Widowhood Explained

Article provided by Frank McLaughlin of McLaughlin Lofts

Widowhood ExplainedWidowhood racing has been around for nearly 80 years or more. When traveling in Belgium a few years ago I watched a film made in the 1930’s for the World’s Fair.  Racing widowhood was featured and identical to how we race now right down to the nest fronts.  The misconception was widowhood was a big secret until the 1950’s.

Racing straight widowhood (only cocks) is the most productive and efficient way to race pigeons.  Every other system favors the hens.  Widowhood favors the cocks.  To race old birds you must race a system.  The best is Widowhood, followed by double widowhood, then celibacy and last and it should be least is the natural system.  That’s right every system is more favorable than the natural system.

Many fanciers claim that their hens excel for them so they do not want to change to widowhood.  The natural system favors the hens, celibacy favors the hens, and double widowhood favors the hens.  Get my point.  If you race a system that favors the hens your hens are going to be your better performers.  Straight widowhood favors the cocks and will beat the other systems regularly.  For many years I have said I could put everything needed to know about widowhood on one page.   The following article does just that.

The number one question and dilemma is should I mate the cocks, raise babies, just eggs, one baby etc.  Here is the answer.  It really does not matter.  This is what I do.  My cocks see the hens for the first time shipping night of the first race.  I keep it very simple.  My reasoning is with no hens I can train and fly the cocks whenever.  I use stock hens and extra unbroken hens for the cocks.  With no mating and rearing young I can keep the cocks very lean to escape the hawks.  My cocks do not waste energy rearing youngsters or driving hens.  As for the molt my cocks have usually dropped one maybe two flights by the last race so feather is not a problem.

The Leading Online Pigeon Racing and Racing Pigeons Magazine – The Pigeon Insider

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7 thoughts on “Widowhood Explained

  1. I’ve heard it said over and over that all systems except straight widowhood favor the hens, I’m not buying it. You may as well say that the only way cocks can win is to leave the hens home, I’m not buying that either. the most productive and efficient system would be to use both sexes, double widowhood, roundabout…JMO

    1. Hi John I race both sexes my way in the past based on the widowhood system ,have no stock bird my racers are my breeders so fitness and healthy, homing ability is the motto to breed . Start up this year the same as in the past !! the only different is i fly solo no competitors , the club close down the sport is dying in the small towns the nearest club now is Windhoek 420km . (what i want to say is roundabout works for me keep them healthy, fit and tame )

  2. If you read the latest materials, woodhood is a bit out dated. Now, as I understand it,roundabout is the system to concentrate on.This way you get the benifit of both sexes durning the Old bird season. Several books talk about it as well as dvd’s. Do some research, or chat with a local flier to get the ends and outs to the system, or try one of the other systems until you find one you like,and works for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find something that clicks for you.

  3. Is that all? widowhood not explained! sounds like just an opinion. I dont know anyone around here that flys widowhood. know lots who tried over the years but they fly natural now. guess we must fly pretty bad as its the worst way to fly pigeons, I wonder whe we win so many of the top prizes in the state races and midwest classic.

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