And yet, you must have been surprised occasionally by the condition of some of these "Nature's Pigeons". Some of these cocks are literally glistening with their iridescent necks during a courtship when my own pampered birds with a full feed trough in front of them are sitting there on their perches like balls of feathers. It is in times like these that I know that mother nature needs to teach me much more. I now think that pigeons are healthier when feed is sufficient for their requirements but not in excess. Pigeons like these will always be looking for some more feed and come flying for their daily meal. Have a look at the guy in the feed pail.
I just read an article in a November edition of "Die Brieftaube" in which the author expresses his opinion that the birds did not get enough feed the night before when they come flying in the morning, and yet I think the opposite. I think that the birds were overfed if they are just sitting there when I come with the feed. They should be happy to see me and fly about the loft. Yet, even I get close to feeding them 50 grams per day during the very cold winter up here. Perhaps that is too much or is a sign of some deficiency of vitamin B12, for example.
I came across a web page of the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center at http://whyfiles.org/057aging/lo_cal2.html and read:
"What about their minds?
It's well documented that aging rats on caloric restriction can learn mazes faster than free-feeding rats."
I would suspect that the reason for this may be the developing atherosclerosis in the rats fed ad libitum and its delayed development in rats on a restricted diet. . "Feeding Secrets" are told by a veterinary clinic and are illustrated by a 14 year study on Labradors.
A very detailed study 1 shows that intestinal nutrient transport is greatly increased in animals on caloric restriction and suggests that their intestine has the potential to absorb nutrients at almost two-fold the rate than mice fed ad libitum.
Dr. George Roth of the the US National Institute on Aging points out that mice and rats live longer and healthier lives on a restricted diet as compared to those living on a diet ad libitum.Dr. Donald Ingrim studied monkeys and found that monkeys fed a resticted diet do learn mazes better into old age than the fully fed monkeys of the same species, suggesting that monkeys fed a restricted diet do not age as quickly as their brethren fed ad libitum.
Many studies involving feed restriction have thus been done in mice or rats and almost all of them conclude that feed restriction has many positive effects. In one of these studies, cardiac, renal, and central nervous system pathologies were significantly inhibited by dietary restriction (DR), as were bone degeneration, inflammation, hyperplasia, amyloid induction, and atrophy of secretory organs. 2
A study on fruit flies concluded that feed restriction in these insects has only negative effects and it must therefore be asked how relevant the studies
on feed restriction involving mice are to birds.
Another study with broilers showed mortality in the restricted-feed flocks was significantly lower than in the fully fed flocks aged from 3 to 7 wk. The economic performance with restriction feeding was better than that with full feeding as a result of improvements in viability and feed conversion rates. 4
It's understandable, therefore, that some fanciers would want to write "poison" on the feed tin because ad libitum and excess feed appears to cause various diseases and shorten the life span of mice, rats, dogs, monkeys, chickens and very likely pigeons too. Let us remember in this context that performance pigeons, be they the flying tipplers or our racing pigeons, will feel no desire to exercise if fed ad libitum. They obviously do not feel as well on excess feed as they could on a restricted diet.
Still, good pigeon fanciers often worry about their birds not getting enough feed and this can easily be checked by giving the birds a bath: do they all jump eagerly into the bathtub? If so, rest assured that they are getting enough. A bird who does not feel well will not take a bath. Another way of checking it is to pick up some birds from the floor at feeding time and feel their weight. If one can't pick up any of them, they are probably getting fed too much. If they are too light or are too much into eating droppings, they are not getting enough. Increase their ration or check to make sure that their ration is not deficient in some required nutrient, deficiency of vitamin B12 coming to mind. Constant attention is required in order to make certain that they do are neither over- nor under-fed.
Many fanciers feed performance birds such as racing pigeons on a limited to full cycle. The birds are fed sparingly in the beginning of the week and the amount of feed is gradually increased toward the end of the week culminating on shipping day when they get a full trough. The observant fancier will notice how more readily his birds take to their exercise flights as the week progresses and the feed increases. This effect would be much more difficult to attain with feed in front of them all of the time or by giving them an insufficient amount.
The following is a conversation picked up at the Alberta Classic Discussions:
Each bird gets always 30 gm feed per day. The fat mix consists of 66% peanuts and 34% hemp seed. (43% fat) The amount of fat mix offered depends on the expected distance of the race. Suppose that the next race will be from 520 km which can be flown in 520 minutes on a fast day. A bird requires 1 gm fat mix for every 10 minutes flying time which would be 52 gm. Subtract 12 gram for the fat in the regular mix which leaves 40 gm to be divided equally between Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Friday the birds will get approximately 13 gm fat mix, the exact quantity depending on the the expected severity of the race.
|Sunday January 4, 2004|
JACK BYERS EYESIGN GUY
MAGALI CA 95954, CA.
|YOU SURE HAVE A GOOD SITE|
|Sunday January 4, 2004|
Tifton, GA, USA
|Interesting reading. Could overfeeding be associated with increased losses in youngbirds as several of the reported studies indicated that animals on a restricted diet learned quicker than those on a non-restricted diet. Something to think about!|
|Monday January 31, 2005|
|Very difficult to strike the balance, underfeed them and they will go looking for food else where, fielding we used to call it in England. If they go looking for food they will be out of the loft longer and increase the chance of being food themselves (hawks), also if they go fielding they are not getting the exercise that you want them to get.|
|Monday October 31, 2005|
Malatya/ TÜRKİYE ( Turkey), Veterinary Surgeon
|Hello...I research Pigeons...Your Site is İnreresting for me...I will READ all artical...Who want to meet with me When could you call me on my hotmail messenger adress is email@example.com NİCE FLY ALL PİGEONS|
|Monday September 11, 2006|
Birmingham UK, ENGLAND
|great site learned a lot about racing pigeons http://www.freewebs.com/racingpigeonsbirmingham kirwan and son lofts|
|Wednesday July 23, 2008|
|your study are very complicated! idont leared much! what i know and it is base on my expirience, racing pigeon will eat what only they needed to have complite Vit. and minerals to thier body, and you must provide it for them.|
|Thursday January 29, 2009|
Makati City, Philippines
|Your site is great. Discussion on your sites were also great I learned a lot. Thanks and kip it up.|
|Thursday April 23, 2009|
sterling hts, michigan
|its a wonderfull site lot of usefull info|
|Tuesday August 18, 2009|
|Great info here. I had a question, what are pellets and what form of dextrose do you use?|
|Friday October 30, 2015|
|HI Very good information thank you very much.|
|Thursday March 9, 2017|
|HI Very good sit learn every thing. That soup give racing pigeons energy,stamina,and very good speed. Thank you|