When racing the widowhood system, you may notice that the cocks appear to lose interest or the hens act as if they want to start mating with one another, switch the sexes. Allow the cocks to sit on the perches let the hens have the nest boxes. You will have to lock the hens in their box and feed them in the box, but this can certainly energize a widowhood team and produce excellent results.
Another widowhood system tip is to lock a strange cock into the box with a particular cock’s mate and then let him see the stranger in his box with his hen before I ship. Make sure that the race will be less than 300 miles and not longer than six hours on the wing for such a motivational tactic because sometimes this tactic can backfire on you. Some cocks get so hyped by any additional motivation that they wear themselves out in the race basket the night before and don’t have any energy left when it’s time to fly home.
On the widowhood system, remove the bowls completely from the nest box and always show the bowl to the cock before the cock is allowed to see the hen at the beginning of the season. Then as the longer races come up, put the bowl in the nest box with the cock and let him get in it and start to call. Then ship him. Once all the cocks are removed, allow the hens into the boxes with the nest bowls and let them have their way. You can even put a few old un-mated cocks into the loft to steam up the hens before you ship them. Remember this advice: “Ship the cocks cool and the hens hot.” This holds true for most races.
On the widowhood system, during a particularly bad race, if one of the birds comes home very late, lock that bird in its nest box (but not with its mate) for at least several hours or overnight would be even better. The race bird is worn out, and having to deal with an over-anxious mate will not do either of them any good. After a few hours of rest, put the pair together for just a few minutes, and then separate them again. This will tell your returned racer that, “Yes, your reward is here and waiting, when you are ready.” That pigeon’s sole motivation to race home may have been to see its mate. And after that performance, the reward is granted. But what that race bird needs most is rest. It’s a wise fancier who knows that this rest must be given.