The Masterful Wilkinson
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What a fancier, 3 different partnerships (Watson, McBride & Wilkinson, Woods & Wilkinson and currently McDonald & Wilkinson and three success stories. The man in question behind the success Antrim’s Ken Wilkinson, currently racing in the Chimney Corner HPS in the partnership of McDonald (Victor) & Wilkinson (Ken) they have finished top prize winners this year again at Club level ( 8 x 1st’s & 11 x 2nd’s plus numerous other prizes this all considering you are only allowed two prizes each week at Club Level. Racing within the Mighty NIPA with a weekly bird entry exceeding 25,000 the lofts are situated at Dunsilly Roundabout on the outskirts of Antrim Town. They fall into the boundary of Section B, one of the further flying Section’s in the NIPA covering an area from Ballymoney to Crumlin.
Ken has had the pigeon scene around him in some form or fashion for the last 40 years indeed his father & uncle were very consistent fanciers in their day and Ken has retained the diplomas won by the men in question that he proudly displays at his home.
Section B of the NIPA is by no means any easy section to win with many of Northern Ireland’s elite fancy coming from around that particular area. This year the partnership collected a string of positions including 2 x 1st’s, 3 x 2nd’s 1 x 4th and many more positions in the top ten with a average weekly bird entry of up to 4,000.
pedigree is endless when you incorporate all his previous partnerships
having won nearly everything possible up Ireland hence this new partnership
which is only in its 4th year now working towards creating the ultimate
distance family. Birds have been obtained from various sources including
Alan Darragh who Ken quotes as “the best pigeon man in Ireland
at this current time as he has proved himself at every race point over
the last ten years, a more honest and knowledgeable man you will find
hard to come across” according to Ken. The partnership have also
obtained a superb draft of Ogilvie pigeons that have been maturing over
the last couple of years. Other fresh stock has been added to his already
substantial portfolio of stock pigeons these include Cooremans from
Derek Parr and a fine batch of Wildemeesch obtained from Cyril Fletcher.
Success has already spiralled from this stock and two Widowhood cocks
stand out already winning 1st’s in Section B plus numerous other
high Section and Open positions within the NIPA and are dually named
‘Dunsilly Derek’ and ‘Dunsilly Cyril’
Racing no more than
14 cocks maximum they all must earn there box. Next year with a new
loft on the horizon he hopes to increase his number of widowers to around
30. Feeding as I had already heard was hopper still measured but all
fed together, grit and minerals are always available with Garlic being
added one day a week as is Multi vitamins. BEWARE YOU BIG RETAILERS
this man reckons we the fancy are being ripped off with all these fancy
bottles and names that promise performance. Ken has high regard for
as much natural as possible hence feeding his pigeons the same supplements
we as humans would take i.e. your normal run of the mill tablets from
your local health shop. He went as far as to explain that he purchases
Garlic capsules and splits them over the corn as for the multivitamins
3 tablets in a water filled 2lt milk carton overnight and it will be
ready to use the following morning. Something all the same that he thinks
highly off is a product of the Osmond’s company called ENVIROKLENZE
5ml per 3.5lt drinker (purely natural product). Ken uses this 4 to 5
days a week in the drinkers even going as far as to wash all loft equipment
with this stuff. I did go as far as having a sniff sinus clearing material
without any doubt. Tossing of the Widowers is 2 or 3 times a week pending
on how they are behaving around the loft, it is hoped that they do fly
voluntarily around the loft 1 hour morning and evening. Again at the
start of the season the widowers are started at the same tossing point
12 miles until the penny drops.
Ken has only over
the last couple of years started to involve a vet around his loft this
being Mr Scullion from Co. Tyrone so medicine is only deployed should
the vet see fit, testing takes place twice per year. Health is very
important with Y/B’s especially, according to Ken, if a Y/Bird
is carrying anything a tall you should be able to notice, it is slightly
different with older pigeons as they at times can temporarily overcome
sickness through motivation.
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