The Dalgleish family have been racing pigeons in the Ballarat area since 1988. In 2002 they were joint CHPC aggregate winners with Rob Forbes. They are current members of the Ballarat East Homing Club and were introduced into pigeons by a former member Charlie Gray who was a neighbour and he had gifted a bird to Brian. Brian and sister Jenny are joint partners in the loft.
The birds that are kept were originally obtained from Charlie Gray (dec), Bill Rodgers (dec); both were life members of the Ballarat East Homing Club. Their birds have been all round performance birds. They hold 30 stock pairs and breed 180 young birds and keep approx.. 10 old birds for racing. They pair their birds using the "Best to the Best" theory and as the birds get too old for breeding then they are replaced. All of their breeding pairs have been consistent in producing their winners. Their breeding season starts in September or October and finishes in January. They like to get 3 rounds from each pair.
During the breeding season the birds are mainly fed protein grains and in the off-season a normal mix is given. The race birds are given their own mix of balanced grains and once the 300-mile mark is reached the maize is increased. They feed 1 ½ oz per bird and feed twice a day. Half the mix is given in the morning and half at night, as the birds are loft flown twice also. They like to see the birds working for at least a 1-hour session each time.
They wean their youngsters when they are 28 30 days when they are down on the floor eating and drinking on their own. Once weaned into the race loft they have access to the mobile aviary, which is a great idea, giving flexibility in being able to be moved out of the way once the birds are broken. They like to have 5 training tosses before the first race with the birds also flying from the first race point before the race. They would only toss once a week, and once racing starts they place the birds into the club tosses from Carisbrook. They enjoy racing young and old birds; they dont prefer cocks or hens and race their birds to the perch with no motivation tactics used. The race birds are broken into 3 teams and are kept on that program racing every 3 weeks and have no crossovers of the teams.
They medicate for canker, cocci and worms in the breeding season, and prefer not to medicate the race birds. They use a fly-in trapping system, with the loft set in 3 sections with the fly-in in the middle. They have a section at the back of the loft for the birds returning from a race to rest.
They suggest that the novices should visit lofts to see how to manage birds.
Main performances over the past few years are as follows:
2002 Daylesford Opal 3rd, 12th and 13th (400 mile)
2002 Horsham Cup 3rd (300 mile)
Ivanhoe CHPC 2nd (300 mile)
Penaire CHPC 2nd, 3rd (200 mile)
1994 Colac Cup Winner (300 mile)
Ballarat East Old Bird Aggregate
90, 91, 94, 95, 96, 01 and 3rd in 2002.
Loft report by Barry Trewin