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Pascal Lanneau Veterinarian - Some Breeding Tips!
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Dear pigeon fancier,

The racing period is a very important period for all pigeon fanciers, but don’t neglect the breeding season.
During this period the future champions are bred, the basics for the next generation!!!

In this edition of “Het Duivengazetse” I want to talk a bit more about the breeding season and some items that are important to keep in mind, before and during the breeding season.


Health check-up.

Super health is a need for super breeding.

Don’t make any mistake before and during the breeding season!!!
Make sure your pigeons are healthy and in an optimum condition when the breeding season starts.

A routine check –up is therefor very important.
Make sure these tests are done minimum 1.5 month before you start breeding, so you can treat properly if necessary.
It is very important that the treatment is the right one. So an exact diagnosis is necessary, and beneath this, also a reliable advice concerning the use of the correct medicine and exact medical support is a must. Some medicines are harmful giving it just before the breeding period (eg some worm tablet are very dangerous during this period, the fertility is much lower, and the eggshell formation can be very disturbed, so you have much lesser babies than you should have.)

Dropping analysis
Let analyzing the droppings searching for parasites like coccidiosis, and worms are very important.
Also a bacteriological culture is very useful, especially for the battle against paratyphus.
Be careful for the attack of a slumbering paratyphus that especially during the breeding period could be very hard!! Look out if you have some babies that don’t grow like they should do, if you have some pigeons that become thinner, that aren’t able to fly anymore, that are limping,… All this could be signs of paratyphus!!!

Swab analysis
A special remark concerning the trichomoniasis is certainly necessary!!!
Tricho is a very important and dangerous disease during the breeding period. Many problems during this period are related to the presence of trichomoniasis in the pigeons. A good treatment against tricho is therefor a must because the youngsters could die from this disease. The parasite can cause canker in the stock birds, forming nodules with the help of fe injuries in the outline of the crop or the first compartment of the stomach. These nodules can cause severe problems with breathing, so you think the pigeon has respiratory problems, but this isn’t true.
When you see a pigeon that looks not so fine during the breeding season, think always on tricho!!!
Food that contains grains with large diameter or abrasive grains or grit can cause damage and then the formation of nodules due to tricho is very common.

A swab analysis is very useful to know the status of your flock concerning tricho, but remind always that the quantity of tricho always increases during the hatching off the eggs, and it remains high just till the youngsters are 10 days old.

When you did a routine analysis, you need the right treatments, and a vet specialized in pigeon medicine is the best advisor!!

The right treatment is very important, so you don’t have problems with the fertility, the eggshell forming, the youngsters,…
In order to prevent such problems make sure you have the right advice concerning the right medicine at the right time, and second, do those treatments 1 –1.5 month before starting pairing up!! Some medication can also be given when the pigeons are on their eggs and no chicks have hatched.

Watch out if you give treatments in the water when the pigeons have youngsters (fe if the youngsters have canker).
If the youngsters receive crop milk from their parents, the youngsters will receive almost no medication at all, because it is already digested by the parents.
When you have youngsters that receive grains already, they will receive the full quantity of the medication, but pay attention!!!
A youngster from 10 days old can eat 4 times more than an adult pigeon, and their weight is four times lesser, so they could get overdosed with the drug for 16 times!!!
Individual treatment is for this reason very recommended!!

General check-up
Take your pigeons in your hands, so you can check the general condition of the pigeon.
Watch the feathers, looking for lice, that can be a very great disturbance during breeding, which can give parents that are abandoning the nests, so the eggs will not hatch or when there are already babies they will die from the cold or due to a lack of feed. When you look the feathers, you can also see if the pigeons ended their moulting period. It is best that the last feather is renewed, so the pigeons can focus them on the breeding period.

Food & Supplements - Food

Be sure you give a good quality food to the pigeons, containing a lot of protein and energy, because this is what the youngsters need when they are growing!! Peas and beans, soya beans, cowpeas have a high level of protein, and your breeding mix should consist of at least 40 % of these grains.
Corn contains a high level of energy, but due to his form, it can make some damage in the throat, that can cause nodules from canker.
Good quality food means that the food is not very old, and not given ad lib, but every day fresh, because if the food is to old, it may contain many bacteria, and this will harm the development of the youngsters. Secondly, old food will loose much of its high level of proteins.
Check the smell of the food before giving it to the pigeons, and a thing worth knowing, normally will 90-100% of food the sprout after 48 – 98 hours when you have good quality food.

Some pigeon fancier have some problems with a couple of pigeons, or a whole flock for breeding properly. It is not always the pigeon that is ill, but now and then the fancier make some mistakes during the breeding period.
Some supplements are during the breeding period of very great importance, and are necessary to give, others can give some stimulation when the pigeons have some problems for mating, pairing and breeding

Grit

Grit is a source of the very important Calcium, that is necessary especially during this period of the year!!

First of all, the egg shell has to be formed in the body of the hen. The gland who does this need very much Calcium in order to have a well formed egg. When there is a lack of Calcium, the shell can be very rough or to soft, or sometimes there is no shell at all. It is not necessary to tell that there won’t be any babies if this occurs.

Second, for the expulsion of the egg, the hen needs muscle activity, and this process needs also Calcium.

Third, the hen and cock make crop milk to feed their babies, and this milk contains a lot of Calcium.

When there is a lack of Calcium, it is possible that the hen doesn’t lay her egg, or that the hen isn’t able to walk or fly any more.

Giving supplements of Calcium and vitamin D3 are very good in order to prevent a lack of Calcium.

Supplements & other natural remedies

Products that contains much Selenium, Vitamin E (eg wheatgerm oil),.. will stimulate the libido and fertility of the pigeon. You can give this as a cure of 1 week, followed by 2 – 3 days a week. Be careful not to overdose Selenium.

When pigeons are pairing and breeding there is a great demand for multimineral ,and trace elements. It is the best to give this ad lib.

In some cases of infertility an injection with products that stimulate the fertility in the hen and/or cock will be necessary.
Cocks that had the last year not filled all the eggs, but now and then some, will respond better than those who are the last years completely infertile.

Before doing this injections, try to pair those pigeons later in the year, because the natural stimulation of the increasing daylength and the increasing temperature are then also present.
Let problem pigeons mating in a box, separated from the others, so they have more time to mate, and they are more convenient without having to watch the more virile pigeons.

Conclusion:
Make sure the pigeons are healthy
Give them the appropriate food
Give them grit, vitamins and trace elements

In one of the following editions I will talk some more about the possible problems you can have with the youngsters from day 1 …

Don’t hesitate to contact me for further info:© Pascal Lanneau Veterinarian
Kerkstraat 21 8552 Moen Belgium
Phone: 0032 56 649143 Fax: 0032 56 774577
e-mail: pascallanneau@skynet.be


A small note concerning the analyzing of the droppings:

Examining droppings for parasites can be done on fresh droppings from one day.
Do you want also a bacterial culture, than it is better to take some droppings from as much as pigeons that are in that loft (with a max from 30-35, like I described in the paper concerning paratyphus) for 5 days!!

In this way you will have a very exact picture of the health state of your lofts.

Sending droppings is no problem at all. You receive the day of receipt the results of the parasitological examination and after 5 days the results of the bacteriologic cultures, eventually later also the antibiogram.

Be sure the droppings don’t become to dry, put them in a closed box or a plastic bag.


Pascal Lanneau Veterinarian:

Emai l- pascallanneau@skynet.be

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