A pigeon is a bird, and all birds are vertebrates. Vertebrate means the animal has a backbone.

From Adaptations:

Birds are the only vertebrate animals to have a fused collarbone (the furcula or wishbone) and a keeled breastbone. Formed by fusion of the collarbones at their base, the bird's wishbone offers structural support for the wings. In flying birds, the breast bone is fused to a deep keel (ridge that extends outward) that provides an anchor for the powerful flight muscles.

A bird's backbone is very rigid because most of the vertebrae are fused. The thoracic (chest area) vertebrae and vertebrae other neck vertebrae are fused to keep the bird's trunk stiff. Because of this rigidity, the backbone provides the strong support of the back and wings the bird needs during flight. It also allows the bird to maintain an upright posture while standing.

The vertebrae in the bird's lower back are joined. So are the bones of the hip girdle. This forms a light but strong plate that rests on the thigh bones and supports the bird when it's on the ground.

The backbone ends in a structure called the pygostyle, or tailbone, which supports the tail feathers. Birds can maneuver a fan-shaped tail in a rudder-like fashion to slow or change direction during flight. Don't let the tail feathers fool you – a bird's tailbone is much shorter than is seen in many other vertebrates, such as lizards.



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Bacteria (one of them is a bacterium) are very small organisms. They are prokaryotic microorganisums. Bactrial cells do not have a nucleus and most have no organelles membranes round them. Most have a cell wall.  They do have DNA and their biochemistry is basically the same as other living things.

Almost all bacteria are so tiny they can only be seen through a microscope. Bacteria are made up of one cell, so they are a kind of unicellular organisum. They are among the simplest single-celled organisms on earth and were one of the earliest forms of life. . Some bacteria can cause diseases, but some help us in everyday activities like digesting food). Some even work for us in factories, producing chese and yogurt.  

There are 4 methods to treat bacterias infection:

  1. Getting medical treatment

  2. Selecting the good antibiotic to treat them

  3. Follow the instruction very precisely.

  4. Use them in the full course as it is prescribed.

What is a bacterial infection?
There are several types of bacteria that affect birds, but the most common are E.coli, Citrobacter, Strep and Staph. These bacteria are usually associated with water, sand, grit, seed, old food, humid areas, dusty spots and wet cages. Bacterial infections also occur in birds that have a poor level of natural resistance or a damaged immune system.


Bacteria are single-celled, prokaryotic microorganisms that exist in abundance in both living hosts and in all areas of the planet (e.g., soil, water). By their nature, they can be either "good" (beneficial) or "bad" (harmful) for the health of plants, humans, and other animals that come into contact with them.

A virus is acellular (has no cell structure) and requires a living host to survive; it causes illness in its host, which causes an immune response. Bacteria are alive, while scientists are not yet sure if viruses are living or nonliving; in general, they are considered to be nonliving.


It is very important to select the right size of bands for that special breed.

Bands order in Canada:

I received the following advice from CPFA, Something I really do not understand as it was to help our club that I wrote where to buy CPFA bands:

''We also ask that you remove all reference to our Bands at this time , particularly stating that people do not need to be members of CPFA in order to purchase our Bands.''

I also recommanded that at the low price the CPFA membership cost all Canadian pigeon breders should join!

 The CRPU (racing homer pigeon union) you can also buy bands but you have to pay the membership before.

Yearly membership fee is $50.00 payable at the time of application.   Note: Racing Bands are shipped only to individuals whose annual membership fee is paid.



(Video) (NOTE: This pigeon is too small to be banded. He wBirds don't generally wear collars, but to give a bird an identity tag, leg bands can be used. This video demonstrates the way to put leg bands on baby pigeons. This is usually done between 5-7 days of age. When pulling the back toe through, make sure not to force it if the little claw gets caught on the inside of the band. Watch this video pet care tutorial and learn how to band the leg of a baby pigeon with an ID tag.ill loose his band but this is the best way to band a pigeon)  : nice pictures!

Barb Pigeon

 barb pigeon


The special feature of barley is that we can use this grain to adjust the diet. More or less barley is added to the mixture according to what the pigeon is doing. For people who have little spare time this is an excellent way of giving the birds a correct feed. This cereal is rich in vitamins A, B, E and, particularly, D, is highly suitable for building a strong skeleton in young birds and promotes metabolism. The presence of husks makes the mash more porous, thus facilitating the action of the food juices and bacteria, thereby assisting the digestion. Moreover, good barley does not make the pigeons fat. 

Pigeons are not found on barley! They have to be accostumed to it. When they are, they will eat it easily but they will always eat other grain before barley if there are some.  

Barley is, incidentally, despite all its excellent qualities, not irreplaceable just as no food product is irreplaceable in principle. It is a question of knowing exactly what a product 'does', what its characteristics are and then looking for substitutes which do the same. In other words, we have to be well informed about nutritional matters.

Barley is an exceptional feeding regulator and therefore very convenient for fanciers who have to devote attention to other matters.

From Pigeon Paradise: Barley 

In contrast to some colleagues I don’t consider barley as pigeon food, neither for breeding nor for during the season. It can however be of use to clean the intestines immediately after the race and as an easily digestible element during the winter. Why is there a difference in opinion?
Barley contains quite a lot of crude fibre; the pigeons don’t really like to eat it, at least not as much as other cereals. The crude fibre is indigestible for pigeons and this is seen in the droppings when they are given a lot of barley. The fibres can be seen with the naked eye, they are passed through undigested. Apart from its crude fibre, barley is also not rich in other nutrients. Its protein is biologically poor, barley contains hardly any fat or vitamin A. Barley only has a calorific value of 75% of second choice corn. It has also been proven that giving breeding pigeons more than 15% barley slows down the growth of the youngsters. Pigeons which are given a lot of barley during the winter and are given more than 15% barley don’t raise good youngsters. Widow hens which are given too much barley become short of breath, and have trouble laying if they are not given a good breeding mixture in time .

Barley reduces the presence of trichomonasis for the good reason that it is not even good enough to feed the bacteria. The modern medicine for this sickness means that excess use of barley is needless. It is, also for our sprinters, advisable not to give more than 10% barley during the first days of the week. Corn and wheat are better grains for out pigeon food .



Roy Fuller: “There is a tendency to regard all micro organisms as harmful; to equate bacteria with germs. Nothing could be further from the truth. The number of non pathogenic species far exceeds the number of pathogenic species and many of the none pathogens are infact useful, even essential for the continued existence of life on earth. One example of a beneficial group of micro organisms are those which inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of animals.



From Abouth Home

  1. Use only plain, clear water. Although some pet supply companies market commercial "bird shampoos", the best and safest way to bathe your bird is with plain water. Birds produce a special oil that they preen their feathers with, and this oil can be stripped through the use of soaps or detergents. This can result in unhealthy feathers and unhappy birds.

  1. Only bathe your bird during the warmest part of the day. Wet birds easily get chilled, which can be a serious health hazard. Bathe your bird during a warm part of the day so that your bird's feathers have a chance to dry completely before the temperature drops towards nightfall.

  2. Make sure the water is a comfortable temperature. Water that is too hot or cold can shock a bird's system, not to mention causing burns and a host of other serious conditions. Always check the temperature of the water before offering your bird a bath. Many birds prefer their bath water to be lukewarm or room temperature.

  3. Never saturate your bird's feathers. In the wild, birds never allow their feathers to become completely soaked through. This can lead to loss of body heat and flight impairment. Except in extreme circumstances, it should never be necessary to completely soak a pet bird.

"Several pigeon fanciers tell me that they use BORAX (this is an old fashioned laundry additive) in their pigeon's bath water.
If the pigeons bathe daily, this is used once per week. The dilution used is about one tablespoon of BORAX per gallon of bath water."

Yes, they have bath in winter also. Of course, not when very cold but when the weather is close to 0 C .. (0 C= 32F). They have the bath around 10 in the morning and I remove it about 2 hours later.. I always put the bath in their out side the loft cages to be sure they would wet the floor. I understand that you cannot do the same during the week but may be in the weekend days..

Pigeons regularly need a bath, but never let them bathe in the evening.

They will get into the night still being wet since they do not move in the dark and that is a direct atttack on the form.
For some reason they do not feel like taking a bath in warm sunny weather like we humans do, but prefer to have a dive in rainy weather.
Some fanciers massage the birds in lukewarm bath after a hard race.

It will not hurt but it is a waste.
They will not put the feathers up so the water is not where it should be, on the skin.
Special bath salt is a waste as well.

Some salt and vinegar in the water is just as effective and cheaper" By Ed Chaerlaeckens


Crown Bath Pan 6 pcs ON SALES!

Heavy-duty bath pan is constructed of reinforced plastic. This bath volume capacity is 5 gallons.

Accommodates 10 to 12 birds easily and is very durable. At ACE pigeon supplier. .

Baytril’ – the Myths and Reality

By Dr Colin Walker  BSc, BVSc, MRCVS, MACVSc (Avian health)

Most pigeon racers will be familiar with the medication ‘Baytril’. In some circles it has gained the reputation as a veritable ‘cure all’. Yet, of all the medications available to pigeon racers, this is the one that is most often used inappropriately – usually at the wrong dose and often in the wrong situation. Used however in the correct way, it can be a very useful medication. So what are the facts?

What is Baytril?
‘Baytril’ is the brand name of an antibiotic called enrofloxacin. It is available in tablet form, as an injection and also an oral syrup. The oral syrup can be given directly to the mouth or dissolved in the drinking water. Enrofloxacin is also sold under other brand names in Australia, notably ‘Enrotril’. All brands of enrofloxacin oral syrup in Australia are the same strength. ‘Enrotril’ and ‘Baytril’ oral syrups both contain enrofloxacin at a strength of 25mg/ml and therefore from a therapeutic point of view are identical. Enrofloxacin belongs to a group of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. Another antibiotic in the same group, used more overseas, is ciprofloxacin which is often abbreviated to ‘cipro’ by pigeon fanciers.

What do these antibiotics do?
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as enrofloxacin (eg ‘Baytril’ and ‘Enrotril’) and ciprofloxacin work principally by interfering with the function of an enzyme called DNA gyrase that is required for a bacteria to replicate itself. These antibiotics have excellent activity against mycoplasma (the principle agent of ‘airsac disease’). They are also effective against most of what are called gram-negative bacteria which includes Salmonella (which causes the disease Paratyphoid) and E. Coli. They are, however, less effective against what are called ‘gram-positive’ bacteria (such as Streptococcus - ‘Baytril’ is therefore a poor first choice of an antibiotic for this type of infection). Fluoroquinolones do have some anti-Chlamydial activity. Chlamydia is the agent that commonly causes ‘eye colds’, dirty ceres and deeper infections of the respiratory tract including the airsacs. Although treating Chlamydia infections with fluoroquinolones may eliminate clinical signs, this group of medications is not as effective at actually clearing these organisms from the pigeons body as other antibiotics such as doxycycline. ‘Baytril’ has no action against fungi, viruses, canker or parasites.

The correct dose
The dose of ‘Baytril’ in birds is 10-30mg/kg given twice orally. The strength of ‘Baytril’ and all other oral syrup brands of enrofloxacin in Australia is 25mg/ml. This means the dose for a pigeon is 0.2-0.6ml of the nett syrup per bird twice daily or 5-15mls per litre of water. Years ago, lower doses were recommended but were found not to be effective against most infections.

Problems with using ‘Baytril’

  1. Treating pigeons with ‘Baytril’, even healthy ones, for more than 4 days almost invariably causes a yeast infection (often called ‘thrush’). There are always low numbers of yeasts in the bowels of pigeons. Their numbers are kept in check by the normal ‘good’ bacteria in the bowel. ‘Baytril’ kills many of these. With nothing to keep them in check, the yeasts quickly multiply up leading to the development of green and sometimes watery droppings and potentially a loss of race form.
  2. Treating young growing pigeons with ‘Baytril’ may permanently deform their joints. ‘Baytril’ can interfere with cartilage deposition on the surface of young growing joints leading to permanent deformity. This side effect is dose dependent and so young pigeons and in particular nestlings should only be treated with extreme caution and obviously only when necessary. When treated, they must be dosed accurately.
  3. Treating hens that are about to lay with ‘Baytril’ has been associated with the embryos in those eggs subsequently dying.
  4. Treating pigeons with fungal infections with ‘Baytril’ makes them worse.
  5. Treating unwell pigeons with ‘Baytril’ in the absence of diagnostic work can waste time treating for the wrong problem while disease advances and can subsequently interfere with test results when testing is done.
  6. Treating pigeons with ‘Baytril’ is not part of a routine pigeon health management program. At various times of the pigeon year, medication is used to prevent or control disease and prepare the birds for racing etc. ‘Baytril’ is not used in this way. It has no preventative property but simply kills organisms that are sensitive to it that are in the pigeon at the time of treatment. If birds are re-exposed to these organisms the day after the treatment stops they will be re-infected. I recently had a fancier tell me that every year as racing approaches he gives his race team ‘Baytril’ 1ml to 1 litre of drinking water for 10 days and that he considered this ‘essential’ for success. Using this drug in this way would achieve absolutely nothing apart from perhaps making the fancier feel better in some way. At the time of writing, it is about 8 weeks before racing starts in Victoria. I had another fancier ring me recently. He explained that he had given his race team, in preparation for racing, a long course of doxycycline, a long course of ‘Sulfa AVS’ (another antibiotic blend). The purpose of his phone call was to ask if he should now give a long course of ‘Baytril’. I found this call rather disappointing, for years well publicised pre-race programs have been published by vets. If nothing else, it just showed how some fanciers have an unreasonable over reliance on antibiotics. Despite giving all these antibiotics, the fancier had not treated his birds for the common parasitic diseases, had had no testing done on his birds to see in fact if any medications were necessary and it had apparently not occurred to him to contact an avian vet earlier for advice.

When to use ‘Baytril’
The first thing to say is that ‘Baytril’ is a prescription medication that should only be used in the loft after talking to your veterinarian who should have supplied it to you in an appropriate way. It is worth noting that there are heavy penalties for veterinarians who supply such medication without ensuring its correct use. Appropriate supply does not mean examining another bird with an unrelated problem 6 months earlier. Department of Human Services officers do masquerade as pigeon fanciers and attempt to buy prescription medication from vets in order to ensure correct supply. One high profile veterinarian once wrote that fanciers should only ask a vet to supply such medication inappropriately if they are prepared to pay any fine he may incur and support him and his family until he is allowed to practice again.

Many pigeon fanciers just want medication, even if they are quite expensive, but are reluctant to pay for veterinary advice on the correct way to use that medication. ‘Baytril’ is a good example of this. It is an expensive drug. In Australia, a 100ml bottle costs about $80. At the average dose of 10ml/L and based on an average water intake of 45ml per pigeon per day it costs about $40 per day to treat 100 birds. A 5 day course therefore costs $200. To treat 300 birds would cost $600. I would want to check with a vet that a course of medication costing this much was really worthwhile and going to give my birds benefit before I just did it.

On a lighter note, most fanciers have long term relationships with their vets and it is important to that vet that any supply of medication is used appropriately by the fancier. It is common sense and logical really but “Baytril’ is usually used when an infection sensitive to it is diagnosed and particularly if other cheaper antibiotic alternatives are thought likely to be less effective. Usually if individual birds are infected they are separated and treated individually with the nett syrup given to the mouth. If there is evidence of spreading disease or more than 10% of a flock is infected then usually the flock is treated through the drinking water. It is worth repeating that ‘Baytril’ is not a good first line of treatment for respiratory infections caused by Chlamydia because although it tends to reduce symptoms ie make the birds look better, it is not as effective at actually clearing the organism as other antibiotics such as doxycycline and also causes ‘collateral damage’ killing a lot of the ‘good bacteria’. Also only approximately 15% of Streptococcal strains (a cause of bacterial infection in pigeons) are sensitive to ‘Baytril’ and so it is not a good choice for this type of infection.

‘Baytril’ is however widely distributed throughout the body and has good tissue penetrating properties. It is thought to actually achieve higher tissue concentrations than blood concentrations. Because of this property it is a good antibiotic choice for gram-negative bacterial infections (in particular Salmonella) and some respiratory infections in particular those due to Mycoplasma.

As always, it is worth taking a bit of your veterinarians time and spending some money on diagnosis to see if an antibiotic is part of the answer in controlling a health problem and also to see if that antibiotic should be ‘Baytril’ or not.


From Pigeon and dove rescue:

Sometimes a pigeon's upper beak will  longer than it should, usually in a downward curve or a hook.  This will eventually make picking up seed impossible and the pigeon will  starve.

Beaks can be trimmed or filed to a more acceptable length, but trimming too far back can cause a serious bleed so trim off a tiny bit at a time

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From Pigeon Paradise:

Horse beans

Beans have the same nutritional value as peas but pigeons do not like them as much as peas. The colour of a horse bean, also known as pigeon bean, should not be too dark: this means it is already too old. 20% is a good percentage for the long distance pigeons; sprint racers should only have about 10%. Horse beans are especially good for breeding pigeons. Beans will stimulate them to breed, just like any product that is rich in proteins. It is rather easy to digest and it is rich in chalk and phosphoric acid, which supports skeletal growth.


A few reasons given;

I always thought that a bent keel was caused from a poor nest, not enough nesting material and the keel, as Bruno said is soft catilage and becomes bent from being pressed against flat bottom of nest. ???? Also heard it can be hereditary. ??? Also :

Read somewhere that a bent keel happens when the squab struggles free from the egg shell,possibly due to a shortage of calcium.Easily avoided by supplying the correct grit when breeding.I used to give that high calcium seaweed grit..

Personnally, since I prepare the pigeon nests myselg with good stoff in it, I haver never had a bent keel in my pigeons. Of course, they also have the good quantity of calcium...Raymond .

BERIMAX (see canker or trichomoniase)





Biosecurity is practiced in the commercial poultry industry, and it simply means to keep your facilities as free from contaminants as possible. Viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, can be kept to a minimum and sometimes be eliminated through the practice of biosecurity. I practice biosecurity in my own coop (much to the dismay of my friends).

First, to understand the need for some basic biosecurity, the fancier must realize that without it, they're going to spend more time and money to fix a problem that could have been prevented, than it would have to practice prevention to begin with. With that in mind, here are some things you can do.

     Set mousetraps. You have rodents. Trust me, you do. They can range from the tiniest little mice on up to the Norway rat. I'll share an embarrassing story with you. I knew I had small mice in the coop because I found the telltale tiny black dropping in the feed cups (no, it's not pepper). The temperature had dropped and I knew my birds were struggling to stay warm. Additional compromises to their systems as a result of being exposed to disease via little mouse feet, would not be good. I was going to set the traps the next evening - after all, I was really tired. Feeling guilty, I went into the coop the next evening after dark. A sixth sense told me I was being watched. No mice - anywhere. Then it caught my eye - two of the tiniest beady little eyes you ever saw - peeking out at me from under the wing of my best bantam d'Uccle in her private cage! The hen was keeping this little bugger warm! And proud of it.

Rodents transfer disease and bacteria via their feet from cage to cage, and from the wild population to your coop. And then there's the 'pepper' they leave in the feed and water. Let your mind be creative here at the possibilities. Salmonella enteritis is an example.

     When people come to visit your coop, ask them if you can mist the bottom of their shoes with disinfectant. Tek-Trol at four times stronger than normal dilution or a normal dilution of Oxine would be effective - be cautious with Oxine - it could have a bleaching effect on fabric or leather. If they're fanciers, you'll be eliminating anything they could carry in on their shoes, from their coop to yours. Since almost all soil samples contain Cocci, even a non-fancier could bring a different strain of Cocci into your coop than your birds have been exposed to. If you read my previous article, you'll know why this could be a big problem.

If you have birds that free- range, keep them separated from your confined birds. Always work in the free-range pen last, after you've tended to all other pens and cages.

     When you move from pen to pen or cage to cage to clean out water bowls and the like, use paper towels and throw them out after each use. (I use the C-folds you can buy by the case for industrial use. They're inexpensive enough to do this and not feel guilty or rich.) Caged birds should have their own water and feed cups that are never used for anyone else.

     Don't expose your birds to wild birds or wild waterfowl.      Don't expose your own birds to the backyard bird feeder. And don't allow wild birds to nest in your coop. I couldn't possibly list everything they can carry to your flock.

     Keep your youngsters separate from your oldsters - at least until they're about 6 months old. Natural immunities develop by then that will protect them against possible 'carriers' in your adult flock.

     Keep the airborne viruses, bacteria, and fungi in check by fogging your coop once a week with Oxine. You can do it with the birds in the coop and any surface that becomes wet as a result of the fogging, will be disinfected. To learn more about Oxine, check out my September/00 article. (No, I don't own stock in the company.)

     Finally, remember to quarantine sick birds in a different facility and take care of them last. Even if they're in a separate cage, many viruses are airborne and some travel on feather dander, such as Mareks, which can be transferred by rodents.

Yep, and the same was suggested during END here in Southern California .. you really have to be careful about what you might be bringing home to your birds. It truly is time (as it always was) to be practicing the best of biosecurity for your birds .. allowing other people into your bird area is another big no-no .. you don't know where they have been or what they may be bringing into your loft/aviary/house or whatever. Tends to piss off close friends to be told they needed to walk through the bleach water bath, not touch any of the birds, and generally keep their distance .. if they don't want to do it .. then they don't get to come in. Less (none is better) contact with other people or birds is really important right now folks. I can't do this totally since I rescue birds and take them in, but I sure can see that nobody except me gets into close contact with the birds under my care and also that all new arrivals are safely quarantined from the others.

Most handlers already apply some form of effective biosecurity measures:

1. Cleaning the fountains twice a day is biosecurity;
2. Cleaning and scraping perches is biosecurity;
3. Spraying the loft for parasites is biosecurity;
4. Storing feed in rodent proof steel bins is biosecurity;
5. Wearing a hat in the loft is biosecurity;
6. Isolating new stock for at least 14 days is biosecurity;

These are common biosecurity measures that most of us do everyday, we do it to prevent the spread of disease. We have just never thought of it in such terms, in the sense of "biosecurity" terms! Sometimes, simply changing the order in which you approach a task provides adequate biosecurity, such as the way you handle your feed bags (if they're stored in the loft).

Based on our understanding of the sources and transmission of various disease agents, the following recommendations have been designed to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria between racing pigeon lofts and the introduction of new infections to susceptible birds. Our recommendations have been divided into best and alternate practices so that these recommendations can be adapted to every loft. We have outlined these recommendations based on the three key principles of biosecurity, isolation, traffic control, and sanitation.


There are many species of falcons but the main one which is a real treat to pigeons is the Perigrine Falcon.  He can attact a pigeon at very fast speed in the sky.Résultats de recherche d'images pour « bird of prey peregrine »  


Isolation refers to the confinement of your birds within a controlled environment. A fence keeps your birds in, but it also keeps other animals out.

1. Perimeter control. Every flock must be isolated from ALL other birds, especially any kind of chicken.

a. BEST PRACTICE: The best way to isolate a loft is to install complete fencing around the perimeter of the loft will keep other birds out.
b. Alternative methods to achieve isolation:

If there are no birds in your neighborhood or you have no neighbors, then you already have a buffer zone that establishes isolation.
If your neighbor has chickens in an enclosure close to your loft, you might ask him to move it, or move your loft, or better still, move both as far apart as is physically possible.

c. Keys to achieving isolation:

  • Gates can help to achieve isolation, sometimes without perimeter fencing. A gate that crosses a driveway is a very effective way to stop vehicle traffic. But, gates must be kept closed in order to be effective.

  • A buffer zone between lofts or flocks must be achieved, whether or not there is good perimeter fencing. Establishing a buffer zone may require negotiation with neighbors to house their birds on a part of their property away from an existing loft or relocation of a loft to another part of a property.

2. Quarantine new birds to your flock. New birds entering a loft can bring unwanted disease agents with them.

a. Quarantine new birds for a minimum of 14 days - this is a must.
b. Pre-purchase testing, if economically feasible and available.

3. Avoid contact with any other birds, in particular chickens. Other bird species can carry disease agents that pigeon owners do not want in their lofts. The following contacts are listed in descending order of their importance in disease danger.

  1. Live bird markets, auctions, and shows.

  2. Dead birds, especially pigeons.

  3. Pet or feed stores that sell excess racing pigeon stock.

  4. Hunting (any species of bird or animal).

a. BEST PRACTICE: Avoid contact with ALL other birds, in particular, chickens. When there is contact, change clothes and shower before returning to your loft. This practice is critical when the most dangerous contacts on the list have been made.
b. Alternative practice: Avoid the most dangerous contacts with other birds. After contact with birds owned by trusted hobbyists or friends, change into dedicated protective clothing that will be left in the loft and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before returning to your loft. Hand washing is one of the simplest and most effective biosecurity measures available to us.

4. Prepare a plan for self-quarantine. When one member of the club has disease or illness in his loft, he should be prepared to take extra steps to prevent the spread of disease to other members of the club. Those steps should include not moving birds, stopping all non-essential visits, and notification of other lofts that may have been inadvertently exposed.

Traffic Control includes both the traffic onto your premises/property and the traffic patterns of both you and visitors on and within your premises/property. Sometimes, simply changing the order in which you approach a task provides adequate biosecurity.

1. Visitor policy. The easiest way to prevent disease spread by visitors is to limit visitors. Visitors can bring disease agents into your loft.

a. Limit visitors to the loft. This is especially critical in times of high risk, for example, during breeding and during the active racing series in your area.

b. Protective clothing. Visitors to the loft should be required to wear protective clothing, including overshoes or covers that will prevent the tracking of material on shoes. Hand sanitation must be included for visitors because people cannot resist touching your racing pigeons when they visit.

c. Signs to stop inadvertent visitors must be posted. A sign should be placed on gates or doors to stop people from accidentally wandering into a loft, and although this is a simple step, a sign can be very effective.

Sanitation addresses the disinfection of materials, people and equipment entering your property and your loft and the cleanliness of the personnel on your property and your loft.

1. Vehicle disinfection. Vehicles that have been near other birds can easily carry disease agents into the vicinity of or directly into the loft. Vehicles used to transport feed from feed supply houses are especially susceptible to contamination and your routine for hauling feed should be carefully reviewed towards the most effective biosecurity measures.

a. Keep all vehicle traffic away from the loft through the use of gates and signs. The drivers of vehicles that have to enter the loft should be questioned to make sure they have not been near any birds within 48 hours. Vehicles that are covered in mud or other gross contamination should be washed before they enter the property or the vicinity of the loft.

2. Equipment disinfection. Equipment that is used and brought into a loft can carry disease agents if it has been around other birds.
a. Keep equipment that has been around any other birds out of the loft. If equipment must come into the loft and has been around other species of birds, then fully clean and disinfect the equipment before it enters your loft.

Biosecurity and racing

It may seem that the sport of racing pigeons destroys all attempts to achieve biosecurity in a loft. Several of the things we have said you should avoid, all happen in a race. However, biosecurity can also be applied to racing to reduce the chances that disease agents are introduced at races.

Biosecurity for Birds Returning from Races

There are two possible ways to approach racing, both are legitimate and each has its own pro and cons. Which method is selected, is up to the individual loft owner after a careful consideration of the risks and benefits associated with each approach.
The two possible approaches to biosecurity follow:

1. Consider the racing club or combine as a single biosecurity unit. In other words, birds within a club or combine are treated as if they belong to the same loft. So, when you introduce a new bird to your loft if it came from a loft in your flying club, then it is not considered as an outsider. When birds come in from a race, it can be introduced immediately back into the loft because it has just been out flying with its loft-mates.

a. Pros: This method is easy to apply because it requires no additional quarantine for birds returning from a race.
b. Cons: Any member of the club can introduce disease into the club and everyone practicing this method of biosecurity will get the disease.

2. Consider all lofts other than your own as sources of disease. All birds returning from a race are quarantined for 14 days before they are re-introduced to the loft. 

a. Pros: This method puts the owner into control of the fate of his loft. Overall, it is a safer method.
b. Cons: There is a certain amount of extra labor and planning that is required to achieve this type of biosecurity.

Biosecurity at Shipping and the Club

No matter what biosecurity strategy you choose for your own loft, there are certain common sense things that must be part of biosecurity on a club basis.

1. The transporter should be clean and sanitary before birds are placed in it.
2. The transporter should not be allowed to come close to any individual loft. The transfer of birds must occur away from individual lofts so that the transporter does not spread disease between lofts.
3. No sick birds should ever be placed in the transporter or brought to the club.
4. Hands should be washed before birds are handled. Birds from one loft can be handled as a group without hand washing or hand sanitation between birds, but hand sanitation must occur before handling the birds from a different loft.

Biosecurity on Transporters

Transporters must be fully cleaned and disinfected between uses.

1. Removal of all organic material (feces, feathers, mud) from all surfaces including wheel wells, and undercarriage. Although not essential, high pressure, hot water, with detergent works very well for the cleaning process.
2. Disinfection of all surfaces. There are many disinfectants, which work well to inactivate disease agents but, none of them work well if cleaning is inadequate.
3. Inspection. It is critical that someone take a critical look at the job of cleaning and disinfection that has been done to assure that all organic material has been removed.
4. Completely dry the transporter before use. Drying itself is a good way to kill disease agents and allowing the transporter to dry will ensure its sanitation before it is used again.


From Wikipédia: 

La vitamine B8, correspondant à la biotine, est une vitamine hydrosoluble encore souvent appelée vitamine H, et vitamine B7 dans de nombreux pays, notamment en Allemagne ou dans les pays anglo-saxons[3] (chez ces derniers, la vitamine B8 est une appellation erronée pour l'AMP, tandis qu'en France la vitamine B7 désigne improprement l'inositol, ces deux composés n'ayant aucun rapport entre eux ni avec la biotine), et même coenzyme R.

La biotine est une coenzyme qui participe au métabolisme des acides gras, des glucides et des acides aminés, ainsi qu'à la biosynthèse des vitamines B9 et B12. On la retrouve donc, d'un point de vue biologique, dans toutes les espèces vivantes. Au plan diététique, on la trouve notamment dans les céréales complètes, le foie, les œufs et le lait, mais aussi le soja, les noisettes, les levures et en moindres quantités dans les autres aliments. La biotine est utilisée en biochimie expérimentale du fait de son affinité très élevée pour la streptavidine ainsi que pour l'avidine[4].

BIotin because of this vitamines is excellent for pigeons.


  • Nutritional supplement for all species, rich in biotin.
  • For strong beautiful feathers & healthy beak and talons.
  • Perfect for "pluckers" or when birds are molting.
  • Contains biotin and essential fatty acids plus a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals.


For some very good article about Birmingham Roller, please visit this Web Site :



Nowadays, Virkon is much superior to bleach for desinfecting or for any similar action. See Virkon for more details

Take the following steps to clean and sanitize properly.

·         Prepare a 10 percent solution of sodium hypochlorite by mixing 1 part bleach with 9 parts water.

·         If indoors, mist the area to settle suspended air-borne particles.

·         Soak the area with the bleach solution and leave it undisturbed for at least 10 minutes. This will disinfect and soften the droppings, making them easy to remove.

o    Use an old mop or spray bottle to apply and spread the bleach solution.

o    Re-wet the area with the bleach solution if the area starts to dry during the 10 minute soak.

o    Dense accumulations of feces may require repeated applications of the bleach solution.

·         Place the debris into a doubled plastic bag (a plastic bag in another plastic bag).

o    Use a square-nosed shovel or a hoe to scrape up the debris.

o    Seal both bags.

o    Place bags in the outside trash.

·         Using dish soap or laundry detergent, scrub the area with a stiff brush or broom to remove debris from cracks and crevices. Rinse area with clear water.

o    A power washer can be used for this step.

·         Reapply the bleach solution and keep the area wet for another 10 minutes. Do not rinse.

o    If the treated area receives at least 4 hours of direct sun, this step can be omitted as ultraviolet light has disinfecting properties.

·         Leave to air-dry before allowing people and pets into the area.

This procedure may not remove all stains and the use of bleach may discolor walkways, sides of building, and other structures and may cause damage to growing vegetation. Damage may be prevented by using a commercial disinfectant without sodium hypochlorite. Follow label instructions before using these products.

If a sensitive area receives a considerable amount of sunlight, the disinfectant may not be necessary as the sun’s UV light works as a natural disinfectant. Physical removal of the debris is necessary. This method is also considered acceptable for areas with little or no foot traffic.

Property restoration and pest control companies may offer services to remove accumulated bird debris.


BLUETTE (Satinette)

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Bluettes are satinette and they are in the family of Orintal Frills.



I spray every new pigeon that enters the loft for pigeon flies, mites, and lice before I put them in the loft. These pests can cause health issues of their own, and they tend to cause the pigeons to itch and scratch and this, along with the pests, can cause significant damage to the plumage and is stressful to the pigeons. A handful of Borax placed in the birdbath water once every month or so is usually enough to remove most of these pests. I wouldn't do this too often because Borax tends to dry the feather out a little. (Racing Pigeon Digest Featured Article)

BOOKs (related to pigeons

The very best one of all. 


AUD $65.00



A veterinary guide to health control, medication use and the development of race fitness for the competitive fancier

As with Dr Walker’s earlier books, practical information based on sound veterinary knowledge is presented in an easy-to-read format.

Topics covered include the common diseases and their management, how to develop race fitness, the selection of birds for the race team, race preparation and recovery protocols, disease control during the racing and breeding seasons and the causes of poor race performance. The interpretation of physical changes observed in the birds, together with the changes in the birds’ behaviour and droppings are discussed from both a management and veterinary point of view. Information on loft design and feeding and extensive coverage of modem medications available to the fancier are also given.

 Dr. Colin Walker, Australia, avian veterinarian and pigeon racer, a great authority in pigeon health management

"Having just completed reading Dr Talaber's excellent book, I am most impressed. So much of what is published regarding pigeons is not scientific, based on personal experience only, or quite simply inaccurate. Not so here. Here we have a wealth of accurate, modern advice and information, presented in an easy-to-read format."

Dr. Gordon Chalmers, Canada, world renowned pigeon racer, veterinarian

I think veterinarians and fanciers alike will benefit from the experience you have poured into this book. ...There are many useful tips, ideas and suggestions in this work - for example, the use of apple cider vinegar when using the tetracycline class of antibiotics (a very good practical point).
You have provided a very good list of products that are retained in the intestine, that is, they are not absorbed into the blood stream.
...Over all, I find your book to be very useful, certainly for me, but also for all veterinarians who work with pigeons. I will put to good use when I discuss diseases with fanciers at meetings or on the telephone

Ad Schaerlaeckens, Holland, "The Uncrowned King of Orleans"

...This book is a real refreshment. When you start reading it is hard to stop. To me it looks like a kind of handbook that every fancier should have...
... Personally I have hundreds of pigeon books in several languages. This is one of the few that I can strongly advise everybody to read. It will make him a better racer...
...Once more congratulations. I have much respect for all the work you did on behalf of all people that like pigeons and pigeon sport.

Steven van Breemen, Winning Magazine, Holland

...The contents of your book is very refreshing as it deals with new ideas with regard to old diseases and subjects hardly mentioned in pigeon books up till now. Pigeon fanciers nowadays are using too much medicines. Not that their birds are sick, but to just to prevent them from being sick and some fanciers even use it to make their birds fly faster. A wrong thought. In your book you inform them exactly about the dangers they are facing because of medicine abuse.

I can really recommend this book to any fancier interested in economical health care of their birds. 
Dr Zsolt Talaber
PIGEONS and Their Economical Health Care

Available from:
The Knox Bird Veterinary Clinic

AUD $60.00 plus GST

For orders, please click here.

BOXES ( breeding)

A very nice and handy arrangement for pigeon breedings:

BLONDINETTE  (Oriental frill family)








From ecojoe from Scotland.

Many people think that it is a good thing to feed bread to birds. While it makes folk feel better to do so, it does the birds very little good, in fact in many cases it is bad for the birds.
The reason being is that there is hardly any nutritional value in bread for birds and whilst the bird may feel satisfied at the time, the bread provides no real nutritional benefit.  

If a small bird fills up with bread on a cold winters evening it may not survive till morning as it will not have gained enough energy from the bread to fend of the cold.
It can also be potentially dangerous if too much bread been eaten by a bird as their digestive tracts were not designed to cope with bread, and dry bread in particular can swell up inside a bird and cause blockages preventing them from absorbing much needed nutrients. These blockages can sometimes be fatal. 

Doves and Pigeons produce a milk-like substance in their crops to feed to their young.  Bread may become impacted in their crops and can lead to infection and death. “Crop Stasis” is a condition where the crop in the oesophagus, stops emptying and becomes distended with fermenting food and fluids. This is a serious, and life-threatening condition in birds.

You can buy food for wild birds at pet shops quite cheaply and this is so much safer and better for the birds. 

Why not put a bird feeder in the garden or on nearby trees and feed them with seeds and nuts (absolutely no salted nuts). These will attract all sorts of smaller birds.

Remember also that feeding birds can become a long term job as birds can become dependent on you and may stop their natural foraging. If you suddenly stop feeding them they may have difficulties feeding themselves. That said, birds are more in need of feeders these days as there is a huge decline in natural fruits and seeds in the wild due to intensive farming and the removal of natural green space such as hedgerows etc. So, feeding birds is a good thing if you do it properly, and everyday.




 Avian flight demands more supply of oxygen. As pigeon is a flighting animal the respiratory system of pigeon is more complicated than other groups of vertebrates. Respiration is by means of lungs. Lungs are small in size and supplemented by air sacs which reduce the body weight. Expiration is more active than inspiration . For more détails, please read:






BREEDINGS (10 Reasons to become a racing pigeon fancier)

 this sport.  However, there are certain things which everyone must do to succeed.

20 things to remember to becoming a champion fancier,

1. Good health is 75% of the secret to successful pigeon racing.

2. Sending pigeons to training tosses will not cause them to be in good health.

3. There is no substitute for the basket test.  It never shows favorites.

4. A few good pigeons are better than a large number of inferior ones.

5. Give your youngsters a chance to mature.  Do not overwork and burn them out with long, hard training flights.

6. A large flying team is never necessary to win or compete successfully.

7. A loft stands or falls according to the value of its HENS!

8. Most of the sickness which plagues fanciers starts from overcrowded conditions in the loft or the club’s race

9. Go slow and be patient.  Start with 3 to 5 pairs of breeders and build a nucleus from them.

10. Train consistently and have an effective trapping system with plenty of short tosses (10-20 miles).


Hi everyone,

From Pigeon Insider, here is one of their articles written by and for Racing Pigeons:

It is quite interesting! Have a look on that % of protein in this article. Many might be surprised. By the way, do you know the % of protein is in the pigeon milk? And also, I have banded my first two ASR. I had to band them at the age of 7 days and doubt I would have been able to easily band them one day later. At how many days do you band your ASR babies? I have heard someone say at about 9 to 10 day. Why?

Rations for Breeding, Rearing and Moulting

Three to four weeks ahead of pairing birds, increase the percentage of legumes (peas, beans, lentils, ect.), plus a high -protein pellet (18-28% protein) which also contains a broad range of vitamins and minerals. A non-medicated pellet, such as an 18% protein finisher pellet prepared for broiler chickens, or a 28% protein turkey pellet are examples of useful pellets. I use a 28% protein pellet called Milk Plus produced by Cargill (Nutrena Feeds). Aim for a final protein level of 17-18% which is ideal for fertility, hatchability, growth and development of youngsters.

The reason for the 3-4 week interval before pairing the birds is to ensure that the systems of both sexes are well fortified with all of the nutrients that are important for high fertility, ect., as just mentioned. Too often, in my experience, before the breeding season fanciers don’t change from a relatively bland off-season diet to one higher in a range of important nutrients, until after the eggs are laid. One problem with this can be clear eggs, or at hatching, weak or dead-in-shell youngsters. To avoid this situation, improve the diet ahead of the breeding season, much as sheep breeders do when they “flush” their breeding animals by putting them on a higher plane of nutrition, e.g., higher levels of protein, plus vitamins and minerals ahead of the breeding season. )Note that black eggs, or dead-in-shell or weak youngsters can be the result of bacterial infections in the egg,, i.e., E. coli and paratyphoid infections, ect., If this is a persistent problem, be sure to take some of these eggs or youngsters to your veterinarian for bacterial culture.)

One suggested breeding ration mix that will provide between 17-18% protein:

30-35% peas (green, white or yellow peas, or combinations of these), but only 5% maple peas which contain high levels of substances that interfere with the digestion of protein). Peanuts, sunflower seeds, ect., for their high protein and fat content can be included here, as well. 15% livestock/poultry pellets (18-28% protein) 20-25% wheat 25-30% corn 10% safflower
Other grains/seeds can be added as you see fit-rice, millet, milo, flax etc., Obviously, the total percentage of all grains used must be 100.

Because young birds continue to grow and develop for many months, I believe that they should be maintained on the ration on which they were reared, or on one similar to it. As they begin to train and race, they can have more grains high in carbohydrate and fat for the energy they provide.

Similarly, I believe that next year’s races are won, in part, during the current moult in which nutritional demands are very high to complete the annual change of feathers. For this reason, the diet should be one that supports the high demand for the quality of protein needed for the growth of quality feathering. Proteins are comprised of smaller units called amino acids, of which there are some 22. Those amino acids containing sulfur, especially methionine, are key to good development and growth of feathers. A very good short article from Melvyn John of Vydex Animal Health in the British Homing World weekly for October 6/00, explains the need for high quality protein during the moult. The author feels that ordinary grains in pigeon will not supply enough of the much needed methionine, and so recommends supplementation on a daily basis. Commercially available amino acid solutions can help, but also, supplements containing fish meal, for example, in pelleted feeds, can be useful here. The author also recommends vitamin (especially vitamin C) and mineral supplementation during the moult.

Specially selected by Raymond Julien for the members of this group.

It is written by Gazaway lofts and contains some real good information on all possible subjects on breeding. .


Raymond Julien, Qc.




BREEDINGS (Re: Less and less success every year)


Hi all,

Recently when talking with two knowledgeable breeders
they told me that they do not understand why breeding
was not as it was in the past? Much more youngsters
breed by a pair of modenas compare to nowadays and
less sickness..

In another Discussion Group in which I am, the
question has been asked. Please have a look on what
the great Ed Schaerlaeckens gave to this breeder. It
is worthwhile meditation!! !

''Q : Dear Ad, Years ago it was easy to rear many and
healthy youngsters. Today, even with the help of modern
medicines, it is an altogether more difficult task. Can
you expand a little on the reasons why and also offer
any advice you may have with regard to diet
, medication etc. Two particular problems seem to be
canker and paratyphoid, would you advise a
preventative program of medication or would you treat
if a problem occurred? Thank you for your help, Mike.

A : Dear Mike, You mention it is not easy rearing
healthy youngsters and you mention medicine. In my
opinion it is medicine or better the abuse of it that
brought is so much trouble. Throughout the years we
have undermined the natural resistance and now we have
to pay a price. I had people here from Poland and from
Romania. They never have or had any problems but...
they did not have the medicine we had either. So in my
opinion it is the medicine that is to blame. As for
me the press and the vets have a task here to warn
people and to help out. But here we face a serious
problem: The press can only survive by adverts and in
many of them medicines are promoted and medicines are
the daily bred for our vets. As for myself I seldom
have problems. But, don't be surprised, I do not clean
the lofts and only give medicine when I have no other
choice. That means against canker and salmonella only
and if necessary. And you cannot believe how healthy
my birds are. Would have liked to give a more positive
answer, sorry. Ad S''

Raymond Julien,







Hi all,

Here is tip number 10. In the breeding season, use a
vitamin complement that includes all the essential amino
acids, particularly Lysine. Also, please take note
that too much vitamins is not appropriate. Two times a
week during the breeding season is enough! I have
seen some sellers that recommend to give vitamins 4
times a week in the breeding time. This is really too
much and might result in a reverse situation!

Raymond Julien,


Hi all,

Tip number 11.

Dr. Collin walker tell us: In the breeding season,
use vitamin complement that includes all the essential
amino acids-- particularly Lysine...

Raymond Julien,


Most grain mixes with fewer than four grains are generally lysine deficient.
Shannon Bergeron
New Orleans, LA USA









Once a week a tablespoon to a lb. of pigeon seed,
You can purchase the multi-vitamins and brewers yeast at any pigeon supply house like Globals, Siegels, Jedds, and Foys. However, I don't recommend using it during the rearing of young, or when the birds are on antibiotics due to possible fungus problems.

MIX 3, 4, & 5 TOGETHER with A LITTLE wheat germ oil, just enough to get the MIX to stick to the seed. Shake it up WELL in a clean plastic bag and serve.




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This seed is almost not used now in the pigeons feeds.   


From angelfire.


Bull eye is similar in appearance to the dark eyes of most cattle; that's where this bull eye color gets its name. Bull eyes are not a substitute for either orange or pearl but rather only results when the orange or pearl pigment has been turned off; thus allowing light to pass thru the outer iris pigment, deeper into the eye and reflect the darker pigment of the inner surface's of the eye. Genetically, a bull eyed pigeon is still an orange or pearl eyed bird, however; the pigment production (orange or pearl) on the outer surface of the iris has simply been switched off by the pied white gene.



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