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Thanks for your interest in my web site on homing pigeons. Please note that I do have some pigeon books and related materials for sale online at my "online store" at This store is in association with, so you're assured the best possible prices and highest quality service.

The first and foremost thing you need to consider is how much time you have available to put into the hobby. Keeping pigeons is a 365 days a year activity. The birds will require feed and water every single day. Cleaning your loft, the shed-like building which most people provide for pigeons, will also take a fair amount of time. If you choose to go down the racing path, you will also need the time and resources available to properly train them. This typically involves getting up early and driving your birds out into the country, releasing them and then driving back home in time to call them inside the loft.

If, considering this, you've decided that you do indeed have what it takes to become a pigeon fancier, then the next thing you will want to do is learn as much about the hobby as you can before building a loft or buying any birds. Visit your local library and borrow as many books as you can on the subject. Don't worry that all you may be able to find are old books. Even the antique pigeon books contain useful information. If you're lucky, your library might have a video or two on the subject. "Marathon In The Sky," narrated by Michael Landon is a great introduction to the world of racing pigeons.

I would also recommend that you visit the American Racing Pigeon Union's web page at and request their free information kit. They will send you some introductory information, plans for a simple loft, and the names of some fanciers near you.

Books are a great way to learn, but the best thing I can recommend is for you to visit pigeon fanciers local to you. Visiting someone's loft, talking about the sport and viewing their birds is by far the best way to experience what's involved.

At my web site, I have an interactive database of pigeon fanciers. Search that list for people near you and send them an email or give them a telephone call. Maybe you'll find someone local to you willing to show you around their loft. Also visit the ARPU home page at and view their band's list. There you will find a list of all the ARPU clubs in the U.S. Give one of the clubs a call and tell them you are interested in learning more about homing pigeons. Most clubs are eager to recruit new members.

When you're done learning how pigeons are raised, trained and raced, then you will want to build a loft in which the birds will live. To be honest, pigeons don't care much about where they live. The loft is more for your own comfort than for the birds. The most important consideration is that a loft needs to dry and free from draft. A loft needs a window from which you can release the birds for excercise. You will also need a "trap," a one-way device that lets the birds come back inside the loft, but not back out again.

Most people use a design similar to a garden shed. Plan on about two square feet of floor space for each bird you want to house. A typical loft can be anywhere from 8 by 8 feet of floor space, up to 8 by 32 feet. There are entire books devoted to loft design, but again, the best way to see what works best in your area is to visit flyers local to you and observe how they do it.

After your loft is built, you will want to stock it wth birds. Don't worry too much at first about buying the most expensive birds you can afford. Most respectable racing clubs contain members who are eager to get new members in the club. These people will more than likely be glad to assist you in stocking your loft with good birds. No one is going to give you their best breeders or young birds for free, but you're likely to get decent birds with which to get a good start. After you've been flying for a couple of years, and you know you can care for them, then consider buying some quality stock.

The birds will take care of breeding on their own, but as with loft buiding, there are entire volumes of books written on the art and science of breeding pigeons. Keep good records and breed out of the best and you'll do fine.

You will need to make sure you are feeding your birds only the highest quality feed. You can buy some good stuff from your local farmer's "feed and seed" store. I pay about $18 for a 50 pound bag of high quality mix. Oyster shell grit, about $8 for a 50 pound bag, is also required. You can buy supplies like medications, vitamins, drinking vessels, feeders, etc, from any of a number of mail order pigeon supply houses. View the online catalog of Global Pigeon Supply at to get an idea of what all is out there.

I've tried to give you a fair idea of what's involved in keeping racing pigeons without going into boring details, but also without being overly simplistic. If you have any other questions about pigeons which I did not answer here, please don't hesitate to send me another email. I am by no means an expert, but I will do my best to help you find your answers.

Best of luck in your new adventure!


Scott H Redd

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