Getting Started with Young Pigeons: Here's How!
Jan de Wijs
In this blog, I offer tips on how to get the best out of your young flyers. Below are some best practices for the care and training of young pigeons.
Raising and training young racing pigeons is a delicate task that requires precision, patience, and a lot of love. In this blog, I offer tips on how to get the best out of your young flyers. Below are some best practices for the care and training of young pigeons.
Timing and Care
It's important not to separate the young pigeons from their parents too early. Feed them in bowls inside the nesting box, so they learn to eat independently.
Keep in mind that a young pigeon grows quickly. Even a one-day deficiency can adversely affect the pigeon's development. Don't skimp on good quality feed.
First Flights and Orientation
Allow the young racing pigeon to first fly around the loft. This helps the pigeon get familiar with the environment, which is vital for later, longer flights. Ensure you have them under control at this stage; pigeons should either be in the air or in the loft. Don’t let them wander aimlessly.
Place the pigeons in the basket multiple times to get them accustomed to it and teach them to drink in the basket. This step is extremely crucial; do not skip it.
Avoid stress! Stress is a common reason why young pigeons get lost. Take time to make your pigeons comfortable. If you are stressed, your pigeons will be too, and stress leads to losses. Take your time before basketing, even during short training; it's essential that the pigeons be calm in the basket.
Building a Relationship
Handle your pigeons often. Building a strong bond in the first few weeks can be highly beneficial for the rest of their careers. Spend some extra time in the loft, allow the pigeons to get used to you, and never forget that you are in their home. Behave like a guest in their loft.
Nutrition and Health
Make sure your pigeons are healthy before you begin training. If in doubt, have them checked by a veterinarian. Pay particular attention to the droppings; that’s often where you first notice a problem.
A bit of hunger will motivate the pigeons to return to the loft. They should have enough, but trust me, they are more likely to be overweight than underweight!
When to Start Training?
As soon as the young pigeons lose their first primary feather (around 3 months), you can start training.
Opt for More Rather than Far
Start with shorter distances and focus on frequency rather than the length of the flight. It’s better to go 5 x 20 kilometers than 1 x 100 kilometers. Longer distances will naturally come as the racing season begins.
Monitor the Weather
Don’t drive when the sky is clear blue with an easterly wind. But also, don't be too cautious; a lot can be done with the wind at their back. Even a rain shower is no problem for the pigeons. Just consider how much easier it is to cycle home in the rain when the wind is at your back. Our pigeons experience the same; they are not made of sugar, but use your common sense.
Don’t forget to reward your pigeons with a handful of treat seeds or a peanut when they return home. It's all about motivation and a pleasant homecoming.
In summary, raising young pigeons is a challenging but rewarding task that requires a detailed approach. With the above tips, you are well on your way to raising healthy, happy, and performance-oriented racing pigeons.
Jan de Wijs
Blogger, Racing Pigeon Expert and Influencer…