What Can Fanciers Do To Help The Pigeon Racing Sport Grow?

Pigeon Racing GrowthLast weeks discussion of the week we asked what you thought the current state of pigeon racing was? alarmingly the general consensus seemed to be that the sport of pigeon racing was dying and the main reason fanciers felt this way seemed to be cost. The Pigeon Insider has fanciers from all over the globe so it was pretty interesing to see some of our friends from other parts of the world say that the sport was growing. Maybe we can learn from each other and get the pigeon racing sport to grow universally all around the world by learning what each one of us are doing.

So in this weeks discussion of the week we would like to know?

What do you think fanciers can do to help the pigeon racing sport grow?  

Post your comments on what you think each one of us can do to help promote the sport, also let us know if you have any ideas on how to lower costs etc. If your in an area where the sport is on the rise post your comments and let other fanciers know what has worked in your area.

We will be forwarding all of your comments to pigeon racing organizations around the world, Hopefully; together we can help the sport grow universally around the world.

Click here to post your thoughts

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198 thoughts on “What Can Fanciers Do To Help The Pigeon Racing Sport Grow?

  1. In order for racibg to grow we are going to need to see a change in the cost everyone has gone to electronic race clock and that is nice and all but not everyone can spend a 1000 usd got a clock

  2. I’ve kept birds for many years. I have about 100 at any given time. I do it for my own satisfaction and don’t really care about winning/bragging /ego polishing or such. The flock I have now are the result of working with the same family for the last 20 years with an occasional outcross, even a good feral bird can be an asset ,they fly every day in any weather. This makes a strong healthy flock. Sometimes the attrition is severe. When I open the loft in the morning and they come home at feeding time there is the same satisfaction as winning every race without the socio/political B S most clubs are involved in. I do send some out a few hundred miles from time to time to verify that they aren’t loosing the ability to perform. In the words of the poet” if you love something set it free, if it doesn’t return you never owned it”

  3. My opinion about the state of the sport is a little skewed. I live in the Capitol of Alabama and unfortunately there’s no club here…The closest club is over 40 miles away and only has 4 or 5 members. Other than that the closest club is over an hour and 20 minutes away. I’m in my mid 30s and raced as a boy with my father and just got back into racing pigeons after 20 years. Over that time, the sport has changed tremendously. The most obvious change has been the internet. The ability to gain access to any and every bit of information on our sport, is only a few keystrokes away. This also has changed the nature of the sport from the aspect of obtaining birds. The pigeon breeding business is booming and sellers are rampant all over the web. I see this as a catch .22. On one end, you have the ability seek out the finest fanciers in Europe, Asia and state side and purchase birds from their lofts. Buyers beware, you better have your checkbook ready, because this is a lucrative business for many and you will pay for success on paper. As well as, birds from prepotent family lines. The cost associated with purchasing birds varies widely and you can find birds no matter your budget. The issue with this, at least what I’ve seen is you truly never know what you’re going to get. I know of one “breeding station” out west that has given our sport a huge black eye. They’ve tainted a wholesome, family sport out of greed and dishonesty. Many of you know exactly who I’m referring to, and as far as I know they’ve been banned from the AU and I hope the IF, as well.

    I bring up this individual for one reason…I came across a couple of birds right as I was getting back into pigeons, that had this lofts name on the pedigree. After trying to find out more about the loft and it’s reputation for success, I came across the sad truth. This experience, caused me to question so many things. It nearly caused me to walk away before I invested any more time and money, establishing a family of birds. I realize that there are very few people out there, involved in pigeon racing, that are like this. In fact, ninety nine out of a hundred are honest, reputable people who truly love the sport. I’ll get off my soap box now.

    In my humble opinion, there’s no real way to change the costs associated with our sport, unfortunately. With one loft races being so lucrative, it’s created a new element to racing. It’s gone from a local hobby, to big business. It’s basic economics…Supply and demand. There is an excitement about OLR’s. The thought of breeding birds and them winning is enough in it’s self. Now, you add the allure of winning thousands of dollars…It changes the entire landscape of the sport. Most of those changes are negative, in my humble opinion. Yet, I am guilty of participating in these races. It’s addicting.

    I love pigeon racing just as much as the next fancier. I feel that the money races are what’s plaguing the sport and those races are not going away, but increasing.

    Yours in the sport,




  5. I raised pigeons with my older brother as a kid. Now at 45 I am getting back into the sport. One good way to get people interested would be to do releases at livestock shows, rodeo. There could be a booth to answer questions, hand out information. Use it as a training for birds instead of an actual race. Maybe stagger releases so that
    more people could see the birds let go. (Fifty or so birds every hour). A flock that big would catch my attention. Maybe do a seminar with the boy scouts. Got to get the kids! Ever since I helped my brother with his birds, I’ve been fascinated. Now that I am older with two acres to play with, I am finally going to scratch an itch that I’ve had for a very long time.

    1. I think to birds should be introduced into FFA or 4H clubs to competeon on an agricultural DNA study closely regarding their competitiveness and showmanship. Scouting could be another avenue as the do the derby cars. Teach the kids any many should carry the torch. I believe most of the issues are a lack ofknowledge because I know many who had no idea people do this.

  6. With regards to helping the sport along.
    Maybe there should be a split race result.
    By this I mean new fliers 2 to 3 Years new flying against each other, then choosing to be included in the main race when they feel they have a good enough team and enough knowledge??
    Just a though

  7. there needs to be a level of competition for new flyers to break into the sport and when their able step up to the professional level. It is absolutely unrealistic for a new flyer to afford or compete in a sport that is dominated by the top 2%. Most new flyers are welcomed into the sport as suckers that will be beat every week until they are so discouraged that they quit and in the mean time another sucker is brought in. New flyers and even Old flyers on fixed income should have a totally separate race sheet and rules based on the abilities of the average beginner. First a 5 bird limit to control cost and a small loft of 20 or so birds. Then short races 100 – 300 then after they have mastered the level and want to build a larger loft and invest the time and money they can fly at a professional level or if because of there location and neighbors are unable to expand they can continue to enjoy the sport at a level that they will be able to experience the excitement of competition and don’t forget it isn’t just that were not bringing in new flyers its also that we are losing old flyers this would save the sport at both ends.

    1. Its seems to me that we have no younger members joining the sport, cost could be 1 factor but not only that ?? we have tried to promote it but not much response . have any other clubs found the same and how have you delt with it ?? Wayne

      1. I just don’t see cost as the number 1 reason for not gaining younger members or even older ones. We all find a way to play and enjoy our sport. Golf, Hunting, Fishing, and a lot more. Golf courses are full, The woods are full of hunters, Bass tournaments every week. These sports are doing well. Bass Pro Shop building every week.
        I believe just simple interest and love for the sport is not selling in America. Very few people even know we have such a sport. I am asked this all the time when people see me gassing up on the way to a training release point. Most never heard of pigeon racing. We just simply are not getting the recognition we need to the public. TV’s, Newspapers and other advertisement. Public just simply does not know we are out there.
        If you start a business in an area you must advertise to the public and at least make them aware.

      2. Wayne if there was a way race results could be posted in local newspapers and even made the local news ever now and then. Maybe even Road signs. Local clubs show up at fairs, club sponsored golf tournaments, This could create some public interest.
        Except for my close friends no one in Augusta even knows we have such a sport.
        I’m willing to bet not 1% of the public is not even aware of pigeon racing.

  8. I’m not so sure cost is the major factor in the USA. Golf Course memberships that cost from $1200 and year to 2 or 3 thousand. Fishing – Hell a boat cost 20 thousand. If people want a sport or hoby they find a way. I’m sure with the younger generation cost will play a part in it but they still spend hundreds hunting, fishing, golfing, bike riding etc.
    Racing Pigeons takes a love for the bird just as you would love the serenity of a golf course or a dear stand in deep woods. YA GOTTA WANT IT.
    To me as the President of our club the biggest factor is personalities, conflicts and just dislike for someone. It seems every Fancier wants that small advantage so his/her birds can win. There is always one or two in a club who care more about winning than the birds. Compatition is great and thats how you judge your birds but its not the most important – The birds are the most important.
    The climate and attitude in the USA is winning not the enjoyment of friendly competition and the pure joy of watching one of your birds arrive from 2 or 3 even 4 hundred miles to your loft. The most satisfying moment is when that dot appears in the sky and you know its one of yours. The bird gave its all and came home.
    In every situation I have been in in the last 10 years flying pigeons every single break up, the cause was someone getting mad. Not one break up in our club has anyone said I’m getting out because of cost. It’s always disagreements.

    1. There is little difference in pigeon racing and the fam of golf, football, hunting ot the fascination with cars, airplanes or coin collecting. You have it or you don’t. However I’ve met numerous people who appear really facinated with the ability of a homing pigeon and simply don’t understand or have never heard or the sport. I believe with education and a mentor, the sport would explode. There are some costs but it doesn’t have to be huge after an initial introduction. Take it to youth groups, thats where the bug bites and it’s usually a lifetime passion off and on.

  9. all fanciers and big time should be helping out new biginers @ low prise on there good blood line and be real too them…..

  10. The pigeon racing may be at its decline in the West i.e., America and Europe but it is becoming more popular in China and the Far East. The highest bidders in most auctions are the Chines; they are purchasing pigeons at phenomenal prices. In my view the center of the sport is shifting to the East. The Chines are developing the sport giving it oriental touch, their reliance on Scientific methods is less and a new dimension of the sport is developing.
    As regards my part of the world that is western Asia the high flier or tipplers are more popular. The sport of pigeon rearing came from Central Asia. It its climax in the Mughal era in India Emperor Akbar had about eight thousand pigeons as reported in ‘ Iane a Akbari”. There is a full Chapter titled “eiskbazi” which means love affair. It has amazing details and is worth reading. The concept of mixed grains and classification of pigeons are given besides amazing details about pigeons. If somebody is interested I can provide the English version of the Chapter. There is lot to be learned from the great ustads of Central Asia, Iran and Bulkhbokhara who were serving in Akbar’s Courts. The knowledge of racing in hot weathers is which is quit deficient in Pigeon racing, the book has a lot to offer. Let me mention that pigeon can fly for 27 hours in scorching heat of summer at temperatures of 46 degrees Centigrade.

    Prof Shahid uddin Ahmad
    [email protected]

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