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Ok Got A Wee Bit Of Time This Morning


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well as i said the cocks were driving the national hens again for there 4th set of eggs which i was a bit worried about as this pair were to early to set them down on and i could not stop them from laying as i had no room to split them i had stepped up the flagging to one hour morning and night and was waiting on the first good day to get them up the road the first race was apon us and i was delighted when one of my sprint latebreds i bought in from louella a poortviliet was 1st club 1st west section 4th open with 3600 birds and she took all pools in the club over 100 pounds so a good wee start the day after the race turned out to be a nice day but the wind had changed to a strong northwest so not ideal for a first toss as the race team had been at the race the day before i decided to take the 24 young sprinters as cover for the national birds my logic was the more targets in the sky the better james and i basketted the birds and it was a bit blowy at the home end but not to bad so off we went but when we got to crawford the wind was very strong i said to james i dont know if im doing the right thing here lm not worried about the old birds they have been hedge hopping before but this is a new experience for the youngbirds and a bit severe for there first head wind we stood for ten minutes and the wind seemed to die a little well they have to learn sometime i said and this is there 16 th toss from here and with that said we libbed the birds cleared quick heading for home skipping over the top of the hills and down the other side out of sight as we came off the slip road at abbington we saw them cross the motorway 6 inch off the ground oh s t i said to james just as i feared there could be birds missing today m8 should have stuck with my gut instinct but its done now up untill this toss the birds were doing it in 32 to 35 mins as every toss previous had been a southwind 48 mins and the first batch came over my eyes scanned for helen and mary but they were not there i had just over half the birds from 46 sent the next batch came about 5 mins later and the three good hens were there i breathed a sigh of relief the old birds were all home but i had a few youngbirds missing and they started to turn up injured at the end of the day i was 4 youngbirds down and three hurt but no excuses it was my fault a mistake on my part still making them after all these years but the national birds had there first toss and all home and another lesson learned about youngbird training for the next 5 days the national birds were trained and almost all home together so we had 21 tosses in total from crawford and great training no hits the national birds were getting faster and faster as there fitness inproved all that is apart from helen she was always 5 mins behind was she taking a different route or was laying 8 eggs taking its toll i did not know but something was not right mary was always there with the batch and she had also layed 8 eggs maybe she was still catching up on her fitness as the birds were now a constant 35 mins a toss maybe they need more as i was jumping them in to a 120 mile for there first race i had worked out i would have to lift there eggs again to get them on a 3 or 4 day old chick there first of the year but i would need to let them sit ten days or they would go back down to soon and be on a big youngster not good as it takes to much body off these small hens but also sitting ten days would kick start the moult i checked the hens everyday and sure enough eight days sitting they both dropped the first flight my fear was they would drop two and start bolting the wing to catch up some people say this is a sign of condition not me to me its just a pigeon that has been held back catching up leaving a big gap in the wing for air to pass through with every wing beat but this is just my opinion i want them with as full a wing as possible i had been in contact with my pal andy burgess who had moved house and i wanted to go visit his new place in lauder and it sounded a fantastic set up when it was complete so off i went as i drove along the m8 and around the Edinburgh by pass my eyes were opened to what our westsection birds have to come through in Britain with a prevaling west wind as i drove farther towards the signs for the boarders with the coast in view most of the time it became apparent we in the west have no chance of winning a national unless we get an east wind or the race is a disaster where the birds are not following the coast but in a true race we are litterly p g against the wind we are racing against birds that are flying a straight line straight up the coast i know this opinion will not go down well with some but its fact pure and simple and im not out to make friends i have plenty but if you want to win a national go to the easy east guys not saying the east birds or fanciers are not good but there is no comparrison to a pigeon flying into the west anyway rant over i arrive at andys house he is really out in the sticks every town or village on the way in had a national winner in it go figure eh i asked andy if he had any problems with falcons and he told me never even seen one i had drove allmost 70 miles and thought this might be where i could bring the national birds for time on the wing thinking i should get one and a half to two hours out them which would be perfect if safe and i cant get that distance down the west without getting slaughtered so a few days later james and i headed for lauder with all the birds except the youngsters we tossed the birds and headed home with fingers crossed that we would get a good toss and we did one hour 40 mins the first birds and within 15 mins all were home except helen she was over one hour behind them now i was getting worried she should be resonably fit by now something was deff wrong with her by this time she had layed her 5th pair of eggs was that the reason but the other hen mary had layed the same and was showing no ill efects was it last years injury i just did not have a clue the next day i went back to lauder and for the next four tosses she improved but was still behind the batch i checked her over again but could see nothing out of order other than she was handling a bit lean i had just changed the feed from a basic widowhood mix and was adding hemp seed conditioner and peanuts she should be bigger the other hens were but not helen i decided to give her a full flagyl tablet for canker incase there was some internal canker that i could not see and bang three days later she was a different pigeon and i sent her for her first race 120 miles she was about twenty mins behind my first bird back to lauder again midweek and she was with the batch sent her into the next race 160 miles and she and mary were my 3rd and 4th pigeons things were coming together fine i had lifted both hens 5th set of eggs and put dummies under them as they had layed 3 to 4 days to early i kept there eggs in the house and put them back under them 4 days later so both would be on there first chick of the year 3 to 4 days old so that was the incentive sorted now if i could just get a 8 or 9 hour race out them they would be perfect meanwhile i was flagging morning and late at night with them dropping on the loft at 10 oclock or later the next race was 210 miles and turned out a stinker with many birds missing i dropped 5 good birds that were going to the national and helen was almost 8 hours on the wing mary had only been just over 5 hours on the wing so helen was stopped and rested mary went to meldon mowbray which was a real bad one with half the birds in our club and fed missing including mary and another 5 national birds a few that had scored already it was a sickener for me mary had been 3rd section roye twice and 11th section ypres so real class hen gone but i consolled myself with the fact that helen and the young hen maid marrion were looking great and sitting perfect in part three only three days to basketting what could go wrong lol

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