Pigeon sports have long been a pastime for everyday enthusiasts, but in recent decades the sport has become more professional. Larger lofts increasingly have a horde of pigeons and hire people to take care of them. The reason for this is partly due to the astronomical amount of money that some winning and star pigeons have sold for in recent years. This trend has had both good and bad consequences for pigeon sports. However, hobbyist pigeon enthusiasts should let this get them down. It’s up to you how complicated or expensive as you want it to be. Caring for your pigeons and achieving good results on flights is just as possible with an ordinary pigeon loft.
Our tips to have more fun with this great sport:
1. Adjust the size of your kit of pigeons to the amount of space, time and financial means you have. Don't keep more pigeons than you can take care of and make sure it's an experience and not a routine.
2. Decide at the start of your pigeon career which discipline you want to practice (youngsters, sprint, middle distance, etc). If you choose a particular discipline and put the necessary effort into it, you will get better results.
3. Depending on the discipline, it’s a good idea to get to know a small well-playing enthusiast in your area to see about strengthening your birds. In the summer you can easily get some eggs or late hatchings from their most valuable breeders and best racers. A fancier from your own neighborhood will also be more inclined to give you good advice, because the local reputation of their pigeons also depends on it.
4. As a hobbyist, it’s important to get the entire family into pigeon sports as much as possible. Let the children/grandchildren be involved and try something out in the pigeon loft. Just like with other animals, pigeons quickly get used to it. Afterall, children playing football and noisy neighbors are often more annoying for the fanatic pigeon fancier than for the pigeons returning home.
5. Remember that pigeon sport is a hobby you can get fully involved in and get complete satisfaction from. Therefore, set realistic goals that are achievable to make it more rewarding.
6. If your options to keep pigeons at home are limited, but you’re still fascinated by pigeon sports, there are solutions:
-Keep a few breeding couples and participate in one-loft races. You can even take the whole family on a trip while you’re at it. Combine the final race with a pleasant family holiday!
-Keep a few breeding couples and make an arrangement with a friend/pigeon fancier to breed for him/her and test these pigeons out together on flights.
- Collaborate with another pigeon fancier to work together and split the work. That way, one family can travel while the other takes perfect care of the pigeons when they’re away.
7. Benefit from the social aspect of pigeon sport and join a pigeon association. This plays a major role for many people when caging the pigeons and bringing in the clock. Give everyone a good score and congratulate your fellow fanciers on a job well done. A small gesture that requires little effort but which makes pigeon sport a feel-good activity.