How to get start with Racing Pigeons ...

Carlos Fonseca Racing Pigeons Page


When I started as a Pigeon Racer, I faced the same difficulties that all the people find when they start, and therefore, while they are beginners in the modality. I overcrowded my loft with pigeons that I bought, also with the ones they offered me and that I breed, and just waited for the immediate racing season where the basket makes it’s natural selection. The consequence of this action, which took me a lot of time, results in a few and unsatisfactory results. Since I became more and more enthusiastic, I did not have any other choice as to work very hard to get what I ambitious (to have good racing pigeons and to know how to treat them).

You can place me the following question: - if nobody teach us what they know, if nobody sell their best breeders, how to reach all my intentions?

Reading some books, changing some information with other fellow fanciers and, later on, inside my loft, making experiences on crossbreed. From these experiences, one year to another I used to take advantage what it seems good and to eliminate what it seems bad. We can only improve with our own errors and mistakes, and of course at our own expenses!

As the general idea for all those who start is to have many to take advantage of some, I was not the exception to this rule, and led me to this error.

Today I am contrary to the quantity instead of quality. And I advise those who intend to be a Pigeon racer to have a few but well treated good pigeons.

How to arrange good pigeons?
It is very simple! Any fellow fancier in your area will help you to get start with racing pigeons, offering some eggs of its best ones. All you have to do is ask for in a polite term and with sincerity about your love for this sport. I believe that any fancier from North to South will assist you. Another way is purchasing them. If you cannot afford to pay higher prices, there is a good time of the year to obtain good and cheap pigeons; it is at the end of a racing season. The fanciers usually have pigeons to eliminate as did not had a good performance but they are related birds of superstars - brothers, sisters, cousins – and you can collect more of this “champion blood”. This is the best time for who does not have many ways to try its luck. But if it you can open the wallet, opens it, because it still is the more powerful argument that I know.
Then start to register all pigeon’s relatives for later use when cross breeders. I am opposing to consanguinity, so I do not crossbreed pigeons with the same blood.

I often listen that the major problem is making the right selection with breeding couples and that someone, Mr. X or Mr. Z, has extraordinary couples and everything that they take off is good.

No comments!

Are there any amateur who have a extraordinary couple of breeders that always give race winners? If so, then he really is a lucky guy, and his breeders are a treasure and no one can afford to pay it! I have had some couples that I consider very good, but I feel happy if in each 8 or 10 youngsters in one season, I obtain one that I can consider an extra pigeon. And perhaps based on this ratio that most of the amateurs spend their life looking for a thing that they never obtain.

The way I present this subject is based, not in theory, but in the experience of many years. How? Each time that appears one of these "extra" pigeons, I spend countless hours looking for differences regarding the “worst” ones.

I have spent many hours, not to say years, to arrive at a conclusion which today is almost certain to me. Now, I can say the way I choose my pigeons. Since they are born, I would like to see a normal development-growing day by day and always in a good health condition. For this, it’s necessary to have a well balanced food, lots of “grit” (a mixture of crushed oyster shell, limestone, ground bone, granitite, salt, charcoal and other trace minerals) and a vitamin supplement.

All this contributes for a strong skeleton, which is one of the first symptoms for the selection.

When the pigeon starts to fly, there are two more things of capital importance: one - the wing – it must have a good " décalage " (well sharp difference between the primary and the secondary remiges); another one, has that to have the well serrated throat. The fact of being a great or small, high or low pigeon does not have great importance.

Therefore, the true choice that I make, which sometimes is difficult to obtain, is to find a pigeon that has a strong bone structure, a good chest front, a well sharp wing with a pronounced " décalage " and the serrated throat. All the pigeon that has all these predicates, hardly fails in the basket.

With these statements I will be subjected to questions, as for example: " with all this certainty, why you do not only have champion pigeons "? I just answer, as I have mentioned before, that these pigeons do not fall from the sky and they are not born every day!

Of course, to face a racing season, we have to appeal to the calls pigeons of 2nd choice that from times to times defends the positions.

Before entering in the chapter about the different methods of racing pigeons, let me tell you some tips about the way I handle the breeding of the younger pigeons, the treatment to the moult, till the last moment of put the fliers in the basket ...

I always use in the breeding loft pigeons that do not have the same blood and choose them according to the statements already enunciated. I always give preferences to pigeons with the same colour. Usually I like to try couples in the first year. When I intend to breed youngsters early in the season, I would never mate the pigeons before ends of March. However, Hatching ... I must say that I have got good results with the ones born in August and September. To get good youngsters we need to have his parents in a good and healthy condition, mainly giving calcium to the female. So, before the hatching, I usually give to the females a few drops of Peptiodin in the water during 10 to 15 days (10 drops for litre of water). This solution is good for the eggs. When the birds are born we have to watch its growth and about the 6-7 days of age, we have to band it very carefully. There are several Breeders banding their birds later and sometimes they rip off the bird’s toes. They grow so fast.

I always have in the loft two rations – grain compounds:
One - the normal, composed by maize, 4kgs; wheat, 1; broad been, 1; Pea, 0.500; small-pea, 1; Cubes, 1; Rice w/o rind, 0.500; Dári, 0.500; other - composed by hemp, 0.500; colza, 0.400; Dàri, 0.500; White maize, 0.200; bird seeds, 0.200 and Rice w/o rind, 0.200. (This 2nd compound I only serve it as dessert and in a small quantity). I also have a mixture of grit with rind of oyster (in equal parts), which I serve to the pigeons as dainty. I never have grit at full disposal of the pigeons. In the breeding period the Pigeons are greedy eating it, which is harmful in excess. During this period I fed the pigeons 3 times a day. After the meals I give them clean water and remove it after all have drunk.
Water is the essence of life and without it our pigeons would not survive. Our athletes need clean water. The container they drink from should also be clean. Bacteria multiply very quickly in standing water. It would be wise to change the water and clean the container often. Also, the container they drink from should prevent the birds from placing there feet into the water.

On Monday during all the year I give to the pigeons tea as a drink. The way as I make this tea is the following one: in a coffee pot with boiled water I put a well full soupspoon of tea for 1 litre of water, mixed together with a teaspoon of kitchen salt. After well mixed, I cover the coffee pot and leave it during 20 minutes. Then I filter the liquid to another coffee pot and add one litre of water more, to have a soft tea.

On Tuesday I serve water all day. On Wednesday I add to the water a vitamin complex B (Pasteur) in the ratio of 1 soupspoon for 1.5 litre of water. On Thursday I give a little bit of honey (1 soupspoon for 1.5 litre of water). On Friday, Saturday and Sunday I give only clean and simple water.

To the youngsters I give as a supplement: on Tuesday night - 3 drops to each one of rimin (Atral); on Thursday  - vitamins (Colman); and on Saturday 2 drops of Vigantol.

When the youngsters start eating, I put them in the floor a sufficient time during the day, to be familiar with the loft’s environment and to start to fly to the window as soon that they feel free to. This should be done as early as possible in order to avoid losses in the first flight outside. I normally say that all youngsters that fly before having one month of age usually will be a good flyer.

Speaking about the moulting season I came to a subject that I consider essential and in a period where a good percentage of the fliers gains 50 % of the premiums of the following racing season. How??  Treating its pigeons carefully and with method. I never make any treatment for the moult. Nature gave to the pigeon a natural way to changes its feathers once a year. I only have to keep them in a perfect health and with the maximum of hygiene. For this I have to feed them with a good quality seeds, a loft cleaned every day and once per week, water for the bath where I add bath salts Colman. When is a sunny day, I free the pigeons for all morning; when it rains, I keep them in the loft as I find that rain affects a good plumage. At this time I give to the pigeons once a week, vegetables (borecoles, carrots, watercress’s, lettuce, etc.) and when the pigeons are changing the last rémiges, I add a few drops of water Liquor of Fowler into the drinking water for about 15 days. Normally this treatment starts about 20th of November. As it a product with arsenic base we need a special care in the way to manage it. From middle of December and only if it’s a cold weather, I add to the night meal some oil drops of cod liver during 12 days. After this, we are almost at the end of the year and therefore thinking about the next racing season that it will start soon. In the middle of January I give a depurative to the pigeons, formed for water, 1/ 2 litre; iodide of sodium, 5 grams; potassium iodide, 5 grams (during 20 days, in alternated days, 1 soupspoon for one litre of water). This is equivalent to give to this drink 10 days, serving it in alternate days. Whatever method you use I can almost guarantee that with a little extra effort during the moult you will have enhanced performance come competition time.

Good luck

** END **

Web Site drawn and maintained by Carlos Fonseca
Copyright © 2000 Carlos Fonseca Home Page All rights reserved.
No part of this site may be used, displayed, reproduced, published or transmitted in full or in part,
in any form without the prior written permission of
Carlos Fonseca

Please do not hesitate to correct my English spelling or grammar. E-mail me for questions or sugestions!

Retornar á página principal da Columbófilia / Go Back ...

Retorno à minha página principal. / Back to my Frontpage ...