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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am in a unique situation. Living in Montana we have a lower population than most "Pigeon Places". So I am trying to get a grasp about racing pigeons and clubs as there are few pigeon people out here.

1) How do/did you choose your pigeon club.
2) How do you 'race' your pigeons.
3) How far do you 'race' (least and most amounts).
4) What advice can you share with me who knows NOTHING of this aspect.
5) What does it take to 'create' a new club?
6) Which type of club do you belong to (ie AU NPA Etc)

Thanks. I have googled about but am still very lost... Maybe I just don't know enough to get the start of how all this works with regard to 'google'.
 

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There appear to be clubs in Hamilton, Manhatten and Eureka. I would suggest that you make contact with the one which is nearest to you.
 

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I would agree choose a club close to you, if you need to know how to train for a race well that's more than just one post.
Old and young birds the first race is 100 miles, young birds only out to 300 miles, old birds we go all the way to 600 miles.
Advice, you should start another post with certain questions.
To create a club, you can race with 3 people but to be AU sanctioned you need at least 5 people.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There appear to be clubs in Hamilton, Manhatten and Eureka. I would suggest that you make contact with the one which is nearest to you.
Well how close is close enough??

Cause I just got off the phone with a very nice fellow in Eureka. He agrees I'm too far out to be part of the club. They do the 'old time' clocks (So you would drive up, drive back to your loft and wait, then drive back to give your clock for results -- NO DIGITAL) At 180 Miles as the Pigeon flies, crossing the Rockies to get back to me no less (wind sheer) it would be a 4.5 HOUR drive ONE WAY and 250 miles ONE WAY. Kinda insane to race that way...

So here are the stats:

To Eureka - 180 Pigeon miles, 250 car miles, 4.5 hrs drive time (all one way).
To Manhatten 118 Pigeon miles, 163 car miles, 2.5 hrs drive time (all one way).
To Hamilton 146 Pigeon miles, 191 car miles, 3.5 hrs drive time (all one way).

So now you see, after these birds would have to fly over incredible wind sheers with the Rocky Mountains, it would be a lot to ask of the birds, and a long drive to go back and forth...

Thus the idea of starting a club closer to me... Boy, don't yah all feel lucky now to have clubs in your own backyards? ;)
 

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Take Your Time

I would look to get a few pair of birds - from a fancier in your area.
Raise a few , settle them and train them. "GET YOUR FEET WET "
If you still like the hobby after a year or so , look to enter a few birds in some local races with other fanciers. See what you have and how you feel about traveling long distances to a club.
I would keep it simple at first and make sure the sport is all you thought it is and if it is for you.
Traveling 4-5 hours to a club seems real tough to me .
Nice to have you in the sport - just take your time.
 

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I agree with Bob. There are a lot of special races around not to mention "One Loft Races." You can concentrate more on the breeding and let others race your birds.
 

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What club to race with

I thought I was far removed to where my club is (50 road miles)....But your way out from everyone...Like the other guys said....If you can start a club where your located,or breed some YB`s,and send them out to Convention races,or One Loft Races etc....Keep a few for you to let out and enjoy at home...Advertise in the local newspaper that a Racing Pigeon club is about to be started...Any who might be interested can call you,and you might get lucky...I did this 30 years ago,and after a few years,we had 10 members....Good Luck....Alamo
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I thought I was far removed to where my club is (50 road miles)....But your way out from everyone...Like the other guys said....If you can start a club where your located,or breed some YB`s,and send them out to Convention races,or One Loft Races etc....Keep a few for you to let out and enjoy at home...Advertise in the local newspaper that a Racing Pigeon club is about to be started...Any who might be interested can call you,and you might get lucky...I did this 30 years ago,and after a few years,we had 10 members....Good Luck....Alamo
Thanks everyone!
Please explain/define "one loft races" and "convention races' as I don't seem to find these definitions anywhere...

Both AU Clubs feel that I am too far from them to really benefit (and I do agree with that) so I am now looking into other options. AU Reviewed who might even be remotely close this am with me, and also agreed, I am just NOT near anyone else - mountains or no mountains...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
.... and here comes Shorty to try and recruit you for Post Office Pigeon Racing. :)

You train your birds and then ship them through the mail to another loft for release. Others also ship them to the same loft so all are released together. The other lofts can be in different directions from you, so if the release loft is 300 miles South of you, other competitors could be 300+ in the opposite direction so your competitors could be from a very wide range.

You don't need a race clock, we use the call in / text method. You contact the host when your bird arrives and tell them the countermark number, that is your official clock time. The host then sends in the results which are posted at postofficepigeonracing.com

You can start your own local POPR club. You have a person be a "secretary" and put the countermarks on everyone's birds as they are packed in a shipping crate. Instead of shipping birds through the mail, you have someone drive them out for release. After you get bitten by the racing bug, it is no big deal to drive 140 miles. Not only is the local POPR racing fun, but also as training for longer distance POPR racing through the mail.

At 4 months old, you can have birds returning from 140 miles. At 6 months old, can return from 300. And then you can continue flying the same birds, it isn't like YB racing where you are only racing birds that are less than 1 year old.

HIGHLY INTERESTED!! I looked at your site over a week ago -- but thought I wouldn't be able to 'play' (Compete) as I am SO FAR from you...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You breed the birds, make some babies and when they are 24 days old (before they have imprinted on your loft), you send them to the one loft race host. The birds are raised at that location, trained and raced at that host location.

It is a GREAT way to test the bloodline of your birds since all birds are treated equally. The compromise is the birds are then homed to the race location and if you have them sent back to you, if they get out to fly, they will try and return to the one loft race host location.
Ahhhhh another puzzle piece solved (for me) thank you!!! A very interesting approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Guessing about 950 miles between us. If we found someone half way that was willing to host a race for us, that is only 475 miles for each of us.

If we can manage to develop the distance homers like old days that could fly 1000+ miles, then we can swap birds through the mail and fly them the full distance between us.
Guess we got ourselves some goals to work on, eh? :) I just checked this am, and we are closer to 1000 miles by pigeon when I used the calculator to Phoenix. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
YEA!!! :)

Regardless of where they went, it sucks to loose birds so if you really like a bird and are super attached to it, then don't fly it.
What are the birds like that you are getting? What kind of flying has your breeder been doing?

Is your breeder putting ID leg bands on your birds?
Well at the moment I have just the white homers, did some reading about racing and found it intriguing, so I'm up for seeing how these fellas do. Yup I could lose them to hawks here or there or anywhere in between, so I try not to get overly attached.
I have a new friend who is also willing to give me some of his breeders to raise chicks from and they are true racers... But that will be a couple months off til I can get to drive that far up to bring them back.
The ones I have currently are not formally trained and are just free flighted. I have taken them 25 mi out and they returned. I have the offspring to those (since we wish them to return to my loft). They are not banded, so I bought the elastic and snap type bands for myself and am working on doing 'real' bands. Out here we don't have an AU club so there is no way of getting bands.
Currently no one has flown from MY loft. I am waiting for the young birds I have now to even be able to fly... So yes, very much in the infancy of this new found gig. But like I say, I have released birds for others (and I have had parrots for years and worked as the 'bird manager' in several pet stores over the years. So there is a bit of knowledge in my head for birds keeping and health.)
While the chicks - squeakers - I have are weaned, and eating well, not yet flying, we are Bob training inside the aviary daily and they are pros! So once they get flight I will put them up on the 'real' landing board with bobs. (right now we have a 'training school' set up with a dog kennel fitted with bobs sitting on haybales that they make their way through. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
> The ones I have currently are not formally trained and are just free flighted.
> I have taken them 25 mi out and they returned.

I read a study that pigeons have an 18 mile radius visual map of their loft area so if the parents of your birds have returned from 25, that is a good sign they have atleast some homing ability.

** I agree, and I think with training them starting the within 24 hours of them actually capable of flight will go a long way.

> Out here we don't have an AU club so there is no way of getting bands.

You can get seamless bands from ebay really cheap, like $0.33 each in qty 100 with free shipping.

**I will look into this. Anyone you have directly worked with?

> Currently no one has flown from MY loft. I am waiting for the young birds
> I have now to even be able to fly...

I read a study where they did an experiment. They hatched a bunch of babies and half were allowed to loft fly, the other half were kept in the loft or aviary. Then at 4 to 6 months old they dissected their brains and discovered the pigeons allowed to fly had a hippocampus that was 15% larger than the birds who were kept in the loft. So... that kinda indicates to me it is important to get them flying young.

** Agree, and This is why as soon as I see them flying we are starting the 201 classes. Some will likely fly before others, they will start the day they can fly. I am thinking I will only have one late bloomer (age related).

In my loft I offer an open trap twice a day.
6 weeks old - the babies usually emerge from the loft and sit outside and start to fly around in close proximity of the loft
8 weeks old - the babies will start to fly with the older birds and go routing
10 weeks old - I take them on their first toss at 11 miles.

**Terminology here could be key. I have them going and coming from the 'roosting box' by opening the people door and they have a timber that allows them to get back in as it's almost 3 ft off the ground. Some also walk it to get down. Today I offered no 'elevator rides' from the box to the ground for feeding. (Me picking them up and placing them on the ground). Tough schooling, they had to find a way to the feed dish on their own, and had 10 mins to eat.

> So once they get flight I will put them up on the 'real' landing board
> with bobs. (right now we have a 'training school' set up with a dog
> kennel fitted with bobs sitting on haybales that they make their way
> through. :)

I have a drop trap so I don't need to do any training. I simply open the trap and they leave through that hole on their own. The food / water / perch is inside so when they get hungry or it starts to get dark, they are highly motivated to go back in. With a drop trap, it is very simple for them to understand how to push through the crack to "drop in" and get to their food.

Here is an idea for you when you are ready to let your birds outside for the first time, don't feed them that day and open your trap about 2 hours before dusk. Do not place them outside, let them go out on their own.

Leave the trap fully open so when you call them for food, they will fly back in the open trap hole and go for the food.

Next day do the same thing, but suspend your bob wires so they are half way down.

Next day do the same thing, wires a little lower so they have to push them a little to get in, but the hole to get in is still clearly open.

Next day, full bob wires to push through.

** They are having no issues with the bobs at all. I can't even slow them down to get a video of them going through them lol. So I'd be putting them on the landing board now and having them go back into the aviary, except without the real ability to fly just yet, I don't want anyone crash landing and breaking a bone.

My "roost" sits inside a large aviary for them to fly. The aviary is 26 ft x 13 ft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Notice my 'roost' sits inside the aviary. The bobs are pretty high up - next to the people door... But this gives you an idea of what I built in a hurry with only 2 weeks in -50F temps to get it done and not living near a supply store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
How many miles away is he? SiriusXM radio is the thing that makes it easy for me to drive distance, I can drive all day long now that I have XM radio. The sooner you get your breeders, the sooner you can start making your fly team and get out flying.
He's 4.5 hours by car - one way - but the mountain passes have been closed lately to all traffic due to blizzards. So we've decided to wait until we know we can get me across the Rockies and back. :)

Yea, I have left the wings in tact with the 2 breeders I have now. I am considering on planning on cutting them when we are ready to start flight. Right now I have it set so I can let the birds IN/Out/ or both. So I can let everyone out while keeping the breeders locked up in the roost, then set the bobs so only those out of the loft can come back in. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is great info - all the way around, thank you!

"Morning" can mean a lot of things to folks, so to know 'first light' is very helpful. It's these kinds of details and clarifications I find most helpful.

It's been tough not doing more with them as they're young. But we are keeping a routine and I think that is worth it's weight in gold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You can buy AU bands from siegals pigeon supply. Jedds pigeon supply. And can join the AU and by from them. .
Yes they sell them, BUT only to members. I don't have an AU group out here to join. Thus not a member, thus they won't sell me the bands.
 
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