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Pigeon Racing: The Deadliest Marathons

Sports are very fun and very healthy to be practiced. But besides sports for human, animal sports are very fun too!

Animals participate in many sports, some being legal and some being not so legal. Some of the sports that animals participate in include horse racing, bullfighting, dog sledding, cock fighting, pigeon racing, and greyhound racing just to name a few. There are also the famous dog shows where dogs compete in classes by breed; some believe this to be a sport while others feel it is more of a competition.

Bullfighting has been around since the prehistoric days, and is a very popular animal sport in Spain, where it is viewed as a dramatic ritual between the bull and the matador. Besides Spain, bullfighting is also popular in Portugal, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, France, and is also quite popular in the state of California. Out of all of the bullrings in the world, Mexico City is home to the largest one of them all, which seats 55,000 spectators.

Dogsledding became an organized animal sport in Alaska in 1908, and has been increasing in popularity ever since. In dog sledding, a team of dogs pulls a sled that carries the driver, who is sometimes referred to as the ìmusher.î There are different types of dog sled races, but the teams of dogs are made up of three, six or twelve dogs. Some races are short and are considered to be sprint races, while others are considered long-range races and can cover a course consisting of 200 to 1000 miles.

As with many animal sports, there are those who believe that cock fighting should be banned due to animal cruelty. However, in some cultures cock fighting is legal and draws huge crowds, such as in Guam, Peru, Belgium, Italy, Haiti, Spain, France, Mexico, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, and the Phillipines, which have arenas built especially for cock fighting. The game birds that are used in cock fighting are not ordinary farm chickens, they are a special breed of aggressive chicken that is raised and trained to be fighters. While cock fighting may be an accepted animal sport in some countries, there are numerous places where cock fighting, and even just attending a cockfight as a spectator, is considered a felony. Many of these laws have been enacted due not only to animal cruelty issues, but also because of the gambling that is associated with cock fighting.

Pigeon racing is another animal sport that has quite a fan base. Across the United States there are over 700 different clubs catering to those who enjoy the sport of pigeon racing. Essentially, during a race, the birds are released from a location that is far from there home, and the first pigeon to make it back is the winner. The races cover much territory, and races can have the pigeons flying 100 to 600 miles as they make their way home.

There are also animal sports that are less known about like those that occur at county fairs; frog jumping contests, pig races, turtle races and the like can all be considered animal sports as they have a number of animal participants competing against one another.

I just started raising racing pigeons, how can I train my pigeons so that they can fly back?

my young racing pigeons are in good condition. I just need tips to properly train my birds so that when I release my birds from one hundred miles away from my loft, I would be sure that my birds are able to come home.

There are a lot of different opinions and methods of training to get good results in the races. The most important thing is that your birds are healthy, in good condition, are comfortable with the loft (for motivation), and are of good breeding.
I like to start training early (as I start breeding early), and take it a bit slow at first to make sure the birds are comfortable with the experience and know where they're going, at first. Usually a couple weeks after they've started coming out, I'll release them several times in various places around the yard. Helps them get used to the crate and work on flock formation in flight. Then once they've been loft flying for a decent amount of time and I feel okay with taking them, road training begins. We're surrounded by trees so I have a couple short stops before the technical 5 mile mark. Then I go to 10, and then increase the distance by 10 miles from there on. If I have a bad toss, I'll give them a day off and loft fly, then jump back into training, 10 miles shorter from the bad place. Then keep going.

This is all just my own ways. You'll find out what works for you as you go. I like training down the center of the race course the best I can. Usually that means just releasing off the highways. I also like using major landmarks to my/their advantage by training near/at them. Just keep your birds in shape, and they should do fine. That doesn't mean training them constantly. Just fly them everyday from the loft if not training. Also talk to some club members and get their opinions too. Then you can take pieces from 'him' and other things from 'her', put them together, and make your own training plans.

Good luck and keep'em flying
(you can email me too if you want to talk more about racers, haha)

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