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Archive for the ‘Pigeons’ Category

Widowhood Pigeon Racing Tips, Tricks and Strategies

If you are putting your racing pigeons on the widowhood system and the males look as if they are losing interest, and the hens act as if they want to start mating with one another, then you need to switch the sexes. Let the cocks sit on perches and let the females have the nest boxes. You will need to lock the hens in their box and most likely feed them in the nestbox, but this can certainly energize a widowhood team and create excellent results. Once in a while I may even lock a strange male into the nest box with a particular cock’s mate and then just let him see the stranger in his box with his female prior to shipping. I usually make sure the race is under three hundred miles in length and not longer then 6 or so hours for the pigeon to complete for this motivational technique because sometimes this technique can backfire. Some male birds get so crazy by any additional motivation that they wear themselves out in the race basket the night before and don’t have anything left when it’s time to fly home.

On the widowhood system, remove the bowls completely from the nest box and always show the bowl to the male before the cock is allowed to see the female at the beginning of the season. Then as the longer races come up, put the bowl in the nest box with the male and let him get in it and start to call, then ship him. Once all the cocks are removed, allow the females into the nestboxes with the nest bowls and let them have their way. You may even put a few old unmated cocks into the loft to entice the females prior to shipping them. Remember this advice: “Ship the cocks cool and the hens hot.” This holds true for most races.

When racing the widowhood system, on an especially a particularly bad race, if one of the birds comes home very late, lock that pigeon in its nestbox (but not with its mate) for at least a couple of hours, overnight would be even better. The pigeon is tired and worn out, and having to deal with an excited mate will not do either of them any good. After a few hours of rest, put the pair together for just a few minutes, and then separate them again. This will tell your returned racer that, “Yes, your reward is here and waiting, when you are ready.” That birds sole motivation to race home may have been to see its mate. And after that performance, the reward is granted. But what that pigeon needs most is rest. It’s a wise fancier who knows that this rest must be given.

These are just some of the fundamentals of racing pigeons on the widowhood system.

Racing Pigeons Vitamin B, Amino Acids and Carnitine

During this time of year in the sport of pigeon racing, I focus on my old birds, in particular their health and motivation for racing.

Coccidiosis and canker germs are significant health threats that our birds are very likely to pick up from race baskets or from drinking contaminated water out on the race course. Thoughtful fanciers take care of this exposure before it can turn into a problem. A good idea would be to give each pigeon a canker treatment approximately 3 to 4 hours after returning from the race, and then follow up the next day.

It is important for race pigeons to have vitamin B, amino acids and carnitine time-released into their systems so that their muscles can feed on these supplements during the race. This is one of the best ways to prevent stress in race birds. My best suggestion is to give them Carmine liquid (Versele-Laga) (carnitine) for at least five to seven days prior to shipping a long race. On basketing night, give one Carni-Tab tablet (Colombine) and a Supra Pill (Colombine) to each pigeon.

I suggest using Turbosole to control canker in your loft and advise you not to overlook your old bird race team regarding the threat of canker. This is a very important step for serious fanciers to take. Turbosole is a great product, and I consider it the best choice for canker in pigeons. I trust that it can be safely used during racing, breeding, or molting.

To check for slight respiratory infections in my pigeons, I use an eye loupe How do I do this? I check the rim of the eye and look for bubbles of air in an overly moist eye. If the eye appears to be watery and has numerous air bubbles in the liquid around the rim of the eye, then that bird probably needs to be treated with a good respiratory product for at least seven days. Doxyvet and Doxy-T, from the Australian Pigeon Company, are very effective treatments. Always remember to remove the grit and mineral supplements whenever you are treating the birds with respiratory antibiotics.

I am glad to share with you a product that I get great results from for my breeding pairs and babies: Calcium/Vitamin D3 Syrup from the Australian Pigeon Company. It works extremely well when administered along with Pigeon Power. It’s a great boost to the overall strength of both the parents and the young. I mix this calcium supplement and Pigeon Power into water at the same time according to directions and give it to my breeders and to the babies they are raising. This is a great thing to do for your birds!

If you like this article and would like to learn more about pigeon racing, please visit us at the Pigeon Racing Pigeons blog and join our racing pigeon community.

Old Bird Pigeon Racing Natural System Tricks

Here are some old bird pigeon racing strategies that I know your going to find interesting.


If you have your racing pigeons on the natural system, and a hen and cock show clues of pairing up, separate the 2 for a couple of days and then put them back together for about 30 to forty minutes just before basketing. The females cycle will be disrupted because of the separation, and this will delay the laying process. The separation will also increase their desire for each other. Letting them see one another for just a couple of minutes before crating will build the bond and also build their desire for home.

Here is another racing pigeon natural system trick. When a pair has laid and has been sitting for several days, try adding an egg to the nest every other day until they are sitting on five or 6 eggs. Then take the male pigeon and place him in a box or spare cage so that he cannot see his loft, his mate, or his nest. This should be done the night before basketing. Let me explain, if you crate your pigeons on Friday night, take the male away on Thursday night. The female will not realize that the cock is isn’t there until it is his time to sit on the nest the next day. She will be very hesitant to leave the nest, or even to eat, because of the added eggs and the fact that her mate is not available to take his turn, so she will become even more attached to the nest than normal. You may have to actually take her from the nest and feed her in a separate nest box so she can eat and drink.

When I take the hen away, if time permits, I like to let the cock into the loft. He will see that his nest is uncared for and will quickly take his turn on the eggs. I let him settle on the nest for a few minutes and then take him away PRIOR TO allowing his hen back into the loft. Both pigeons will race extra hard to come home to protect those eggs when a question has been put into their minds regarding their responsibility for the nest!

Another trick when racing pigeons on the natural system, when a pair starts to nest, take away one of the mates. This can be either the cock or the hen, but I like to take out the female. Let the cock take another mate, and then take away that mate. When shipping day arrives, let both females in with the male for twenty to 30 minutes, but do not allow the hens to begin a heavy battle because they could lose form. Ship them all to the race. This trick can be used all season long to motivate either or all of the birds at different times.

Racing Pigeons in America

Rearing pigeons is a great hobby, When pigeons get the care they must have and deserve, they are a fun past time. It is a recreation that grants hours of inexpensive fun and pleasure. They can be as neat and enjoyable as any dog, cat, or fish.


Racing pigeons is one form of enjoyment. There are racing pigeon clubs in many parts of the World. It is the National Sport of Belgium. Many times each week, clubs in Belgium send hundreds of thousands of pigeons to race for prizes that can be over fifty thousand dollars. The Queen of England even has a loft of pigeons. She was presented them as a sign of friendship from the King of Belgium. Racing pigeons in America is also becoming a big sport. One race in the United States recently gave out nearly eight hundred thousand dollars in prize money to the top birds.

People that maintain pigeons have a very big responsibility. They are representatives for the Sport. It takes time and work to make sure that the loft is clean and well kept. Notice that we said clean and maintained.  A well maintained pigeon loft does not have to cost much. It can be very cheap, but it does have to be maintained and clean, no matter what the expense. The pigeons must also be well trained. They need to have good manners. If they are let out to fly all over the neighborhood and land wherever they want, then they are not well trained. When this happens, neighbors get angry. They also get mad when they have to look at a raunchy and sloppy loft. When this happens, we are showing our neighbors that pigeons are filthy animals.We are not being very good representatives  to the Sport.

If you would like to embark on the Sport of Pigeon Racing, but you do not know where to find some, one of the best ways is to call a local feed dealer that sells pigeon feeds. They are often very helpful in helping you find a local  pigeon fancier. If you already know someone who has racing homers, then you already have a head start.

January 2018
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