Showing posts with label Doves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doves. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

PIGEON Auctions and PIGEON Racing

Carrier Pigeon
Carrier Pigeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
All about Racing Pigeon Auctions
Pigeon racing is a sport of releasing pigeons that are specially bred, trained and conditioned for the races that generally vary from 100-1000 km. The winner is the bird that travels with the highest velocity.

Where to find racing pigeons?
The best place to find the racing pigeons are the pigeon auctions. In an auction, you can find a variety of pigeons for sale. There are a number of pigeon auction sites over the internet. There are different types of Auctions. They are:
  • Complete sell out: In the type of pigeon auction, the loft sells all the birds, clocks and pigeon supplies.
  • Loft reduction auction: this involves reduction of the number of birds in a loft. However, it will still take part in pigeons racing.
  • Special auction: special birds are put to sale in this type of pigeon auction.
  • Donation Auction: the special pigeon is donated to a charity or fund-raiser.
  • participating in any of the above pigeon auction ones should do his homework well. If you cannot afford to buy a trained racing pigeon, you can purchase the pigeons you love and train them.
  • Before participating in online pigeon auctions make sure that the auction company has a good reputation regarding the quality of pigeon supplies, qualities of pigeon racing lofts and the type of conditions and race courses the seller fly.
  • If you are attending the racing pigeon auction in person, then make sure to arrive at the place well before the auction time. This will give time to look over the birds and their pedigrees. As a result, you will be able to make a right decision at the time pigeon auction on which bird to buy.
  • If you do not have enough expertise in studying the racing pigeon loft take the help of experienced pigeon breeders. Assess the pigeons on the basis of the performance but not the appearance of wings, throat, back and muscles.
  • Sometimes it may not be possible for the fancier to attend the auction. In such cases, certain actions allow placing proxy bids or mail in bids well in advance. They even allow the fancier to place the maximum bid on a bird.
Regardless if you decide to find pigeons at auctions or you choose to breed your own birds, the sport of pigeon racing is one of the most enjoyable activities one could experience! Most fanciers have been breeding and raising birds their whole life and really just enjoy the process of raising and training their birds.

I have been making a full-time income reviewing products online. I take great pride in educating my readers with accurate information while also providing honest unbiased reviews. I hope I provided you with top-notch information that you can share with other people who share our same interests!

Pigeon racing has been an interest of mine for several years. I find the process fascinating from breeding to training to racing pigeons.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Raising DOVES As Pets

A pair of Ringneck Doves
A pair of Ringneck Doves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The best thing for you to do before you start raising doves as pets are to seek advice from those who have this experience. Good advice can make your venture an enriching one. There are factors you need to consider before you start raising doves as pets. 

One is the environment in which you live in. You should look at things like the temperature, the intensity of the wind blowing and the regularity of the sunshine. The reason for this is that there are certain doves that can hardly withstand certain weather conditions.

It is worthwhile noting that there are larger doves like wood pigeons and Ringnecks that can endure temperatures well below freezing points. You will be required to consider the species of doves that you would like to raise as pets depending on the environment in which you are. Ensure you have good housing to raise doves as pets. 

There are doves that love staying way up above the ceiling while there are those that prefer nesting on the ground. There are also others that prefer staying on the nearest vegetation and so you will be required to have a variety for your pets so that they do not escape due to discomfort. Raising doves will require you to be seen when it comes to feeding. Doves, just like other birds, should be fed with seeds. You can find seeds in supermarkets or from your farm. You can also provide food such as corn flour, chopped vegetables, or even mealworms. Discuss your dove's diet with your vet to get an informed opinion.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Caring For Your Pet DOVE

English: A Feral Barbary Dove in Tasmania, Aus...
A Feral Barbary Dove in Tasmania, Australia.
Also known as a Ringneck Dove or Ring Dove (Streptopelia risoria)
(Photo credit: 
There are many Dove species found throughout the world but this article will focus on the Ringneck Dove. Sometimes referred to as Collard Doves, Ringneck Doves have developed in captivity to include several color mutations. The most common mutations include;
  • White Dove
  • Blonde
  • Cream
  • Pied
  • Platinum
  • Ivory
  • Silver Ivory
  • Wild (The color found in the wild)
Contrary to popular belief, doves enjoy being handled and are very easily trained. Ringneck Doves have been trained to perform a number of tasks and tricks for the delight of their owners.

Many new dove owners are pleasantly surprised to see the reaction of their bird when they return home from work or other errands. Many compare it to that of a dog. Their Ringneck Dove will begin flapping its wings, cooing and showing its genuine joy that you're home again. When you open the cage door it is almost certain your dove will fly directly to your shoulder. It is a truly rewarding feeling to see this expression of love from your pet.

The lifespan of Ringneck Doves - Doves can live to be 20 to 25 years old, with some reported to live much longer. The key to a long and happy life for your pet Dove is proper care and nutrition.

The Proper Cage - Doves can thrive and even breed in a cage as small as 2ft. x 2ft. If you do house your dove in a small cage like this you should provide it with plenty of time out of the cage. They need the opportunity to fly and stretch their wings. The best rule of thumb is to provide the largest cage you can afford and have space for.

A cage that is longer than it is tall is always best. This allows you to place a perch at each end so your dove can hop or fly from perch to perch. This allows them to get some exercise even when not out of the cage.

Proper Nutrition - There are several commercial brands of dove food on the market. These are readily available online or at your local pet store. Doves also do very well on a good quality wild bird seed mix. A mix that is formulated for a wide range of birds is best when using the wild bird seed. The choice of using a commercial brand of dove feed or a wild mix is a matter of personal preference. The difference in the two is that the commercial seed is better cleaned and processed to eliminate undesired contaminants.

Doves in captivity should not live on a seed only diet. Provide yours with chopped dark green vegetables, as well as chopped hard boiled eggs, shell and all. The egg shell is an excellent source of calcium.

Also be sure to provide a constant supply of properly sized grit. Adding crushed oyster shell will also provide additional calcium.

Don't Overlook A Dove When Considering Your Next Pet Bird.
Doves have a way of quickly stealing our hearts!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Why We Need And How To Revive PIGEON RACING

English: at cage. Bangladesh.
At cage. Bangladesh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pigeon racing has been around since the 1800's and has lived on to this day. The fascinating aspects of the sport are numerous, to say the least, and the bond that man can create with the bird is a treasure that everybody needs to experience at some point in their lives.

However, I've noticed recently that the sport is steadily declining in popularity. Sure, we still see a plethora of websites about pigeon racing on the internet. But if you notice, none or only a few of them don't go out on a limb to promote the sport at all. All we see are charts, racing results, pigeon auctions and obscure pedigrees. All of these only serve to bore those people who have not been exposed to the hobby yet. If we wish to promote the sport to as many people as possible, we have to begin focusing again on the things that led us to the sport in the first place.

The sport's decline in popularity can perhaps be attributed to a lot of factors. First, kids today have a short attention span. This is why most of them tend to lose interest when they discover that racing pigeons take a lot of time and effort. Children today would rather go to the internet and tend to their online farms instead. Or maybe the thought of taking care of pigeons is not their idea of being "cool".

Here's what I think. If we want to spark interest in pigeon racing as a hobby and a sport, an effort has to be made in regards to reaching out to kids. After all, the fascination with pigeons is in its truest form in the eyes of a child. Their minds are not subjected to corruption by the lure of money that comes with the sport, nor would they care much about a pigeon's type of pedigree. They only care about the pigeon's majestic appearance, the beauty it emanates through its stark shades of aquamarine, and most of all, the grace displayed as it streaks through the sky. I can feel pigeon racing professionals laugh in jest at this genuflection, but let's not forget that most of us have been led to the sport because of these same reasons.

As someone who spent much of his childhood racing pigeons, I have learned invaluable lessons that I still find useful as an adult. The sense of responsibility that one acquires in raising these magnificent birds is something that I'll always treasure. Racing pigeons have also instilled in me a competitive fire that few of my peers can match. The data gathering, the strict training program, and the meticulous feeding, etc. have all contributed to my sense of discipline. All these things played a big part in my success as a professional adult. Wouldn't it be awesome if your kids can benefit from the same hobby and in turn, make them better individuals as they grow up? 

If you love the sport of racing pigeons, stop for one moment and visualize a child smiling while a beautiful pigeon is perched on his right arm. Now that's truly a sight to behold.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

How To Avoid RACING PIGEON Sickness

eww...was quite disturbed before wondering why
eww...was quite disturbed before wondering why (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Birds are indeed great animals to keep as pets. They are wonderful to have around and are often a cause of joy to the entire family. Racing pigeons also count as one of the best pets to keep at home. And because they are a source of joy, you must ensure that you pay attention to their health concerns. Illnesses must be given due notice before a simple symptom develops into a bigger problem.

What are the things you must do to be sure that everything is going smoothly with your racing pigeon's life?

Health issues often confront the racing pigeons. Thus, you should develop the habit of taking your birds to the veterinarian on a regular basis. They must be given the pertinent shots that will help them stay healthy. Vets know how they can be kept in shape so always listen to their advice.

Give your birds a healthy diet. Going for natural feeds can help fight off diseases and provide them natural cure as well. A healthy diet for birds consists of fruits and sprouted seeds. Chocolates and coffee are not in any way advisable to be fed to them as these may cause harm to their general health.

Always provide fresh water. It is important to keep the bird hydrated but be sure to give it clean and fresh water all the time. Check if the water and food have been contaminated with its own poop and immediately replace them before your pet gets into them.

Dampness is a main source of the problem because it is generally the breeding ground for parasites and germs. Therefore, make certain that you change the uneaten food and untouched water. Dry the area every time there are spills and moisture. If there is a noticeable amount of food left, cut down on the amount that you give the bird.

Make certain that the bird's cage or loft is kept clean. Don't allow any sort of lead items inside. Be careful with the use of cages manufactured in foreign countries as they tend to have high lead content.

Don't place the cage or loft in a damp area. Parasites and fungus are likely to thrive in the habitat given this environmental setup. 

Ensure that you clean and dry the floor and feeding area. You can use a cat litter to disinfect and take away the dampness in the area. 

Include the appropriate toys inside the cage. An active bird is a healthy bird, so to speak. Let your pet birds play inside with their toys.

Avoid stressing the pigeons. Don't cause them any alarm.

Don't overcrowd the cage or loft. Make sure the bird is able to enjoy enough space of its own.

Racing pigeons' illnesses don't often come around with very visible symptoms. However, they can produce a grave impact on your pets' overall health. Check things out with the veterinarian so you will know how you can better take care of these animals. If you want to have active and happy birds for your family to enjoy, it is best to keep them in shape.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Essentials in Training Your RACING PIGEONS

Inside an older pigeon clock
Inside an older pigeon clock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The pigeon is a unique animal in the sense that it is very comfortable with human beings. It is from the same family as with the doves. In fact, both of them are treated to be symbols of peace and love. Like athletes, these birds are molded to compete. That is why they are trained to become racing pigeons.

Like any other creature, pigeons also have that sense of wanting to belong. The bird can't stand being away from its habitat. In cases when there is a loft assigned to it since its young age, it will always come back no matter what happens. This ability of the pigeon to return to its nesting places despite great distances is what is taken advantage of by the pigeon racing enthusiasts.

Training a Young Bird

The basic training of a youngster must be done by the handler himself. It is about familiarizing the bird with its handler. Later on, as the handler executes the commands, the bird learns to obey. This is also the time to build the bird's confidence regarding a direct contact with a human being.

Training needs a schedule. You must have that effect on the bird to let it understand that you are working on a certain schedule. Likewise, a constancy of action is very important. Never ever confuse the bird by making command variations or interchanging them. With regards to the schedule, the racing pigeons become fully aware of what to expect from you at different times of the day. They will know when they will fly when they will be fed when the loft will be cleaned when the water will be changed, and so on.

You will be surprised to find out that these birds are smart enough to adapt to your daily routine. If it is time to fly, you will see them sitting at the entrance of their lofts waiting for you.

Instilling Good Habits while Young

Like a child, the racing pigeons should also be disciplined. The best time to do it is when they are still young. A tender age is a great opportunity to curb any unwanted behavior. The good habits that they acquire will be brought on until they become adults. Discourage any display of bad behavior and give rewards or treats for good behavior.

The Role of Basket Training

Sure enough, the birds will be flying around their loft. The next step is to basket train them. That means, taking them out of the loft and then releasing them to fly just outside the loft. Be sure to start it off in groups. Release them all at the same time. The younger ones often get scared at first and panic when they are no longer in one group.

Give them the idea that they train so they will be fed. Before releasing them, they should be hungry. They know that there is food and water in the loft so their tendency is to make it home fast. Other treats should also be available to add to their excitement.

Overall, the goal of training the racing pigeons is to enhance their so-called natural navigation system as well as develop in them the habit of returning to the loft at a faster travel rate.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

How To Breed Championship Caliber PIGEONS

Carrier Pigeon
Carrier Pigeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The first advice I can give you as far as breeding racing pigeons are concerned is that there are no guarantees. You can have two champions produce 5 baby pigeons that won't become champions or won't even be considered competitive. That's why you need to deliberate on many factors in order to become a successful breeder and produce potential champions. 

It's already a given that you need to use quality stock in order to increase the chances of breeding champions. There are three types of breeding: crossbreeding, inbreeding, and line breeding. You can use either of these three depending on the match you think will produce quality stock.

The quality of the breeding bird can be assessed by the racing performance of its offspring. To increase the probability of producing championship caliber chicks, more than one test pairing should be administered. It's also important to keep in mind that a pigeon being a champion doesn't mean that it's a good breeder. There's a probability that a slightly inferior sibling can produce better offspring. Rules are not set in stone so it's important for a fancier to administer more than one test pairing. It's all a matter of achieving the perfect or near-perfect combination of genes.

Here's an important tip. If you are planning on buying pedigreed pigeons, you have to ensure the credibility of the seller. The information tagged to the pigeon must be entirely accurate. A great avenue to verify the accuracy of the information is by looking for race results on the internet. Now that we mention it, using the internet is also an excellent way to look for pedigreed pigeons.

Relying on the quality of the parents alone is not enough to produce championship pigeons. One has to look into three features to ensure a high probability of quality stock. These consist of the physical, physiological, and psychological features. Take account of these three key features in both the male and the female and the probability of producing quality stock should increase.

To help you in the assessment, let's have a breakdown of these three key features:

• The Physical (gait, feather, wing)
• The physiology (fitness parameters).
• Psychology (attitude and competitiveness).

The best fanciers also realize that the race basket is the best determinant of a pigeon's racing qualities. It's more recommended to have pigeons with soft feathers. The pigeons should not be too big as well. You see, big ones are not good on balance. One reliable way to detect a good racing pigeon is when it leans forward while being handled. A strong skeleton is also of great importance. To test the strength of its bones, put some pressure on the breastbone and see if it's going to make a snoring sound. If it does, then that is certainly bad news.

Keep in mind that physical characteristics don't necessarily make a champion. That's why you have to observe on a daily basis the behavioral patterns of your racing pigeons. Recording daily data on each of them will tell you a great deal whether they have the heart of champions.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Training RACING PIGEONS To Become Better, Faster

The inspiration for the name: racing pigeons b...
The inspiration for the name: racing pigeons being held in compartments
(Photo credit: 
For the first-time owner of racing pigeons, breeding and racing these pigeons can be a tough challenge. There are some certain pigeon needs that should be considered, and its breeding and training are like Science. There is no room for lots of errors and untested training and breeding actions. That is because for it to become a successful breeding and racing program for racing pigeons, you need tested set of suggestions and verified rules coming from the ground.  And it all starts with breeding up until racing. 

If you are starting with newly-hatched pigeons, you are expected to note about the commonalities between these young pigeons.  Remember that these pigeons can be weaned at equal ages. These birds can be vaccinated at the same age and these birds can be ranged and routed as well at the same age. These birds at their tender age are often grouped together in a specialized housing called the loft, and this will serve as their home up until their racing days.

What to expect in the first 28 days

Once these young birds have stayed for around 28 days on their nest, they are supposed to be transferred to a much larger loft. The first few days in their loft are often spent learning where they can source their food and how to eat. This is also the right time for these birds to be allowed outside and to wander so that they will be familiar with their surroundings. Expect these birds to start flying at 6 weeks, and they will start in small circles. The moment these birds start to gain confidence, these birds will fly for hours before returning to their lofts. Now, remember that this is the perfect time for training the birds. They are best trained and guided if the birds have been ranged or routed for at least two (2) weeks. The maximum time that the birds will be out is for 2 hours, and this is a great sight as you watch batches of pigeons pass you by. But the best thing about this activity is that these pigeons get the exercise that they need and they become more accustomed to their lofts.

Training tosses tips

There are some factors too that needs to be practiced when doing the first few training tosses.

• The racing pigeons should be in perfect health during training.

• Consider as well the number of days spent in routing and ranging

• If you can, you also need to consider the quality of pigeons migrating

• The best time to train these pigeons is during a clear day. This means that you need to avoid rain, fog, and strong winds. And speaking of time;

• Did you know that there is a perfect time to do the practice? According to some racing enthusiasts, the perfect time is early morning or before 9:00 in the morning

More than these, there are certain techniques and strategies that are employed in relation to breeding and training of racing pigeons. And these are varied depending on who you ask. Of the many techniques and strategies, some of those that stand out include the use of widowhood and the adoption of proper conditioning.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Flight of the CARRIER PIGEON

Engraving of "carrier pigeons" (actu...
Engraving of "carrier pigeons" (actually probably homing pigeons), with messages attached.
(Photo credit: 
Carrier Pigeons Discovered
Pigeons were used during the Roman Empire and by the Egyptians as far back as 2900 B.C. when incoming ships released pigeons to carry news of important guests arriving. Ancient Greece used homing pigeons to carry news of winners of Olympic competitions back to hometowns. During the 11th century in Baghdad, the one-way message system of carrier pigeons was developed. Until 1844, upon the invention of the telegraph, carrier pigeons were the fastest and most reliable form of message-transmission. Pigeons can reach top speeds of 45 miles per hour.

Carrier Pigeons Save the Day
During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, occupying forces cut the telegraph wires of Paris. City residents sent carrier pigeons out of the city via hot-air balloon, releasing one pigeon after the balloon made it safely out of the city, to alert residents that the pigeons had made it out. The pigeons, with messages attached, were released back into the city, carrying their messages between dwellings. From that war, on, military commanders were outfitted with regiments of carrier pigeons, trained to fly back to lofts beyond the war front. The messages they carried could then be read and utilized by military commanders.

During World War I, the most famous homing pigeon of all, Cher Ami which is French for 'My Friend', saved the lost battalion of American soldiers from being surrounded by the Germans and fired upon by friendly fire of fellow American soldiers aiming for the Germans and missing them. The pigeon flew through a torrent of bullets to deliver its message to a military post away from the front, alerting commanders that the battalion needed help. For its honorable and brave deed, Cher Ami was awarded the French Cross of War medal. Upon its' passing, the bird was stuffed and put on display at the Smithsonian Institute. Military personnel also used carrier pigeons during World War II and the Korean War. Many pigeons from each war earned military honors for their contribution.

Carrier Pigeons are One-Way Messengers
Carrier pigeons, or homing pigeons, are trained to return back to a specific pigeon loft. Therefore, message sending and receiving only works in one direction. The message sender must have a pigeon that will fly back to the message receiver. Messages are written on very light paper (cigarette paper) and rolled into tiny canisters affixed to the bird's legs. This method of communication is called Pigeon Post.

Research indicates that these birds use a variety of mechanisms in order to home in on their destination. Magnetite, a substance in the bird's beak, works via the trigeminal nerve to sense magnetic fields in the earth. Recent studies also indicate that olfactory senses help the birds navigate. Once they get close to their home destination, it is hypothesized that carrier pigeons also navigate by sight, recognizing familiar landmarks.

Modern Uses of Carrier Pigeons
Homing pigeons are no longer routinely used for message delivery, with the last official military regiments in India retiring a few years ago due to the rise of internet communications. Carrier pigeons first lost their jobs with the invention of the telegraph but were widely used again for about 75 years in military services around the world.

Carrier pigeons have even been used to transmit internet signals! The IP address IPoAC (Internet Protocol over Avian Carrier) was created in the late 1990s. Until April 28, 2001, nobody had used this IP. The Bergen Linux User Group decided to transmit data via the IPoAC and, with the help of a local Carrier Pigeon enthusiasts club, successfully transmitted several packets of data. Unfortunately, some of the data was lost, as some of the pigeons did not return to their home lofts!

Now that the internet has taken over as the fastest means of communication, homing pigeons are mainly used for pigeon racing. The sport is huge in Belgium, with daily pigeon weather reports broadcast over radio stations. In the United States, the American Racing Pigeon Union regulates pigeon racing and keeps a registry of pigeon band numbers. All domesticated homing pigeons are outfitted with a band at the age of five weeks, which contains a number and a chip that is scanned when the pigeons return home during pigeon races.

Raising and Training Carrier Pigeons
To raise a successful flock of carrier pigeons, you must create a pigeon loft. The loft should be composed of indoor and outdoor space. Pigeons need places to rest or roost, food and sources of water to drink and bathe in.
Pigeons mate for life. When pigeons are born, they are covered in yellow down. They grow their grey-colored feathers soon after birth. At the age of four weeks, the chicks will begin flying around the pigeon loft. At six weeks, they can fly outside of the loft, and at two months can begin road training. Pigeons fly one way, and that is home. When training a homing pigeon, take it further away each time you release it. Once it has successfully returned home 40 times, it is ready to race.

Carrier pigeons are the unsung heroes of military conflicts past. They were the first official sports announcers and kept war-weary citizens in touch with each other. Now used for racing, and, in some parts of the world, message-sending for special occasions, pigeons continue to be part of world culture.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Carrier Pigeon

Pigeons have an uncanny homing instinct. In fact, they were used as mail carriers as far back as 5000 years ago. In the early 1800's, a sport has been developed using these magnificent creatures as racing animals. The pigeon's disposition to fly home even after long flights has made the sport a favorite hobby among pigeon lovers. Pigeon racing competitions abound all over the world, with most of them involving big money.

Being a successful pigeon racer requires discipline, constant care and a penchant eye for detail. Here are some important tips that will help you become a winner in this sport:

1. Set up a loft in your backyard and ensure that the pigeon is basket trained as soon as it learns how to fly. Pigeons have a deep sense of home. Once they recognize the loft as their humble abode, they will be attached to it for life. Despite long flights, a pigeon has a specialized mechanism that allows them to track the coordinates and be able to fly back to their home. 

2. Observe proper feeding as you raise the pigeons. It's also very important that the pigeons be fed at home in order for them to get attached to their loft. Doing this can increase the motivation of your pigeons to fly home as quickly as possible and as a result improve your chances of winning the competitions. 

3. Set up a training loft and always keep it open during training sessions. Also, ensure that there's sufficient space for the pigeons to enhance their flight skills. Everything else comes easy once this is done since the bird themselves are always eager to flex their flight muscles. Remember that the loft they were raised in is not the same as the training loft, but it's completely acceptable to set a single loft that can serve as both.

4. A pigeon trap can be set up to enable the owner to record behavioral patterns and tally the amount of time a pigeon takes to fly home. Placing treats inside the pigeon trap will also encourage the pigeons to always return to it. This should make training much easier.

5. As with the pigeon trap, treats can be used in training the pigeons to enter the release basket. This basket is where the pigeons are placed and released at the start of a racing competition. 

6. This is where the training proper starts, not to mention that it's the fun part. Train your racing pigeons to fly home from a long distance by placing them at a definite spot. Just make sure to make an estimate of the distance before doing this since it's recommendable that you tally a graphical data in order to monitor performance and trends. The first training usually sets the distance from the home at a mile or two. 

7. Increase the distance from home at reasonable increments during the course of the training program. At its peak, a racing pigeon should be able to fly home efficiently at a distance of 20 miles or more.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Attracting MOURNING DOVES to Bird Feeders - Which Feeder is Best?

Mourning Dove - Photo: Flickr
Attracting Mourning Doves, sometimes called just Doves or Rock Pigeons, etc..., is an easy activity. Doves are year-round residents throughout most of the US and summer in southern Canada as well. It is a popular bird found at most feeding stations, typically in small flocks. Getting doves to feed at a station is simple and they are regulars at most all. Getting them to feed FROM a feeder is another story though. Not that they won't use a feeder but their size typically restricts them from landing on or even setting on one.

We are asked two questions here regarding doves. First is: "How do I deter doves from my yard?" I personally love the doves and cannot figure out why people don't want them and that's a whole different article. The other and more popular question are: "How do I attract the mourning dove?" Doves are a natural ground feeding bird. Watch them for a short while and you will see they are rather content milling around on the ground picking up whatever gets kicked from your feeders. After talking to a customer for a few minutes, we find that most people are actually asking us how to get doves ON a feeder or what is the best feeder for a dove? That's a different story altogether.

Doves are a large and clumsy bird. Having one land on your feeder is like having a jumbo jet land on a seagoing aircraft carrier. Matter of fact, each scenario looks similar to one another in their landing patterns. Like an aeroplane, a dove tends to glide into a feeder wavering left and right, up and down. So, if you desire the idea of having doves ON your feeders, you will need large feeders. Our largest feeder is actually named the Mourning Dove Series and for good reason. It's BIG in all ways. The extra room provided by a large hopper feeder or a medium to large fly-through will provide enough room for a dove to navigate its way onto one. We also offer what is known as a seed catcher tray. It's a large flat platform feeder that is designed to set underneath pole mounted feeders and adds a great deal or "real estate" to any feeding station.

If you seriously want doves to feed on your feeder, I recommend setting up a medium to a large fly-through feeder. It allows for a good quantity of seed and gives the doves plenty of landing room. If you desire a hopper style feeder, pick the largest one your budget will allow and look for a feeder with a base platform having extra room around the hopper. The more area you offer the dove, the more successful it will be in landing. Adding a seed catcher tray will positively contribute to your success rate due to its oversized "landing pad." Once your doves are upon the feeder, they will be more than happy to hang around for long periods of time.

One other thing. When you set up a dove feeder, set up a pole or post mounted one. Hanging feeders tend to swing in the breeze and make a difficult landing situation for the bird, especially a hopper style feeder since the landing area is much smaller. A hanging feeder will also swing more wildly when the large and heavy bird makes its landing.

Feeding mourning doves will add a great deal of joy to your birding world. They typically stay around for long periods of time allowing you to enjoy them more than most other birds. They will still feed on the ground no matter what you do. So in effect, they will be acting as little house cleaners too. The less seed on the ground, the less you have to pick up. I highly recommend catering to this great bird and in doing so, you will be reward with countless hours of enjoyment from their subtle beauty and easy going calm mannerisms.

Peter Hurley has been an active nature lover and wildlife enthusiast his entire life and is the owner of The Hurley-Byrd Bird Feeder Co. His vast experience with nature and wildlife has led his company to produce some of the finest bird, deer and wildlife feeders in the world.

Visit for more information regarding the Mourning Dove and the enjoyable way of feeding this calm and beautiful bird. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to visit Hurley-Byrd's site and write Mr Hurley directly. You are also welcome to view some beautiful photos of birds, deer and other creatures at
Article Source: EzineArticles

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Training RACING PIGEONS To Success

Feathered Heroes
Photo  by Mike Licht, 
Training racing pigeons are an essential aspect of winning a pigeon race. However ideal the traits that your bird has acquired, the absence of proper training won't allow you to harness its full potential and winning is close to impossible. So how do you train a racing pigeon to become a winner?

Let's start with the basic needs: food and shelter.

Food for pigeons needs to be clean, fresh, and of high quality. Grains and grit are their primary foods but these will not boost their performance enough to win a race. Minerals and vitamins must be included in their diet which can be mixed with the water or with the food in the form of oil. It is highly important that the food should have low moisture content or else it will be susceptible to becoming a breeding ground for fungi, bacteria, and eventually become toxic to the bird.

The shelter, specifically called "loft" for a pigeon house, comes in different styles depending on your desired functions. Most pigeon fanciers build multiple lofts in order to separate the males from the females as well as the young from the mature ones (or the unmated from the mated). The former is being done to have full control on breeding while the latter is often for pigeons which are not yet identified whether male or female.

Lofts may come in different forms too. There's the "trap and landing board" for race pigeons, a "flypen" for those that are limited to fly freely, a "nestbox" for each pigeon especially that they are territorial animals, and numerous "perches".

Every pigeon starts to live in a nest then must be transferred to a bigger loft after around 4 weeks. Once inside the bigger loft, the pigeon is trained to become familiar with its surroundings such as the location of food, water, and the entire look of the loft. Only after the pigeon's 6th and 7th week can it be made to fly higher and farther for practice. By this time, it is understood that the pigeon has developed already some capabilities to recall signs that it can utilize to get back to its owner or loft.

Determining the speed of your pigeons is also crucial. Only once you have identified whether your pigeon is indeed in need of further speed can you really work on the potential reasons for the slow performance. You can measure the speed of your racing pigeon through the traditional and electronic timing methods. But although both can be effective, the traditional method may pose some conflicts when the winning bird suddenly does not continue on entering its loft, and hence the time recording does not become accurate

Lastly, you need to make sure that you are closely connected with your racing pigeons. Flying and tossing them from time to time may always be a wonderful activity for both of you and which shall continue all throughout their racing careers.  So don't be fooled by the thought that one great breed is enough to lead you to success. Training is very much a must.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

RACING PIGEON Loft Design 101

Taubenschlag - pigeon loft
Photo  by glasseyes view 
Pigeons can easily adapt to almost any given situation and this is why they are one of the best pets an owner could ask for. Give them their living essentials and the right environment, and they can easily do the rest. However, you have to be more meticulous when you want to raise a pigeon for racing. In this case, how a pigeon's loft is designed plays a big role in making sure that they will be raised to their full potential.

Here is a breakdown of loft designing fundamentals that will help your pigeon become potential champions in pigeon racing.

1. Ventilation
Like any other warm-blooded animal, pigeons need air as much as they require food and water. Make sure that the loft has openings where air can enter and escape. The openings can be placed on the roof or along the roofline. If air is scarce in the location where the loft is placed, installing exhaust fans should be able to help. Setting up an aviary also gives the pigeons the luxury to enjoy the fresh air at their own leisure. Pigeons need to be intimate with nature; a loft that allows them that luxury can make it easier for them to develop an attachment to their homes.

2. Dry Environment
Too much moisture inside and outside the loft increases the chances of your pigeons to acquire diseases. As a pet owner, it is your sole responsibility to ensure that the loft stays dry. It's a good start to keep the loft in a slightly elevated position. Placing the loft on a pair of stacked cinder blocks can definitely do the job. As for the height of elevation, 18"-25" off the ground should be good enough. This set-up allows air to circulate under the loft to keep it dry. Using a wooden floor also prevents the building up of moisture from pigeon droppings.

3. Cleaning Made Easy
A clean loft prevents pigeons from acquiring diseases that may affect their training and worse, lead to death. Administer regular cleaning to the loft by scraping unwanted dirt several times a week. As mentioned earlier, a wooden floor really helps since it can absorb moisture from droppings. As we all know, dry droppings are much easier to clean than wet droppings. And don't even plan on using formica type material for floors, perches or for any part of the loft that requires regular cleaning. Sure, the smooth surface makes it easier to scrape, but the stains that stick to it are bound to give you more headaches.

4. Accessibility To Sunlight
Pigeons need and love the sun so make sure that your loft is accessible to the sunlight. Pigeons from time to time want to sunbathe which is why you need to make sure that the aviary gets as much sunlight as possible. Keep in mind though that too much sunlight can be bad, so a small allowance for a shaded area should be designated inside the loft. This gives them the right amount of sunlight and will provide them with Vitamin D needed for strong bones.

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Carrier Pigeon
Carrier Pigeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today's generation is fortunate enough to experience the wonders of modern communications. Letters are electronically sent in a matter of seconds via the Internet, and real-time conversation with colleagues from far away is now possible through Instant Messaging.

Ah, thanks to technology. Did you ever wonder what was it like a thousand years ago, when an ancient man was still one with nature and empires were just about to be built? Tribes communicated with each other through pigeons, and the racing pigeons were animals that were revered by many because of their speed and agility.

The great civilizations from East to West made full use of the racing pigeons as messengers that deliver important messages coming from the emperors out to the most remote areas of their lands. As empires expand, more and more racing pigeons were sent out to the sky.

Because of their intelligence and swiftness, racing pigeons were regarded as prized possessions during the ancient times. Just imagine empires having only horses and caravans as their message-carrying tools. It would take weeks before messages can be exchanged from one area to another. Animals that travel by land are also more prone to danger, especially during warfare.

One famous incident in history where racing pigeons proved their worth was when Napoleon was defeated in Waterloo. No other person knew about this event right away, except for Count Rothschild, who got this first-hand information through a racing pigeon. This knowledge enabled Rothschild to make decisions way before other persons had a chance to meddle. He was able to collect a large amount of money to start up a banking dynasty.

Racing pigeons were not only used as an important military weapon. During the Industrial Revolution when people started to revolutionize their way of thinking, racing pigeons were used as news-carriers not to aid a war, but to keep people informed about the society. Julius Reuter, the founder of the world-renowned Reuter News Service, was actually established as a line of pigeon posts. Up to this day, the symbol for many European postal systems is a racing pigeon.

As years go by, a lot more people have taken to raising pigeons. Gone are the days when only the nobles can have them. Most of the time, these birds are seen with racing enthusiasts, with the birds as the main attraction.

The most successful modern racing pigeons were developed in Belgium. They were a result of a cross between the Cumulet and the Smerle. The Cumulet is often described as a pigeon that has the ability to fly high and can be gone out of sight from the sky. The Smerle, on the other hand, doesn't fly as high as the Cumulet but is much faster and hastier.

It's no surprise that the Belgians were the ones who first enjoyed the hobby of pigeon racing. The first long-distance pigeon race was in Belgium in 1818. After 1875, the hobby of pigeon racing gained popularity in England. In the 19th century, the popularity of the hobby reached the United States.

Today, the world continues to be enthralled with the speed, endurance and the intelligence of racing pigeons. Amidst the technology that we have today, these pigeons still surely know how to get our fancy.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

How To Spot the Right RACING PIGEON

English: Racing pigeon photographed near Barkb...
Racing pigeon photographed near Barkby, Leicestershire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A lot of fanciers make the mistake of focusing solely on the physical attributes of a racing pigeon when it comes to choosing which one to enlist in the actual competitions. While it cannot be denied that physical features such as gait and wing muscle strength play a big factor in becoming a winner, attention should also be placed on the mental ability of a pigeon as early as an age of 3 months. More often than not, it is the mental faculties of your racing pigeon that will ultimately help you win the big prizes especially in competitions that involve long flights.

Take into consideration the fact that pigeons rely on their internal compass, navigational skills, and homing instinct in order to fly to a designated point at the shortest route possible. You may have the fastest pigeon in a race, but it won't really matter if it doesn't fly in a straight line towards its goal. The more intelligent pigeons can orient themselves really well to any given location and have an innate feel for its coordinates.

These types of pigeons can be found by looking for bloodlines that can fly at very long distances. Young ones can fly at a distance of 300-350 miles while yearlings can fly up to 500 miles. These progenies are able to benefit from the genes of their parents whose long flights have helped them develop their intelligence as long-distance flyers. The ability to stay in flight for long hours has provided them opportunities in developing their decision-making skills in times of fatigue. These birds also have extensive experience in dealing with any type of weather, which should be beneficial given the fact that the weather can be unpredictable at times.

This is why pigeons that are competitive in short races don't necessary become winners when joining long ones. Not having the experience to brave the hazards of long flights, these pigeons didn't get to hone their heart, intelligence, and stamina. Most importantly, their homing instincts are too undeveloped to be able to spot the shortest route; these pigeons also tend to lose their way easily. As a result, short distance racers quit at the slightest provocation.

Keeping the pigeons healthy is also very important and that is why physical conditioning should always be administered the moment a young pigeon learns to fly in order to develop strength, stamina and recovery time. This means having them fly consecutive weeks at a distance of 200-350 miles. The moment you spot a pigeon that easily gives up after a few weeks, no matter how fast it is, is the time to judge that bird as incapable of winning any race competitions.

Always keep in mind that heredity plays a big factor in determining a winner. While it doesn't guarantee that a super pigeon will have competitive offspring, it sure does increase its chances. This is small-scale evolution doing its own work, and we might as well work with nature to find success in the sport.

It is important that you verify the accuracy of the information tagged to a pigeon before making any purchases. Lastly, make sure to have a holistic approach to picking the right racing pigeon. If you take stock of a pigeon's mental faculties as well as its physical ones, you just might be on your way to raising a champion.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How To Start Breeding RACING PIGEONS While On A Tight Budget

Racing Pigeon 1464
Racing Pigeon  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As what other people say, "True love always finds a way". This is certainly true to all the long-time fanciers of racing pigeons, who have learned to remain within the circuit despite the bad economy.

However, how about those who are just starting out? There are several out there who are just beginning to be fascinated with racing pigeons but are doubtful to embrace the inkling of breeding them, mainly because of money constraints.

If you are among those who wish to start a family of racing pigeons but is currently on a tight budget, read on the following tips and use them as an essential guide.

1. Do Your Research

Doing your research is the first step in achieving considerable knowledge about racing pigeons. Read more about them and familiarize yourself with the how's and why's of breeding and training them for competition.

Of course, your knowledge should not be limited only to what you've read. You should also go out and ask about the fanciers in your area. Their inputs would be very helpful especially on how you can get the right racing pigeons even when you're on a budget.

2. Find A Suitable Loft

Before you start purchasing racing pigeons, you must first find a suitable loft design. It doesn't have to be large nor expensive; you just have to make sure that it would house your birds comfortably.

Building large lofts would only equal to bigger costs. For example, in some places, there's a building code that if a structure goes beyond 100 squares feet, the building department would already require you to pay for a building permit. So there goes an additional expense on your part, and who knows, there might be more to come.

Don't think that not having a large loft is a disadvantage. Having a small, yet well-built loft is actually more beneficial to you and to the other people surrounding your backyard. What you can do is to perhaps build three, separate small lofts: one for breeding, another one for racing, and lastly, for fancy birds. This way, you can easily control and maintain each one of them, depending on their needs.

3. Buy pigeons from a friend or a reputable source

It is always easier to trust someone whom you already know. If you have a friend who's also a racing pigeon fancier, then that's good for you. He can walk you through the ropes of finding and buying pigeons of the highest quality but are not that expensive. If he's the one who sells pigeons, he can definitely give you some discounts on your first purchase.

4. Be on the lookout for upcoming sales

If you want to get better deals, then you have to be keen and patient in finding for pigeon sales around your area. Gather some sales catalogs, and wait patiently for these sales events to commence. Control yourself from buying just any kind of racing pigeon; you just have to be persistent in looking for the right bird at the right price. Don't worry; those who organize these sales events surely have the finest birds at an affordable price.