Shewmaker Genetics

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Site last updated on 4/13/19

dave_and_joan1Thank you for visiting our web site.  Shewmaker Genetics has been in the animal breeding business for over fifty years. During this time we have established a number of world class herds in a number of species. For the past twenty five years, we have concentrated on the breeding of racing pigeons.

News Items:

  • An update on “The Book Project”. After years of thinking about it, we made the plunge and wrote (after several more years) a book on the genetics of racing. If you are serious about pigeon racing, this book is a must read. The details about this project, along with a preview, are available here and at the left under “The Book Project”. I am currently finishing the last chapter and then it is off to the printers. I know I have been saying this for awhile, but I added two chapters (thinking each one was the last). This current “last chapter” really is the last. I was going to self publish, but I have decided instead to use a publisher. The publisher has been selected and is ready to go as soon as I ship them the final copy. I hope to have it available to ship in September.
  • We are continuing our extensive testing of the LDHA and DRD4 genes. There have been scientific papers published which suggest that there may be a relationship between pigeons with certain alleles for the LDHA and DRD4 genes and superior racing performance. It is way too early to say just how strong these relationships are, but it is an exciting development and we are pleased to  be one of the first breeding operations in the world to do such extensive DNA testing for these alleles in our breeding flock. To date we have genotyped over two thousand of our past and current birds.  You can read more about the LDHA gene here. I will be posting something about the DRD4 gene at some point. In my presentations at the 2015  AU Convention, the 2015 Dixie Southern RPA Convention, the 2016 IF Convention and the 2016 AU Convention the LDHA and DRD4 genes were a major part of my presentations. You can read this material under the “For the Sport” | “Seminars” section of this site or click here.
  • Finally, I am happy/petrified to report that my wife and I have moved. We are still in the general vicinity of Sacramento California, but about 40 miles east of our old location. Everything not related to pigeons has been moved to the new location and I am in the process of building a new loft. I say “petrified” because I have to reduce the number of birds and the clock is ticking on how long I can keep birds at the old place. So, I am having a moving sale. I have gone through the birds several times already, culling over half of them for various reasons such as age. We had a sale at our club about a month ago and 51 top birds were sold there. Still, I have too many for the new loft and I must reduce the numbers ever further. Unfortunately, I don't have time in my current situation to sell them one at a time. I am offering them as follows:
    • Groups of 4 all of a particular family
    • My intention is that each group represents a solid foundation for the family.
      • I will try to have each group consist of 2 cocks and 2 hens, however, I can't guarantee the sex for this particular sale as I may not have replacements available. I will guarantee that each group will contains at least one hen and at least one cock. I suspect I will have it right (2 cocks and 2 hens) 90% of the time, but I am also fairly certain there will be a group or two where there is a mistake on the specified gender
      • I will include when possible at least one bird who carries the A allele for LDHA and at least one who carries one of the T alleles for DRD4 (CT or TC). This information will be indicated on the birds pedigrees so you will know before buying. I do not have these alleles in all families so it will not always be possible, but when I can I will include these.
    • All birds will be vaccinated for PMV.
    • All birds will come with printed 7 generation pedigrees (to the extent that we have the information). These pedigrees will be available on line so you will know the pedigrees of the birds before buying them.
    • All birds will be 2012 or younger. Since these groups are intended to be foundation groups, every attempt will be made to not overload any particular group with too many of the older birds. Again, the age of the birds will be posted on line so you will have this information before buying.
    • The price will be $750 for the 4 birds and will include shipping when that is necessary. Birds that are shipped will be shipped in large new boxes on the first Monday after payment is received. As a point of reference, many of these birds would normally sell for much more. Also, once the move is complete, I do not expect to sell many birds in the future. I will be limited in size such that most of what I raise will be for myself. There will be some sold, of course, but going forward there will be far fewer available for sale. So if you have an interest, now is a particularly good time.
    • Payment can be made to PayPal to the account of . Please make sure to get the spelling correct! Contact me at 916-662-5339 if you need to pay by check. I prefer payment by PayPal because it streamlines the payment part and time is of the essence in this particular situation.
    • The groups will be listed on this site at this location on the home page. I will update what is available as the groups become available and are sold.
      • SOLD Zoontjens 1 group. Pick the four you want or I can make a recommendation from these birds: [click here for pedigrees]
      • AVAILABLE: Another Zoontjens group. Pick the four you want or I can make a recommendation from these birds: [click here for the pedigrees].
      • Hofkens 2 groups.  Pick the four you want or I can make a recommendation from these birds: [click here for pedigrees]
        • 1 group is SOLD.
        • 1 group is AVAILABLE. The remaining birds available for the second group are 5712, 7237, 8011, 8066 and 8114.
      • AVAILABLE: Jan Aarden 1 group. Pick the four you want or I can make a recommendation from these birds: [click here for pedigrees] These Aardens have been selected for fast maturity. I don't have time to wait 2 or 3 years for them to develop. As a result they do well at the distance but also hold their own in the shorter races of young birds. My top YB of all families has been an Aarden in 2 of the last 7 years.
      • SOLD Grondelaers 1 group. Pick the four you want or I can make a recommendation from these birds: [click here for pedigrees] There is only one hen that fits my “”birds will be 2012 or younger” statement so I have included a couple that are a little older. You can pick a backup hen and a backup cock for no additional cost.
      • Additional groups coming over the course of the next week:
        • Janssen
        • Van Rhijn Kloeck
        • Van Loon
        • Vandenabeele

The key cornerstones of our program are a superior gene pool (within which are a number of distinct families), carefully designed matings, extensive contemporary group testing and collaboration with our customers. This is the same approach we have taken in other species and it has worked very well. But just as that famous wine slogan says, "no wine before it's time!"; breeding superior pigeons takes time and effort. While we are pleased with our progress, we still have a lot of work to do. We do feel though that there are a number of aspects about our program that make it unique within the sport. While there are many way to Rome, we believe ours makes the most sense. You can read about it here.

Our primary focus is on breeding and testing. We do not spend much time on marketing and sales. In fact we do almost no advertising. Our sales are largely from word of mouth and from visitors to this site. Don’t misunderstand me on this point - We do sell birds, we are just extremely selective in what we offer for sale. Let us know what you need and we will work with you. We do try to maintain an inventory of about a dozen top birds for sale at all times. We will offer a limited number of youngsters at a low cost for testing purposes. The details are described here.

You will find a great deal of other information on this site. It is the repository of all of our theories and practices. We keep no secrets. We share it with the sport with the only proviso that it not be reproduced or distributed without our permission (personal use is fine). Under the ”For the Sport” section, there are also pages and links that are specifically for beginners to the sport. We do operate a professional consulting practice and so there are some fees associated with our Professional Services, but for most fanciers this should not come into play and everything you need to know is actually free and available under the “For the Sport” section.

Please visit us often to become familiar with our birds and our program. Always feel free to contact us. I work very long hours and I know it can be difficult reaching me, but leave a message and I will get back to you. It is never a problem when you call. We are continually looking for a few good customers who will work with us to move both of our lofts forward. Our birds are hard working and honest. If you are the same, we would love to work with you.

Hints for Contacting Us
Cell Phone: (916) 662-5339

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