The most difficult fact to accept is that there is no single secret to success.

No matter how much you study Eye Sign, Wing Theory, Body Type, Genetics, etc

any one of these factors in isolation will not guarantee you success – if it did the sport of Pigeon Racing would be simple – one would simply buy or breed pigeons with one of the attributes that guarantee success and our sport would lose its major attraction the complex mystery of how do you  buy, breed and train pigeons to win.

I have written a few pointers below that are my opinion that are major contributors to success sand look forward to the readers reaction.

There is ample evidence to suggest that you do not need a large number of pigeons to succeed ( although you can experiment more with a larger team) A fancier is better with a small number of good pigeons than a larger number of average or indifferent pigeons. This obviously immediately presents the question what is a good pigeon, a good pigeon is one that wins irrespective of its heritage, type, colour etc, the basket or race has no favourites or respect for price, pedigree or fancier.

A good fit pigeon will beat a unfit excellent pigeon, that is why champions train hard and ensure they are fit and not suffering any illness before they compete in any event. In addition to the training Champions also need recovery time and a good sleep  to perform well

Although you do not need a fancy loft, it must be dry, provide adequate light and ventilation. It must not be overcrowded and be free from disease and pest so the pigeons can claim their own space, relax and have a good nights sleep. They later  will mate and raise young and become very attached to a secure home. 

A sound training program ensures the participant is at their peak for an event this generally means gradually developing the strength and speed, then easing the training shortly before the event so the participant is bursting with energy and has no muscle soreness for the actual event. At the same time as training one should be manipulating the diet so that proteins are supplied to develop the core strength and carbohydrates given to supply the energy for the event and the participant is at the ideal weight for the event. .  

If you think about it I have provided a few tips above namely obtain good pigeons from winning stock, avoid buying pigeons bred to keep some heritage line that has not actually won for generations. One does not need a large team you need a quality team and to win, your pigeons must be in robust health and fit for the race before them. A fancier must master the basics of  pigeon nutrient and have a training regime that brings the pigeons to optimum fitness.

A good Fancier realises that pigeon keeping is a 365 days a year commitment, they obviously need quality food, clean water and cleaning out everyday (to maintain high hygiene levels) in addition you need some quality time with your pigeons, simply observing them and getting them acquainted and unafraid of you so they have confidence in you and a love for their loft and home.  It is an important to keep an eye on their health, sick pigeons do not win races. It is better to have a preventative Medicine Regime planned so it has the minimum impact during breeding and racing

If we are observing the hints above we have good pigeons, well fed and fit. To get that little bit extra we need to motivate them, spending time observing your pigeons will provide with that little bit of insight into each individual pigeon so you will know when they are at their best and what will motivate them best to fly home quickly.

The other overlooked attribute of a good fancier is a excellent memory or good record keeping, I go for the latter I take a note book with me every time I visit the loft and write down observations and ideas mostly about the pigeons, but it could be about the loft, training, diet, etc.   I also suggest that one has a Plan or Objective written down that you  refer to ensure that the actions you take are all positive steps on the road to meeting your planned objectives. As mentioned earlier you need to keep good or excellent pigeons and we measure them by training or racing performance.(stock pigeons the ability to breed winning racers). The keeping of records enables you to objectively assess each pigeon at the end of the season. To compare performances is not easy or always objective I therefore give pigeon performance points on a sliding scale

Training: top 1/3rd 3 points, second 1/3rd 2 points, bottom 1/3rd 0 points

Racing 200 + birds entered – 1st 4 points 2nd 3 points, 3rd 2 points, 4th 1 point

Racing 400+ birds entered – 1st  5 points, 2nd 4 points, 3rd 3points, 4th 2 points, 5th 1 point.

Racing 600 +  1st 6 points, 2nd 5 points etc ……….6th 1 point

Racing 800 + 1st 8 points, 2nd 7 points etc ………..8th 1 point

Racing 1000 + 1st 10 points, 2nd 9 points etc ……..10th 1 point

A good fancier can only afford to keep the best and strive for better so obviously the bottom 1/3rd of pigeons on the points table are of no value to an ambitious fancier. By the same token stock pigeons who do not breed pigeons that appear in the top 1/3rd of the Points table should not be in the stock loft.

So in the latter half of this article I have provided  few more tips, Spend Time with your birds get to know them and give them a love of their loft and confidence in you.

Keep records about your pigeons, habits training and racing performances, any illnesses and treatments, matings and offspring performances. Besides records of the pigeons you need records of what you have done look for small positive actions you can take to help you achieve your goals,

So just listing the tips

1 Only have good pigeons

2 The pigeons must be measured by performance

3 Provide a Home Loft which is dry and healthy with plenty of space

4 Provide your Birds with Quality Food and Clean water

5 Master the skill of feeding your pigeons to get them at the optimum weight and full of energy for each race day

6 Have a training system that builds a pigeons strength and speed and  then allows them to peak free of stress and full of energy on race day

7 Have a Preventative Medicine Regime that has the minimum impact on you racing program

8 Spend Quality Time with Your Pigeons get to know them, observe what motivates them to get that extra  winning 1%  

9 Keep records about your pigeons habits and performances, ideas for improving, mistakes you have made, plans for the future, ways to improve etc

10 Be selective using Performance as the Yardstick

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