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Everything posted by sapper756

  1. Feel free to share with Basics members your Returns from today's races. Good luck
  2. Please post your club/Federation liberation time and where from on this post Good luck
  3. Please share with Basics members where your club/Federation are racing from this weekend Good luck
  4. Donation to site received from daleren following the sale of young birds Thanks very much Dale, it's very much appreciated and will go towards the ongoing running costs of Pigeon Basics
  5. Sorry for your loss and our thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.
  6. By Austin Whittaker aka WHITTY
  7. It was very convenient when I raced the roundabout method, hens would go Midweek racing and cocks go weekend
  8. As a matter of curiosity, when I raced pigeons in the past, many clubs had Mid Week racing. Is this still an option or a thing of the past?
  9. How are Pigeon Basics members Returns from today's races?
  10. William & Brian Massey of Rosewell in Midlothian (Scotland). The Scottish father and son racing partnership of William and Brian Massey of Rosewell won ‘Best Young Bird in Show’ with their beautiful slatey pied cock, ‘Fram’. Very pleasing for me, because I’m her number one fan, William and Brian’s wonderful pied hen, ‘Olivia’ won class 23. What a hen! As I previously stated the annual BHW Blackpool Show weekend had to be cancelled in 2021 because of the ongoing Covid problem and had to go ‘online’. There was a strong Scottish dominance of the ‘On Line’ Show with both of the top awards going north of the border! The ten classes attracted an entry of 474 birds which were competing for outstanding prize money, in spite of a free entry. ‘Best in Show’ was won by Coutts Brothers of Scotland, with the champion blue cheque cock, ‘King Louie’. These lads from Aberdeenshire are really ‘setting them alight’ winning at all the National shows in recent seasons. ‘Best Opposite Sex’ also went to Scotland, with William and Brian Massey winning with their good pied hen, ‘Olivia’. I had some good fun, judging 68 Show Racer old hens in Class 2. I asked Brian how his sport had been with recent Covid problem and he told me, ‘the 2020 season saw us win five firsts racing, Old Bird Average, Yearling Derby, Young Bird Knockout and Combine Average. When racing I believe preventative is better than cure! Mixing with birds and stress I believe it’s a must to be treating for canker and respiratory every couple weeks alternative! Any major problems get test kit and swabs, UK and German vets we use for these. Of course due to Covid we did not show in 2020 other than the online pictures, but 2019 was a great season in the show pen with eight 1st prizes at the Open shows and awards from stage being ‘Best in Show’ and ‘Best Racer’ Ayr NR Show, ‘Best Opposite Sex’ Clydesdale Show, ‘Champion Young Racer’ Fife Show, ‘Champion Young Bird’ Scottish Homing Union Show and all these shows were Blackpool qualifiers with 400 plus birds competing in the show. My most thrilling experience in the sport would be the 2015 BHW ‘Show of the Year’ and winning three firsts for me and my dad and then seeing three firsts for my son, Craig, in the young fancier, meaning we’d came down from Scotland and six birds from our loft were on the ‘Specials’ table at Blackpool. That was a buzz! In terms or showing our racers from 2010 to 2019 and last season showing with Covid, we have won the following major prizes: six times ‘Best in Show’ awards, ‘Best Opposite Sex’ NEHU Show, three times ‘Champion Young Bird’ Scottish Homing Union Show, four times 1st prize BHW ‘Show of the Year’ Show. We won many first prizes and awards but that’s the major awards for us’ William and Brian race the roundabout system, but they lock the hens in the nest box and the only time they get out is for training flights or to race. They are boxed up with feed and water and normally keep an average of around eighteen cocks and twenty hens The training begins three weeks before racing begins and the old birds get as much in as the weather allows, trying to avoid Peregrines, but is mostly impossible, so they group train with the local lads from 12 to 45 miles. On one of these training flights they allow the yearlings to see each other when they return to try have the ‘penny dropped’ for the first race, that the rewards not just feed, but it’s the partners. The partners fly 63 to 360miles at club level and that’s their main goals at his time, but they working on trying to get some channel racing out some of the birds and that will be 440 to 560 miles! They have two lofts, a 20ft loft running along back garden and 25ft running back up the garden and they have nine sections in total. The lofts have double doors and traps on doors for entry! The partners don’t like any deep litter and prefer to just clean birds as daily as possible. When I asked Brian about his breeding pigeons and young birds he said, ‘we have 14 pair stock pigeons and they are paired right after the Blackpool show along with race team. The stock pigeons we house are Dave Zerk from Cardiff and birds are exceptional Gaston Van De Wouwer x Greenix and they’ve hit the ground running! We’ve also got the Gaston lines from Ian Parsons, Frans Zwols Formula one lofts, but the biggest impact pigeons we’ve had the last couple seasons have been from G. W. P. McAloney of Airdrie. We breed around 80 and weaned into the darkness loft and the clocks set for 9am light to 6pm dark, giving nine hours light. They are given vaccination for PMV / Herpes / Adino when weaning along with a canker tablet over throat. I spend the first few weeks never changing the water, only topping up and every odd day I add Apple Cider Vinegar to container! They are weaned onto Marmian Variamix with added blue peas and stay on this for all of the darkness. We basket train birds for a couple days and nights with drinkers on the sides and feed tray offered. Road training them begins a good 4 to 5 weeks before young bird racing commences and I start two miles then quickly up to eight miles and I’ll keep at that point until they beat me home two times then up distance to around 30 miles maximum! I try to train as often as time or weather allows, then at least three or four times with local group trainer allowing birds to learn to break. We leave them to do as please at loft and they have access to four nest boxes and four bowls on corners and whatever takes to them can lay. I might introduce old hens to section if I feel needed! Young birds are raced from 64 miles to 270 miles with some birds being stopped along the way depending on requirements we need for future’. Brian was born in Edinburgh in 1984, brought up in the small mining village of Rosewell Pigeons have always been in his garden with his father William having them, but his grandfather on his mother’s side was also a pigeon fancier and his mums brother is also a pigeon fancier and a previous member of the W. Massey & son partnership. Brian’s grandfather on his dads side didn’t have much to do with pigeons, but he did allow him to have a pigeon loft in his garden and Brian was in partnership with him as W. Massey and Grandson when he was 11 years old and to young to join a club as a sole member. He then I moved into keeping stock birds at granddad’s garden and joined in partnership with his father and uncle as W. B. Massey & John Mackie and this partnership lasted until around 2005 then it was William Massey & Son. Brian has had small breaks away from pigeons when he was around 19 for a couple years then he went to visit the Edinburgh International Show, as his dad informed him he had won a first. He went up on the Sunday to look and ended up leaving the show with a pair of pigeons he had purchased while there and that was me back in the hobby. In terms of racing, the best birds Brian had were the Wildermeesch birds from Ian Parsons, which were fantastic pigeons that brought great winning to the early years, but he still remember them well, especially a cock named ‘3023’. He won in the show pen in a class of over 100 birds and at that age the shows where what he enjoyed most! When he was still in school he used to pick the brain of Marshal Winter, who was a club member and raced under the name of M. D. Winter & Daughter. It was Marshal who sold Brian a pair of pigeons that took him from club shows to major Open shows and he had immediate success! Larkhall Pioneer was his first big Open success in 1999, when the two birds he bought won the Cock TW and Hen TW. These two beautiful pigeons were a pencil blue white flight cock and a blue chequer hen, and these birds were bred by a partnership in Cumbria named Todhunter and Ismay. Marshal then gave him a contact to Rodney Ismay and these are the birds that to this day are still in his pigeons now! Early years he was always more eyes on the show side for the hobby. At that age there was a fancier who sold corn from his garage named Robert “Bobby” Carruthers Bonnyrigg, whose birds always drew his attention and was lucky enough to be shown around his birds a couple occasions. The late, great Bobby was a superb distance flier from 500 to 600 miles and his old strains looked as awesome, as they did race! Brian used to enjoy the show racers condition and the fanciers Fitzpatrick, Fleming and Coutts always had superb pigeons on show at the Open events that he entered. Also a Mr John Bell, now John and Alice Bell, was one of the first fanciers he looked up to at the Open shows with the standard of their birds in the pens. He still remembers seeing those reds and thinking wow, beat this man and I’ll do plenty of winning and still true to this day! Beat John and Alice you are doing extremely well! Brian’s wife Jennifer only shows a small interest in the birds regarding results, but she’d never go near the loft. His step son Craig was keen on them after visiting a show and he did have a couple birds for a year, resulting in Brian entering them into BHW ‘Show of the Year’ young fancier for him and he won three first prizes and ‘Best Young Fancier’ award! Brian’s daughter, Olivia likes the birds and likes to touch, but she’s jumpy when they move and isn’t keen. His son, Archie is very keen, but only just turning two years old, he walks up to loft and enters them while in garden and seems to enjoy them. Brian feels social media for pigeon fanciers should be a great tool to promote the sport, but he mostly reads negativity from comments seen! On the other hand, web sites to find info are fantastic and he spends many hours watching YouTube on racing subject! The birds of prey problem is massive and yearly worsening and he doesn’t see the end game with it. Text & Photos by Keith Mott (May 2023)
  11. Please share with Basics members your Club/Federation liberation time and where from on this post Good luck
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