Boscheind Flyers
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Method Method old pigeons The old pigeons are raced according to various methods of widowhood. The widow hens are in a loft behind the cocks. They are not locked up during the day.                 If necessary, it can.They usually train once a day from that loft. They then enter through the central entrance and then go back to their place.They enter the loft at the front in the compartment of the widowers. Of course, the widowers are in a different compartment on that moment. We don’t show the partners before basketing, so the widowers will not be permitted to see their hens as well during the first part of the races. Later on in the season there are some various way of doing. From 1997 the loft has been adapted in such a way that all pigeons enter the loft through a central super trap and then they reach their own compartment through a corridor. Method young pigeons Racing the young pigeons gets a lot of attention. Most important issues are the health of the youngsters, a good training and early sexual activation. When you manage to provoke the appropriate jealousy on top of that, good performances are bound to come. It is very important that the pigeons do not moult during the racing season. Therefore the darkness system is used here. One may venture to say that André has improved the darkness system. In their federation, the interesting long distance races for young pigeons are held from the end of August until the middle of September. Normally that is the period of big moulting. In this loft the darkness system is applied from the moment the birds are 5 weeks old until the end of August. They do that for such a long time because they race the young pigeons on widowhood and that makes it necessary to postpone the moulting. The loft is darkened from 18.00h in the evening until 8.30h in the morning. Since 2004 they stopped darkness system 1st of July, but then the lights are on from 05.00h till sunrise and from sunset till 22.30h! This stops moulting of the small feathers as well and gives more form in the racing period July-August.The young pigeons only fly out once a day, the rest of the day they can sit in the aviary or in the loft. They are also trained to drink from the same drink gutters that are used in the trucks. These drink gutters are even applied to the own baskets. André forces his pigeons to learn the proper way of drinking like this, which he thinks is very important. In many ways the loft is made cosy: many dark corners, cardboard boxes with a hole in it, little boards and boxes all over the place. They race on widowhood from the third race. Until then young cocks and hens have no separated compartments. Several couples are formed in this stage and these birds will look for each other later. New couples are also capable of excellent performance, like the little hen that won national Bourges. After the last race, the moulting must be stimulated. For that cause they also figured out a great system. The first two days, the pigeons become no food, just clear drinking-water. After that they get a light mixture to eat and a mixture of buttermilk and water to drink, during 5 days. The mixture contains 1 litre buttermilk and 3 litres water. It is stirred regularly before the pigeons start to drink. When they only did the darkness system during that first week the lightning stays on until 22.30h in the evening. It is important not to prolong that after that week. Now they do the combined system and now during this "buttermilk week" natural day/night rythm starts.The pigeons start moulting heavily. Sometimes, two or three quill-feathers fall in a short time. Also the small crests will be flying about your ears soon and after three months they have finished their moulting completely. André emphasizes that he experienced no disadvantage at all of this system in twentyfive years! Not even as a yearling or later. All their peak pigeons were exposed to the darkness system as young birds and the performances as old birds did not suffer from it, national winners included!! With this system André proved for many years that one can perform excellent with young pigeons without the use of any doping. The system knows many followers in Holland, Belgium and United Kingdom, because he has written about it in the magazine, in which he has a column. Rotating light Since 2005 rotating and flash lights are used to call in the pigeons from training and races. The pigeons are conditioned to know there is food inside when the rotating light is on. No whistle anymore, only the button of a remote control helps the fancier to give a sign! The young birds are going into the basket themselves when they are opened in the loft. So it's easy to go for a training toss..... Medical treatment In order to keep the pigeons healthy, they are vaccinated every year for paramyxo. The young pigeons are also vaccinated for smallpox-diphteritis. To prevent all other usual pigeon diseases, André and Jan give their pigeons - according to a certain time schedule - mix of Methoxasol (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) and a product against cancerl (ronidazole or dimetridazole). It's a problem a lot of medicines are not easy to obtain anymore. Efforts are being made to give less and less antibiotics. To protect the youngsters better against coli-problems, they get a kind of concetrated vinegars of the poultry industry in the drinking water every day, 0,5 ml a litre. Once a week, they get vitamins (Giantel) sprinkled over the food. When the pigeons arrive from the race, there are glucose and electrolytes in the drinking-water. Twice a week there are proteins over the oiled food for recovering the muscles. More often cat kibble is added to the food instead of whey powder over the food. After the big moult they treat against paratyphoid with a product based on trimethoprim (TS-Sol) for 14 days. Through his long experience and through his study of all problems with pigeons, André often knows a solution if pigeons need extra care in spite of this treatment. However, if a pigeon does not recover quickly, nothing is better than eliminate it. The selection  In the end, the performances decide which pigeons may stay. But André and Jan also want to take into account the psychic and physical properties of the pigeon. They have an own system of selection, in which the following items are important: a. eye b. shape of the wing and quill-feathers c. arm and arm-joint d. quality of the feathers e. firmness of the skeleton and flexibility of the muscular system f. throat g. general impression. By giving thought of these items, you get not only a loft with good pigeons, but also pigeons that pass on these good properties easier. Many fanciers have asked André’s opinion and have used his experience when practising pigeon sport. Therefore fanciers come and go at Van de Wiel’s everyday!!!
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