Old Bird Preparation

It’s April, it’s supposed to be spring, the winter we did’nt have is here now. Last week Thursday Norfolk Tractor picked up my riding mower for servicing. Snowed the next day! How the heck am I going to blow out my driveway, the mowers not here. Ha,Ha. Might as well laugh, after all you can’t fight mother nature.

The old birds have been out for a fly several times now, I made sure most of their winter fat was gone before I let them out for the first time. No point letting them out if all they are going to do is sit on the roof. Slim, sleek and full of vigor, in one word, condition, before they go out in the spring. Both the cocks and hens were fed  approximately a tbsp of Beyers Recup in the morning and a heaping tbsp of Beyers Vandenabele mix in the evening, for the past two weeks. These are easily digestible mixes, the Recup has no peas and the Vandenabele mix has only 20% mung beans. A few days on this regime and you’ll see the droppings tighten up and the down feathers begin to drop like snow.

The cocks are fed more than the hens, I watch the cocks and if they are looking for more they get it. Not the hens, you have to be strict with them. Hens are easy keepers, they maintain their condition on noticeable less feed than the cocks. This efficient system allows you to race the hens week after week. The cocks not so much, they need a weekend off at least once through the race schedule. I maintain they tire both physically and mentally more quickly than the hens.

The entire race team 19 cocks and 19 hens were given a booster shot with Nusal KM1 against Salmonella today. This should have been done last week, that is one month before the start of the race season. I’m a bit late. A booster now, gives protection for the race season and pumps up their entire immune system, hopefully mitigating any maladies they may encounter in the race baskets. Don’t like using antibiotics, but do when necessary. Anitbiotics are form killers, wihout form you won’t  win consistently, don’t use them like candy.

The 42 first and second round youngsters were all vaccinated for PMV for the second time. This will ensure full protection till their racing season is done. I will also vaccinate them for Salmonella in a couple of weeks. I’d much sooner vaccinate than cure. A strong immune system will definitely stand them in good stead.

Tomorrow the training baskets are scheduled for a thorough cleaning and disinfection with Virkon. I’m a competitive and fussy person, I hate leaving stones unturned. Want all these chores done before training. Only another week or so and we will be taking birds up the road again and then off to the races. Can hardly wait.