Shewmaker Genetics

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Site last updated on 06/01/2024

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 thirty nine years, we have concentrated on the breeding of racing pigeons. Shewmaker Genetics is located in Northern California and specializes in elite racing families built from extensive performance testing and extreme selection.

News Items:

  • We are selling our Gene Bank! My age and health are such that it is time to start cutting back.  I will also be reducing the number of families that we maintain over the course of the next year. As a geneticist, it has always been a priority of mine to preserve certain gene pools that exist within the sport. This “bank” of genetic material is a kind of savings account where I have stashed birds for future use and/or insurance against unforeseen problems. Unfortunately, I can no longer maintain this number of birds and I need to move them on to other breeders who share my passion for preserving the gene pools of these important families and many of their unique genetic alleles. Details of what and how we will be selling these birds can be found [here].
  • I am posting periodically to Facebook. I like the conversations it fosters. My posts are to the public groups “Shewmaker Genetics” and “Genetics of Racing”. If you are not on Facebook, you might want to check it out  ( ). Most of the information I post will eventually get to this web site, but it will probably show up first on Facebook and in a format that promotes and allows feedback and discussion.
  • The Genetics of Racing is finally availacover2ble in eBook, paperback and hardback editions!  The book can be ordered here and more detailed information about the book can be found here.
  • We are continuing our extensive testing of the LDHA, DRD4 and CRY1 genes. Recently we have begun also testing for GSR, LRP8, CASK, MSTN and F-KER.There have been scientific papers published which suggest that there may be a relationship between pigeons with certain alleles for these 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. In the slides of my seminar on January 4th 2020 there is a significant amount of information on the DRD4 gene (slides 66 to 76). You can read this material under the “For the Sport” | “Seminars” section of this site or see the seminar by clicking here. The subject is also covered in depth in the book Genetics of Racing.

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.

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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