The beginning of a new year sees us set up with 4 old birds that have successfully flown Palamos and these will form the basis of the team that we will send this year to the Barcelona International. Fortunately The British Barcelona Club has decided to compete in that race in 2012 which will make our entry that much easier. Together with those four are three that flew Tarbes quite well with the LSECC in 2011 so we will have Team of 7 for Barcelona. The first pigeon from Tarbes last year was GB08R45987 and if you look at his pedigree I think you may agree that he does not seem an ideal candidate for Barcelona. In an ideal world I would have liked to have sent him to the Pau International but I am not prepared to go over to Belgium with just to enter one pigeon so he will go again to Tarbes with the LSECC. We do have a few other potential candidates for that race this year first GB09J31661 who was injured last year. He seems to have recovered well and so we will have to keep an eye on him in the first training tosses and if he seems fit then see him through the training races. We also have three pigeons that successfully flew a couple of races as yearlings so they will get tested out this year. As for yearlings we have 23, I believe 16 cocks and 7 hens, who will all go to the training races to test them out. So we have a good year to look forward to.
All the racers were separated on 21/22nd January and are now flying out once a day and being fed on a basic maintenance diet. They will be re-paired for the first time early in February and allowed to sit for 10 days before being separated again.
Monday 6th February
The racers were paired today by allowing them to fly out with the hens and return to feed and re-acquaint themselves. They will stay together until the first to lay have sat 10 days. Other than that they will continue to fly out once a day and feed on the normal maintenance diet of 4x beans, 4x wheat, 4x barley and 2x maize by volume. I hope to start making the new nest boxes for the stock next week and I will show that progress on here as I shall be using my own design for the boxes. At the moment we have temperatures often down as low as -4 at night which means the automatic watering has frozen up so I have had to go back to bottle for as long as this lasts. The automatic system is really quite good and functions down to about -2.
Friday 2nd March 2012
Today I separated the racers. Due to the cold spell I guess they took quite a time to lay and have only just sat 10 days since the first egg. They are all flying out once a day at the moment and are feeding on the standard ration. They seem fit and well and while I want to keep them fit and healthy it is a long way off yet so they just take the exercise they want.
Tuesday 27th March 2012
Both cocks and hens flew out both am and pm today and will continue now with two flights a day.
Thursday 29th March 2012
Paired racers by letting them fly out together and then just return together.
Thursday 5th April 2012
Should have gone for first toss today but the weather was poor and so thought better of it.
Thursday 12th April 2012
Well at last the first toss today. Last week the forecast was bad so I gave up the idea but as it turned out it would have been fine. Today the forecast was not great, an April day with showers around, but they had to go. Just after joining the M11, which for those not familiar with this area is the motorway that heads North to Cambridge from the M25 which is the motorway that runs round the outside of London, I ran into an incredible hail storm. Within seconds there was an inch of hail/snow on the road surface and quite a pile up of vehicles on the opposite carriageway. We got through OK and as we went there was a mixture of beautiful sunshine and heavy cloud and showers. I let them go at 1230 and the first 24 timed in between 13:59:12 and 14 00 48 there was a ten minute gap to the next and by 14:19:52 33 had timed while the last came in at 15:06:54. That was all 34 that went home and safe the 35th member of the team, GB11T24301, had been lost off the loft a few days ago. So we have 34 candidates so far with one more toss to come next week followed by separation that day and the first training race from Carentan the week after.
Meanwhile the stock nestboxes are at last nearing completion. What I have done, because of the restrictions on space, is to make a number of shelves which are one foot deep and each box 3 to 4 feet wide. This will allow me to put two nestbowls in each box and hopefully keep each pair to their own box. Instead of boarding the boxes in I have used the green wind and rain resistant netting used by gardeners which I hope will provide ventilation together with the necessary confinement. The set of eight boxes are done and I hope to finish of the set of four in the next couple of days. The I will pair the stock up and breed some youngsters for the Kingsmead Technology College.
The set of 8 that are done.
A closer look at one.
The set of 4 that need a little more work.
Saturday 14th April 2012
Incidentally you will be able to follow TEAM RML arrivals from the BBC Races HERE. Those shown at the moment are only for testing but I will try to post the TEAM RML arrivals even if no one else does.
Wednesday 18th April 2012
In view of the weather forecast, which really is constant heavy showers for the next several days, the chance of any further training tosses seem unlikely. I have therefore paired up the stock today, thus relieving the hens section, and separated the racers. They are now flying out twice a day starting at 30 mins and working up to an hour in a few days.