Guide to Buying Racing Pigeons—Part Two
A more expensive option you have for buying racing pigeons is buying proven racing stock right out of the racing loft. You can purchase a bird that perhaps is not necessarily a great racer but falls into the average or good racer category and you may end up end up with an excellent breeder. Of course, if you can afford it, buying a proven great breeder increases your chances of getting superior racers. However, you can also spend thousands of dollars to get a super champion and end up with a breeding ‘dud’.
Considerations for Purchasing Proven Racing Stock
The primary consideration for purchasing proven racing stock is how much you can afford to spend. Once you have determined that, then the secondary consideration is the quality of the bird(s) that you are contemplating buying. These two considerations actually go hand-in-hand—the more you can afford to spend, the higher quality you will seek.
Buying Retiring Racing Birds
European lofts prefer to retire their racing pigeons at about four or five years in age. This is a fantastic buying opportunity for getting a high-quality bird from a well-stocked breeding loft with a proven reputation. After all, if the bird has been kept for four to five years, it has certainly earned its keep. You might have the opportunity to purchase a pigeon that has been flying on the widowhood team or on the racing team for two years or more. Of course, birds like these may be expensive but well-worth the price.
If you seek out a loft that races only cocks, you may find a number of wonderful widowhood hens that are being used for the sole purpose of stimulating the cock birds. Often, you can buy a quality stock hen from the widowhood hen loft. If the fancier has kept this hen, there is some quality that he used in selecting her. These hens frequently were used, when younger, as racing birds. So, look for younger hens with excellent racing records that are now retired to the breeding loft or widowhood loft.
I personally had the good fortune of getting a hen from Ferry Lambrecht. This hen had been the ace hen of Ferry’s club. She had no pedigree. When I purchased the hen, she was being used as a widowhood hen. The only other history we had on her was that she had been given as an egg to Ferry by Jean Claude Debieve. After hatching and raising her, this hen went on, as I said, to be Ferry’s ace pigeon.
After we purchased her, we bred her with two cocks in her first season. She produced six multiple clock winners. She has been an excellent breeding hen and quite valuable to our loft—even without papers!