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Can the immune system be improved??...
Author: Bob RowlandTitle: Can the immune system be improved??
Date: 2005-02-18 16:54:56Uploaded by: webmaster
Can the immune system be improved is a question I hear many times or better yet, I hear people speaking about how they jacked up the immune system.

I suspect that in many cases we have done more harm to the immune system than we have helped it. If we were just completing our education to become a doctor, we would take an oath that states that if we can NOT HELP someone that our mission is to NOT HURT THEM. So if we can't do our pigeons any good, how much damage have we possibly done to them?

Before I get too deep into this thought process, I need to clarify the fact that I do use some drugs IF AND WHEN I have problems but I witness where many are using the drugs to clean their pigeons system before they start racing or breeding. Now I ask, if the pigeons do not have a problem, then why do we use these drugs on our pigeons? If they do have a problem, what is the cause? Is it genetics, hygiene, or loft management?

Nature has provided for many things for thousands of years and for the system that could not remain healthy, then soon that entire specie would eventually eliminate their self so there would ultimately be no future generations. This is the laws of survival of the fittest but yet we insist on putting our nose into creating a system with so many preventative approaches. There is also the law of adaptability so over many generations some species can switch from day time creatures to night time creatures or vice versa. It depends solely on how the enemy of various species have modified their normal code to one that allows them to remain.

Now back to our pigeons as the above statements or thoughts will be applied to this article.

When a young pigeon is initially conceived which is the moment when the sperm and the egg connect, the DNA is established for everything that the baby will be. This DNA formula does not change from this point forward. What connected is what you will get and some of these formulas will have a strong resistance to certain disease or bacteria while other formulas can be very prone to having problems. This is all determined by the genes the parents carry which were given to them by their parents and then which one of each gene is given to each baby from each parent.

If the baby was given a genetic formula for slow speed when flying, then soon the hawks eliminate many of this type and soon all the slow pigeons have been eliminated. Remember that evolution is a constant so the hawks must become faster or they starve or the pigeons must become faster or they are eaten. Somewhere there is a balance or too many of the fast hawks will soon not have enough food supply so they must either adapt to another food source or reduce their numbers to match the food supply allotments.

So we know that some things are a natural given through the genetics but then how about the diet of the parents while this egg and future young one is being created. Chickens stop giving eggs when they are in a heavy moult as this requires most of what they can eat to give them good feathers so if they can not give to the future babies what is required during the conception process, that baby would start life with a handicap.

Nature has been playing this game for thousands and thousands of years but then in we step and we decide we can make things better. We begin by medicating before we begin breeding so now the natural antibodies or transfer factors are perhaps not present because we have told the hen she does not need to develop them as our meds have tricked her system into thinking they have plenty to fight any bacteria that could be present. These antibodies would be given to the baby for it's initial consumption while still in the egg and during the hatching process but now it may not have them so the egg may not even hatch. However, if the mother had a problem and did not have the ability to naturally remain healthy, then giving her drugs to clean her up may have allowed you to get some young ones from her but have we done this at the expense of creating a drug dependent line of pigeons?

Assuming we have the pigeons naturally free of bacteria so they can produce healthy young ones, then how long is it before we begin giving medications to fight tricho or salmonella or respiratory or ecoli or whatever to the new young pigeons? MY PERSONAL BELIEF is that the longer I can have the pigeons free of outside drugs, then I believe their immune system has the opportunity to develop to a greater potential.

I am not trying to suggest we make this a time in their life when everything is a challenge such as trying to have our pigeons living in terrible conditions such as overcrowding or poor sanitation but at the same time, I think having too sanitary of a condition may also create a problem in that the immune system did not have to develop as strongly as may be needed later in the birds life.

During the first 3 weeks of a pigeons life, such things as tricho are being passed to the young by it's parents. This is being done in small amounts each time they are fed but this is working to establish an immune system with natural resistance to the tricho bug. I view this as a necessary time for the pigeons to develop just as people are supposed to get such things as the mumps or measles when they are young. If a man does not have the mumps early in life, it can be a very severe problem should he contact them when he is older. This can do severe irreparable damage where had he experienced the problem at the proper stage of life, he would not have this problem to concern himself with.

I was told by a very smart old man that a pigeon must always be raised by it's parents and not fostered under a different pair and the reason for this is so that the natural antibodies would be introduced to the baby. For a long time, I had a difficult time understanding this and then one day, wham, it hit me between the eyes. MY best pigeons had never been sick a day in their life and I believe this was because they carried the antibodies to fight the bacteria and such where perhaps why my other pigeons that never raced as well were constantly being troubled and attempting to stay bacteria or protozoa free even when being medicated.

If a parent is giving these antibodies or transfer factors during the first few weeks of the baby's life, then anything we do that would restrict the giving of these could have severe repercussions in their life. If this thought process is correct, then is it possible that we have not given any baby their best opportunity because this young one is being raised by lesser quality foster parents. If this is true, it could possible mean that the young one raised by the foster parents may not have the proper antibodies and therefore can not transfer them to it's future young ones also.

In conclusion, I STRONGLY BELIEVE that we have taken much of the natural process of elimination and masked it with the aid of our preventative health programs. I also believe that we have possibly held our pigeons back from future development with the gifts they could at one time give to their babies. Is it also possible that some of the pigeons that came from a line of heavy medication for health are so dependent that without the same program, they can not get to the same level of being bacterial or protozoan free?

I medicate less now than for many years and believe that if my breeding stock can not give healthy babies and also stay healthy on their own, then I am accepting a level of needing constant medication to keep my pigeons clean. For this reason alone, I believe we should have much more microscopic examinations of our birds and only medicate to CURE A PROBLEM. Then get off the drugs and allow their NATURAL IMMUNE SYSTEM to do the job it was intended to do.

Hope this helps,
Bob Rowland

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