by Dave Black [Click Here for PDF Version]
BIRDS SELECTED FOR THE FLY
3 grey Pilot x Boden f1 cross young hens
BAND NUMBERS OF THE KIT
257 EFTU 12, 261 EFTU 12, 291 EFTU 12
Pilot cocks paired to Boden hens is the breeding method I use. Parents to 257 and 291 was a blue Pilot cock 2230/10 paired to 924/06 silver cheq Boden hen. Parents to 261 was blue Pilot cock 2412/10 paired to 4720/09 silver cheq Boden hen.
ABOUT THEIR PARENTS
None of the pilot cocks have ever flew out of the loft, purely bred for stock purposes. The 2230/10 Pilot cock is a son from one of my main Pilot cocks, the white tail 2005 Pilot cock which I have already dropped a 19 hour young bird from him previously. Unfortunately another bird in the kit tried to drop on the loft soaking wet, missed, and ended up in a tree overlooking the loft. The 2412/10 Pilot cock on the ITF fly the year previous bred a young bird to go 19 plus but I missed the full kit there as well.
The 924/06 silver Boden cheq hen bred by my Verley Mignott Bodens I purchased which were originally from Paul Bowden’s birds .This is my main hen in the loft was flown as an old bird over 2 years with times of 17: 31 and 19:00 and 18:50 and 17:35 and 19:30 and 20:17. She is a great flying hen and produced young birds to fly just last year 19 hours 40 minutes, but one bird was disqualified in the kit. The fly after I dropped a young bird from her 18 hours 15 mins and an old bird just this year was dropped on 21 hours even. Unfortunately one bird was taken by the falcon during the day from the kit,
The 4720/09 silver cheq Boden hen was never flown out, just bred for stock from the birds I bought from Verley Mignott. Again these are out of Paul Bowden’s birds. This is the first time I’ve managed to reach a fly with a young bird from her this season.
This kit has never been dropped in daylight since their first week of training. I dark trained them as part of a big kit into dark and to the lights straight away. As the kit became fit and more confident in the dark I would release the kit just before dark and set the alarm clock on my mobile phone to wake up sometimes 3 am in the morning to get the kit down or simply drop them when I arrived from work. The kit was trained on a depurative and individually boxed. This kit was dark trained for around 7 to 8 weeks strictly in the night, so knew nothing else.
I flew this kit plus 2 on the Monday before the Sunday’s competition – 4 hens and 1 cock, 3 greys and 2 blues. One of the blues was taken by the falcon shortly after release. I was hoping it was the blue cock but sure enough it was the blue hen which I had in mind for the competition. So this left the remaining 4 birds to complete a 7 hour training fly till 3 in the morning. This left me no choice but to feed up the 3 remaining grey hens and I took out the blue cock.
Monday – I dropped the kit at 3am and fed expert 3 Beyers brand energy mix. Also a pinch of crushed peanuts then plain water.
Tuesday – lights on in the loft expert 3 Beyers energy mix, a pinch of crushed peanuts, metatone and glucose in their water.
Wednesday – lights on in the loft expert 3 Beyers energy mix, metatone and glucose in the water. Also a kombi tablet for trichomoninsis to clean the birds right out.
Thursday – lights on in the loft. I fed half small mix seed (a canary conditioner) and half Beyers energy mix, metatone and glucose in their water.
Friday – lights on in the loft. I fed 3/4 measure of small mix seed, (canary conditioner) metatone and glucose in their water.
Saturday – 7 hours before liberation I gave a measure of canary conditioner. Once kit finished eating I waited 40 minutes before giving the kit fresh water. Metatone is bought from local pharmacy along with glucose. I put 2 table spoons of each mixed into a pint of boiling water left in the fridge to cool.
It was a 4.30am liberation for this EFTU 1st Youngbird Fly .Official Dark was 10.48pm
The weather for liberation was dry and bright with a slight westerly wind which became strong throughout the day. In the dark it was overcast and the breeze dropped right off leaving still and calm conditions.
The kit of 3 grey young hens went out heavy but started off well, lifting to a good height. Not ideal I had already been disqualified 4 from 4 flies with old birds previously to falcon trouble. A couple of hours into the fly the breeze became quite strong from the west keeping the kit low over the near by fields. Later in the day I hear of falcon attacks to nearby kits but no sign of it at mine for once. The weather was in my favour, the kit continued low and impressively raking away from home giving me confidence as dark approached. Like in their training they were going to dark and no sign of wanting to drop.
In the dark the kit lifted and stayed tight. I thought I’m on for my personal best of 18 hours 15 minutes as the kit continued in their pattern. They cruised over at a nice height and I was well over my personal best by now. All I was thinking was I hoping I can get the 3 birds down having been disqualified 3 times with young birds over 19 hours before.
I got the kit to 18 hours 49 minutes , when the kit were called split into 2 and 1 by the ref Mick Groody. But the 3 still looked ok and at a good height. So now I had a decision to make when to call time. Gary Watson’s Plester x Pilot kit has the Northeast young bird record of 18 hours 55 minutes which stands for quite a few years now. I carried on flying the kit split with this in mind. Every minute felt like an hour, my legs shaking with adrenalin and I was wishing the time away.
I was finally over the record of 18 hours 55. Do I now show the lights or show some nerve and go for the first kit of young birds in the northeast to fly 19 hours? I decided I might never get another chance, so still flying the kit split on with the lights for 19 hours even. What a feeling when all 3 young birds finally dropping on the loft at 19 hours. Amazing! Regards,