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A LOFT
This would be the home of your pigeons. Some lofts are very large and cost large sums of money,while others are small and made of scraps. People have maintained pigeons in small wooden boxes the size of an orange crate. The point here is not size or the cost but rather how many you wish to have.  A 2' long by 18" deep by 16" high box would make a pair of pigeons very happy. As a child I had a pair of common pigeons in a box with a small opening about that size and they did fine. Most important, the loft must be dry and safe from predator. 

FOOD, WATER AND GRIT
Pigeons in the wild do survive eating grass seeds and scraps of food. This will not do for racing pigeons. They need clean, aged grain that has a low moisture content.  There are many commercial brands on the market that have several types of grain mixed together that provide a balanced diet. On the market today are several brands of pellets. These are marketed as a complete food.

Feeding pigeons is an interesting area of pigeon racing because there are many different beliefs on the subject of feeding racing pigeons. Pigeon fliers differ as to what is the best way to feed, how much to feed, the type of food and the list go's on and on.  Most fliers give some kind of supplement to their pigeons, hoping to get a better racing performance from the birds. There are many supplements on the market and all have claims that the product they sell enhances the results of the pigeons. The nice part of this is each of us can go about caring for our pigeons in the manner we feel will do the most good.  The topic of food always leads us to nutrition, which  then  leads us to the anatomy of pigeons. All of these topics are interesting and worth studying .

WATER is the essence of life and without it our pigeons would not survive. Our athletes need clean water. The container they drink from should also be clean. Bacteria multiply very quickly in standing water. It would be wise to change the water and clean the container often.  Also, the container they drink from should prevent the birds from placing there feet into the water. 

GRIT is a mixture of crushed oyster shell, limestone, ground bone, granite, salt, charcoal and other trace minerals. These important minerals are not always found in grain in sufficient quantities. Today there are some very good commercial health grits on the market. Grit is extremely important for pigeons as it is used in the gizzard to aid in digestion. The addition of grit into a pigeons diet will mean better health for your pigeons. 

NOTE..With the above basics pigeon keepers have maintained flocks of pigeons for many years, maintaining & breeding healthy birds while racing with success.

LOFT SURVEY is the distance between a race station (liberation point) and the loft. This survey allows pigeon fliers to take the distance flown based on the time it took to fly and convert it into a speed( yards flown per minute). There is a commercial company that supplies this service.

TIMING CLOCK is a device that records the time a pigeon arrives home. Some clocks stamp the time on a roll of paper within the clock.  When the pigeon arrives home the countermark(special rubber band) on the pigeons leg is removed and put into the clock, the time is then recorded within the clock. Today, some clocks can time the pigeons in by the use of special computerized bands placed on the pigeons leg. When a pigeon enters the loft a pad is crossed that records the time.

TRAINING BASKETS sometimes called carriers, are small portable containers  used to transport your pigeons.  Most training baskets hold about 12 pigeons. Some fliers make there own while others purchase them.

JOIN a club, get some pigeons and you are on you way to an enjoyable hobby.
Click the image below to find a club near you.

                                                                       

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