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Ulster Federation Fanciers of Year 2004 - Shaws Bros Racing in the Grosvenor HPS
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Shaw Bros have the Fed Mastered
The Shaws Bros of the Grosvenor HPS have answered that question having been crowned Ulster Federation Fanciers of Year 2004,
The Shaws Bros of the Grosvenor HPS have answered that question having been crowned Ulster Federation Fanciers of Year 2004,
Gary and Maria Shaw
The Fancier of the Year Award
Gary Shaw holding one of his
30 youngsters
(L) 2 (R)
Chris Carson hold Jodie (7 Months)
Gary holding Sophie (3 & ½)
Gary’s son
17 year old Gary Jnr


Shaw Bros have the Fed Mastered

You have to see it to believe it is my advice, I still talk about it to other fanciers. How to become a Fed Champion with no space to say the least ?

The Shaws Bros of the Grosvenor HPS have answered that question having been crowned Ulster Federation Fanciers of Year 2004,

The Grosvenor HPS itself situated in West Belfast is without doubt one of the most competitive, largest and strongest Clubs to compete in sending an average bird age of 600 per week old birds and topping 1000 per week young birds. It was with all this in mind that encouraged me to do a loft report on the above partnership. Gary Shaw has been to the fore in recent seasons both at club and Fed level, and this proved conclusive with the Fancier of the Year award for 2004.

On arrival at the family home just a stones throw from the Royal Victoria Hospital on the outskirts of Belfast City on a beautiful Saturday morning I was greeted to a cuppa by Ellen (Gary’s Mum), who had travelled from Letterkenny to attend the Federation Dinner the previous night, it was nice to see that their was nobody suffering from the effects of a celebratory night. Gary was at this stage still busy in the yard with the pigeons, I went out the back of the house to check the set up, and what stood out was a two story loft that approx. measured 16’ x 8’, Gary has utilized every bit of space that he can in such a small garden hence the double story loft the ground floor containing the Stock birds with the top floor divided into two sections first one used for young birds and the other section for widowhood cocks. The staircase at the side looked very steep, (I wouldn’t like to be running up that to clock the birds was my silent thoughts) their was an aviary installed at the front of the stock loft for one of sections as I noticed another aviary underneath the staircase on the opposite side again proof if it was needed that further development on the building side is a no go, not that Gary needs any more he maintains the smaller the team the better they race.

At the side of the terraced house is an alleyway that has now been turned into a pigeon store with bins being used for the different types of feeding I could find no evidence to enlighten the Fancy of which particular feeding Gary used although upon quizzing him he did admit Versa Lega all year round that was it, I also noticed 12 widowhood boxes mounted on the wall, these are used for the widowhood hens that are placed in the boxes on a weekly basis once racing has commenced. The only time their allowed out is prior to basketing before the race and on the cocks returning from the race, Gary had discovered overtime that this is the best policy as he found the hens are nearly if not as keen as the cocks.

During the winter the Widowhood cocks fly from an open hole this has enabled in Garys opinion the cocks to rear far healthier young birds. On entering the lofts we went through the YB section first Gary breeds no more than 30 for the fourth coming season and I must admit they would do any loft proud, moving on through to the widowers who were flying out and in Gary commented that every won of them had earned its place, taking no prisoners they have to seasons to show if not their out, I counted 11 cocks with 12 boxes not a bad finish if only one missing.

I will not bore you with Garys performances although all very commendable but within the last 4 years the pigeons have won no less 2 x T3 Clocks, 2 x Televisions and a Video Recorder, not to mention numerous Club and Fed wins. Asking Gary if he ever had a bad experience that he would like to share with fellow fanciers. I didn’t have to wait long for his thoughts getting a virus into the loft a couple of seasons ago was defiantly one I won’t forget he quoted it nearly claimed every pigeon. Talking about it with Gary it struck me as frightening how quick a virus can take hold as the Saturday before the loft had took 5 cards in the club and by the following Tuesday the birds were falling from their boxes. Having never had a problem like this before Gary was at his wits end unsure what to do for the best. John Patterson was their with understanding thoughts and between them got the situation under control but it was to be the end of that particular season. The birds that had survived were allowed to semi retire and allow he moult to take its course to see what permanent damage had been done, Gary was a relieved man when all recovered fully.

Although it did have a positive impact on Gary who now spends double the time watching the birds looking for the first tell tale signs of any problems.
As I mentioned earlier Gary only races the widowhood cocks but plans this season coming that he will attempt to race the hens to take him to the extreme distance. David Black who is a distance specialist in Ireland is advising Gary through the fourth coming season, as Gary foundation is from the man himself. Birds Gary claim will never let you down on a hard day. Other stock was purchased from John Gerrard (Hartogs) and recently purchased birds from his good friend Colin McBride of Ballymena who himself is a top class racer I speak from experience hence originating from Ballymena.
One outstanding stock hen was purchased while on a visit to John Gerrards, Gary called with a fancier from Salisbury by the name of Roy Waters were he purchased a De Klak hen which has breed countless prize winners.

Asking Gary about his mating very simple he replied winner to winner simple but effective. As for the feeding its solely Versa Lega and Homoform on a daily basis all year round. For the novices Don’t be shy with the bin, Don’t over feed and don’t expect and then you’ll not be disappointed that’s Gary three golden rules for the novice

Chris Carson is a gentleman I now want to mention as Gary quoted ‘he is my right arm’ it was by pure chance that the two men meet as Chris goes with the girl who lives next door but it was to blossom into a winning friendship with him and Gary.
As the day progressed I could see Chris may well understand the birds equally if not better than Gary and as every fancier knows if you have a friend like this we would all be laughing. Well done Chris and keep up the good work you will learn a lot from a winner like Gary.

On closing I would like to thank Gary and his family for the enjoyable visit my daughter and myself received. I would also like to thank him for offering to advice me during my first season racing a true sportsman.

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Article by: Adie

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