Schillinger and Son
59 years old retired and has been around pigeons all his life. Tom’s
grandfather, father, brothers, and cousins all had pigeons in Brooklyn,
New York. They even flew flights and tipplets on the roof or in the yards
where they lived. Tom’s grandfather and one of his brothers had
homers too. Eventually Tom moved to upstate New York in the late sixties
early seventies. Tom Contacted his brother in Brooklyn one day (who was
flying in the Belmont club) and the next thing he knew his brother brought
a coupe that was in sections and a crate of homers to his home upstate.
They put the coupe together and Tom joined the Schenectady pigeon club.
After that his brother moved to upstate NY and they started flying as
son took an interest in birds and began
flying together with them. In 1997 Tom, his brother and son built
a loft at his son’s home and they moved the birds into the new loft.
In 1998 Tom’s brother passed away and from then on Tom flew partners with
his son. They were extremely lucky this year doing well with two
birds (Fabry/Wanroy) that were bred for them by Dan Drake. They also did
well with birds bred for them by Paul Gozemba and Grooters from Art Catuccio
along with other birds from different breeds.
and his son still have many birds that his brother had left which are
blends of different breeds. They also have birds that were given
to them by club members, loaned to them to breed and some that were bought
at auctions, such as Janssen’s, Verbruggans, Grooters, and Bekarts.
fly mostly a medium sized bird breeding about 60 youngsters for their
young bird team and flying about 40 birds on their old bird team naturally.
When flying young birds they use the dark system on about 8 hours of light
and fly their young birds to the perch. Tom feels the only down side to
flying their young birds on the dark system is they do not moult properly
in time for the old birds races. They do not cut flights or pull tails
because their birds finish with the body moult by the time young bird
flock train their birds and if they have time they let five go at a time,
sometimes three at time. It is unfortunate, but most of the time
they just don’t have the time to release train three at a time.
Tom feels they should be tossed three at a time after they are flock trained
and coming in good. They start training about five weeks before the first
race. Before the races they take them out every day they can (in
good weather) and start at about 10 miles and work out to 100 miles.
After the races start they train about two times a week up to about 50
Before they start breeding their birds are vaccinate with PMV1, then wormed, treated for respiratory, canker and coccidiosis. He believes this will take care of anything the birds may have and give the birds a better chance when they start breeding. Other then that the only time the birds are treated with medications is when they are sick.
birds are fed in a feeder on the floor and sometimes right on the floor.
If they are training or loft flying then they get fed when they return
home. They use Browns Island small corn or Browns racing feed.
describes his loft as having excellent airflow. The roof is on a
pitch and the air comes in from the rear of the loft and out the front
along the roof. They do not use fans. The loft is 32’ long and
8’ high and has five sections.
is a little history on their champion bird AU02AMR 2355, Blue Bar Hen.
AU 01 HVC 4138---1st year breeding is half Cattrysse that goes back
to “Gold Mine Boxer”, “Steel Lady”, “Remington Steel” that came from my
AU 97 X 11952---Grooter---gift from Art Catuccio that goes back to
ships his birds to the races as long as he feels they are in condition.
He feels you must have limits on the amount of birds that every flyer
ships, but only because of the truck capacity. He does not believe
in over crowding the truck. He also does not believe in clocking limits
because he feels every bird should get the credit and placement it deserves
in a race.
advice for new flyers is to listen more than talk, don’t be scared to
ask questions, read all you can about racing, understand that what you
read and what you are told may work for someone else, but it may not work
for everyone, don’t be scared to try new things, we learn by our mistakes
and don’t get discouraged. If it doesn’t work then try something
else. Just remember there are a lot of good people out there and
they will help you all they can.
the advanced flyer he would have to say, “I have had pigeons all my life
and have been racing off and on from the early 70’s and I don’t know anything.
The way I look at it, if you are just starting to fly or if you have been
flying for sixty years and you find someone that needs help, then help
him or her. If you need help, ask someone. Remember no one
asked Tom if there is a flyer, breeder or book that has helped him become
a better pigeon flyer? He could not say that there is one flyer
that has helped him become a better pigeon flyer but that over the years
there have been so many flyers that have helped him. What he did
say is that his brother started him with racing, so if he had to pick
one person it would be his brother. Tom said he not only made him
a better flyer, he also made him a better person. Tom’s goals in
the sport would be to enjoy the birds, the people he has met and hopes
to have his birds for a long time.