Our first goal in the week after every competitive flight is a speedy recovery. Science provides us with the necessary insights for supporting the recovery with demand-oriented strategies.
Every competitive flight means stress. The longer the flight, the more energy is spent. Today’s well informed breeders know that carbohydrate is metabolised in the first flight phase. Then, after about an hour of flying, the fat burning process supplies the pigeons with most of the energy. In flight, protein is negligible as source of energy. Independent of whether pigeons in flight have the wind in their backs or coming from the front, immediately af- ter the competitive flight, pigeons start building up their energy reserves. The simplest and fastest way to do that is to store carbohydrates as glycogen in the liver and muscles.
It therefore stands to reason to shorten the recovery phase by feeding carbohydrates as early as possible. The ‘fastest’ way is adding carbohydrates to the water. Feeding carbohydrate-rich grains builds up energy resources in a slightly slower pro- cess. Pigeons tend to drink plenty of water immediately after their return to the loft. Therefore, providing carbohydrates in the drinking water has the additional advantage of quickstarting the rebuilding of energy stores. We recommend adding a mix of fast and slowly metabolised carbohydrates to keep the blood sugar level balanced.
In the course of longer competitive flights, increased fat burning is another factor. This involves the oxidation of free fatty acids, a process, which also leads to the formation of ketone bodies. After more than 2 hours of flight time, we therefore recommend adding the organic phosphorus supplement Butafosfan to the feed to speed up the utilisation and clearance of metabolic side products. For many years now, Butafosfan is fed to working animals to lighten the stress on the liver and to accelerate the recovery after physical stress. Especially in cases of medium and intense exhaustion, the pigeons recover fast and quickly regain their physical strength.
Antioxidative vitamin C can not only help to replenish depleted glycogen stores on a cellular level, but it can also strengthen the body’s own defence system and accelerate the regeneration process.
Moreover it supports iron absorption in the gastro-intestinal tract and is a part of the body’s own hormonal synthesis. Additionally, this valuable vitamin also participates indirectly in the fat burning process in the muscular system. That is why we recommend to supplement vitamin C immediately after the race.