great gift idea for that special fancier is a Siegel's Gift
Certificate, available in any amount, for a holiday gift,
a birthday, Father's Day, or any other occasion. Just phone us
at 800-437-4436 and we'll make up a nice certificate and
mail it to your recipient. He or she will be able to apply it
to a new book, a great new training basket, medications or supplements,
or any other purchase from Siegel's.
Dozens of birds from the Zazueta loft have been
auctioned. Due to popular request, we've retained information about
the lineage and history of the Zazueta loft here on the web
Click here for details
The timer revolution
When split seconds count, make sure you're counting split seconds
accurately! Benzing electronic timers
have quickly become the new standard in our sport and are more
popular than ever! The best has gotten better! Benzing's
new M-1 clock and "Lazer" antennas are now in
the States, and full distribution is now available. They are the
most accurate, sensitive antenna in the world today--with the
most antenna coils per square inch of any
pigeon scanning antenna available!
was a kick to sit at our computer monitor and "watch"
the birds clock in the World Ace Challenge races!
The biggest races rely on the Benzing tradition of accuracy
and speed, and the Benzing M-1 system is revealing itself
to be heads above the competition.
A Benzing M-1 "Lazer" system recently clocked
the Lou McElroy Race. Among the other major one-loft races
using Benzing Lazers are the Colorado Goldrush Race,
a 300-mile race flown from Elm Creek, NE, released on October
the East Coast Classic, the Gulf Coast
Classic, the San Diego Classic, the San Jacinto
Classic, America's King Cup, the Snowbird
Classic, and the Caribbean Classic.
Other members of the Benzing "family" of futurity races
and racing combines include the Texas Shoot-Out, American Showdown,
Desert Classic, East Coast Challenge, Flamingo Race, Caribbean
Classic, Queen City Memorial, Boundbrook Futurity, and
Paterson Air Derby, among many others....
Tell me more...
me to Instructions for Downloading Benzing Clocks to WinSpeed after
me to Instructions for Acquiring and Using the Benzing Download
me to Instructions for Atomic Timer Use on Benzing Electronic Systems...
me to a list of printers that are compatible with Benzing Electronic
In News & Views:
In his newest report, Stefan Mertens interviews National Winners... Mertens himself is the 2006 1st National Champion KBDB
Middle Distance Youngbirds.
For these reports, and many other archived features,
Read on for all the news!
Suanovil is not in stock now. When it is unavailable, there are effective substitutes.
Suanovil is one of the most effective products for respiratory
infections in our birds, so feel free to call us about its availability
whenever you might need it.
When you cannot find Suanovil, there are very effective substitutes
for it: Doxy-T and Doxyvet, Tylan Concentrate,
Linco-Spectin, or Ery-Mycin. Any of these can be
substituted for Suanovil with very satisfactory results.
For severe cases, we recommend using two of these products in
combination with each other.
Ed Minvielle on the road...again!
Siegel Pigeons prospective travel schedule:
Texas Center Racing Pigeon Convention -
California State Racing Pigeon Organization -
American Racing Pigeon Union Convention -
National Show -
This was a wonderful convention season! We sincerely thank you for your business and your friendship during this past year, and we look forward to seeing many more friends and customers around the country on our travels in 2017...
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Within the past few weeks we have been fielding an unusually large number of questions regarding very sick and dying birds in lofts around the USA mostly, but not exclusively, in the northeastern part of the US from New England all the way to Minnesota, and as far south as Tennessee. Almost all of those reporting the sick birds are show fanciers who have just returned from shows. By coincidence, there is also an outbreak of bird flu in Europe, and Reo Virus in Australia. There are some who are asking if this is more than a coincidence, and if it is possible that there could be a correlation.
I have had a recent discussion with Dr. Raf Herbots in Belgium regarding the bird flu in Europe, and he has basically told me that while, yes, there is an outbreak, it is only in ducks, geese and turkeys, not in pigeons, and that pigeons are not inclined to get this disease, nor do they host it. So, while the authorities in Europe have had to temporarily stop pigeon transport or racing, as Raf has said, "This is not new for us. We have had to deal with this before. I am confident that once the temperatures in Europe start to go up, things will go back to normal." Keep in mind that this type of bird flu is a cold weather virus. So, as far as the European outbreak of bird flu is concerned, that does not appear to have any correlation with what has been happening recently to the aforementioned show birds.
As to the Reo virus outbreak in Australia, I have been in contact with Dr. Colin Walker regarding this and am awaiting his response. On a personal note, I feel confident that as it regards the problems that our fellow fanciers have been experiencing in the northeastern part of the country, the Reo virus has no connection. What I think is going on is exactly the same thing that the racing fanciers around the USA have been dealing with for some time now and which we have had some excellent seminars about just recently in the USA from European speakers Dr. Raf Herbots and PHD Pharmacologist Jean Louis Jorrissen, and it is the following: Circo virus is present now, and can be isolated in almost every pigeon, not only in Europe but also in America. Circo, once awakened by stress, starts a domino effect in which Adeno virus and Herpes virus often become players. Also, it is a known fact that these viruses "almost never travel alone." For simplicity sake, we can look at it in this way, the viruses are a vehicle with empty seats in the back, and bacteria almost always come along for the ride. The bacteria most often associated with the Adeno virus is E.Coli, but Salmonella and other bacteria, including those that cause bad respiratory infections, have also been found associated with these viruses. Another way to look at it is that the virus becomes the primary infection that opens the door for the bacteria to enter. Some researchers have also found that in almost every case canker is also present.
The consensus among all of the veterinarians and pharmacologists that I am associated with and who are primarily involved in pigeon health is that we should all be vaccinating our birds as often as possible, up to 5 or 6 times per year. We should vaccinate for PMV, Herpes, pox and salmonella. There are vaccines available for those diseases. I have also gotten educated about how to properly use LaSota vaccine on pigeons, and even though LaSota is a chicken vaccine for Newcastle disease, it does give our pigeons an immunity bump, especially if those pigeons have already been vaccinated for PMV. Strong immune systems are what help most to ward off these diseases, and any time you vaccinate your birds you are helping the immune system get stronger.
There is also good news to report on the PMV vaccine situation in the USA. It now appears that there has finally been approval of a new PMV vaccine that will be produced by the same team that is producing our KM-1 salmonella vaccine right now. That is certainly good news, as we desperately need a PMV vaccine here in the States.
Hopefully this info will be of some help. As soon as I hear anything from Dr. Walker, I will post that as well.
Hang in there guys. There's light at the end of the tunnel.
All the best,
Tips for the fancier:
in the Loft
of us at Siegel's wish you a very Happy New Year 2017 and hope that you are getting a lot of enjoyment from your
birds and from your participation in the Sport. And we hope that
your breeding hens are healthy and are laying well.
I want to map out for you a nutrition and medication regimen that
has worked very dependably for us, and that I believe will make
a real difference in the success of your breeding season.
January, most fanciers have either paired their birds and are
raising the first round of youngsters, or they're still in the
process of preparing the breeders for pairing in the weeks to
come. If you're one of the many fanciers whose breeders are raising
their first round, you should be paying extra attention to
nutritional needs for your breeders like mineral supplements,
grit, and picking stones. While breeding pigeons are feeding and
rearing their young, their bodies require extra mineralsno
The pigeon fancier who takes this need for mineral supplements
seriously is treating his birds as they deserve to be treated,
while at the same time insuring that he will have a very successful
breeding season. In our lofts, we like to use a liquid mineral
supplement either on the feed or in the water during the breeding
season. All of these are excellent mineral additives: Siegel's
Pigeon Power, Herbots Aminovit, Colombine's Aminovital, Pego's
Ferro-Prodol and Calcamineral, and Oropharma's Biochol.
of these supplements, used properly, will make a significant difference
in keeping your pigeons in good condition during breeding season.
Another product which I recommend without reservation is Naturaline
from the Natural Company. It's formulated to help the breeders
come into peak condition before pairing up.
Comed is a combination vitamin-mineral supplement that promotes
fertility and hatchability, and I recommend using it during weaning
to promote strong bone development. Calcium supplements like Calcium
Vitamin D3 Syrup, BioCal and Calcivite Plus (all from the Australian
Pigeon Company) are great for laying hens, especially older
hens that have had a problem laying. These mineral supplements
will quickly eliminate the leg paralysis so often found in hens
with severe calcium deficiency.
keep picking stones in our lofts during the breeding season. We
place a pick stone in the pot in each loft and also crumble part
of a picking stone into the grit bowl in each loft. We mix the
picking stone in with the grit and place that in a small covered
container so that the birds can take all that they want any time.
APC's Calcium Cakes and Mineral Blocks are really effective at
delivering the mineral supplements that our breeders need during
this time of year.
Vita-Mineral is another excellent supplement
of this type. It's a powdered vitamin and mineral supplement that
can be mixed into the grit or directly onto the feed. All of these
nutritional supplements insure that your birds are getting the
right amounts of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements to
help them raise healthy, vigorous young. They also help your breeders
keep in good shape for the later rounds to come.
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pigeons kept confined in a loft, especially during the cold winter
months, are not capable of getting all the minerals and trace
elements that their bodies require from the feed alone, so supplements
are not only wise, but necessary.
supplement that has consistently received very strong positive feedback from
fanciers all around the country for a number of years is Health Gard,
a pro-biotic water-additive formula. In fact, we have had negative
feedback from no one using the product during the nearly nine
years that we have carried Health Gard, while we have heard hundreds
of personal testimonials about its effectiveness.
We have used
Health Gard regularly in our own lofts since the 2002 breeding season,
and we have been completely gratified with the results in our
babies. We send many birds to a number of out-of-area races, and
the babies that are raised by our breeders taking Health Gard
do not succumb to many of the diseases that affect other birds
of the same age in the same lofts. Parent birds given Health Gard
seem to pass on to the babies a high resistance to viral infections
for many months after the product is removed from the diet, and
racing birds have shown a greater resistance to disease.
concept behind Health Gard is to use large doses of naturally
occurring micro-organisms to help correct or control health problems
in our pigeons. We use Health Gard in our own lofts during the
breeding season every day on our breeders from the beginning of
January until the end of March, which encompasses our first two
rounds. The Health Gard is given in addition to our regular supplements
like Pigeon Power.
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Each year, we send out nearly 200 youngsters from our first two
rounds to other lofts to race, either in futurities or in convention
races, or to partner lofts to be tested. After a couple of months,
some of the lofts that I've sent birds to will begin to report
sicknesses like Cercle Virus, but the overwhelming majority of
our babies remain healthy, even when there are babies of the same
age from other breeders dying all around them. Given all the circumstances,
I have concluded that Health Gard makes the difference.
areas subject to freezing must take extra precautions to make
sure that the birds are getting enough fresh water every day.
There are heaters for drinkers that are helpful, but they are
by no means a sure bet to keep the water from freezing in extremely
cold climates. For birds living in these conditions, I recommend
extra vitamins and minerals, because these birds are being
stressed at higher levels than pigeons living in more moderate
If you don't maintain good hygiene in your loft, disease is sure
to visit. The most important aspect of good loft hygiene is to keep the feeders and drinkers clean. In our lofts, we like
to disinfect the feeders and drinkers periodically with Sani-Coop.
One capful to a gallon of water will disinfect anything in the
loft, and you can also use it on the perches. We keep enough drinkers
on hand to be able to rotate them, so that some are being disinfected
while others are in use. This way, whenever we need a fresh drinker,
there are several clean ones waiting to be used.
The old bird
races will be beginning in just a few months in some areas of
the country. So, obviously, the old bird race team also needs
attention at this time. Fanciers who'll be flying widowhood
will probably be pairing racers now, depending on the starting
time of the race season. This can be challenging, because you
must move the new yearling cocks and hens into the loft with the
older birds, and having them take the proper nest box is always
We lock our pairs into their boxes with a separation between them
until they appear to have become interested in each other. Then
we take away the separator but continue to keep the pair locked
up in the main part of their box. At this time, all of the racers
are locked in their boxes with their hens, and they are fed and
watered in the nest box. Because of the intense stress of this
close confinement, we add vitamins and Pigeon Power to the water.
A similar supplement that our customers like is Ferro-Prodol.
It also does a good job of keeping the birds in fine shape even
during the most intense times of stress.
the racers are paired, we begin by letting one pair out at a time,
until they show us that they know where their box is. Once this
is established, we start letting out two pairs at a time, but
always make sure that their boxes are at opposite ends of the
loft from each other. For example, a top right box would be opened
along with a bottom left. After a few weeks, things in the old
bird loft should start to settle down, and the racing pairs will
go down on eggs.
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We like to time this so that our old birds will lay and raise
one round of young, then go down on their second set of eggs about
ten days before our first race. To do this, we always figure 54
days backwards from the first weekend of racing. This includes
10 to 12 days for pairing and laying of the first egg, 18 days
for setting, then 24 to 26 days for raising the young and then
the laying of the second round. Since we do not want our birds
to start moulting, we normally pull the hens from their cocks
three days after the second egg of the second round is laid.
We also like to leave a squeaker with its father for several days
after the hen has been removed. (But we will go into detail about
this technique in next month's "In the Loft.")
Because we like to allow six weeks for training the old birds,
we usually start taking the cocks and hens on alternate days just
after the hens have laid--weather permitting--for their shorter
tosses during January. Since this training is just a refresher
for the old birds, it usually doesn't take them quite as long
to get the hang of it, and they start coming quite well after
only a few tosses. Loft exercise is also quite beneficial at this
time, and we will often let the birds out for whatever exercise
they will take on their own.
We also medicate the old bird race team now as a precaution
against the major diseases. We like to give a combination treatment
for salmonella, E.coli, and coccidiosis for about seven to ten
days. We use Trimethoprium Sulfa, which takes care of all of these.
Immediately after the treatment, we give two days of a probiotic
to restore the gut bacteria. Probac from the Australian Pigeon
Company, Cometose from Comed, Digestal from Colombine, and Prodigest
from Herbots all do a good job.
We use it on the feed with either
wheat germ oil or garlic oil to make it stick. After a few days,
we begin a respiratory treatment for 14 days. We have had success
alternating between Doxyvet alone and Doxy-T. For severe infections,
Dr. Steve Weir has found that adding Suanovil to either product
increases the potency of the treatment. A third option would be
Tylan with Aureomycin.
After each medication treatment, we use a probiotic for two days. Our final medication treatment before the races begin is a three-day canker treatment. Generally, we select two canker products and alternate between them for an entire racing season.
Once our training begins in earnest, we treat on alternate weekends with a respiratory product and a cnker product for two days.
Following this nutrition and medication program will prepare our birds for the seasons ahead. But over the years, we've found that nothing replaces observation, so it's a great idea to spend a few minutes each day just observing the birds and learning to detect if all is not right in the loft. Early detection of disease can be the best approach for prevention of bigger problems down the road.
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Fanciers ask all the time about how to fight problems in our lofts with canker, candida, Cercle virus (young bird disease), and the benefits of complex acids.
As many of you now know Siegel's has been selling a new product for canker, called Berimax, since early this year. We began selling this product on the advice of our good friend Dr. Steve Weir in Oklahoma who had tested the product on a number of birds that were showing signs of having very resistant strains of canker.
In Dr. Weir's tests, Berimax was the only product that worked 100% effectively, and he had tested all the other top canker products available at the time. When Dr. Weir sent those results to us, we contacted the inventor of Berimax, Dr. Nils Reither, and made arrangements with him to sell the product here in the States. We ran a few ads and promoted the product enough to get it jump-started in the States but we have hesitated to promote the product too heavily until we got enough feedback from our customers to know for certain that the product is a winner.
I can state that the product is a big winner, as a huge majority of our customers who are using the product are reporting that it is working extremely well. We have also been testing it on our own birds with excellent results, but there are a few reports that have stated that Berimax did not cure their canker problem initially and with this in mind I would like to address that issue. A small percentage of Berimax customers did report that their birds still showed canker even though they used the product according to instructions. In each case I asked the customer to use Berimax again. There were only 4 reports that I was made aware of who claimed that Berimax was not working. In three of the cases there was evidence that the pigeons may not have been taking in enough of the product because the lofts were located in cool-climate areas and the water intake was surely not what it would be in a warmer climate. When I asked the customers to use Berimax again, but at a 50% higher dosage (thus 1-1/2 teaspoons per gallon,) their canker issues were resolved. In the final case, one of our customers was in the middle of racing and he wanted immediate results. Together we came to the conclusion that he should use Berimax with another canker product, so he used Berimax and Turbosole (from Dr. Walker, Australia.) He used Berimax at the specified dosage and added Turbosole at its specified dosage, and within three days had his canker problem completely under control.
All products have a recommended dosage based on laboratory tests, but knowing how the product works in the field can be very helpful. My personal thoughts on Berimax are that it is the most effective product for canker that I have seen in the 21 years I've been owner of the Charles Siegel Company. It has proven that it will work on all strains of canker.
One final note concerning Ecol Tonic. It is truly amazing how much this product has taken off over the past couple of years. This phenomenal growth in sales could not be possible if the product was not working as advertised. I was privy to a very interesting meeting of the world veterinary pigeon council when I attended the racing pigeon Olympiade in Poland this past February. The veterinarians there spent a good deal of time discussing the benefits of "complex" acids used in conjunction with anti-bacterial agents.
What has to be adjusted in some cases is the dosage based on the amount of water the birds are taking in. My suggestion is that you pay particular attention when the weather is cool and the birds are not drinking as much. This also happened to me with my birds in my initial test of Berimax, as it was mid-winter and the birds were not drinking nearly as much water as they do during other times of the year. I used the product at the specified dose and after three days did not see a significant result, so I doubled the dose from one teaspoon per gallon to two teaspoons per gallon, and after another 3 days all signs of canker in my birds were gone.
I can also report that I have tested Berimax in conjunction with Ecol Tonic with extraordinary results, especially on birds showing signs of candida. It appears that in over 90% of the cases the combination of Berimax and Ecol Tonic will eliminate candida in 24 hours. I personally use Berimax with Ecol Tonic every time I dose my birds for canker, as I am also finding a benefit on the canker treatment as well as the candida.
It appears as though there is great benefit to using a "complex" acid (which is exactly what Ecol Tonic is) in conjunction with existing anti-bacterial products, such as Baytril, Sulfa AVS, Trimethoprim Sulfa, even Amoxil. Test results showed as much as a 4x increase in effectiveness of the anti-bacterial agents when a complex acid was present. Ecol Tonic is exactly that, and is the strongest such acid available.
We have had literally hundreds of calls and e-mails thanking us for saving countless thousands of pigeons' lives because we recommended that Ecol Tonic be used in conjunction with a bacteria-stat. One customer reported at the beginning of young bird season this year that his birds were showing signs of Cercle virus (young bird disease) just after he started putting his birds on the training truck. Since his season was about to start (in 2 weeks) he thought his race season was doomed. Remarkably, after only 4 days on Ecol Tonic and Baytril, his flock was flying around his loft for over 1-1/2 hours. He did not miss a race and has indeed been having one of his best young bird seasons in recent memory.
Here's wishing you all a very Happy New Year, and a great racing season in 2017!
recommends these products based on the needs of the pigeons that are
developing during the breeding season...
His suggestions follow...
Bands – Now available for 2017. Letter "A" designated. These are A.U. certified bands. Using
them will allow you to compete in any A.U. certified race. Siegel’s keeps
records of the bands so that if a stray bird is found with the letter
designation "A" it is a Siegel’s issued band for which we can trace the
owner. Available in plastic only.
SW 1.20 lbs
SW 1.40 lbs
THE PIGEON – by Dr. Colin Walker. Dr. Walker is a very successful pigeon racing veterinarian in Australia, and he shares information gained during 30 years of racing his own birds that includes race fitness, race preparation and recovery, disease control during racing and breeding, behavior, droppings, loft design, feeding, and much more.
SW 7 lbs
Best new book on the pigeon sport!
Kingmaker - DeRauw-Sablon: A Racing Pigeon Dynasty - A must for any pigeon fancier's library! The DeRauw-Sablon strain is one of the most sought after and valuable racing pigeon strains in the world. This is the definitive work with over 100 photos and illustrations. Hard cover, color photos, 156 pp.
SW 4 lbs
Berimax - Advanced canker treatment for racing and show birds. Laboratory tests in Europe and the U.S. have proven that this unique "all natural" formula provides the most advanced recipe against all 26 strains of canker. Five days of use has proven to eradicate even the most resistant strains of canker, and it is so safe that it can safely be given to four-day-old babies. To completely eradicate very resistant strains of canker can require a full 5 to 7 day treatment and sometimes increasing dosages We have also found it very helpful to use Berimax in conjunction with Ecol Tonic to get rid of resistant candida and canker, as Ecol Tonic seems to increase the strength of Berimax. Use one level teaspoon of Berimax per gallon of water. Contents will treat 16 gallons of water.
SW 1.00 lb
2 - 80 gram canisters
SW 1.50 lb
3 - 80 gram canisters
SW 2.00 lb
Ecol-Tonic – An all-natural product fortified with ten special organic
acids and proven in the loft to be effective in boosting immunity and
promoting health and vigor, and bringing the droppings back to normal
in racing and show pigeons. 16 oz. will dose 32 gallons of water. Always
remember to follow the use of Ecol-Tonic with a good pro-biotic.
SW 2.70 lbs
SW 3.40 lbs
SW 9.70 lbs
Power – This chelated liquid mineral mixture is readily absorbed through
the intestines into the bird’s system. Use it extensively during racing
and breeding, often spraying it onto the feed. Works extremely well as
a bonding agent for brewer’s yeast and vitamins. A Siegel’s exclusive,
considered by many as the best mineral supplement available.
SW 2.20 lbs
SW 3.45 lbs
SW 9.70 lbs
Pigeon Breeder Plus- Created
specifically for the breeding racing pigeon with all the ingredients
needed for a healthy breeding season. Contains malto-dextrin, 13 vitamins,
chelated minerals, pro-biotics, digestive enzymes, L-Carnitine, electrolytes,
amino acids, and a plant extract that helps to control fecal odors.
Use in either water or feed.
SW 1.5 lbs.
SW 3.0 lbs
Biochol – Contains methionine, choline, sorbitol, biotin, and vitamin B-12. Highly
recommended as a liver and moult tonic with depurative action. Promotes
excellent plumage. (Oropharma – Belgium)
SW 2.95 lbs
Gard -- A pro-biotic
water-additive formula made from specially cultured, naturally occurring
microbes and a unique catalyst, which increases blood-stream absorption
by ten times. Use one teaspoon per gallon of water. One quart covers 60
to 80 birds for six months.
SW 3.80 lbs
SW 2.80 lbs
SW 9.30 lbs
Calcamineral – This is the genuine product! Accept no substitutes! All essential minerals
plus vitamins with added oyster shell, making this product an excellent
source for calcium needed by laying hens and by older cocks feeding young.
(Pego - Germany).
SW 3.70 lbs.
Oil - Derived
from Fine Oil for a good breeding period. The oil is adapted to the specific
needs of the breeders during this period. Dosage is one soup spoon per
kg. of feed three times a week.
(Comed - Belgium)
SW 1.70 lbs
Fertibol - Tremendous aid for fertility and hatchability. This world renown product
contains a special formulation including calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins
A, D3, and E, proven necessary for good laying and hatching of eggs. Fertibol
promotes healthy skeletal growth as well, so it can be given during the
weaning period to produce strong-boned young and during breeding. Excellent
for older birds.
SW 2.50 lbs
Aminovit – This liquid conditioning preparation contains 21 amino acids. Developed
years ago by Jos Herbots, brother of Philip, and well known as a specialist
in long-distance flights. Amino acids are well known as the building blocks
of albumen, essential to the function of the muscles and nerves. Two important
factors, found in Aminovit, are vital: the percentage of each amino acid
in the combination, and the quality of the amino acids. For speed and
middle distance races, use on the third-to-last and last day before basketing.
For long distance races, use during the three days before the day of basketing.
(Herbots – Belgium)
SW 3.45 lbs
Naturaline – Concentrated greens and plant extracts. Concocted from
fifteen specifically selected varieties of plants and herbs, this extract
has been proven effective in aiding the respiratory, digestive and urinary
tracts. Pigeons that receive regular doses of Naturaline in their drinking
water display a rosier skin, more glossy and luxurious plumage, and the
pigmentation and luster in the eye are heightened—all signs of optimum
health. (Natural - Belgium)
SW 3.55 lbs
Vitamineral – Vitaminized minerals in powder form. Vitamineral is
a product that the pigeons need all year long. There is always a marked
increase in consumption during breeding, after a race, and during the
moult. Use in the grit. (Natural - Belgium)
SW 2.45 lbs
SW 6.70 lbs
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