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Understanding the Thermal Neutral Zone...
Author: Bob RowlandTitle: Understanding the Thermal Neutral Zone
Date: 2003-06-13 22:07:19Uploaded by: webmaster
There is a range of temperatures that is called the Thermal Neutral Zone and this is the ideal temperature for pigeons to race. If it gets any warmer than the high limit of the T.N.Z. the pigeon must find a way to cool itself down. In contrast to this, when the temperatures drop below the T.N.Z. then the bird needs to create some activity to warm itself up. This is done by a mild to more severe trembling action.

So before I get too many emails asking about the temperature range of the T.N.Z., it is from 60'F to 75'F or 15.6'C to 23.5'C. So below these temperatures we will refer to this as the Shivering Zone which through this activity the metabolic rate is increased in the pigeon requiring more feed which converts into Heat Production. Above these temperatures we will refer to this as The Panting Zone" and this is how a pigeon cools it's blood temperature. This also requires more energy but the trick here is to get pigeons to eat proper so they can store the "GOOD FATS". More on feeding in another article.

There are several things to consider when we speak about the "Panting Zone": First, let's understand that when a pigeon is flying they create a bellows effect which pulls more air through the lungs as they are flying but once their wings are not moving, then the flow of air is restricted hence, panting is necessary. Also with the airflow, the pigeons extract oxygen on both the inhale and the exhale so the pigeons are not running out of oxygen. They just don't have an effective radiator for cooling their blood when they have stopped flying and because of this we often think we have a respiratory problem.

We also need to understand that everything must get into a certain amount of physical condition or the effort to perform any task is increased due to the lack of condition. This is why it is so necessary to get your pigeons into the best physical condition possible before you ask them for a demanding task.

We all have had pigeons come through very hot weather over a long distance and this is merely an example of how they can handle these tasks when they are in shape. Yet try taking a pigeon from the loft and have it fly for just a few minutes around the loft and it wants down. This is because of the lack of condition and not from respiratory problems. I am not trying to say that respiratory problems do not exist as we know they do under certain environments so now we need to determine if this is a health problem or a lack of condition! With a health problem, this must be corrected before we expect them to perform but if we are using too many harsh chemicals as an attempt to cure a problem that does not exist, we may also be doing certain damage to vital organs.

Read any prescription cautions and you will find that liver, kidney, and other vital organs can be damaged by certain chemicals so avoiding them may be a big part of having future success. However, again remember if there is a verifiable health problem, then treatment is necessary but random treatments can reverse the results you are expecting.

The easiest way to determine if you have a health problem is to open loft fly your pigeons when the temperature is cool and if they show no signs of respiratory problems, then you more than likely have a conditioning problem. If they still show signs or severe difficulty in breathing, then the proper treatment with meds may be the only answer to your problem.

I personally believe there are many genetic problems in certain pigeons and if you continue to have to treat to get some type of performance. Then you either need to breed from other pigeons or correct your hygiene of the loft so these problems are lessened. I use certain natural products for my pigeons and any that show they cannot stay healthy with these are eliminated from future plans at my loft. Eventually we will create a family through careful selection processes that will require very little medications to stay healthy.

I will do more on the genetics subject in future writings as these problems are ever present but it is my belief that some of the greatest problems we have are our self. We are slow to eliminate problem genes and quick to try to medicate our way to success so we end up with CHEMICALLY DEPENDENT PIGEONS! I find it easier to raise another healthy pigeon rather than continually trying to cure a pigeon that will more than likely never do anything for us in the future.

In conclusion: We are the ones totally responsible for our future and we need to evaluate the direction we go or we may be creating bigger problems than we already have. Look at your self in the mirror and tell your self that you are responsible for success or failure. The decisions you make will determine your outcome so don't medicate your self into a hole where your pigeons require daily medication as a need to survive.

Hope this helps someone:
Bob Rowland
SpringHill, FLorida

Coo time for a brew!...Where next?
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