Charles Jonas called me during his young bird season to let me know how the health of his birds was holding up since this was the first season he was using our products. He races in the San Antonio Limited RPC where they fly 7 A races and 7 B races in October, November and December.
He told me that the young bird sickness in his club is very predictable and was a concern that he was trying to address with as little medication as possible. At around the second week of shipping every year after the 150 mile race, the pigeons usually “get back home and start throwing up and stuff,” he said. This year, Charles’ team was on a program that included Acidifier Plus and Young Bird Developer Plus. He said that he was expecting the sickness to come and while other lofts birds did get sick, only some of his did, and only just a little bit.
“Some guys it takes 3 weeks for their birds to get over it and some don’t ever get healthy,” he said.
“This year on this product, fewer birds got sick and it was 6 days and they were doing good again. So it cut the recovery time in half. Then they came on and did really good.”
One of the top competitors in the club starts with about 90 birds and he had over 20 die, Charles said. By comparison, Charles did not have any die.
The fifth race of the season was the first money race and they shipped 90 birds from 15 lofts. Charles won the first 6 places by 32 minutes ahead of the next loft.
Charles shipped on all A and B races for a total of 14 races. He raced the San Antonio Futurity and he was a money winner taking 4th, 5th, 6th, and 10th in that race with speeds around 1000 ypm.
This was a better year in the money races for Charles. He’s usually close, but this was the best year he said. Charles told me that he believes using the Young Bird Developer Plus was the breaking point that put him over the edge. His birds were healthier on this product, and that gave him the advantage, especially on the longer, hot races.
Young Bird Developer Plus contains highly digestible proteins, probiotics, antioxidants and organic trace minerals. And with the added organic Selenium, Young Bird Developer Plus provides the young birds with the support they need for a healthy gut, muscle and feather development during growth and stress. The Selenium has been proven to give extra support to virus defenses and to lower the number of viruses shed by sick birds. In other words, the pigeons’ immunity towards viruses and pathogenic bacteria are boosted, and if a bird does get infected, the recovery is stronger and shorter.
On a 360 mile race, he said they had 20-25 mph headwinds with speeds at 1044 ypm. Charles won 1st and 2nd place. The birds were in the air for 10 hours and the club only had four day birds. One other loft which was 24 mile short of him had the two other birds on the day.
“They have to be very healthy to be able to do that. I breed for that, but they have to be in top shape to make it. It had just turned dark and they came in,” Charles said.
Their last money race was 275 birds - the Greater San Antonio Race - and Charles is on the long end, again at 360 miles. They pay 40 places and he had 9 in the top 40. Five of his top 9 were not his birds which speaks to his handling and health program, too. His first bird was 7th place and 9 minutes out of first with speeds at 1386 ypm. The lofts that beat him were on the short end, he said.
Charles said he prefers the tougher races where the breeding and the conditioning really comes out. “That goes to show you that the products did help this year - it was like a bonus. I don’t baby any of them. In the past, many birds that don’t show up because they just can’t make it. You know something was wrong.”
“I don’t like to medicate. I tried it when I first started. I found the birds had to be pampered more after medicating. They still feel like they have weaknesses to them. If you’re relying on medication, they can’t handle the heat and working hard in it. With a natural supplement, you are not going to hurt them that way. If you gotta load the hens with a bunch of stuff, you’re going to have to do that with the babies,” he explained.
Racing for about 9 years now, Charles flies Hofken, Houben and Sure Bet lines.