17. Guidelines for organizations
The number of birds per basket. Throughout the history of pigeon racing fanciers have repeated the same mistake year after year. This mistake happens when birds are being basketed for a race. "The birds are crammed into the baskets like sardines in a can". Yet the same fanciers at home make sure the birds have lots of room in their nestboxes and on their perches. They prepare the birds for a race and cause the birds considerable stress on the way to the race.
Old and especially young birds should have sufficient room to be able to turn around in the baskets.
1. For races where the birds will be spending one night in the basket each bird should have a minimum of 250cm2(10sq inches)of space.
2. For races where the birds have to spend two nights in the baskets each bird should have 280cm2(11sq inches)of space.
3. For races where the birds have to spend more than two nights in the baskets each bird should have 325cm2(13sq inches)of space.
In the latter part of the old bird season and parts of the young bird season when the temperature is in the 25/30C(78/85F) range each bird should have 350cm2(14sq inches) of space. It is adviseable here and always better to create as much individual space for the pigeons as possible. It should be noted that these specifications are similar to the new requirements currently being legislated in other countries. The conversion to inches are approximate.
A dressing of wood shavings or other absorbent material should be used where necessary in the bottom of the race baskets. This should be replinished once weekly. When birds are released from the transporter it is inevitable that some of the basket dressing will leave the transport with the pigeons. The liberator should clean up any spillage before he/she leaves the site. This will leave a positive impression on any member of the public who witnesses the liberation. If a driver arrives at a liberation site that is unclean due to a previous liberation he/she should record the fact and hand the record over to the race controller.
Transporting Racing Pigeons.
Driving a racing pigeon transporter is not an easy job. The driver(s) usually have a very tight schedule to follow if he/she is going to get to the liberation site with ample time left to attend to the birds and allow the birds time to recover from the long stressful drive. Co-operation of the clubs and the fanciers at each time will help the driver(s) to meet their schedule on time. This will also allow the driver(s) to maintain a steady speed of 90km/h on the way to the race point. This has been found to be the preferred speed for transporting racing pigeons comfortably.
The racing pigeon transporter should at all times be mechanically fit to be driven on a public road system. It should be equipped with properly fucntioning interior lighting, temperature controlled ventilation fans, sufficient in number to frequently change the air supply in the pigeon compartment, an electric watering system that will allow the driver(s) to water the birds without undue delay and a feed storage area that will keep the feed clean and dry. The transporter should be equipped with properly functioning locking doors for security reasons. The exhaust system of the vehicle must be installed in such a way that it is not possible for exhaust fumes to enter the pigeon compartment.
Under current laws drivers are required to take a rest period after a period of continuous driving. Because of this law it becomes necessary(in some cases) to have two drivers so that the race birds can reach the race point in a reasonable time. The driver(s) should be supplied with a vehicle checklist to check and make sure everything is in place and functioning correctly before he/she starts their journey. The driver(s) should also carry a log book in which to enter relevant details of their journey with regards to the pigeon race. These log books or reports to be handed over to the race controller at the appropriate time. It is imperative that the drivers make sure that all baskets placed in their care are properly sealed. It is the responsibility of the clubs to ensure that all baskets are properly sealed and contain "no sick pigeons". Any problems being experienced should be reported to the race controller who can take measures to correct the problem.
Copyright 1998. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole, in part, in any form or medium, without the express written permission of Steven van Breemen and Hubert Land, is strictly forbidden.