The Racing Pigeon Enthusiast
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About this newsletter   by John Vance, editor

Welcome to the tenth issue of the Racing Pigeon Enthusiast, This newsletter is sponsored by and it is hoped that many more issues will follow.

In this newsletter, you will find interesting information about: how the pigeon eye helps cool and oxygenate during flight, observations about the validity of data collected in the famous study on racing pigeons called the Ghent Study, a new idea for one loft race series that might improve participation (when you read this article be sure to scoll to the bottom and click on the link to supporting data), further writings on the state of old bird and youngbird racing, a listing of record birds for sale and feedback on our products.

If you have articles that you would like published in the newsletter please feel free to e-mail them to me. This newsletter goes out to about 700+ subscribers. The number of subscribers changes with every issue as some new subscribers sign up and others are dropped because they have changed their e-mail address and have not updated their information in our database.

Interesting information about Racing Pigeon Respiration  

I have been reading summaries of interesting work done a few years ago on pigeons and thought I would further summarize those works for the subscribers of this newsletter.

First of all, for you eye sign enthusiast one study points out that birds (and most animals) control a percentage of their heat transfer through their eyes. Think of the eye in this instance as a radiator like what you would find in your automobile. As water flows through the radiator, cooling is accomplished and engine temperature is controlled. In the same way, blood travelling through the eye is cooled. In the Case of our birds, the venous structure of the eye acts just like the coils in an automobile radiator. The more looped the veins are in the eye, the more cooling surface there is for heat exchange.

Beyond all the rings that are expressed as important in an eye from the standpoint of eye sign enthusiasts, possibly as important is the heat exchange capacity of the eye. I should also point out that this same structure of veins that allows for heat exchange also allows for an exchange of O2 and CO2 between air and blood which increases the brain's ability to function properly during very taxing flight conditions.

I have included a photo in the article that shows somewhat the structure of veins or (capillaries) that allow for this heat and O2 exchange mechanism.

To read the complete article and see the photo go to:

Taking the Ghent Study with a grain of Salt   by John Vance

Some time back, I had a producer of "so called" performance pigeon products call me. I don't think he liked the idea that his clients were interested in my products. He kept telling me that I did not understand the physiology of the pigeon but he did. He went on to say my products would not work, because he was a trained scientist who understood the needs of the pigeon and I was not. Throughout this phone conversation he continually referred to the Ghent Study, as though quoting someone else's research would give him credibility. Also, I believe he was inferring that since my research was not of the "standard" of the Ghent Study, my research was of little value. In all fairness to him, I read the seven page summary of the Ghent study and I found holes the size of pickup trucks in its assumptions.

If I was big headed, I would just discard the Ghent Study and its finding, but that would be a big mistake. Just because I find irregularities with some of their stated assumptions and techniques, there is still much to be learned from the study. But unlike others I would NOT taut this study as proof that my product works for racing pigeons. The questionable methodology of the study shadows the underlaying premise upon which the study makes its conclusions. Below are some of my observations about this study. Mind you no one in the scientific community has pointed any of this out, yet I (a layman), reading it for the first time found much to question about the premise of the study.


Anybody, with or without a degree can pick apart a study if they want to split hairs, take the Ghent study on racing pigeons that is so popularly quoted by some. There is much to be learned from this study, but there is also many questions raised about the usefulness of the data and its interpretation.

First of all, the birds were not tested in real flight, but by electro-stimulation at 5 pulses a second. Unfortunately, when the breast muscles of our birds are electro-stimulated all muscle fiber is electro-stimulated. This means that both the white muscle fibers and red muscle fibers were stimulated at 5 pulses a second. However, many of the so called pigeon experts suggest, red muscle fibers are the only fibers used in sustained flight. If these experts are correct, then the Ghent study results would not really be mimicking pigeon flight nor that flight's resultant respiration, heat generation and body chemistry data.

Though I strongly disagree with the experts, they suggest that red muscle fibers are the only fibers used in sustained flight and that the white muscle fibers are only used during take off, braking, landing and when escaping predators.

In their model, the white muscle fiber is only called upon in short duration burst of several seconds to a minute at a time and most likely for no more than a total of 10 - 15 minutes over a seven hour flight. However, the Ghent study electro-stimulates these white muscle fibers continuously (5 pulses a second) over the complete seven hour period of the test.

Since these experts also agree that white muscle fiber predominately uses glucose for its energy source and red muscle fiber uses fat conversion for energy, the dynamics of the body chemistry, heat generation and respiratory stress, would be significantly different under the Ghent study then under free flight during a race.

Also, observations reported Dr. Wim Peters put in strong doubt the Ghent study's premise that pigeons fly at the 5 pulse a second rate (which produces 5 wing flaps a second).

Dr. Wim Peters states in his article "Wings for Racing", referencing observations gleaned from watching slow motion video...

To read the complete article go to:

The Yellow Flag Rule for Average Speed Series  

The Yellow Flag Rule for Average Speed Series

Ever been in one of those one loft races that has an average speed payout, based on returns over a three race series? Well, one bad race, early in the series, can end up eliminating most of the birds before the last race is even basketed. This does not make for happy campers. Most folks like to think they can be competitively "in the running" for average speed and look forward to the outcome. This is part of the excitement and enjoyment of being entered in these race series. However, one unexpected storm front and you can be 11 hours behind after the 200 of a 100, 200, 300 mile race series.

Well, is there a more fair way to conduct these series payouts? I suppose it depends on what you consider to be a fair competition. I have given it some thought and have come up with a rule that I think would be acceptable to most and would certainly take the sting out of a skewed return, yet still rewards the birds that do make it home at the top of the race sheet, on the smash races as well.

Here is my new "Yellow Flag" rule for these average speed money races:

If the bird representing the 10th percentile is not within 20% of the velocity of the first bird clocked then that race is a "non-qualifying" average speed race and will not count for average speed payouts. For example: if in a race the winning bird had a velocity of 1094.711 ypm, and the 10th percentile bird (clocked 21st out of 209 birds entered) had a velocity of 672.829 ypm. The calculation would be 672.829 / 1094.711 = 0.6146 (61.46%). This would disallow the race from being counted towards average speed for the money race series.

To read the complete article go to:

Younbirds + 3  

Recently, in response to one of my articles, someone wrote me and stated:

"The reason more fanciers breed for the shorter distance bird is that is where the most races are performed."

Concerning this argument, I can only point out that thirty years ago this was not the case. Many clubs had several 500's and two 600 mile races. Breeders didn't start breeding the short distance birds because there were so many short races, quite the contrary (in my opinion), there was a great influx of short distance imports in the 1960's - 1990's and the general inability of these birds to compete beyond several hundred miles led to demands for shortening of the distances flown so that this type of bird can compete in more of the race schedule competitions and have a greater impact on overall average speeds and champion bird awards.

One could just as strongly differentiate from the above observations, that the reason there are so few long distance race stations today is that, the birds people are breeding today are not capable of flying the race schedules of the past and therefore, these flyers have to continuously eliminated the races that are at distances from which their birds are no longer capable of competing.

Evolutionist would have to scratch their heads at this one. Here it is 85 years since the Ft. Wayne club had a bird that flew 1000 miles twice in the same season with only three days rest between races. Yet, for all our breeding, do you really think your birds fly faster than 25 years ago? I don't. Evolutionist might wonder why so "few" of today's birds are capable of flying a race schedule that 25 - 75 years ago was as common "as pie".

One might just as validly say that many American racing pigeons have lost the ability to fly beyond 350 miles.

Interestingly, the only segment of the European sport that is not shrinking is long distance racing. Look and you will see that races shorter than 400 miles have had a steady decline, but when you look at the numbers for Cahors, St. Vincent, Barcelona, Pau, Marseilles, Bergerac, Bordeaux, etc., you will see that the overall competition is holding steady even increasing.

To visit read the complete article go to:

Feedback on our products:  

I couldn't be more pleased with the reports I am getting back from those using our Super Creatine Plus product. As I get reorders I hear time and again about the success my customers are having with the product.

I did get one complaint which actually is a compliment but also shows the dangers of not thinking out dosages correctly. A flyer in Florida told me he thougth the birds were "jacked up" on something as the first week he used the product, the birds would fly for one and one-half hours in the hot Florida heat, their breast muscles swelled up and they were restless at night instead of calm and quite. As we talked, I realized I had given him poor instructions on dosing the birds. I am use to the weather in Washington state along the pacific coast. There, the water comsumption of our birds is usually 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 liters per 35 birds, depending on if it is summer or not. On the other hand, the Florida flyer was giving nearly twice that amount of water to his birds. Therefore, his birds were getting about 80% more product than I had projected, since they were drinking about 80% more water during the day.

I and several of my customers had a good laugh none the less, as we are looking for the 1 1/2 hour flights and the swelled breast muscles as a sign that all is working correctly. However, I have changed the dosage instructions to better clarify how the product should be dispensed.

Super Creatine Plus is especially packaged for me and has several additional ingredients to enhance the possitive effects. The creatine I use has been encapsulated and is 20 times more effecive than the creatine monosulfate available in the suppliment stores. The additional (Plus) ingredients help in the uptake and storage of Super Creatine Plus and promote super hydration of the muscle tissues.

Some of my clients are so impressed with their results, that they are now purchasing the Oxy-Toner as well since these two products work hand in hand on race day and on return to maximize potential, effectiveness and recovery.

If you haven't read about our products, go to the following link.

Birds for Sale

I have four import record cocks for sale with wins against 1000 - 5000 birds.

These four cocks are recent importations (March) and have not been bred out of this year.

As a perk to my newsletter subscribers, you may deduct 10% off the asking price.

To view the list of record birds go to:

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