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An Ounce of Prevention...
Author: Roger RagainTitle: An Ounce of Prevention
Date: 2004-07-17 15:42:37Uploaded by: webmaster
Everyone agrees that only healthy birds win races. But, keeping them healthy is harder than it sounds. When I got my first birds someone gave me a book of pigeon diseases. I remember thinking if I had to know all of that information I never would enjoy the birds. When I got back into racing 3 years ago I decided that I would go as natural as possible when it came to treating the birds. I used some chemicals antibiotics occasionally, perhaps 3 or 4 times a year just as a preventative. I was doing the best I knew how, granted, it wasn't much.

It's interesting that chemical antibiotics affect a pigeons immune system in a negative way. By, not only killing the bad microbes they also kill the good at the same time. This is why most people add yogurt to the drinkers the day after the chemical treatment is over or add probiotics to the food or water, to restore the good gut bacteria.

In addition, chemical antibiotics impair white blood cell function. Evidence exist that they cause a significant reduction in the phagocytic index, a measurement of the ability of white blood cells to destroy microbes. The reduction of the immune potential encourages the development of opportunistic infections, the very thing chemical antibiotics are intended to prevent/cure. In other words, it encourages a relapse of the infection at some future point in time or even leaves the bird open to some other infection. Regular use of chemical antibiotics is a 'slippery slope'. I began using Garlic. Researchers have discovered that garlic is a natural germicide, capable of killing nearly any microbe. Bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses are it's victims. Garlic is inexpensive and available everywhere. It also has anti-toxin powers. It boost immunity, increases blood flow, stimulates digestion, purifies the liver, and strengthens the heart. And it keeps the 'bugs' at what I call 'performance levels'. I also use it when the birds come home from a race along with honey and electrolytes in the water. The day after they come home I add a fresh clove of chopped garlic along with a half ounce of Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV) to a gallon of water(4.5 liters).

When a birds comes home from a race it's immune system is depressed from the flight home. The tougher the race the more the immune system is depressed. At this time the bird is "ripe" for an infection. The garlic assist the bird until it's immune system can again handle things. A weekly use of garlic and ACV will do much to keep your birds healthy. The garlic also helps with respiratory problems, again if used regularly. And the good thing, it doesn't leave the bird open to a relapse. Oh yeah lemon juice and brewers yeast on the barley upon return also helps greatly.

I'm a strong believer in natural prevenatives instead of chemical treatments, in fact I didn't use any chemicals last year at all. And if used regularly, natural products can keep the pigeons healthy. They will go from strenght to strenght. Raw honey, propolis, bee pollen, lemon juice and brewers yeast, herbs these are all good things and the birds will be the better for them.

There are also some great new products available to the pigeon fancier. Things like, Stabilised Oxygen and Colloidal Silver. I think these two latter items are great and if your reading this article you then are able to also do an internet search for those words and find out their great benefits as prevenatives and yes, cures also.

I guess this article comes down to if and when you have a choice, choose wisely and use chemical antibiotcs as little as possible, who knows you might even win a few races, I just hope your not racing against me.

Coo time for a brew!...Where next?
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