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Pigeon Racing

Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:37 pm

Last Thursday nite we basketed birds for a 200 mile race on Friday and the other half were taken on to Tonkawa OK for a 550 mile race on Saturday. The weather was horrible but we released the Friday race at 6:30 Friday Morning and I got two birds back after noon that were 3rd and 10th. They had to dodge storms so the birds were later than normal and quite a few didn't get back on the day. I finally got my last 2 this afternoon.

The 550 mile Saturday race was held over till Saturday when it looked some what better but still a lot of showers. Our club had one birds get home that evening and several of us had them come in the next day. My first one was here that morning at 7:30 and placed 4th Two others beat her by 45 minutes for 2nd and 3rd. I only sent two and the other one got home this afternoon. Overall had 3 come in today so I am feeling pretty good now. Sounds like we are about through for a while as many of the states around here are shutting down any movements of birds across state lines due to the Avian Flu.

Ezzy
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ckirsch » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:31 pm

Ezzy;

Sounds like you have some pretty fast birds. Curious if you were involved with pigeons prior to bird dogs, or if you got into racing them after first having them for dog training.

I had homers and rollers while growing up, and hope to get a loft started again, both to have some for training my dogs, and for the enjoyment of flying them. Wondering if the bird flu situation would make it difficult to find some squeekers to get started with.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby luvthemud » Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:08 am

A friend of mine used to be involved in pigeon racing. Always amazed me. Congrats on their performance.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:26 pm

ckirsch wrote:Ezzy;

Sounds like you have some pretty fast birds. Curious if you were involved with pigeons prior to bird dogs, or if you got into racing them after first having them for dog training.

I had homers and rollers while growing up, and hope to get a loft started again, both to have some for training my dogs, and for the enjoyment of flying them. Wondering if the bird flu situation would make it difficult to find some squeekers to get started with.

I got my first pigeons to train dogs with about 50 some years ago and have had them for a lot of years since. Always thought it would be fun to race them and got involved about 5 years ago with that. Pigeons don't get Bird Flu but might be able to carry it for a short period so they are restricted in some states. You should be able to get them in your own state though. One of the things I have noted in these past few years, practically everyone who is flying or getting in to it had birds when thy were young and had a great desire to get back into it as they get older. It fits well for older folks as there is little heavy work but rather just takes some time to train and condition them. Pretty much like dog training. They are great peaceful birds that are easy to keep without much effort and really fun to breed and work with.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby Chukar12 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:44 pm

Congratulations Ezzy... That is a fascinating activity... I am happy when I get half back training twenty miles from home
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby mtlhdr » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:16 am

Very cool. How much of racing is genetics vs training vs luck vs other?
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:37 am

mtlhdr wrote:Very cool. How much of racing is genetics vs training vs luck vs other?


Probably about like other sports but in my mind less on actual training which I think is a word used for what is actually conditioning. And that is important as you get into the longer races. Can't argue that luck plays a part but I am also convinced that the winner is most often the bird that flies the shortest distance to get home, in other words the most direst route. genetics is like any other specie and the birds that perform the best tend to produce the best.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby polmaise » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:00 am

ezzy333 wrote:Always thought it would be fun to race them and got involved about 5 years ago with that.

Not quite ready for 'Sun City' yet then ezzy :)
http://www.regencylofts.com/pigeonrace.htm
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:28 pm

polmaise wrote:
ezzy333 wrote:Always thought it would be fun to race them and got involved about 5 years ago with that.

Not quite ready for 'Sun City' yet then ezzy :)
http://www.regencylofts.com/pigeonrace.htm


I am the right age but have too much to do yet before going there.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby Sharon » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:05 pm

Apparently that's Mike Tyson's hobby now too.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby smoothbean » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:38 pm

Where is your club based out of. I am interested in these races and also adding some nice stock to my lofts.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:06 am

smoothbean wrote:Where is your club based out of. I am interested in these races and also adding some nice stock to my lofts.

My club is RRV(Rock River Valley)Racing Pigeon Club out of Sterling IL but we fly with the GBG(Galesburg) and the MEM(Moline East Moline) Clubs. I would think the Galesburg Club might be close. There also is a club near St. Louis that might work. I think the name is SIRPC(Southern IL Racing Pigeon Club. If you are wanting some good stock for breeders I and a couple of our best flyers have some available and I at least would be more than happy to help you in anyway I can. Just wish we had more guys and gals interested in our area. We all need more flyers to help keep costs down and it is a fun sport that fits in with the dog training quite well. We had a training kennel join and start flying a couple of years ago. He was buying unbanded young birds from several of us in the club and he decided to band his youngsters and see how they would do. And he won a couple of races.

Any one interested in racing or just finding out about it feel free to call me and I will help if I can.

Call Al Esgar at 815-973-4075. It is easier to talk than to type. I have been working with our 4-H clubs trying to get some of our youngster involved so sometimes I run short of birds but there will always be more. If you have to pay for telephone calls PM your number and I will call you. Thanks
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby britsbirds » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:53 pm

Ezzy you are right about being shut down on racing. Minn. cant intermigle birds, no releases in Iowa, no releases in Neb, SD is requiring health certificates for your birds and import permit, that basically prevents out of state flyers from releasing here. I am the race Sec for our club and we decided to cancell the rest of old bird season, maybe we will get to fly young birds. I have about seventy ybs so may just be flying on my own this year.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby V-John » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:48 am

Congrats! We had a bird win the combine a couple weeks back for the 450, I believe. For the 300 we had a few birds place in the top ten percent so we were happy with that. Finally seeing some consistency in the birds too which is nice. Is the Avian Flu going to affect your young bird season? Sounds like we are good to go for young bird flying here. Seems we are behind on the training young bird training with all the rain. Guess we will find out how that goes.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby Sharon » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:03 pm

Great for steadying a dog. :)
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:38 pm

V-John wrote:Congrats! We had a bird win the combine a couple weeks back for the 450, I believe. For the 300 we had a few birds place in the top ten percent so we were happy with that. Finally seeing some consistency in the birds too which is nice. Is the Avian Flu going to affect your young bird season? Sounds like we are good to go for young bird flying here. Seems we are behind on the training young bird training with all the rain. Guess we will find out how that goes.
I have had some good results the past two or three weeks, 4th @ 550 mi., 3rd @ 250 mi and 2nd & 9th @200 mi. in our club. It appears we may be racing young birds within Illinois.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby Sharon » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:10 pm

Well done!
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby CDN_Cocker » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:52 pm

Way to go! I used to race often when I was younger. Can't wait till I can move out of the city and get a loft going again. Being able to train the dog with live birds is great, but the birds themselves are the real prize for me. Nice work!
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby Munster » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:00 pm

Guy down the races races pigeons. He came over one day and saved my loft. They came down with something. He showed a serious love for the birds. He said he is grounded because of the avian flu deal. Pretty excited, he is giving me 10 babies. He said he has a a surplus because of the flu.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:11 am

Munster wrote:Guy down the races races pigeons. He came over one day and saved my loft. They came down with something. He showed a serious love for the birds. He said he is grounded because of the avian flu deal. Pretty excited, he is giving me 10 babies. He said he has a a surplus because of the flu.

Our club fly with the club from the Quad Cities so I probably know the individual who helped you. We have several members who got started with pigeons through using them to train their dogs. I can't speak for anyone else but I have always felt the need to treat any living animal we keep as humanely as possible. The pigeons, as an example, will repay that kindness by coming home to your loft. They are a fun animal to work with and repay our kindness in many ways. It is very relaxing to see them fly in the evenings when I turn them out and fun to train and race during the summer when things are slow.

Glad you found someone to help, Mary.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby AZ Brittany Guy » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:07 am

It sounds like a lot of fun. Can you recommend a good internet source to learn about how the game is played? Or...could you give us a readers digest version of how it is done?
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby DonF » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:18 pm

Ok racer's, I have a question. When your training for long distance racing, How often do you fly your birds and how far away from home do you turn them loose?
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby polmaise » Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:15 pm

DonF wrote:Ok racer's, I have a question. When your training for long distance racing, How often do you fly your birds and how far away from home do you turn them loose?

When I was 'racing' . I had the birds ''flying'' twice a day from the loft. In training flights' , they would be sent twice a week to destinations of 100 miles + (as the crow fly's) .
They would also be turned loose 'single' :wink:
Having friends who are Long distance truck drivers or worked on the rail helped 8) .
The ''often'' part also depended on if the bird was a hen or a cock' or if it was sitting on a ticking egg or had young?, or just guarding a perch :?:
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:24 pm

I take them up to 50 miles 2 times a week after the races start. Before they might go 50 3 or 4 times a week. I have flown them 50 for 5 days in a row and some people are doing further and oftener. I still think two days at the most and then a day off or real short. My birds flew 55 yesterday and will be in a 100 mile race tomorrow.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby DonF » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:26 pm

Well thank you guy's. I generally only fly them a few times a month but let them free fly a lot if there's no hawks around. I had some a year or so ago I sent home with Gertie to use. She kept them in a couple days and them used them, about 75 road miles there. They got home the afternoon she turned them loose. I had never flown those birds much any more. just wanted to see what they'd do. I'm not gonna get into racing but would like to be able to train pretty much where ever I want and take birds to trials hoping to get some set up photo's of people's dogs.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:02 pm

DonF wrote:Well thank you guy's. I generally only fly them a few times a month but let them free fly a lot if there's no hawks around. I had some a year or so ago I sent home with Gertie to use. She kept them in a couple days and them used them, about 75 road miles there. They got home the afternoon she turned them loose. I had never flown those birds much any more. just wanted to see what they'd do. I'm not gonna get into racing but would like to be able to train pretty much where ever I want and take birds to trials hoping to get some set up photo's of people's dogs.


Don, if you get them out to 20 or 30 miles they should be pretty much ready to go any reasonable distance. If they are loft flying they should be in reasonable condition unless you are completely over feeding. Some where near a tablespoon of grain twice a day should keep them in condition while they are flying. Might have to adjust it a little if the activity or temps change. I have no doubt you can handle your birds and tell if they are getting fat or thin.

We just had our first young bird race Sunday when we sent 508 birds on a 100 mile race and I had ten or twelve get home in an hour and 45 minutes. That is just 55 mph. I was really happy with how they did. Missed winning by 16 seconds but had about 15 I think in the first 25 or thirty birds.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby DonF » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:29 am

I don't think they are over fed, I give them an ounce per bird, including baby's, a day. Some time I do get it a bit over, I use a can that filled hold's 20 oz.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby polmaise » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:38 am

AZ Brittany Guy wrote:It sounds like a lot of fun. Can you recommend a good internet source to learn about how the game is played? Or...could you give us a readers digest version of how it is done?

I don't know what circles you operate in , but you could give HM a call ? ...she is an expert :lol:
http://royalcentral.co.uk/thequeen/for- ... eons-52230
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:38 am

Hey sorry I forgot about this. I will try later today to write explaining all of it.

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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby Munster » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:03 pm

ezzy333 wrote:
Munster wrote:Guy down the races races pigeons. He came over one day and saved my loft. They came down with something. He showed a serious love for the birds. He said he is grounded because of the avian flu deal. Pretty excited, he is giving me 10 babies. He said he has a a surplus because of the flu.

Our club fly with the club from the Quad Cities so I probably know the individual who helped you. We have several members who got started with pigeons through using them to train their dogs. I can't speak for anyone else but I have always felt the need to treat any living animal we keep as humanely as possible. The pigeons, as an example, will repay that kindness by coming home to your loft. They are a fun animal to work with and repay our kindness in many ways. It is very relaxing to see them fly in the evenings when I turn them out and fun to train and race during the summer when things are slow.

Glad you found someone to help, Mary.


The guy ended up bringing me 20! He didnt band them so I cant race them, but I am sure they will make a great addition to my little loft.
Right now I have about 28 birds. I got rid of some of my mutts.

I want to know the routine you use to to get them to go a good distance. Assuming these are all weanlings. I have had them free fly around my home a couple times a week. Problem is I am in the city so I cant havea problem develope. I have already had a couple of mutts that I thought would home, become fixtures at the neighbors feeders.

They have been here about 3 weeks now. How long until I take them out a ways? How far?
How do I get them in the loft quickly? I have begun to whistle train them. I just cant have them loitering around. I have chased them off the neighbors shed with a ball.

How much feed? I am feeding all flock 18% at a rate of about a soup can per 10 birds. The older birds beat down the younger birds. The youngsters feel skinny.

If these take to laying, can I band them and try to race them?

Thanks Sent you a PM with the guys name.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:28 pm

Hey I will get back to you tomorrow and answer your questions. You will be able to band their young next spring and race them. He has some real good birds.

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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:06 pm

Mary, you are doing the first step by letting them out to free fly around the loft. Watch them and as they get a little experience they will start to fly as a group or flock and then they may start flying out of site even. Once they get to the group stage they are about ready to start training. I like to basket them and take them a 1/2 to a mile from home depending if they were routing and turn them loose. Routing is what we call it when they start disappearing as a flock when you are loft flying them. Depending on how well they come home you can either repeat the same release again the next day or if they did real well take them a mile further. Just keep doing this, doubling the distance once they come home in decent time. During this training you will lose a few normally but you have to expect that as there are always some that just aren't smart enough to figure out where home is. You should have them flying 10 to 20 miles in a couple of weeks depending on how often you can get them out. One thing to keep in mind, make sure they are hungry when you train or even when you loft fly them in your case, so they will be anxious to trap back in to eat. This should solve most of your problems with them landing on other buildings.

You can get little colored snap on bands with numbers on them so you can identify your birds. I would advice doing that and then keep track of anything you find important and you can keep track of which is mated to which. Then after Jan. 1st you can buy the regular seamless bands for any you raise and they will be eligible to fly a year from now.

I think you will find about a tablespoon of feed night and morning per bird will work but will vary a little with temperature and activity just like it does for our dogs. You may want to separate your breeders and flyers if the older birds are controlling the younger ones too much. And the older birds only need to be fed once a day but I do like to feed the younger active birds twice a day if you can. The youngsters will feel thin till they are old enough to start looking mature normally.

I think this answers most of your questions but always feel free to message me or pick up the phone and call. Will be more than happy to help in anyway I can.

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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby Munster » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:29 pm

Thanks Ezzy!
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby DonF » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:54 am

Right now I have my big pen with a friends birds in it, he's on vacation. About a 20' x 40' pen in back of my machine shed. Once he take's them home I've been thinking about turning it into a breeder pen. Then leave my flyer's in the loft they're in right now. have been getting them out every second or third day. Now and then they beat me home but I take them out a couple hour's after feeding. I suspect they don't get into a hurry to get home because they are not hungry. Then again I don't care how long it takes them, only that they do. They are flying about 20 mi by road right now but maybe only fifteen by air, pretty windy road's around here. Plan on them coming home from Condone next month, about 65 to 70 miles. haven't lost any yet! I used to fly my ferals as training birds and it's really impressive how far they come back. I have some Red Grizzle birds and haven't been flying them a lot. Seem's like hawks really dial in on them. But last trip out I did take one. Flew them about 30 mi and stuck it in with the rest, came home just fine. I'm flying a new bird or two with birds that have been flying, figure they get in the flock and come along for the ride. Only lost a couple this summer, to hawks I think. Years past we'd lose normally one per flight Kept a hundred and some birds around in those days so I was good with the loss.

Right now I have a baby in the homer loft that it's leg didn't develop right, stick's out to the side of it's body. In the past I've had some like that but caught them younger. Tried tying their legs together to get the bent one back to normal but it's never worked. Ended up having to put them down. Probably be the same with this one.

Over in the feral loft I've got some really pretty blue/white one's going again. had them years ago and we didn't use them for training at all. same with these birds! Get to attached to them and it's hard to let them go. I do let quite a few young birds go. Have given a number of People bird's to get a loft going, make's me feel good!
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:56 am

Don, there are going to be people tell you that you are crazy but I will say you are right on. Respect fosters caring and I think it is essential for all of our animals we have in our care. And when you do that you do find great enjoyment in what you are doing. I too find it difficult to use many of my birds for shooters so they get used for training and live to fly another day. There are always a few that for varied reasons just don't fit in with the other birds and those are the ones I use. You speak of your red grizzles being hawk bait, but what the hawks are attracted to is the white. It just shows up so much more in the sunlight.

I like to separate my birds also. I find if I provide a bigger space for the breeders who seldom if ever get out they do better. And the young birds I confine in a smaller area where they are easy to catch and they can't get far away from you when you are in the loft. They get so much tamer and quieter that way, plus they are getting out most days to fly and don't really need as much room. Another thing, if you have them out 20 miles or so, don't be afraid to go 10 miles further. It just means they have to fly 15 minutes longer. I also try to take them different places to release so they have to use their heads a little instead of just following the same road home. If you know what direction you are going to be using them try to train 45 degrees each direction from their line of flight coming home. In other words if you are training SW of your place, then train that line of course but also vary it from straight south to straight west from your place for at least 10 to 20 miles. That will act somewhat like a funnel for them and if they are off line a little they will run into the areas they are familiar with and use that to come home. I do like to take them far enough so they have to fly at least an hour as that seems to keep them in shape without stressing them. I have on occasion had them out that far 15 days in a row and they do well with it.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby mask » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:57 pm

Ezzy if you don't mind would tell me what you feed your breeders and how often you worm. Thanks
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:25 pm

I feed a Breeder Mix from Des Moines feeds. But I add white Milo, wheat, shelled corn, black sunflower, safflower, and flax to it. The mix changes for different birds, different weather, different age, and different level of activity. And for some a supplement with an 18 percent pellet along with whole barley. That sounds complicated but really isn't if you remember birds like our dogs need higher protein after periods of stress but need carbs and fats before those periods. Energy is acquired and stored through the carbs and fats and the protein is needed to grow and repair muscle.

I am not advocating this but I have wormed my birds once and that was last year. I haven't found that there is a problem so I haven't worried much about it. I tend to err on the side of too little rather than too much with any and all medication for all animals as well as people. I want to promote natural immunity and not rely on artificial methods that in the end weaken all of us.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby Munster » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:37 pm

Took my birds 10 miles for the first time and they made it home in about 35 minutes. I watched them circle in the air about 6 times before they headed home.

Going to do it again when the weather cools.

What are your thoughts on temps and flying. Figure just common sense.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby CDN_Cocker » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:14 pm

Temps don't matter much to the birds. I just avoided extreme cold. Other than that they're fine. All about conditioning. You should loft fly them as much as you can, then 1-2 training runs per week. I never worried about going much further than 100km - most commonly I took them about 50, but flew in races up to 1000km with some of my strains.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby polmaise » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:44 pm

CDN_Cocker wrote:Temps don't matter much to the birds. I just avoided extreme cold. Other than that they're fine. All about conditioning. You should loft fly them as much as you can, then 1-2 training runs per week. I never worried about going much further than 100km - most commonly I took them about 50, but flew in races up to 1000km with some of my strains.

Really?
Never knew you were an avid 'Racer' Cass'?...
1000km from where to where?
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby ezzy333 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:27 pm

I have to differ with your assessment of temps affecting our birds. We don't worry about cold but heat bothers them when crowded in the baskets and when flying. We just flew Saturday when it got up to 90 degrees and we had few day birds from 300 miles. I didn't send but two birds that were entered in our money race. One was 9th when it clocked at 9:37 the next morning and the other one has not made it home. And these were the birds that came home 2 weeks before on the race where over 50% didn't make it. Worse race we have had in years. 35 mph crosswind came up and several of the birds have been found one state east of us. But the heat which doesn't hurt to bad in the loft but is a real problem when flying.

Our temps will get down to - 25 to -30 and my lofts are always open and haven't had a problem.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby CDN_Cocker » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:24 pm

polmaise wrote:
CDN_Cocker wrote:Temps don't matter much to the birds. I just avoided extreme cold. Other than that they're fine. All about conditioning. You should loft fly them as much as you can, then 1-2 training runs per week. I never worried about going much further than 100km - most commonly I took them about 50, but flew in races up to 1000km with some of my strains.

Really?
Never knew you were an avid 'Racer' Cass'?...
1000km from where to where?

Long time ago Polmaise, back when I was a young lad. Unfortunately I haven't had birds in about 13 years... The only exposure I get to them now is on dog training days.... and while I love watching the dogs work, when I'm out planting the birds I'm secretly wishing I had a loft and could pocket them and go home hahaha.
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Re: Pigeon Racing

Postby Trekmoor » Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:09 am

I built a pigeon loft when I was 14 years old and had a few racing pigeon squabs given to me by local fanciers. I never raced them in proper races but did have races against a few other young lads ....which I never won ! Then a couple of local yobs burnt down my loft with the birds inside and I was so sickened I never kept pigeons again.
To this day I am still a pigeon lover though and simply could not toss a clip winged bird for a puppy to become birdy on. I'm a bit of a woose where homing pigeons are concerned.

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