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Q & A Session With "yeboah"

andy Burgess

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would like to thank Mick (Yeboah) for doing this Question & Answer session for Basics. ive always admired Mick,s honest and common sense answers ,and the "common sense" factor is a great quality in any man.


1 , you've been in the sport for 40 + years ,when and how did you start ,what took your interest in pigeons ?


2 , do you race on your own or ??


3 , loft changes , you've made some recently , what are the reasons ? what size are your lofts ? what trapping system do you use , and has it always been that way or ??


4 , do you keep stock birds ,are they retired racers or ? what do you look for when selecting a bird for breeding purposes ??


5 , oldbirds ,you've raced widow cocks and hens alongside each other .do you think its a lot of work running 2 systems at the same time ??


6 , training Oldbirds , many train theres many times , whats your thoughts on this ? . whats your training regime for oldbirds ??


7 , youngsters , natural or darkness and why ??

you've mentioned "colostrum" before , what is it and how is it used ??

again you've mentioned floor dressings and you changed from easibed to sand & lime ,why the change ??


8 , old hens , you have mentioned recently you were struggling to get results with them, yet you've done well in the past with them .Rennes hen ,3 times over and 7th section,30th open against 7,500 birds , so whats changed and what changes do you intend to make ??


9 , 1st south section ,2nd open Newbury this year ,tell us about this cock , family etc ,any results from him before , why was he your choice ??


10 , whats your thoughts on feds who appear to change routes every couple of years ??


11 , club secretary,s job , not many seem to want to do it ,whats your view , any stories ??


12 , hawk problems for over 20 years ,whats your view , will the sport survive ?? any ideas as to whats the answer ?


13 , and as always , what advice could or would you give to today,s novice ??


a BIG thank you to Mick for taking the time to answer the above ,I am certainly looking forward to this one :animatedpigeons:

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Thanks to Andy for the invite enjoy reading of others so hear go's

All started visiting the hamlet of Brydekirk near Annan as a schoolboy with my uncle's and Parents each Sunday to my Uncle Donald and Aunt Jenny's House

Donald was my Mothers brother , They were a family of 11 all born in Brydekirk

Uncle Donald raced a very Good team of pigeons as did most in Brydekirk there were many national winners

When uncle Donald passed away at a young age his son Ben whom he raced with continued racing under the name of Mr & Mrs B Scott and were the first loft in Scotland to win 3 gold awards Wonderful memories with being amongst the all time greats in the village of Brydekirk and it was with that background I started racing on my own with some wonderful gift pigeons .

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Question 2

I have always raced on my own from the age of 13

My parents were very helpful in those early years

Jim Marrs who was a postman prior to his retirement has been and still is a very special friend regarding helping out

At present I also get untold help from my very close friend John Agnew who raced pigeons with his grandfather in Lockerbie many years ago we are now near neighbours and he has become totally hooked again .

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Question 3

I have a 45 foot apex tiled roof loft with corridor running the length of the old bird sections it has a mesh front that can be opened if required in hot weather but such is the outside design no rain every gets in ,

Until last year it had a mesh ceiling but in wild weather the down draughts and temperature change were a nightmare when trying to set up pigeons ,so I installed a full length ceiling at the same time not eliminating natural sunlight keeping the ventilation was also important a small tweek is required here but along with John it will be addressed shortly ,

Since I moved into Moffat always been bob wires and ets such is the design at the young bird section John trapped 16 in 12 seconds from a young bird race as I stood inside with their reward ,Used to always be open door in the countryside at Wamphray however my father was a Gamekeeper No Cats No Hawks lol

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Question 4

Yes I keep stock birds not many are retired racers they must be very special to go into the stock loft something I learned from Ben all those years ago ,

Regarding stock I have been very fortunate with the business I am in having built lofts for some very good fanciers many of them national and multinational winners they are also very good friends ,saying that I have been gifted all my best birds ,they are tested against what I own and if they do not compete with my present team they are out irrespective of parentage ,got a pet hate for weak backed pigeons .

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Question 5

I have developed a system with the cocks that suits my workload

The hens drive me mad exercise really well but don't beat the cocks when the chips are down ,that however is my lack of knowledge with widowhood hens ,John and I are to stubborn to let this one defeat us and with some advice from a top gentleman now look to improve with the hens .

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Question 7

I race darkness youngsters to compete in the club 15 mls north of most clubmates apart from Walter in Moffat closest is Kt at wamphray 7 mls to the south

When I raced natural at first in Moffat being the furthest flyer in the fed Gretna Annan etc 30 mls south ,I found at the first yb races my birds were well scattered and having to work in singles Kenny Thomson who is married to my cousin Sheila and races in wamphray flies a very good pigeon and said mick you must change to darkness to compete with us ,so after being prompted I purchased a second hand book at Blackpool for £2 by Barry mc Nichols (last of the big spenders me )lol Never looked back now get them in groups so will stick to that one ,never come in groups when training youngsters because of strikes but race days different lots of doos in sky ,By the way Sheila 's father was my uncle Stan Scott of wamphray 1st open ybn also 1st section gold cup etc

I had a problem with yb sickness for 3-4 years ,however whilst recovering in hospital from an operation with complications my friend Karl Guenther brought me in a book to take my mind of things ,whilst reading I came across an article by a top German fancier who went on about giving his birds beastings I think was the word which is colostrum the first milk produced by the cow for her newborn calf without which it would not have an immune system

John my friend got some from a dairy farmer and froze it in the bags you make ice cubes in ,we add 2 cubes to a small drum of feeding and mix in ( let the cube melt in a glass first) keep in house overnight to dry onto mixture and give to birds whilst sitting when hatched and a few weeks after weaning keep them on deep litter easibed when weaning until week before first race only topping up easibed and spraying with dettol loft must be bone dry ,No more Sickness .

Changed from easibed because loft only feet from house and trailing lots about wife no happy lol put down galvinised grills with rough sand and lime to keep a quite life ,Was only yb 's on litter widow doos always clean

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Question 8

Old hens ,All those years ago everything was natural pared up 14 march ,went to all races up to 240 mls trained early morning very early morning from Shap 60mls to Wamphray then set up for gold cup 2 weeks rest hatching yb

In the hard gold cup 1979 won on the night by Eddie Newcombe North west wind only 32 day birds from 7500 plus

I timed cheq pied hen 9-22 from 5-45 lib to take 2nd section to jack Wylie newcastleton I took 11 the open

Then timed my good blue hen at 10-12 flying sixteen half hours ,clocked first one in section next morning 4-45 and another 2 before 7 all hens flying to a one day chick bloody good doos flying to a system

If I tried to race like that now into Moffat would not get them to the start line

Hence the widowhood with hens just playing the laws of survival which is a shame

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Question 9

Saddleback the blue cock he was born a winner

Late bred never in a basket as a youngster,As a yearling only gave him 3 tosses at 15-20 mls when the weather got warmer not in April ! Sent him to his first race Lymm 144 mls from which he was my timer ,missed the next week bad forecast then put back to Wollaston 220 mls which proved very difficult into a ne wind Second bird to loft ,I then put him by for the season

This year went to first 6 races of which he was my timer on four occasions the other two he was second ,the other cocks had just 2-3 trainers prior to racing but not saddleback because of my high hopes for him ,2 weeks rest prior to national as per norm then bingo nearly done it ,A flying Machine with or without a hen

His breeding top drawer g/ sire a direct son of Georgie girl prob the finest hen to race clairmont with the unc

G / dam a direct daughter of les greens tame 21 14 x 1 sts. His sire is a son of these two

His dam is top notch van loon from Stuart and Gareth traherne

He scored in the top ten in the club on more than one occasion this year but more importantly when I studied other club results he was up in the top 20- 30 of the fed most weeks it was then up to John and I to get our part right

The Choice Andy was the easy part

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Question 10

It's up to each federations membership where it races from that is their choice alone

We passed at an agm a few years ago that we stick west for 3-4 years

It is just as hard flying into the solway from the east far to many birds racing there coming over the Pennines etc

Personally feel good pigeons win regardless of route but feel west is more direct

Location and wind always going to dominate winners but we can only race where we live

Enjoyment is the main aim

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Question 11

Club secretary what a thankless task in any sport been there got the t shirt

I first got nominated as a young lad as Vice President to Percy Cameron who at the time was Snfc President one of the finest gentlemen I have ever met ,Percy learnt me the do's and dont's a master of his art ,ended up me as president Percy as Secretary

In the early years I was allowed to check the rubbers. Against the race sheets and put them in the envelope to hand to Percy who made the results out his mental arithmetic was superb ,he was sure he had the winner that day it was also gala day and he and others had a wee drink prior to clock reading ,I said to one of the clock setters this rubber does not match any on Percy's sheet they said check again still no match ,I was then told to go tell him which I nervously did he came storming back will someone please take the sheet of this bloody stupid boy ,when the main clock setter could not find it he stormed of and brought the bird back he had timed a stray which had dropped into his loft the clock station was in fits of laughter with me hiding under the desk ,If only I could turn that clock back .

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Question 13

Advice to new starters very difficult with today's costs would certainly need assistance which perhaps our governing unions should be setting aside a fund for

Find out top men in your area if they are genuine like the gentlemen of Brydekirk were to me 40 odd years ago they will gift them from their best free of charge

Don't chop and change with feeding keep things simple

Most important Good Birds Good Health and ROUTINE .

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Another good read, Well done both, set my old mind rambling, my brother and I have kept birds all of our life, thanks to the encouragement of our parents, my brother stayed with Budgies and has bred and shown for 50yrs. He breeds some crackers and tunes them up for the shows, me, I breed some crackers and send them a few hundred miles down the road and hope to see them again, I must be mad, would I change, no, I'm a pigeon man biggrin.gif

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