The Better Practices In Maintaing Better Health
When I was racing the birds back in Ireland, there wouldn't be a week go by that you wouldn't hear that a fellow member wasn't racing or training because his birds were not looking right, and down with some form of sickness.
I have seen fanciers destroy literally sections of pigeons, after spending hundreds in medications and veterinary advice, and then opted to destroy their entire race team and missing out on a full season to start a new the following year.
When something like this happens, just look at the thoughts that cloud our minds.
There is nothing worse than to start ones season out with a sickness and as you already know we blame the world for our own lack of knowledge when the true answers to many things are staring us in the face.
I am writing this because I want to share with you a few things that I personally have experienced and will help improve on your bird’s health.
A lot of the lofts in Ireland and the UK are solid built structures, solid flooring, built off the ground but never less they still are wooden floors, dry or wet are simply a haven for sickness, a lot of the lofts are also enclosed because of the amount of rain and built to accommodate the yearly climate. Now the strange thing about this is that when building a loft we don’t really give it much thought as to how other countries tackle the weather problems when building lofts because we all think our own climate is harsh and trying to come up with ideas to combat that.
Well guess what? I am living in the USA 12 years now, 9 years in California for the last 3 years in north Texas where we reach extreme heat waves of 112 °F = °C 44.44, many of you may have experienced this kind of heat, but for those of you that haven’t to give you an idea, I also breed and show Staffordshire bull terriers and imported a few top dogs from Northern Ireland, when I took the dogs out of their crates in the airport because of the long flight, I noticed the dogs with were whimpering and limping, at first I didn't’t know what to make of it but soon figured out that the dogs feet were burning and couldn't’t stand the heat, I also lost one dog from heat stroke, so getting back to the pigeons, when I let my birds out for a quick fly in the morning, they land and run in to get off the board and to tank the water.
The other side to this is I am living in an area called tornado alley, where for a few months of the year we have thunderstorms and cloud to ground lightening like I have never seen the likes in my 35 years in Ireland, we have winds 70-80 mph carrying hale the size of golf balls, in Ireland the hale was less than a pea, we also have tornados come right through and flatten everything in its path, even the small ones running on the ground at 45mph caused major destruction, I personally have experienced two bad ones that came within 3 miles of my home and was enough to grab my family load them into the car and drive like the dickens, enough to put me under the table, we also flash flooding and up to 6 inches with every rain storm, we also have extreme colder weather in the winter, with temperatures dropping bellow 0.
My point in all of
this is that, the Irish weather doesn't seem so harsh when you compare
the two, so getting back to the loft, I built a loft the way many of the
USA fanciers do, I have to tell you, I have never experienced any sort
of sickness in my birds in California or Texas and with humidity levels
high enough to grow bacteria over night and still no sickness and even
bringing in birds from various lofts…still I never had one instance
of sickness in the birds where I had to take out the bottle of medication
The wire flooring
is an absolute must as far as I’m concerned because I haven’t
had a sick birds in years which is really hard to digest but it’s
the absolute truth, a wire flooring with a driven belt or you can use
a draw type system that you pull out in front on wheels. allot of the
fanciers back home tend to go for a smaller wire flooring because they
are trying to keep out mice and rats, the problem with the smaller wire
or grids is that they also needs to be scraped and if they need to be
scraped then not much point in having a wire floor, keep your old wooden
one, your wire floor needs to just big enough for your birds to walk on
without feet falling through, there will be no mice or rats if there is
no food hanging around or no dark hiding places for them to breed.
I have family members Ireland and the UK that have spent thousands on custom designed lofts your typical widowhood loft with ventilated fronts and pots on top with custom ceilings for every section, every year they are battling with some form of sickness. We all care for our birds the best we can and there's nothing like watching your birds of a sunday morning, cocks clapping through the front driving his hen or a team of young birds on the lawn grouped together in a bath, but there's nothing worse than to see birds going light and falling around the place with loose droppings which I'm sure all have experienced at some point, some more than others.
For me a dry loft with lots of natural light, an abundance of fresh air with the correct type of wire flooring is the key ingredient in maintaining excellent health, it has done it for me for many years in the USA in all sorts of weather conditions and not a sick bird to treat.
Keeping them healthy!
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