Health
The prices for the coming year are made during the moulting period. I have been proclaiming that fact for years. I regularly hear that after the flights fanciers distance themselves from the pigeons for a while and more or less leave them to their own devices. I think that is a shame, because a good moulting does indeed lay the foundation for the performances in the coming year.

         

That should be open doors for every fancier. I heard a similar comment when I gave a lecture in the north of our country last year.
The chairman of the association had not only taken a "break" after the flights, he also had the habit of feeding the breeding pigeons the food that was left with the racing pigeons during the breeding season, under the guise that they did not need that much.

It took me a lot of effort to convince the man that he was really doing the wrong thing. Not only with regard to the moulting period, but also with regard to the breeding period. After all, it is important that the young do not lack anything during the period from hatching until the moment they are deposited. I myself give our own pigeons regular Bony Breeding oil, which I dry with Bony Bio BMTBasic Essence and Breeding Support. In drinking I can then give Bony SGR, Bony Usneanoplus or Bony Basis T more often.This covers any shortage during rearing and leads to youngsters that emerge as pictures.

                                        

From the coupling I give the pigeons Wheat Germ Oil alternating with Breeding Oil. Breeding oil is important in the period before laying. In this way the eggs receive an optimal amount of Omega 3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA. This supports brain development.

                                         

Studies in dogs in England have shown that the puppies, who were given this oil during pregnancy and then extra at 6 weeks of age, were not only smarter but also had built up to 1000x more cross-connections between the brain cells. I always compare it to the processor of a computer. A pigeon must not only be well developed physically, but it must also have a good head. Anyway I swear by our approach to rearing. We are very satisfied with it. A good basis is half the battle.
 
 

A good basis is half the battle.
During the moulting period we do a lot of health checks on enthusiasts who want to leave nothing to chance. I have already indicated in previous newsletters that we have left behind us the wretched path of preventive antibiotic treatments in the fall. Not only from scientific research, but also from my own experience I can report that we regularly see fanciers who, a few weeks after a cure with some kind of antibiotic, sometimes a cure of three weeks, suddenly they have pigeons with thick lumps on the wings.

Clearly a consequence of paratyphoid infection. They cannot understand this then. After all, they have just given a three-week cure! Yet it is easy to explain. In a healthy pigeon, paratyphoid bacteria can certainly be present in the intestine, which are hiding there. They don't even have to cause problems as long as the stress and other resistance-lowering factors don't get too great.

                                   

Typical of this is a fancier who produced the first pigeon from Barcelona here in the province and tested positive for paratyphoid two days later. The effort had been too much and the stress of the effort resulted in a clinical breakthrough. His loft turned out to be infected when there were no complaints at all pointing in the direction of paratyphoid. Paratyphoid is much more common than we think. During the moulting period, there is a phase of resistance reduction. Manure collected for 5 days can then be cultured to see if there are excreters. If the infection is diagnosed, but there are no complaints, we recommend the natural agent PreviSal, which helps to make it so difficult for Coli and Salmonella bacteria.


                                       

On the one hand by inhibiting their development, but also by supporting the good intestinal bacteria in their development and the mutual competition between salmonella and other bacteria increases. We see very good results with this. It often solves problems that do not seem to be solved with antibiotics. In such cases, we recommend vaccinating against paratyphoid. We ourselves recommend Zoosal t.
 
During the autumn check-ups I spoke more often about the Young Pigeon Disease that had led to death in the pigeon season in people who had only vaccinated their young pigeons against the paramyxovirus. The people who had taken the trouble to vaccinate against both the Rotavirus and the Paramyxovirus in combination, unanimously had no deaths and had hardly any complaints.

Last year we advised the fanciers to vaccinate the pigeons twice, but this year we have been able to establish that the pigeons are also vaccinated once against this nasty disease during the racing season.
We ourselves vaccinate our young early on against Rota and Paramyxo with Colombi RP. However, we also vaccinate the pigeons with PHA (Paramyxo, Herpes and Adeno). We ourselves vaccinate the pigeons twice with both vaccines and are satisfied with this.
 
I would like to draw your attention to one point. Fanciers who suffered from the Rotavirus in their youngsters, with or without deaths, often remarked that the old pigeons and certainly the yearlings also lost shape and fell sharply in performance while they had previously achieved top performances. It was a mystery to many. But I also had the opposite during the season.

Fanciers who visited our clinic because of strongly declining performances while the youngsters were top fit. When asking further questions, it often turned out that there were problems with the youngsters in the association or the immediate environment. They themselves would often have their pigeons vaccinated against the Rotavirus once or twice. Now the Rotavirus is a virus that can spread easily. Fanciers who vaccinate their youngsters with rotaparamyxo only once can then run into reduced graft protection with their yearlings the following year.

The pigeons are still so well protected that they do not become clinically ill, but insufficiently protected to be able to retain their shape. I say so, pigeons have a barrel of energy that they can only use once. If everything is in order, everything can be put in the mold. With subclinical infections the pigeons need some of that energy to ensure that they do not get sick. The result in that is, that the pigeons still look healthy clinically, but in practice they can start to show worse flight performances as long as the fight against the virus continues behind the scenes.

You can support these pigeons in their fight with extra vitamins and Sambuccaplus. But prevention is still better than to cure. Certainly if the youngsters are only vaccinated once against Rotaparamyxo, I advise to vaccinate the pigeons as yearlings again preventively. This can also be done with the older pigeons. In general, however, we see that older pigeons are hardly bothered by this. Or it must be that they have to share the loft with the yearlings, who have to fight against this subclinical infection. In that case the condition of the older pigeons can also show a kink.

In principle, the pigeon sport has become top sport and that we can leave nothing to chance. Hence my advice to give the old pigeons a booster vaccination, at least the yearlings, to exclude everything.
Finally, a comment about a study that an old colleague mentioned in one of his columns. The Circovirus can cause a weakening of the immune system in young pigeons, because the virus focuses on this. It attacks the immune system. The aforementioned research showed that the Circovirus can indeed reduce resistance. In that sense, this is an important study, because here and there a colleague is still walking around who is not convinced of the harmful properties of this virus. That is understandable, after all, healthy pigeons can carry this virus. The problems only arise when the virus pressure becomes too great, because the number of virus particles becomes too high. This is another valid argument to support the resistance of the pigeons where we can to limit the undermining effect of pathogens as much as possible.
Prevention is better than to cure.

 
Regards, Peter Boskamp