At this time of year in the pigeon racing sport, my attention turns to old birds, especially to their healthcare and to their desire for racing.
Coccidiosis and canker germs are huge health threats that our birds are most likely to pick up from shipping baskets or from drinking infected water out on the race course. Thoughtful fanciers take care of this exposure before it can turn into a problem. It’s a great idea to give every pigeon a canker antibiotic about 3 to 4 hours after coming home from the race, and then follow up the next day.
Racing pigeons require a time released dose of vitamin B, amino acids and carnitine into their systems so that these supplements are there in the muscles during the race. This is one of the best ways to avoid stress in race pigeons. My best suggestion is to give them Carmine liquid (Versele-Laga) (carnitine) for a minimum of five to 7 days prior to shipping them to a long race. On basketting night, give one Carni-Tab tablet (Colombine) and a Supra Pill (Colombine) to every bird.
I recommend using Turbosole to control canker in your loft and advise you not to overlook your old bird race team regarding the threat of canker. This is a very important step for responsible fanciers to take. Turbosole is an outstanding product, and I think its the best choice for canker in pigeons. I am certain that it can be safely used during racing, breeding, or moulting.
I use an eye loupe to check for acute respiratory infections. How do I do this? I check the rim of the eye and look for bubbles of air in an overly moist eye. If the eye looks to be watery and has numerous air bubbles in the liquid around the rim of the eye, then that bird most likely has to be medicated with a good respiratory treatment for at least 7. Doxyvet and Doxy-T, from the Australian Pigeon Company, are very effective antibiotics. Always remember to take out the grit and mineral supplements from the loft whenever you are medicating the birds with respiratory antibiotics.
I am happy to tell you a product that I get fantastic results from for my breeding pigeons and youngsters: Calcium/Vitamin D3 Syrup from the Australian Pigeon Company. It works particularly well when administered along with Pigeon Power. It’s a fantastic boost to the overall strength of both the parents and the young. I mix this calcium supplement and Pigeon Power into water at the same time according to directions and give it to my breeders and to the babies they are raising. This is a great thing to do for your racing pigeons.