An Introduction to Gordon Chalmers

4th September 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Articles

An Introduction to Gordon Chalmers

Written by Derek Rooney

I trained in veterinary medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto, from which I graduated in 1961. I entered private veterinary practice as an assistant to practitioner for about a year, after which I joined the Alberta gov’t (Dep’t of Agriculture) in its veterinary diagnostic service, conducting post mortem examinations on domestic poultry and other livestock, wildlife, fish and zoo animals.

Later on, I took specialty training in diagnostic pathology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan in western Canada. I returned to the Alberta Dep’t of Agriculture, but several years later, I also took another year of training in diagnostic pathology at the Western College. During my career, I have authored or co-authored about 40 scientific papers on domestic animals, poultry, aviary birds, wildlife, and yes, even racing pigeons! I have been involved with racing pigeons for much of my life. I have been without them for only brief periods of time (veterinary education, illness and death of parents) so they have been pretty much a part of my life for all my years up to the present time. Like many other fanciers, I have had seasons ranging, in my own terms, from outstanding to mediocre and even very poor.

My most satisfying accomplishments with racing pigeons followed my purchase in 1973 of one outstanding Sion-Stassart-Bastin stock hen, whose offspring flew extremely well to 560 miles. To date, I have never owned a better pigeon. That stroke of luck, together with the purchase of the most important book I have ever read to the present time on the natural system, Major Neilson Hutton’s “Pigeon Racing. Win With Olympic”, were the keys to the racing successes of my birds for the next 15 or more years. At present, I fly a team of Janssen, van Loon and Irish Putman crosses.

I race in a small club of 10-12 members, on the north road. Because of the distances between cities, fed or combine racing just isn’t practical or most often, even possible. My present team of birds includes mainly Janssens of several lines, the older lines of Van Loons, and a few crosses of Irish Putmans – the latter are grand at the distance. I have presented a number of seminars in the USA and Canada to interested fanciers, on the topics of racing, muscle and fuel requirements, along with publications on the same topics, plus several on disease updates, in current British, American and Australian racing pigeon magazines, and the yearbook of the Canadian RP Union.

I am presently retired, but continue to do some consultation work with fish for the Alberta Dep’t of Agriculture and private industry, search out disease information on racing pigeons, along with my current major interest, studies on muscle and fuel for racing. Finally, I try to share this information with fellow fanciers by writing my findings in articles for racing pigeon magazines and the yearbook of the Canadian RP Union.