|Author: Bob Rowland||Title: Identifying Performance|
|Date: 2004-11-15 19:04:23||Uploaded by: webmaster|
A common statement frequently made is "I need to get some better
pigeons"! This is normally what people say that are having a poor racing
season but if they do introduce new stock are they any better off than
they were with their present stock?
There are many reasons that we are having poor races and generally we
need to look in the mirror for the problem rather than looking at our
birds. Ultimately, everything we do is our responsibility to maintain a
certain standard or to improve our existing level of performance.
So let us look at a few problems that could possibly show us where our
problems may be.
If our pigeons have been very good in the past, then the quality of the
stock is probably not the problem or the level of the game we are now
playing has gotten more difficult to win. One can have birds that are
fine in a lesser competition or different environment but if those
conditions are the same, then we must have another type of problem and
perhaps getting some new pigeons will not change a thing.
It appears that we want pigeons that can win in spite of what we do but
if you go back and read what I wrote at the beginning of this subject,
"WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING THAT TAKES PLACE WITHIN OUR LOFT!"
So how do we begin our program to improve our results? It is my opinion
that we do not keep a rigid enough standard for performance and if we
buy some expensive pigeons, then we may have more tendency to overlook
performance as surely this pigeon that cost so much must someday make
their mark in our loft.
It has been my experience that the good pigeons normally show their
ability in a very short period of time. This great ones don't need to
breed 100 young ones so you can get one that is respectable. Generally
those pigeons that make their mark show their ability in just a few years.
If we have a pigeon on our race team, their purpose for us is to race
well enough to win prizes and give us honors on race day. If your pigeon
does not come any where near the prizes, what are we keeping that pigeon
If we bought some expensive breeders and they do not produce any top
performing racers or breeders, then why do we have the pigeon in our
loft? I believe it is because many people want to have a conversation
piece and are quite proud to show everyone the pigeon that they paid so
much for, even if it never produces a good one.
I quickly admit that I am as guilty as any one else in keeping pigeons
that have not carried their weight. At the present time I have an 11
year old full brother to my top producing male which is 14 years old and
still filling every egg. I have kept the younger brother because I felt
he would one day produce me a great pigeon but how much longer can I
wait for this to happen?
The problem of keeping a pigeon that has proven they are NOT a good one
is that we do not have a pigeon in that nest box that could be breeding
better pigeons than what we have kept so here is a large part of our
I have established a system that if I follow it and do not stray too far
from the intent, then the quality of my stock should improve. The
problem we have is that if we do not eliminate the lesser quality
pigeons from our racing and breeding program, then the other pigeons do
not get the opportunity to show their ability.
Many people try to use the method which I refer to as "throwing mud
against the wall". They are looking for something to stick but in many
cases, there are problems created by keeping the extra pigeons in an
attempt to get a good one. Any loft that is overcrowded is more
susceptible to health problems and chaos becomes a daily part of the
problems with pigeons fighting for territory.
How about the false breeding we get from pairs because another pigeon
fills the eggs? We also have a problem if the health is not super as
well and this should be easily noticed when we watch our pigeons
exercise or road train. A team in excellent condition flies tightly
bunched and when they change directions in the sky, all the pigeons seem
to do it like a well trained squad of athletes. If any pigeons are not
up to par, then the entire team will suffer and even the time they use
for the training will be of a lesser quality.
So back to the system I use!
I use a spread sheet which is nothing more than a ledger type form which
is used for accounting. For each line that goes across on the form, I
have all the information I need on a specific pigeon and can add
additional columns which are the spaces that go from the top of the
paper to the bottom. So on our spread sheet we put in columns or
everything we wish to track. There is one column for the sires of all my
pigeons and next to that is an additional column for the mothers to my
pigeons. Again all the information on one pigeon goes across the sheet
in what we refer to as a row.
After a few years I have all the knowledge about every young one I have
produced. Now to simplify this data was my next challenge so I began
using colors so at a quick glance I can determine if a particular pigeon
has ever produced anything that is worthy!
The colors I chose are BLUE for a pigeon that has raced in the top 3% in
any race. For a pigeon that is not as good and could only race in the
top 6% I use RED, and for the pigeon that can not reach the 6% goal but
is within the top 10% in a race, I use the color GREEN. If there are no
colors and all the data shows in BLACK, that pigeon and the mating are
not very good as based on the information that pigeon gave us.
I then highlight the pertinent information in the row where we have
collected the data so if a pigeon is a very good one and is in the top
3% of pigeons in a race, then the parents are also shown in that data as
Blue as well.
By using colors I can tell my computer to sort the collected data for
several years and if either of the parents have never produced a pigeon
that was capable of receiving the highlight color, then why should we
have the pigeon at our loft?
As I have already mentioned in this article, I can add columns for any
information I wish to track so color is one to watch. One can notice
certain things that can be enlightening or a point of concern. Another
thing I watch for is eye color as there are also rules that must be
adhered to if we are looking for truth about our pigeons. For example if
a certain pigeon is a pearl eye pigeon and is also mated to a pearl eye
color pigeon, there better not be any yellow eyes coming from that
mating or there is a stranger somewhere that is really the father of the
yellow eye pigeon.
This is a simple format and if we just stop trying to make a bad pigeon
turn into a good one, then our results should improve. If we allow our
pigeons to perform at a low level of acceptance, soon we will have a
barn full of pigeons that are not worthy. Even from our absolute best
pigeons, they do not produce all good ones so if you are keeping them
around in hopes that a miracle will happen, you are going to be
frustrated many times.
In conclusion, one must establish a system that is reasonable and
attainable. Trying to launch a rocket to the moon when you can't even
get it out of your own back yard is totally unreasonable so start by
establishing goals that you can work with. Even with lesser quality
goals, you will find many pigeons that can not reach that low quality level.
It will be difficult at first to be too rigid in your standards but the
more you follow the rigid standards early, the quicker your performance
should improve. If not, look in the mirror and see if you are being
truthful with your self. If you are not willing to establish a program
regardless of what the goal may be and if you vary from the direction
the program was established to assist you with, then your success will
probably never get there and you must decide if winning really is your goal.
I know that I must be more rigid in my program and even though I still
have certain pigeons with me here in Florida, many of what were
acceptable in Wisconsin are not producing the results I want to perform
at. Each year look to see how many nests you can close rather than
looking to see how many new nest boxes you need to add to your loft to
accommodate new pigeons.
Odds are that if we do our own culling first, and THEN ADD a pigeon or
two that should make an impact. If the new impact pigeon does not do
what you expect them to do, then a complete change of pigeons may be
Hope this helps someone and I know what I must do now and continue to
follow in the next few years if I expect to improve.
SpringHill, FLorida USA
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