Da Loft With Alli "P" - RP Scribe
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my first young birds arrived today, twelve in
total. When I got home from work it was a case
of straight to the shed. Dawn, my better half
had taken care of them since Amtrak had delivered
them. She put them in the shed with a hopper full
of maples and a drinker with the lid off. When
I looked the birds over I was quite pleased but
a little concerned as they are a bit bigger than
I would have liked, with seven of them on the
top perches already.
first though was, I'll loose these as soon as
I let them out. My lad, Tommy was itching to get
into the shed with me, so I invited him in. I
got a barrage of questions from him. Every question
I answered is them followed with, why Dad?
Isn't it funny how kids have so much fun with
cardboard boxes? I had to laugh when Tommy said
that it was nice of the man who sent the pigeons
to have sent him (Tommy) a cardboard box as well.
How did he know I liked them Dad?
Tommy and I spent about an hour in the shed just
sitting amongst the young birds. Then I removed
all the maples and shut the shed up.
I like to blow a whistle when feeding my youngsters,
I think this is the easiest way to control babies.
I know some fanciers rattle tins of corn, or whistle
tunes or even make clicking noises, but I think
a whistle is the best.
The main reason being, sub cautiously you can
sometimes make these sounds when you are not going
to feed the young birds. They then hear this while
sitting in the loft, get all worked up and then
no reward, this can then lead to bad trapping.
But if you use a whistle and only blow this while
feeding, they soon get very used to it and respond
For instance I have now had my young birds for
4 days and I am now at a stage that when I stand
in the garden and use my whistle, the young birds
are on the floor in the shed waiting for corn.
I must say at this point that they are not starved
but have just associated this noise with food.
Its an unusual noise, not something they will
normally hear until feeding time.
I am now confident about the way the bird's respond
that I have opened the shed door (a very anxious
time). I have no other pigeons at all apart from
these twelve. They are very calm, just walking
around the lawn, flapping up onto the roof and
dive-bombing like young birds do. I left them
out for forty-five minutes, then a couple of pips
on the whistle and they were in, fed, watered
and shut the shed up.
is very simple, maples only. I will not change
my feeding until I have all my young birds, (forty
in total). Then I will start giving a young bird
mix with a depurative for breakfast.
timber arrived today to start making my racing
shed. My mate, Mark is coming down to help later.
Although Mark is a non-fancier he has spent many
a night listening to me talking birds at the Wood
Green Club bar. But he has never made the journey
to Blackpool, not like the rest of my mates, all
non-fanciers, but they all look forward to January
young bird shed I intend to build will be 16'
x 8', 2 sections, with a 2'.6" corridor,
an offset tiled roof and I will be installing
a ventilation system into it, that I think will
be good for the loft. It will also cut down the
amount of dust. I've given a lot of thought to
the loft, as I read an article not so long ago
on pigeon lung. I'm convinced the high increase
in confirmed cases are due to the way we close
our sheds in and don't give enough thought to
The problem can be overcome; you just have to
change things. I will be fitting extractor fans,
one in each section. These will be in the ceiling,
roughly in the centre and will be connected to
a 4" duct up through the tiles. It will also
have a branch in the roof space that will remove
the air from here as well.
The whole lot will be connected via a 24 hour
mechanical clock and a thermostat. I intend to
change the air in the loft every hour. The fan
will be on for fifteen minutes on and off for
one hour and on again for fifteen minutes and
so on. But, the thermostat will override this
and the fan will run continuously if the temperature
in loft rises too high. A lot of hassle some might
think but this is as much for me as it is for
on my shed is now well under way. As I said, it
is 16' x 8', made of ¾ ply, with the front
made of 1" Shiplap. After sitting down many
evenings, drawing it out, a cutting list was made.
This made easy work of building it and it all
screwed together perfectly. All I have to do is
finish the inside and tile the roof. This shed
is for my young birds. I intend to build another
shed for my widowhood birds, (if I end up with
any) after the racing season. The only difference
between the sheds will be the front trapping,
and I will put more clear panels in the roof.
I have just bought two baskets and they arrived
today. With the cost of these and all the timber
etc it can be very expensive to get started in
this sport. Its no wonder not many people find
it an appealing hobby, with the added fact of
feeding, cleaning daily and very little or no
reward (profit wise) can you blame them? For instance,
why would a young person give up a lot of free
time to be in a shed full of pigeons, come rain
or shine? Get ribbed by his or her friends as
being a cloth cap, with no reward other than a
mention in one of our weekly publications.
But, if that same person was to win something,
something to make the other kids interested, you
may just find some of them want to start helping
or getting involved. As I said in my previous
article, I have a few ideas to get people involved.
My first idea is; in a couple of weeks the London
North Road Federation are having their second
breeder, buyer sale. I intend to buy a young bird,
I am then going to donate this to my son Tommy's
school. The bird will be mine, but, if luck prevails
and wins anything I intend to give the school
50% of the winnings. This I hope will create an
interest. The kids can come and watch the birds
returning from a race and may even bring their
Who knows, a nice warm day, a few beers and I
might even convince a few parents it a worthwhile
hobby. It's a long shot I know, but nothing ventured
is nothing gained.
going up to Nottinghamshire on Sunday to collect
twenty young birds from Albert Taylor. I've never
met this man and I was introduced to him by Tom
McCaldrick. I rang Tom asking if he had any birds
for sale, but I was told he packed up a few years
ago due to illness. After a long chat with Tom
he put me in touch with Albert. After chatting
on the phone, rings were sent and a date was set
when I could go up. I must say both Tom and Albert
have been most helpful and I am very grateful.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Until
by Allan Parkhurst ...