The first advice I can give you as far as breeding racing pigeons is concerned is that there are no guarantees. You can have two champions produce 5 baby pigeons that won't become champions or won't even be considered competitive. That's why you need to deliberate on many factors in order to become a successful breeder and produce potential champions.
It's already a given that you need to use quality stock in order to increase the chances of breeding champions. There are three types of breeding: cross breeding, in breeding, and line breeding. You can use either of these three depending on the match you think will produce quality stock.
The quality of the breeding bird can be assessed by the racing performance of its offspring. To increase the probability of producing championship caliber chicks, more than one test pairing should be administered. It's also important to keep in mind that a pigeon being a champion doesn't mean that it's a good breeder. There's a probability that a slightly inferior sibling can produce better offspring. Rules are not set in stone so it's important for a fancier to administer more than one test pairing. It's all a matter of achieving the perfect or near-perfect combination of genes.
Here's an important tip. If you are planning on buying pedigreed pigeons, you have to ensure the credibility of the seller. The information tagged to the pigeon must be entirely accurate. A great avenue to verify the accuracy of the information is by looking for race results on the internet. Now that we mention it, using the internet is also an excellent way to look for pedigreed pigeons.
Relying on the quality of the parents alone is not enough to produce championship pigeons. One has to look into three features to ensure a high probability of quality stock. These consist of the physical, physiological, and psychological features. Take account of these three key features in both the male and the female and the probability of producing quality stock should increase.
To help you in the assessment, let's have a breakdown of these three key features:
- The Physical (gait, feather, wing)
- The physiology (fitness parameters).
- Psychology (attitude and competitiveness)
The best fanciers also realize that the race basket is the best determinant of a pigeon's racing qualities. It's more recommended to have pigeons with soft feathers. The pigeons should not be too big as well. You see, big ones are not good on balance. One reliable way to detect a good racing pigeon is when it leans forward while being handled. A strong skeleton is also of great importance. To test the strength of its bones, put some pressure on the breastbone and see if it's going to make a snoring sound. If it does, then that is certainly bad news.
Keep in mind that physical characteristics don't necessarily make a champion. That's why you have to observe on a daily basis the behavioral patterns of your racing pigeons. Recording daily data on each of them will tell you a great deal whether they have the heart of champions.