Training tippler -Wilf Lovatt


Some ration the barley, giving less than others. I give a little under what they could eat up, being a fancier that likes to see his kit strong and not looking for the droppers all the time. I would sooner it take an hour to drop them than have to drive them for an hour. No matter what method is used, all are successful. But to be successful, you must have a method to work to. Some fanciers change the diet from barley earlier than others, some ten, some six others three days before competition. No matter which period you prefer, the pigeons are improved if cleared out with a drink of Epsom Salts one night and next Rue tea. The last two days, the birds are fed on barley. Some birds are very stupid at drinking either and I find by giving a little linseed or crushed bread along with the barley they are glad of a drink to wash it down. I know an old fancier who used to soak his barley for 12 hours in Salts, also Rue tea, then dry it gradually and put it in tins until he wanted it. He called it his Special Barley.

This fancier was a good Tippler fancier but had a bad flying position, otherwise would have been amongst the champions. Incidentally, he did fly over 17 and 18 hours and he did not wait for his pigeons to drink Salts or Rue and he never made excuses if his pigeons did not do as expected, it was too bad. His birds were very small, a good training and with a couple of feeds of mixed corn, he said, they would fly grand for 12 hours. It is remarkable how soon a Tippler will improve in body condition, and it is also surprising how soon they lose that body condition.

If only the novice and beginner would handle his kit every day after he has changed from barley to other grains he would not think about those so-called secret feeds and tonic drinks. He would notice a change everyday in their body condition. Some birds put on body condition sooner than others, and some never put an ounce on, but if one or other of my kit do not improve I don't worry. If they have all eaten what I gave them they will be strong. There is nothing to beat good sound Maple peas for stamina. I have good times off two nights maples, one corn, one corn and wheat, next corn, wheat and mixed canary and fly morning bit rice, corn, wheat, canary. For a tonic, nothing is better than Parrish's Chemical Food. Twenty drops in a pint of water fly morning, clean water that has been boiled and gone cold. If pigeons, after a barley training and cleaned out with salts and given rue to drink before giving this simple feed, will not fly 12 hours up to 16 hours, it is bad training or birds. No one can fly duds , for remember, 18 hour pigeons are not as plentiful as cherries on a cherry tree. To fly 18 hours or more the birds must have favorable weather conditions with helping winds.

There are Tippler fanciers that never fly big times because they fly from bad positions and it is always hard work for their kits to even fly 12 hours. These fanciers are true sportsmen, never grumble but keep competing with fanciers who have better flying positions. I was surprised to read Mr.E.Loach's remarks, saying he had been down to Leek years ago. I and one or two of the Hanley Club Members go down to Leek several times, and I can assure him there are no Tipplers down there today of the same type, color or size as he saw there years ago. The Leek, Congleton and Macclesfield type were all alike, not the size we see now. The size is spoiling the balance and type we older fanciers always look for in a Flying Tippler. The old saying, a good big 'un will always beat a good little one, does not apply to Flying Tipplers.Some of the big pigeons must be 1 1/2 lbs. in weight, but I expect it's everyone to his own idea and, as in all other fancies, type and size change with the times. But in Tipplers, I prefer a nicely balanced pigeon as a time flyer and this is my opinion of what to look for in a Flying Tippler. You can publish these few remarks as typed down last year by Mr. R. Stephenson. He came to my loft and asked me to demonstrate to him how and why the difference in type and what I would look for in a Flying Tippler. I penned him four pigeons and pointed out faults and good points in every one separately and thought what a good job he had done after receiving his views a few days after. There cannot be any fixed type in the Flying Tippler and we all have different opinions, but these were and still are my idea of a Flying Tippler.

Hoping these remarks will be of interest to the beginner and some other abler pen than mine will write a few lines. I also hope the fanciers down Swansea way will rally round those grand fanciers and sportsmen Jos. Davies, A.Davies and all the Davies' along with Dick Lewis, Mr. Weaver and all the others that are sticking to a decision voted on at the 1953 N.T.U. annual general meeting. The Hanley Club had almost same item put on the agenda two years in succession, and on both occasions they were turned down. So we all took it in a broad minded way. Let us all hope the lads down in Swansea will stick to those grand old fanciers---fanciers that built up the Tippler Fancy to what it is today.