Shewmaker Genetics

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Site last updated on 5/23/19

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 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. The birds have all been moved to temporary quarters and should be moved into the new loft later this summer. As a result of the move I didn't breed very many birds this year and only sent a few to a single One Loft Race. I did not fly Old Birds with my club and it is doubtful I will have anything settled in time to fly Young Birds this year. Next year though we should be back to normal.
  • Save the date! SEMINAR on Saturday January 7th and AUCTION on Sunday January 8th 2020 at the Fort Sutter Racing Pigeon Club in Sacramento California.
    • I have given a few seminars over the years and the one thing that I have always regretted is that they have all been one or two hour affairs that are part of a bigger event. The problem has always been that they seem rushed to me. The topic of racing pigeon genetics isn't that difficult, but it does take some time to absorb, I have always wanted to give a seminar that was relaxed, with lots of time to slowly develop the concepts and definitely lots of time for breaks and questions.
    • So, I am going to have just such a seminar. Details will follow, but it will be an all day event on Saturday January 7th in Sacramento California at the Fort Sutter Racing Pigeon Club. The following day I will be having an auction at the same location. The two events are independent so feel free to come just to the seminar if you prefer. If you come to the auction though, you really should also come to the seminar so you better understand my breeding program and what's behind the birds in the auction.

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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