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Comparison of the TTS to Other Similar Races

 

Question: Does the Le Tour Testing Station (TTS) provide an adequate test to select breeders for the MDPR?  To the best of my ability, I have gleaned these facts from the information provided by the organizers during the 2006 season and if there are any errors or omissions they were not intentional.  Please advise if you have found some discrepancies.  I will let you decide if the TTS is an adequate test after studying the following facts.

- The MDPR has 6 races from 151 km to 552 km for a total of 1800 km.   The MDPR is flown over a 10 week period.
- The TTS has races of 2 x 100, 2 x 200, 2 x 300, 1 x 370 and 2 x 450 for a total of 2500 km.  Last year the TTS was flown over an eight week period.
 
- The MDPR had one race that was 9:07 hours long with a rest period of 14 days after the last Hot Spot which was 5 hours long.  Five of the 6 races had a 2 week rest period but 113km official training tosses were given on the 7th day.
-The TTS had 3 races that were 8:27 hrs, 8:22 hours & 8:54 hours over 18 days with rest periods between races of 7 and 10 days. The first 6 races were flown over a 4 week period for a total of 1200 km.
 
-The MDPR total flying time for winners over 6 races was 33.4 hours.
-The TTS total flying time for the winners over 9 races was 45.75 hours.
 
-The MDPR race course I believe is over grasslands and desert with daytime temperatures reaching in excess of 30 C.  It is considered a mostly head wind course however last year only 2 races were reported with strong head winds.  The rest were slight head winds or no wind conditions.  To my knowledge there are no impeding geographical features.
-The TTS is a headwind course where no headwind conditions are a rarity.  Average day times temperature would be around the mid 20 C range with high humidity causing the Humidex (feels like condition) to approach the 30 C range.  The last half and the longest part of the course is boomerang shaped because of the water hazards.  This results in birds having to probably fly a couple hundred km further than they are credited for so the actual total flying distance is probably over 2700 km.
 
-The MDPR had 5 training tosses of 113 km once racing began.  I understand the birds are trained regularly during the week up 50 km depending weather conditions to ensure that birds get adequate exercise.  They are not loft flown regularly.  It would be quite difficult to flag 2000 to 5000 birds to ensure that all birds get adequate exercise.
-The TTS does not train once racing begins but depends on at least one hour a day forced flying to give the birds adequate exercise.  The goal of the TTS is different from the MDPR.  Here we are looking for low maintenance birds that are natural athletes that would be suitable for the MDPR and similar races.
 
-The last race of the MDPR is flown in February with birds banded in the previous year.  Therefore it is quite likely that some of the bird will be over a year old.  Most of the entries in the TTS will be only 5 months old when shipped to the last race.
 
-Due to the intake size the conditions and stress of acclimatization is much more challenging at MDPR.  However they administer a comprehensive medication program the birds as soon as they arrive.       Click Here.  Needless to say they have no choice because of the intake numbers.  Last year their losses from sickness were about 10% during the quarantine period.  Here, we avoid medicating the birds as much as possible and our losses were in the same range.
 

M$PR Racing Schedule

25/11/2006

Hot Spot 1

151 km (93.83mi)

09/12/2006

Hot Spot 2

219 km (136.08mi)

16/12/2006

Hot Spot 3

262 km (162.8mi

28/12/2006

Hot Spot 4

298 km (185.17mi)

13/01/2007

Hot Spot 5

341 km (211.89mi)

03/02/2007

Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race 2007

552 km (343mi)

 Note: In World Ace Challenge, a similar series, the birds flew 6 races for a total of 1650 m or 2650 km. The races were 150 m @ 854 ypm, 200m @ 1952 ypm, 250m @ 1226 ypm, 300m @ 1778 ypm, 350m @ 1084 ypm & 400 m @ 1639 ypm.  Three of these races were flown around 60 mph.  From my calculations the approximate total flying time of the first place finishers were 5.15 hrs, 3.0 hrs,  6.0 hrs, 5.0 hrs, 9.5 hrs & 7.2 hrs for a total of 35.4 hrs compared to 45.75 hrs for the TTS and last 3 races averaged 8.5 hours.  Both series were flown over an 8 week period.  The OA average velocity for the WAC was 1227 ypm compared to approximately 1021 ypm for the TTS.  The WAC was flown in Texas during the months of late October to early December whereas the TTS was flown from the 1st of August to mid-September so the so the weather conditions were probably similar.   To my knowledge there are no impeding geographical conditions on the WAC course and from some of the speeds recorded I have concluded this is basically a tailwind course.

   

This is a tentative schedule.  Weather permitting training will begin Mid July.  At least 2 training tosses will be given from each of the following distances: 10 km, 20 km, 40 km and 70 km.  

Date

Release Point Distance
Aug 1 Kouchibouguac 100 km
Aug 2 Kouchibouguac 100 km
Aug 5 Moncton 200 km
Aug 9 Moncton 200 km
Aug 16 Truro 310 km
Aug 23 Truro 310 km
Aug 30 Antigonish 370 km
Sept 6 St Peters 450 km
Sept 16 St Peters 450 km