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

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

A many of you know, I have been preparing for a move to Southern California for about six months and I can now report that the move has now been completed. Along with my belongings, I packed 80 birds (27 pair of breeders, 7 old bird flyers and 19 unflown youngbirds) into training crates, shipping cartons and widowhood baskets. The birds spent 44 hours in the back of a U-haul truck and were none the worse for wear when moved into temporary housing at a friend's loft in San Diego. Their new quarters are a little cramped compared to the old loft and the warmer weather took a while for the birds to get adjusted to, however after two weeks, they all seem to be fully acclimated to these new surroundings. Meanwhile, I torment my friends back in Western Washington with an occasional phone call to tell them what the weather is like down here.

I am still getting organized from the move and have not had much time for the newsletter, but thought I would send this issue out to give you all something to read and in the meantime, I will start work on a new issue for January.

You are probably going to be somewhat amused by one announcement I am making in this issue. I have had a complete turn around on the Creatine topic since our last issue was sent out. Since that last issue, I have been doing a study on creatine and during this research, came across information concerning creatine and endurance events like 5k and 10k races. I also read some disturbing research on creatine as it is currently sold in the marketplace. I will share some of this with you in this issue. Creatine is a proven product even for endurance events like racing pigeons, but the delivery system is poor and the side effects of using the product can be inhibiting. I have however, found the solution that overcomes the drawbacks of using this product and believe that new technology in this area may give an edge to the discerning loft manager. Hopefully, you as the readers of this newsletter will be the first to take advantage of the new technology.

Secrets of the Champion 2003 Loft of Joe & Madelyn Zack;   by Robert R. Prisco

In previous articles, I have mentioned and used the term "champion loft or fancier". All countries have recognized certain lofts / fanciers as the best of the best in their particular area and within their style of racing. Joe & Madelyn Zack of Jamesburg, New Jersey have just completed an incredible and record setting 2003 yb. series in the “largest combine in USA”. The Central Jersey Combine (CJC) YB. SERIES averaged 222 lofts and 2,615 birds per week for its 10 yb. Race series. This is an extremely tough west to east racecourse with a 90-mile combine front and over 40 miles of depth. The “ZACK LOFT” won 3 of the 10 combine races at distances of 100, 143 and 247 miles. Joe & Madelyn accumulated an extraordinary amount of “LOFT POINTS” in each race. The official “CHAMPION LOFT POINTS” report shows that Zack Loft flew in 2 clubs and was 1st Champion Loft (CMI CLUB) with 2,329 points and 2nd Champion Loft (CCC CLUB) with 1,954 points, finishing well ahead of the 3rd Champion Loft (718 points). The “Champion Bird Point” report for the CJC was just as impressive. The official results listed 112 birds and Zack Loft had 33 of them. When the Hall of Fame, Ace Pigeon and Championship Loft Awards are announced for 2003 YBS. in LARGE & BIG DIVISIONS, the Zack Loft will be among the TOP HONORS in all of the categories.

There must be some things that all these world champions have in common to bring respected success year after year in their own country and style of racing. What are these common "secrets" that all possess, secrets whose absence would mean no "world fame, riches or master title"?

We have listed 10 secrets that we feel are the most important for a champion loft / fancier and how they apply to Joe & Madelyn Loft. Remember, no one secret is more important than any other. All are necessary for repeated success year after year.

To read the complete article go to:

New Research on Creatine   by John Vance

Creatine, is a wonderful product with a long history of research and documented results to prove its worth. In fact, creatine is the most popular sports supplement in the world. So, you could imagine my surprise to discover recent research concerning several bad effects of creatine supplementation upon the body. This type of information has not to my knowledge, been openly discussed in prior research I had read, but it is now coming to light. This research points to the fact that the body is a poor utilizer of supplemental creatine in the diet. In fact, creatine is quickly broken down to a toxin called creatinine. How fast is the breakdown? Less than five minutes. That is right in less than five minutes, 95% of supplemental creatine (after it has been diluted in fluid or enters the stomach via tablet or capsule) will break down into creatinine, which is a toxin to the body. This means that in order to get 1/2 gram of creatine built up through supplementation, you must consume nearly 10 grams of creatine. This also means that the body must flush off approximately 9.5 grams of creatinine, which is a work load for the liver, kidneys, pancreas and other internal organs.

Now for some really good news: A new patented process has been developed that fixes the creatine so that there is 100% utilization of this supplement by the body. Do you know what this means? No more need to load up your birds for several weeks to build up creatine reserves before an endurance event. No more taxing the liver and other internal organs with massive does of creatinine a toxic waste product.

You might wonder if creatine is good for our birds and their long sustained efforts during a race. The answer is yes, before, during and after the race creatine is producing results. Creatine is stored in the body as creatine phosphate and is broken down during exertion into the primary energy source for the muscles - adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is futher broken down for cell use to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and this process supplies available energy and usable phosphate to the muscles and this has proven to increase sustainable peak performance time for endurance long distance runners and cyclist by nearly 17% (from 141 minutes to 165 minutes for cyclist). This usable phosphate is found in substantially higher concentrations in top marathon racers when compared to those who merely finish in the pack. Creatine phosphate is not the only source of phosphates available to the body, but it is the preferred and most efficient conversion process for muscle delivery during athletic events. Other phosphate delivery systems often involve cannibalizing the bone structure and organs which is one reason for slow recovery after an event.

Click here for more information and a special offer:

Building A Simple Photo Box   by Alex Cornella

I have been experimenting with capturing my pigeons in photos for many years with varying degrees of success. Not long ago I took a 30” x 30” cardboard box a computer came in and set it up in my garage. I cut holes in the front, top, sides and front, and then spray-painted the inside of the box. At first, I used blue paint and later went to white background. It ain't pretty, but it gets the job done.

I installed three lights, one on top and two on the sides. The light fixtures on the sides are aluminum work lights that you find in the hardware store with 40-watt bulbs. The light on top is an old fluorescent fixture. I painted a nest bowl gold, but decided I liked white better, and turned it upside down to give the birds a perch. I use a long-handled, narrow paintbrush to position the bird and smooth ruffled feathers. I try to remember to wash the bird’s feet before snapping its picture.

To read the complete article go to:

What is it with new flyers?   By: John Vance

Note: This item was written before I moved to Southern California

What is it with new flyers? Twice in the past week, I have come across new flyers that are demonstrating all the right desire but the wrong (in my opinion) process to get there.

A new member in our club, who has been reading the Digest for months now, just couldn't wait and ordered a pair of grizzles. Only problem is they are late - late hatches and won't be able to breed until probably May, and we start flying YB's in Mid July. So, how are these birds going to help him in 2004. Maybe later they will help, but the first year of flying is the most important in building a good experience for these new flyers.

Another new flyer called me after viewing my website and asked about purchasing birds. He said that he had visited my site and saw that I had birds from strains he had heard were winning. Instead of selling him some of my birds I recommended he purchase from another flyer who I knew had birds that would fly in his climate and race course. This new flyer wasn't interested in these birds as they were not the "strains" being advertised.

Don't get me wrong, I do sell to new flyers but I am more interested in making sure they get the proper start in the sport. And, in my opinion, the best staring point is to begin with birds that will fly successfully for you immediately!

To read the complete article go to:

In the Loft - Health Tips

Health Tips from readers:

John, I thought I'd give you some info on what I have been doing when respiratory problems arise. You may already know this stuff, so if you do, just round file it. The very best flock treatment I have found for rattles, one eyed colds etc. is one tsp. Aureomycin concentrate and one tsp. White Tylan in a gallon of water for a week. I have also had very good luck treating an individual bird with eye cold or rattles by giving them a capsule that I make up myself. I get some of those 250 mg gel caps ( the kind that are in two pieces) and fill them with half Aureomycin concentrate and half White Tylan. I give the infected bird one of these capsules down it's throat, one per day until the symptoms are gone (which is usually only two or three days!) Hope this helps, it has really worked for me.

What's Happening at RacingPigeonMall?

I have worked out an arrangement with a friend in Europe, to acquire top record birds from "total sale" dispersals where the European flyer in leaving the sport or has passed on. Usually, it is only at these total sales that the good birds can be purchased for less than an "arm and a leg". Currently, I have 6 of these import record birds in transit and they will be available for breeding in the USA by mid-January. If you are tired of paying $300 - $500 for children of top record birds, here is your opportunity to pick up one or more from this group. These will be the only imported record birds I will have until March so take a close look at them and contact me if you are interested.

These birds include: 1st ~ 8,008 birds, 1st ~ 4,437 birds, 1st ~ 3,967 birds, Federation Champion Bird, and other "top" race winners.

The link to the list of these record imports can be found on the RacingPigeonMall Home page. Payment arrangements available (requires non-refundable deposit).

The auction link is also accessible from the home page. One of the birds currently listed is a grandson of "Super 73".

Feedback from our Members

Got something to say? Here is the place to sound off.

Every issue, we will reserve this space for our members to raise topics for discussion.

e-mail your feedback to:


I received the following message from Tenyou Soon Fah after our fourth newsletter went out. Here, Tenyou is responding to Matt Hans article on supplemental L-Carnitine and Creatine in his youngbirds' diet. I have included that part of his message which I believe summarizes his position best.

"We should not lose sight of the fact that without these two [L-Carnitine and Creatine], the body loses the power to sustain optimum power and the ability to transport the necessary energy needed during challenges on the body for either short or long duration. Not to mention the quick recovery benefits after the races!. This is particularly important for the building up of our little athletes for the next race. Lactic acid build up needs to be eliminated quickly else the birds is in much pain. We need to look, not only at the race sheet, but also give our little athletes the best chance to perform at their optimum. If we are winning with different birds and at the different stations, and there are no repeaters, lots of losses or the previous race winner just plugging home, then we need to look at the recovery of the birds following the flights. It doesn't do any harm (I don't believe) to incorporate giving the birds these supplements during the build up phase for performance and after the race. Anything to help our flying athlete."

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