History of Pigeon Races: Pigeon racing is the sport of releasing trained pigeons from a measured distance away from their homes and
waiting for them to come home. The time it takes them to return home is carefully measured and the rate of the speed of each flight will be compared. The bird who was able to return home at the highest speed wins the race.
Pigeon Races – History
Pigeons are the oldest domesticated and trained birds. Before racing pigeons were trained, this type of bird is most commonly called as homing pigeons. The is very apt, as these birds do have the ability to return to their home no matter how far they can stay away from it. This special is what made them very useful in the old mailing process. Homing pigeons became very useful for the military during wars.
Modern pigeon racing started in Belgium during the mid 19th century and it is now being practiced all over the world. What started as a hobby for many, usually turn into passion, and soon this passion will turn into a competitive edge.
Racing pigeon trainers do not necessarily race their pigeons; some just raise and train them for other people to be raced. These trainers are professionals and have turned their hobbies and passions into a very good money making enterprise.
Pigeon Races – How the Competition Works
The sport of Pigeon Races involves specially selected, raised and trained pigeons that will be taken to a location called the release point, from that point; the pigeons are expected to return home over a carefully calculated distance.
Simply put, in this sport, pigeons are taken from their loft, from a certain predetermined location they will be released and they must return to their lofts. The distance and the time it took them to return home are calculated to measure the speed that each bird has performed. The pigeon with the fastest speed wins the race.
Timing Methods in Pigeon Races
There are two acceptable timing methods in pigeon racing for calculating Pigeon Races time; the traditional timing method and the electronic timing method.
Traditional Timing Method:
Traditional timing method involves putting a rubber ring with an individual serial number around the bird’ leg before the start of the competition and then the especially tailored pigeon racing clock is set and sealed. The pigeon will then set off to carry the ring home. Once the pigeon is home, the trainer will remove the ring and will place it on a slot on the clock, the time the ring was paced there is the official time the pigeon arrived home. From there, the average speed will be measured in order to find out who the winner is.
The problem with this timing method is that, the time recorded is not actually the time the pigeon arrived home, but the time the trainer placed the ring on the clock, so there could be some vital seconds missing on the record.
Electronic Timing Method:
Electronic Timing Method is the latest development and is more preferred method of timing for pigeon races. The method is simple and automated, instead of rubber rings, the birds will have bands with tiny RIFD chip which will be read by an electronic clock attached to an antenna positioned at the loft entry. When the pigeon entered the loft the antenna will scan the band and the clock will record the time of arrival. I hope you enjoyed this article about Pigeon Races.
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I have been breeding pigeons since teenage days. In my hometown in Virginia, I have about 60 pigeons in my loft, all performers. Some of them I have given away to friends and people who want to get started with this hobby .To know more about my background just take a look at the "about me" page.
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