CONFESSIONS OF A MODEST MAN
2nd I.F. Champion Loft Award Winner


By Pat Broderick
I.F. publicity

In 1992 when Manny Parada's concrete business began doing really well, he did something that a lot of people thought was a little bit crazy.  He built a pigeon loft inside his construction yard.  He had no thoughts about winning pigeon races.  He didn't know or care much about strains.  And he had no knowledge about the different systems in use today.  He just wanted to be able to spend some time with the birds when he could tear himself from the business.  And over the years those chances have seem to have grown.

From a start with humble aspirations Manny Parada has come to the point where last year he was awarded 2nd place I. F. Champion Loft in old birds and then went ahead and won 7 club races and 4 combine races in young birds.  He expressed gratitude to the I.F. for considering his loft worthy of a national award.  Manny is a member of the E.L.I. Club, which competes in the Long Island Combine, and the Islip Club, which competes in the Suffolk-Nassau Combine.  To give you an idea of how competitive these New York combines are, on any given weekend your birds will be competing against brothers and sisters of Barcelona winners.  Now that's serious pigeon flying!

So how does he do it and what's his system?  Well, Manny will tell you that he doesn't have a have a system.  Manny has never darkened or lightened his loft, preferring to go natural in both old and young birds.

So where does Manny's unusual success come from?  Manny's system is really Manny himself.  He is one of those rare individuals who can convey a special love for each bird in the loft and have that love returned to him in the form of race wins.  It's an unspoken motivational tool that Manny can tap into each race weekend.

Manny is so incredibly modest about his current success that he would prefer to give credit to the people responsible for breeding his latest winners.  First and foremost, there is Grand All-American Paul Walsh, who besides breeding several combine winners for Manny, has also bred this past year's SNF Futurity winner and the parents of Manny's ITF winner; and second there is Tommy DeMartino from Shirley, Long Island, who has bred most of Manny's key breeders from his exclusive Van Loons and Van Reets.

In a typical year Manny Parada will mate 27 pair for his old bird race team, plus keep a couple of extra hens on the side.  About one month before the first race training begins at 20 miles and by the end of the second week the team will be out to 50 miles every day.  Most of the team will go to the first race on 2 week old eggs.  Each pair will get the chance to raise one youngster to 14 days of age.  Over the years Manny's best success has come from 12 day old eggs and 12 day old youngsters in the nest.  The team will go to every race until they begin to loose form.  And here Manny confesses that he now spends so much time with the old bird team that he knows when they're losing form without ever having to pick them up.  "I can see it in their attitude."

Manny's the first one to admit that he spends too much time with the birds.  He's constantly watching, learning and getting better.  Apparently, the feeling is mutual.