Pigeon Fanciers and Racers: Ambassadors for a Great Sport

Rising pigeons get the care they need and deserve; they are a wonderful pass-time. It is a hobby that gives hours of inexpensive fun and pleasure! In its long past as a companion bird, the racing pigeon was originally the bird of kings, princes, and noblemen. In fact, it was originally against the law for a common man to own pigeons! Pigeons were originally bred to “home” in order to carry messages long distances, mainly for military purposes. The Egyptians and Persians were known to use trained pigeons to deliver important messages, as were the ancient Chinese who used them as a form of postal service. This of course led to the competitive sport of pigeon racing, where the speed and stamina of the birds are tested over distances of 100 to 1000 kilometers. There are now racing pigeon clubs in many countries around the world, but it is said to have originated in Belgium, where it is the National sport. Several times each week, clubs in Belgium send 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, which she was given as a token of friendship from the King of Belgium. Racing pigeons in America has also become a popular sport, where trainers and breeders can test the skills of their animals without having to spend huge amounts of money (like horse or dog trainers). Even so, the prize winnings can be high - one race in America recently paid out nearly $800,000 in prize money to the top birds! People that keep pigeons have a very big responsibility because they are Ambassadors for the Sport. It takes time and effort to make sure that the loft is clean and well kept.

Notice that we said clean and well kept – and a clean and well-kept pigeon loft does not have to be expensive. With the right design and construction materials is can be quite cheap to build top-notch housing for your birds. The pigeons must also be well trained, and they need to be taught “good manners”. As you can imagine, if they are left to fly all over the neighborhood and roost and defecate where they please, neighbors will not be happy. So as an ambassador for this great sport, you need to be mindful that a clean and well-kept loft keeps the image and reputation of the sport clean, where a dirty and messy loft and untrained birds give a poor reflection on both the birds and the sport. Pigeon Racing is a sport that goes back over a thousand years – so think of this as you become part of this proud tradition, of creating champions and caring for these wonderful birds.