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Perhaps because grit doesn't serve any value as far as energy goes. Or maybe grit can make pigeons thirsty? :confused: I don't know why.
Depending on what you feed prior to the race I think it is important to provide at least a very small amount of grit, so it doesn't work the body so hard to digest it. If you feed small seed, or pellets, grit may not be as important. But if you have any corn in there, they definitely need it.
 

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Are grits removed during the racing season?
I'm thinking the reasoning or thinking behind removing grit on shipping day, is to avoid any extra weight. On shipping to a short race, with good weather, some fanciers may even skip the meal altogether. I don't know how much difference on the margin it might make. I lost a club race in 2007 by two seconds, and I won a race by 2 seconds. Could not feeding grit on shipping day to a short and fast race make 2 seconds of difference ??? If one would like to find out, then if you ship 20 birds, feed 10 of them their grit and feed and just water for the other 10. Perhaps after a season or two, a real advantage could be seen. Challenge is, you must maintain the 15 or 20 other variables in the mix.

Then realise if you do things like this, there will be times where the circumstances could work againest you. A race hold over, a smash race where birds are out for days. If the race is on Saturday, and you didn't feed or provide grit, and now it is Monday and still no bird, those little details might make the difference if they even make it back home. That last crop full of feed or grit, might make a difference if the race goes badly.
 

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My observation is that pigeons don't eat grit everyday. They eat it if they need it. They do like oyster shells often though. I suppose whether you remove it or not makes no difference during race day.
 

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Also if you feed pellets you don't need grit at all!
Forgive me for my ignorance, but that makes no sense at all to me. Seeds are much harder and denser than pellets so how are pellets supposed to take the place of grit? Seems to me that the pellets would be the first thing digested.

Wait a minute, the thought just hit me that you might be refering to feeding only pellets. If that is the case then I guess it would make a little more sense but I still would offer grit. Their digestive systems just aren't set up for working without it.

Dan
 

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My observation is that when I give my birds pellets, they consume twice more water than just using grains alone. Even though I give my birds pellets and grains combine, I still offer grit. They don't eat it much though.
 

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You don't need grit with pellets because pellets are very easily broken down and digested, NOT because they take the place of grit.


Pigeons can survive with a very minimal amount of grit (as in, none provided by us, just the little rocks they pick from the ground themselves when allowed). BUT it's very stressful on the bird and can greatly reduce the quality of them. With grit, the feathers look better, the birds look happier and healthier, they grow more quickly (as far as babies and youngsters go), and they have better luck with reproducing. So that goes to tell you how important grit can be. If you're going to feed all pellets without grit, then you need to provide them with vitamin and mineral supplements every week. It's much easier in my opinion, to just give them grit no matter what you feed :p

But for racing, removing it 24 hours prior to the race sounds good to me. I wouldn't take it away any earlier than that, or my birds would probably get very mad at me!
 

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Hi DEEJAY, Do you race on pellets or maybe I should ask do you race? GEORGE;)
Yes I am going to race this year even though I'm on the long end, actually I'm the farthest south of all the flier's, the club members were really great in helping me get some young birds so I could race this September (Young bird season) so it should be a lot of fun to see who gave me any birds worth bragging about! As for the pellets? well why not? they have everything the birds need into a small mini-pellet, right now we have many feeds and I would like to narrow it down to a single feed(all purpose) instead of trying to over think feeding for various reasons like breeding, young birds, flier's, right now to be honest it's like "information overload" with everyone trying to help, but everyone has their own ideas on feeding, I recall many years ago an old pigeon flier telling me it's not what you feed the birds as long as you keep it consistent from week to week of course those were the days when culling birds was normal and sickness was not tolerated,and medicating birds was not even thought of, so I try to use things from the past and blend in things that work today. Well talking about the "past" we are still using "pigeon timers" the manual type of many years ago along with the electronic timers of today,it sure was hard to find a manual pigeon timer, but now I've got a couple of benzing timers coming from belgium via the ebay auction site! So it's off to the races this fall, my only fear is that My son and I will not have the birds we need to finish all 10 races, maybe not even the first five races lol :)
 

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a need for grit

I think if you don't give it they will stop and get it outside your loft. I just had my lane graveled with limestone and it is a pigeon magnet as well as other birds. I don't see how they can utilize food without it. Although I know pellets have it, few are feeding pellets to racers who are training.
 

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Those grit/rocks assist in digestion. The gizzard is a powerful muscle. I think pigeons can digest food without grit/rocks, but without it the food digested is not fully assimilated.
 

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de Vera Loft,

Even when feeding strictly pellets, grit should be provided along with the pellets, either mixed in with the pelltets or provided in a seperate dish that you can monitor.. A pigeon on a strictly pellet diet will not eat much grit, but unless you are adding trace mineral supplements to their feed or water they may not be getting everything they need. Grit's cheap, and it won't hurt them, so why take a chance?

Ralph
 

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Are grits removed during the racing season?
Grit should be available to the birds 24/7. However, in saying that, there are certain medications that, when given, the grit is taken away from the birds. That's normally a 7 day course so for at least a week, they do without grit and do just fine.
I personally take the grit away from my birds the morning of shipping, because of the thirst factor. It doesn't hurt them to go without grit for 24 hours until they get back home.
 

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de Vera Loft,

Even when feeding strictly pellets, grit should be provided along with the pellets, either mixed in with the pelltets or provided in a seperate dish that you can monitor.. A pigeon on a strictly pellet diet will not eat much grit, but unless you are adding trace mineral supplements to their feed or water they may not be getting everything they need. Grit's cheap, and it won't hurt them, so why take a chance?

Ralph



Actually, I have a friend who has been raising feral pigeons in a loft for almost 20 years now. He feeds the pigeons ONLY pellets and feeds them no grit and no minerals. He gives them garlic and ACV but thats it. Most pellets (or at least the kinds around here) have vitamins and minerals in them. I know MY pellets have several vitamins listed.

Anyway my friend gives them no grit and no oyster shell. No calicum supplements. And he has birds that are 14 years old. And I think one that is 16.

His hens are constantly on eggs. They never get a break. Eggs babies and more eggs.:eek:


I would like to add that I dont condone this type of breeding behavior. But I was using it as an example. That pigeons can lead happy and healthy lives with no grit.
 
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