Avoid Respiratory Infection For Top Performance
Respiratory disease and infections will hinder your racing pigeons from winning races. You must know what to look for, and how to avoid illness so that during racing season, your pigeons will have the best chance to win races. Common signs of respiratory illness are:
Panting after flying
Less than normal racing performance
Lack of energy, less frequent loft flying
Eye and nostril discharge
Swollen cere and sinus
Panting will not always mean there is illness but if it is a lower temperature, and you just did a short toss, that may be a sign of illness if they are panting after. Panting can occur when the temperature is high to rid of excess heat, be aware of that as well. Be sure to understand the difference between panting of unfit pigeons, hot temperature, and panting caused by respiratory illness. Panting from illness will last longer than from just being tired and hot. When your pigeon seems to be panting for most of the day, and really fluffs itself out, you better be taking action to hydrate the pigeon.
One of the more for sure signs that there is respiratory illness in your racing pigeon is to check their nostrils and the slit that connects the nasal cavity with the mouth. The nostrils will usually have some sort of watery, or mucky presence in, or around the nostrils. The slit is usually wide open and provides a clear airway for the pigeons. During respiratory illness, this slit seems to close. This is caused by inflammation from the infection.
Respiratory illness is either in the lungs, airsac systems or even both. When the infection is affecting both the lungs and airsac system, your racing pigeon will not be able to fly much, if at all. This is because oxygen will not be delivered to other parts of the body as needed, causing other organs and systems to work harder, and eventually make the whole body tired. Muscle cramping will happen, which will not allow the pigeon to fly. Your racing pigeon will have no energy to do much of anything, so do not attempt any training.
You must feed your pigeons plenty of water to flush out the infections, try and make sure they eat as well to boost their energy and give their body some nutrients. If water is given, and the pigeon is able to rest, the illness won’t last too long. But in racing season, it may take a while for the pigeon to regain full strength to race at a top performance level, so action must be taken quickly to avoid missing any races.