I have been asked several times by people interested in Iranian High flyers about the flying methods of these Tumblers. As you all know, there are several breeds of Iranian High flying Tumblers but here the discussion is all about the Tehrani High Flyers which are the endurance Flyers of Iran.
What I try to share with you here is based on my own 20 plus years of experience with performing pigeons here in the USA since 1983, in addition to the fun years I kept and chased pigeons from roof to roof and loft to loft in Tehran during my life as a teen back in the 60's and early 70's.
I am not looking for any agreements or disagreements. I mainly want to share my experience and point of views with whom interested.
I know people fly these birds many different ways and are happy with the way they are doing it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. That is the whole idea behind any hobby, enjoyment.
They are who I call casual pigeon flyers. Most of them keep several different breeds of Iranian high flyers and fly them along with their Tehrani High flyers. Some may even fly other performing pigeons, like Tipplers, other Tumblers or High Flyers, Rollers, Oriental rollers, etc.........Another word, they fly their Tehrani High Flyers with no rhyme or reason without any set rules. Also, another interesting point I have observed is, that these Fanciers most often are constantly looking for their preferred color pattern or birds with ornaments. Most look for more frequent tumbling in their birds as well. Some may even cross breed their Tehrani birds with other Iranian breeds or other performing pigeons in search of some rare colors or god knows what else!
Claims of long flights by their Tehrani High flyers by these type Fanciers should neither be considered nor taken seriously.
That's quite alright, but not for the Fanciers who are very serious about this breed and keep nothing but the PURE Tehrani High Flyers and try to better their birds and improve themselves year after year.
They have devoted themselves to this breed and enjoy the challenge required to be successful.
Among this group of fanciers, in order to be able to measure the bird's effort and the Trainer's know how, some common rules MUST apply.
The main rules are: One should fly a minimum of 30 birds with one additional bird as wild card. All birds must be pure Tehrani pigeons and no crosses or other breed. All birds must be released at the same time. Not 5 now, 10 more a couple of hours later and then a few more before they all land. All birds should fly in total control during the entire time on wing. When in Mayeh (out of sight), birds must drop altitude to be seen at least once per hour. There should be no attempt by Trainer or anyone else to prevent the birds from landing. Birds must be allowed to land at will and must land at their HOME / LOFT. If not, no matter how long the stayed up on wing, their time will not be counted. Also birds that have landed are best be trapped immediately and must not be allowed to take into the air again. If that happens, same number of birds who land last will be disqualified as the ones took off.
Following the above rules, there are two classes of flying our Tehrani pigeons.
Class 1 - This class is mostly for pleasure.
To be successful at it, one should spend most if not all his free time on it and work hard to gain pride and joy from it. It is enjoyed mostly among few friends and mostly done under the honor system.
Class 2 - This class is geared around perfection and taking this hobby to another level for it to become a SPORT that one can compete with and challenge others. It is played among the competitors and the goal is to win the bragging right, prove to be the best by breaking past records.
The real thing. One must LIVE it. The official system for this class is the only way. The number of birds flown are in 100's but could rise to over 300 or sometimes 400 birds.
That's how they separate the boys from the men.
Most Fanciers in Iran and abroad fly their birds in class 1.
Class 2 is another story and it is suited for just a few mostly in Iran. Often it takes more than one guy to have success due to number of birds and to accomplish the task. It takes a lot more than most of us are able to give and dedicate ourselves to or maybe willing to sacrifice our lives and families for it. To be successful in it one must dedicate his entire life to it, and make it his JOB.
To be successful in either class, Trainer must posses common sense, talent, patience, discipline and good understanding of his birds which is the result of many years of experience with his birds and the sport.
Conditioning the birds are the key to success witch is the result of training and flying the birds in addition to keep them in excellent health and controlled diet.
Some trainers fly their birds without any restricted routine. The birds are allowed to fly as long as they wish at any release. In other words, the birds are in control and not the trainer. The birds are going to fly as they wish and if in good form and from good strain, most will fly good and occasionally under many different circumstances a few may do excellent and fly 6 hours or so and occasionally a bird or two may do even better. In some cases those same birds may never repeat that performance. The important thing is that this flying style is often unpredictable. Some birds may fly very little when others may fly much longer.
In this method of flying , good birds should not be flown every day or they will be ruined. The lazy birds should be flown every day. Resting the birds who flew long hours last time out is a must or they would be ruined. This style is fun and enjoyable with less work and stress for the Trainer. Of course, the more time and experience the Trainer has the more flying time he could achieve from his birds with this method of flying.
In other flying method, Trainer is in total control and not the birds. Much tougher task on hand. It's all about discipline, routine training and exercise, and on the top of that the amount of energy the Trainer will provide for them for each flying session. That's when experience and understanding of their strain is invaluable. The training routine must be restricted and be exactly the same everyday. No obvious changes in everyday treatment. Pigeons are much better controlled if they are taught to follow the same routine everyday to create a habit for them. One big change in their habits and the Trainer's hard work could be wasted. That's why the Trainer can not afford to miss even a day with his birds. Sometimes this requires 2 or 3 Trainers to team up, especially if the number of birds to train and prepare is in hundreds. The birds are flown routinely for a pre-determined amount of time by the Trainer. Mostly, in the 4 to 5 hour range just about every day with a few days here and there for birds to rest. Birds who can't keep up are removed. The key is repetition to increase their stamina. Repetition is not just to exercise the birds and develop strong muscles; it's also intended to teach the birds to land on their loft over and over again when tired. It teaches the birds to conserve the energy they need to land. Effortless landing on their loft is just as important as flying especially when the birds are tired after a good exercise which has used up all their banked energy. Remember if they don't land, their time won't count. They should carry very small amount of body fat. Trainer must prevent overflys that could result in birds burning muscles or adopt bad habits. The tool they need, their feathers must be in perfect condition. Again, Trainer's job to provide with correct diet.
In a nut shell, Trainer's job is to bring them into perfect condition and keep them physically fit and healthy and flying lesson to follow as habit.
Think of it as a marathon runner. He trains himself by running everyday for 5 miles with a little food intake. Just enough to provide the energy required for the 5 miles. He has trained his brain to follow as a habit. He has very little body fat. During each run, he would never push himself to the point to burn the little body fat he has or worse, burn muscle. To prepare for the race, he starts at perfect condition with strong, healthy and pain free muscles. He puts himself through a good couple of three days rest, take energy food and hope to run 26 miles and finish the race.
This flying method is all about teaching birds to become like marathon runners. The birds are thought to burn banked energy each time out. It has become a habit for them. Then rhe birds are given 2 or 3 days rest before the race. Increase their food intake (a science by itself) and wish for everything to work out just like a routine exercise day but with one difference, birds are in perfect condition, rested and have much more reserved energy and will fly much longer with total CONTROL and perfect LANDING!!
Preparing 100 plus birds to compete in class 2 flying style is not an easy task. Any time achieved over 5 hours is excellent and very respectable.
My hat's off to the Masters of this sport with 7 hours flying time under their belt !!!
Just like any sport, the Trainer's adrenalin valve is wide open during the entire race.
No matter which class you choose to play, success is more achievable if all the birds are from the same strain, preferably your own. If all fly the same style, they fly the best and in harmony as a team.
Also, another interesting thing that I have observed is that most Trainers in Class 2 do not care about anything but the trainability and endurance of their birds, looks and colors definitely does not matter at all, when some Trainers in class 1 look for their preferred colors, patterns and acrobatic performance in their birds.
But, in general, to be successful one should concentrate on the bird's qualities in the air and none on the ground.
One pint of concern is that the incentive is definitely there for just a very few Fanciers to cross other breeds of endurance flyers such as Pakistani / Hindi Tipplers or English Tipplers with their Tehrani birds to enhance the endurance level of their birds. We all should hope the Judges of this sport are experienced enough to recognize that and call for the disqualifications of such people.
I hope this provide some information to those interested.
God bless and good luck ,