Racing season, old birds:
- Short distance, races up to 300 km, I ad an extra 10 to 20% barley. You can also ad 10 to 15% barley and 5% paddy.
The pigeons must clean the trays before they get new food.
- Middle distance / one day long distance, races from 300 up to 700 km. In this period I switch to 100% ‘all in one’ mixture. Per day I do refresh the food 2 times. So before they’ve eaten all, new food is supplied to the birds. The food that remains, goes to the partners or the summer youngsters.
Racing season, youngsters:
- Up to 300 km, see short distance old birds. The youngsters I rather feed a bit less then the old birds, otherwise they won’t listen to you.
- Above 300 km, ‘all in one’ mixture without barley.
When old birds as well as youngsters return from a training, they must find a small supply of the mixture: peanuts (60%) - cheese (30%) - sheep fat (10%) in the loft.
I prepare this mixture in the food processor, they get about 2 to 4 grams per pigeon per day. Practically this is about 1 teaspoon per pigeon per day. The sheep fat I use, must be stored in the freezer, because this kind of sheep fat is not treated with anti-oxidants.
After a while the pigeons know what to expect and that motivates them to come in extra quick. This partly ensures the daily schedule to go as planned. I do not give extra peanuts. The ‘all in one’ mixture and the mentioned mixture of cheese/peanuts/sheep fat is sufficient.
When the pigeons are basketed for a 1 night basket race, I take away the food on the day of basketing around 10 a.m. When they spend more nights in the basket, they also have disposal over the food on the basketing-day.
- 80% ‘all in one’, 10% barley, 10% paddy. Look at the weight of the pigeons and make sure they don’t get to fat.
- The moulting period is almost finished. The food now consists of: 50% ‘all in one’, 25% barley and 25% paddy. In this period I also mix carrots through the food. Cut into small slices or mixed by the food processor; it’s all possible. Pigeons don’t like to eat carrots. I often give my pigeons half carrots and half winter mixture. First when all carrots are eaten, I supply new food.
- When the youngsters come out of the eggs, I only give ‘all in one’ (100%). When I pair and when they sit on eggs, I give the short distance mixture. Once every three days the breeders get the cheese/peanuts/sheep fat in the already mentioned quantity.
Feeding partners, during the racing season:
- The widow hens or cocks that stay home to wait for their partner, I keep at a good weight giving a mixture of 50% ‘all in one’ and 50% barley.
Vitamins; opinions about them vary a lot. Once a week is not bad at all. I advise to supply it over the food, so none of its strength gets lost.