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Trevor Firman

Temora NSW

By Barry Trewin

On my recent visit to Temora Club I was to notice a name and I hadn't actually met Trevor on my previous visits. Trevor dominated the last flying season.

He began his introduction into the sport as a junior, through a mate Morrie Sutton who had some road peckers in his yard. He said he has everything in the stock loft! All of which have been given to him, anything that raced well I have bred from, and so on and so on! He now holds 10 pairs of stock and starts with around 80 YB and 10 OB each year.

He normally feeds wheat, peas, safflower and grit in the breeding season and has two different mixes for the racing season. For races up to 300 miles he feeds wheat and peas (2W, 1P) and then gradually increases a heavier mix by adding more peas and maize (1W, 2P, 1M). He doesn't feed oil seeds as he is trying different things. He believes problems seem to come through the oil seeds, this is just through observation - such as fungi. He is a heavy feeder of his birds and takes it out when he thinks they have had enough. He will feed twice daily after the birds have had their morning exercise and just before dark. The birds will be loft flown each day for 1 hour.

He weans his birds when they are 6 weeks old and trains them to a whistle, he will have the YB in a basket out in front of the loft for 3 days to help them to loft break.

His first 5 tosses are as follows: 2 x 10 miles and then 3 x 15 miles. He may have another 5 tosses before the first race, which depends on how they are going. Once racing he trains from 20 miles, but very seldom, he also likes to train alone to get his birds to learn for themselves.

Trevor prefers YB's "as they haven't learnt any bad habits, or become falcon shy". He used to like to race his hens, but now has no preference, he treats his cocks differently now, as he is not as hard on them. He likes his team to be tight in the feather, clean wattle, bright eyes and sitting on the floor with their wings hovering - wanting to go!

In 2003 he cleaned up the club aggregate and bird of the year.

In 2001 he was a short marker - taking out the Oaks 200 mile event, 10 minutes in front with 2 birds.

300 mile - 20 minutes in front.

600 mile - 50 minutes in front (7 birds home by 2nd day, he had 4 of them)

Bird of the Year.

He watches for wet canker, which seems to be a problem now in the racing season, some stock birds seem to breed canker, obviously they are carriers, but they are producing good birds, so they remain. He uses a fly-in open door trapping system, and fly's his hens and cocks separate.

His birds are paired together in September and birds are kept together if they are breeding good birds and it is trail and error with the others. His most successful breeding pair are a hen which was 1st 600 mile and a cock which landed with the hen, they have been consistently breeding good birds and bred the 2003 Bird of the Year, another daughter 1st 500 mile and another 2nd 600 Mile.

He suggests that we should never give up, always be willing to listen and learn from others. Also learn observation which is most important. He believes we can find a better system than velocities to compete by, as the velocity system disadvantages some flyers.