My article on Flying Tipplers

Origin of Tippler

 

        All races of breeds of domestic pigeon columba livia domestic have been evolved from rock pigeon also called a rock dove columba livia or our jungli kabootar (wild pigeon) that cohabits with man every where in the world. The domestic pigeon breeds are believed to have been developed in the east and Europe had no original breed of its own. According to the Marco polo, trade in pigeons was at its peak during his time along the silk route. This is because pigeon fancy was a status symbol amongst the mughals elite and gentry. Mughals are also supposed to have introduced this pet into the sub continent. The first fantail in Britain was gifted to Queen Elizabeth by great mughals emperor Akbar in the 16th century. In crusades Muslims used pigeons frequently as messengers.

 

        The mughal Emperor Babar wrote in his biography about the sport of pigeon keeping, but Akbar the great was crazy about pigeon keeping. Abul Fazal (one of his senator) wrote that whenever king (Akbar) goes on a trip his men carry pigeons with him. Normally more than two thousands birds went with him. They were kept in special carriers. In his book (Aieen e Akbri) he told in detail about the kinds, breeding techniques, their special feed for flying, buying and selling of pigeons. He told about the techniques used by Akbar the great about in a good flying pigeon. Raising pigeons was very popular and prestigious hobby amongst mughals and pigeon houses were an essential part of the palaces. Havelies, etc of the elite rich, Nawabs Rajas and kings of those times.

 

Keeping of pigeons

 

In almost all the cases tipplers are kept on the rooftops. Every cage should be one pen made of wire mesh either in front of the main door or on top of the cage. These pens can be seen in my picture gallery. Normally breeding pairs are kept separately. The male and female that are flown in the competition should also be kept separately. Good breeding seasons are mid October till mid May. The month of June till September males and females are kept separately.

 

Feeding techniques

 

        Normal feed consists of grains like wheat, pulses, rice, millet and corn. Although tipplers flyer donít like corn given to their birds. Apart from normal feed many prescriptions of local herbs are given. It is difficult for me to translate them in to English, but I will try to add them. But normally almonds are used extensively for keeping flying birds in top condition. Flying birds are always under fed and over feeding is avoided at all costs. Water should be given very little when the birds return after his flight.

 

Sign of a Good flying Tippler.

 

        The good flying pigeon should have many features but according to my experience and after getting help from the experience of other fancier the good flying tippler should beí

Flight      

Should start flying early and more time is spent in the air more it is better

Intelligence       

Should be very early familiar with his place and always return to its place.

Beautiful

It looks beautiful and good-looking.

Brave

          In difficult conditions especially in bad weather it should fight like a solider

 

Art of Feeding to the flying birds

 

  For flying birds we should give food once in a day normally after noon at about 4.00 p.m.

 

Art of Flying Tipplers

 

This is very time consuming laborious and hard working excersise, especially in our hot weather when temperature is above hundred in the month of May and June. This is my experience that the weight of the pigeon is very important when flying and over weight pigeon could not fly longer times. I think barley is best to be given to the flying birds although many fanciers give them millet. Three months before the competitions all the flying and wings of the tail are plucked. During this time the pigeon should be served with protein rich diet (pulses, soybean, calcium and dry milk) other wise the wings could be weak. The pigeon when flown should be hungry. If the pigeon are flown early in the morning around 6.00 Am. the last food should be given a day before at about 4.00 p.m. but water should be given two hours before flying.  Many teachers (competitions are normally done under the supervision of Ustad (teacher) gives tablet of almonds for energy. In our competition local prescriptions (given to the flying birds to enhance their time in flight ) are numerous and many, all are given by teachers. The role of teacher is very important; he is the most respected and honorable person in pigeon competitions.

 

Competitions

 

          Tipplers are flown twice in a year. Once in the month of May and June and at the end of September or start of October. Normally five or seven pigeons are flown in the competition known as bazi. Normally three or five games are held in one competition and winner would be who won two or three of the games respectively. The total hours are computed for the final result.

 

           Normally in the month of February the males and females are separated and their primary flight feathers are plucked. After ten days all the tail feathers are plucked. The birds are never flown when their flight feathers are not completed. They should be properly served with multivitamins, and other protein rich diet is given to the birds.  In normal feed they are given wheat and pulses.  After the completion of their flight feathers they should be kept in pens. The pigeons are dewormed before the competition. Then are kept outside so they flew away according to their will and should be closed after noon and given food. In early month of April flew them at 10 am and reduce the timing gradually. First two days only males should be flown and next two days only the females flown. When their timing is prolonged they should be given rest. For example the pigeon who flew more should be given two days rest and who donít flew too much should be given one day rest. In this manner the pigeon donít lose weight so rapidly. On the rest day the pigeon should be given bread boiled in oil. When they flew back they should be given water but very few.  The bird after flight should be held in the hand and its arms and legs should be messaged. First they should be given bread and after ten minutes the water should be given. At this stage the role of teacher is very important because according to the temperature on that particular day the medicine should be given to the pigeon. Few prescriptions are hot for the pigeon and few cool them off.  Normally the rice cooked in boiled water given to the pigeons. The record of every bird flight should be maintained. One day before the competition the pigeon who are going in the completions should be served at 3.pm. In the evening only water should be given. At 10.00 p.m. if their crop is empty they are given bread cooked in oil. The pigeons should be kept completely undisturbed during the rest of the time. In the morning a few drops of water should be given. The pigeon are flown in kits usually of 5 or 7 birds.

 

Teacher

 

Normally all the competitions are held under the supervision of a teacher. A knowledgeable teacher is very respectable person in pigeon flying peoples. The students are very proud of winning the races and they respect their teacher very much. Normally competitions are held in the name of the teachers and not in the name of students. Teacher looks after the pigeons when they flew back, select and decide the pigeon for flying, give medications to the pigeon during the training period and especially when pigeon returned after their long flight. He selects the pigeon that would be flown in the competition.

 

Judges

 

          The competitions are supervised by munsifs (judges).  He is also very respectable person and treated with great honor. He acts as supervisor of the game. The appointment of judges is mutually agreed by both the parties or by the club. All the pigeons flow/n in the competition should be affixed stamp on their tail feather one-day before the competition. This stamp is checked when the pigeon is returned to its loft. Judge notes the touch down time of the pigeon. Heavy betting is involved in pigeon flying so the chances of fraud are too much. The judge should be a very experienced and active fancier.

 

Disqualification in the race

 

The pigeon that disqualify from the race would be as under:

 

1-               when it landed on the roof top of some other house other than its own

2-               The pigeon who landed is without the stamp mark affixed on the pigeon one day before by the judge

3-               The pigeon when came down should be come straight from the sky and not if it comes flown lengthwise.

Few photos of the tippler birds.

 

 

 

Second article on pigeons flown in Kits.  

Local Breeds of Pakistan flown in kits

The pigeon flown in kits are very popular in the cities of Dera Gazi Khan, Bhawalpur, Multan, and Muzafar Garh.
The flying tumblers, which were very popular in mughal Era can know be seen in the cities of Khanewal, Jhang and villages of Multan. They are known as Bazzi wala Kabooter (tumbler). The competition is held as under:
All the pigeon are taken to a big circle. The concerned owner took one of his pigeon and at the end of the circle flown upward. The pigeon flew some yard upward and then tumbles backward. The judge counts the tumble of that pigeon that landed in the circle, it disqualified if landed outside the fixed circle. The pigeon won who had most of the tumble and also landed in the circle.
The pigeon are also flown in tollies (Kits). This sport is very popular in the cities of Bhawalpur, D.G.Khan, Multan and Muzafar Abad. The pigeon flown in kits are very beautiful and colorful. The no of pigeons flown in kits is from 20 to 250. They donít fly very high and trained with the help of flags, whistles and special signs. 

The pigeon in some villages are flown in different and strange way. The fanciers who take part in the competition took their pigeon in open lands. The pigeon are kept in the temporary lofts made of wood. The pigeon are flown who is declared winner whose pigeons came late and landed on their temporary wooden lofts.

The majority of our pigeon breeders take part in competitions of tipplers. Tipplers are widely kept and flown in competitions. But many fancier also keep pigeons and flown them in Tukris (kits). I will describe here how the pigeons are flown in kits and what types of pigeons who take part in such competitions. Any pigeon can be trained for the kits. But these breeds are popular and prepared for kit flying. Ghagras, Katch Paras, Kabras, Lal Band Ghagra, Roshan Chirag, and Shirazi.

The pigeons flown in Kits

  The pigeon flown in kits are very popular in the cities of Dera Gazi Khan, Bhawalpur, Multan, and Muzafar Garh.
The flying tumblers, which were very popular in mughal Era can know be seen in the cities of Khanewal, Jhang and villages of Multan. They are known as Bazzi wala Kabooter (tumbler). The competition is held as under;
All the pigeon are taken to a big circle. The concerned owner took one of his pigeon and at the end of the circle flown upward. The pigeon flew some yard upward and then tumbles backward. The judge counts the tumble of that pigeon that landed in the circle, it disqualified if landed outside the fixed circle. The pigeon won who had most of the tumble and also landed in the circle.
The pigeon are also flown in tollies (Kits). This sport is very popular in the cities of Bhawalpur, D.G.Khan, Multan and Muzafar Abad. The pigeon flown in kits are very beautiful and colorful. The no of pigeons flown in kits is from 20 to 250. They donít fly very high and trained with the help of flags, whistles and special signs.  
The pigeon in some villages are flown in different and strange way. The fanciers who take part in the competition took their pigeon in open lands. The pigeon are kept in the temporary lofts made of wood. The pigeon are flown who is declared winner whose pigeons came late and landed on their temporary wooden lofts.
|The majority of our pigeon breeders take part in competitions of tipplers. Tipplers are widely kept and flown in competitions. But many fancier also keep pigeons and flown them in Tukris (kits). I will describe here how the pigeons are flown in kits and what types of pigeons who take part in such competitions. Any pigeon can be trained for the kits. But these breeds are popular and prepared for kit flying. Ghagras, Katch Paras, Kabras, Lal Band Ghagra, Roshan Chirag, and Shirazi.

Roshan Chirage

The meaning of this word is lighting like a light. A Very beautiful bird. Most of foreign fanciers when saw the photos of this bird the presumed it to be damascene. This is our local breed. Although I donít know the exact origin of this breed. Their neck should be dark black, the remaining part of the body is silver. When in sun light the color of the pigeon should be very bright. The eye ring should be big and red. The shoulder and neck should be of one color. The beak is be  black.  

Katch Paras
         
The origin of this breed is Pakistan. They are available in colors like black and red. They are of one color but when young their feathers are plucked and the new feathers should be pure white. The line is plucked in such a manner that symmetry is maintained. This is very beautiful looking bird.  
Shirazi
  The foreigners knew them as Lahore. The origin of this pigeon is from Iran. Many centuries ago it was actually brought from Shiraz, the city of Iran. And from the name of that city it is known as Shirazi. The Britishís when went from here after we got independence in 1947 had probably took them with them and developed them in Britain. But Lahore is very big and feathered footed pigeon. Our Shirazi is very small in size and should not be groused legged. Although in many areas of Pakistan it is liked as groused legged. But in most of the areas the Shirazi should be without feathers on the leg. They are available in many colors. The Shirazi can also be Katch Paras. Their normal colors are black, blue, silver, dun, and red mealy, red, golden, and green. A very beautiful looking bird but very agile and smart in flying.  
How to prepare pigeon for kit flying
.          This is very pain staking and needs lot of patience. The pigeon are fed out of their cage. Very few grains are scattered on the floor. The pigeon that are already very hungry, they almost attack on the feed. In one hand the owner have a stick or cloth. Then the pigeon flew at once, with the movement of the stick or cloth. They take a sharp flight, again the grain scattered on the floor. Pigeon when saw the food at once dropped down and start eating. The quantity of grain is always very few so that pigeon could not eat at full length. If the pigeon ate too much feed it cannot fly and also does not obey orders. The whole training is consisting on the techniques of giving less food.  
 
The moment comes when pigeon flew with very little movement of the stick and dropped down with the same. This whole exercise is normally done early in the morning. Here also the need of a teacher is necessary. The teacher (Ustad) helps the student to prepare the pigeons for kit flying. He gives medications and local herbs to increase the stamina and speed of the birds. The pigeon normally flown in the kits have fewer flying hours as their shoulders are damaged severely in this tough kind of practice. The medicines are given for long distance flying and short distance flying.  

Pigeon flown in kits

The pigeon are flown by one competitor and same method is adopted by another competitor. The pigeon are flown in say 50 or 100 birds. They mixed in the sky. They are always looking down and awaiting signal from their owner. At any moment the signal is given and whole kit dropped down, in the mean time the confused pigeon from the other competitors is also dropped down and captured. The speed and agility of pigeons is worth looking.

 

 

Third article on Keeping/breeding Java Finches    I am writing an article on breeding and keeping Java Finches. This is my own experience of breeding these beautiful birds from Asia.  I will write another article on breeding zebras, cutthroats, Gouldians and Benglease Finches.

         In our country they are called java finch and its local name is ďnargisĒ.

Cages
I normally breed Javas in small Cages, as long and big cages are not available due to non availability of space, or could not afford the prices. I once bred Javas in two feet square cage with three pairs. one of normal pairs have laid eight eggs, all hatched and reared. I don't use nest boxes made of wood but rather made of clay, it is a pitcher, although the fancier here are changing them and switching over to next boxes made of wood. I use long pitcher (about eight inches deep and six inches square) as java finch loves this type of nest box (will send you the picture soon).  

Nesting Material
For nesting material I use dried grass but my most favorite is khavi ( a kind of grass which grew on the river bank) I donít know the English name but it is  very good for nesting. I got very good results, as the birds prefer them as compare to grass. Their nest is so complicated that it is difficult to see the eggs or the chicks.  

Feeding Techniques
 
Java's love water, the drinking and bathing water should be available in abundance. in feed we give them millet, canary seed, rape seed         and dehusk rice (they love it and very important in the feed). Also cuttlebone fish, grit in shape of salt, black salt, river sand and charcoal.

Breeding Seasons of Birds  
Our breeding seasons for all birds (except doves) starts from October till the end of March. The months of April till September are very hot.

My  Java Breeding Secrets|
The good breeding results could be achieved by providing them three things which I thought are the secret of my good breeding results.1- abundance of drinking and bathing water 2- khavi (a type of grass) for nesting material 3- dehusk rice and long and narrow pitchers (nest boxes).  
The birds should not be too much disturbed when breeding. In Pakistan normally kept colors are white and normal, although fawn and pied birds are also available but mostly fanciers like to keep the previous mentioned varieties.  
My own experience is that for good breeding results one pair per cage. Java sparrow should not be kept with other birds because of their aggressive nature. If keep in colony, the cage should be long (in lengthwise) and height is not important.  
A few years back a friend of mine bred Java's so extensively and sold so many birds (at that time the price of one pair was very high) that he purchase a brand new Suzuki car, this is not a joke it is reality. I have learnt a lot from his experiences that I have mentioned above.  
It is my experience that normal color birds are good breeders as compare to white, fawn and pied (although the white, pied and fawn are cage bred).