TIPS AND ADVICES:

Hi everyone,

 

In a Pigeon Debut magazine, Mr. Scott Berg give us a few advices and tips. From my point of view, it is interesting to read.

 

One thing that will always surprise me, and this is so true, it is what Scott wrote:

Some fanciers share information rather freely while others keep it to themselves.

It would be so great if everyone would share information more freely. This way, the fancy hobby would progress much more rapidly. Have you ever heard, the greatest modena breeders in North America share their most important secrets to the average fancier? I have not heard them often!! It is exactly what Scott Berg did for us in this part of his article.

Any way, reed what follows if you are interested: 

 

 

   I'm sure everyone has some things they have discovered that have helped them be successful in the breeding loft as well as the show hall.

 

Some fanciers share this information rather freely while others keep it to themselves. Part of the fun in the fancy has been being able to help new fanciers, as well as others that appreciate a good tip or two. Let me share a few tips that have helped me through the year.

Health

 I.) Be careful at the birds you bring into your loft. Take the time to build a strain, rather than buying a half dozen pair a year from all over the place. Isolate new birds, I'm convinced a lot of problems in our birds may be a new bug that is introduced. 1 have not brought many birds in since 1994, but the few 1 have, 1 have kept isolated for up to six months with just their mate. Running them through a full scale of medications is not always the answer.

2.) Take the time, effort and expense to vaccinate your birds for both PMV and Paratyphoid. The PMV will help you from an outbreak at the shows and the Para will help your own breeding season.

3.) Do not over medicate! A healthy flock will get a sick bird from time to time. Don't treat the whole flock, treat the individual bird. The only thing 1 have flock treated for in the past three years has been canker, for prevention, before the breeding season.

4.) Make sure all birds are getting feed and water. 1 have heard the word horizontal domination, when a bird or birds controls the feed or water. 1 have cleared this problem up by putting a spare feed container in the loft, available at all times.

 

Breeding

1.)                 Give your cocks up to 18 hours of light a month before the breeding season; use artificial light to insure this. 1 was surprised at the increases of fertility my first year 1 did this.

2.)                 Let your young hens lay their first round of eggs in the hen house and let them sit on them for awhile. All five young hens I'm using this year laid in the hen house, and then proceeded to fertile on their cock birds the first round

3.)            Put 2x4 blocks throughout your loft as mounting stations, most pairs will use them. It helps the hen tip further for an easier hit.

4.)              Get yourself a used honey squeeze container for feeding young the parents fall behind on. Get a small piece of clear tubing and heat the end and snugly fit over the squeeze bottle opening. Use pellets and hot water and make a mush right in the bottle. 1 walk around and check the youngsters on a daily basis and syringe a full crop full on the youngsters that may have missed a feeding. You'll help and save quite a few.

5.) Make a weaning pen just for young birds. 1 have a 2'x6'x2' pen mounted at chest height. 1 try to wean my birds at 21-24 days, helping them swallow their first bites of feed and dip their beaks in the water. It always helps to have some other young birds to show them how. We call it the teenager loft at our house. And it helps the birds get used to you too. They hit the real young bird loft with their tails almost grown out. 1 like to get the babies away from the parents as soon as possible so they get busy with the next batch.


Raymond Julien,

Canada

The thirth part is a very good one for our hobbey. Up to now, I have had no comment at all on the others that has been posted. 

Showing-

1.)                  Use the squeeze bottle you made to feed the youngsters to feed the adults. 1 syringe them before they hit their travel box. 1 travel long distances to the major shows and 1 want them to be well fed and watered. The mixture does both.

2.)               Plan your pigeon trip with your birds in mind first, you second. Have them spend the least amount of time in the box as you can.

3.)               Syringe them at the show! 1 do mine in the morning and the evening. 1 put out feed at the show, but not water. 1 syringe that. If they are not eating 1 will give them some watered pellets. I just don't like all the stuff floating through the air that ends up in my water. Obviously a well-fed and watered bird will perform better.

4.)              Lace and pen train your birds. This is sometimes easier said than done. Get them used to all sorts of lighting and conditions. Each show seems to be different. 1 use no light, bulb light, and fluorescent light in my training. Mix cocks with hens, someone always sneaks a hen in that cock class it seems.

5)                 Bring some baby wipes. They work great for cleaning feet.

6)              Wash and blow-dry those softer tails before the show. Your wife may think your crazy, but it really helps. Simple dish washing liquid has worked best for me.

 

Hi everyone,

 

The last part of the article is about our attitude. We all know it is not easy to cull hard as it is suggested by Mr. Berg. But this is a good advice and is what we should all do, and the first one to take this attitude should be me....LOL... Do you also feel guilthy? Many good advices again in this last part.  

 

Attitude

I.)                 More is not better. 1 heard early in my fantail days: quantity from quality. Overcrowding causes so many troubles. It is amazing how much more comfortable and non combative the birds are when they have ample room to breed. Cull hard. Sell those extra useful birds. 1 am down to 10 pair in four colors and have bred just as many good birds out of the few as 1 did with the many. This opens a huge discussion 1 know.

II.)               Go to the show to win, know how to loose, and have fun. There is nothing worse than a sore loser, which can be quite discouraging for a new, winning, up and corner.

III.)              Realize that a winning strain has had a lot of work put into it. Don't be offended when the breeder asks a little bit for his work.

IV.)            When buying birds, one good bird is better than 3 marginal pairs. If you can buy a pair and put those birds together first and get some f I's,, then cross to your strain. That way you have two lines to work with, the original birds and the f I's. My winning reds have all sorts of combos and are not one major outcross. 1 had one nice yellow hen that ended up with her style and type in all my colors.

V.)                Get involved, show, learn to get along, and do something for the hobby. Most of all, enjoy your fans!

MORE tips: (or secrets)

Secrets of a successful pigeon fancier from John and Pigeon Insider:

 Secret 1

Virkon S is a disinfectant sold by Dupont.  Not only is it the most amazing disinfectant you will ever use in the lofts for sanitation but it is simply magic when used in the pigeons drinking water.

Virkon S should be the first line of defense for any young bird sickness.  If the pigeons start to go off whether it is a young bird sickness or possible other affliction add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon to the gallon of water for five days.  Usually within two days all symptoms have disappeared.  By day five the birds look spectacular.   Virkon S must be added to the water after the containers are filled and then stirred.  It will form up if added first and then water is added.   Like any disinfectant be careful to keep Virkon S out of your eyes and try not to inhale the powder.  Better to be safe.

As a general health aid give the pigeons three days of Virkon S every six to eight weeks.  Virkon S seems to have a positive effect against all bacteria, virus, fungi and canker.  We use it during breeding, molting and racing will no ill effects.

Chicken  breeders have  been giving Virkon S to chicks for years.  The chicks live better, grow better and losses are lessened.

We add Virkon S to the bath water in the same above dose. 
Virkon S is an unbelievable disinfectant to be sprayed in the lofts and all general disinfection and sanitation needs.   Buy in the powdered form.  It looks like Virkon S is only sold in 10lb containers but it is well worth it.

After treating with Virkon S please give several days of friendly gut bacteria and vitamins.

Secret 2

Moxidectin wormer    If you are still using Ivermectin or any other wormer you are wasting time and your birds probably have round worms and other parasites.  We have been using Moxidectin for ten years with incredible results.  The easy way to administer is to go to a feed store with horse products and buy a product called ‘Quest’.  Quest comes in a syringe tube and will make eight gallons of water.

Quest is a gel that must be mixed in a blender poured  into the water and given to the pigeons for 24 hours.  It lasts in the pigeons system for 30 days.  Not only does it eliminate all internal intestinal worms, it eliminates gape worms and all external parasites.  We treat the race team with Quest seven days before a big race and have only had super results.

Never give to dogs, it may be deadly.

Secret 3 

Are you a widowhood flyer and wish you could fly hens but do not have the room or time?
Here is a system that will change the way you race pigeons.   Before the widowhood season begins train the hens out 60 to 70 miles.  Once the birds are separated feed the hens 100% high quality barley every day but Thursday evening the day before shipping.  On Thursday evening feed all the small seeds like safflour, hemp along with all the European mix they want.  After about 30 minutes remove the feed and place barley in the feeder for the day on Friday.  Ship the hens every week to each race and upon return let them eat all the rich feeds and small seeds they want.  Place them back into their holding section or flight pen a couple hours after they home until the process starts over each week.  They are never trained or let out of the loft.  They only fly one day a week in the race.  Leave one or two hens home for the first two arriving cocks or use some unmated stock hens.  More often than not the hens will beat the cocks and will even be better when the distance races come along.  The hens only eat barley except for Thursday evening and Saturday after the race.  If you are sending the hens to a long distance race, you can feed the hens the rich seeds the day of shipping also.

Keep every possible mineral in front of the hens free choice at all times.

If the hens fly eight or more hours in a race you can skip a week and go two weeks between races.

This system works so well and allows you to race more pigeons without any extra time or effort.   You will start to re-think how to train pigeons when you fly this system.  

Secret 4 

Feeding Tip…. Never over feed your race team again.  Just add about one ounce of Rabbit Pellets to the feed each day.  Feed enough until the birds leave the rabbit pellets.  Any very hungry birds will eat the rabbit pellets.  After we feed our youngsters each day there is always a sprinkling of rabbit pellets in the feeder.  By late in the day the pellets are gone. 

We give all the birds rabbit pellets two time per week year round.  This eliminates the use of any fresh greens.  Buy rabbit pellets that have the first ingredient alfalfa.

Secret 5 

Resting Tip.  Rest is one of big misconceptions when it comes to racing pigeons.  If you want your pigeons to have a long successful career please give one day of total rest for every two hours on the wing.  Four hour flight, two days rest, 12 hour flight 6 days of total rest.  You will not only dominate all season long you will win with 5 year old or older pigeons if you follow this rest recommendation throughout their career.  By total rest we mean they do not even loft fly.

 

 

 

 

Secret 6 

Buy a hygrometer (Home Depot) with a high low setting. The hygrometer measures humidity. Place the hygrometer in the racing loft and adjust ventilation to maintain humidity below 70%.  By monitoring the humidity you will learn to keep it lower than 70% at all times.  Pigeons have a big drop in form with humidity over 70%.  My widowhood loft can be kept at 68% humidity when it is 100% humidity outside.  My hygrometer monitors temperature and high low temperature also. 

Secret 7 

Keep an injectable antibiotic on hand for any one eye colds, rattles or respiratory issues you may have.  We use LA 200 an ox tetracycline.  Inject 0.5cc at the base of the back of the neck and in two to three days all the symptoms will be completely gone.  Buy a very small bottle of LA 200.  It goes a long way.

Secret 8

Aquarium Chlorine Removers
Small amounts of chlorine and chloramine are added to tap water to kill organisms for safe human consumption. Of course, chlorine and chloramine are toxic to your friendly bacteria and may interfere with antibiotics etc.. Use aquarium chlorine removers to do away with them. Aquarium chlorine removers often remove other harmful heavy metals, ammonia or otherwise prepare your tap water for pigeon use.   Purchase the one drop to the gallon dose and stop wasting money by killing or interfering with anything you give your pigeons in the drinking water.  Just fill the bucket or container, drop in chlorine remover stir and add your 
products immediately.

Secret 9

Most pigeon grit is comprised of ground granite.  This ground granite is very sharp, fragmented, pointed and generally abrasive.  Is this grit irritating the gizzard and insides of our pigeons?  Wild birds eat round smooth pebbles for grit.  Maybe we should all rethink grit and find a pebble based grit with no sharp edges.  I collect smooth pebbles off a salt water beach. There are places the pebbles collect at the base of large rocks.  The size ranges from slightly bigger than a grain of sand to a little bigger than a pea.  I bake the pebbles on a tray in the oven at 450 degrees for ten minutes to kill bacteria, let cool and feed to the pigeons.   These beach pebbles also contain shell fragments, trace salts and minerals.

Secret 10

Not all yellow in a pigeon’s throat is canker.  Fine lines of yellow could be an ornithosis or some sort of respiratory problem.  If your canker treatment does not seem to work maybe you should be treating with doxycycline.  Remember eyes, nose, ears, and throat are all inter related.

Secret 11

The most important meal after a workout is the first meal.  This applies to athletes and animals.  When your pigeons return home from a tough race they need rich feed with plenty of oil seeds in front of them free choice.  They will eat what is needed to recover.  By feeding rich feed your pigeons will recover very fast.  We usually place all the 16% European mix along with safflower, pellets, hemp, flax etc.

Secret 12

When our pigeons return home from a race they drink our special blend of water additives to assist in recovery.  In one gallon of water we place one tablespoon of glucose powder, 1/4 teaspoon of chicken vitamin electrolytes, one teaspoon of Probios Horse probiotic and 1/4 teaspoon of iodized salt.  They will bounce right back on this mix.

Secret 13

Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the best natural additives that can be given daily to the pigeons.  We give one ounce to the gallon nearly every day of the year.  We also mix in vitamins and probiotics several times per week.  For a natural product to have benefits it must be used regularly over a long period of time.  Apple Cider Vinegar makes the gut acidic.  Bad bacteria does not thrive well in an acid environment.  The good bacteria and normal pigeon gut bacteria love the acid (Apple Cider) environment.   We usually buy the gallon container at the super market.  If you only have a handful of pigeons the Apple Cider Vinegar sold at the health food stores is better. 

All winter and the entire breeding season we give the apple cider vinegar every single day.  We do not use the vinegar as much during the race season.  I am too worried to that the race team will not be hydrated enough if I put the vinegar in the water.  When I do use it during racing it is in the water for just the morning feeding.   Used over the long term Apple Cider Vinegar has positive effects on the pigeons.

I never mix the Apple Cider Vinegar with medications.   

Secret 14

Please do not feed Popcorn to your pigeons.  Popcorn is very hard and does not absorb water easily.  If you put popcorn in a glass of water for 24 hours it does not swell or get soft.   Popcorn should not be included in any pigeon feed mix.  Use a regular large corn in the feed mix and your results will improve in both racing and breeding.
Secret 15

We do not medicate youngsters in the first many months of their lives.  If possible just vaccinate and worm with moxidectin.  Medicate only if it is absolutely necessary.  Our young bird team will not be medicated for anything until they are in the racing season.  Our young pigeons that are not raced either bred for stock or sale may not receive anything but Virkon S and moxidectin for over a year.  Pigeons that are allowed to build natural immunity when young have less problems with health for the rest of their lives.   Do yourself and your pigeons a favor by keeping them as natural as possible. 

For pigeons to stay healthy naturally they cannot lack anything.  We give apple cider vinegar just about daily along with numerous mineral cups, grits, probiotic several times per week, vitamins two or three times per week, garlic etc.  If the birds are not lacking anything, their immune system works optimally.

Secret 16

You can pretty much feed any grain and or pellet mix and raise super babies providing you have every mineral and grit available to the pigeons.  Vitamin deficiencies do not effect the pigeons nearly as much as mineral deficiencies.  We keep pink vitamineral, brown mineral blocks, pick pot minerals, oyster shells, grit mix, red stone, magnesium blocks etc in separate cups in front of the breeders at all times.  Your babies will be spectacular.

 Secret 17

There is only one type of oil that should be used on our feed for the pigeons.  That oil is Flax Seed Oil.  This oil is high in Omega 3′s and the health benefits are endless.  Wet the feed with the Flax Oil and then add a good natural flavored whey protein or brewers yeast.  Never chocolate because it is poisonous to pigeons.  Omega 3 oils act as an anti-inflammatory which allows the pigeons to keep flying when others have quit due to swelling and fatigue.  Tuesdays and Thursdays during racing and breeding will be enough for a positive effect.

Secret 18

Need to up the protein during breeding?  Add a high protein small kibble dog food to the mix.  Ten to twenty percent dog food in the mix will do the trick.  My pigeons would rather eat dog food over safflour.  Pigeons love the animal protein plus all the vitamins, minerals and calcium is very high in dog food.  We like a puppy food because the protein is higher and the food is richer for growing dogs/pigeons.

Secret 19

Before breeding we feed a higher percentage of Rabbit pellets.  Being predominantly Alfalfa, the vegatable like pellet is natures way to add a spring diet to the pigeons during winter.  I feel the rabbit pellet also helps with fertility and the droppings will be firm and black.   We always try to fill in any nutritional blanks with our pigeons.  33% in the mix will be perfect, Rabbit pellets will also help keep their body weight down.

Secret 20

If you have that super old breeder and you usually swap eggs from him or her, try letting the old timer, cock or hen raise a round of babies that you plan to ship out to a big futurity.  My theory is old pigeons have been exposed to more virus and bacteria in their lifetime.  They will then pass this immunity to the young in the pigeon milk.  Worth a try if you need a pigeon with a possibly stronger immune system for a big race.

Secret 21

Need a very inexpensive salt/mineral supplement?  Go to a Salt Water Aquarium Store and purchase 5 lbs of Instant Ocean or similar Saltwater fish salt.  This salt is loaded with endless trace minerals.  Use just a pinch at a time or change regularly because salt will attract moisture.  Another option would be to keep all your minerals on a warming plate.  Pet stores sell a variety of heating units that can be attached to the bottom of a glass aquarium.  You can attach one of these to the bottom of a glass pyrex cookware/dish and add all your mineral cups.  Minerals will stay dry.

Secret 22

I have found a super vita-mineral/grit combination.  The product contains a combination of grits, vitamins, minerals and supplements. If you wanted to just use one grit/mineral mix this would be the one of choice.  It comes in two size buckets 16lb or 22lb. This mix contains, sea grits and shells, small round stones, red grit, tiny mineral pellets, mineralized seeds, pink mineral pellets, B Vitamins, trace elements and assorted beneficial products for the pigeons.  This is a must for every serious pigeon fancier.  I give daily in small containers and move the leftover from the day before to another pot.

Secret 18

Need to up the protein during breeding?  Add a high protein small kibble dog food to the mix.  Ten to twenty percent dog food in the mix will do the trick.  My pigeons would rather eat dog food over safflower.  Pigeons love the animal protein plus all the vitamins, minerals and calcium is very high in dog food.  We like a puppy food because the protein is higher and the food is richer for growing dogs/pigeons.

Secret 19

Before breeding we feed a higher percentage of Rabbit pellets.  Being predominantly Alfalfa, the vegetable like pellet is nature’s way to add a spring diet to the pigeons during winter.  I feel the rabbit pellet also helps with fertility and the droppings will be firm and black.   We always try to fill in any nutritional blanks with our pigeons.  33% in the mix will be perfect, Rabbit pellets will also help keep their body weight down.

Secret 20

If you have that super old breeder and you usually swap eggs from him or her, try letting the old timer, cock or hen raise a round of babies that you plan to ship out to a big futurity.  My theory is old pigeons have been exposed to more virus and bacteria in their lifetime.  They will then pass this immunity to the young in the pigeon milk.  Worth a try if you need a pigeon with a possibly stronger immune system for a big race.

Secret 21

Need a very inexpensive salt/mineral supplement?  Go to a Salt Water Aquarium Store and purchase 5 lbs of Instant Ocean or similar saltwater fish salt.  This salt is loaded with endless trace minerals.  Use just a pinch at a time or change regularly because salt will attract moisture.  Another option would be to keep all your minerals on a warming plate.  Pet stores sell a variety of heating units that can be attached to the bottom of a glass aquarium.  You can attach one of these to the bottom of a glass Pyrex cookware/dish and add all your mineral cups.  Minerals will stay dry.

Secret 22

I have found a super vita-mineral/grit combination.  The product contains a combination of grits, vitamins, minerals and supplements. If you wanted to just use one grit/mineral mix this would be the one of choice.  It comes in two size buckets 16lb or 22lb. This mix contains, sea grits and shells, small round stones, red grit, tiny mineral pellets, mineralized seeds, pink mineral pellets, B Vitamins, trace elements and assorted beneficial products for the pigeons.  This is a must for every serious pigeon fancier.  I give daily in small containers and move the leftover from the day before to another pot. 

TRAINING for the show room  

TRICHOMONAS by Dr. Neil Reither

( Also see Canker)

Trichomonas is probably the most frequently found parasite in pigeons, but clinically disease is less often seen.

The last 20 years no new drug has been introduced to cure this disease. In the middle of the '80, it was documented by researchers by the veterinary faculty in Utrecht, The Netherlands, that many of the Trichomonas strains were resistant to the most used drugs, like Spartrix, Ronidazol, Emtryl and Flagyl. Actually, all these drugs are chemically very similar, so a parasite resistant to one of them, would also be, or easily become, resistant to the other once.

The reason for the development of resistance is the wrong use of medicines. Low doses in a short period (one or two days), kill the weakest parasites, but not the strongest. The result is more strong resistant parasites. Therefore many lofts are struggling with Trichomonas.

The last years I have tested numerous substances for the effect against trichomonas. CITROMED was tested last year, and this citrus fruit product has a fairly good effect, but was not able to eradicate this parasite completely. Many chemicals, plant- and other natural extracts have been tested, and finally we have found a very effective remedy called BERIMAX. This is a yellow bitter pigment, chemically an alkaloid, which has a very good effect on the Trichomonas.

We made a 10% solution, and form this solution we added 1 ml per litre of drinking water. The pigeons were treated in during 5 days, and then given clean tap water for 3 days. When the pigeons were tested for Trichomonas, 90 % were free from the parasite.

After this we made a 20 % solution, buffered the solution, and gave 1 ml per litre drinking water. After only 10 hours, all the 4 test pigeons were free from the parasite when crop wash was examined under the microscope.

These results were so good that we have conducted larger tests on a number of lofts, and we have been able to eradicate Trichomonas completely.

Another positive effect of BERIMAX is that it is very active also against many common, but nasty bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, Clostridium, and parasites like Giardia and Hexamita, commonly giving intestinal problems. We will also study the effect on coccidiosis and worm infections, and the results from this study will appear in Winning later this year or next year.

But we will not stop the study here. Even important is to monitor the pigeons during the season, to find out if the medication has a positive effect of the breeding results or flight results.

Also, the final formulation (strength), the most appropriate duration of treatment, the best package and other technical details have to be made before the product generally will be available.

If somebody, any were in the world, want to participate in the final clinical study, this will be welcomed.

BERIMAX will probably be distributed by Sinornis Pharma (www.sinornis.com) together with other pigeon health products.

BERIMAX will initially not be considered as medicine, because the active compound is not on the medicine list, and the plants used are not considered as medicine plants. This means that the BERIMAX can be easily available for any pigeon fancier.

It is a very interesting, but time also a time consuming and expensive process to develop new remedies. I hope BERIMAX will be a good alternative in the struggle against Trichomonas and probably other diseases in the future. \

BERIMAX forte. Product data sheet

Origin:

Berimax is a natural purified plant extract. Chemically it is an alkaloid and is a very bitter yellow pigment. This alkaloid is present in many specific plants found on all continents. The extraction and purification is complicated and can be carried out by CO2 extraction method. Purity is 98 %. Berimax contains 20 %

purified plant extract.

This is equivalent to 200 mg / ml.
Biological properties:

The plant extract of Berimax has the property to destroy single cell organisms like Trichomonas, Giardia, Hexamita parasites, but also bacteria like

E. coli and Clostridium spp. This plant extract has also shown ability to inhibit cancer cells, and to protect liver cells against certain toxins. The plant extract of Berimax has also the ability to inhibit inflammations.

Toxicity:

The plant extract of Berimax is considered as non-toxic. However, taken in high doses can lead to intoxication. The lethal doses ( LD50 ) for rats is bout 1 gram per kg body weight, or 5 ml pure extract.


Incompatibility:

Berimax must not be mixed with any drug or water additives as we have seen flocculation and precipitation when mixed with e.g. acids, or medicines. Such visible chemical reactions might result in toxic compounds.



Medical claims:

No.


Type of product:

Nutraceutical. Liquid water soluble. Strong yellow colour and a bitter taste. 50 ml medical glass bottles.

Use:

General dose 5 mg per kg body weight.

1 ml is suitable for 40 kg bodyweight. Otherwise give 1 drop per 2 kg body weight. For very small animals dilute 1 ml in 9 ml of water, and give 1 or two drops.

Oral administration.

Horses 2 g once (=10 ml liquid)

Cattle 3 g once (=15 ml liquid)

Sheep and pigs 0,5 - 2,0 g once (= 2,5 ml liquid)

Drinking water application for pigeons, poultry, birds* and rabbits. To kill Trichomonas and other single cell intestinal parasites, use 1 ml per litre of water. Give during 1 - 5 days. Up to 10 days.
Warning:

Use plastic gloves and disposable cloth when using this product due to strong yellow staining. Unnecessary contact with the product can give allergy (although not yet reported).

*The product have been tested on poultry, European quail, domestic pigeons, canary, and some parrot and parakeet species and found safe. However, there might be species or individuals not tolerating this product well, and there might also exist until now undiscovered circumstances in housing, management, climate, nutrition or pathology which can result in adverse reactions by using this product. Allergy against this product can occur. This products have not been evaluated as medicine and can therefore not claim any specific medical properties. However experience and scientific literature have proven the efficacy and safety of this plant extract.

Manufacturer and responsible company:

Sinornis Pharma Ltd (Companies House No 4691134)

Office 48, Imex Wansbeck Business Centre
Rotary Park Way, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 8QZ, England

Research and sales office: Sinornis Pharma Ltd Norwegian Branch, Phone 0047 975 60 818

 IN CANADA; Sold by: NorthStar Doves

http://www.northstardoves.com/Canker.html

 CANKER - ITS PREVENTION, CONTROL AND TREATMENT By Dr. Collin Walker.

Nature of the disease

The disease canker is caused by a protozoan Trichomonas columbae. This is a microscopic single-celled organism. It lives within the digestive tract of pigeons, in particular the throat and crop, and can also involve associated areas such as the bile duct. The organism is fragile in the environment, only surviving for a few minutes once outside the bird. This helps with control of the disease and means that the birds cannot become infected from the loft or immediate environment as happens with other diseases such as worms and paratyphoid. The organism (trichomonad) requires intimate contact between birds to be spread and is usually transmitted by saliva or pigeon milk. Saliva contaminates food and water. As a pigeon drinks, the organism swims away from its beak and, when another pigeon comes to drink, it not only drinks the water but also the trichomonads there. When a pigeon sorts through grain, each dropped grain contains a small amount of saliva. In this way, the disease can also be spread through a feed hopper. Adult birds 'billing' can transmit the organism, as do parents when feeding their nestlings. 

Control of canker during the breeding season

Correct medication is vital during the breeding season so that the level of natural immunity in the weaned youngster is as high as possible. Because the severity of the disease varies in different lofts, there is no single blanket program that is best for all lofts. There is no drug that by itself will cure canker in a loft. It is a matter of using medication correctly so that the birds can establish a strong natural immunity to the disease. It is this natural immunity that, in the longer term, protects them from the disease.

What causes canker to appear during the breeding season?

In health, every time the feeding stock bird feeds its youngsters, it passes on some of its own trichomonads to them. This gives the youngsters a controlled gradual exposure to the organism, which in turn allows them to establish their own natural immunity. Clinical disease appears in the babies when the stock birds shed too many trichomonads over a given period of time to their youngsters. 

Medications Available

Any one of a group of medications called nitro imidazoles are effective against trichomonads. There are four commonly in use:

1. Dimetradazole - The common brand name here is Emtryl, available as a water-soluble powder. Dimetradazole was the first nitro imidazole available and is still an effective drug, although trichomonad resistance to it in some areas is a problem because it has been used for the longest. It must be used with care as it has a narrow safety margin. Overdose leads to a reversible loss of balance and coordination and, in high doses, death. The medication can interfere with sperm production in cocks, leading to a temporary infertility, and so is not recommended for use during breeding. The usual dose is 1 teaspoon (3 grams) to 4½ - 8 litres of water. Lower dose rates should be used in stock birds feeding youngsters and during hot weather when water intake increases and evaporation occurs from drinkers, increasing the concentration of the medication. 

2. Carnadazole - The common brand name here is Spartrix. It is only available in tablet form. It has a wide safety margin and is very useful for individual bird dosing, particularly youngsters in the nest. The dose is one 10-mg tablet daily.

3. Metronidazole - The common brand name is Flagyl. This is available as a water-soluble syrup and as tablets in a variety of strengths. It is very economical, with the tablets being useful to dose individual birds. Individual birds are given ¼ of a 200-mg Flagyl tablet once daily. Flagyl syrup is water soluble and is given at the dose of 5 - 10 ml per litre but is very sugary and not very palatable to the birds. 

4. Ronidazole - This is available as a water-soluble powder under a number of brand names world-wide, including Ridsol-S, Turbosole, Tricho-Plus and Ronivet. The usual strength used is 10%. The dose at this strength is ½ teaspoon per litre. Weaker preparations are available but the birds need to be treated longer with these. The drug is very bitter so preparations stronger than 10% tend to be unpalatable to the birds. It has a very wide safety margin and is safe to use during breeding, racing and moulting. World-wide, ronidazole is the current medication of choice to treat canker. However, in some countries it is not available for use in pigeons, authorities being concerned that resistant organisms may develop. As the drug is used in food-producing animals such as pigs, its use is reserved for these. 

In any canker-control program, it is often best to rotate between at least two of these medications in order to decrease the chance of a resistant trichomonad strain developing. Currently, ronidazole-based preparations are used as the primary treatment because of their effectiveness and wide safety margin, but it is a good idea to swap to one of the other available drugs every third or fourth treatment.
 
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