Wintering your Birds

During the cold weather months the normal tendency of most pigeon flyers is to take a “break” from the birds and pretty much forget any health issues until it is time to mate up the breeders for next year. In most of the successful lofts, however, the winter time, though not as busy as the rest of the year, is not a time of neglect. The following should be kept in mind.


It has been my experience that most pigeon flyers keep far too many pigeons. I am convinced that most of us could cull ½ to 2/3 of our pigeons and not hurt our performance in the races at all. In many cases our performance would actually increase. In the United States the Marine Corp. (before they were politically correct) had an advertisement stating that “they were looking for a few good men”. Since I currently don't race, that statement reflects my goal on my old bird race team. Birds that haven’t measured up, that are chronically late, or are real inconsistent should be culled. I also cull all pigeons that seem to be unthrifty. We have all seen birds that can give a good performance, but it seems that they are no good for 2-3 weeks because they don’t bounce back. These birds lack vitality and should be culled. Lack of vitality is certainly a trait you want to avoid in your loft. Many of us have no trouble in culling inferior pigeons, that’s an easy call. Many of us, however, have a loft full of mediocre to good pigeons that we could do without. The top lofts in Europe, Canada and the United States consistently cull birds the quality of which fills other lofts. Always strive to keep only the BEST and cull the REST. Fewer pigeons simply translates into happier and healthier birds.