By: Sony Gill (MGILL LOFT) [For PDF version Click Here]
Having worked with my kit since May, finally June 6th was here. My first ever competition fly. Up to now my birds were on 20 grams of diet and little protein after each workout. They were flying three times a week for a total of 18 to 20 hrs and always dropping to lights and droppers in dark to my loft.
None of my birds made any mistake during training so; I just could not pull any of them from a kit. I started with 6 young birds; lost 1 the very first day they were on top of the loft, so I was left with 5. One of the birds was bred to be placed in my breeding loft, but after seeing him fly for 2 hrs on his first flight plans changed, he had to prove himself in the air to be considered for breeding just like the other birds.
The day before the competition the birds were given last feed around 6:00 pm. To my surprise the birds did not feed well. They were offered a drink of water (boiled and cooled). They were locked up in individual cages and allowed to rest until the next morning. On that day I had to take care of something and did not get back until midnight, so asked my better half to wake me up @ 3:00 am she looked at me smiled and said you are crazy. That was not the first or the last time I will be called “crazy”. She woke me up @ 3:00 am but I just could not get up until 4:00 am. I rushed to the loft with boiled (cooled) water in one hand and a watch in the other hand. Offered the birds a drink of water and gave them a pep talk that failure is not acceptable. Around 4:20 am put them is an aviary for eyes to adjust and waited until 4:40 am. Finally birds were released. Four of the five birds went up right away and the 5th one went to the top of the loft. I grabbed him and released him right away. To be honest the first half an hour I was second guessing myself about releasing them that early. They were only on a 3 day feed up but, my thinking was that they have to be prepped for the “big day”. At 5:10 am 2 birds were spotted and at 5:20 am all five birds were together at last and flying as one tight unit.
To be a successful tippler fancier you need your family to help out with your birds from time to time. I am blessed that all of my family members help out as required, releasing them feeding them (but they will not clean the loft, I wonder why?). I have 2 young sons 4 and 2 year old they love our birds. If allowed they would spend an entire day in the loft. From time to time they want to release them. On one of my training toss I gave them each a bird and told them to hold it while I go grab the other birds. Few seconds later looked over my youngest son’s bird which was struggling. By the time I came over it got away but left 8 tail feathers in his hands. I looked at him and said “if he was struggling you should have let him go” to that his response was “you told me to hold it tight and don’t let go”. I was disappointed but just loved his response and smiled and gave him a big hug. So I watched that bird for next few flights without any ill effect (09CNTU1778 black). To me my birds are my hobby and my family my life. However I don’t think they would agree with me on this.
Saturday morning I play soccer from 8:30 am to 10:30 am to accommodate my game I asked my father and brother-in-law to monitor the kit according to CNTU rules which was printed and provided to them before hand (If that constitutes as a disqualify then I will disqualify myself). After taking a shower went to relief my two Timers and they informed me that birds were seen every 10 to 15 minutes and according to the rules, I thanked them for a job well done, and relieved them from their duty. Birds flew at medium to low all day long seen every 15 to 20 minutes. Had few visitors drop by to motivate me (Gurinder, Ninder, and Skander to name few) and phone call from Ron, Harpreet and Sunny.
After 12 hours birds started to struggle but there training would not allow them to drop without droppers. For the next 2 hours they were up and down like a yo-yo and very nerve-wrecking for me to watch. At that moment I felt betrayed by the birds and was looking for holes in my training. After some soul searching I came to the conclusion that they needed a 5 day feed-up instead of 3 days. But, to my surprise they kept motoring away. At that time seconds became minutes and minutes became hours.
Around 6:47pm they were completely done and looking for droppers @ 6:48pm they just had enough so, threw for them and the kit dropped right away. They took their sweet little time to trap. The last bird trapped @ 7:04pm. This was a big surprise that it took them that long they usually respond within seconds. My young bird kit made me very proud with a total time of 14:08 minutes on the wing. Not bad for my very first kit and fly?
If I can fly in double digits then anyone can you just have to follow some simple rules.
1. Quality not quantity (Get good birds from top fliers).
2. Keep them in top form (Vitamins and food requirements. Feed them according to there requirements at breeding feed breeding mix at molting feed molting mix etc.)
3. Keep the loft clean.
4. Have a strict schedule and follow it. (When to feed, what to feed, how much to feed).
5. Keep notes on your training, feeding, and weather for future references.
6. Cull everything which does not meet your high standard.
7. Become resourceful.
8. ASK QUESTIONS.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following individuals; Ron-Ranjit for all of his help and guidance. Kemo Basic for answering my questions from time to time (this guy is wealth of knowledge, but very hard to track him down). Also, Sunny, “The Tippler King” , Sharma for quick answers when I needed them. I would also like to thank Luka for encouraging all the newcomers to fly and compete at highest level. Oh one more thing, here’s a picture of my security system.
Any comments please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org