Pigeon Racing Systems; The Pros and Cons of Each

Racing Pigeon Systems The Pros and ConsOld Birds

Old bird systems are designed around motivation.    Cocks and hens are motivated by their love for home (security, food, shelter), their nest box, their mate, their eggs, etc.

Natural system

This system allows for the birds to mate up, go down on eggs and race to the nest box.  Eggs are often switched for dummy eggs but some are raced to youngsters in the nest.

Positives

  1. the mate, the nest box, the eggs or youngsters are extremely powerful motivators
  2. The possibilities of ways to “set up” individual birds are numerous.
  3. Allows you to breed from your race team.
  4. If various pairs are kept on different laying cycles various birds will be in form at different times.

Negatives

  1. When a mate becomes lost, it then handicaps the remaining mate as it has to be re mated and re motivated
  2. Raising a youngster is added stress that may take away from racing form.
  3. Brooding sometimes causes a pigeon to eat less rather than get off of the eggs and loft flying may be decreased.  To keep from loosing either of these careful attention must be paid to each individual.
  4. Birds do not stay in form as long.

Widowhood

This system flies only cocks and uses the nest box and hens as the motivator.   The cocks are deprived of the hens except in preparing them for the race and often upon return from the race.

Positives

  1. The hens are a very positive motivator
  2. Requires less road training
  3. Losses during the race system do not handicap the system or the individual birds
  4. Bird keep their form longer than in the natural system.

Negatives

  1. Hens are not flown
  2. Requires an additional section to house the hens
  3. Must have dedicated breeders other than racers to also breed for a young bird season

Double Widowhood

This system is the same as regular widowhood except that hens are also raced.   The hens/cocks are motivated the same way by each other just before basketing and upon the return from the race.

Positives

  1. The hens/cocks are a very positive motivator
  2. Losses during the race system do not handicap the system or the individual birds
  3. Both sexes are flown maximizing the amount of birds in the loft racing.
  4. Bird keep their form longer than in the natural system.

Negatives

  1. Requires an additional section to house the hens
  2. Requires more road training
  3. Must have dedicated breeders other than racers to also breed for a young bird season

The Celibacy system

This a system where hens and cocks are housed separately.  They are flown unmated.   Some use of the other sex is used as a motivator.

Positives

  1. The hens/cocks are a very positive motivator
  2. Losses during the race system do not handicap the system or the individual birds
  3. Both sexes are flown maximizing the amount of birds in the loft racing.
  4. Bird keep their form longer than in the natural system.

Negatives

  1. Requires an additional section to house the hens
  2. Requires more road training
  3. Must have dedicated breeders other than racers to also breed for a young bird season

Young Birds

Young bird systems are based off of the biological clock and the ability to manipulate that clock.

There is the natural system in which nothing is altered other than young birds are hatched, weaned, matured naturally, trained and raced.

The Lighting System uses artificial light to increase the amount of daylight to trick the birds biological clock into making them mature faster.  This system usually requires pulling the 9th and 10th flight feathers.

The Darkening System uses the deprivation of light to also trick the birds into maturing differently. The main difference in the darkening system is the birds will loose all body feathers but will keep their flight feathers.

If young birds are matured enough, they can be flown to a widowhood system.   The only draw back to this is that most clubs do not separate hens/cocks therefor that could hinder racing a young bird with that type of motivation.

By Domanski Family Lofts

Join the Forum discussion on this post

More articles you may enjoy: