2017 was a decision making year. I've started with 31 hens and 29 on double total widowhood.
It the beginning, it went ok. Pigeons were training good at home, started ok on the short races, and the 1st +700km race was good on Valence with 2 pigeons 1:10, followed by 1/2 on Pau and 2/3 on Cahors.
At the end of June, the pigeons started training worse, but at the arrivals on Agen & Montelimar... there wasn't much to see. The results weren't as good as I expected. Montelimar was very bad with 0/5 at the end of the race. Agen was the next day... and I was affraid after Montelimar. That Agen race didn't went well either, a very long race, but at the end 47% prizes with 9/19. However, it wasn't early enough to say it was good. I started doubting about health issues, and went to the vet. After medical checkup in the lab, it was a bacterial infection that was on my pigeons. An early end of 2017 could have been the result, but my vet gave me a cure for the pigeons which should (with some extra rest), result in a last chance on the last weekend with Perpignan.
The Barcelona pigeons were already basketted before I had the result on Agen. Montelimar & Agen in mind... no expectations on Barcelona. However, Barcelona was good with a 23rd provincial and 207th national, but also this pigeon was infected.
How they got the infection isn't clear. I'm 99% sure they got it in the basket for the Limoges or Chateauroux race, and due the long time in de basket because of bad weather, stress caused the infection to break out. Diagnose was 8 days antibiotics and some rest. Meanwhile St. Vincent and Marseille were lost, and Narbonne also was a bit to early for basketting.
As last race for 2017 I chose to basket 6 old cocks on Perpignan and 13 yearlings cocks on Aurillac. The hens didn't race again after the Agen/Barcelona/Montelimar races. The future will be classic widowhood again. That means I have more time and less stress to get everything done in combination with family and work.
The result on Perpignan was promising fot Aurillac the next day. On Perpignan I won 3 out of 6 with 25th, 668th, 144th provincial against 648 birds.
The day after, when Aurillac arrived... It was waiting again... It's not because Perpignan was ok, that Aurillac would be ok also. 13 Yearlings, and some of them without much experience were on the way. The first birds arrived in the region... and I was not satisfied because I didn't have one. Eventually, my first one arrived at 18h13, good for a 22nd provincial on 445 birds. What happened next was something I didn't had earlyer. 4 pigeons in only 12 minutes... 18h14 - 18h17 - 18h23 - 18h25 good for 26th - 29th - 34th & 37th provincial, and 5x 1:10. Before the end of the race, 2 more YL got gome, and 7/13 was a good result for my last race.
Proven again that pigeons need to be healty to get good results. A lesson for 2018, regular checkups and close medical treatment. The overall result for 2017 is 50% prizes above 700km, not bad.