Loft doings since Ward race   Leave a comment

Well it’s 3 weeks to the day since the Ward to Auckland Federation Lofts Race. A few things have happened since then including Laurie Hill winning the prestigious Henderson Classic last weekend. That’s 6 times now. As usual he’s been holding back for it, but he wouldn’t be the only one). Grant Annette actually won the Christchurch Combine for that liberation, his bird leading the field by around 7 minutes. He clocked the same bird in the Federation Raumati to win 1st Yearling so it’s a good bird and surprise, surprise, off a hen I gave him whose mother won the West Section Young Bird National and backed it up the following week winning the Avondale Invitation Argosy from Palmerston North. Anyway, the moral of the story may be that free pigeons are the best, or at least can be and shouldn’t be underestimated!

The Christchurch to Auckland race I just mentioned was held over until the Sunday due to a cold front crossing the South Island on Saturday. There’s a few happy Auckland fliers who’ve got an easy Christchurch into their birds leading up to the 3 Federations South Island races viz Old Bird National from Christchurch, Timaru and the biggie with the most tempting prize money the Invercargill, the ultimate challenge and testing ground and definitely not for the faint hearted!

As I said in the previous article I mated my birds up on the 10th of this month and the hens started laying yesterday. They’d been going o.k. to the perch, in fact a lot better than o.k. Basically celibate with the odd lessie hen laying. Since pairing, the birds have been very amorous, the warm weather certainly helps and the other day I went in late afternoon and it was like a Roman orgy!. Cocks bumming each other, billing together, all lining up for a bit of action. Seems like they were making up for lost time but they’re certainly happy and I should have had my camera! They’ve  appreciated a nice bath every second day or so on the grill floor during the warmest part of the day.

Seeing that I’d piked the weekend of the 12th November I gave those I’d basketed for the Blenheim a 30 mile toss the next day from the substation at the end of the Naike Rd. I hate driving for that long nowadays, it just causes more headaches. That’s only the 4th toss this season and the longest, 2 of the others were only 5km. After that I gave them 2 days of dimetridiazole last weekend. Didn’t let the mated birds out much as they tend to drop condition even if you hopper feed them. By the way please note I haven’t fed any peanuts this season and hope not to. Today the birds raced a blow home Raetihi, less than 2 and 1/2 hours so really motoring however Neville Rhodes took the first 3 places in the Pukekohe Club with 8 widowhood cocks entered, a brilliant fly.

He gave me some doxyt so I’ll treat the birds with it for 3 days since the Federation races are approaching and some of the birds may benefit from it with clearer sinuses and nasal membranes e.t.c  in better shape. So that’ll be the second time they’ve had respiratory and wet canker treatment this Old Bird Season.

Timaru basketing is on the 29th November and liberation on the 2nd December. It’s about 560 miles to my loft. I’ve got 3 cocks and 3 hens lined up for Timaru. One cock will be 2 weeks on eggs expected day of liberation, he’s a 2 year old Houben/Jansen hybrid. He flew the Christchurch Old Bird National very well last year. He had the Raetihi today and flew the earlier Fed Raumati and the hard Ward race, in fact he took about 10 hours, so he’s had the work. Hope the weather is good next week so he can have a Turangi toss on the Federation transporter then just loft flying and hope for the best. I haven’t sent any of the hybridised Houben/Jansens further than Christchurch before, but they should do it if conditions are reasonable as Mac Armstrong clocks straight imports even from Invercargill.

This pretty Blue Barr Cock is a son of the mother of 577 to a different sire. He was 2nd Old Bird National Christchurch 2010 coming with 1st and 3rd to my loft. I have had   a lot of success with brothers and sisters including the gun Blue hen in 2009 Young Birds which won 1st Open Futurity, 1st Eastern Union and 4th Jack Longville Race.

Brother of the previous cock and he’s massive!

Sending a 2 year old brother whose hen is yet to lay, he’s a big bugger and was late from Christchurch last year.He’s had a similar preparation but an extra Raumati. I’m thinking that I’ll send him to Raumati this coming weekend also as he needs the stripping down, hopefully it’ll be a 5 to 6 hour fly.

Hopefully it’ll be this cocks turn soon as he’s been very consistent, he’s a nephew of 577. He has the same grandparents both sides as alot of my good racers. I often put down 3 or 4 pairs that way especially once I find the ‘blood’ is nicking.

Houben/Jansen hybrid also. He flew Christchurch last year but didn’t make the front bunch, he’s a 3 year old and also flew Christchurch as a yearling but was behind. However he’s been pretty consistent this season and wasn’t far behind in the Ward. The hen he’s recently mated with didn’t get eggy so I’ve taken her away and sent them both to today’s Raetihi . He can see her every now and then, at the end of the day for 15 minutes or so which should keep them happy, but I don’t want the hen to lay as she’s underdone for the Christchurch National in 3 weeks, so she needs to go to the Raumati next weekend.

I’ll tell you about the 3 hens I’ve lined up to send to Timaru in due course. They were in with the cocks for a week and then I sent them to todays Raetihi and now they’re in with hens only.

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Posted November 19, 2011 by ferguselley in Ferg's birds

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