My name is Len Vanderlinde, I have been interested in racing pigeons since my childhood.
I was born in Australia in the small country town of Casino, in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales Australia on the 15 September 1949. From an early age my friends and I would catch stray racing pigeons from the many liberations that use to take place in Casino back in those days.
It wasn’t until my family left Casino in 1964, when I was 15 years old, and moved to Brisbane, that I had my first opportunity to race them….read more
I have created this web site to share my experiences with racing pigeons over many years.
by Dr Gordon A Chalmers, DVM, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada….
Fats, which are also known as triglycerides, are the major fuel needed by racing pigeons during the racing season, and indeed, by any species of wild bird that flies extended distances, as in Spring and Autumn migrations. It has been noted that the capability of birds for storing triglycerides as an energy reserve, exceeds that of other classes of vertebrates (animals with vertebral columns).
Note this important point: the amount of energy provided by the utilization of fats is over twice as much as that produced by the utilization of carbohydrates and protein combined. The importance of fat as the major fuel for racing, or for any prolonged flight, such as that of migrating birds, cannot be over-estimated.
Now what is the role of protein in the racing bird? This is an important point because a number of fanciers continue to feed high levels of peas and beans as fuel for racing. Protein is highly important in the maintenance and repair of damaged muscle and other tissues. It is not an energy food and would not be used as such by the bird for flight except when all reserves of fat and carbohydrate are completely depleted. The bird that returns home days or weeks late with wasted breast muscles has likely had to resort to using the protein of muscle as a source of energy — hence the wasting. So much of the muscle has been used as a desperately needed source of energy that it may never return to normal.
1. High levels of fat in the diet of birds will DECREASE the amount of fat produced by the liver.
2. High levels of protein in the diet of birds will DECREASE the amount of fat produced by the liver.
3. High levels of carbohydrate in the diet of birds will INCREASE the amount of fat produced by the liver.
On the matter of high levels of fat in the diet, in one study in chickens, it was found that the addition of 10% fat to the diet of young chicks actually decreased fat production in the liver by a startling 40%! However, it is important to note that when amounts of carbohydrate in the diet are held at a constant high level, high levels of dietary fat don’t seem to interfere with fat production by the liver!