Efficient Training and Racing Pigeons
Training is one of the aspects of pigeons that most likely will not ever be exactly the same every year. Though we may have a constant philosophy or method of training, there are far too many factors that make it impossible to train exactly the same. Things that affect our training schedule are young bird seasons that start earlier and earlier, bad weather for several weeks or conveniently enough, just on the days we have time to train. Bad tosses, hawk attacks and sometimes family can affect our ability to train. When this happens, and our time is reduced, then it’s time to shift to efficient training. What is efficient training? Efficient training is making the most out of the time that you do have to train. It’s a matter of economics and it’s a matter of convenience. Previous sections have dealt with the Confident Method, which I believe is the best. But, if push comes to shove and too many factors come into play to interfere with training, then we have to shift in efficiency mode. Here are some changes and suggestions to each stage of training.
When getting the youngsters out, try to switch to twice a day feeding if possible. That way on days that you are off from work, you can let them out for 30 minutes to an hour and be able to call them in and then get them out again in the afternoon or early evening. Having a second feeding allows you to be able to call them in twice in a day. It also doubles your trap training. There will always be birds that sit out and the usual difficulties. For the smart birds they will get into the program quickly.
Once your birds are able to fly around, start making effective use of your time by flag flying when they are loft flying. Keep forcing the amount of time they are in the air by increments until they are flying the desired amount of time. This is IMPORTANT. As previously mentioned on days you can get them out more than once, the better.
Once the team is starting to route for 30 minutes to 1 hour, you can finally start road training. The premise here though is that you do not have the time for the slow methodical approach. The first time out take the birds 30-40 miles out on the line of flight. Release the birds in three groups at least 20 minutes apart. If the birds have been loft flyng well and you have removed birds that refuse to loft fly, they will come home fine. They may take some time, but the first time out, they will be homing. If there are dummies in the group, they will start to disappear rapidly. Follow this up with another 30-40 mile toss two days later and an additional one two more days following. Once they have mastered the 30-40 miles site, you can increase the distance to 50 miles, then 75 miles and finally 100 miles. If you can only get them out once a week, do it. If you can get them out for a short 30-40 mile toss once midweek and then the 50,75 or 100 mile toss on the weekend, even better. The idea here is you are getting them out, on the line of flight, at the necessary distance and getting them fit so that you will be ready when racing starts. Some of the other methods such as breaking them down into really small groups, or single tossing most likely will not be feasible if you are in a rush. If something changes and you can incorporate them all the better.
Remember there is always the ideal way of doing things, the desired way of doing things, the practical way of doing things and finally the available way of doing things. Find what is going to work with the schedule that you have. Training is necessary. Skimp on training, or decide that you aren’t trained enough and skip a season and it will have detrimental affects. I have skipped seasons because I was too busy with work, family, etc. and then with the pressure of the race schedule removed, it is hard to stay focused and get those young birds down the road. If they do not race, they still have to train the same, otherwise, a few good ones will remain in the yearling season but most will be also rans or lost. Put the economics into play that you fed, medicated and spent money on them for really no reason and it just doesn’t make sense. Train, Train, Train!!
Efficient Training and Racing Pigeons by Domanski Family Lofts