|Author: Guy Barrett||Title: Keeping Records - (Chapter 8)|
|Date: 2002-12-07 13:52:34||Uploaded by: webmaster|
Having read the first few chapters of this book, the reader will appreciate how important it is for the fancier to keep accurate and comprehensive records. Before the start of each breeding season, he should provide himself with a hard-backed Loft Book, of a size which will conveniently fit in the jacket pocket, for example 6½ in. x 4 in. In this book he can enter all the details of the breeding, training and racing events of the year.
Besides being a ready source of information required during the current season, this book will provide a permanent record and prove an invaluable source of reference for many years concerning the methods used, training tosses given etc.
One may wonder, “What training did I give such-and-such a bird when it won that hard five-hundred-mile race two years ago?” or "In what nesting condition was another bird, when he scored well from Nantes?". The answer to such questions as these can be easily found if proper records are kept. Thus the fancier, once he has found and developed a winning system, is able to adhere to it rigidly.
The fancier should make a list, in the first few pages of the book, of all the birds in his loft, together with details of their pedigree and race performances. Armed with this information he can set about the task of deciding upon the matings for the coming season. A number of pages should then be ruled off, in accordance with this chart. Two facing pages are required for each pair of birds kept, on which can he recorded the date of pairing, ring numbers and pedigree of the cock and hen, the date of the first of each pair of eggs, the date of hatching, the ring numbers, and sex and colour of the progeny, etc. Plenty of additional space is available for any other information which the fancier may deem it prudent to put into writing.
Next, further pages should be ruled to allow the recording of training tosses,etc., as shown in the second chart. The point of liberation is written in, vertically, at the top, and the date. The ring numbers of the birds are entered down the left-hand side. When a pigeon is sent to a training toss or race, this is marked by a short horizontal line. When the bird returns, a short vertical line is drawn through it.
It is extremely useful to have a large sheet of paper, similarly ruled, pinned up on the wall inside the loft. Details can then be entered at any time and copied into the Loft Book at leisure. Also, they can be referred to quickly, when considering candidates for the next race. It is also helpful to record the loft position, that is first, second, third, etc., of each pigeon entered in the various races, as this will be of great assistance when selecting pool birds. The wall chart can have squares big enough to enable one to write in the times of returns and positions.
A number of pages should then be allocated, and ruled to receive details of the races as shown in the third chart.
Here can be recorded all the information regarding the number of birds competing, weather conditions, time of liberation, details of the birds entered, the times of their arrival, pools, nesting conditions, and the position taken in the race, etc.
At the back of the Loft Book a list should be made of all the rings issued to the fancier for the current year’s youngsters, and against these numbers can be entered the colour, sex, and pair number from which the youngster has been bred. This becomes a Young Bird register. Other relevant information can he recorded in the column headed Remarks (see Chart).
In addition, I keep a Card Index - one card for every pigeon. Agreed, this makes a certain amount of extra work, but it is extremely useful to have the complete details of a pigeon’s racing career, stretching over five or six years, on one card. When pedigrees with performances are required (and these are the only pedigrees worth having), the necessary information can readily be obtained without having to look through many years Loft Books. This is especially useful when a bird is sold.
The keeping of accurate records is one of the hallmarks of the successfuI fancier, and a series of well-kept Loft Books can provide much interesting reading for winter evenings in future years.
Used with permisson. © RPRA.
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