Have you ever wondered what really takes place at pigeons races? Actually, it is run by pigeon fanciers who know what should and should not take place when the pigeons are let go, which is referred to as when the pigeons are dropped.
Prior to a pigeons races, the pigeons are not fed so that they will be hungry to return home. Careful records are kept of course, delineating such information such as the date, the owner of the bird(s) in the race, the band number around the bird’s leg, the exact time it was dropped, the location, the distance that the pigeon is expected to fly, and of course exact descriptions are made as to the weather conditions at the time of the drop and if any strange weather may be possibly expected.
During The Pigeons Races
Great care is taken to not “drop” (release) pigeons when bad weather is expected, however the reason is not as plain as most non-pigeon fanciers might expect. Changing weather apparently figures highly in a pigeon’s homing ability so that a wet bird can become disoriented and even grounded. Of course often a pigeon will face modern obstacles such as TV antennas, or other obstacles that may not be seen fast enough and they encounter these obstacles during flight. The worst obstacle during flight is of course a predator, such as a hawk or a falcon, either of which can nab a flying pigeon very quickly and spell its ultimate demise. Proof of such an encounter is often found when the pigeon homes but with a loss of feathers and perhaps piercings from the claws of a predator.
Pigeons Races Training Method
Because pigeons mate for life and apparently this creates an attachment to its mate, this instinct is utilized in training some pigeons. What’s done is that the pigeon, after raising young with its mate, is then deprived of seeing its mate unless it returns home. In other words that is the reward given for a quick return home, and then the mate is removed again to be reintroduced only after returning home once more from a race. This process is called training by widowing.
The End Of The Pigeons Races
Timing used to be done simply by having human lookers stationed at the pigeon’s home called its loft, but today there are even fancy timers that do this called Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that are being used. The reason for these RFID tags is that often the race can be lost or won by mere portions of a second, and since sometimes the purses are for over a million dollars, timing is everything obviously. In the days prior to the RFID being used, pigeons had various identification being placed on them that needed to be removed as quickly as possible so that it could be entered in a special pigeon race clock and the clock would read when this identifier was placed within it. As mentioned since often seconds count, this meant that the owner had to catch the pigeon as it returned into its loft after the pigeons races, remove the band or other identification and thrust it into the clock.
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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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