Letter from Bob Kuzminski ~ Show report for Louisville
Congratulations to all at this yearís Louisville Young Bird Show.I had a great time judging this yearís section of birds!Congrats to Chad Guell on a beautiful Red Check Young cock bird - the Champion of Show.Great body, great back skull, excellent condition!Reserve Champion and Best Hen of the show went to a great looking Tort hen of Bill Murkley.Very good condition and excellent type!Third place was Billís Blue Check young hen.Again she was very nice type and great condition.Fourth went to HarleyJohn Guellís Blue Check young hen. Again great type body, I canít wait to see birds in the later shows!Fifth spot went to a beautiful Brown Bar hen of Bob Taylorís. A very showy bird in great condition.Again, congratulations to all the winners!
On a take home note to all members, the condition of a lot of birds was very poor.By this I mean, give your birds the best chance that you can when showing your birds.Feet washed, feathers on feet removed, count to see if the bird has 12 tail feathers, and give your birds baths prior to the show.There were a few birds that had to be removed from the show because of pests on the birds, dust. Treat your birds prior to all shows.I did notice a lot of new breeders at the yearís show.Please feel free to ask questions after the shows or talk to the members who have been doing this for a long time.We are there to help in any way we can.
On my last note, I would like to say that although the birds are getting better each and every year, I still see a lot of improvement to be made.The types of birds are still needing improvement and over all size is still not there in terms of a show roller with baldhead markings.Please donít over react when you read this last comment.However we are breeding to the standard of perfection.Althought we are not there yet, we need to continue improving each and every breeding season.Thanks again for the great show this year and keep in mind thereís always next year.
2010 ABRC ALL AGE NATIONAL (ďFREEZEMONTĒ) ~ By: Chad Guell
This was one of the most contested locations for a National in the club history. The club was so divided on where the National would be held. There was only a two-vote difference between locations. The National was held in Fremont, OH on January 15th, 2011. The judge was Terry LaPage from Michigan and there were 198 Baldheads shown. The show was a great success having so many birds, with so much quality. My father, Butch Guell, left early Friday morning to take our birds to the show. He traveled with the Bruggink family from Sheboygan. My wife and I had a wedding to attend in Appleton, Wisconsin at 2pm that same afternoon. As soon as the wedding was over, we headed east for the show. We were taking my 4 year-old son and 1-1/2 year-old daughter along. So the long trips are always interesting. We arrived at the hotel about midnight.
At about 7am we headed over to the show hall. There were two show halls. One had bathrooms and concession stands. The other was just a concrete blocked building. The hall was only about 54 degrees when we got there and it wasnít going to get any warmer. It was as warm at it was going to get that day. So we quickly named the show ďFreezemont!Ē
The quality of the birds was excellent! Walking up and down the rows prior to the show, it was anyoneís guess which birds were going to win.
At the end of the day, Butch Guell had Champion with a beautiful Cream Bar Old Hen. Bill Murkley had 1st Reserve with a Tort Young Hen that might very well be this yearís Bird of the Year when all the dust settles. Cliff Carrell had 2nd Reserve with a Red Bar Old Cock. Bill Murkley had the 3rd and 4th Reserves wit ha Blue Check Old Cock and a Tort Old Hen. There were eight different breeders with birds in the top five of their sex. There were six different breeders winning the 12 different color classes.
Fun was had by all, and my wife and I, along with the kids, spent another night in town to visit with some friends that live in Ohio. After all, the real core of this hobby is getting to meet new people and see old friends. May everyone have a great breeding season! GOD BLESS!
Friends, Pigeons, Baldhead Show Rollers, Show Rollers and Flying Rollers Forty some years ago I started to raise pigeons as a hobby. Initially I acquired a pair of birds to train a bird dog that I had gotten at the time. Before I even started to train the dog the pigeons had started to lay eggs. When I found four eggs in the nest I knew that I had two hens. I got to thinking that it would be great to raise some birds. I remembered the days when I was about 10 years old and my Dad had rescued some squab from a barn and brought them home. It seemed like in no time at all we had a nice flock of pigeons. I remember my dad teaching the young squabs to eat out of his hands.
Anyways, I had a friend who lived a few miles away who had birds.So I called to see if she would part with a couple of cock birds. She said to come to the farm and help myself. I not only picked up two cock birds but a few more pair as well. This was my start in the Roller pigeon hobby.
In the earl 70ís I got interested in Show Rollers and was introduced into the show hobby. I tried to compete with the birds that I had but was informed that my birds were flyers not show birds. I turned to a friend in Candor NY, Gerry Russell, to see if he could help me with better birds. Gerry was quite well known in the Show Roller hobby and for a small price sold me my first quality Show Rollers. Since Gerry was the president of the ERC and Secretary of the URCA I also joined the Empire Roller Club and the URCA. This was my first attempt at showing birds.
For the next few years I raised and showed any number of breeds, but mainly the Show rollers and flying rollers. Around the early 80ís I ran into a friend who had some Baldhead Rollers. I fell in love with the markings on these birds and got a couple of pair from him. About this time I also started to have a lot of problems with hawks. I was losing anywhere from 2 to 3 birds daily. When I got hit by the weasel, I figured it was definitely time to change. I loved the birds too much to feed them to the hawks and the weasels. After catching the weasel, I started raising and showing baldheads and show rollers.
The baldheads that I started with were the old styles that were small but well marked, more along the lines of flying balds. Imagine my surprise and disappointment the first time I entered my balds in a Show Roller show and was told that my birds were not up to the Show Roller standard. In fact the judge at the show wouldnít even handle the birds because they were not Show Roller quality. Right then and there I made up my mind that someway somehow I would improve my balds until they were competitive with the Show Rollers.
With a little advice from Gerry Russell and a couple of marked Emerson bloodline show rollers from him, I proceeded to breed the show rollers into my balds. I was very apprehensive as to what I was going to raise. The fear being that I would lose all the markings. Imagine my surprise when the first of the crosses turned out to be perfectly marked balds. It was at this time that I first heard about the NYBS at Louisville KY. Everyone I talked to regarding improving my birds told me the same thing, if I wanted to get good baldheads, Louisville was the place to get them.
My first year at the NYBS was 1989 and Iíve been going every year since that time. I not only was able to pick up some nice balds, but the friendships that I made over the years have lasted to this day. Over the years I have purchased birds from Butch Guell, Chad Guell, Bob Kuzminski, Bill Murkly, Bob Taylor, Dave Malinowski, and Al Holle. I still remember the yellow grizzle that I purchased from Butch at Louisville for $20 that was supposed to be a young cock bird that turned out to be a hen. That bird turned out to be the foundation bird for my family of yellows that I had such good luck with at the shows. In recent years Bob Kuzminski has helped me tremendously with birds from his family of balds.
This year I was finally able to go to the ABRC All Age National which was held in Fremont OH. I had entered 20 birds and I also took along my grandson Dakota who has started to get interested in baldheads. What a show it was as the entries numbered 192 total. Competition was very good. The quality of the birds was outstanding. It was good to see all the guys including Bob Faulkner whom I hadnít seen in quite a while.
On a sad note, the week prior to the Fremont show I had, what I thought, was a weasel get into my main coop and kill 8 birds. I set the weasel trap and called Foyís to get a couple more. When I returned from Fremont I set out the new traps and hoped that I would catch the vermin. The day after I got home, Butch Guell called to see if I had gotten the weasel. I told him that the vermin hadnít made an attack since Iíd gotten home, but I had the traps out and hoped to catch him. A couple of weeks passed with no more dead birds. Then just last Sunday my Grandson was at the house and called me to the back door saying
something was trying to get into the main coop. I quickly ran to the door to see what looked like a large mink or marten trying to get into the coop. By the time I ran out to the coop the vermin had disappeared. A while later that day Butch Guell called to again ask if I had gotten the weasel. I told him no, but I had now seen what was trying to get into my birds. He suggested that I use a cull bird as bait to get the mink. On Wednesday I went to feed my birds before going to work. I fed the ones in the main coop and then went to feed the birds in the back coop where I kept all my color birds, my favorites (i.e. yellows, cream bars, reds etc.) and my flying rollers. What a shock when I opened the coop door and there were piles of dead birds everywhere. All told the mink had killed 61 birds in one night. Some of the best colors that I have raised in quite a while, including a cream bar cock that I was real proud of. I just cried. Twenty years of building a good yellow family all gone in one night.
I have since put out more traps and tried to bait the mink with a live bird. I did not use the right size trap and he got the cull bird and escaped from the trap. Bought a new trap today and baited it again and hope to catch him.
Butch Guell called again after he found out about how many birds I had lost. He again offered advice on what I needed to do to get the mink. He also told me that he would raise me a couple of yellows to get me going. I thank him for being a true friend in the hobby and for his offer of the birds.
While the mink attack is a setback, it is not the end. I will continue to work with the remaining birds, the blacks, blue checks, almonds and blue bars. I already have some on fertile eggs so have something to look forward to. With time I will be raising the colors again.
With the help of all the friends that I have made in this hobby, I am sure that I will be able to purchase a few good color birds to get a new family started. All my best in the hobby, Frank Podufalski
Hello Everyone, Well another show season is in the books, and I would have to say I believe it was a great one. My son won the Young Bird National, and I won the All Bird Nationals in Freezemont Ohio. My grandson was a reserve, and he will be coming on strong. He has really taken an interest in birds. I wonder why?The quality of the birds is getting better every year and that is because the top breeders are distributing good birds to the rest of the members. As I have stated before I probably have DNA from every pigeon in the country. When I go to shows I always look for something to improve my loft. Now when I go to a top show I feel it is good to get in the top twenty in an all age show. To be in the top five is a real honor. The birds are really getting very competitive. This year when I judged at Jefferson I stated that the top twenty birds were as nice as any show I have judged. The top five could have been moved to any position and you could not go wrong. That is why I talk while I judge, because many watching may wonder why you have chosen a certain bird. I know that is how I learned what little I do know. That by listening and handling the birds or by being a carrier it helps you to understand what you need in your loft.
Now to the judging. I feel that if you are asked to judge a show it is wise to always brush up on the standard and realize what our point system is about. I got fooled once this year by only looking at the young birds for bad eyes. Well an old blue bar hen made it past me with a crack on the upper eye. I think Dave W. is probably the best at cracked eyes. But it was something missed, not overlooked.
Before I say more, I must compliment Bob K. on his judging our Young Bird show this year. He did an excellent job. He was very thorough and explained his decisions as he went. Excellent job Bob! Needless to say this past year I witnessed some of the poorest judging I have seen in some time. With the quality of birds out there a bird with a disqualification should not be placing in its class let alone be in the top five. It happened a few times in the past year and it was because of poor judging by not counting tail feathers, not looking at the paint-work on birds, bishop wings and up to fifteen flights.It was not because the judges were unqualified, but that they did not deem it necessary to follow the standard. So letís try to do a better job next year. Our birds and the owners deserve better. Enough said on that!
This coming year I hope to have a better supply of dilutes if I can mate them properly and have a little luck.I was very happy my cream bar hen won Freezemont. I feel she is as nice a bird as I have risen in
some time. She was out of an old cream hen from Barry. He let me use her after Bill had her for a year. Thanks Barry. That win was my first all bird national win. I have had many wins in the young bird Nationals and placed in tons of all bird shows. But this was special.
I have included some of my pictures of my winning trophies. I only wish I would have kept better records such as writing the birdís number on each trophy. I know Bill can tell you every birdís number for each win. Looking back that would be more special now. But I never thought I would be in possession of so much hardware. I must say the only thing that beats winning, is some one that took some of my birds and saw how to mate them to produce a winner. That is what it is truly all about. If you wonder why I say Freezemont, it was because it was ccccccold in there. Fifty degrees tops. So to the people thinking of hosting a winter show, find out if the heat works. Love ya"ll Butch
P.S. The picture of the basketball trophies was to let you understand why I wobble around on bad knees and back. But that winning was so sweet too.
20 Years of Baldheads
Like a lot of us I had pigeons as a kid back in the late fifties and early sixties. These were mostly Homers and commons. In the mid eighties my 2 boys came running home from the neighbors one day. He had some Homers that he would give the boys.
I had to buy the small building they were housed in. The boys were in 4-H so they got into the showing of pigeons and poultry for a few years. We attended the Watertown Pigeons Clubs Lawn Show and Winter Show for a couple of years. Over the next few years we tried Fantails, Lahores, Capuchines, Jacobins and a few other breeds. The boys moved on to high school sports and girls and I was still into the pigeons. At these shows is were I first saw these Baldhead Rollers. I talked to Nancy Kehl and she was the person who I got my first Baldheads from. That was the start of 20 years in Baldheads.
I would have to say that the thing that has kept me raising the Baldheads is the friends and friendships that have been developed. There is a core group of people here in Wisconsin that make up a lot of those friendships. Nancy Kehl, Dave Wendt, Barry Wagner, Bill Murkley, Al Holle, Butch Guell, Chad Guell, Jacky Guell, Harley Guell, Dennis Barton, Neal and Perry Bruggink are in that core group. We get to show against each other at several different shows here in Wis. A lot of us also travel to shows out of state, usually doing some sort of car pooling. This last year Louisville, Des Moines, St Louis and our National in Fremont, Ohio were some of our destinations. By traveling to these other shows out of state several other friendships have evolved with people from other parts of the country. Roger Besemer, Bob Kusminski, Bob Taylor, Bob Faulkner, Steve Olsen, Charlie Simpson, Frank Podufalski are some of the people who became friends through the Baldheads. We may only see each other once a year or maybe its 2 or 3 years but it is the Baldheads that get us back together. This whole group of people can get together at a show and compare and talk about their birds but the biggest thing is they have a good time. I have raised an shown a
couple other breeds of pigeons for some years and those breeds do not have the fun that the Baldhead people have.
I donít remember which year I started showing the Baldheads but I think it was in the early 90ís. I do know that I was usually bringing up the back end of the class for a few years. It was a learning process for me, but with a lot of help from several of those friends over the years my birds have moved up in quality. The show results over the last 2 years have proven that. These last 2 years Iíve been fortunate to win 7 Championships and 2 Reserve Champions on 5 different birds.
To all of you that have helped me over the years, Thank You. Hopefully 20 years from now I will still be raising these beautiful Baldheads.
Itís February 23rd and I have the day off of work.The kids are still at the sitterís and Iím finishing the bulletin.Well, so I can print it out anyway.Proofing the letters that have been written kinda made me sad.That, and getting a call about my grandma (my dadís mom).Sheís been in the hospital now for a month.She went in for a valve replacement and has just had one complication after another.She flat lined once but was revived.Since then, the will to live has just gone.I heard today that she said she didnít want to be forced to live.Sheís 83 years old by the way.It makes me terribly sad but I know sheís awaiting a great place where she wonít be in pain anymore!Itís just a matter of when, which is the hardest part.My momís dad is also in the hospital.Not sure how serious his condition is.I know he has Sun Downers and pretty bad case of Alzheimerís.
Getting back to the club, Iím very happy we will have such a good response (at least thatís what it sounds like) for our feature in the Pure Bred Pigeon Magazine.Please make sure you get a copy of this next issue due out sometime between March and April.The deadline for articles has been extended to March 3rd.If you havenít written something or would like to place an ad in the magazine, please call them right away!Iím looking forward to seeing what they come up with for the stuff we just sent in!
This bulletin has gotten a few letters from some ďnewĒ faces to the letter portion of this bulletin.We havenít seen them for awhile.I would like to really encourage the Junior members to write me a note to put in the bulletin.I want the club to get to know you a little better.Maybe find out how we can help you better yourselves.Tell us how you got started in the hobby and maybe why.You have until May 1st to come up with something for me.I look forward to seeing what you will write!Good luck!
This bulletin has so many show reports that should be in here!Iím sorry but Iím going to spread them out so I have a good chunk of stuff for the Spring Bulletin as well.If you canít wait to see them, please know they are on the website.
Well, I must leave to make a trip up to see my grandma before I have to go get the kids.There is just never enough time in the day.
Coming Up in Spring 2011Ö
∑Memberís List (Please update your information!)
∑Letters from Junior members. (Encourage them to write!)
∑Show Reports & Pictures for:
oSt. Louis, MO
oJefferson, WI Wrap-up
If you want your show to count for points or have it ďadvertisedĒ in our bulletin, send me the information!
If you need help getting it a point show, contact us and we will help you.
Please send me all information you would like in the Spring Bulletin by May 1st.Bulletins will be mailed middle to end of May.
Summer Bulletin goes out the end of August (or as soon as I receive the Louisville, KY show entry.)
Please be sure to check our website!We post information there regularly and you may be able to see it before you receive your bulletins.