Pigeon Buying Guide Part 1

Guide to Buying Racing Pigeons – Part 1 of 6

Pigeon Buying Guide Part 1Buying in Volume

In this six-part guide to buying racing pigeons we will cover four approaches to replacing or increasing and improving your racing stock.  The first approach we will discuss is buying in volume. Buying in volume is the least expensive way to buy racing pigeons. Some fanciers buy a large number of late-hatch babies, while others prefer to purchase the pigeon eggs from a breeder.

Selecting the Right Breeder

Before you purchase any eggs or hatchlings, you need to evaluate the breeder. Study the breeder’s loft from some time before you make the decision to buy. Some criteria you need to evaluate:

  • Breeder’s overall reputation
  • Outcome other fanciers have had with this breeder’s birds
  • Examine race and futurity records of the breeder’s birds for:
  1. Success of the loft within its own competition
  2. Racing success of the breeder’s birds sold to other fanciers

Continue to gather information. Talk with the breeder/fancier.  Inquire as to his most successful pairs of breeders thus far. This is important to know. In lofts the size of 40 to 50 breeding pairs, the breeder should have at least eight or ten outstanding pairs that produce a higher percentage of offspring than the others.

When you have identified the top pairs in the loft, and you are satisfied with this particular breeder, make arrangements to purchase their young. Many fanciers will allow you to come and choose the young while still in the nest, so be certain to copy their band numbers for future verification.

Dealing with New Breeders

You may not want to limit yourself to established breeders when buying racing pigeons. If you find an excellent young pair of breeders, particularly a pair that has produced two or three great racers, you may want to purchase the babies. Quite often they produce a higher quality bird.

European Breeders

You may have the opportunity to travel to Europe to purchase racing pigeons. Prior to your travel, thoroughly research the breeders you are considering. The top lofts in Europe will most likely not sell you their best breeders or best racers, but they should be willing to sell their young.  Be sure to buy from pairs with the high percentage of success to improve the odds that you will get good birds.

Middle-Distance Racing Pigeons

Personally, I like to purchase middle-distance racers. These birds have the ability to fly 300 to 400-mile races as young birds. I find these races to be the most lucrative. So, it certainly benefits me to find birds that can do that. This is something you may want to consider.

Disadvantages of Buying Young Birds

Of course, the obvious disadvantage with buying young racing pigeons is the unpredictability. There is no guarantee in how they may turn out. On average, fewer than 20% of all racing pigeons turn out to be suitable racers. So, keep in mind, out of ten birds you purchase, only two may be ‘keepers’. But, if you are dealing with reputable fanciers, you can buy about ten young birds for the price that one proven racer will cost you. That’s where the value lies.

Potential Advantage of Buying Young Birds

Though, overall, you have to buy many more ‘unproven’ birds to get suitable racers, you may strike gold with finding real gem among your purchased birds.  If this ‘gem’ was in the hands of the original owner, you wouldn’t be able to buy it of any sum of money.

Buying pigeons? read this before you do.


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58 thoughts on “Pigeon Buying Guide Part 1

  1. regarding their feed once the birds are finished the moult i change there feed from a breeding mixture to a racing mixture 31 parts pop corn 38 parts barley 16 parts wheat 15 parts dunn maple peas also with wet weather my pigeons are given lemon juice from the super market every day dosage 4 tsp per drinker and crushed garlic 1 tsp per drinker and i also put iodised sea salt as well to also help combined with the lemon juice and crushed garlic to keep their droppings nice and tight not sloppy these are just a few secrets that i have been using for years the lemon juice is cheap and it is full of citric acid and vitamin c and at this time of the year is exellent for a healthy moult all the best to every one craig poido

  2. i will be open and honest most good pigeons are not for sale i have found over the years my best pigeons were given to me as gifts i am yet to have ever bought any champions from sales but these are only my experiences you talk to other fancyers and they swear by going to sales isuppose each to there own yours in pigeon racing craig poido

  3. i swear by the bleach i use it on a reguler basis i use it at least once per week mainly as a preventive i use a full cap per drinker also depending on observation i sometimes will give the bleach for 3days

  4. I do agree with most of Ed’s article, but how many flyers really give up youngsters off their best? A new flyers best bet is listening and learning from the older flyers and watching the race results at the club/combine level and hopefully aquire some good local birds to learn on, until he/she figures which family of pigeon he/she wishes to start their base birds on.After all folks we all agree that about 60-75% won’t do much except eat feed.So beginners should not be expected to pay top dollar on birds when most will be lost due to lack of education,that my firends is how we won’t keep new flyers.Most clubs that I have heard from will help most new flyers with a couple of youngsters to get them going.hopefully it won’t end there, but help them with advise until they have a good idea just what they are doing, if nothing else for the birds sake.

  5. Hi,

    Ad Schaelaeckens site is very good to obtain a realistic view about buying stock. His comments make an lot sense although with all “extreme” opinions a certain amount of “counter balance” needs to be used by the reader. It is a fact that a lot of fanciers are pedigree crazy and the market will suit what is demanded which most of the time is detrimental to the purchaser. You can never analyse race and loft results enough when buying birds. Buy pigeons from a a good flying fancier who is not “fussy” in his management as you can always improve performance with those birds. Buy only birds for the distance you want them for. etc etc.

  6. once again its all about pigeon knowledge, you can study a fanciers results but to be able to go there and pick the best breeders that is the ultimate challenge as well as satisfaction…at the end of the day you buy pigeons and you still don’t know what the reason is they particularly good at that distances,the best breeders also breeds duts

  7. I don’t get to race yet but I’ve been searching the net to learn so when I do get to raise birds to race hopefully I’ll have a better understanding of what I’m to do to gte good results. I was given a web address and started reading over the articles there and to be honest the man makes alot of sence. His names Ad Schaerlaeckens and his articles can be found at http://www.schaerlaeckens.com/
    One of the things he says is, “In the past they took their bad pigeons to the poultry, today with the Internet and the ‘pedigree-craze’ those junks are put in an aviary where they wait for (foreign) buyers.” He not only looks to see who’s birds won but just how many birds that loft flew. If they flew a hundred and had several winners in the top ten they tend to get acclaims while the guy who flew only six birds and got 1st and 3rd goes unmentioned in many of the mags that report the results. Why? Money is why it gets attention and the mags profit from advertising the pigeons from the first oft while the second loft being much smaller does not have the funds for advertising. From all I’ve read the main thing to look for is “how many birds the loft flew”. Think about it, good birds that are consistant winners can be purchased at much better prices from the little guy, as with eggs and chicks.

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