What’s Killing Pigeon Racing?
Pigeon racing in my opinion is one of the greatest sports on the planet. It combines humans with nature as well as science, construction, skill, comradery, socialization among other things. It really is one of those things that allow humans to harmonize with nature and the outdoors, which unfortunately has been lost in the age of technology.
However each year pigeon racing and the fanciers who love it have to fight with time, society and technology to stay afloat. Young people aren’t interested because there’s not enough killing, local town’s and cities keep placing zoning laws which make keeping pigeons illegal and PETA throws stones at a community who actually love their animals.
The Pigeon Insider was created to help preserve, promote and develop the sport of pigeon racing and to help people outside of our community realize just how amazing this sport is.
One of the most popular posts on the Pigeon Insider is a discussion post where I asked what you thought the current state of pigeon racing was?, do you think it is a growing or dying sport.
That post so far has received over 500 comments!! and I thank each and everyone one of you who commented and voted, your participation is what makes the Pigeon Insider so powerful.
That post also had a poll on it and so far 80% of you think the sport is dying and only 20% think it’s growing, which is a super bummer to hear but I must say that I do agree with the majority. Especially in the United States pigeon racing is getting harder and harder to find traction.
Why is such an amazing sport, which has fantastic values struggling to gain popularity in today’s world?
I read through all 500 comments and picked out the top 8 reason’s why fanciers think the sport is on the decline and I want your help to figure out which one’s we should be working on fixing first.
Below you will see the top 8 reasons and I need you to vote on which ones you think are the most detrimental to the decline of our sport.
You may pick 3 of your top choices so please vote now by using the poll below and then let’s focus on fixing these problems and turning pigeon racing into a force to be reckoned with! and please feel free to post your comments and thoughts in the comments section below this post, i’d really love to hear what’s on your mind.
31 thoughts on “What’s Killing Pigeon Racing?”
I love the sport.
When i with my pigeons it calms me iam in a nother world.
Why members are greedy and fighting i dont understand it becouse if pigoen come home they good pigeons. I like to wait for the birds to come home.
Relax and enjoy your bird it is a gived from GOD
In todays ever changing world, you have to be a little Old School and really love your pigeons for what they are, and how they make you feel to be willing to stay in the sport for any lenght of time. If you’re only in it to win it, or to profit from, then this sport is not for you.
One issue I see is that most flyers keep hundreds of birds. Out of those hundreds many will be lost and many who perform badly will be killed without ever getting a chance to prove themselves. I wish that it were encouraged for flyers to keep less birds for racing and concentrate on training, nutrition and better pigeon keeping. Right now I see many greedy flyers entering as many birds as they can so that they can win. I keep being told it’s about the birds but that’s not what I s3e. I see greed and that racing is solely about winning.
I get mocked for keeping a small team but I work hard to keep them healthy naturally, I spend quality time on their training to avoid losses and I have not killed a single bird just because it’s performance did not win me money or a prize. And last year I only lost one bird during the racing season. We all moarn her loss. Point is I listen to how some of the other flyers loose birds left right and center and it’s like they do not care at all. How very sad for the birds. I don’t think I’ll be racing for much longer as it’s too sad to know all this.
I agree with you there, I have had negative comments from keepers of large lofts as I keep a small team of birds, never kill a bird and keep them healthy the natural way. I know every bird individually, spend lots of time with them and yes, I love them and they know it. It is rare for me to lose one and I count it as my failure if I do. Greed is ruining the sport of pigeon racing, it puts off beginners with a few birds and creates a negative image of pigeon racing in general as it seems to be all about the money and not the love of the birds. Look at the old films, look at the care and dedication to both the birds and the sport, look at how small a lot of the lofts and teams were and how vibrant and welcoming the pigeon racing community was. That is what we need to get back too and maybe there will be a future for pigeon racing.
My personal feelings are “big money” in Norhtwest Indiana have caused the loss of 2 clubs and a membership drop of 16 flyers over the past 5 years! The cost is impossible for a youngster to even try to afford! I’ve had pigeons since I was 6 years old and am now 63. I compete for 3 years take a break then go back for 3. I give our area 2 maybe 3 and there’ll be no more flyers! I’ve flow the same pigeons since 1986 and have not purchased a cross to add it’ll be sad to sell the birds to dog trainers or killers. There is no solution to grow the sport in my eyes. Sincerely Steve
as a teacher, I have tried to build an interest in pigeons in my students. I will take birds to my school, have students learn about their uncanny ability to fly back home from great distances. Students will hold the birds, they each are allowed to release a bird,,,, they will start to name their individual bird. The next day they are amazed to find that I have actually brought the bird back again for them to release once again. The second day many start to loose interest, their smart phones with their games take much more interest. By the third time they see “their” bird, over half of the students are no longer interested. by the end of the project am luck if 1 students still wants the opportunity to see the birds,,,,, very sad. Smart phones, tablets, and iPads are what the students are more interested in.
yeah racing pigeons are dying because everybody wants money pigeon insider I’m sorry that you join it in first thing they want money to learn how to race pigeons kids can afford that today pigeon flying used tobe a hobby now it’s not a hobby it’s big money the beginners program for the AU1977I signed up for the program 2014 I still have nothing to show for it I think its a jokeif I had real good pigeons if a junior member come in and giving the best I had I wanted to fly we need to help junior members in clubs not thinking about it 500 1000 up to $10,000 for a pigeon take that money and help junior members
Hi Len, Thanks for commenting and I do agree with what your saying. I do agree that the big organizations don’t use the money effectively to grow the sport or connect its members. And yes the Pigeon Insider does have some monetization outlets in the form of ebooks and membership but we do that to re-invest the proceeds into both the Pigeon Insider and the sport. So far we have brought in thousands of new fanciers and helped educate them properly with the help of our very popular beginner’s handbook, plus I am working on some great new things for the sport and all who are members of the Pigeon Insider. Really in today’s world there is no way to grow without some sort of revenue but it’s what you do with that revenue that makes the difference and that is what I am focused on here with the Pigeon Insider.
Thanks for your efforts. So much to help our birds to face falcons outdoors and the lackness of good will and understanding indoors.
A good flight, dear friend!
Predator lovers fail to recognize that when a pigeon flyer spends the whole spring breeding and raising his young birds and starts to let them out for the first few flights, that a hawk strike can frighten and scatter them so badly that sometimes only a handful out of the whole flock will return and the whole year is lost. That happens to many of us, young or old, and there`s nothing to be done about it. I think this is probably one of the most disheartening experiences one can imagine, as it is for me. Going on 80 yrs. of age, and flying since I was 12 yrs. old, I can see why this sport is drying up…Too many tree huggers and few with any common sense.
Hawks should then remain in the woods and hunt their noral prey. Because of the protection laws, hawks have proliferated and have badly damaged the popul;ations of song birds and en route, our homers. It is very discouraging not to be able to train young birds because you know that as soon as you let some of them out their are hwks waitin in the nearby trees. It is discouraging to see hawks perched on the pigeon lofts 24-7. I believe that fanciers should be alloed to trap hawks on their property when in the city limits….
I only voted that poor management was the main reason why our sport is dying. Its not often that we have someone come to us that would like to try his hand at pigeon racing, so if we want this sport to survive we must do all we can to teach them how to win. my philosophy is, ITS ALL ABOUT THE BIRDS. A boxers trainer doesn’t get in the ring and a coach doesn’t compete. We as pigeon flyers must wake up to the fact that if we don’t teach Pigeon management to our club members we will soon be paying higher and higher cost for racing, training, feeding, ect. in my area clubs have gone under because they didn’t have enough members to ship a race. ( combine rules, three flyers to ship )
The other reasons you ask about why our sport is dying is secondary, any sport one gets into cost money if done right. I agree with what Robin said about the hawks, their not going any where. to get around that take your birds down the road. As far as getting young people intrested in our sport for the future i would focus on 4H Groups where the parents are involved, they will be the ones
financially suporting them. us old guys ( i’ll be 70 in november ) do come back to the hobby we loved when we were kids
The people the sport should be looking at now, especially in the U.S is baby boomers, retirees. they have the time and the money it takes to get involved with racing. Their are a lot of things we can do to get and keep the cost down for those who don’t have or want to spend large amounts of money breeding and racing. their are also things we can do to make the racing more fair. for the sake of talk i’ll list a few.
1. All clubs/combines ect. should have double races. open race, ship al the birds you agree on. pay up front for all the races to cover the shipping cost. the second race would be a 5 bird dery race for the people that only want to have a small team. pay for each bird.
2.have club training, if three members were willing to train and all members were willing to train in this way the cost of training would come way down. the trainer would get his expenses paid and they would only be training one day a week. ( remember its all about the birds and the club members )
3.The big one is CHANGE THE RACE COURSE YEARLY. We all know its about location, if one is on the line of flight and can take advantage of the drag he has a chance to be high on the race sheet and will win now and then.
4. Not every one has the money to pay for high price birds, so why not donate the birds you don’t need to your club and have a auction to help the club make some money and give others a chance to race some good birds. most people in the world that have means give and help people they don’t even know, so why can’t we do this for our friends.
It’s all about the birds,
Yours in the sport, JW
one of the biggest problems in our sport today in my opinion is not a sport it’s the one loft races. a lot of the one time pigeon flyers are now interested in the money end of racing pigeons not the competition of other clubs, combines, etc.
Everything about the sport gets more and more expensive and to many high rollers with big teams
only interested in what money they can make,Its very rare these days to see ordinary clubs with more than a dozen members,I find it sad,because I remember the old times of club racing.