Pigeon racing tips

As we know that pigeon racing takes much more than just a loft and a few pigeons, we provide you with a list of golden tips. Read all about the proper care for healthy, happy ánd successful pigeons and about the way you recognize prize flyers.

Below, we provide you with our golden pieces of wisdom. Take these pigeon racing tips to heart.

  1. Listen to the advice of a trustworthy and successful fancier only. ‘Pub prophets’ just have successes in the quiet season and cannot advise you properly.
  2. Learn to observe your pigeons and learn from their behaviour in all its facets in all different seasons.
  3. Early in the morning, your first observation will consist of checking the widowers’ nocturnal excrements. These should be small drops (just like marbles) and they must form a solid heap. A few down feathers in the nest boxes is a good sign too.
  4. When your pigeons have flown excellently, just ask yourself what caused this success. Also do this if your pigeons failed during good weather. When you will have obtained enough information to discover the causes of success or failure, you are well on your way to becoming a champion.
  5. When you race long distances, get up very early in the morning to train your pigeons, just after sunrise. Have long distance pigeons train late at night as well. When racing Vitesse, train in the morning and in the evening around six or seven.
  6. Feel free to race a widower before the first moult. Do not wait till it has started moulting. Do not race homing pigeons after moulting the fourth feather, they will not play any significant prise.
  7. If breeding pairs fly only a few laps, force them to train at least one hour with the flag on the loft. The duration of the training could be prolonged step-by-step. If widowers are not eager to get in after their training and/or do not want to get their meals, you could prolong the trainings in the evening.
  8. As soon as your pigeons have had dinner and have drunk, endarken the loft completely. The moment of complete rest has started now: building new reserves and recuperation takes place during the night.
  9. A pigeon that shows restful or feels clammy like it is sweating during basketing, can be trusted without any problems at the basketing list. Do not fear pigeons who threw up their food in the basket on their ways to the race point.
  10. Stimulate your female pigeons to get back onto their nests by separating them from the cock pigeons and their nests the night before basketing. Move her into another loft. Basket these hen pigeons without showing their cock pigeons and their nests. You will be surprised by their great achievements.
  11. A widower losing courage can get its lion’s courage back if you manage to have it accept a nest with a 10-day-old youngster. This approach has often resulted in amazing race times at the end of the racing season.
  12. Endarken the lofts of your youngsters when sunset sets in around 6 p.m. Darkness from 6 p.m. till 8 a.m. suffices. When you do this, nurse your youngsters an hour before you endarken their loft, and have them adapt to the light for at least half an hour in the morning before they go outside.
  13. Never force a pigeon to fly. If he or she does not feel like flying, observe this bird carefully to find out whether he or she bulges and does not eat and so might be ill or if the pigeon prefers the loft very much and is even more devoted to the nest box.
  14. If pigeons are not ill and yet do not moult easily, then a day of abstention followed by a few days on food with blood cleansing herb extracts (Travipharma’s Bio 2) will be an excellent boost for the moulting process.
  15. Hen pigeons fly better (especially in marathon races) on 10 days of breeding or 4 or 5-day-old youngsters. Breeding cock pigeons race better when they have big youngsters in the platter, with or without new brood.
  16. Pigeons in form indicate … your pigeons’ ultimate health and hormone condition. Their metabolism or condition has reached a high and that shows in, a.o., the following characteristics:
  • tight and smooth feathers, also around the ears;
  • dry and chalk white wattle;
  • clear, shining eyes;
  • pink throats and a very narrow and deep epiglottis with regular breath;
  • oil-like stains at the 8th or 9th flight-feather which are a sign of the excellent condition of the internal glands;
  • wonderfully pink colour of the pleura with a flake-free skin and the appearance of the blood spot or form spot along the breast bone;
  • a round and hard, not too heavy frame;
  • sweaty feel with supple muscles that vibrate when held in the hand a few more seconds;
  • round droppings in a heap with an occasional piece of down;
  • fast flight and no slow training laps around the loft, especially with breeding and widow hen pigeons. Widowers should take off and come back on their own, like sailplanes, and with stretched necks (like a goose), and rapidly fly away again, ricocheting off from the loft into the air.
  1. When the feathers are slightly damaged with a crack in the shaft, you can steam the feathers above the kettle. They will quickly straighten again.
  2. Have your pigeons, old and young, fly laps in the middle of the week during the betting races to stimulate rhythm and orientation, provided the weather is good. A short distance of around 20 kilometres is enough.
  3. Endarkening the lofts of young, and of old pigeons too, is recommended if you want to keep full wings till the end of a long racing season. Start endarkening the loft at 6 p.m. until at least 7 a.m. Pigeons should adapt to the light for half an hour before they can go outside to train. Extra light from the longest day of the year onwards is also recommended to slacken the moulting process. Start enlightening at 9 p.m. and stop at 11 p.m.
  4. Some fanciers are so close to their pigeons that telepathy really works for them. They think a lot of their pigeons when they have been released for an important betting race! And they request their birds to come back to their loving owner, closing their eyes and focussing on the pigeon. Try to practise this with no more than 3 of your pigeons… And you will be flabbergasted!

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Pigeon racing tips