The rising popularity of one-loft races.
Modern pigeon racing.
We cannot look past the current rising popularity of participating in one-loft races. This modern variant of the classic pigeon sport does require its approach. Understandably, the modern man wants to enjoy the many previously non-existent pleasures of everyday life combined with the passion for pigeon sport.
From a relational or family point of view, the clinging to "le moment suprême" of the week, meaning the homecoming of the (sometimes postponed) race, is felt like a restriction of freedom, and many fanciers try to find a practical solution for this. The associations of fanciers to larger lofts with task sharing and a structure that allowed for scaling up was the first evolution towards this goal. This one-loft formula enables the fancier to breed good pigeons and outsource the competition. He can follow the results online via the computer.
Pigeon racing was thus provided with an extra income source, in analogy to horse racing. This way, even a layperson can easily invest in pigeons and immediately compete for a larger audience. This discipline, however, is at odds with all the advice that is available in the old pigeon sports writings: stable colony, not mixing too abruptly with foreign pigeons, regularity, order, steadiness, especially no stress, structure (quarantine for newcomers) etc. in short everything to prevent disease. Some fanciers deliberately create pressure during the pairing process to select within an organised chaos. They are convinced that this also has its advantages (stress-free pigeons).
In a classic loft, the micro-organisms in and around the pigeons create a balanced ecosystem built up calmly and gradually. Each new entrant, surrounded by its ecosystem, can disturb this balance. In the case of one-loft race, there is no choice, and all the frames of reference concerning the traditional care of the pigeon are called into question and this, of course, also implies a kind of selection. Which pigeon is best able to adapt to chaos, stress, no exclusive or personal relationship with the caretaker (who often determines the success of the readjustment)?
To what extent does a one-loft race, more than the traditional race, have a lottery content determined by several hurdles. The colony's behaviour will undoubtedly influence where a pigeon will or will not react, individually or in a group. Here is a possibility for the organisers to determine through observation if there is a critical number of pigeons in a loft above which they start to behave differently, e.g. do not like to return home anymore. The observation of the fancier concerning over-weaning is an important fact, especially when the pigeons are collected more and more at a later age, say 6-7 weeks (in WPC, we prefer to keep it at max five weeks).
Here, vaccination timing plays a crucial role (apparently, the Herpes virus is a significant concern). Vaccinating too early, when the pigeons have not yet replaced the immune system from the mother's blood with one they have built up themselves, can lead to insufficient protection. In the case of over-indulgence at a later age, the organisation of the one-loft race plays an important role. All this is fascinating but highly complex, and there is still a lot to study and analyse in this area. To this end, the organisers of these races could collect valuable monitoring data in cooperation with university research centres.
More and more fanciers are now specialising in one-loft races and can perform strongly with a certain regularity. Achieving this requires a selection that considers the pigeon's ability to adapt to these exceptional circumstances, such as stress control, dealing with infections through a robust immune system, etc.
The selection of the capacities of the participating pigeon is usually made quite efficiently (70 to 80% success ) based on the record of the parents, combined with the evaluation of the young pigeon in hand. In this situation, the fancier can only decide on the selection in a limited time frame (up to 7-8 weeks). The mentioned arguments and characteristics are also the points of interest in the COMED breeding programme.
Miobol is the focus.
We developed Miobol to maximise the physical development of the muscular system, especially in the first two months of life. Weaning (and the start of a new round) occurs at least one week earlier when using Miobol and indicates a fast development of mental and physical maturity, which is of absolute and primary importance in this game formula. It is also an excellent tool for support during the one-loft-race environment.
We must mention that when using the maximum dose (2 tablespoons per kilo), the manure can stick a bit more. This has nothing to do with a disease but is a consequence of the excretion of the powerful digested components.