Shewmaker Genetics

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Site last updated on 11/07/2016

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:

  • We have started “The Book Project”. After years of thinking about it, we have made the plunge and are writing a book on the genetics of racing. The details about this project, along with a preview, are available here and at the left under “The Book Project”.
  • 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 the A allele for the LDHA gene and superior racing performance. It is way too early to say just how strong this relationship is, 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 this allele in our breeding flock. To date, we have determined the LDHA genotype for 433 of our birds and we hope to have 100% of our breeders genotyped in 2016. You can read more about the LDHA gene here. I will be posting something about the DRD4 gene in the next few weeks. I was at the 2015 Utah AU Convention and the 2015 Dixie Southern RPA Convention in Florida and the LDHA gene was a major part of my presentations. You can read this material under the “For the Sport” | “Seminars” section of this site or click here.
  • My next seminar will be at the 2016 AU Convention in California in early December. If you are attending the convention, I would encourage you to attend the seminar. We will be discussing some pretty interesting ideas that you may find useful when breeding your birds.
  • Finally, I have set up a Facebook page (Dave Shewmaker) with a group (Pigeons) 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. If you would like to join, send me a Friend Request and I will 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, 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.

As you browse through our site, you will see that we maintain a rather large number of families. We acquired these families as part of the process for establishing our initial gene pool. Over time we will distill these down to only three or four lines. Some of the originals may be left intact and new ones may be formed by blending; time will tell how it plays out. The objective though is crystal clear - develop world class families of racing pigeons that perform at the highest levels generation after generation.

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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