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General Management 2004

Diary Calendar

Management 2002    2003     2005


Our practice has been to medicate the young birds as little as possible to allow them to develop their own immune system.  Upon arrival the birds will be put into a separate section of the loft to insure that they are healthy, eating and drinking well.  Throughout the season the birds will receive natural additives such as: vitamins, garlic, apple cider vinegar, glucose, probiotics, electrolytes, iodized salt & nourishing tea in the water.  We will continue our practice of using a complete supplement system with Acid Pack 4-Way and Trace Mineral Drops in the water.  In addition we will be adding Health Gard probiotics daily to the drinking water.  Sick birds will be isolated and given appropriate medication.  This is always a judgment call because it is expected that some young ones will have a mild setback when introduced into a new loft but will adjust on their own.  Sick birds not recovering in a reasonable time will be dealt with in the usual manner.  However, if the unthinkable should occur, that is, a mass outbreak of some disease, we will be prepared to use the appropriate treatment.  Our medicine cabinet contains Ganus 5 in 1 Treatment, Tylan, Tetracycline, Altabactine, Metronidazole, Poly-tonine A Complex and Super Booster, Vita-King Miracle life, and Ivomec.  All birds will be vaccinated for PMV.

Not medicating young birds is probably the ideal scenario in your own loft, however in a one loft futurity not medicating the young birds at all is probably not a practicable idea.  In my 7 year experience of running a one loft futurity I have found that once I started accepting over 100 birds the health problems started to grow disproportionately and when it reached the 200 bird mark dealing with health issues became a real challenge.  Now, I expect at least 20% of the birds to go through some form of illness.  Some sickness in what could be described as a "viral and bacterial jungle" is inevitable.  My task is to create an environment for the birds that will not aggravate this situation but to help them develop a resistance to the greatest challenge they will ever have to experience. 

One loft derbies are growing in popularity yearly.  They are springing up all over Canada, which is a good thing because I believe that they may help save our great sport.  Part of the selection process in the search of finding the best pigeons to send to these futurities is to select those that have ability to deal with the stress of relocation but most of all to cope with being thrown in a "pathogenic nightmare".  Regardless of the challenges that face these babies my goal is always to limit the amount of medication used and still achieve the best racing results.  I firmly believe that in the long run this practice will be best for our sport.  However, most fanciers send their birds to futurities to fly the race schedule successfully and not to have them succumb to disease before racing begins.  Only a few select young birds bred by pigeon fanciers in Canada are sent to futurities.  Most are flown at the club level and are not exposed to other young birds until they are more mature and disease resistant.  Sending young birds to one loft futurities at a very young age can be considered an unusual circumstance for these select few candidates.   Some precautionary measures would be prudent in this case.  Therefore after all the birds have arrived a 5 in 1 treatment for canker, coccidiosis, worms and respiratory ailments will be administered.

It is impossible to keep a loft totally free of pathogens and probably not advisable to do so.  I believe that to a limit, "kids have to play in the dirt" to grow up to be healthy adults.  Therefore, a partial deep litter system will be used.  A mixture of shavings and dry pigeon droppings will be left under the perches and turned daily.  However, all other areas will be scraped twice a day.  Stable Boy (100% Karbonyte) will be added to the litter and spread throughout the loft regularly to keep it dry.  An added benefit of this product is it will neutralize ammonia given off by droppings.  I have used it in my stock lofts and it has worked very effectively.

The birds will be let out for the first time during the 3rd week of May.  Hopefully by this time the hawks will have decided to nest elsewhere because of not finding an easy meal around our loft during their migration.  On the first Sunday of the May there were 4 hawks circling above the loft.  That's not a good sign.




Management Diary Dates

May 1 - 15    May 16 - 31   

June 1 - 12    June 13 - 19    June 20 - 30

July 1 -10    July 11 - 17    July 18 - 24    July 25 - 31

August 1 - 14      August 15 - Sept...