You might also want to Google Australian pigeon races — they fly some really long distance races there as well. June 10, 6 Comments. John Clements started racing pigeons as a schoolboy in He went on to break new ground when, in cooperation with Jos Thone of Belgium, he compiled a series of books listing the results and the methods used by winning Continental and British fanciers. John has successfully flown pigeons in most major UK long-distance races and for the last three years has competed in the Entente Belge Intgernational Dax.
He is a serious and dedicated commentator on the sport and writes a regular weekly column in British Homing World.
Secrets of Long Distance Pigeon Racing
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Image via Wikipedia. It encourages the reader to view the humble pigeon in a different light, gaining a deeper appreciation of the enormous joy and satisfaction that can be gained from long-distance pigeon racing.
In addition to the interviews with both British and Continental lofts, features covered include acquisition of stock, health and immunity, loft management, and pairing and exercising of the birds. Do you want to play ExtremeCabal with me? Search for:. Everyone stood an equal chance once again, with success depending upon the quality of the pigeon and the knowledge, experience and management of the fancier.
There are no secrets in pigeon racing.
Secrets of Long Distance Pigeon Racing - AbeBooks
The management and knowledge of the fancier and his experience alone will assist him. Fanciers who believe that they can make pigeons fly faster by giving them all sorts of secret medicines and drugs will inevitably be disappointed by their results. There are two aspects of a pigeon's condition that influence the end result obtained. In the second place, its performance will be influenced by its mental condition. This will be the motive urging it to do that extra bit which will bring it just that fraction ahead of the other pigeon, or make it try that bit harder, in overnight races, to reach home in the twilight when other pigeons have decided to call it a day and have perched for the night.
Secrets of Long-Distance Pigeon Racing
For this reason we shall first discuss the factors which influence the physical condition. Thereafter we can discuss the different racing systems which have a greater influence on the pigeon's mental condition, whilst also influencing his physical condition to a certain extent. The physical condition of a pigeon is influenced by feeding and exercise in the first instance and is further qualified by hormones working in its body tissues.
Pigeons which have reared a round of youngsters will start moulting and will cast their first flight when having sat about 10 days on their second round of eggs.
Pigeons which have not been allowed to rear youngsters will cast their first flights much later, when nature instructs the glands to release the hormones that activate the moult. Experienced fanciers anxiously watch for signs of the fall of down feathers from their racers. This is not so much because the fall of the down feathers, in itself, is so important, but because it is a sign that the glands have released some hormones which will bring about the moult.
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It is an established fact that pigeons will only reach top form after they have cast their first flights. In other words, after the glands have been stimulated to release the hormones, which by their working, help to bring the pigeon into top condition. I have given this explanation to help you to understand how the racing system employed also influences the physical condition of the pigeon. Pigeons will reach top physical condition by feeding and exercise but will then still not race as well as expected.
Yet, all of a sudden, a change will come over them and they will race exceptionally well for a few weeks. This is when the loft strikes form, a condition of super health and physical condition that comes and departs of its own accord. It usually occurs when the temperature of the loft rises and the happy balance of work and food is reached. The feeding of a racing team is very different from the feeding of stock pigeons, or pigeons during the off season.
With the racing team one should endeavour to balance the amount of food given against the amount of work done. What I mean here is that you cannot expect your pigeons to work for two hours a day, give them two or three training tosses per week, race them every week and expect them to do all this on one ounce of food per pigeon per day. When you work them hard, you must feed them accordingly.
This is certainly the most difficult part of pigeon racing and is one aspect of the game which everyone struggles to master. The person who, by chance, strikes the happy medium between food and exercise usually cannot understand why others have problems. The person who feeds heavily usually tosses his birds quite a lot, to work the extra energy off, otherwise the birds would become heavy and fat.
But even this does not help him to bring them into the right condition at the right time and therefore he also guesses when basketing day comes along. He sometimes succeeds, but in most cases the pigeons are either that little bit too heavy or just that little bit under weight. The fancier is not capable of working out exactly how much he must feed his birds or how much work they must get. He therefore works on a system of feeding and working, and hopes that he will strike the happy medium by chance.
Start Breeding Seriously Quality Birds
I have found that one should become acquainted with your pigeons individually and through daily inspections of their physical condition, learn to teil whether you should increase their food or give them more work, to get them into the desired condition on basketing day. For this purpose, I prefer to use the system of breaking them down by racing and feeding over the weekend and then gradually building them up towards basketing day again.
If you handle your pigeons regularly, especially at night time, you will learn to feel what the condition of their muscles is. For this purpose, one takes the pigeon in one hand in the normal way and places the other hand in front with the thumb over the back and the four fingers next to the breast bone. By pressing these fingers slightly into the muscles you will feel a certain resistance and with practice will soon be able to teil whether the muscles are swollen with energy or flat and deflated.
The best procedure is to handie the pigeon on basketing day and again after the race, when you should be able to feel the difference.