Shewmaker Genetics

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Site last updated on 10/19/17

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. In 2010 we began working with our first plant species - Giant Pumpkins. While most of this site is devoted to Racing Pigeons, the principles and practices are amazingly similar for the pumpkins as well. In fact, there is a lot we have learned from each that we have applied to the other. Our pumpkin content is available here and at the left under “Pumpkins”. All other information on the site is about racing pigeons.

News Items:

  • The first day of preparation for the new racing season actually begins before the last day of the previous season. With that in mind I have updated my Young Bird Racing Method and have posted it under the “For the Sport | Our Methods” tab (Shortcut here). If you are new to the sport this is something you might want to read.
  • I am preparing for the 2018 matings. I have culled all the birds that I do not feel measure up to our standards. Of the remaining birds I am selecting the pairs I will mate in 2018. There will be some very useful birds left that I simply will not have enough breeding space to be able to make use of. In the past I have kept these extra birds as backup inventory. As I get older I am having to cut down. In 2018 I am not going to keep these backup birds. I will make them available on this web site. For  example, I have just finished going through the Louis Van Loon birds. I plan to breed 10 pair in 2018 along with two additional birds that will be used to make test crosses. I have 10 6 5 extra straight bred Van Loons that I will sell. I will do this for each of my lines over the next few weeks. The birds will be available on a first come first served basis and will be shipped in October and November. All of these birds will be $250 each or 4 for $500 (plus shipping). I prefer they are sold in groups of 4 since this gives the buyer a good sampling of the gene pool and increases their odds for success. I am also interested in getting these birds into the hands of people who will keep the families going. The birds are inbred (and the breeders need to be kept that way). but they are best raced when crossed with another line. Here are the pedigrees of the available Van Loons. As a comparison, here are the matings I am making in 2018 for this line. You can see that what I am selling is bred the same way as what I am keeping.
  • We are nearing completion of “The Book Project”. After years of thinking about it, we made the plunge and wrote 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”. We are getting close. Printing has turned out to be more challenging than we expected. It will be available for purchase on this site in the near future.
  • Another new development here at Shewmaker Genetics is that we have begun extensive testing of the LDHA and DRD4 genes. Recently, 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 begin extensive DNA testing for these allele in our breeding flock. We can now offer excellent breeding prospects that are AA for LDHA. You can read more about the LDHA gene here. I will be posting something about the DRD4 gene in the next few weeks. 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 have set up a Facebook page (Dave Shewmaker) with a group (Racing Pigeon Forum) that is devoted to the friendly sharing of useful information about pigeon racing not commonly found elsewhere. We are getting a pretty good group established with participants from all over the world (25 countries at last count). It is a “closed group”, but if you ask to join I will be happy to add you in. One of the reasons I like this Facebook Group is that it provides current information as well as a mechanism for feedback. The problem with Facebook is that the content becomes rather difficult to navigate as it ages. So, going forward I will be using both Facebook and this web site:
    • Facebook will be used for frequent updates and dialog
    • This web site ( ) will be used for the more formal listing of my birds, programs, projects and writings. Since it won't be updated as regularly, I have established an email list for those who want to be notified when I have made meaningful updates. Drop me an email if you want to be added to this list.

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 mosts 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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