IF Interview with Harvey Moore

Flying with the ACA Combine
333 Clarks Rd
Tower City Pa 17980
hmoore@epix.net

By: Paul Walsh


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1. Tell us about yourself, please.


1. Tell us about yourself, please.
I am 57 years old and the manager of a small manufacturing plant where I have worked for 37 years. I have been racing pigeons now, since 1980. I had pigeons as a boy, beginning in 1958, and raced from 1959 thru 1961 with the Brookside racing club. School sports took me away from the pigeon sport after that. In 1979, my Dad bought a pair of pigeons for my oldest son’s birthday and the fire was rekindled. My son eventually lost his interest in pigeons; my interest, however, remained.

In Old Birds I fly as Moore’s loft and in Young Birds, my wife and I fly dual lofts, one as Moore’s loft and another as Holly’s loft. My wife’s name is Holly. She was more involved with the birds several years ago. During that time, she helped with shipping and clocking. Her current job does not allow her to participate as much anymore.

I have 4 children ranging from 21 to 34 years old. My younger son lives nearby to us and he tends the pigeons when I am out of town. It seems that whenever he and his wife ship and clock birds for me, I win the race.

I am the secretary for the Lykens Valley Pigeon Club and treasurer for the Anthracite Concourse Association.

2. Do you think your position is a good one as far as Combine races are concerned?
I would say yes. My location is in the short section of the Combine with some members flying 35 miles shorter than me and others as many as 85 miles longer. In most cases the wind seems to be the main factor rather than distance. Sometimes it helps the location and other times it has an adverse effect on the location.

b. How big is your Combine? Club?
The ACA has 120 members. In Old Birds, there are normally 65 to 75 racing, in Young Birds, there are 75 to 95 who race. Lykens Valley Club has 11 members with 6 or 7 racing Old Birds and 10 or 11 racing during Young Birds.

3. Do you have an original family of pigeons? Type of bird?
Most of the pigeons I am racing have Rich Dworek’s bloodlines somewhere in their background. I have had success crossing these birds with a pigeon from a now deceased ACA member, Bill Stalgaitis; and a bird from Tracy Davis of Hanover, PA. Dworek’s birds were from his 2041 “hit cock” and 3016 families. These original pigeons’ grandchildren and great grandchildren have been the birds with which I have had the most consistent success. I would describe these birds to be of medium size.

4. History on champion bird:
In 2001 Holly and I won First and Second hall of fame for Young Birds in the 76-150 loft category. The first place bird was a bird I had bought in a “kit” from the Harrisburg Club and the Second Place bird was from a Dworek hen and the Stalgaitis cock. One was flying on Holly’s team and one on the Moore’s loft team. These two birds seemed to arrive together almost every week that year and the winner was whoever trapped first.
b. Is there a story on parents, brother, sister that breed or fly well?
I have not been able to produce any outstanding birds from these two birds; however, the Dworek and Stagaitis pair produced Club and Concourse winners every year before and after, until the hen stopped laying eggs last year.

5. Do you race imports?
No.

6. How big is your Old Bird team? How big is your Young Bird team?
Last year I had 20 widowhoodhood cocks on my Old Bird team, this year there are 23. In Young Birds, I race a double loft along with my wife, flying as Holly’s loft. Each team has 40 to 45 birds.

7. Do you use a System?
As I previously mentioned, I race widowhoodhood cocks in Old Birds. In Young Birds, I race the natural system, flying them to the perch. I have no problem with people trying different systems. I feel you should use whatever works for you and whatever works with the time you have available to devote to the pigeons.

8. Do you use a system to get the birds to moult their flights? When do you start breeding?
I do not pull any flights or tail feathers allowing the moult to proceed normally. I normally begin breeding in the middle of February.

9. Tell us about your Loft.
My loft is nothing fancy. I try to provide natural light and air to keep it dry. The widowhood cocks are allowed to fly thru open barn style doors and the Young Birds trap through slanted bars into the loft.

10. What is your Feeding schedule?
My feeding schedule varies from day to day depending on my work schedule. I normally feed twice a day. I feed the widowhood cocks in their nest box allowing them free access for approx. 15 minutes, again, depending on my schedule for the day. I feed the Young Birds in covered feed trays. Again, the time of day depends on my schedule. Lights in the loft are a must for me with my schedule. I use several of Brown’s standard feeds - developer, flyer, and racing mix. Normally I feed using a light to heavy routine during the week.

11. How do you train? Do you have a training schedule?
For Old Birds – weather permitting, I begin four weeks before the first race. The first toss is approximately 18 miles; then, I give them two or three tosses from 20/25 miles; then, several from 40 to 60 miles. If all goes well, I give them one toss from 100 mile race station the week before the first race. When I’m racing on widowhood, the only training I give is on race day for those birds not in the race.
For Young Birds –I begin training approx. 5 to 6 weeks before the first race. I begin at 5 miles then move to 10 miles, 18 miles, 25 miles, 35 miles, 40 miles, 50 miles, 75 miles, and 100 mi., assuming that the birds return from each of these tosses in good time. If not, I will repeat a location.
12. Do you loft Fly?
I try to allow both the young and Old Birds to fly at the loft morning and night, depending, on my work schedule. I do not force them to fly at the loft. Those widowhood cocks not in a race are trained to 100 miles on race day. Young Birds are normally given a 50 to 60 mile toss in the middle of the week, with an occasional Friday toss of 35 miles. Again, those birds not on the race are trained 60 to 100 miles on race day.
13. Do you have a Health program that you follow?
I use several Global and DAC products each week. I also vaccinate all my race Birds for PMV, Paratyphoid and Pox (YB). To me, this is the key to success, because if the birds are not healthy, you will not be successful. Even the best bred birds will not succeed without good health.
14. How often do you race your birds?
In Old Birds - I race the widowhood cocks to every race up to 300 miles. Then, I alternate them on the 400, 500, and 600 mile races.
In Young Birds – I try to race every other week. If a bird is flying well and has not had any difficulty with a race, I may send it several weeks in a row.
14. Do you believe in entry and clocking limits?
I do not have a problem with either. Our combine has a twenty bird maximum entry and a two bird clock limit.
15. Please give us a summary of your Awards.
2004 – First IF Old Bird Champion Loft, 26-75 lofts
2004 – First IF Open Award, 100 or less lofts
The IF provided unique and attractive wall plates in recognition of these awards. They display nicely. See photo.
2004 – First ACA Average Speed Old & Young combined
2004 – First ACA Average Short Section Old Birds (Second Overall)
2004 – First & Second ACA Average Speed Young Birds (Holly’s Loft-- First, Moore’s Loft-- Second)
2004 – Third & Fourth IF Young Bird Champion Loft, 26 to 75 lofts
2002 – First Place IF Young Birds Champion Loft, 26 to 75 lofts
2001 – First IF Young Bird Champion Loft, 76 to 149 Moore’s Loft, Holly’s Loft Second Place.
2001 – First Hall of Fame Young Birds, 76 to 149 lofts Holly’s Loft, Moore’s Loft Second
2000 – First ACA Average Speed Old & Young Birds Combined
2000 – First & Second ACA Average Speed Young Birds
16. If you could change anything about the sport of Pigeon Racing, what would you change?
I think pigeon fanciers seem to be their own worst enemy. We need to find more ways to support each other and work together to strengthen and promote our sport, encourage nearby Clubs and Combines to participate together in races, and increase membership in our sport.