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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wikipedia says for "racing homer":

Wikipedia said:
Levi in his book The Pigeon refers to racing pigeons first being developed in Belgium and England during the Nineteenth Century.[1] He further says that they came about from the crossbreeding of a number of other breeds, primarily the Smerle, French Cumulet, English Carrier, Dragoon, and the Horseman (now lost). From the high-flying Cumulet, the Homer received its endurance, the ability to fly for hours on end without tiring. From the Carrier, it inherited the ability to find its way home from great distances.
It seems like the racing homer was developed from a bunch of fancy pigeons in the 1800s. I'm surprised it had homing ability. Why was it developed? Were they that much better than the previous homer breeds (that I guess no longer exists today).

Can English Carriers still home from a thousand miles today? What do the Horseman pigeons look like? Before racing homers what other breeds of pigeons were used for carrying messages?
 

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This is something which I could fin in the internet about the history of homin pigeons

"It’s thought that the ancient Egyptians were the first to use pigeons to carry messages. Aristotle wrote about using pigeons to carry messages in Greece during his lifetime (384 – 322 BCE), and the Romans kept them as well"

"The Egyptians and the Persians first used carrier pigeons 3,000 years ago. They also were used to proclaim the winner of the Olympics. Messenger pigeons were used as early as 1150 in Baghdad and also later by Genghis Khan. The Republic of Genoa equipped their system of watch towers in the Mediterranean Sea with pigeon posts. Tipu Sultan used carrier pigeons. They returned to the Jamia Masjid mosque in Srirangapatna, which was his headquarters. The pigeon holes may be seen in the mosque's minarets to this day. In 1860, Paul Reuter, who later founded Reuters press agency, used a fleet of over 45 pigeons to deliver news and stock prices between Brussels and Aachen, the terminals of early telegraph lines. The outcome of the Battle of Waterloo was also first delivered by a pigeon to England. During the Franco-Prussian War pigeons were used to carry mail between besieged Paris and the French unoccupied territory. Possibly the first regular air mail service in the world was Mr. Howie's Pigeon-Post service from the Auckland New Zealand suburb of Newton to Great Barrier Island, starting in 1896. Certainly the world’s first 'airmail' stamps were issued for the Great Barrier Pigeon-Gram Service from 1898 to 1908. Homing pigeons were still employed in the 21st century by certain remote police departments in Orissa state in eastern India to provide emergency communication services following natural disasters. In March 2002, it was announced that India's Police Pigeon Service messenger system in Orissa was to be retired, due to the expanded use of the Internet. The Taliban banned the keeping and/or use of homing pigeons in Afghanistan."


Essentialy, the homing ability of pigeons were induced in them by nature, like many other living things, may be to find way to their home after searching for food or for breeding. Selective breeding by humans might have enhanced this particular capability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting. I wonder what kind of homing pigeons they used 3000 years ago. The Damascenes are said to be unchanged for 3000 years and it'll be cool to re-develop their homing ability.

What strikes me as amazing are the 1885 race results, when the Belgium racing homer was still a very new breed:



Could they have developed the homing ability that quick? They raced them to 1200 miles as well back then, so it's not just the sprints.
 
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