When it comes to pigeon racing,
you will find 101 different methods to get to the finish line. The truth is
there is no ONE perfect way or “system” to develop your loft and race team.
That’s what makes racing pigeons so amazing, it’s an individual journey to the tops of the race sheets.
Those who put in the work and do
their due diligence to fine tune their loft and birds will be the ones who make
up the 5% who consistently win races.
The winning “System” for you is the compilation of racing methods and tactics that allow you to get the best results for the unique combination of you, your schedule, the types of birds you are flying and the distances you race.
Makes sense right?
With that being said, there are some foundational principles that all individual systems should be built upon.
If you keep these principles first place in your loft you will be way ahead of most of the lofts and fanciers out there who race with the “churn and burn” mentality, basically meaning they continually cycle through birds “hoping” to find a winner at some point.
We call these principles… “The 10 Commandments of Pigeon Racing”
So here they are in no particular order because the importance of each one is exactly the same.
1. Always keep good records!
There is no way to consistently better your loft, birds and results when you don’t have records. From the very minute a bird enters your loft it should have a paper trail. Everything that bird does from training, breeding, racing, health, results and everything in between should be recorded.
2. Good health is 75% of the equation!
Just like any athlete, racing pigeons need to be in good health to perform at their peak levels. There is no sense of buying top class birds if you don’t keep them in top condition. A sick and unhealthy “world-class” pigeon is in the same category as a losing pigeon. So, keep health a priority
3. The basket never lies!
This goes hand in hand with number one, you may have your favorites in your loft, you may have birds who you think “look” amazing but in the end results speak louder than words. Training tosses will always show you who your best birds are. Again, this is why it is also important to keep good records.
4. Quality over Quantity!
A few good pigeons are better than many inferior ones plain and simple. Not to mention that they are easier and cheaper to maintain as well. Use the basic and your records to help you spot your best and most consistent birds and use them as the nucleus for your loft.
5. Start with a good foundation
Start with 2 to 4 pairs of good quality breeders and build a nucleus from them. Again, the basket, records and results are always the best way to choose birds. Never trust anyone’s word alone, use real data to make educated decisions.
6. Successful flying requires a 365 day per year commitment.
This is self-explanatory but just because the race season is over doesn’t mean your commitment to your birds should be. In fact, that should be the time to really audit and reformulate your loft and birds (according to your previous year’s records) and put together a plan of attack and plant the seeds for the next season.
7. Be Strategic!
Strategy will always beat out luck in the long run so if you plan on counting on luck or “chance” to win races then you’re probably better off saving your money and getting a new hobby. Treat pigeon racing like a real sport, your birds like real athletes and you like a real coach. Don’t know where to start? First and foremost, your strategy should always start with these 10 commandments, use your records to fine tune your loft and use only your best and “proven” birds to race with and build from there. (And if your still confused on where to start you can use this proven system to help you begin your journey)
8. Build the “love of the loft” into your birds!
Spend quality time with your birds, and you will improve your record. Give your birds kind, gentle and regular attention so they will trust you. This should make them contented and unafraid. This loving care they receive will encourage their instinctive love of home, and it will speed them up or motivate them to their best performances on race day.
9. The loft matters!
Too many fanciers underestimate the value that the loft has on their results. The loft is the starting point of everything and is the nucleus of all of your efforts. Keep it clean, dry, organized and comfortable for your racing pigeons and manage it like a true champion.
10. Develop your own unique equation!
You need to be self-aware of the unique situation that make up your loft and devise a specific plan of attack for it. Again, it’s an individual journey to the tops of the race sheets so understanding the specific and unique needs of you, your schedule, your birds, the races you will be entering, the system you will be using and everything in-between is very important to achieving success in this sport.
There you have it,
When you strip away all the fancy names, strains, racing systems, tips, tricks, strategies and “secrets” these are the principles that you will find at the very foundation of every champion fanciers process no matter which system they are using.
Do yourself (and your wallet) a favour and if these aren’t part of the base principles in your loft now then I highly recommend you make it a priority to implement these commandments into everything you do going forward.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found some value in it.