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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At times, is our sport getting too expensive? Birds, fees, feed, medication, and training? What do you guys/gals think? Input and/or feedback will be appreciated. :)
 

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I am not back into racing yet, but I clearly understand your question. I am at a point in my life where I have to do what I enjoy, because there is no promise of tomorrow. I truly enjoyed just having the birds around, but I understand with this economy that some people will have to justify the expense.
 

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At times, is our sport getting too expensive? Birds, fees, feed, medication, and training? What do you guys/gals think? Input and/or feedback will be appreciated. :)
I think it considered more "too" expensive by newcomers. Everything has gone up, from a piece of bubble gum to whatever. I think MOST of us have just learned to "deal" with it, but for a new person just coming on board, it can seem overwhelming..........
 

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I think it is medium. It is not like owning a racing horse--that is expensive!

I was looking at those racing clocks and they look expensive. For those prices you probably can buy computers that probably can do more. But I guess it has something to do with price/demand ratio.

The birds are probably semi-expensive, too. I am thinking of those prices such as you can find in ipigeon.com, etc.

Nevertheless it is still affordable, but it is not pocket change.
 

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It is as expensive as you let it be, or want it to be, within a certain degree. There are some things you HAVE to have and some that you WANT to have.

You can have pigeons as a hobby, for way less than a pack of cigarettes a day would cost you, (which is about $160.00 a month).

You can also have pigeons that will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over a ten year period. Depends what stock you start with. What races you enter, etc.

Racing pigeons have been called the "poor mans race horse" for a reason. But it can go sky high if you let it or want it too.
 

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I think it is medium. It is not like owning a racing horse--that is expensive!

I was looking at those racing clocks and they look expensive. For those prices you probably can buy computers that probably can do more. But I guess it has something to do with price/demand ratio.

The birds are probably semi-expensive, too. I am thinking of those prices such as you can find in ipigeon.com, etc.

Nevertheless it is still affordable, but it is not pocket change.
That is a great point. My thoughts are that we could buy a laptop for
$400, a scanner for a few bucks and some software to do the same as a clock. And you could have the computer on the off days to surf the net.

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm asking for feedback because that's the reason many guys in my area tell me. They say it's the bottom line cost of competing that is deterring them from joining clubs.
 

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Any hobby is expensive if you aim to be at the top. It's especially true, as lovebirds said, if you are a newcomer. Price isn't bad if you want just "homers" to fly in a club. They can be free or cheap, as have been discussed on another topic. But, eventually we all want to upgrade, and, that's where "expensive" can be.

I think if you are patient and wait for an opportunity to come up, you can get proven producers for $250-300 each. That price is about the low end for a bird that can produce children who can get you in the money in a money race. Most of us spend more money for a name instead of a result. If Ganus is selling an unproven grandson of Sure Bet for $500 and another flyer is selling a proven producing cock, bred down from a no name bloodline, for $300...most would go for the Ganus bird.

For myself, I try not to go for the "Ganus" type birds. I don't know yet if that's been a good idea or not, as I've just started to get serious about racing this year and Ganus birds do win their share. So far since February, I've spent well over $3000 on birds, including being conned by a breeding station we're all too familiar with. Of the $3000 spent, I'd say they were good choices, except for my very first buy, which was the breeding station one, which is an on-going issue. I could have saved and spent the $3000 on a "Ganus" type bird and maybe start off right, but, I think my $250 birds will have the same results as one of those.

A lot of the time, if we rush to spend money, we will pay too much or not see good results because we buy the very first thing that catches our eyes. Sit back a bit and watch. Watch and think instead of react. Let some slide away if it's not an absolute must have in your price range. Sooner or later, the one will be there for you at a price that's not "too expensive"...
 

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I think it all has to do with the person and the people they fly with.

A lot of newcomers may get the idea that you have to be rich to get good birds, but that's not always the case. If they were blessed with a good group of people to fly with, who help them out by giving them good birds, then they may be off to a good start. On the other hand, they could be given or buy birds that aren't as great, not do so well their first season, and quit.

Then there's all those fees that come into play when you start racing. Fees to join the club, fees to join the association, fees to join the combine, fees to even fly a season. Depending on where you are and how many active fliers you have, a lot of that can vary. Hopefully you get in a club or combine where there's enough people to spread the costs between to where it isn't that bad. One thing I was faced with this Old Bird season was the cost of flying it. With only 6 birds to fly, was it worth paying over $100 for, not knowing what would happen? We were determined NOT to miss out on our first OB season, so we took the risk. Right now I've got 4 consistant birds that I couldn't be more proud of right now, so it was definitely worth it for me. Of course I haven't won any races yet, but they're coming home in good time (in my opinion anyways :rolleyes: ), and for my first little yearlings, that's good enough for me!

Pigeons aren't that expensive to keep up unless you want them to be. You could buy all these fancy expensive medications and supplements, or you could get what you can when you can, and make the best of it. There's always the more natural ways of helping keep your birds up to snuff, which you can find at almost any grocery or health food store. Some of the best things you can do for your birds are free, like keeping a good clean loft, with fresh food and water. Well...food isn't free but you get my point :p Training on the other hand, can be tough with gas prices. We had a hard time with that last year. But if you're lucky, you'll have your club members to train with and save a little on gas.

So in summary, my opinion is that is isn't too expensive. I might have thought it was before I started, but now I'm used to seeing how much things cost. Some people can afford it better than others, but if you just set a little money aside now and then, you should be able to handle it. Then once you get ready to "upgrade", you oughta be okay. You just have to get the new people looking at it in a more positive way than just seeing it and saying "No. Too much money." They don't HAVE to jump right in spending crazy amounts of money. Have them ask themselves, is this really something they want to do, and are willing to work for it?
 

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To give you an idea of what you can do with relationships, I obtained two birds this year to add to my breeding system. They were both siblings of winners. They cost nothing, just a relationship and a bit of barter. Trading birds is a good way to get quality stock. Find a friend with quality stock, trade birds, feed, bands, dues and whatever it takes. Be a friend and you will get rewarded.

It is easy to empty your wallet in the sport if you want to. What a guy could do is take the four top birds in the club after the race season and obtain siblings off the same pairs. This could save you money and get you good blood. Late hatches, eggs, burrowing breeders, flying birds for good breeders all can prove valuable for getting good stock.

When you look at other sports pigeon racing is pretty affordable.

Randy
 

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It is as expensive as you let it be, or want it to be, within a certain degree. There are some things you HAVE to have and some that you WANT to have.

You can have pigeons as a hobby, for way less than a pack of cigarettes a day would cost you, (which is about $160.00 a month).

You can also have pigeons that will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over a ten year period. Depends what stock you start with. What races you enter, etc.

Racing pigeons have been called the "poor mans race horse" for a reason. But it can go sky high if you let it or want it too.
Hey Conditionfreak ! :)

I knew if I looked hard enough, I would find something we could agree on 100%, in spite the fact that on some threads we appeared to disagree on different aspects concerning "Investments" in our hobby !

The cigarette example is perfect, and we also know some people also purchase a cup of coffee with those cigs, and often a couple of them lottery tickets. Throw in a couple nights at a pub, and well....you can see that the choices we make every day, add up to some real money over the course of a week, month or year. Pigeon keeping can provide a real value for the dollar, compared to many different "hobbies" or vices.

One of the things my wife and I have given up, in order to enjoy are hobby the way we want to, is the traditional 2 or 3 week annual vacations to some exotic place. I "saved" a couple of dollars by giving up those cruises and casino stops. For us, is was a choice, and we feel we get a greater value, spread over 52 weeks of the year !! :) And when you consider that a single cruise to say Bermuda, is over in a very short period of time, and gone forever, the same amount invested in a pigeon or two can spread thousands of hours of enjoyment over a decade or longer.

And the best thing is, the owner and fancier sets the budget. It's all up to you and what you enjoy, and feel is important to you. The most expensive "Hobby" in my estimation, is having kids. :p

There is an economy of scale if you have a dozen or so, but generally speaking, you can save yourself perhaps $500,000 over a lifetime, by having one less kid, but that is getting a bit OT.
 

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Hey Conditionfreak ! :)

I knew if I looked hard enough, I would find something we could agree on 100%, in spite the fact that on some threads we appeared to disagree on different aspects concerning "Investments" in our hobby !

The cigarette example is perfect, and we also know some people also purchase a cup of coffee with those cigs, and often a couple of them lottery tickets. Throw in a couple nights at a pub, and well....you can see that the choices we make every day, add up to some real money over the course of a week, month or year. Pigeon keeping can provide a real value for the dollar, compared to many different "hobbies" or vices.

One of the things my wife and I have given up, in order to enjoy are hobby the way we want to, is the traditional 2 or 3 week annual vacations to some exotic place. I "saved" a couple of dollars by giving up those cruises and casino stops. For us, is was a choice, and we feel we get a greater value, spread over 52 weeks of the year !! :) And when you consider that a single cruise to say Bermuda, is over in a very short period of time, and gone forever, the same amount invested in a pigeon or two can spread thousands of hours of enjoyment over a decade or longer.

And the best thing is, the owner and fancier sets the budget. It's all up to you and what you enjoy, and feel is important to you. The most expensive "Hobby" in my estimation, is having kids. :p

There is an economy of scale if you have a dozen or so, but generally speaking, you can save yourself perhaps $500,000 over a lifetime, by having one less kid, but that is getting a bit OT.

I think the "key" or at least one of them in this post is "One of the things my WIFE and I have given up"...........makes it a LOT less expensive when BOTH adults (and kids if there are any) are all on the same page.
However, take the man (or woman) that is the "pigeon keeper" and consider the wife (or husband) who doesn't WANT to NOT go on that cruise OR doesn't WANT to NOT go to the local club on Friday night.......and now you've got double the expenses.
And who's going to tell their wife that they have to stop smoking so you can spend the money on your pigeons. ;)
Those of us who DON'T think that pigeons are "too" expensive, can find ways to explain WHY we think that, but it's not all black and white.
 

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Well, i guess i was blessed when i raced. My wife knew i wanted to do it. So she always had the money budgeted for feed, entry fees, Ect.
Mind you i was making a Third of what i do now. "Expensive" is in the Eye of the beholder. Most People would faint if they say my electric bill...From the ponds, ect. BUT, the ponds give us much pleasure, as do the pigeons i keep, and all the work/expense, in the garden, is well worth it in our Eyes.
If my wife wanted an expensive hobby, i would be there for Her.
Dave
 

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One thing that has not been mentioned is how combines and club's duplicate ourselves to achieve the same result. I remember a time when Kenosha and the Chicago combine would both take half filled trailers out on the 500...on the same day.
Feed and supplie's, we have little control over.But I feel as the cost's rise, there will be more thought given to combining operations. To keep the cost's in tow, if nothing else.
Somebody mentioned in a previous thread,the Topeka race. A perfect example of lowering cost's and expanding competition.
 
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