Showing posts with label Racing Pigeons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Racing Pigeons. Show all posts

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: 
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.


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.




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.



Monday, August 28, 2017

Breeding For The Best RACING PIGEONS

Racing pigeons are a great wonder especially for individuals who have a passion for animal cognition. The ability to return to its owner after traveling thousands of kilometers by flight is certainly an amazing quality especially for a bird. Let alone migratory birds fly the really long distances. But whenever pigeons lovingly return to the arms of their owners, the feeling of elation is just unavoidable.

English: Racing pigeon photographed near Barkb...
Racing pigeon photographed near Barkby, Leicestershire
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amazing as they are, pigeons who are made to race are not as easily cared for like ordinary pets. Breeding pigeons that can win race competitions is not a joke. Any racing pigeon fancier must be ready to invest a huge amount of attention to the pigeons as well as understand that time and money are involved. And certainly a great deal of passion will tremendously affect your success in raising and turning your special pigeons to real winners.

There are basically three types of breeding methods that you can adopt to make sure that you get the best possible pedigree for a racing pigeon: cross-breeding, line-breeding, and in-breeding.

In cross-breeding, unrelated pigeons (or which are five generations apart) are made to mate with the hope of giving birth to better pigeons – better than their parents. This breeding method is more expensive than line-breeding because of the generation gap (the bigger the generation gap, the more expensive) but relatively more effective than in-breeding.

Line-breeding allows the mating of pigeons with smaller generation gaps (ex. grandchild to grandparents or cousin to cousin) than those for cross breeding. Although less expensive than cross-breeding and a lot safer than in-breeding, this method may take a long time to establish the traits that you want in your pigeon.

In-breeding is the riskiest but may also be the most successful method provided that you have really ideal pigeons. In this system, the mating happens between a parent pigeon and its child or between a brother and a sister pigeon. Because of the closeness of the generation, any trait from any of the pigeons can be easily passed to the resulting offspring – both good and bad traits. Add to this, any bad trait found on one of the partner pigeons is likely present on the other too because of their close generations. 



So while in-breeding can magnify the good traits of your pigeons, the risk is that it can also equally magnify their weaknesses. You may even end up with a pigeon that has both the best and worst traits from its parents – what a waste that will be! Also, while in-breeding does not have to spend that much money for bigger generation gaps (because the mating pigeons are IN the same generation), it may however end up becoming more financially-challenging because of the need to eliminate pigeons with non-ideal traits. Not to mention that you should be capable of culling.

The secret to breeding the best racing pigeons lies in thoroughly learning as much as all of their traits. Learn the rules of compatibility – and some genetics too. And be as passionate as you can be in caring for your pigeons.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Feeding RACING PIGEONS

Just like human beings, racing pigeons also have the need to be well fed in order to grow it. Proper nutrition is vital for them to maintain the level of energy throughout the day, much more if they are racing frequently. 

Racing Pigeon 1464
Racing Pigeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Strict Diet 

Racing pigeons adhere to a strict diet, which comprises mostly of grains, grits, and water. Wild pigeons eat breadcrumbs and food scraps, but they are a no-no to racing pigeons. If you want to raise quality racing pigeons, then you have to provide them with food that is fresh, clean and of the highest quality.

Grains that are dirty will gradually affect the performance of the pigeons while they are racing, as toxins and poisons present in unclean grains will bring forth illnesses that would lead to the pigeon's poor racing performance.

Grits are also essential to the racing pigeon's diet. Mixed grains are a perfect source of energy and protein, but they are very low in vitamins and minerals that are required to raise top-caliber racing pigeons. Grits, on the other hand, supply the pigeons with a sufficient amount of salt, calcium, and minerals that they need.

Vitamins for Extra Energy 

Racing pigeons can actually survive on grains and grits alone, but if they are being led to racing most of the time, then they have to be fed with food having an extra amount of vitamins. Without vitamins, the racing pigeon might not be able to sustain itself from the pressures of racing and competition.

Vitamins supplements must be given along with food and water to increase the pigeon's level of health. Not all of the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements are present in grains; therefore, these should be given to the pigeons in some other form. Some pigeon owners give spinach and shell grits, but these are still not enough to meet the nutritional requirements of a racing pigeon. They now add vitamins to water once or twice a week for added energy.

Feeding Practices during the Racing Season 

Food, and balancing it, is most important during the racing season. It's not all about giving the racing pigeons all of the food that they need, but how these foods can be properly distributed to the pigeon's daily food intake.

First off, a healthy bowel is required of the pigeon. If bowel diseases are present, the nutrients that are found in quality grains will be decreased, and not all of the energy and protein present will be maximized fully by the racing pigeon.

A healthy mix of quality grains must also be prepared. Use at least eight different grains to achieve a good balance of protein. This would ultimately fuel the racing pigeon's flight to success.



Be careful, however, of overfeeding your pigeons. Excess energy will be stored in the pigeon's body as fat, thus making the pigeon feel heavier and will slow down his pace while flying. Meanwhile, underfeeding your racing pigeons mean that you're providing them with food having low energy values, thus, resulting to the exhaustion of energy reserves in the pigeon's muscles.

For you to know if you're overfeeding or underfeeding your racing pigeons, feed only what they will eat in 10 minutes. If they are leaving pieces of food, then it just means that you're already feeding them too much.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Futurity RACING PIGEONS Discussed

Pigeon fancier with one of his racing pigeons ...
Pigeon fancier with one of his racing pigeons
in Greenock, Scotland.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Can anybody race pigeons? This may be a question that you have in mind but you need a definite answer for it. Well, generally, anyone who is fairly interested can be involved in racing pigeons. After all, it is not only a kind of sport but is qualified to be a hobby as well. In fact, some even consider it a business from which they earn a healthy profit. 

Historically speaking, even the king of England, George V, kept a loft that had many racing pigeons in it. The others are of course not known to many but one thing is for sure. That is, those who race pigeons are tough competitors. They see this sport as a very promising one that they really work hard in training their birds. 

Many of the pigeon racers to date represent the different classes of life. The Kings Cup race was actually once won by a racer who only shipped two birds. He was also the declared second placer the year before he finally bagged the much coveted prize for the race.

Meanwhile, if you are a beginner in this field, you likewise need to learn the ups and downs of training pigeon racers. A great tip is to purchase the young pigeons and then let them join in the so called one loft race or futurity race. With this, the birds can be trained to compete with one another and at such a tender age, they are already molded to become great racers.

So you are wondering about what a futurity race is all about. To set the record straight, the futurity race is a kind of event that is being sponsored or held by loft managers or the pigeon clubs. The entire purpose for which is to bring together all the top trainers from different countries who will then compete against each other for a stipulated prize. 

South Africa holds one of the hugest futurity races. The event is therefore referred to as the Million Dollar Race. It is only a one loft race which means that the pigeons included in the race should return to the same loft where they came from.

In the United States, there is the Lou McElroy Futurity which was incepted in the year 2000. This race places the pigeons into various lofts and come under different handlers. 

What is basically great about futurity racing is that anybody who has hoped to join such event can enter his pigeons. Even when the birds don't have much training, it is still alright. The loft handlers and managers are experienced in handling different birds and they really do a great job with it. What more is that they are also paid only a fraction when the pigeon is able to qualify. That is why, they will really work hard so their handled birds can make it to the racing event and they can earn money in return.

Overall, racing pigeon is for anybody who is practically interested in competing and winning.



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Training RACING PIGEONS To Become Better, Faster

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 is 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 of racing pigeons, you need tested set of suggestions and verified rules coming from the ground.  And it all starts with breeding up until racing. 

Carrier Pigeon
Carrier Pigeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 with 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, June 21, 2017

Health Tips For RACING PIGEONS

English: at cage. Bangladesh.
At Cage. Bangladesh. (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 in 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!