Pigeon Racing

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ezzy333
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Pigeon Racing

Post by ezzy333 » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:49 pm

I was asked to explain a little about pigeon racing some time back and I will try to give a brief description of what goes on. This won't be complete but you are always welcome to ask any questions you have.

We have two racing series each year, old birds and young birds that normally will be 10 weekends each. The OB(old bird) races are for any bird hatched previous to this year. They may be yearlings up to however old they are still able to compete which usually runs about 5 or seven years old. Depending what part of the country you are in and the normal weather patterns these races will start around April to May 1st and last for 10 weeks. The races will start at 100 miles and may go up to 500 or 600 hundred miles. And then due to hot weather we will take a month or so off and then start the young birds which are any bird hatched after Jan. 1st. These races will go on for 10 weeks and will be from 100 to 300 hundred miles normally.

For an individual who wants to get involved the normal procedure would be to join a club in your area. There are Pigeon Racing Clubs in most areas of the country and can be found by looking on the ARPU(American Racing Pigeon Union) web site. You will get what help you need through these clubs since most are searching for new members. The help I am talking about is where you can find lofts and the equipment you may need and most will give you birds or at least help you find birds to buy. Any bird that you can fly must be banded as a baby with a seamless aluminum band that will not come off after the youngster is a bout 10 days old and will be used to identify the bird for the rest of it's career. Once you have the babies weaned it is time to start training and conditioning them so they will come home and will be able to fly the distances you are asking them to compete. This will normally be accomplished by putting them out in a cage so they can see where they are, how to get back into their loft and to become familiar with the surroundings. After a few days they can be released and allowed to fly free when they want to but do not force them at this stage. These young birds will take off and fly in every direction with everyone doing their own thing. But after a few days they will start gathering and flying as a flock which is the stage where you can start Basketing them and take them a short distance from home and release them. This will be some what like what we do when we take a puppy for walks, as what you are doing is letting them use their heads to figure where home is and also it is the start of the conditioning that they need to be able to fly the longer distances. There is no set rule or no set method that is right or wrong as you will find every group of birds are different but normally you can start doubling the distance you are taking them after a toss or two from each distance to where in a few weeks you will be able to release them from 30 to 60 miles and many times have them beat you home.

So we are ready to race. The club will have a truck or trailer that they might share with a couple of other clubs that will be used to haul the birds to a site that has been picked to be the approximate distance you are wanting the birds to fly. This site as well as the exact location of your loft will be entered into the computer and it will figure the exact yardage to your loft from the release point. The birds will all be released at the same time and the birds will be timed getting home by an electrical timer that will calculate the speed each bird flew in yards per minute(ypm). And since every ones birds will have to fly a slightly different distance the winner will be the fastest time and not necessarily the first bird home. Since most of our races are either Saturday or Sunday we all take our clock to the club house Monday evening and run them through the computer and it prints out a full list of the finishing order for the race and shows how fast they flew, and how many minutes they were behind the winner.

This is a very brief explanation so feel welcome to ask whatever and we will do our best to help you in any way we can.
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Munster
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Post by Munster » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:21 am

Here is a dumb one,LOL

When you start flying the birds, do you have to take them in different Directions or just one? I flew 20 yesterday only about 5 miles. 2 were still squeking, but I thought they were old enough. All but one made it home. So I will drop them in that location one more time and then double it?
Gets kinda scary when all I have is 20 birds and I need them to train.
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ezzy333
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Post by ezzy333 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:51 am

Munster wrote:Here is a dumb one,LOL

When you start flying the birds, do you have to take them in different Directions or just one? I flew 20 yesterday only about 5 miles. 2 were still squeking, but I thought they were old enough. All but one made it home. So I will drop them in that location one more time and then double it?
Gets kinda scary when all I have is 20 birds and I need them to train.
I would take them back to that same place as long as you are trying not to lose any. Normally we will train in the general direction we race but for the young birds it is good to give them some short tosses in different directions. I think it helps if they make a mistake and over fly your loft or maybe follow some other birds and get lost. You will lose a few without a doubt but if you take it slow and don't push them too hard for a while you will likely cut your losses, plus the real young ones don't need to go far for a while. You might want to keep them close to that distance for a couple of more tosses but release at a different location. Just try to release where there are no overhead wires close by where they might hit them when they first get out. It seems once they have been on a few trips and made it home then the chance of losing them goes down considerably. Also if you are going to be using them for training somewhere away from home it is a good idea to single toss them from maybe your five mile station so they can get the confidence to head home on their own.

Good luck and if for some reason you need any more birds let me know.

Ezzy
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V-John
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Post by V-John » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:08 pm

I was having the conversation last night about pigeon racing with a couple of guys who have never heard of it. One thing that people really don't realize is how in depth it can be. Most of these pigeons have pedigrees like dogs. We can go back and look at the parents, grandparents, etc. Their performance is often times cut and dry. Their is really very little opinion involved, like a field trial. They either come back in a good time, or they don't.

Many of the breeders that we have can be very expensive. Birds can sell for hundreds, thousands, if not more. It really is a big deal to a lot of folks and their value is much more then just a flying rat.

Not to mention the cost, and time involved with properly training out a young bird team.

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