Mike O’Sullivan races with the Frankenmuth Racing Pigeon Club in Michigan. His end-of-year report on his 2013 racing season was successful. Out of the birds he banded and raised himself, he donated several to various functions such as a club auction and a local 4-H member. He had a fantastic season with the remainder.
He took six diplomas: 1 each for a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place in the young bird races. He also took highest average speed for 2013, B Young Birds series of races from 0 to 200 miles and highest average speed for B Young Birds series of races from 0 to 550 miles. He considered that quite an accomplishment for just starting out.
As a young teenager he raised a few pigeons just for fun. His many years of raising a wide variety of livestock on a small farm helped him with selection, breeding and maintaining a healthy flock of racing pigeons.
He admits to an unusual technique in selecting and breeding his birds. In 2012, he was given several gift birds from other fliers in the club and bought a number at the club auctions. He was not only looking for strong, healthy birds but took an eye to the "Pretty Birds" and concentrated his breeding toward choosing pairs that might produce unusual color patterns. Apparently it paid off in his 2013 birds, and his 2014 early hatches are looking really good.
Mike received a lot of support and encouragement from other fliers in the club. His "Pretty Bird Loft" would often bring out some chuckles and head shaking, but all in all, he can see a place for the splashes, grizzles, reds and silvers in among the blue bars and checks.
A contributing factor to Mike’s success was the AU’s Help-A-Beginner program that pairs new members with a mentor. “The Help-A-Beginner Program is a great stepping stone to success for our new members. It is an excellent way to advance quicker than just doing it on your own,” says Steve Jenkins, HAB Program Coordinator for the Eastern Half of the U.S.
Congratulations to Mike!
And to those who are beginning the hobby and could use a little guidance, check out the HAB program. It could make the difference for your racing success.