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Hello, I'm new to the site and to the sport and had some questions about getting started for next year.
Apart from the loft and it's accommodations, i.e. perches and such, what else is needed as far as equipment for racing as a beginner? Secondly, I contacted my local club and I was told to come down for the next round of racing and meet some of the guys. With this said I need birds of racing stock, I just have some run of the mill birds now, should I rely on these other racers in the club for birds or start buying stock now from elsewhere?
Thank you
 

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The boss is right. I was at that place this spring and the club members help:) me get started and now I'm starting with a 36 young bird race team. Your club members will help you out with young birds (thats just the way club members are).
 

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I believe the key to getting a good start, is developing a close relationship with one already established and successful veteran member of the club. It does not have to be the top or one of the top three guys. But a good racing fancier with years of experience.

As with any group of people in any setting, there are jerks and there are some nice people. Find a nice person with experience and ask their opinons and advice and look "enthralled and interested". They will appreciate that and a good mentor type relationship could result. If it does, it will put you years ahead of the game.

This is not to say, to "suck up" for gain. But if you are truly interested in the sport, then it is only natural that you would seek the mentoring and advice of someone that you like and hit it off with. He/she/they will have been there and done that.

But just remember that one person wil not have all the knowledge available and listen to others also. Then, with your own judgment, put together all you are told and what you figure out on you own and adjust it to your own situation and conclusions.

In a nutshell, the number one way to get a good start in the racing pigeon hobby, is to get a mentor. One that you like and enjoy talking with. One that has experience doing what you are contemplating doing. Been there and done that, is worth it's weight in gold.

Another tidbit of info. Guard against obtaining too many birds. That happens to many racing pigeon enthusiasts. When club members offer you birds to "get started". You will get some good birds and you will get some birds that others are glad to find "new homes" for. If you know what I mean. A mentor can help guide you as to which members may just be culling their own flock, by appearing to help you out.

Oh. Birds will be offered for sale to you, with high praise about their parents, etc. If they are presented as "bred for stock" (in other words, never actually raced and proven), I would tend to avoid those.

Good luck.
 

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A little thing i have learned: If one the top folks offer you a bird, offer to pay for it. They are likely to refuse, but they are also likely to give you a better bird because you offered.

Also, if one of the leaders offers you a damaged bird that has a great history (that you can verify) it is likely worth taking. Make sure you verify the quality of the bird though.

And i would second the "start small" you have a lot to learn and it will be easier if you are only managing 10-15 birds than it will be with 30.
 
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Thanks everyone for your advise. Hopefully I can hit it off with a good member.
I have to agree you may be offered alot of birds some good some bad but you will know which are which when it comes to flying them and if you find someone in your club that you click with even better but do be curtious and thankful for all the advice you are offered ..you will know whos birds are better by their records of wins within the club too so take in all you can and use what is helpful to you since everyone does have their own way of doing things ... but if you can check into as many peoples setups as possible to see what will work best for you ;)
 
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