On Sunday the 21st April, I had the pleasure to visit the outstanding lofts of Wood Bros & Beddowes,

And to see their latest double fed winning hen, this hen topped the Worcester fed from Frome on the 13/04/19 against 156 members and 2358 birds,

Then the following week, the second race 20/04/19 from Yeovil where 184 members sent 3021 birds she again took top honours, – a fantastic achievement lads’

The first question I asked the partnership was, what’s her name? now she’s a double fed winning hen,

Unbelievably to me, they hadn’t named her at that time, and so they gave me the privilege in doing so,

I looked at her, and because of the way she had won the fed by being well clear on both occasions I decided to name her ‘Racey’…

My husband handled the hen whilst I was taking notes and he was very impressed on how well she looked and that she possessed all the qualities that a good pigeon man would want to see in her,

‘Racey’ is a blend of their own family going back to the of De Mayer, Leon Batts, & Gert Heylen strains,

Both Roger’s have been in the sport for many years, Roger Wood started being competitive with the birds from 1982. And Roger Beddowes since 1966,

Roger Wood tells me that his son wanted the birds and showed an interest but unfortunately his passion didn’t last long and so Roger decided to keep them and have a go at racing, his brothers were also keen pigeon fanciers at that time and were already racing, they flew as Wood Bros from 1984, and then in 2006 Roger Beddowes joined the partnership,

The Partnership house 12 stock pairs, 72 old race birds are kept, and 80 youngsters are bred each year

45 old hens are currently being raced with 15 pigeons being sent into three clubs

Their family of birds are a blend of De Mayer, Leon Batts, & Gert Huylen,

They told me they keep more pigeons now because they fly in 3 clubs, and they also like to compete in every race of the MCC, They prefer to fly distances up to 300 miles, they have won from messac and have been 2nd in the MCC in 2017.

Their family of birds are good up to around messac (300+ miles),

Although Roger tells me that they have been in the top 60 of the MCC from Saintes, which is pushing on 500 miles.

In the MCC they have been leading the averages, but the Saintes race seems to scupper there chance, with the birds being more middle distance contenders.

The partnership like to race competitively in the MCC, and Roger was telling me that one of his most memorable performances was in the MCC where they took 17 positions into the first 50, and finished 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.

The partnership prefer to race both cocks and hens on widowhood, with the widowers being paired up around the 2nd/3rd week in January.

I asked if the hens are problematic, with them pairing up whilst being away from the cocks,

And they told me they don’t pair up too much… if there is a dominate hen amongst the hens then they will take it out, because the hens are dependent on the cocks, they prefer to send just the hens or cocks but don’t like to send both cocks or hens usually,

They never usually visit the vet, however if they think something is wrong or somethings a miss then they get a dropping/crop test performed.

The pigeons are all treated before the birds are paired for the usual cocci, canker, and worms.

Occasionally birds are brought in and Roger likes to see good balance in a pigeon and the cock to be medium in size, he doesn’t believe too much in the throat theory or eye sign as he has seen faults in all winners.

They like to train the old birds before the season starts, then once they’ve had a race, exercising around the loft normally is enough to keep them fit.

They like to feed a versele laga mix which is comparative to their Irish mix, and they are fed once a day, they feed the pigeons to suit the conditions,

Sometimes the partners are shown to the cocks or hens prior to the race but again it depends on the time they have available or whatever they feel is required at the time,

The partnership don’t believe too much in tonics etc., and prefer mostly to provide plain water,

‘On arrival from a race the pigeons are allowed to be together for around an hour, and are then parted.

I asked them if they sent both cocks and hens is it a problem if they arrive together, the partnership said it doesn’t matter too much but they do try to keep the sexes separate so will race just hens or cocks normally.

After the race they receive plain water and then they are on a breakdown mix until Monday,

All The birds are trapped through the traps on the bottom part of the doors, they keep around 75-85 ybs, and they fly in three clubs so like to send around 25-30 in each club.

For the young birds, they are trained hard daily before the races commence

Starting at 2 miles for their first toss then gradually increased and moved on further,

They like to train as hard as possible, and train to around 50-60 mile before the first race,

Young birds are fed the same as the old birds,

When I asked the lads about their success he provided me with a book that has all the records in since 1984,

During the years 1984-2014 roger showed me the prizes that had been won during that period and they were fantastic results, with no duplications they gained 430 x 1st prizes, 358 x 2nd prizes, 327 x 3rd prizes and many more… The partnership have an averaged around 14 x 1sts a year since 1982.

When I asked them about any pigeons that had done well for them Roger spoke about ‘99 ‘ a Busscahert cock , He never won the fed but got as close as 2nd Worcester fed he was beat by Turner Bros Essington Express in 1993, Champion 99’ gained 11x1st clubs in his career, but later this pigeon was a most influential breeder and bred a dynasty of winners, at that time the partnership had an exceptional run of results that made it very hard for people to beat them, his nest brother was 2nd placed also to 99’ many times ,they were the old George Corbett Busschaerts,

Thank you to both Rogers for making me and my hubby so very welcome and giving up the time to create this report, may you both enjoy plenty more success for the coming season.

There you have it guys my first loft report… And what a way to start’

I will be in touch with many other fanciers during the season, so don’t be shy,

Until next time…

For any news please email me at sales@excelsiorpigeon.com or Facebook direct message me at @excelsiorpigeon

For those that prefer text then message 07904-793079.

Bye for now, Sarah.