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

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: 
Wikipedia)
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: 
Wikipedia)
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

How To Train RACING PIGEONS

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 http://www.hurleybyrd.com/MourningDoveBirdFeeder.html 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 http://www.hurleybyrd.com
Article Source: EzineArticles


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Training RACING PIGEONS To Success

Feathered Heroes
Photo  by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com 
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

History of RACING PIGEONS

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.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

PIGEON RACING - Early History

Carrier Pigeon
Carrier Pigeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The racing Homer is a descendant of the Wild Rock Pigeon which once prominently populated the continents of Europe and Asia. Although the history of the racing pigeon is fragmented the history of pigeons as message carriers go back over 4,000 years.

One of the earliest recorded pieces of history on the bird and sport can be traced back to 1350 B.C. which shows an Egyptian Bas-relief releasing pigeons from their cages. By the middle of the twelfth century A.D., a pigeon post with postmasters and post offices were successfully being maintained by the Caliph of Baghdad. During the historic Olympics of the Golden Age of Greece, a well-developed system of pigeon communication was being used to rush news of the events to surrounding cities. Since pigeons were fast and able to cover large distances through all sorts of weather, leading newspapers of many countries used them to carry important news and stock exchange quotations.

Although pigeons were being used quite successfully to deliver messages, the ancients knew very little about breeding, but they were thoughtful enough to keep breeding the young of the pigeons whose homing instinct were more prominent than others. As progress in breeding developed, breeders began to look more closely at carriage form, feathers, eye care etc as well as speed, endurance, and vitality when breeding their stock. From this bird, the Antwerp and Liege types were developed in Belgium which are the ancestors of most of the present day homing pigeons.

Through the advances in breeding, pigeons began to be able to fly further and faster and by the eighteenth-century pigeon racing began to grow in popularity and was extended into Belgium. In 1818 the first classic concourse in Belgium was held in Toulouse, France with thousands of birds competing. This was the predecessor of modern-day concourses in which thousands of the best birds in several states and clubs compete in the U.S. Since the object of these concourses was to see whose pigeon returned home first, the name was shifted from the "carrier" pigeon to the "Homer".




Monday, November 13, 2017

An Insight to Pet Keeping - PIGEONS As a Case Study

Pigeon 7
Pigeon - Photo by Flickpicpete (Thanks for 740,000+ views) 
What are pets? As explained by the Oxford dictionary "an animal, a bird etc that you have at home for pleasure, rather than one that is kept for work or food". From the above definition, it will right to say: any animal that eats sleep and breeds inside your home can be referred to as a pet. These animals could be dogs, cats, monkeys, parrots, rodents like hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs etc; in extreme cases snakes, eagles, raccoons, swallows, crocodiles etc. however, I am here to discuss just one of these pets- PIGEONS

As you all know, pigeons belong to the avian family (birds). They can be referred to as social beings. But one stunning thing about these creatures is their humility and the general slogan for which they are noted for "live and let live" a term that sounds ironical to other community of animals, to me this is the quality that makes them the most unique creatures to ever walk the surface of the earth and fly over the skies, and as they flap their wings in humility and in unison spread peace, prosperity and love all over the length and breadth of their habitation.

Now, I got hooked on pigeons a couple of years back, 1996 to be precise, I was still in my early teens at that time, looking back now I find this experience very nostalgic each time I reminisce. Like I said earlier, I got to know about these loveable avian creatures through a friend through many years my senior, however, we were brought together as friends as a result of the common thing we shared: being the passion for pigeons. I visited his place regularly just to study the life pattern of these unique birds and each time I look at them, they got more endeared and fascinating they become to me and my longing to have my own community of pigeons increased, until I satisfied this desire by acquiring two sets of pigeons; two males and two females respectively from whom I built a community of pigeons so large, that I became the envy of many.

On the contrary, I am not writing this article to narrate my personal experiences as a former owner of these pets, rather to present to you a comprehensive documentary on how these animals live, eat, breed and interact with themselves as well as their owners, however, I will narrate most of my personal experiences with these birds. The community is made up of males and females, each male pigeon has a wife, funny it sounds but it is true, the get married just like we humans do, more so infidelity of either of the partners is intolerable. The widely held belief among them is one man, one wife, but most males stray occasionally and their target, young unattached females, another common feature in human societies, the difference being that divorce is the last thing to be considered in this very complex yet organized society; contrary to this assertion, in all my years of rearing these birds as pets I recorded a typical case of divorce. Please read on: a certain pigeon female to be precise was being ostracized for mistakenly falling into hot oil my mum left outside her kitchen, fortunately for the unfortunate pigeon, my senior sister saved it before it was fully consumed by the hot oil.

But with this development, this pigeon became a recluse of some sort as it was avoided and treated with disdain by other pigeons in the community. Now a certain male pigeon finding this situation rather appalling decided to do the unthinkable by interacting with the dejected pigeon a relationship that ended in both pigeons hooking up. Sadly, the female eloped with another male is thought to be finer which led to my banishing this heartless pigeon a decision my family supported, as everybody in my house from my father to my mum loved and adored these birds. So I banished the said pigeon for leaving not only the husband but also the kids it bore to be catered for by the male alone, a responsibility this male pigeon carried out effectively to the latter.

Now, pigeons are a very interesting lot to study, their complexity of character and simplicity is one quality hard to find in any other society of animals from avian to reptiles, from amphibians to Aquarian creatures and even mammals and apes, a community that after a male and a female pigeon hooks up, they start making plans for having a family. They commence mating like every other animal in their care, but one unique thing about how they mate is prolonged foreplay, incredible?! Well, pigeons are similar to humans in many aspects and this is one of them. They kiss with the male putting its head in between its wings occasionally, after this prolonged foreplay the female bends down for the normal copulation which takes place with the two birds joining their organs found at the base of their tails.


Gradually, the female's eggs are developed and ready to be laid, that is when the male starts getting the pen ready for the female to roost. The male starts picking up sticks, straw, feathers to make the place cozy for its wife. During this period it chaperons the wife from place to place and pecks it roughly at times on the neck signaling other males of the danger posed if they ever disturb the wife who is ready for roosting. The eggs after being laid, two maximum, and the two pigeons now take turns to sit on the eggs. Funny enough, they make a roaster for sitting on the eggs. The female sits on the eggs from night till morning, at about 12pm of the next day or so, it leaves for the male to take over from that time to maybe 6pm after which the female comes back and takes charge till the morning of the next day; while the male keeps watch at the entrance of the pen to ward off other impending males that might disturb the female while she sits on the eggs: as rearing a family is a collective responsibility between the male and female pigeons respectively.

Roosting might take an average of seventeen days depending on the prevailing conditions, immediately the eggs hatch into young pigeons; another roaster is drawn between the two parents. This time for feeding their young, with the male playing a dominant role, a role he plays till the female is ready to lay another set of eggs. Now while the female gets prepared for laying another set of eggs, the males continue to feed their young till they get ready for their first flight. Their feeding technique, another delight to watch, the parents after taking insufficient food and water, the two substances dissolve and serves as food to the young who get their nutrition by putting their tender beaks into the beaks of their parents who in turn send the food by vomiting it out into the bodies of these young ones.
Amazingly in all my life, I have never seen any animal be it mammal, reptile, or even birds that their young ones develop as rapid as young pigeons. I have seen young chickens, goats, cows etc tended by their mothers develop, but for pigeons, as soon as they are brought into the world, within a short period of time say two weeks it is ready to join other matured birds in the community for its first flight

Generally, pigeons live a life of equity. Every pigeon regardless of age or color is respected by the other. They do everything in common: from eating, taking their bath, flying and sleeping. Note here that the issue of borders and territory are respected. Every male point and mark out areas and spaces for domination. The other pigeons respect these boundaries and borders. In all my life I have never seen any community be it human, plant or animal as organized as this community. If we humans can take a clue from these creatures, the world will be a better place to live in; devoid of crime, corruption, and domination. As witnessed by the way in which big and strong nations bully the weak ones with many human societies going into extinction, but if we mimic these wonderful birds, the world would be a wonderful sphere where every race, tribe, and the region will live in equity, justice, peace, and prosperity. The world of pigeons!




Friday, September 29, 2017

Things Everybody Should Know About Carrier PIGEONS

Carrier Pigeon
Carrier Pigeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Homing pigeons have a natural ability to find their way home, even from very far away. People recognized this skill early on and used it to their advantage in communicating with others. This was common long before such conveniences as email, telephone, and even a reliable post service. When these homing pigeons were used to carrying objects they picked up the nickname of 'carrier pigeon.' 

You may picture them carrying messages between secret lovers and aiding in espionage, but this is not all they are used for. In the past, they have been used for some very important tasks such as sending orders for military officers, snapping aerial photographs, and even delivering fragile medical items between two hospitals. They even once made themselves useful by carrying the film from photographers in the field back to their photo labs to be developed when the time was of the essence.

When homing pigeons are used for sending messages, they are called 'messenger pigeons.' Since homing pigeons have the ability to find their way back home across incredible distances people developed a system called 'pigeon post.' This works by trading pigeons with each other so that the owner's pigeon can carry the message back to them.




For example, two people might trade three pigeons with each other and go their separate ways. They then have the ability to send three messages to each other via pigeon post. Once they have sent three messages each, they would need to meet again to trade more pigeons. This minimized the amount of traveling they would need to do which was a very nice convenience when traveling was more costly and dangerous than it is today.

Along with the many wonderful stories about these birds come many misconceptions. For one, they are often thought to be extinct, but they are not. The passenger pigeon is the one that was driven into extinction. Yet another common misconception is that a carrier pigeon is a breed of pigeon. A homing pigeon is a breed that is mostly used as a carrier pigeon. Carrier pigeon is just the 'job title' of some homing pigeons. Similarly, someone wouldn't say that the breed of a guide dog was 'guide dog.' No, you would call the dog by its actual breed, such as golden retriever.


How to Train a Homing Pigeon
A Homing pigeon's instinct is to always fly back to where they live, especially if they have a mate or squabs. Using this knowledge, the first step to training a homing pigeon is to have it learn where its home is. To do this, the owners will keep the pet pigeons in their enclosures for several months. Usually from the time they are young until they are they are grown. This is more difficult with adult pigeons because they may already have a place they call home. During the months of keeping the birds in a cage, they should be kept well fed with a proper diet of pigeon feed. 

After their stay in the cage, they will know where their home is. From now on, most pigeons will always return to this spot and when let out to fly. A very small percentage of pigeons will leave and not return. They then go and live elsewhere, becoming feral pigeons. Once the pigeons home is established, they will slowly be able to find their way back home longer distances. This homing skill can make them useful as carrier pigeons.