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Yearlings: I don't usually keep youngsters bred from yearlings, unless the yearlings have good breeding characteristics and have flown well as young birds. I just let them bring up a round of youngsters usually from the stock loft. Only a select few yearlings go straight into the stock loft to help build up stocks of certain breeds, these will be paired with the same thoughts in mind when pairing stock birds. The main point of letting the yearlings raise some chicks is to give them the sense of home and bond them to the nest box. As yearlings they will fly a lot better and trap better if they have raised youngsters in the race loft.
Stock birds: I try to keep strains pure and pair opposites together. I try to keep them "in bred" but don't let brothers and sisters pair. I try to develop a strain of pigeon that has the following qualities: Well balanced in the hand, a strong back not narrow near rump, a medium depth keel, short to medium length wings, tail feathers that all align neatly together when the bird is held in the hand i.e. they appear as one feather, a soft feel to the feathering and eyes with lots of details.
If a bird becomes too big or too small or any of the wrong characteristics appear too strongly I will not breed from that bird.
It does become necessary to bring in new lines from time to time. The new lines will come from proven race birds of the same strain with breeding characteristics and will be paired to other proven race birds with breeding characteristics.