When racing the natural system with a hen and cock that are showing indications of pairing up, separate the two of them for several days before bringing them back together for 30-40 minutes prior to basketting. This trick will stop the hen’s cycle and thus put off the laying process. The forced separation will also increase the birds desire for each other. Allowing them to see one another for a little while before basketting will re-establish and reinforce the bond and their desire for home.
When using the natural system, try adding an egg to the nest of a pair of pigeons who have been sitting for several days, every other day until you’ve reached five or six eggs. Then on the night before basketing, take the cock and place him in a box or spare cage so that he cannot see his loft, his mate, or his nest. For example, if you basket on Friday night, take the cock away on Thursday night. The hen will not realize that the cock is gone until it is his time to sit the nest the next day. She will be very hesitant to leave the nest, or even to eat, because of the added eggs and because her mate is not available to take his turn, she will become even more attached to the nest than normal. You may have to physically take her from the nest and feed her in a separate box so that she will eat and drink. When taking the hen away, if time permits, let the cock into the loft. He will discover his nest unprotected and will hurry to take his turn on the eggs. Allow him settle on the nest for a few minutes and then take him away before allowing his mate back into the loft. Both birds will race extra hard to come home to protect those eggs when a question has been put into their minds regarding their responsibility for the nest.
On the natural system, when a pair starts to nest, remove one of the mates. This can be either the cock or the hen, but it is preferred to remove the hen. Let the cock take another mate, and then remove that mate. When shipping day arrives, let both hens in with the cock for twenty to thirty minutes, but don’t allow the hens to begin a heavy battle because they could lose form. Ship them all to the race. This trick can be used all season long to motivate either or all of the birds at different times.