|At Cage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Just like any other animal, racing pigeons deserve to be properly treated in order to stay healthy. If you own and race pigeons, you must be aware that pigeons should not only appear good on the outside. They must feel healthy on the inside as well.
It is a common fact on pigeons that they are good at hiding their true conditions. It is very hard to distinguish healthy pigeons from the sickly ones just by merely looking at them. This is because of the birds' natural instinct to look healthy even if they're not.
The only way to find out that a racing pigeon is already weak is by holding it with your hands. You'll notice right away that the pigeon is now as light as a feather. This is caused by bio-organisms and bacteria that gradually stress out the pigeon, making them lose their appetite when eating.
If you really want your racing pigeons to deliver a top performance during competitions, then you must start taking care of their health. Here are the things that you must consider to give your pigeons a stress-free life.
1. Get Rid of Moisture
Moisture is the number one drawer of viruses and parasites in your pigeons' loft. You have to make sure that water is not entering the loft's roof whenever it is raining, and there's no part of the loft that is prone to leaks. Keeping the pigeons dry will prevent them from being irritated and they will not be bothered by parasites that can cling on to their bodies.
2. Have Proper Ventilation
Keeping the loft well ventilated greatly improves the health of the pigeons. A regular breathing habit is essential for the pigeon's longevity in the sky when racing. Anything that the pigeon breathes in is reactive to his performance, therefore you should avoid dust and other unnecessary particles from entering the loft that could make the pigeon breathe heavily.
Also, for the loft to be properly ventilated, avoid overcrowding among the pigeons. The temperature will be more favorable if there are only a few pigeons that occupy a loft. Also, if in case one pigeon catches a disease, there's a lesser chance for the other pigeons to get infected.
3. Provide Clean Food And Water
This factor is already self-explanatory. Just like human beings, your racing pigeons must be fed with fresh and clean food and water. Leftover foods that are oftentimes soiled already can greatly affect the bird's digestive system, bringing forth diseases that could slow down the pigeons. Make sure that the foods that you give your pigeons are of the highest quality, and that the containers are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
4. Regularly Scrape off the Droppings
Organisms such as coccidia and worms are sometimes present in pigeons, and these are normally passed off in the droppings. If another pigeon eats a dropping, then the bacteria have been transferred already to the pigeon that ate the dropping. In order to prevent the disease from spreading, scrape the loft daily.
These are the things that are oftentimes overlooked by pigeon fanciers. Just make your racing pigeons' health your number one priority, and watch them soar to greater heights during competitions!