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Site last updated on 10/19/17

I suppose we never learn it all and, if the truth were to be known, I suspect most of us forget some of the most important lessons before we even take advantage of them. Listed here are some tips that I have picked up along the way that I have found useful. 

  1. It is wiser to buy a group of related pigeons from a single successful breeder (perhaps a fifth round)  rather than continually buying one here and two there.
  2. If you have the time and discipline to scrape your loft twice a day, that is a very good practice. I don’t and so here is my idea of the perfect loft floor.
  3. Over crowding is probably the number one mistake most flyers make. Pretend you are like the Fire Marshal and post a “Maximum Capacity” number on each of your pens. Then don’t ever exceed it! I like to use 2 square feet of loft space for each adult bird. So an 8 x 6 foot pen can house at most 12 pairs (and the youngsters that they are feeding).
  4. You absolutely must vaccinate annually for PMV. If you don’t, you are courting a disaster that is totally preventable!
  5. The number one tool for successful racing is a bucket and a six pack of your favorite beverage. Here is how you use them. Enter your loft, turn the bucket upside down, sit down on the bucket and watch your birds for at least as long as it takes to slowly sip your beverage. You should consume at least one six pack a week doing this procedure. I am serious. Try it if you have never done this. You will be amazed at what you will learn.
  6. Use Apple Cider Vinegar in your water and a Probiotic on your feed. I use 2 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar in 30 gallons and I use it every day. It makes the water acidic and this in turn creates an acidic crop, a condition which discourages trichomoniasis (Canker) and Salmonella. The acidic conditions also create an environment favorable for beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus. It is absolutely essential that the gut maintains a balanced population of beneficial bacteria and a probiotic provides these organisms. There are two reasons why this is so important. First, there are certain nutrients that the pigeon can not synthesize themselves  (and that get broken down during digestion if they are provided in the feed) that are actually produced by certain bacteria that live in the intestine. These nutrients are then absorbed through the walls of the intestine to meet this vital need of the bird. Secondly, an intestine that is fully populated with beneficial bacteria makes it more difficult for pathogenic bacteria to get established should your bird become exposed. We prefer to add it to the feed so as to not taint the flavor of the water.
  7. The basket is, far and away, the most reliable way to grade pigeons.
  8. Its a hobby - keep it fun and be a good sport..
  9. Our biases are perhaps our biggest barrier to success - be suspicious of pretty pigeons! There are many more pretty pigeons who can’t fly well than there are pretty pigeons who are good flyers. Make them prove themselves!
  10. There is no value in a pigeon who is a one time wonder - results have to be repeatable to be real.
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