JAN Botes’s passion for racing pigeons began when was young. He collected several medals and championship titles throughout his life, becoming a member of the Randburg Racing Pigeon Club in 2008, where he teamed up with his son-in-law, Leon Viljoen. With Jan’s 18 pigeons and Leon’s race team, they won four races at club level, scored joint 24th in the Single Birds and 26th in the All Birds to Count points league averages of the Transvaal Racing Pigeon Federation, and fourth and fifth respectively at club level. Jan admits success eluded him when he was using all the must-have pills and potions. The minute he decided to focus on natural remedies and natural immunity he entered a new era.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he says. “When a pigeon is sick it needs treatment, but it must be done wisely.” Most fanciers would be surprised to know Jan hasn’t de-wormed his pigeons for five seasons. “I will, if the vet says they have worms,” he explains, adding that his birds go for regular check-ups. He administers a routine treatment programme prior to the racing season at normal dosage, while immunity-building supplements and vitamins are standard. Campo’s high-protein is used throughout the season, but no barley or peanuts are given. After the pigeons are loft-trained well, road training is all they get for the entire racing season as follows:
- Mondays – road trained at 40km.
- Tuesdays – road trained at 100km.
- Wednesdays – road trained at 40km.
- Thursdays – road trained at 40km.
- Fridays – rest.
- Saturdays – road training at 190km for the pigeons not in the race.
- Sundays – bath and rest. – Thomas Smit
E-mail Thomas Smit at thomassmit@ absamail.co.za or call (011) 680 4778. |fw
JAN Botes’s passion for racing pigeons began when was young. He collected several medals and championship titles throughout his life…