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How small of a loft can someone have and still be competitive when racing with the big boys? I know there are a lot of variables involved. Thanks in advance, Michael
 

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Loft Size

I think as long as what you have is not over crowded you should be just fine. Several other factors besides loft since come in to play when it comes to being competitive, health, training, feed, quality of pigeons, motivation, ect.
I have seen some pretty small starter up lofts for junior memebers here and there on the net and magazines and you would be surprised on what a bird will race home to. The author on Secrets of Champions showed the demensions to a loft he had as a kid and it looked like a big box on stilts made out of wood to me, and from what he said he did very well racing from it. My neighbor a few houses down has a loft that is 4x8 and his birds seem to like it, my racing loft is 10x12, but that is only becasue we plan on having a good size old bird team someday since we have alot of old bird races. I think as long as what you have gives the birds good protections, ventelation, clean and is not over crowded you should be just fine.
 

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We were talking the other day in the club about old legends. One of the older fliers is know for entering 8 young birds into their clubs 300 mile race back in the day. He put 4 in the A race and 4 in the B race. He took the first 4 spots in both races. Our club has a 20-25 bird limit so the little guy can compete. Personally I would like to have 30-40 young birds going into a season. I think a guy could compete in most average size clubs with two small lofts with say 4 sections. The young bird loft that I am building can be converted to a small widowhood loft for old birds. Make your loft flexible with multi sections with removable inside panels. My plans are to cut down a bit, give the birds plenty of room and select hard for a good manageable number of breeders. A dozen pair of breeders could give you 50 young birds in two rounds.

Randy
 

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Mike,it`s not the size of the dog in the fight,but the fight in the dog that counts...A small loft with 20 YB`s can and will win races...It`s allways the quality of the birds,and how well do you handle them...My dad had pigeons for 50 years,and raced a very small YB team(22 to 24),and a even smaller OB team...He won many races,and allways had birds when alot of other lofts would not get any on tuff days...It`s alot easier to maintain good health,and condition,with a smaller team,as the others have said allready here...I have a 8 x 9 foot YB section,with 40 perches..I have 26 YB`s...There is plenty of room for birds to have a FAVORITE perch,and or room to nap on the floor,or outside in one of the 2 avaries that they have during the day...FOR ME >> Plenty of fresh air,and a CALM atmosphere for them is a must...The birds have to LOVE their HOME,and also have to have no fear of YOU...I will give you a good example of what I mean by a CALM loft atmosphere etc...I bought two YB`s at Auction,that my combine has,for 2 Special Races that a loft can win a few dollars...I also purchased two YB`s from a very prominent YB flyer...I received a YB as a gift from a lady that I gave a couple of birds to last year..So I had 5 YB`s from other lofts which were in my opinion kinda WILD...They were afraid of me..I could not pick them off a perch during the day,as I could with the birds that I have bred...My birds would just sit there and let me handle them..Not the 5 out of towners !!!...It is now 2 months later,and the out of towners come over and pick on my fingers,and pull my shoe laces open,and sit on my shoes,and come up on my bench I sit on in the loft,and pull on my pants pocket etc...4 of the 5 birds come from BIG lofts,with as many as 200 YB`s in 3 or 4 sections...They are wonderfull racing pigeons..But are NOT tame...It is allmost impossible to raise 100 and over YB`s,and expect to have tame/calm pigeons...Even at 60 to 75 birds,I beleive it would be hard to do also...I just like the calmness of a small loft,and team..It makes for a good hobby for me...I allways sit for at least 15 minutes in the loft after the morning meal,and 30 minutes after the evening meal..That accomplishes two things..I can look for any health problems with one or more birds buy seeing their droppings as they do them..And giving them access to my body and voice,for a good amount of time each day...They are curious about what I am made of..My socks catch hell from the pulling each day...My legs,when exposed when I have shorts on,get picked on like they were made of Safflower seeds...And the YB`s just love Safflower !!!......It is so relaxing in the loft,I have in the past fell asleep,from the tickling that the babies do on my legs,shoelaces etc....That`s what I love the most about the YB`s...I take meds for my HIGH
blood pressure..But when I`m in the loft,I would bet my blood pressure is real LOW !!!
hahahahaha!!!..........Alamo
 

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Alamo,

I know the feeling. It is a therapy. When I fly my birds and they don't get attack, I find that soothing as well.
 

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From what I have gathered from talking to the older guys in my race club that have been racing for decades you can win races with just one pigeon living out of a cardboard box LOL.
Its the love of thier loft that brings the pigeons back home quickly.
The pigeon doesnt care how big the loft is or how beautiful it looks.
 

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How small of a loft can someone have and still be competitive when racing with the big boys? I know there are a lot of variables involved. Thanks in advance, Michael
Depends if you are talking theory, or what realistically, could work ? I remember a story my orginal mentor told me way back in the 1960's. It was of a fancier in Europe who had won a big important National race. He only owned a single pair of pigeons, and he flew them to a kitchen cabinet. The strange part of this story to me anyway, was that the cabinet had a door which was opened from inside the house to clock the bird. So for all practical purposes, I suppose your "loft" could be the size of an orange crate.

The size of your loft, or the number of birds you maintain, IMHO, has no bearing on race results. If size of loft, or numbers of birds really had any positive bearing, then the guy in our combine who raises 300-400 YB's would be the killer competition, well...he is not. I am a very typical flier, and some of my best years, were when I had smaller teams. Most of my fellow club members only race about a dozen or so birds.

Don't know if you have a loft now, but go with what you have space for and can afford. With fewer birds, you will have some big advantages over the so called big boys.
 

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I agree, 4x8 can do it thats what im using for yb's this year my 20 against a mob flyer of 100 yb we'll c whats up! More room for less birds would be a typical loft if it were me and i had the decision to choose.

Naw, forget about it! Health and togetherness with the birds is the key. Large lofts and many birds equals less health and less togetherness. Like they say u'd rather be in a small class than a large one in which u can skip because the teacher will never know ur there! and attendence is once a month.
 

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You can compete and be competive with smaller amounts of birds. I raced with 23 birds last year and I was in the top ten places 6 or 7 races. I did breed more this year (I will have 50-55 on the team) and I think I will do better but we will see. The thing I see about mob flyers are that they are usually not very good flyers. They need more birds to get one to hit and they try to be a better flyer just by breeding more birds and increase thier chances. This is not always true but more times than not. But, I have seen a good flyer breed a crap load of birds and really kick butt.
 

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I think the only reason one may not be competitive flying from a small loft is the unknown factor of testing new breeders. If you fly 10 young birds, and 6 are from new matings and the other four are average matings from previous years, you'd be expected to not fly as well as somebody who flies 20 birds with the same 6 new matings. The odds are against you from the beginning.

If, on the other hand, you are flying repeated proven matings, then there's no reason to not be competitive even with 6 birds the whole season. I don't know what the numbers are in terms of diplomas awarded vs total birds flown per club/combine, but, all you need is for yours to be better than the others. And, that doesn't necessarily have to do with numbers. Pigeon racing is an individual sport. They don't pass batons to the next bird 100 miles down the road. Mathematically/theoretically or whatever, 6 birds from one loft can beat 600 birds...6,000 birds...60,000 birds. Not likely to happen, but it's a possibility. And, anytime there's a possibility, one can do it.
 
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