Here’s What To Feed Racing Pigeons
Here is an amazing article written by the pigeon nutrition expert Dr. Rob Marshall.
He explains what to feed racing pigeons as well as the importance of having the proper mix for your pigeon feed if you want to do well in your races. There is a system that goes with feeding your pigeons, and if you follow it, you will see incredible results. Enjoy!
“By using the best quality grains and with a healthy race team, the fancier can now think about a racing mix appropriate for his particular family of birds and training methods. The mix chosen must provide a good balance of protein (amino acids) and for this to be achieved at least 8 different grains must be used. After this balance is achieved, the energy content of the mix becomes the most important part of successful feeding.
Racing Pigeon Feed
The feed system provides the race team with the correct energy levels for training and racing. The goal of feeding is to provide the training and racing pigeon with exactly enough (not too much and not too little) fuel (energy in the food) for sustained flight (loft exercise or racing). Of course, the fuel requirements of the training pigeon vary enormously from day to day. It is the constantly changing energy requirements of the competition pigeon that makes feeding such a challenge to even the best fanciers. The competition pigeon will not perform to its fitness level when the “energy balance” is incorrect. The “energy balance” must be assessed short term (daily) and long term (weekly) with fit flocks during the race season, because the fitness level will drop both when too much and too little energy is supplied. During young bird training special attention must be made to prevent depletion of the energy reserves in the liver and muscle.
Overfeeding relative to workload (positive energy balance) renders the race team less competitive because of excess baggage (“leady”). Excess energy is stored as fat with subsequent loss of buoyancy and fitness. It is well to remember that the excess energy of mixes which are too high in protein (legumes) relative to the work load will be stored as fat.
Underfeeding relative to workload (negative energy balance) renders the race team less competitive because of “de-powering”. Feed systems low in energy relative to the workload of the race team will result in the depletion of the energy reserves in the liver, fat and muscle.
The fancier can recognize a race team that is in a negative energy balance by the following signs:
No wing flapping in the early morning or after feeding.
Disinterest in leaving loft or toss basket, lower lid laziness etc.
The race team in negative energy balance (inadequate energy intake relative to the workload) is susceptible to illness, especially “respiratory” diseases.
(Adam’s input into article. “It’s important to understand these signs so that you can make the changes in the mix of your racing pigeon feed. Remember, you must learn what to feed racing pigeons if you want healthy, strong pigeons to win races.”)
Most fanciers understand the importance of buoyancy for success, but few understand the best way to achieve this in their race teams. Buoyancy is best achieved by supplying the flock with enough feed (a positive energy balance) to promote vigorous loft flying (or tossing) in order to maximize lean body mass (i.e. muscle) and minimize body fat. Instead many fanciers believe that the best path to buoyancy is to restrict caloric (energy) intake (feed less) in order to lose excess weight and thereby produce the buoyancy that we see with top form. However, buoyancy is not only weightlessness, but also power, and the buoyancy of fitness only comes when lean body mass is maximized. The restriction of calories in an effort to produce buoyancy in fact lowers the fitness level of the flock and renders it susceptible to illness. Severe caloric restriction will cause a loss of not only body fat but also lean body mass (muscle) with the accompanying loss of fitness and power.”
Read More http://www.pigeonracingpigeon.com/whats-new/pigeonfeeding-feeding-to-win/