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Management

I fly old birds as celibate cocks and hens , separated from each other by a dowelled door with the lower half being plywood so they can't mate to each other through the dowelling . They both trap through a roof access and drop approximately 18 inches to a common inside landing board where one sex turns left and goes through a set of bobs to their loft and the other sex go straight ahead and go into their loft through an opening in the dowelling .  I fly both in the same race and of course they will come home together but very few  play around on the roof as they are anxious to eat and drink and seldom do they go into the wrong section of the loft.

In the early part of the year before the races they are trained separately , usually 50 - 70 miles , released about 3/4 of an hour apart so I can beat the second bunch home ( usually the hens are released second ) , close the bob entrance to the cocks side and open the door for the hens arrival . Once they are used to the system I have little to no trouble . It's a relatively simple system which permits the racing of both cocks and hens and it suits them and me just fine . The hens are not used to going through bobs which entices them even more to go in their own section.

 

If I think they need some road work during the races , I will take them the same 50 - 70 miles once or twice a week . The feed depends on what I think they need and can change depending on their condition and the race distance . I feed the race birds once a day , in the later afternoon , after they have exercised around the loft for an hour or so , hens and cocks separately . If they have been tossed , they don't go out again and don't go out at all on the day of basketing .I have found that they race equally well . The box perches in the hens side are fairly small and uncomfortable for more than one bird which helps to reduce mating up and the few eggs which do result are not a big problem .