Regularly questions come on in on the last day, shipping day. What do I have to give them? How much can the racing pigeon still eat? Can I still add electrolytes to the water? Do I have to send my long distance racing pigeon with a crop full of feed? What kind of feed can I give them? What should I feed the young birds if the weather gets very warm? Till what time in the afternoon can I feed them?
All question with answers that would be useful to know. I want to tell you up front that I don’t know all the answers. That’s the plain truth. No, no, that’s not the way I work. My purpose has always been to serve the sport and I am always pleased to offer tips according to my vision and insights, with the goal being to make sure the homing pigeons are given the optimum opportunity to show their abilities. Do you have other ideas? Please! Let’s hear them!
These mineral salts in combination with grape sugar can be used on shipping day. Don’t they cause the birds to get thirsty? Yes, that can happen. That is why you can only use them if you are home: in the morning a half hour after eating and drinking the water with the electrolytes is taken away and replaced with fresh clean water. Electrolytes have the ability to retain moisture, that’s very important for racing when the temperatures are very warm. It is especially recommended for young bird racing. In principle the electrolytes are given the day before shipping. But if you are home than you can still use them the morning of shipping day, in the manner mentioned above.
Pigeon In the basket:
The birds should be sent on an empty crop for races where the homing pigeons only spend 1 night in the basket. The feed that was fed the day before (plus what was they ate on shipping day) should no longer be present in the crop. The food should be in the intestinal tract being absorbed into the blood. Via the liver glycogen and fatty acids are being transported to the white and red muscles. This digestion process is going at full speed. On race day this should be completed so that the pigeon body can concentrate on performing not on digestion.
Two nights in the basket:
For two nights in the basket I would send them with ½ crop of food. The race is a day later in contrast to one night in the basket the digestion should continue for an extra day. If no digestion takes place and the racing dove has to spend more than one night in the basket we have a problem. Yes, the pigeon are fed corn (maize), but corns’ carbohydrates are too easily absorbed to accomplish a complete digestion. In order to achieve a good digestion sufficient water and oxygen are required, if one or the other is not present than digestion is impossible. It is not advisable to basket racing pigeon with a full crop of feed. In most cases they will bring up the contents of the crop and they will have no advantage over racing pigeons that only have a half crop of food.
What type of food for one night in the basket?
The food for one night in the basket should have no peas and be high in energy. These mixes often have names such as Super Energy, Super Diet and Turbo Energy etc. When the weather is colder these feeds function even better if corn is added to them. If the day before shipping you have fed enough and the racing pigeon don’t want to eat much on shipping day, you better be ready on race day. If the birds still have a good appetite on shipping day than sit back in your chair and relax, they won’t be too early! There are people who think differently about the above, that’s OK, they don’t have to agree with me.