Pigeon and man as befriended cavemen.

The national races are over.
The pigeons are ready to rest.
The lights may go out...

Back in time.

Pigeons used to live in caves and burrows thousands of years ago. They could usually be found there, together with humans, relatively safe from the elements - bad weather - and most large predators. They flew in protective swarms in the summer sun because, as cavemen, they were not afraid of the light.

The first people managed to survive in the available caves, defending themselves against unwanted intruders by making fire - invented a million years ago. So within these caves, an ecosystem of creatures arose that were less afraid of man's fire. It was insects and rodents that lived in the faeces and waste. Small reptiles, in turn, lived from the insects and rodents.

The stench in such a cave was unbearable by our standards. Hygiene was non-existent, and the smell of pigeon droppings, which dried quite quickly, was the least of their worries. There was also the stench of the remains of rotting meat on treated animal skins and their (much appreciated) own faeces and urine, which they used to strengthen and bleach because of the ammonia present in linseed (from wool). Often in (the wider) caves were also huge numbers (up to millions) of bats, whose guano manure was prized by giant cockroaches and other insects. They are currently identified as the possible breeding spots from which the SARS coronavirus is attacking us.

These scenes formed the background for the cosy (camp) fire, an important invention of man, who could warm himself in his vulnerable nakedness, make food eatable by roasting or smoking it, let the light shine in the darkness etc. With the coal and minerals from the ash residue, they made medicine against infectious intestinal diseases such as the precursors of typhoid and cholera. He could use the fire to protect his family and reproduce safely in the enchantment and atmosphere of the magical flames.

Even today, the crackling fire gives everyone a romantic, primal feeling. The resident pigeons benefited from this unique environment. The young were born blind, had only a thin downy coat and were utterly dependent on their parents and the protective environment of the cave.

Pigeon life consisted, as it still does today, of flying out and working hard to find food for the offspring in the full summer sun, but as soon as dusk set in and the food search stopped, darkness quickly set in. At the most, they could still perceive the sleep-inducing glow of the fire. So they were pretty much in the dark. They need sunlight to perform, get their hormones working, and produce the essential vitamin D necessary for reproduction and the development of muscles and bones. We know that over 300,000 years ago, pigeons and rock pigeons lived together in caves and holes with our ancestors, who domesticated them there.

Divine status.

This environment was also highly suitable for the formation of a colony. For humans, taming a flying creature was initially a fantastic spiritual experience. Through his relationship with the dove, the man got hold of a piece of heaven in an almost sacred way. The dove could fly high, close to the gods, and when it had nearly reached heaven and then returned to its home near man after a short time, it was given divine status (Horus).

Ancient Egyptian mythological image of the divine dove

It was soon noticed that a pair of pigeons could quickly produce ten offspring in a few months, starting from the first year of life. Initially, because of their divine status, they were not necessarily a source of food. At a later stage, they did: first, they consumed the eggs and then the meat. In more recent history, essential people built dovecotes because of their ability to convey messages. The mutual affection between man and pigeon probably originates from this ancient relationship.

The chicken is currently the most prominent representative of the domesticated birds, but it only became known in Western Europe 3,000 years after rock pigeons were domesticated in South-West Asia. There are hundreds of species of pigeons, and their cooing sounds, monogamous existence, and strange drinking method - sucking up water through the nostrils - make them unique among the bird family.

What lessons do we learn from this?

  • We sports enthusiasts have darkened and/or lightened to control the moult and the sports performance affected by it.
  • We disrupted the circadian rhythm (day/night clock).
  • We must assume that our current pigeons don't like all that. The fact is that every advantage has its disadvantage, and they can be disturbed by it. Think of the loss of condition or increased sensitivity to (viral) infections (of the head).
  • We may also assume that the domestic pigeon has certainly adapted somewhat to its cohabitation with humans in the last few centuries. But the primal behaviours continue to have their influence on the background.

It is this fundamental analysis combined with observation and reflection 
that provides us with the right insights. 
An innovative moult mix is currently on the agenda.

The COMED Moult Programme.

This bright moult mixture must maintain body temperature and replace feathered cloth, less for performance. The diet must therefore be particular. The available proteins intended for the coat must consequently be rich in sulphur. This sulphur must be biochemically anchored (as in Murium). Supplementing pure (yellow) sulphur (flour) is outdated and brutal for the intestines. The COMED moulting programme tries to correct all the possible imbalances.

was developed with this in mind. The late breeding programmes for the youngsters (which are not recommended) cannot run optimally without this product. We sit here with our foot on the throttle and the brake at the same time. Precisely in case of an excellent moulting season, on the one hand, the pigeons must not be overfed with condition stimulating ingredients. On the other hand, the pigeons have a great need for calories from an optimal source to cope with temperature fluctuations. The difficulty of the moulting period is to find a good balance here. Miobol helps to balance the moulting menu.

Temperature, amount of light and nutrition play a significant role in moulting, and they initiate profound and complex hormonal changes that we cannot alter. We can only optimise the food by adding the appropriate supplements (Winmix).

In the moulting schedule, Roni is a crucial addition because of the aim to achieve the right level of acidity in the intestine. In addition to germinal control, the acidity level contributes to the efficient absorption of minerals.

We find the Curol back in the schedule because oil and fat are crucial fuels during the moult. When there is less flying during the moult and the winter, the pigeon lays a small fat reserve in about 15 places over her abdomen, which is crucial as a buffer for the coming winter. It has nothing to do with obesity! In spring, these fats are sent to the muscles by the action of hormones (due to the rise in temperature and increasing light) to be used as "fly fat".

Finally, Stopmite, through its parasite control, is an indispensable aid in changing the plumage. The peaceful development of new feathers in the skin, together with a guaranteed (night) rest, is the least our pigeons are entitled to.

Order the COMED Moult Programme here.

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