU Chairman for the National Avian Disease Task Force for the past year I have had the good fortune as an ordinary pigeon flyer to come into contact with many medical personnel from the Center for Disease Control.
What follows is the last update that I have had as of 15 Oct 00. It comes from Tommy Erskine a member of The American Racing Pigeon Union (AU). I might add that some of you may know Tom through his writings as editor for The Racing Pigeon Digest.
Several crows in the MD, PA, NY have been detected with West Nile Virus.
No pigeons have been directly implicated in any report I have seen, however, I have heard several anecdotal remarks "...even the pigeons seem to be walkin' funny..." or something of that nature in t.v. interviews...and in commentary by reporters. I will challenge any direct statement regarding pigeons if and when it occurs. Dr. Paul Miller of the PA State Department of Agriculture (as I recall)...VERY interesting information (body temp. of the pigeon stops the WNV spread by misquotes. We owe this man and Dr. Nick Komar CDC some fact, I would submit these two men for some kind of AU service award...the WHOLE hobby owes them... We need to learn to thank people more for their efforts especially when their efforts is of such significance to what we are doing...and in particular when they're not being paid to do work for us...what seems to be an abject lack of gratitude does not garner us any friends, I can
guarantee you. And when was the last time a "thank you" killed anyone...the donor or the recipient!
This just came in 16 Oct.Essentially, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) assumption is correct about the pigeons and viremia levels, but I think Dr. Paul Millers watching it to stave off any upcoming changes or allegation against them and West Nile Virus. He has been quietly and
diligently working in the background and been a good set of ears for us. Tommy Erskine serves on this committee and as Chairman I wish to thank him for all he has done on this along with the other two members Dr. Frank Greenhall and Dr. Bob Lynch.
Bob Phillips
Lithopolis, Ohio

7 South African Strains          Jim

Hello Everyone:

I enjoyed reading the comment on the puttries strain. Which I hadn't heard of and found most interesting. I have also heard of a strain over there by the name of "Slimme". Would any one be able to tell the list a little history behind that strain and how it's done in S.A.?

Best regards,
Jim Muckerman

8.Genetically engineered grains          Mike

Hello Jack and SAPML,
It has been a few days since the topic of Soy extract has been on the SAPML, so I apologize for this untimely response. Could you please explain to me why genetically engineered grains are inferior to non genetically engineered grains? My understanding of the genetic engineering process is that we are attempting to produce plants that mature in a certain time frame, or are resistant to fungal infections, or have stronger stalks, and the list goes on and on. How are the seeds from these plants inferior to the seeds from plants that are more "natural". I do know that there are genetic engineers out there that are trying to produce seeds that are limited in some amino acids. Example, gasless beans, so we can be more polite in crowded situations. But are the newer seeds we use as animal grains significantly reduced in the amino acid and vitamin content as compared with the seeds of yesteryear?

The University of Iowa has published a list of grains that contain isoflavones. It is on the net. Unfortunately, for some reason, I could not access this list. I would be interested in seeing the isoflavone content of grains that are used in feeds. This might allow some of us to make adjustments in what we feed our birds. From the elementary amount of reading that I have been able to do in a very short period of time, soy beans are very high in isoflavones. Wouldn't the addition of a small amount of baked soy beans increase this nutrient in our pigeon feeds? Fill me in Jack. I am very interested in your thoughts on the matter.

Yours in the Sport,

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20 October 2000

1. Paratyphoid
2. Slimme
3. PMV
4. Breeding , Bull eye , Slimme
5. Soya and Isoflavones
6. Breeding

1. Paratyphoid         Inge
Thank you Jack.

I will read up on paratyphoid.


2. Slimme         Herman

Hi all from a hot Johannesburg,

Thanks for the kind remarks on my notes on the Putterie strain, Jim. I sincerely hope that somebody will be able to answer you more fully on the Slimmes, as my knowledge of that great
family is limited to what they can do on race days. Perhaps Jack comes in on this one, I saw some colors amongst his Slimmes the other day that I never knew existed.

The Slimme strain was found by Sonny Kippen, who took part in racing at about the same time as Frans Putterie. Like Putterie he also imported birds from Belgium, but by all reports only two birds of note were brought into the country. They were 1948 models, namely the Slimme (cock) and Boerin (hen). I do know they were both from Antwerpen in Belgium, from where Putterie sourced
all of his imports. They also had a bit of Vincent Marien blood in their veins. Maybe it is no co-incidence that these two birds from Antwerpen were the most successful pair in establishing the Slimme strain in South Africa. The masters from Antwerp, which included names like Wegge,
Remael and Marien, certainly knew how to produce pigeons that could transfer the winning genes from one generation to the next. That is why Putterie, who grew up in the area, insisted that all his imports should come from the great genetic pool created by these master breeders.

I know that quite a few very successful fanciers kept both the Putterie and Slimme strain in their lofts, and that crossings between the two families did very well and are still doing well today. A name that springs to mind is Flippie van Vuuren who raced both families pure and crossed,
with excellent results. Another fancier from my area who still do well with both Slimmes and Putteries (and outcrosses) is Jannie Koekemoer. Both these gentlemen are hard to beat, I should know, I raced against them in the same club! My late uncle also did very well with his Slimmes.

At this point I would like to stand back and let Jack do a bit of talking, he has a lot more Slimmes in his loft than me, and I suspect mine are a mixed bag with a fair amount of Putterie blood in their veins.


3. PMV         Inge

Thank you for all help.

I am certain that I do not have PMV. I have seen PMV several times and this is not it. However, it may well be, as Jack suggested, paratyphoid, and I will have to check this further. Autopsys are not possible since these birds were removed and destroyed.


4. Breeding , Bull eye , Slimme          Jack

Hello Everyone,
Let me start with question 2. from Almero.It has been my experience that one must prepare there stock birds to breed with as much care and skill as you would a bird you wish to send to a national race. There fore if one wishes to produce super youngsters don't ask a team of raced out birds to produce classic pigeons for you. As with widowers, to bring up a youngster before the racing season could be acceptable but afterwards, just as a reward for a job well done, and not with a view to keep for future use.

Question 3 Part 2
Herman I have a way through a computer programme to bring up the colour pigmentation under the bull eye. But for the layman I would say you take a chance by guesswork or performance or a couple of years breeding in the hope you will prove it good. But never put a Bull Eye with a Pearl eye. Two reasons for this No 1 you will breed more bull eyes than pearl eyes, No2 if the bull eye is a pearl eye you will reduce the intelligence or homing ability of the family, you can put two yellows together however which may reduce the vitality but increase the stamina and intelligence. I have bull eyes, GOOD ONES, but I never break these rules.

Jim Muckerman Question 7
I have the story By Sonny Kippen on the PUTTRIE Strain, which were predominantly violet eyes, plus the story of how Sonny Kippen went to Belgium and did what I have been advocating all along, he purchased many pairs of birds to introduce into the Puttries to bring the family back to
its previous quality, which was lost as I believe by continuously putting pearl to pearl or violet to violet. Out of all the imports he kept only one pair which clicked, the Golden Eyed cock, yes you have guessed it, his name was "SLIMME" and his hen a cheque Pied was "Boerin", these paired to the progeny of a pigeon called "Lady Dudley" produced the Slimme as it is known today. I will try and put up some b&w pic's of these at a later stage. Herman , your friend by the way said there were no pied slimmes. "Boerin" was a cheque pied of which mine are carbon copies. I will stick my neck out by saying that this is the only loft I have seen where the originals have been restored to the genuine. I can produce colour photo's of my Slimme which is a revelation to all the purists that have visited me. There is much more to this story, if there a people out there wish to know how Jock Duff loft manager for Kippen put this great strain on the map. East Londoners you can be proud, it was not all perfected in Johannesburg and the reef, don't let them kid you.
Yours in Sport
Jack Barkel
Who came to South Africa 20 years after the "Slimme" and RESTORED THE GENUINE.

5. Soya and Isoflavones          Jack

Hello Mike and All,
The mainstream scientific community now readily accepts that plant foods contain a host of biologically active non- nutritive parts or phytochemicals that may effect health or disease risks in many ways. While merits for functional foods has not been established from a health perspective, Soya is viewed by many as the ultimate functional food. Nothing has received the accolades that Soya has during the last ten years. It is a high quality protein with only minimal saturated fats. We have known about isoflavones for over 50 years but no doubt the most important decision was taken in 1990 by the National Cancer Research Institute to allocate $3,000,000 to study the anti- cancer effects of isoflavones. Soybeans contain two primary isoflavones, Genistein and daidzein and one not so important called glycitein. We in my home town here of Potchefstroom have built a Soya and maize extraction plant unique we are told in the world. It uses water extraction and leaves behind the waste fibre etc giving us one of the top concentrations in the world for protein
content. Most genetically engineered crops are lacking in the required amounts of protein and isoflavones, essential to a healthy maintenance of life. England at the moment are trying to have these crops taken off the market completely.
That is why after testing many pigeon mixes I decided to make this supplement for pigeons. As far as I am aware there is no supplement in the world that will match Energy Power Supplement for Pigeons. It is also produced for human consumption for which I have been given the sole rights to the American Market, where I have still to appoint Agents or Distributors. I take it myself and would not start my day without it. I do not wish to do any more promotion on the SAPML, but these two Soya based products from on insistence none genetically engineered crops, is here to
stay, of that I am sure. I could probably with the aid of a scanner print the ISOFLAVONE HPLC RESULTS SPP from sample SPP OKARA dated 09-03-00 Lab Test by Trevor Meredith Q.A.
Manager 01/01/00 It is formulated and complies on a 100gram basis to the guidelines and formulations set by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations. I do not wish to involve the list with more that might be boring to the members, although I could express it more fully privately to interested parties.
Yours in Sport,
Jack Barkel..

6. Breeding         Mike

Hello Almero,

Being on different continents is always a problem. Don't know about how hot is hot. But YBs raised in very warm temps don't seem to do as well as those raised in cooler temps. May have something to do with them amount of water consumed. Seems the YBs have diarrhea in the hot
temps. Here in Illinois USA we finish flying OBs the first week of July. Our hot season. Raising YBs at this time can be a problem. I fly widowhood. And the birds are flying to their mate with the hopes of building a nest and perpetuating the species. It seems a shame not to allow them to do this. If the weather is really hot, I will let them lay and sit on the eggs after the races are over, then throw the eggs out on this round. Let them go down on eggs again, and if you want, raise these babies. But this time the temps are cooler and the young are healthier. There are tradeoffs, the birds molt later.

Despite all of the global warming sound, this summer in Illinois was very cool. Seldom had a day in the 90 degree F range. So I let the pairs raise one YB right after the races were over. So, it depends. I also use this time to do some experimental matings. Like mating a stock hen with a good widow cock, or vice versa. I then cull like crazy. Only the ones that I really like I keep for breeding. Often I do line breeding at this time. Mate the cocks to a close relative. I look at this as an opportunity to do some experimenting and have some fun. Hopefully, flyers on your continent will respond. Their advice will probably be better.

Yours in the Sport,

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21 October 2000

1. Slimme Story
2. Breeding in hot weather
3. Breeding
4. Youngbirds... Disaster Recovery
5. Thanks
6. Slimme

1. Slimme         Herman

Hi all from a very modest Johannesburger,

Not all Jo'burgers believe they are the sole originators of great ideas, Mr. Barkel. Thanks for reminding the pigeon fraternity that fanciers from other parts of this country also contributed to establishing our great sport in South Africa.

I strongly believe and has publicly stated that South African fanciers in the smaller centres are not getting all the credit due to them. Thanks for putting things right, Jack.

Yes, and please tell us more about the Slimme strain, and Jock Duff and Sonny Kippen. The friend you mentioned is much older than me, and given my poor memory, must have forgotten what the original Slimmes looked like! Since my visit to you I made enquiries about pied Slimmes and one of the older fanciers in our club confirmed to me that there were indeed many pieds and white flights flying around our skies in days gone by. Perhaps you can also fill us in on the origin of
those funny coloured Slimmes you have in your loft? Not unlike the recessive red, I would assume?

On the issue of pearl eyed Putteries, I was introduced to a retired pigeon fancier last year who I was told still keeps a very pure strain of Putteries. I visited his loft, which was full of blue bars, mostly with yellow eyes. Of all the birds he gave me to handle I spotted not more than two or three with pearl eyes. I thought this to be a shortcoming but did not say anything to the man. Besides, he was talking all the time and never gave me a gap to say anything! He kept on telling me about his great performances and how he kept his family pure, and to his credit even backed up a lot of his claims by showing me old newspaper clippings, photos and club results. I must admit, not very unlike my son, I do not always listen to everything older people have to say, so I might have missed a few of his remarks.

His birds are predominantly Van Engelen family, and a lot of them had the distinctive "smudge" on the inside blue bar, which I have seen on old photographs of the Van Engelens, noteably "No 11", Mrs Putterie's pet bird. Many of them were carbon copies of one another, much to my dismay. (I like to see variety in my race team, Mr Barkel!) In any event, the old man must have liked me for providing him with an audience to relive his racing days of fourty years gone by, for he presented me with six babies to try out on the raod. One of the six was a dark chequer cock, bred off his old cock mated to a hen loaned to him by a wellmeaning friend of mine. This hen, also a Putterie, was what I think he needed more of in his breeding loft. Not only was she of different colour, but she had a very pale pearl eye and her body shape deviated from the standard in his loft.

Being a very sceptical person by nature, I did not expect much from this lot. They looked well enough and handled OK, but could they fly? After all, the family had not really been tested on the road for a very long time. We are now at the end of our racing season and I can report that they came through the test with flying colours. The crossbred cock, after taking three days to return from his first race and escaping the dustbin by a whiskers breadth, became the star of the lot. He flew at least four very good club positions and made it on the Fed sheet on two occations. The rest of them also performed well enough to be kept for another season, with the exception of one that got lost around the loft shortly after arriving at my place.

And here I must do a bit of free advertising for our good Mr. Barkel.

You keep telling us day in and day out to mate yellow with pearl, and I think more people should listen to you. The race results of the young cock bred that way provide better reading than those of his half sisters. Also, with the yellow eye dominating in the old man's loft, you were proofed right that there would be an increase in stamina and homing ability and a decrease in speed. The four birds who descended from yellow- eyed parents all did better on the harder races. They still have the Putterie wing shape and did not lag behind too much in the fast races, but virtually all their positions flown were on harder races. I intend mating one or two of them to my own birds, and I can assure you it would be to pearl-eyed mates. None is so blind as he who will not see!

The old fancier mentioned above probably never intentionally selected his birds for yellow eyes, yet the pearl eye kept cropping up any way. I think he would do well to introduce more pearl eyed hens in his loft, but then again, he is only keeping the birds for fun and will never race again. And he has sadly already become a forgotten hero in a town where he once excelled in pigeon racing.

Cheers for now and have a fabulous weekend!

2.Breeding in hot weather          Jack Barkel

Hello All,
In South Africa we can average 35 degrees Celsius in the summer months , peaking at times to over 40 degrees in the shade, Mike is correct I believe, when he says the breeders take in too much water and the youngsters make a soggy mess and become spongy wasted types that no one likes to see in ones loft. Neither do they ever seem to amount to much with such a poor start off.

This is my procedure for breeding healthy summer babies: I put the food and water in on hot days before the sun rises, after they have fed their youngsters and have topped up again with food for themselves, I remove all water and food. Mid day, I repeat this process, and again in the cool of the evening, leaving the food for a little longer or if there is time and facility they can be fed late with artificial light. This has ensured healthy young birds, strong and compact, and I do believe this method if one has the time or an interested living partner to see that it is controlled, should work very well as it does for me. This may be common knowledge, but some one on the list may not have got around to it yet.
Yours in sport
Jack Barkel

3. Breeding         Almero


Thanks Mike and Jack for your response.

Mike, our summer has just started and three weeks ago we had temperatures up to 38 degrees C on a Saturday afternoon while waiting for the pigeons.It can become very hot from now through to February. Will this mean that we should only start breeding after February?

Jack, your remarks reminded me of something I have read.I went back to your articles on Allpets and there it was!!!! Thanks a lot.


4. Youngbirds... Disaster Recovery,          Gregg

Disaster Recovery,

Hello all,

This youngbird season was a pretty much a disaster for me due to a mink killing all my youngbirds but one. As posted earlier, the one bird I had remaining did great considering the circumstances. I know I have good birds for breeding. Without going in to great detail, this is my third year of building up my family of Jeff Horn busschaerts. I have eliminated all the lesser birds (their young never did anything for me so they were removed from the loft) and am now down to all Busschaerts for breeders. After the varmit incident, I, in an attempt to recover, raised another round of young. I now have about 30 youngbirds that are flying good around the loft and about half of them have been trained out to 30 miles. What does everyone think about trying to race these youngbirds next spring as yearling old birds? Can they be competitive? Is it possible to hold them over and finish training them in the spring. I am in Minnesota in the US, and the daylight hours are getting shorter everyday, therefore, road training is about out of the question very shortly. Everyone's imput would be greatly appreciated in this matter.

Thanks in advance,
Gregg in Minnesota

5. Thanks,         Mike


Thanks for the info.


6. Slimme         Jack

Hello Herman and All,
From a not so modest Potchefstromer

I do not wish to bore overseas fanciers with the Slimme story, but would just as my last final comments on the subject say. No Puttrie family that introduced a cock not of that strain is a pure
Puttrie anymore, but there are ways to breed to the characteristics of that strain, this can be no better seen than in families of the last birds disposed of by Jaap Peyper and Pieter de Wet.These are the last of the masters that I could see tried to preserve the strain. Many introductions were made to improve them from the deterioration of putting pearl eye to pearl eye. It became so bad at one time, that when these birds tried to clap their wings like our normal racers they were so imbalanced they fell out of the sky. This fact I possess in black and white from the 1960s.The
introduction of Slimme to the Puttrie Strain created a new strain because the birds were bred down from this Vermeyen Cock and the progeny of Lady Dudley. Remember what I have been saying all along, as soon as you introduce a cock, you change the strain, but what great hens Sonny Kippen and Jock Duff had to draw on from the gene pool of the famous Puttries. I write this
more to help people to create their own family or strain as Franz Puttrie and Sonny Kippen did more than to boost these two South African strains any further. What I am saying is that the Slimme strain was created by a man that realised that by introducing this New Vermeyen Cock to the pure Puttries would produce a strain to last into the next decade. UNFORTUNATELY many fanciers introduced cocks from both strains and several other strains into these two families and today it is hard to tell the difference. Many people will testify that I have often picked the Puttrie or the Slimme out of a loft full of mixed breeds, that is because I have made a study of the
characteristics. While in Kimberley where Franz Puttrie first began his S/A career or pigeon fame, I came across a Lemon hen with the most reactive pupil and strange eye I had ever seen. I enquired of Mr Boeta Pretorius the owner how it was bred. He replied seven generations of Slimme Blue Cheques with one Blue Pied. Well I borrowed it, he would not sell, I paired it to my best Slimme Cocks and today I am on my way to the creation of a new South African strain that was founded out of the best of the remaining Slimme which in turn was founded out of the Puttrie & Boerin the Slimme, this was the maternal line. Nowhere in history can I find a recessive Red Puttrie or Slimme, but somewhere down the line someone was very naughty and did not keep strict records. Herman if you ask are my Lemons Slimme I will say no , Slimme based, they can be known by nothing more or less than Barkel's Biscuits. If they do not set the country on fire like the Puttrie and the Slimme they will quickly fade out of recognition and myself also. For if you do not create a strain, no matter what you do or how you perform in the sport you will soon fade into obscurity. I need another three to four years, if I am to succeed. Puttrie was an import, if I succeed they will say Barkel was an import, so the only South African that ever created a strain was Sonny Kippen for Puttrie was a South African by choice not by birth. A great man , but still a Belgian. From what I have seen and studied if I had to name the three top S/A fanciers for the last 100 years and I mean Master Breeders I would say Sonny Kippen/ Jock Duff partnership, Vick Furstenburg, Monty van der Burg. Why do I say this,Sonny&Jock proved it, and Vick and Monty are the only ones I know that bury their mistakes and only allow class pigeons to leave their lofts. They in my book have mastered the art of selection when the pigeons are still babies. My comments on this subject is closed as it means little to the overseas fanciers although Herman it was two overseas fanciers that enquired about our two great strains. I do not know if you are aware but a Puttrie pigeon even made it onto a special issue of a British Postage Stamp. I hope Herman and I did the subject and the people responsible justice.
Yours in Sport,
Jack Barkel.

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23 October 2000

1. youngbirds- disaster recovery
2. Introduction
3. Jack away
4. Breeding

1. Youngbirds- disaster recovery          Ron

Hello all, this is primarily for Gregg in Minnesota (USA).

Firstly, my name is Ron West, I am from Montana, USA, and I was persuaded to come on board by Jim Muckerman. Right off I must state that it is a pleasure to witness the gentlemanly style of the South African PML.

As for Gregg's fall youngsters, I have tried to race these super late hatches as yearlings and the result was not good. Having subsequently discussed the issue with several senior fanciers, coupled with my own observations, I drew a few conclusions as follows. The very late youngsters are at an distinct disadvantage for two primary reasons, the first being lack of experience and the second, arrested moult. Neither reasons absolutely determine that the yongster cannot be an future star as an old bird, but simply they are set back as yearlings. In hindsight, there are two mitigations I might have tried when in Gregg's circumstance with the immature team. Relating to experience, I could have been more meticulous with their training regime, with a less ambitious result expected compared to typical yearlings, and subsequently sending them on nothing more than the sprints. And for about US $100, I could have put the birds on an artificial day to promote a normal moult & eliminate the adolescent feathers they otherwise fly with in the spring. This would consist of a flourescent shop lamp with a cold weather ballast on a timer. I would also use all spectrum tubes in this light fixture. Providing these measures served to prevent total attrition in the spring old bird season, there should be no reason the late young could not go on to typical racing careers in
subsequent seasons.

Best regards to all,
Ron West

2. Introduction         Ian
-dear all
may i introduce myself my name is Ian John Platt of Windmill Lofts LEEDS U.K.
I specialise in breeding the LEEN BOERS JANSSEN family my other main interest is eyesign and i have shown at many shows both locally and nationally also i have judged at many shows.
I will try to join in discussions where possible my p.c. is quite primative and fails regularly so
please be patient anyone who has access to yahoo messenger or aol instant messenger my name on both is windmillofts regards

3. Jack away         Jack

Hello Folks,
Just to say thanks for the post, good to see Ian John Platt has joined. Well from the post, there is nothing for me to reply to. By the way we will be in East London for the next 3 days so I will be unable to reply to any questions or emails to me. Will reply to my emails and your questions as soon as we return.
Keep well
Jack & Margaret.

4. Breeding         Alan

Hi all, Alan Barnes from down under, I have been reading with interest a lot of the South Africa news, and comments from other location around the world.
I am right in the middle of my breading season at this time as most are more than likely in, SA. I live in Sydney and it gets pretty humid, and so I try and get my breeding finished before Christmas for that's when it really kicks in. So far I have no major problem other than the occasional broken eggs. I am looking forward to next years racing, for after quite a number of years experimenting, Jack Barkel has helped a lot with the allpets site.
I was wondering if any PML members have been using and would be game enough to recommend any pigeon management programs that would improve the data of results and breeding.
I use MS XL spread sheet for my information breeding program and the like, at this time. I could be luck and someone has developed one using MS Access. The other issue I am thinking could assist me in next seasons flying was an electronic timing system. Our Federation don't use them overall but with my restricted time due to work(like most, no excuse) I would be able to record what my birds are doing on tosses when they arrive home. The one I have started looking is the BRICON, ?? anyone got one, if so what are they like, any problems ect. My last request is more to the management of our PML I will send to Manfred also direct, but I have noticed that the attachments at the end of all email to me from the PML are send every time, I question weather whey are required for my attachment directory is filling up with the same information, maybe we could do with out them.

University of Technology Sydney
Faculty of Science
Department of Chemistry, Materials & Forensic Science
Phone: 95141706
Fax: 95141628  

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24 October 2000

1. Slimme/Putteries - Electronic timers
2. Introduction
3. Chicks
4. Timers / Late Breds
5. Youngbirds- disaster recovery

1. Slimme/Putteries - Electronic timers          Herman

Hi all,

1. Slimme/Putteries

In reply to a previous question on the performance of the Putterie and Slimme families, just this one final note:

We finished our racing season this weekend with a race from Matjiesfontein to Johannesburg, 1 058km or 660 miles. I was fortunate enough to time 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9th position in our club. The first two birds are both Slimme/Putterie crosses as is the last one. Sufficient proof that the two strains and their offspring, which Jack already told you are of mixed blood, are still doing the trick.

2. Electronic timers

Alan, you have the right idea: to use an electronic timer for recording the performance of your birds on the training tosses. Too many people here by us are using their electronic timers as timing devices on race days only and are not reaping the significent benefits one can get from timing your birds from training tosses as well.

We use the Unikon device of German origen ourselves, while the Benzing electronic timer is also widely used in our area. Other devices used are the Tauris and Tipes timers. To date, after three full seasons of racing, one can safely say that all makes have had their teething trouble, maybe because us human operators are still going through a learning curve. I am not aware of any major collapse in any of the systems though. All of them have had the occational failure to read the electronic rings, but one learns to live with it. I honesttly do not think that any one system is that superior to the next that it should influence your decision which one to acquire. After sales service and price would the deciding factors for me, should I have to start from scratch again. Also, I would look at what reports you can get out of the system, in other words which supplier can offer the best software.

Good luck

2. Introduction          Antonio

Hi list!!

My name is Antonio Aldana from Argentina and is nice to join to the list, I hpoe to learn a lot. Is good for me to join to a group of people thar race in the south hemispher.

I will try to introduce myself:
I am 35 years old and have pigeons since I was 20, I did not race the last two years (I did not have time) I am in the middle of the breeding season so I hope to race next year.

I race in a club that have more less 100 members. We race from May to October, we have old bird races from 200 to 750 kms and young birds races from 200 to 500 kms.

All our pigeons came from Europe, we use to buy a lot in Belgium and Holland.
Nobody in my club use the widowhood, we race in celibate, I am planing to use widowhood so I hope to learn something.

Thats all

3. Chicks         Deneile

Hi Allpigeons

The SAPML is doing a great job informing and teaching a novice like myself about the fine art of homing pigeons. It has become an essential part of pigeon racing here in SA. Once again I have a few questions to ask and I really hope you can help me. Sorry if my questions sounds stupid.

My youngsters is coming up very poor. Although their parents are feedding them well they seem to develop slow. There crops are always full but their bodies lack in size and they do not look healthy. I also tried raising one chick at a time but their condition won't improve. I must be doing something wrong. What can I do and can anyone supply me of a chick feeding mixture?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Learning the ropes

4. Timers / Late Breds          Mike

Greetings to Alan and Greg from central Illinois, USA,

To Alan, just a comment on electronic timers. Our club uses Unikon with a great deal of satisfaction. We have never had a problem in two years of use. I have no association with Unikon or any other etimer, so I'm not advertising. I think one of the advantages of the Unikon is the small size of the module. After clocking birds, the flyer simply carries his module, about the size of a package of cigarettes to the club , and down loads the race results into the computer. It takes all of a minute or two two print out 2 copies, one for the fancier and one for the club secretary. On a personal note, I feel that etimers have allowed me to stay in the pigeon game. I know that we often make excuses about not having enough time in our lives, so we kind of make excuses that we need etimers. I know that I would not be in the sport today if it weren't for these. Yes, there is a slight clocking advantage to etimers. We have conventional clocks and etimers in our club. The guys with conventional clocks also win races. An the poorer flyers with etimers also don't win races. Etimers don't make winners out of flyers that don't have good management systems.

To Greg. I'm with Ron on the late hatches. His idea of concerning the molt is a good one. I would go one stem further and be choosey about what races I would sent the latebreds to. When I raise them, I often treat them as regular OBs with not very good results. Keep in mind that you are probably not going to fly a full schedule that first year. So be a little careful about sending them too far or to races when the weather is questionable. There is always next year.

Yours in the Sport,

5. Youngbirds- disaster recovery          Bob Rowland

Racing late bred pigeons is not necessarily so much of a challenge as there are some that do this each year to compete in old birds with young pigeons and have fairly good success with them.

What all must remember is that most of the late hatches will probably never become a champion just the same as their older sister or brother probably will not be champions either. We all breed some pigeons with the expectations that they will go on to become something special but if the family or loft has not been successful during normal times, why would the late hatches suddenly make them great. The answer is that they won't!!

We all put our hopes and expectations into the next egg to be laid as we are certain that we have put together a mating that just can't miss. But it does as do most matings. The real problem is that the good pairs get old quickly and in most cases they are not discovered until they are 5 or 6 years old. The exception to the rule is the pair of yearlings that hit and then go on to become foundation quality producers.

I am as guilty as the next person for having the eternal dream that soon, one of our pairs may make us immortal but odds are very limited to this ever happening. In many cases, we pass quietly through the pigeon sport with only a few real big Claims to Fame! However, we keep our friends to enjoy them so treasure those key moments and hope for your friends to have a few also.

Now back to the late hatches: Start them slowly and be extremely cautious as to how much open loft you give them as the resident raptors are deadly hunters and they may be done before they get started.

Give them the run of the section where you wish to race them from before you bring in the old boys as they will kick them around and the late ones will never own a box. Also, force them to mate with a hen as they will not go down quickly without force mating and for best results, put young hens with the old boys and the young cocks with the old girls. They help each other learn the tricks and can help you be motivated faster than late hatch trying to teach a late hatch.

Now, all that is left to do is to see if they have any talent and that is done by only sending them when they show you they are ready. Forcing them to race if they are not ready will or can ruin their career in the first few weeks.

Use common sense and a little compassion for these late ones as after all, they are still babies trying to do a big birds job so you can have a little glory!

Hope this helps someone:
Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FLorida

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25 October 2000

Wednesday ,25 October 2000

1. Introduction
2. Feeding breeders
3. Feeding breeders

1.Introduction         Linda

To all those who don't know me or Steve, We race as the partnership of Red Rose Lofts, in Washington State, in the beautiful Pacific North West of America,

We count as our friends list members Jim Muckerman and Ron West, Ron will be spending some time with us the second weekend in November.

We keep a loft of various families, Janssens, Staf van Reets, Fabrys, Hofkens, Muelmans Bekaerts, Grooters. My main interest is long distance racing as I used to fly The English Channel when I lived in England. To improve our long distance stock we are currently importing some Barkers from England, who I think will be well suited to our "bad weather " race course.

Steve and I have had a cracking first season flying together, winning in total 12 races, 6OB and 6 YB plus one YB Concourse win.

We look forward to making new friends on this list as well as maintaining contact with old ones.

Best wishes
Linda Joneli
Red Rose Lofts WA

2.Feeding breeders          Herman

Hi all from a noisy Johannesburg

Deneile, no question on pigeons is a stupid one. We all think we know everything only to find out almost every day just how much we still have to learn.

I am no expert on feeding but my youngsters are doing quit well in the nests, so my methods cannot be too far off the mark. This is what I do:

Firstly, you must make sure that the parents are in good shape before you start breeding. Treat them for the most common ailments like canker and deworm them before they go down on eggs.
Also, they must ALWAYS have access to good quality grit and that salty black stuff we get here in South Africa. Clean fresh water is as important.

I feed a commercial breeding mixture to which I add maple peas and yellow peas, and also some wheat. The mix would depend upon the time of the year: in winter the maize content is still about
50%, but I reduce that when it becomes warmer. At present I use a mix of one measure of the breeding mix, one measure maples and one measure yellow peas. To that I add about half a measure of wheat and the same amount of sunflower seed.

Some people use breeding pellets and even puppy food to good effect, but I have not used that for quite some time now. No harm in trying it out though.

One last thing, feed the birds twice a day and never leave food in the loft. Do not overfeed the parents or they will assume that the babies do not need a meal either.

Good luck

3.Feeding breeders          Mike
Hello Deneile,

Concerning your YB feeding problem. I always feed my breeders their regular breeding mix with about 1/8 of the mix being a pigeon checker, or complete nutient pellet. Any brand will do. Some of the fanciers in my area substitute a high protein turkey pellet for the pigeon pellet in the mix. Personally, I've never done that. Don't forget the fresh grit daily, and you shouldn't have any problems.

Yours in the Sport,

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26 October 2000

1. Feeding Yb's & types of predators
2. Feeding and Breeding
3. Choosing Breeders

1. Feeding Yb's & types of predators          Jim

Hello Deneile & everyone:

On the topic of feeding youngsters. I have had very good luck feeding shelled Peanuts. They have lots of oil in them and I use them for a treat with my old birds. In the hotter months I make salt available to the parents as water retention is important. Any table salt will do I like Sea salt but any good table variety is good.I know some people like to mix it in with the grit . But I only do this in the hot summer. Good clean Grit is a must. I have also used Soy beans but since they have aflotoxins in them I spread some out on a dinner plate in the microwave and put it on 3 minutes. This pretty much cooks the aflotoxins out of the beans and you will see that the small husk on the bean will have a slit in it. You can then, after they cool feed them to the birds. there are times of the year here in the U.S. when shelled peanuts at the local feed store are hard to find. I have taken peanut butter and spread it over the normal feed mix and try to squeeze the seeds all into the peanut butter and the birds go after that too. their necks are alittle greasy after wards but I truly believe that peanuts in either form are excellent in raising good fat babies! Just remeber the peanuts have to be out of the shell.

I have another question...What type of predators to you have to deal with in keeping out of your lofts and away from the birds? I recently caught a opossum that was feeding for 2 nights on my YB's. I have had trouble with mostly Coopers Hawks from time to time. I'm curious if you ever have trouble with the Caracals (African Bob Cat) or anything along those lines ?

Best regards,
Jim Muckerman

2. Feeding and Breeding          Richard

I use Turkey Grower Pelets through-out the winter and breeding season and the feathers on my birds (moulting time) are second to none, and youngsters are class A1 super and mature well into good racing birds. I find the summer months the birds don't want the pelets and don't eat them so a
sutable grain mixture is given but in the moult and breeding the birds don't go for the seeds. They must know something we don't!!!


3. Choosing Breeders          Jeff

Hello, I'm fairly new to this sport, and enjoying it to no end. I need to go through my stock birds and get rid of a few, but finding it hard to make decision on what should go, and what should stay. I've gone through all my race records, and picked some that will stay from the results of their young that raced.How should I go about what should stay or go, from the one's the young never did anything, both parents can't be blamed, or can they.. Any subjections would sure help me out. I've thought of asking a club member to help, but I would like to go through this myself first, I need to learn. Then, when I ask someone from the club to help, I'll know if their on the up en up with me. I know, I should trust, but I'm to cautious, for my own good at times.

Yours in the sport

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27 October 2000

1. PMV
2. Breeders
3. Breeders

1.PMV              Almero

It is now compulsory to vaccinate against PMV in South Africa.What I would like to know is, when is the best time to vaccinate the youngsters that we have just bred, remember they are being prepared to fly in young bird races in November and as from December they will rest for the moult.

Almero Bekker

2. Breeders         Bob

I am sure by your question that you are looking for someone to tell you everything that a good pigeon must have but we are all guilty of repeating what others declare without any validity if this is truly important. Then we go with these ideas and think we will become the club Champion. If it were that easy, there would be no losers. However, there are more losers than winners so the only true way of determining a pigeons value is by what they do for you in your style of competition.

Now, I would like to give you my idea of how I go through stock birds and new potentials which have not proven their breeding ability as yet.

I start by finding the cock that I like the best of all my birds that are in question. Once I have determined which one he is, I put him aside and then look for the hen I like best of all that have not proven their ability. She is also set aside for the following years production.

I repeat this procedure until I have filled all of the nest boxes I have available or elect to use and once this has been completed, you now have birds that you like. Even if they prove to be worthless, you will still enjoy going into your loft and tending for the pigeons for the next 365
days. Now, the most critical point: Add no more pigeons unless something goes out and these would be those you like least or those that fail to maintain health. Also, those that fail to produce soon lose your emotion of liking them.

We all have preferences to different things so why not have your preference if the decision is yours to make. Regardless of the value, you must start somewhere in a selection process and in spite of how much we think we know, we still must enjoy our birds or they will not be constantly on our mind. As people, we have the tendency to forget about things which do not give us pleasure and if our lofts are full of pigeons we don't like, our efforts to enjoy them will be less. After a few years, you should have the type of pigeon that you like and if you continue this system each year, and add a few new ones that fit the criteria or expectations, you move forward. Maintaining what you
have without improving is like riding a bicycle: You can go forwards or backwards but no one can remain perfectly still. Therefore, if you are not going forward, you are going backward.

Remember, all new pigeons or young pigeons are NOT PROVEN until they do so. This means that most of our pigeons are a question mark each year until they prove something to us. HOPEFULLY, it will be that they prove they are worthy but in most cases, THEY WILL PROVE THEY ARE NOT, so next year we will be faced with the same decisions again. If we do it better
each year, we will improve. If we are careless and sloppy about what we do, we will continue the downhill slide.

I hope this answers your question and helps a few others with the same thoughts,

Bob Rowland
Spring Hill, FL

3. Breeders         Bob

Hello Jeff,

You are asking one of the most difficult questions in all of pigeon racing, which breeders to keep and which to cull. I'm certain there are as many opinions on this as there are fanciers. Here's mine, for whatever it's worth. I have a hard time selecting breeders on the bases of YB results. Very often, my best YBs are not my best OBs. I look at YB results, but not as seriously as OB results. I've been through my records and have seen which YBs and OBs have survived the season. Those breeding pairs are marked. Those that have not bred anything to survive are also noted. If the breeders have been together for one year, and have bred young that have survived, I usually keep them together for, another year. If, however, they have not bred anything to survive, I mate them with other birds that have not bred any survivors. If after two years, they don't have anything left in the loft, they are culled. Birds that have been together and produced good YBs for 2 years are mated to other birds that have also produced good birds. If you do this for a few years, you usually get a feel for what is breeding and what is not. I would hate to cull breeders on the basis of one YB season. Even after doing this, you still make mistakes. I once gave away a Sion cock that only bred 1 fairly good bird for me in three years. I was going to cull it, but a friend wanted it. So to his loft it went. The end of the story is exactly what you would think. I regularly get beat by the offspring and gd'offspring of this cock. It was one of his foundation birds. So much for my ability to select breeders.
Good luck.

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28 October 2000

1. Star Clusters          Manfred

Hi All

I have noticed tat some pigeons have clusters in their eyes, but I am not entirely certain if it means anything. How do they get Star Clusters and what exactly does it mean? Does this make the pigeon a good breeder or racer ? Hope to get some comments.


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30 October 2000

1. Star Clusters         Jack

Hello All,
Manfred wrote, and I think it was indirectly meant to inspire a comment from me.

Well Manfred,
Let me start by saying that recently a certain book publisher thinks because he publishes books that it makes him the leading authority on anything a book may contain. He will not be the last to condemn eye-sign in his ignorance and inability to understand the subject. He is already however ably contested by Ron West who is setting this person straight on other forums.
Ron,I will write to you personally, stating why I resisted the urge to give you my full support.
I regard myself as an iridologist, although without an academic qualification on the subject, but with a lifetime of practice in the recognition of the reflection of the soul of all LIVING creatures.
This could be a lengthy subject and may have to be split over two days as I feel I must give this lead up to the subject.
First let me say that science today can give you the colour of eyes you prefer on a permanent basis, by introducing certain genes into your system. These genes will change the colour pigment of ones eyes, why??? because the eye is the photo library of the genetic pool. Whether it is insanity, intelligence, illness or health, it is correlated in the eye for all to see, if they only know where to look. Therefore it can be used to the advantage in our sport by breeding just for racers, just for breeders, for racers and breeders ( dual purpose) or if the subject is rejected entirely, one can stay in the dark and breed by a calculated GUESS for the rest of their lives.
I have never been afraid to issue the challenge to anyone that wishes to disprove me in my selections on this method, on the condition they pay a heavy price for their being disproved, just as I am prepared to pay a similar penalty. People in South Africa can confirm that they have seen rough tough men reduced to tears when their best have been lost over a challenge, which was unnecessary in the first place. The moral of the story being, never condemn anything one does not fully understand, for it can either make a person look more stupid than they really are, or if challenged can reduce them to the lowest forms of poverty and distress. I would like to say on this forward that I also expect a pigeon to conform in other attributes as well as the eye. However I do believe that the eye is the only way one can tell whether they are putting the correct genes together or not. I will in tomorrows post produce pictures of the star clusters, and an explanation of how they got there. The eye and the genes are correlated and the practice is already being used to separate heterosexuals and homosexuals by using this colour pigment in the gel similar to eye gel thus being able to separate and recognise these genes. To those who wish to condemn the eye sign be careful, modern science is already well on it's way to categorising these people along with the members of the flat earth brigade. Many people have different views on eye sign, this I can accept, but when people write about a subject and even publish it in books and magazines without any
research, armed with only a dogged belief in what someone else has written, it leaves us open to the bigots of this world that go out on a limb to try and condemn it publicly. Tomorrow I will endeavour to enlighten every interested party on the star clusters in the eye, but could not I feel, spend time on such an article without first giving this lead up to the subject.
Regards to All
Jack Barkel
South Africa.

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31 October 2000

1. Eyesign Theories
2. Systemise Eye sign
3. Star Cluster
4. Young Bird & the Falcon
5. Sexing Birds

1. Eyesign Theories          Inge

Who was the first to systemize the eyesigns into theories? Was it Bishop?


2. Systemise Eye sign          Jack

Hello All,
In reply to Inge's question, the first man that I could trace who named the sphincter muscles correctly and worked out a system how to correlate them to ones advantage was Mr Josef Heuskin.
This must have been about 1900 or sooner that this man was busy publishing his theory on the subject, He mentions in his book "The Four Seasons" on page 265 with diagrams. No1 the pupil, No2 the adaptation, No 3 the Correlation No 4 the Iris and No 5 the 5th circle as he names it.
His theory is more accurate than many self professed eye sign people today. I look at approx two dozen characteristics in the eye, and I know of people that even ignore some of the sphincter muscles. These will breed winners but never create a stock loft like S.W. Bishop. Pete de Weert and Josef Heuskin, Bill Carney and many more that I admire. Joseh Heuskin passed on a long time ago, as did later Mr Stan Bishop, Pete de Weert is about 85 now, but an artist at the art of eye sign recognition. Today I would say that the person with the greatest input is Bill Carney of England and I am led to believe his father before him. There may be others, and if so I am sorry I did not give them a mention. If I have heard of them, it is because they select pigeons for others whose eyes have an iris two inches thick and a mile wide virtually taking up the whole of the eye, or they want as much black composite on the adaptation as possible. In my opinion these people do the theory no justice, will never be remembered after they pass on, for all they have done is spread confusion amongst the less enlightened. Inge, you mentioned S.W. Bishop, and this man taught me all I know about breeding techniques and quite a lot about eye sign. As a young boy, I went to him armed with his book and asked him point blank to show me the green and the violet. We did not get off to a good start because I was a very abrasive youngster, but things improved from thereon. His main idea was to put the Standing Sign to a bird with the lying sign which was correct but again one had to be careful not to go over the top as do some of today's " specialists" with the Iris. When one speaks to an eye sign man, and you ask him, why?? when he makes a statement, be cautious of the person that says it is his secret or acts as if there is something mysterious about it. He is bluffing and does have a few followers who will believe him, but if one is observant, you will find they steer clear of the eye sign theorists that are prepared to put their reputation on the line. You will also find these mentioned that I admire have no arguments or disagreements with each other, for they are all walking down the same road at different intervals. Yes Inge in conclusion Mr S.(Stan)W. Bishop was one of the first and did make a lasting impact on the pigeon fraternity world wide, but believe me when I say Josef Heuskin was 100 years before his time. Until someone can come to me with concrete facts contrary to my belief, I will stay with Josef Heuskin as the first to light up the way.
Your in sport
Jack Barkel
South Africa.

4. Young Bird & the Falcon          Alan

Hi all, Barnsey from down under.
I was at a meeting the other night when the topic came up with regards to young birds and the Falcons. The discussion started from and indication from one flyer that a number of falcons were released on the south of Sydney by persons that had bread them in captivity.
I found the topic rather vague so asked that these details be sent to our The Australian Pigeon Fancier survey on the matter for information had been requested from flyers on the falcon activities. Well I was told that Falcons were no problem at this time of year for the pigeons were not out very much, and very little racing was being carried out. Another flyer indicated that he had lost a number of young birds off the box complements of this bird of prey. Discussion took place as they do when you put a number of flyers in the one room, a % of what is discussed could be truthful, or is it just me. Well back to the story, the comment was made that why are your young ones out so much for this to happen, for other that being under the wire the conversation went that his bird don't get out till well matured and the color is in the eye. Gee I have been doing it all wrong, with getting my young ones out ASAP, yes under the wire for five days for about an hour a day, then let them feel there way around there home. Now you would under most conversations disregard what I have indicated other that the flyer that made the comment of not letting the young one out was a very respected flyer and the race results to back it up. Well what do you all think of that difference in strategy, or have I got it all stuffed up. I would be interested in the system used for training your young birds for I admit I have lost a number of young birds off the box even before there first toss.

University of Technology Sydney
Faculty of Science
Department of Chemistry, Materials & Forensic Science
Phone: 95141706
Fax: 95141628  

5.Sexing birds         Jeff

Hello everyone.
I'm fairly new to the sport, today I decide to separate my cocks and hens. More of a challenge than I thought.\
How do you tell a hen from a cock in Y/B, any age of bird for that matter.
I've bought the Eye Sign tape that Jack Barkel put out, ( and a well worth every dollar it cost) I tried doing it the why he said, and found myself scratching my head with about 95% of the birds.
Any sujections on what I'm doing wrong ? It looks so easy on the video.

Subject:    Star Clusters.         Jack

 Greetings to all list members,

To start an article on this subject let me say that every star cluster pigeon that I have had the good fortune to mate for myself or for others have proved to be  prolific breeders of winners.  My second statement is this, two star clusters together very rarely breed star clusters, I would hazard a guess that the odds would be much more than one in a hundred from my own experimentation. Therefore the gene responsible for this situation is obviously very rare indeed. I have proved that it is carried on in the genes but can lie dormant for several generations before manifesting itself when you least expect it. I know what this gene does, which I will explain, but up until now I have not discovered a way to increase the odds in it  re producing itself like one can control many of the other genes. Those who know me, also know that I have made the pigeons eye my life time study, I have many questions that I still need to have answered, but have not found any person, in South Africa or abroad that can throw any light on what I have been taught previous to the last twelve years. Many books and videos plus articles make blatant mistakes and it throws eye- sign enthusiasts off course and does the theory of the subject a lot of harm also creating  disbelief.

The Star Cluster is created by the gene that carries an extra abundance of correlation, and please take the names of the circles to be correct which were named this way more than a full Century ago. I insist on this because many modern day exponents of the subject have not researched the subject this far and get the names of the sphincter muscles in the wrong position of the eye. PATHETIC.


The correlation starts at the edge of the pupil and spreads out to the perimeter of the eye, See Pic No .1.

The only thing that we change on this section of the eye, are the size of the pupil, and the abundance of yellow pigmentation in the Correlation. The gene that makes this abundance of pigmentation well above the normal is, the elusive gene responsible for our subject, The Star Clusters.

 Then from breeding techniques we put on the circle of Adaptation with sometimes a composite for added racing ability. The Adaptation is the circle or ring that runs right around the outer edge of the pupil and the composite is the  % of black you see superimposed on this circle.

See Pic No.2.The thickness and width of this sphincter muscle can be controlled to a happy medium by correct breeding.

 We then come to the iris which is also created by us according to our breeding techniques, If this circle goes  broad or too narrow then you know your breeding is out of control. To keep at the top with a strain for years to come, one must also try to maintain a happy medium with the iris. These are your basic guides to correct breeding, if you are not observing this and you are having breeding success you are a lucky guesser, but I can assure you that the days of your future success in the breeding department are limited.

I want you to imagine this yellow base as a pigmented gel onto which you by breeding techniques have placed this Adaptation and Iris causing displacement of this yellow pigmented gel. See Pic. 3.

When this the adaptation and Iris are created and placed on the correlation, in the standard normal eye, there will be no displacement but in the eye of the Super Super pigeon the correlation has nowhere to run to.  It first on all good pigeons tries to get out at the perimeter of the eye, and if one reads the British magazines you will read where the eye boffins??? State that the perimeter or fifth circle is coming right over the top of the Iris.

But not one of them have ever explained why, do you get my drift about eye sign men that have been taught like a parrot. They say the right things but do not know why. Anyway back to the story, when the correlation which is also the outer edge or perimeter can not climb over this dam wall which is the iris,  because that is the natural flow to go over the top. It then recedes back under the iris in the direction it came and continues under the adaptation and these small displaced molecules of pigment drop into the pupil.

Sometimes these molecules are so small on can not see them, but others can be seen to move around the pupil of the eye. These sometimes have a magnetic pull towards the outer perimeter and are lost to our vision forever, whilst some are magnetised inside the perimeter of the pupil and remain there like a star cluster until the eye is either damaged or the bird dies.
Well there you have it, I was keeping it for a first in the release of my book but it is out now and all my critics can say they knew it all along. The subject has been discussed on other forums, and I have waited patiently to see if someone would write any informative explanation, but none was forthcoming. 

In conclusion I add a few photographs of Star Clusters all of which have a brilliant breeding and some a top racing record.

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