Tips for keeping your pigeons in tip-top shape

As with any form of exercise or racing, proper training is required to ensure that we can excel in what we’re doing, the same can be said for pigeon racing. You need to understand the specifics of the race you’re entering and factor in the different fitness levels of each bird. Once you have an idea of what it will take to win, the training can begin.

Interesting fact: Mike Tyson is a fan of pigeons and has been breeding and racing them for years!

Factors Affecting Performance

The first thing to remember is that changing weather conditions will affect the pigeon’s racing ability, so be sure to check the weather forecast the day of the race. You also need to pay careful attention to what you’re feeding the bird before a race.

To achieve general fitness, work on a comprehensive training programme, for example, an hour of daily home training a few times a week supplemented with one or two days of road training. To assist you in creating a training programme, you’ll need to determine how much time will be spent flying, the distance that will be covered as well as the predicted weather on the day.

Once the fitness foundation has been built, you need to prepare the pigeon for the tough competition and develop endurance to help them keep up with the rest.

Achieving Peak Form

When it comes to making the most of your training, you need to push your pigeon/pigeons a little bit harder and try to train at least three times a week – although exceeding that would be beneficial. You need to be focused on finding ways to promote energy and strength to give your bird a competitive edge.

If you’re training for a short to mid-distance race, limit the time spent flying during training sessions as this will affect their form on the day of the race.

There’s also a risk of overtraining as well as not having a well-rounded programme. You may find that your bird has been on a winning streak and you’ll assume that this is due to them being in peak form, it’s not. One slight change to the racing conditions and your bird will not be able to cope. This is where understanding the racing conditions will work in your favour.

Top 5 training tips

  • Most races take place on a Saturday, so plan your training accordingly.
  • If your pigeon is not competing, try to arrange an additional training session on a Saturday.
  • Ensure that your pigeon has time to rest and receives proper nutrition before the race.
  • Supplements and extended feedings can help your pigeon fuel up before a race.
  • When training for a mid to long-distance race, try to avoid strenuous training the week of the race.

Put Your Ego Aside

While we all want to win big like we can at, there is such a thing as pushing too hard to make it onto the scoreboard. This egotistical approach has been the reason for the demise of so many champion racing pigeons, don’t let it be the reason for your pigeon’s demise too.