While there is certainly a fair amount of gut instinct backed by years of experience that goes into pigeon racing, a successful fancier combines instinct with data to make informed decisions.
The records you keep can be as thorough as you like and may include things such as; what you fed the pigeons and at what time, any supplements they had, health conditions or diseases they may have had, training regimes, weather conditions leading up to a race etc.
The more accurate and thorough your records, the easier it will be to report on past success or achievements, i.e. in the pedigree, as well as, retrace the steps you took leading up to the win.
Ultimately you decide what you want to record, the suggestions on this page are meant to serve as a starting point to give you some ideas on the kinds of things you may want to keep notes on.
Before going further we would like to thank Andrew Domanski of Domanski Family lofts, the suggestions on this page are heavily based on his article about the importance of record keeping.
Accurate and thorough breeding records are what separates a good stock man (or woman) from a poor one.
Here is some of the basic information pertaining to breeding that you should be recording:
- sire and dam
- round number
- date eggs are laid
- date eggs hatch
- date youngsters are banded
- band numbers of youngsters
- date youngsters are weaned
- physical observations
- colour of youngster
This is where things can start to get really thorough. You will want to tailor the below list according to the types of races you enter and the nest condition or system used, i.e. widowhood, natural etc.
Using these data points you may discover that a certain system yields more favourable results with a specific bird and therefore, going forward, you may consider repeating the process for another race or the following season for that same pigeon as well as potentially his/her offspring.
Not only are race records useful for benchmarking your pigeons’ performance against certain conditions, but they are an essential part of any pedigree, especially for pigeons that are due to be sold.
Here are some things you may want to keep track of:
- race date
- race distance
- race conditions, weather, wind, temperature etc.
- liberation time
- arrival time
- loft position
- club position
- federation position
- combine position
- points earned
- diplomas won
- race winner
- winning speed
- the system used
- widowhood cock
- widowhood hen
- natural system
- return condition
- position in the moult
- notes on physical condition when shipping: this will help you establish what the signs of form are in your loft
The season records are where you will record the bulk of the actions you took during the season in terms of how the loft was managed, training, feeding etc.
- date of medications and vaccines administered
- type of feeding each day
- type of training or exercise given to the birds, i.e. loft flying, flag flying, road training etc.
- dates major events happened such as pairing up for natural, splitting cocks and hens for widowhood etc.
- Preparations for shipping
- time birds were fed
- what you fed them
- if you took grit away
- what time you put hens/cocks together for widowhood
- when you basketed before going to the club
- Weather conditions