Iron Tonic
Submitted by Robert Mather
"Witch Hunt Gamefarm"

     I use to fly Racing Pigeons before I got serious into Cocking, and Im always looking for ways that Pigeon Racing can benefit my Fowl. It's an age-old sport that still has a huge following in Britain, Holland, etc. On a visit over there I noticed everyone water was never clear, and some smelled quite strange. I finally asked one of my hosts "What's in your water" And that's when he sat me down and told me about Pigeon Tea. They have the same medications that we use for Roosters, "Super fast Flyers" instead of "Super Kill Pills" But I found that most of the successful Flyers used Teas instead of Medications. They plan on keeping their Birds for a while, and want them all in good health at all times. Using Natural Teas accomplishes this and leaves no toxins behind. Below is one of the Teas "potions" that he shared with me, and you will see how it would benefit our Fowl. Below I broke down each ingredient to show why it would be so helpful to our Birds.

Iron Tonic
     1 Tablespoon (10ml) of Lugols Aqueous Iodine Solution (must be aqueous iodine)
     3 Tablespoons (30ml) of Parish's Food Iron Tonic (or any iron tonic for humans)
     3 Tablespoons (30ml) of Cytacon B12 vitamin liquid

     Add this mixture to 1 pint of water. Use 10ml per pint of drinking water or much easier, 50ml per 5 pint drinker. Adapted from L.T Corby's tonic, which I think is one of the best you can give your birds, and it's also the cheapest. The formula which he states is simple to make up, and I give it to my birds once a week in the closed season, and usually Tuesday & Thursday when racing. I use this because B12 vitamins cannot be obtained from the food alone, and most feeds are poor quality anyway. The iron is a natural boost for pigeons, which gets their blood right for racing, increasing oxygen levels and prevents acute anaemia. Aqueous iodine is brilliant. If there's one secret in pigeon racing it has to be this. Aqueous iodine is normally used as a cleanser but many fanciers don't realize the true value of it. Iodine increases the metabolism in a pigeon, which means if given regular, helps prevent fat building up. Excellent therefore on stock birds and the racers. Aqueous Iodine can be given on its own, see below for further information.

Function of iodine
What does it do?
      Iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones regulate the rate of metabolism in the body and play an important role in normal growth. Iodine is found in fish and iodized salt (salt with iodine added). Commercial feed supplement iodine by adding potassium iodide, potassium iodinate, sodium iodide, or calcium iodinate. Iodine occurs dependably only in seafood and seaweed. Plants contain iodine if they are grown on iodine-rich soil; dairy products contain it if the cows were fed with these kind of plants. Iodine is necessary for normal physical and mental growth & development, as well as for proper lactation and reproduction. Iodine aids in the development and functioning of the thyroid gland, controls the production of energy, and helps burn excess fat by stimulating the metabolism. Be aware that a well-functioning thyroid gland is essential to the proper mental development and the condition of feathers & skin. Additionally, an iodine deficiency causes a enlarged thyroid gland, slow mental reaction, poor feather condition, weight gain, and/or loss of physical & mental vigor.

Function of Iron
What does it do?
      Iron is part of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of the blood. Iron deficient birds tire easily because their bodies are starved for oxygen. Iron is also part of myoglobin, which helps muscle cells store oxygen. Without enough iron, ATP (the fuel the body runs on) cannot be properly synthesized. As a result, some iron-deficient birds become fatigued even when their hemoglobin levels are normal The bloodstream is the body's life support system that nourishes every cell. Within each red blood cell is a substance called hemoglobin, whose duty is to supply the cells with oxygen, the foremost need of the body. Without adequate levels of hemoglobin, the red blood cells are not able to carry the essential oxygen that the cells need for metabolic processes. This is called Anemia Anemia occurs when your blood doesn't have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. A common cause of anemia is not having enough iron. (Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin.)

Function of B12
     Vitamin B12 is crucial for a healthy nervous system, and a chronic lack can eventually cause neurological symptoms. Deficiency is rare but may lead to abnormally enlarged red blood cells. It is commonly but inaccurately believed that animal foods are the only source. In fact, active B12 is thought to be unique among vitamins in being made only by bacteria. The B12 found in meat, eggs and dairy milk derives from the activity of bacteria living within the animals. Prolonged cooking, including boiling of cow's milk, destroys B12. Most cases of B12 deficiency occurs frequently and is due to a lack of intrinsic factor (a protein which is produced in the stomach and which carries the B12 into the bloodstream), without which little of the vitamin can be absorbed. This type of deficiency can cause small bowel disorders, and effects of some parasitic infections.