Q: What is a rule of thumb to use in sending young birds to the races? Should I send all the healthy young birds to every race or should I divide the young birds into teams sending them only every other week. We race young birds up to 300 miles. For example: Should I send them to a 250 mile race and then a week later send the same birds to a 300 mile race?

There are no set rules in regard to when to send young birds. I assume you are contemplating dividing your team into 2 groups. That is probably okay for your first year of flying. But you will need to learn when a bird is in good condition and only then should it be sent. As to sending birds from one weekend to the next, there is nothing wrong with this as long as they were not late coming home from the first race and that they recuperated nicely, showing no signs of stress the day after the race.

Perhaps a way for you to start this process is to basically divide your team into two platoons. Ship one platoon. Then consider the early arrivals -- or let's say, the first 5 arrivals. Send them back the following week with the rested group. It's the early or winning pigeons that can easily be sent back, not the ones that struggled home and were late. But remember, these early birds must have arrived in good time, look and act healthy, have a pink color on their breasts -- by no means blue, and you can send them. Common sense and observation are the keys and make you the coach and not the mechanic.

I believe I have covered somewhere in my Ask Horst section the questions of blue, tight, tired toxic birds. I would suggest you reread that so I don't have to rewrite a topic.

Good luck --