|Looking northeast from Clifton Avenue at rooftop racing pigeon loft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
First and most obvious, clean up that poop! Bird poop is a breeding ground for parasites and bacteria. The lofts should be cleaned daily. This is one of the best ways to keep your birds healthy and in racing form. Moving about the loft while cleaning gets your birds to use to you, this is a good time inspect birds. In addition, cleaning poop out of the lofts daily means you will see if something strange is going on. Does somebody's poop look different than usual?
Next, clean those water dishes. Don't just top them off or dump and refill. This is another good place for bacteria and parasites. It is important to rinse them daily, and if you're really strict about cleanliness in your loft you'll wash them with soap and water every day. At a minimum, water dishes should be washed once a week. Remember to thoroughly rinse the dishes after you've had soap in them. Don't just keep refilling those yucky water dishes, clean them. Your bird's form depends upon it.
Finally, wash the food dishes! Even though they are dry and don't appear to get dirty as often as water dishes might, they still need regular cleaning. Once weekly is a good rule of thumb for cleaning food dishes. Again you should make sure to wash them completely with soap and water. Allow the dishes to dry thoroughly before you add more food.
Good racing pigeons start with good husbandry. Good husbandry starts with cleanliness. Keeping the lofts clean is the most important thing you can do to ensure your birds are in top racing form. Nobody wants to race a sick bird and tax its weak body further. The three most important things you can do to keep your lofts clean is clean up the poop and wash dirty food and water dishes often. The added benefit of daily cleaning is that you get to spend time observing your birds. Observing your birds means you will get to know each individually and learn when they are race ready.