I think a club that starts out with thawed frozen birds should have to put it in the premium ,and should not have an entry fee that is equal to other clubs that are using freshly shot birds.I have seen these birds hit the ground with a loud thud , and wings still frozen against the body.Entry fees are largely based on bird costs. If the club isn't getting two birds per dog ,and using frozen birds too, that entry fee should be about half the going rate IMO.....Penny pincher regards
There are clubs that only pull in 40 to 55 dogs total. It takes a certain number of dogs to break even. They also keep their entry fee's as low as possible ,usually lower than most clubs. Thawed birds are generally in better shape than a shot flyer because sometimes shot flyers get hit pretty bad. Thawed birds if managed properly don't have a mark on them and are very fluffy. They will last just fine for that day,,and if they don't ,,well you discard the bad one weather they are fresh or thawed.
There isn't championship points involved and I have asked the dogs and they could care less. I am more concerned about crappy flyers and crappy throwers of flyers. . Clubs are trying to stay viable and if using a beautiful looking thawed out bird helps them loose less money then I'm all for it.
Further, I would defy the casual trainer to distinguish between fresh killed, cool birds from those which were fresh frozen dry and are then thawed for use. The act of freezing has little to do with a bird's condition or longevity of use compared to fresh dead birds. In fact I would wager that thawed birds if dried and handled properly will last longer than warm, fresh killed birds on hot days in the south.
And in response to the comment that a club "shoots" its birds the night before, why? There are much quicker, less time consuming, less costly & less destructive means of killing birds than by shooting.
The HT regs are very clear. Section 2: "A minimum of two live birds per entry must be made available for use at the discretion of the Judges in all test
levels." That's not a "suggestion."
While there is nothing precluding the use of previously frozen birds judges, and handlers, have every right to expect decent birds. Last year as a judge I refused to use the still frozen birds delivered for my Junior test and requested fresh killed birds to supplement the flyers we would be shooting. As a result we had good birds all weekend. I've also run tests when the still cold birds in the first series stank and had - frozen - maggots stuck in the what was left of the feathers. I have, politley, suggested to the club that the practice of using left over training birds is not a good idea. IMO handlers have every right to complain when decent birds are not provided and judges should expect that the club will abide by the guidelines. Judges must also inspect "each bird" and insure that every dog has a decent bird to retrieve whether they started as fresh or recycled.
It's fortunately not a widespread problem in the tests we've run.
Math assuming the dogs all pass the first series in junior and senior and the first two series in master
Junior 50 entries = 100 live ducks, 4 retrieves x 50 dogs= 200 retrieves
Senior 50 entries = 100 live ducks, 6 retrieves x 50 dogs = 300 retrieves
Master 50 entries = 100 live ducks, 13 retrieves x 50 dogs= 650 retrieves
Option 1: shoot 1 bird to start test then run test dog, rebird after dog2, 4, 8,16,32 Some birds have been retrieved 6 times by end of 1st series 7 times by end of test if a flyer is shot in both series.
Option 2: kill 50 birds send out to dead station, shoot live flyer at other station. No rebird requireed Each bird retrieved once in first series and 2nd time in second series.
Option 3 Start with 6 frozen/thawed birds rebird at dog 5,10,20,40 Some birds reused 5 times by end of 1st series and 6 by end of test.
Option 1: Kill 2 birds to start test, rebird at dog 1,2,4,7,11,17,26,39 Some birds used 9 times by end of 1st series, 11 times by end of test.
Option 2: kill 50 at start of test and shoot flyer, rebird at 25 birds used 1-2 times by end of 1st series, used 1-2 more times in second series. birds used 3-4 times by end of test.
Option 3: start with 6 frozen/thawed Shoot flyer, rebird at 3,7,14,24,39 Some birds used 6 times by end of 1st, 8 times by end of second
Option 4: Use 6 frozen/thawed on blinds only, rebird dead station at 1,2,4,8,17,35 Some birds used 7 times in 1st series, Thawed/frozen used 8 times on blinds only.
Master well expect to see birds used a huge number of times.....
Nothing in the rules prevents the use of previously frozen birds. Even with 2 birds per dog, there have to be some dead birds to start a test. Rules don't specify how, when or where the dead birds came from. The most common interpretation of the 2 bird rule, relative to AKC events would mean each stake should see 2 flyers (live birds) per event, if your dog is fortunate to finish the event (which in practice rarely happens at most events). The rule has nothing to do with dead birds & where they came from. We all have desires & opinions but clubs must run their events to not only meet the rules but also make sure they can cover incurred expenses within the fees collected. Maybe handlers have an expectation but to say they have "rights" to expect decent birds is to ignore reality. The clubs I know take the steps necessary to provide the best birds possible, both in quality & quantity. But clubs don't raise the birds & sometimes weather & feed costs result in birds that are less than desired. Further, weather & the test set-ups play a significant role in the condition of the available birds over the course of a weekend. Dogs should be trained to p/u birds of all condition (guess someone will complain that crimples are not fair next, notwithstanding the rules) & support clubs to put on the best events they can within the fees they are able to collect.
I'll take a dry thawed frozen fluffy over a soggy gooey wet used the day previous mess any day, but maybe that's just me ;)