The Racing Pigeon Enthusiast
~ Newsletter ~
Table of Contents:

About this newsletter   by John Vance, editor

Welcome to the eleventh 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: Immune Modulators: The new trends in pigeon health, A blast from the past flashback to the 1935 IF Convention, and an article about legally reducing losses from Hawks, written by Ron West.

I will also be introducing you to a new health product. The successful introduction of our other products has been a pleasing experience and I hope you find this new product even more helpful in maintaining the health in your loft.

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.

Helping the Immune System Do it! (Part 1)   By: John Vance

The health and performance of your racing pigeons is directly influenced by the vigor of their immune system. Under natural circumstances, the immune system is a wonderful, sophisticated network of cells and molecules that constantly strive to maintain health and well being. It is responsible for all aspects of health and when functioning at peak efficiency can handle anything.

However, stresses associated with racing and training, cross contamination in the shipping crates, environmental pollution, inclement weather, inadequate nutritional feed sources and a number of other factors, greatly reduce the effectiveness of our bird's immune systems.

The challenges that we face; when preparing our birds for the breeding season, the rearing of their young and in preparation for the race season have reduced many fliers to a “shotgun” methodology when using antibiotics on the birds. You know what I am talking about, treating the birds with a regular antibiotic schedule whether or not they actually show symptoms. We often hear this approach called “preventative treatments”. I call it - Antibiotic Abuse. Just pull the trigger and hope you hit something.

These so called “preventative treatments” compound health problems by breaking down within our birds the “natural” disease fighting mechanisms, we collectively call the “immune response”, while at the same time often creating “super-bugs” resistant to many of the antibiotic treatments available today.

Making the situation even worse, we then further tax our bird's internal organs with all kind of supplements and stimulants in the hope of “building up” the very safeguard systems we have broken down, through our so called preventative treatments, in the first place.

Helping the Immune System Do it!

I know this will appear crazy to some, but the successful flier of the near future, will shun the “shotgun approach” to pigeon health and implement programs that enhance immune response. This is being done today, and we will see greater and greater support for immune modulators as continued antibiotic dependence fails to produce the results many are striving for in our sport.

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

1935 IF Convention ~ A Blast from the Past!   by John Vance

The 2005, the 125th Anniversary Convention of the IF will he held in Philadelphia. I for one plan to attend this historic event even though I am not an IF member and personally disapprove of two national organizations for our sport. I will not let my personal opinions deter me from participating in this celebration. I believe we in the sport should set aside our differences and take the time to enjoy this historic anniversary celebration as an opportunity; for remembering who preceded us in the sport, and to enjoy the fellowship that this rare occasion offers.

On my bookshelf, I have a copy of the 1935 IF Convention Yearbook and interestingly the 1935 Convention was also held in Philadelphia. As my part in preparing for the 125 Anniversary Convention, I thought I would share some of the highlights and advertisements from the 1935 Yearbook with you. Not only will this article be a glimpse into the past concerning old time flyers, popular breeds of the times and race results, but it will also reminisce about a more caring time in our sport.

The Convention Race:

The 300 mile Convention Race was flown from Bedford, VA., with 276 participating lofts shipping 2083 birds to the race. 288 of these entries were from 68 Out of Area lofts representing 28 states and Canada. The race birds were released at 7:00 AM under clear skies into a light NW wind. The weather at Philadelphia was clear with strong NW winds when the first birds arrived.

The winning bird, 4703 IF 35 PCR; later named "Thriller", arrived at the loft of Shilton and Elliot, in the Frankfort area of Philadelphia, at 2:26:04 PM. The winning speed was 1202.57 ypm. The capital prize of $200.00 and a sterling silver trophy was awarded to the winner. The American Racing Pigeon News also awarded a Golden Jubilee trophy for the fastest speed by a subscriber of the magazine in the race. "Thriller" a chocolate cock, was bred by George Shilton and was a Bastin - Sion - Stassart cross.

Of course, George Shilton would later become famous for his Husken Van Riel's, but that would not happen until years after WWII. In fact, the team of Husken and Van Riel would not even begin competing together until...

To read the complete article go to:

Legally Reducing Losses to Hawks   By: Ron West     website:

Hawks are a constant threat to racing fanciers, all sorts of them, depending on the time of year and your geography. Now in my 8th year of flying pigeons and mixing them up with hawks, I have discovered a lot, implemented some strategies and losses are down.

Redtails; Certain hawks in some situations can seem to be your allies. Summer resident Redtails show little interest in birds and keep some other hawks away. If you see Redtails in the vicinity of your loft, it is likely they are looking for ground squirrels or other large rodents, not your birds. They may take the injured youngster that has hit a wire, etc, but in most cases will not regularly eat your pigeons. These hawks are desirable to have around and should never be bothered.

Northern Goshawks; A nuisance in the North during hawk migrations. However they are no match for...

To read the complete article go to:

The One Loft and Futurity Index  

I am redesigning the Futurity Index pages this year. If your organization host a futurity or you are hosting a one loft race, you might want to list on the index. This index is linked to my Race Results Area and other areas of my website which means the index is viewed by a lot of folks in the sport.

Keeping our breeders happy and informed is task number one in hosting a successful race. To meet this need, I have crated other support services for these money races that will be beneficial. I have a special section in the Race Results Area of my website were money races can post messages, notices, breeder updates, results, payouts, pool info, etc.

I also offer a software package to manage your one loft or futurity race. This software was used successfully by The Spirit of Colorado One Loft Race, the Colorado Gold Rush One Loft Race and this year, the 2005 IF Convention Race is planning to use the software. In years past, the Gulfcoast Classic, the AU Denver Convention Race and the IF Boston Convention Race all have made use of my software.

There are two really nice features about this software: It works, and I trade its use for entry fees in your race so there is no out of pocket expense for its use.

You can read more about the Futurity Index, and support services at::

Max Immune Plus ~ Our New Racing Pigeon Health Product  

The immune system is the body's defense against infectious organisms and other invaders. Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade our systems and cause disease.

Most infectious diseases that our racing pigeons encounter are precipitated by immune suppression associated with natural stresses (e.g., raising young, inclement weather, injury, etc.) and stresses brought on by management practices (e.g., over crowding, racing and training, cross contamination in the shipping crates & transport, inadequate nutritional feed sources, etc.).

These stressful situations, greatly reduce the effectiveness of our bird's immune systems and provide opportunities for viruses, bacteria, yeast, fungus, allergens and other toxins to suppress the immune response.

Max Immune Plus, works through a two fold process:

It directly attacks pathogenic micro-organisms and other toxins present in the bird's system

It works at the cellular level to potentiate the macrophage (specific type of white blood cells), keeping them in a highly prepared state for any threat the immune system may encounter. When your bird's immune system is in this highly prepared state, the invading organisms do not have the time to build up force and strength before the immune system attacks and destroys these invaders.

To read more about Max Immune Plus go to:

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