About liars and ... overdosing!

It is sometimes amazing what a fancier tries to make us believe when we are visiting his lofts to make a report or when we make a casual visit. How many times have we heard fanciers claim that their pigeons live on a diet of water and seeds?

It is amazing how often we are led to believe that fanciers do not use any nutritional supplements for their pigeons and that they only feed healthy corn and cereals to their pigeons. We know that some fanciers actually do it that way, but this is surely an exception. In most cases it is hard to believe what the fancier says about his feeding methods. We have no idea why so many fanciers do not tell us the truth but rather make us believe that they only feed their pigeons with water and corn.
Do we think that we are too honest when we admit that we add a vitamin supplement to the feed or that we give our pigeons a treatment for trichomoniasis, coccidiosis or worms when needed? Is it because they fear that their opponents would do the same thing?

We really have no idea, but we do know from experience that several fanciers like to tell us a lie once in a while. Some of them are compulsive liars who try to make you believe the exact opposite of what they are actually doing. If we could imagine the opposite of what they are saying we would probably be very close to the truth. This is sometimes ridiculous, but it is also very childish. However, we also know that pigeon racing is not the only sport in which telling lies is a common habit. For instance, we often hear road cyclists claim that they do not use any doping, in contrast to their opponents, who are always guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs. That same cyclist also wants us to believe that he only eats water and bread. But we want to make clear that we are not in favour of using too much medicine for your pigeons. As long as there are no real problems we think you should not make use of them. However, if problems should occur it is a definitely a good idea to give your pigeons medical treatment.

For instance, we have been inoculating our pigeons every year against smallpox and diphtheria for twenty years now and we have never noticed any negative side effects. That is why we no longer feel sorry for pigeon fanciers whose youngsters have the pox just when the interesting races are coming up for them. If there is one disease that can easily be avoided and cured it is the pox and that applies to paramixo as well. 

But in the light of this we strongly condemn fanciers who seem to overuse medicines and treatments for their pigeons. This has become a point of discussion and specialists have always warned us against overdosing. There are too many risks in giving higher doses of medicines. You risk causing irreparable harm to your family of pigeons. Fortunately, pigeons have repeatedly proved to be very strong animals that can survive several high doses of medicines. If you see how some fanciers treat their pigeons you start to wonder why they don’t use their common sense. Fanciers often falsely believe that if for instance a dose of 5 drops per litre of water is good for the pigeons,  then 10 drops per litre water will be even better for them. Such reasoning and misconception is very common, not only in our sport.

This is also a misconception among athletes. Some sportsmen would give themselves a double dose, but a true sportsman will notice that this is not a good idea and he will soon stop doing it. However, a pigeon cannot tell us how bad they feel after such a treatment, so the fancier is likely to continue this practice. That is how they might damage their pigeons without actually being aware of it.

When specialists say that it is wrong to take larger doses than normal and that in some cases it is also a bad idea to take lower doses (which is a lot less common!) who are we to question that? Vets, pharmacists and doctors have been studying this subject for years and they have done research to determine the most effective dose for a medicine. So we reckon they know what the best way to use a medicine is and what the correct dose is.

Today we are not careful enough when it comes to vitamins either. As for any supplement or medicine it is vital to use the prescribed dose. A pigeon will never absorb more vitamins than it can take, but an overdose might disturb the pigeon’s body. This is often overlooked by fanciers.