Becoming a pigeon racer is one of the hardest hobbies to learn. With different pigeons having their learning styles, you learn how to teach them for the first time and the dozens of lessons you have to learn and teach, it’s going to be a challenge to become a pigeon raiser.
That’s why today, we at Team Grove and Pienaar are teaching you how to raise your pigeons with this 7-point article. Learn these seven tips well, stick to them and you can be sure you’re raising a champion bird in no time! So keep reading this article today to learn how.
Feeding your pigeons
A strong and healthy racing pigeon is accomplished by feeding them high-quality meals. Just like athletes, a racing bird needs to have a well-balanced diet that can supply them with all the right amounts of nutrients.
This means, if you only feed them seeds, regardless of how high-quality they are, your racing pigeons will be malnourished. This is because seed-only diets cause bone-embrittling calcium deficiency. To combat this, calcium-rich pellets are also a must whenever you’re feeding your pigeon.
Also, fruits and vegetables have a lot of great nutrients in them that give birds better strength and eyesight. So whenever you’re feeding your pigeon, give them fruits and greens such as kale, apples, spinach and broccoli to keep them strong.
Finally, birds need to be properly given carbohydrates from foods such as mashed eggs and cooked rice to help them stay energised. A great way to even boost their energies even further is by giving the pigeons some carbohydrate-rich mealworms found at your local pet stores.
Hydration and supplements
A mix of proper hydration and supplements is also an essential way to keep your pigeons energised. Because just like human beings, birds need water too. Water cleanses the bodily toxins, allows better blood circulation and has long-term energising for your racing pigeons. To even better your bird’s hydration process, supply their drinking water with additional powdered supplements such as electrolyte mixes.
Finally, to help them be strong and steady, some much–needed supplements are needed. There are a lot of supplements out in the market all over the globe. So this means you’d need to do your research on what these are and how they can help your bird improve in certain ways. These give your birds all the necessary nutrients as these supplements are made from unique, strengthening ingredients for pigeons.
Housing your pigeons
Proper housing is how pigeons stay happy, healthy and strong and ready for the next competition. So as you purchase your pigeons or conduct breeding processes on your own, be sure you have proper housing ready.
Proper housing for pigeons means something big and spacious enough for them to not just relax, but also fly around inside.
This is because pigeons, like other birds, value freedom and have an uncomfortable sense of tension whenever they can’t fly around. So give your pigeons ample space to allow them to fly around. Regardless if this is a birdhouse or cage, the housing of your choosing needs to be big enough.
Should you have a big number of pigeons with you, an even bigger birdhouse or cage must be available. If not, not only will they feel uncomfortable because of narrow, fly-free areas, there will also be a lot of tension-driving in-fighting and possible spreading of viruses. So remember to allow your pigeons to feel safe.
Finally, a stimulated and relaxed pigeon is a winning racing pigeon. This means you need to place their birdhouses or cages in stimulating environments. These stimulating environments are characterised by a view of the sky and free from larger animals who prey on pigeons or pests such as cats and rats respectively.
Germ/bacteria control of pigeons
A healthy pigeon is a strong and championship-winning pigeon. With this in mind, ensure that your pigeon is healthy to help them overcome the hardest challenges in their upcoming competition.
To do so, keep your birdhouses or cages extra-clean. Have a thorough cleaning of your birds’ homes by making sure these areas are drought-free, have lots of clean air flowing through them and of course, spacious enough to all the birds within.
If your birdhouse or cage is dirty and damp, germs, bacteria and other life-threatening viruses are attracted to these areas. These microscopic organisms can kill not just one bird, but all the other birds in their home. After all, once one bird gets infected in a small area, all the other ones are too.
Avoid deadly events happening within the cage by remembering to remove any faecal material made inside, clean the bird’s bowls and water regularly and keep it dry at all times. Also, remember to use anti-bacterial sprays available at your local pet stores to prevent the spread of germs inside your birdhouses/cages.
Understanding your pigeons
Hearing and understanding the needs of your bird is how you help them have good mental health. When your pigeons feel like you understand their personalities and needs, they’d listen to you better and you’d be a better teacher as well.
After all, a single pigeon can be taught differently than the other pigeons within the same birdhouse or cage. Yes, it’s possible that a set of pigeons can be taught the same way or are faster to learn, but remember that you must never expect another pigeon to be like the others. They’re all unique after all.
So with this in mind, spend some time getting to know your pigeons and notice how they respond (or not respond) to your commands, what keeps them motivated and how they act under certain circumstances. Once you do, you can build a proper training regiment built just for them to help you teach them to fly and win your upcoming battles against other pigeons.
Follow a training regimen
The secret to success is continuous training. Like in humans, pigeons need their bodies to be properly trained to achieve peak performance. So whenever you’re growing your pigeon to be meant for racing, it’s important that they follow a strict training regimen that’s ideal for them.
As mentioned above, no pigeon can be trained the same way. So once you’ve taken the time to know how your pigeon thinks, create multiple training exercises they can follow to grow and become efficient avians on the field.
Training your pigeon will take time and a lot of effort. Should you be patient with them, however, know that you’re inbound for a winning pigeon that’s going to soar to new, championship-winning heights.
Taking care of the offspring
Once you have a pigeon chick, know that you have the power to transform it into a winning bird someday. So whenever your pair of pigeons give birth or you’re given a pigeon chick, you need to properly take care of it.
In 6 months after a pigeon is born, know that your pigeons will reach the growth of sexual maturity and create nests. Once there, the couple will then be having their own babies and will take care of them frequently. When the baby is born, both the male and female pigeons can produce milk. Make sure the parents are feeding the chick because their milk is the one that’s ideal for them.
Though you must allow the parent pigeons to take part in their child’s development stage, you need to take part in raising the chick. This is because you don’t just want the baby/ies to grow healthy, but also strong and fast enough to be efficient on the field someday.
However, if you receive your pigeon chick from another pigeon raiser or its parents are not present, you’d have to be the chick’s parent. Should this be the situation, visit a local vet and ask them for an alternative for the proper parent milk replacement. With milk being the most important drink for the chick, you must get the best that you can find.
Once done, you’d have to feed this baby manually for 4 to 5 days. Using a syringe, place milk inside its tube and place the opening inside the chick’s beak 2 to 3 times a day. Then as it grows, it slowly develops its digestive tracts and will need more milk and feeding time. (Be careful not to overfeed them!) In its second week, help the chick grow its health by giving it multi-vitamins to keep it strong and healthy.
Then after three weeks, teach the chick to eat solids by placing a few bird seeds around them. They will automatically learn how to eat as they take it.
The road to being a pigeon racer is a long and hard one. However, once you keep doing it and persevere, you’re giving yourself better chances of becoming a successful pigeon race!