AFTER spending more than 60 years in the pigeon-breeding business, Murray Bridge man Morris Frahm has decided to clip his own wings.
Showing pigeons at national competitions, interstate shows and events across regional South Australia was at the top of the 76-year-old's priority list a decade ago, but Mr Frahm has just picked up 32 of his pigeons from the Royal Adelaide Show for the last time.
His decision to stop showing pigeons at the show was not because of a lack of passion nor a lack of success, but Mr Frahm said it was his agewhich was restricting him.
"I find it harder to get around these days," he said.
"I entered 32 pigeons in the show this year - 20 came first, eight came second, four came third and I had two champions."
Mr Frahm's said his love for pigeons stemmed back 62 years, when he was a 14-year-old boy and his father found some luck.
"My Dad won a raffle at our school picnic in 1952 and the prize was three pigeons," he said.
"Since then, I've fallen in love with them.
"By 1953 I had won my first ribbon at Eudunda."
And his success didn't stop there.
In 1988, Mr Frahm was named the Australian champion in pigeon showing and has won countless ribbons for the thousands of pigeons he has entered into shows around the nation.
He is now known across the State as a knowledgeable pigeon breeder and judge, but Mr Frahm said that wasn't always the case.
"I never really had someone to show me what to do, I learnt most of it out of books and magazines and you learn a lot as you go," he said.
"I've always been a perfectionist and very competitive though; whatever I do, it has to be spot on."
Unlike many others, Mr Frahm is willing to share his extensive knowledge with those interested and encourages younger generations to get involved.
"I've told so many young people what to do and passed on the knowledge I've built up," he said.
"You have to look after the pigeons properly, like anything, and have to present them properly.
"Others enter them in and hope for the best, but I put a lot of effort into it.
"In the mid 90s I even imported birds from America, they cost me a fortune, but I still don't know if they improved my birds much."
Since starting out with three common pigeons, Mr Frahm has bred a variety of species and has housed in excess of 250 pigeons at one stage.
In the last 25 years he has slowly reduced his pigeon flock and now specialises in showpen homers and jacobins.
"Its a hobby I've always had and everyone always knows where I am - up at the pigeon house," Mr Frahm said.
"What I like most about showing pigeons is the companionships you make.
"I can go anywhere in Australia and visit friends now."