Interview with Frank Otta
Frank Otta, Czech Republic
2. How long have you been raising pigeons?
Tipplers: for about 8 years
3. What is the size of your loft and how many breeding pairs do you keep in general?
about 20 m2 – this year I paired up 7 pairs / 4 my Shannons, 1 Kocholl, 1 Kosovo/Croatia mix, 1 experimental Klacar/Kocholl/red Dutch Sheffield pair. I paired up 9 more pairs to se them for fosters.
4. Each year, about how many young birds do you raise?
This year I ordered 30 rings
5. What kind of food do you give your breeders?
During the breeding season a lot of round stuff. Off the breeding season, mostly barley.
6. Do you have a typical feedup that you use for your flyers?
Yes, the English feed up
7. What health tips can you offer, especially for the novice?
Breed for the natural immunity and long age of breeders. Do not use medicine and save your money and effort.
8. Can you describe briefly your manner of setting and training birds?
Start imprinting them to the outside environment early. Take them outside before they eat on their own and let them see the action during the training drops. Can use them youngsters as droppers in training, right? They will learn what’s expected of them rather fast. They should have it in their blood. If not, they are not the tipplers you want.
9. In your estimation, what is the most important factor involved in the performance of your flying birds?
There is no single most important factor. Actually, there quite a few. Here are some – not necessarily in the order of importance: weather conditions, health, parent birds used, training methods, referees, time spent with your birds, food given, keeping breeding records (breed in separate boxes), luck in training and on the fly day, detailed written notes on every single bird from the nest through the settling stage to the (possible) record flies (human memory often fails in case of the first two mentioned – do you remember which youngster looked “clever” as a 10 day old in the nest 2 years ago? and how did it perform during settling? – I am sure you will remember if it happens to be a record breaker. One must know why the bird happened to be a record breaker, otherwise you play a lottery), training methods, flying them per the NTU rules, selecting the “right” breeders, night training them, learning from your birds, and perhaps more … If one of these requirements of mine is not met, I cannot hope for improving my fly times. For example, if I come down with a bad case of flu on Long Day and can’t get up in the morning, I have to wait another year, right?
10. What recommendation(s) do you have for someone interested in tipplers for the first time?
Make up your mind and do it. Get yourself the best tipplers you can get your hands on FROM A RECENT COMPETITION PROVEN STOCK. Before you get your new tipplers, you want to see them fly. Do not regret time spent watching them fly and traveling far to do so – you may see new things, meet new friends and get new ideas that may come handy (or not) – up to you to decide….
Personal website of Mr. Frank here.