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Breeding Season Care

A successful race or show season begins with healthy, strong youngsters so the proper care of your breeders is essential. We highly recommend that you follow the guidelines below as it greatly reduces the chances for your breeders to develop any health problems.

Medication Program Prior to Breeding Season

2 to 3 weeks before mating birds, turn the lights on in your breeding loft for 18 hours a day, every day. Continue to leave the lights on for 18 hours a day for the entire breeding season. The birds will mate easier as: 1) the birds think it is spring (more hours of light per day, and 2) the birds build up more hormones, and 3) the birds lose weight.

The breeding season is very stressful on the birds so it is important to run them through a preventative medication program. This helps to ensure that the breeders do not develop medical problems, have a high hatchability rate and produce strong youngsters. Start this program about 5 - 6 weeks prior to pairing the birds together. It should include:

* Vaccinating the breeders for paratyphoid and paramyxovirus.

* Treat breeders with Enroxil to clear up and infections in the reproductive tracts.

* Treat for canker with Ridzol-S

* Treat for E-coli (Enroxil will treat this)

* Treat for coddiciosis with Miracle Life

* Worm the birds. We usually only treat them once a year for worms - at this time.

A general rule for any new fancier. A good rule of thumb is to always have on hand a medication that will treat the major illnesses that are common to pigeons: canker, coccidiosis, e-coli. If you have racing homers, a respiratory product is also needed as a treatment during the race season every week.

Throughout the breeding season we give the breeders:

* Vitamins in the water about 3 days a week, rotating between Vita Preen and Vita Pro Combo.

* Make sure the breeders have plenty of fresh grit before them every day. We sprinkle Calci Mineral and Vita King Multi Mineral in the grit. We also recommend using the Jovati Mineral Grit several days a week.

* We place small ceramic gallipots in the loft containing Saline Powder and Red Racing Minerals.

* Picolyt is another good product to use during breeding season.

Weaning Babies

We wean our babies when the feathers underneath their wings being to open up - about 28 days old. When they are moved to their own loft we dunk their heads in the drinker so they know where water is and we feed them safflower for 5 days, then Canadian peas for 4 days. Then we feed them a regular condition mix. We feed the larger grains first so the youngsters learn how to eat large seeds, not just picking at the smaller grains in a mix.