Performance-deciding factors for the travel

by Dr. Hans–Peter Brockamp

Performance-deciding factors for the travel

With the racing pigeon, energy recovery during the competition flight takes place mainly from fat burning. The energy content of fat is approximately twice as high as the same amount of carbohydrates or protein. The pigeon, however, requires not only essential fatty acids from a correspondingly fatty fodder, but also minerals, vitamins and trace elements in the right proportion, even attuned to this lipid metabolism.

The oxidation of the fatty acids delivers nearly four times the amount of energy as burning carbohydrates. According to this, the metabolism requires even more oxygen for it. Therefore it is easy to understand that the performance of the pigeon is higher depending on how much more oxygen the pigeon has available during the competition flight. The faster the oxygen can be transported from the blood to the muscle cells, the better the pigeon‘s performance will be.

The pigeon requires approximately 5 times the amount of oxygen as the human just during rest. According to these requirements, the pigeons have an extremely efficient respiratory and circulatory system (air sac system, very large heart).

However, only if the respiratory organs of the pigeon are 100 % healthy is it capable of optimally utilising the oxygen from the inhaled air.

Haemoglobin binds the oxygen and distributes it through the blood circulation to the active metabolic organs in the body. A significant increase in the performance of racing pigeons can thus be attained through an increase in the haemoglobin content of the blood.

The administration of organicallybound, so-called Active Iron leads to a significant increase of the bloodiron value (haemocrit value) after only a few days and thus accelerates the transport of oxygen to the cells (mitochondria). With corresponding energy supply, first the training performance increases and ultimately the performance during competition flight.

Protein as an energy source 
New findings show that pigeons do not obtain their flight energy from fats. According to this, racing pigeons cover approx. 10 % of their energy requirement from protein reserves, which no doubt leads in essence to the reduction of musculature. In order to replace the body’s own protein as quickly as possible, Protein A.P.F. 90 should already be fed on the day of the flight, when muscle building requires the most time.

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