Feeding For Performance
Proper feeding is very important for top performance. Your birds will kit and roll better when hungry. When your birds are mature you should cut back their food and only feed once a day. Some fanciers will even give separate measured rations to each bird, adjusting the quantity according to the way the bird flew. I just measure feed in a coffee can. Figure out how much feed your birds will quickly eat at one feeding, and adjust from there.If the birds fly too long and are seldom rolling I will cut the rations for the whole kit. If the birds don't fly for at least 45 minutes, I will give them a little more food. Each family requires a different amount of food to be at peak performance and if you fly several different families together adjusting feed will be difficult. Feed requirements will also vary depending on the weather and several other factors. Your birds may also perform better with different mixes of grain. Most fanciers cut back on protein, and some will feed only wheat or milo before a competition. I feed a pigeon mix with 10% protein. In the winter I add popcorn to the mixture. - Jon Lahman
Feed Prepping For Competition
A young bird kit should be flown every day if possible. Train them to fly not more than 45 minutes, and make sure they don't fly too high. Thirty minutes is preferable. If they start flying too high, or for more than 45 minutes, then cut back on their feed, until they are flying the way you want them to. The young birds should be flown this way until they start rolling hard and deep. Some families of birds will start rolling with style and depth as early as 3 or 4 months. I have found these early developers to be as stable as later developers in my family. If a young bird can show me that it can remain stable for a few weeks, then I pull it out, and promote it to a kit of more active birds that are working harder than the others. These hard working birds seem to do better when they are together as a kit.