MR & MRS BRIAN WALL - 1st Alencon BICC

 The subjects of this brief report, Brian and Viv Wall have enjoyed great success in the sport over the past 25 or so years since Brian's resumption in the fancy in the mid 1980's. This success has come at all levels of competition from club through to National and Classic level. In the 2013 old bird season Brian and Viv attained one of their greatest successes when they won 1st Open BICC Alencon. I say Brian and Viv as in this instance, Viv had to carry out most of the day to day management of the birds following Brian's serious accident which resulted in a broken leg and a prolonged period of immobility.

As many will no doubt know, this husband and wife combination are the owners of GEM SUPPLEMENTS pigeon foods and products and are generous sponsors of the BICC and a number of other organisations. So it was fitting that they should gain success in one of those organisations which they support.

 The report below is Brian's account of his time in the sport so I'll let him tell you in his own words his past experiences and management methods.


 I first kept pigeons in the early sixties as a young lad but had to pack them in when I began my career in the Royal Navy. I then restarted in the middle eighties.

My first major influence in pigeons came from a lovely man whom I came to be great friends with -  a chap called Colin Bakes. My first loft at this time was 8 ft x 6ft to which I flew quite successfully, winning my first race at the first attempt with a gift pigeon from Colin. I put the birds straight on widowhood as I felt this was the only way to be competitive.
I was at that address for 6 years with good results including 1st SMT Combine 6000 + birds.
I moved to my present address in the early nineties. I bought the bungalow from a friend and fellow fancier and was left a nice 28 foot loft and right away added another 28 foot loft for my widowhood team. Also a stock loft which was 12 ft x 6 ft. I was like a dog with two tails with the extra space I had as the bungalow has a fairly big garden, so the lofts do not look out of place and it’s in a quiet location.


I have 4 sections each holding 8 cocks which gives them plenty of air space and room. A corridor runs the length of the loft allowing access to each internal section. I have them on clean floors and trap through open doors. I have tried grills for a couple of years but I prefer them on a clean floor. I have electric boxes now which are a god send. I wish I had them years earlier than I did.
I  now race 28 cocks and  tried racing hens for a couple of years as well but found it was affecting my performances so now it’s just 28 cocks.
Altogether I generally have a total of about 90 birds which is 56 cocks and hens plus 34 Stock birds (which is far too many) plus of course a team of YB’s which these days are about 60. I find you need this many to have a chance to pick out the young cocks at the end of the YB season. These days losses are crazy.


 I generally pair up the stock birds at Christmas and the widowhood team after the Show of the Year at Blackpool which is in late January.
I pair all the widowhood team at the same time, some years I will repair them before racing other times I don’t - I've found that it makes no difference.  Once the cocks are separated in early April I will give them about 4-6 tosses back to their hens. This is mainly for the yearlings. Once on widowhood and after the first race I do not train the widowhood team again. They go out twice a day 1 hour each time 7-8am in the mornings and 4.30- 5.30 pm in the evenings. I like to be as precise as possible with these times, routine is every thing with widowhoods.
I never flag the birds old or young, if they are fit and healthy they should fly without flagging. I am not a big trainer, in fact I hate training. The farthest I take them is 30 miles. Old and Young. The widowhoods go most weeks when racing starts. Once the Nationals and Classics arrive I pick a team from the two sections I now race from. At this time depending on the type of races we have had I may rest a team before the National or Classic. These are the races I am most interested in these days. I like sprint to middle distances races, I do not generally send to the 500 + races. Although the last two years I have sent a few to the 500+ races and I have timed in on the winning day.


With young birds I like to give them at least 10-15 tosses before the first race. I never ever send all my YB’s to one race together.  I think this is asking for trouble. I always have at least a third of them left in loft. This way if it’s a smash and you only get a few home, you have at least got the makings of a team to carry on and gently race in the remainder of the race programme. This way you will have some yearlings for the following season. Remember young birds are only young birds for a few months of their racing lives, they can be really good old birds for years. I put my Young birds on darkness but I have my own method. All young birds go onto darkness on the 1st of April. It does not matter when they were weaned, early February or late March. They stay on darkness only 6 weeks, coming off the second weekend in May (6 weeks) I find that they are healthier this way and it is certainly better for the youngsters to have all that extra sunshine and light. It allows my young birds to race through to the end of September with more or less a full wing.
 One thing I do is inject them for paratyphoid; since I have done this I have had no trouble with young bird sickness.


Feeding is very important to all birds and a good mixture is important. All my widowhoods get fed in their boxes they use a communal drinker on the floor.
I give them Gem Super widowhood, I never break them down apart from when they return from a race they get a mixture of Gem Super Diet and G10 pellets  50% of each as much as they like from when they come home to all day Sunday (I never let them out on a Sunday after a race.) This gives them plenty of protein and also helps to rebuild the muscles after a race.
Stock birds get a good Breeding mixture (Gem) until they have finished breeding. Then I put them on a light mixture until the Moult when I put them on Moulting Plus from Gem. Young birds I fly them through the programme on Gem Cowood mix. They get more or less what they want of this once a day in the evenings.


My main bloodlines are now a mixture of good pigeons. Gone are the days when I was obsessed with different families. Now it’s good pigeons to good pigeons which breed good pigeons. I always try each year to bring in a half dozen young birds in from different good flyers to try out with my own birds. With good pigeons I like a nice balance first and foremost; it must sit right in the hand. Nice feathering with a good wing. I do not believe in eye sign but I do like to see a nice eye and healthy cere. A nice head is also important to me.

 I have been fortunate enough to have had many good results over the years and I like to think that I am competitive in most races. I have won Feds, Combines, Open races, Classics & 11 times 1st Section in the National Flying Club, where I have been 4th Open twice as well as many other top positions. I was 2nd and 3rd  Open BICC a few years ago with young birds but it was very nice to take 1st Open in the BICC from Alencon this year.
Probably the best bird I ever flew was a Janssen based cock that won 1st section A in the NFC two years running being 4th Open & 12th  Open. He also won a Combine and a Federation. He never bred a carrot unfortunately. He was later stolen along with a couple of other birds.
Regarding the future of the sport I think it is very bleak, and I do not think for one moment we can change that outlook as much as I would like to.


 On the medication front I always treat for Canker, worms and Respiratory. All three before breeding and again before racing. Then every 3 -4 weeks during racing for Canker.
The above for Old and young bird racing. My birds all receive Gem Supplements for obvious reasons. Especially Gemthepax which I think is a fabulous product better than any thing on the market in my humble opinion.
That then is the story of Brian Wall's time in the sport leading up to his winning 1st Open BICC Alencon  3,997 birds in 2013. Brian mentions his use of GEM mixtures and supplements and I can vouch for the fact that these are widely used by some of the most successful fanciers throughout the UK.

BrianWall & Grandson

Brian Wall Lofts

GB12N58668 1st Open BICC Alencon Mr & Mrs Brian Wall