1997 Old Birds - IF. Hall of Fame
Wind Song Loft

Thavorn Lorungrochana, M.D.

Flown by: Thavorn Lorungrochana, M.D.
Interview by: Paul Walsh

It is the great honor to have two of my birds placed in the I.F. Hall of Fame.
AU 95 VAN 1186 Blue Check Hen & AU 96 VAN 1183 Blue Bar Flt Cock

Tell us a little about yourself?
I am an active Urologist, practicing in Washington, D.C. I have had the homing pigeons since I was 16 years old, in Thailand. I had to quit the sport when I entered the Medical School and picking it up again in 1976 when I joined the North West Racing Pigeon Club of the Washington Metropolitan Racing Pigeon Concourse and has been an active member up to the present. The fanciers who help me getting started in the sport are; Mr.John Boho and Mr. Thomas Didone. I have held several offices in the club and concourse including; President of the North West Club, President & Vice President of the Capital City Club and race secretary of the Capital City Club.

What is your position as far as Combine races are concerned ? How big is your Combine & Club ?
My loft is located in the NW section of Washington, D.C. and is away from the line of flight. The majority of flyers are in the SE section of Washington, D.C. My birds have to break away very early in order to win especially in the short races. We have 40 + members in the club and 70+ members in the concourse.

Do you have a original family of pigeons ?
The original family of pigeon was Fabrys bred down from a pair of imports from George & Victor Fabry (Aiglon & Toury bloodline). These birds were winning for me in the early years. I won my first concourse race in my first YB season with a Fabry hen named "DUSTY" and I had the only day bird from 500 ml in the concourse with a Fabry hen named "DREAM GIRL".

What type of birds do you fly now ?
The birds that I keep at present are mainly Janssens, Meulemans, Fabry and Opel. The Janssens are the cross between the descendents of Ponis's Golden Pair (4548 + 4554) and the Belgium imports of "OUDE BANGE" line. The Meulemans are from the three imports from Karel Meulemans and the Opels are from Mr.Glenn and Russell Beall.

Can you give us a little history on some of your champion birds ?
AU 95 VAN 1186 BC H: a Janssen-Meulemans cross, raced lightly as YB and yearling She has never been late and was clocked many times. She was shipped to 4 races as a two year old and placed; 41st concourse from 100 mls, 1st club & 4th concourse from 500 mls and 2nd club & 3rd concourse from 600 mls in 1997.
AU 95 VAN 1183 BBFl C: a Janssen, Meulemans and Persoon cross, raced once as YB and was raced as a widowhood cock in the following year when he was clocked 3 x 1st and 1x 2nd in a total of 5 races that he flown. He was clocked in all 3 races that he was shipped as a 2 year old and won 3rd club & 3rd concourse in a 200 mls. race and 2nd club, 2nd concourse in another 200 mls. race.

Could you tell us about the parents, brothers, and/or sisters that bred or flew well ?
AU 95 VAN 1186 = SIRE: AU 90 WDC 715; son of "WHITE EYE JR." & "BONNIE".
s: "WHITE EYE JR" is the son of the foudation Janssen cock "491" & the grandson of George Ponis' "GOLDEN PAIR". He is the sire & grandsire of many 1st place winners in the clubs & combines, including "TWINKLE" the 93' JFR winner &"CUP CAKE" the 94' JFR winner in Baltimore.
d: "BONNIE", bred by Karel Meulemans. This hen is an excellent breeder. Her offsprings are capable of winning from 100 - 600 mls. Dam & grand dam of many 1st place winners.
DAM: AU 90 WDC 611; an inbred grand daughter of the foundation Janssen cock "491", son of George Ponis' "GOLDEN PAIR". "611" is an excellent breeder and responsible for many winners.
AU 95 VAN 1183: = SIRE: AU 91 CAP 552 "TOMMY", an excellent racer & breeder.Son of "WHITE EYE JR" & "CADETTE. "TOMMY" is a champion widowhood cock before he was retired to the breeding loft. He is also a full brother to "TWINKLE" & "CUP CAKE", the 93' & 94' JFR winners.
s: "WHITE EYE JR"; see above.
d: "CADETTE"; bred by Karel Meulemans. A linebred grand daughter of "KADET" and a prepotent breeder. Bred many 1st place winners with different cocks. Her offsprings are also good breeders.
DAM: AU 92 SBS 4717; an excellent breeder. Both of her parents were bred by Roger Persoon. This hen has bred many 1st place winners.

Do you race imports ?
No. I do not race imports.

How big is your old bird team ? Young bird team ?
I have two old bird teams, the Natural team and the Widowhood team. The Natural team consists of 60 birds, mostly the yearling cocks & the good long distant hens. The Widowhood team consists of 16 cocks. The young bird team consists of 90 birds, mostly from the breeding loft and a few from the widowhood loft.

Do you use a system ? Young birds ? Old birds ?
I shipped most of my long distant hens sitting on 10-12 days old eggs in the Natural team with good result from 500 & 600 mls. I select the good yearling cocks from the Natural team when they were 2 y/o to replace the retired widowhood cocks. I used the light system in YB. I give them 16 hrs of light from 7 am to 11 pm and go on to natural light at the end of June. I exercise & train my birds in the morning, and allow them to observe the natural sunrise. I never have any problem with the molting as old birds on the light system. However I do have a few birds that go through the double molting as YB. I think both the Darkening System and the Light System are equally good if you do it right and both systems have the advantage over the natural or no system at all. Choose the system that fit your schedule. Both system are drug free and should be permitted to compete.

Do you cut flights ? Pull tail feathers ?
I pull the 9th flight (without cutting) and half of the tail feather (alternate one) in early June, after the birds have been trained to 50 mls and pull the 10th flight together with the other half of the tail feathers when the 9th flight have grown 3/4 of the length. No more training during this period, only loft flying. Care has to be taken when pulling the primary flight. in order to avoid injury to the feather sockets. Get a good grip on the flight and pull it straight out toward the direction of tail without any twisting motion. If you train the bird or force flying too hard at this time, the flights might came up short or have fretch mark on them. The birds will also go through the body molt during this period of resting. The birds should have full 9th & 10th flight and finishing the body moult by the mid or end of July and the training can be resumed.

Do you fly to perch ? Do you fly widowhood ? Explain your young and old bird methods
Old Birds:I use two systems; Natural & Widowhood


Natural System :

Birds were mated and the nest conditions were set especially for hens in the long distant races.

Widowhood System :

Consist of 16 widowhood cocks. They were mated 80 days prior to the first race and each pair raise 1 or 2 youngsters. The youngsters were weaned when they are 3 weeks old. The hens were separated after sitting a few days on the 2nd round eggs. The widowhood cocks were allowed to sit on the eggs for 1 more day before the eggs were removed and the widowhood began. I do not show the hens before basketing and do not like to use yearling cocks for widowhood.

Young Birds: - I separate the sexes 3 weeks before the 1st race. Before that, I allow them to mate up but do not allow them to raise any youngsters. They were allowed to see each other for a few hours only when they were back from training tosses or races. They were let out to exercise around the loft separately.

Please describe your loft.
The main loft measured 12 x 16 ft. and has 4 sections: 2 for the breeders, 1 for the old bird on Natural system and 1 for the young birds. Ther are two 6 x 6 ft. avery attached to one end of the main loft for the breeders and there are two 6 x6 ft. enclosed sections on the other end, one for the widowhood cocks and another one for the widowhood hens. I have 4 more separated individual pens for the special breeding pairs.

When and what type of feeding methods do you use ?
I feed my birds (young & old) once a day on the floor in the morning after exercising around the loft or upon returned from training tosses with no set times. I use the commercial conditioning mix (17 % protiens) with no corn and mix in my own corn, adjusting the ratio according to the disstant of the races. I give them all they can eat within 10 minutes.

How do you train your birds; single toss, flock or training truck ?
I have try both single toss and flock release and have found no difference. I do believe in letting the birds go one crate (approx. 15-20 birds) at a time and wait for 5 mins before let another one out. There is less changes for the birds to hit the wire when they are a smaller group and if they ran into something, it is not going to be a total loss. I have never use the training truck because my loft is away from the main line of flight and I do not want the birds to pick up a bad habit.

Is there any kind of health program you regularly follow ?
I give all the youngsters the PMV vaccines and Pox immunization once when they were weaned and never give them again as old birds. I do medicate all my birds :

Sat & Sunday :

Treatment for Coccidiosis (SulfaKnox or Corid) and other antibiotics (Tetracycline, Doxycycline or Amoxil) give one at a time on alternate week. I mix in the Canker medication (Flagyl) on the week that I give the Antibiotics.

Monday :

Vitamin with electrolytes

Tuesday :

Friendly gut bacteria

Wednesday :

Vitamin with electrolytes

Thursday :

Garlic in drinking water

Friday :

Plain water

The main reason for giving the medications is to prevent the birds from getting the disease after they been in the truck with other birds and to control the outbreak of Coccidiosis & Canker when the birds are under stress. I use Ivomec for worming once in every 3 mos.

Do you have a regular training schedule ?
Due to my work schedule, I could not train my birds more than twice a week. I take them 80 mls on Monday and Wednesday and loft fly them on Tuesday and Thursday. I do not let my birds out on Friday (the shipping day) and on the weekends when the neighbors are around. I considered myself an old birds flyer because they do not need much training and I can motivated them better. I can not train the young birds as often as I wanted to due to the above reasons.

How often do you race your champion birds?
I treat all my birds equally. I rarely ship any bird to the races back to back especially if they have been on the wing for longer than 6 hrs the week before. Most of the birds have only flown 4-6 races per season (young & old). I do not believe in ruin the young birds in one season when you can enjoy them for 4-5 yrs.

Do you believe in bird entry limits?
I do believe in bird entry limit because it somewhat equalized the rich from the poor and the big loft from the small. I also believe in clocking limit for the sake of the new flyers. If a new flyer has been flying for 2-3 years and never get a single diploma, chances is he or she might quit the sport for good. The good flyers may have clocked 8-10 birds in the diplomas range per race in order to accumulate the championship points and pushing the new flyers off the diplomas. The AU & IF should look into this matter.

How do you select your breeding pairs?
I examine both the pedigrees & the birds themself in selecting the breeding pairs. I do mate half brother & sister togather for flying and inbred the old champion breeders ( mate sire to his daughter & dam to her son etc.) for stock. I do not mate two birds that have weak or recessive color together. I do mate two of the same color, red check to red check or blue bar to blue bar, together and the same is also true for the eye colors. I do look at the eye signs but do not take it too seriously. I prefer birds with bright and lively eyes with good coloration.

Any advice for new or advanced flyers ?
My advice to the new flyers are to be a good listener and to read a lot. Pick up all the good points and try them. Making notes on everything you do and keeping the things that work for you. Acquiring birds from the good flyers, preferably kits of young birds. My only advice for the advanced flyers is to help the new flyers in every ways you can.

Is there a flyer or breeder that has helped you to become a better flyer ? Do you have any goals ?
It take more than a flyer, breeder or books to make one a better flyer. Hard works, consistancy and the will to improve oneself are very important. Most flyers bramed on something else beside themself for the mistakes. I do not set any goal. I consider pigeon racing as a hobby. If I am doing good, that is my reward. If not, I am still having fun racing pigeons. My greatest moments were when I was selected as one of the flyers to represent AU in the international race in Holland a few years back and when two of my birds were honored in the 97 IF Hall of Fame.