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ISRF Young Bird & Overall Champion 2007
Gerry O Mara & Family - Kildonagh & Dist R.P.C.


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In a fed the size of ours with over 700 members, to win a race is an achievement to win 3 with birdage of 10128, 10279 and 6999 and miss out on another by a decimal with 7065 birds gone is nothing short of magical, to start of a report with facts and figures is something I don't usually do but this is not a usual fancier and these are not usual results.

Going back to the start and Gerry became involved with the birds when just 13 years of age when he joined the Dublin Northeast club with his father Bill who everyone knows around the Dublin pigeon scene. They raced there for many years and set up individual lofts later on, to this day the father and son team still use only 1 stock loft and share the youngsters, more of this later.

For the last 3 seasons Gerry has raced in the Kildonagh & District club on the north side of Dublin a club with 38 members and just to prove its not a one man show they also produced another fed topper last year with Keith Brennan winning from Mallow with over 5600 birds, so he doesn't get it all his own way even in the club.

The birds are mainly Buschaert from Alan Hindhaugh and Van Loons from Davie Reid with birds also coming from other top class fanciers like Tom Boland, Richard Hogg and "Big" Willie Brennan, The stock birds go down on the 10th of December with the racers following on the 27th. The first round from the stock goes to Bills loft and the second round Gerry keeps and these tie up nicely with the round from the racers, this gives Gerry around 70 young birds all roughly the same age, this is the whole young bird team nothing else is added after this and these will bring the loft through the whole y/b season. All the babies are on the dark from weaning and are fed Vanrobys young bird mix until they are a few weeks from racing then they go onto a super widowhood mix.

Training for the young birds is short and often at the start and then on to the local wagons, during racing they go approx 30 miles Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but will fly out again in the evening. Gerry believes getting all the youngsters weaned at the same time and not adding any second or subsequent rounds gives him a big advantage as he only has to work on one team and doesn't have to take his mind off them in order to look after any other younger pigeons.

Old Birds

The saying goes than a rolling stone gathers no moss, same applies for top fanciers no time to sit back and admire when went before, this year is another and new ideas are brought on board. Last year Gerry raced his birds the traditional widowhood way, racing mostly cocks with the hens getting a run out later in the season. This year however that's all changed and a roundabout system is to be introduced. To make sure all his birds have this system in their heads he has removed all his old (widowhood) cocks from the race team and will have 21 yearling cocks and 15 hens trying the new way. A brave move but something he feels he has to do to move forward and stay at the top.

Training the old birds is simple and straightforward get them fit before the first race then very little once they are on the road, but if he feels it necessary he's not afraid to take them up the road if they need the cobwebs blown off. They get their morning and evening exercise for an hour each time but interestingly Gerry doesn't stick to a strict timetable with flexible working hours he may not be there at the same time every day.

Feeding the old birds is kept as per your basic widower system, breakdown with depurative when they come back from racing until Monday then a build up for the weekend, Gerry stresses the fact over and over again to keep things as simple as possible, don't complicate your feeding regime, feed good quality grains and stick to the system you have chosen.

Treatments.

The birds get nothing through the winter and only when on their first round of eggs will Gerry begin treating them for canker, after the breeding the racers all get wormed ready for the racing. Two things that can destroy your season are canker and respertory problems and Gerry treats for both these every other week.

Gerry has no secret weapons in the loft or in any bottle, but he has two, one either side of his head, even at the top of the sport Gerry is a keen listener and has a knack of asking the right people the right questions. His advice to novices would be the same, seek out the very best pigeon fancier you can, don't be afraid of these people remember these lads all had to start somewhere and more than likely would have done the same thing to get where they are now, don't listen to the pub fancier who although talks a great race never gets in the result with any regularity.

Results

In the past nine years Gerry has topped the South Road Fed which has an inland average birdage of 7000 birds an incredible 15 times and won an Open from Penzance. He was overall Fed champion 3 times in 2001/02 & 2007 and runner up twice 1999 and 2003. His club racing results are amazing from the time he was with the Dublin North East up to this year in the Kildonagh he has won over 90 club firsts in 9 years that's an average of 10 a year. These club results have to be looked at in context, In the ISRF we only race in one club at a time, the North east would have had over 40 members and the Kildonagh nearly 40 all racing in one fed, these are individual wins no duplications and in serious competition.

A list of some of Gerry's results from last year.

Rosscarbury 314/6999 birds 1st,2nd, 3rd, 5th Club 1st, 7th, 18th, 28th Fed

Thurles 412/10987 birds 1st,2nd, 3rd, 4th, Club 1st, 5th, 6th, 9th Fed

Pilmore Beach 386/10128 birds 1st,3rd Club 1st,26th Fed

Thurles 276/7065 birds 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Club 2nd, 4th, 5th, 11th, 24th Fed

Tramore 389/8966 birds 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Club 3rd, 5th, 7th, 13th, 16th, 19th Fed

Rosscarbury 479/8772 birds 1st,2nd Club 26th,45th Fed

Tramore 459/9013 birds 1st,2nd Club 10th,21st Fed

Pilmore Beach 401/8670 birds 2nd, 3rd, 4th Club 4th, 8th, 17th Fed

Gerry would like to thank all the fanciers who have helped him out over the years especially Alan Hindhough, Davie Reid, Tom Boland "BIg" Willie and Richard Hogg and a big thank you to his father Bill who has been a great support through the seasons and a big factor in this lofts success.

Well done to Tucker Daniel, although I typed this up it was Tucker who went out and got all the info from Gerry and he already has another in the pipeline, its going to be hard to keep up with him.

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Kevin Barry
E-Mail kevinbarry88@gmail.com
Tel - 0863292654

Gerry and Son Zack outside the young bird loft .
Gerry and Son Zack outside the young bird loft .
Blue Hen I.S.R.F. young bird of the year 1st Club 1st Fed 10128 birds 1st Club 3rd Fed 8966 birds.
Check Hen 1st Fed 10987 birds
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