Thoughts on Moult Part2
In the previous article (Thoughts on Moult Part1) I expressed my doubts on many additives that help pigeons through the moult. But do you know in which I believe a bit so far? Sedochol! A firm, known globally, manufactures it and it is cheap. The ingredients methionine, choline and sorbitol are helpful for the liver functions and shortly after you started giving Sedochol you will find the feathers surprisingly much softer. I give it to my birds twice a week, not only when birds are moulting, but 12 months a year. Twice I wrote about it in the Dutch National pigeon magazine NPO, and twice it was reason for my wife to get mad at me. All day long the telephone rang, since people in Holland and Germany wondered where to get it and how to use it. No Belgians called me, since for them it is as normal as grit and they can get it everywhere. In order not to get all those irritating questions by mail, fax, or on the phone I gladly refer to google. Type in the word ‘sedochol’ and you will find what you want. Of course Sedochol is not ‘a must’ but… so far I believe in it and so do many champions especially in Belgium.
And what about the feed? should you not give birds a ‘special moulting mixture?’ (‘ruimengeling’ in Dutch). The word ‘ruimengeling’ alone nearly makes me vomit. What is the term based on? It lacks every scientific support, so forget it as soon as you can. I take feeding far more easily than I did in the past and give all my birds the same mixture a whole year round. Breeders, youngsters, racers, they all get the same feed 365 days per year; moulting time included. And never ever did any one say to me ‘your birds did not moult well, did you give them the right feed?’ Line seed should be good though for birds that are moulting but it soon goes bad and moreover it happened more than once that a bird died due to a seed that was stuck in the throat. It stands to reason that especially in moulting time that is so hard for the pigeons the feed should be complete with enough fat and protein, but… the feed should be complete a whole year round. As long as the feathers fly around your ears the birds should be fed real well, But one should take a bird in the hand regularly to check its weight. If you notice that the fat in the body has been piled up one should immediately start feeding less. Birds that are too fat are good for nothing, not for racing, not for breeding (fat hens won’t lay eggs) and not for moulting. The birds should not be hungry indeed but skipping a meal every week won’t hurt them, on the contrary, it will stimulate the circulation of the blood and consequently the moult.
LIGHT AND DARK
Manipulating with light and dark influences the hormones enormously which is well known by fanciers who darken their babies. By darkening the pattern of moulting changes completely. During ‘moulting time’ there are fanciers that want to be smarter than Mother Nature and what they do is switch on the light to force the feathers to get out. This is absolutely wrong. There are lots of examples of fanciers that ruined a whole racing season, since they had the lamps on too long in winter. When the racing season was on their birds were moulting like hell and therefore unfit to be basketed. Too many people make this sport more complicated than it is, also in ‘moulting time’. One thing however is an absolute ‘must’: Birds that moult need a bath very regularly. There are special ‘bath powders’, but as for me it is a waste of money. I just put some vinegar and salt in the water, which is good and cheap. Letting the birds out in the rain will also do them a lot of good.
Recently I visited 3 fanciers who complained their birds were not in good shape and did not moult properly. When I looked into the lofts I saw that all three were overcrowded. This cannot be a coincidence, on the contrary!!!
see also Thoughts on Moult Part1
Thoughts on Moult Part2 by: Ad Schaerlaeckens