During this time of year in the pigeon racing sport, my focus turns to old birds, especially to their healthcare and to their desire for racing.
Coccidiosis and canker bacteria are big significant health risks that our pigeons are very likely to pick up from shipping crates or from drinking contaminated water out on the race course. Thoughtful flyers take care of this exposure to disease before it can turn into a problem. It’s a good idea to give every pigeon a canker antibiotic approximately three to four hours after returning from the race, and then follow up the next day.
Racing pigeons require a time released amount of vitamin B, amino acids and carnitine into their systems so that these supplements are present in the muscles during the race. This is one of the best ways to prevent stress in race pigeons. My best suggestion is to give them Carmine liquid (Versele-Laga) (carnitine) for at least five to 7 days prior to sending them to a long race. On the night you crate your birds, give one Carni-Tab tablet (Colombine) and a Supra Pill (Colombine) to each pigeon.
I recommend using Turbosole to control canker in your loft and advise you not to overlook your old bird race team regarding the threat of canker. This is a very important step for determined fanciers to take. Turbosole is an outstanding product, and I consider it the best choice for canker in pigeons. I am certain that it can be safely used during racing, breeding, or moulting.
I use an eye loupe to check for minor respiratory infections. I do this by checking the rim of the eye and look for air bubbles in an overly moist eye. If the eye appears to be watery and has numerous air bubbles in the liquid around the rim of the eye, then that pigeon probably needs to be medicated with a good respiratory treatment for at the very least a minimum of 7. Doxyvet and Doxy-T, from the Australian Pigeon Company, are very effective antibiotics. Always remember to take out the grit and mineral supplements from the loft whenever you are medicating the birds with respiratory antibiotics.
Pigeon Racing; The National Sport of Belgium
Fostering pigeons is a fun hobby, When pigeons get the attention they demand and deserve, they are a wonderful past time. It is a recreation that grants hours of inexpensive fun and pleasure. They can be as neat and fun as any dog, cat, or fish.
Racing pigeons is one form of enjoyment. There are racing pigeon clubs in many parts of the World. It is the National Sport of Belgium. Many times each week, clubs in Belgium bring hundreds of thousands of pigeons to race for prizes that can be over $50,000. The Queen of England even has a loft of pigeons. She was given them as a token of friendship from the King of Belgium. Racing pigeons in the United States is also turning into a big sport. One race in America recently paid out nearly eight hundred thousand dollars in prize money to the top pigeons.
People that have pigeons have a very big responsibility. They are Ambassadors for the Sport. It takes time and discipline to make sure that the loft is clean and maintained. Notice that we said clean and maintained. A clean and maintained pigeon loft does not have to cost much. It can be very inexpensive, but it does have to be well kept and clean, regardless what the expense. The pigeons must also be well trained. They need to have good manners. If they are let out to fly all over the neighborhood and land wherever they please, then they are definetly not well mannered. When this happens, neighbors get mad. They also get upset when they have to look at a raunchy and un-kept loft. When this happens, we are telling our neighbors that pigeons are filthy.We are not being very good Ambassadors for the Sport.
If you would like to embark on the Sport of Pigeon Racing, but you do not know where to find them, one of the easiest ways is to call a local feed dealer that sells pigeon feeds. They are often very helpful in helping you find a local fancier. If you already know someone who has racing homers, then you already have a head start.