Racing Pigeons-The Loft

The main condition for a loft to be successful is TO BE HEALTHY.

Fanciers all over the world build lofts for a number of reasons .They wish to be near their their birds They wish to be able to see their birds ,look after them and so build that relationship of trust which is so vital when the birds return from a race .

Fanciers also build because they make demands of their pigeons .As far as the pigeons themselves are concerned ,they can manage with less ,or even with almost nothing .They are still sufficiently close to their ancestors ,the rock doves ,to be able to get by with the very simplest accommodation ,such as the simple niche in the wall which serves as a nesting place for the common urban pigeon.

An very important thing we should have in mind is that the fancier must feel at home when inside the loft as he spends part of every day with his birds .When inside the loft he must be able to move about without being in constant fear of banging his head.

The loft must be constructed that way so that the fancier could easy monitor his birds with ease and when cleaning of the loft is required this is to be carried out on an easy manner .

A loft must have sun ,light and air ,it may be cool or warm ,depending on its kind but it must be really dry ,free from draughts and protected against sudden and drastic changes in temperature .It the top class racing pigeons fail to race successfully ,the loft is frequently to blame .

Not everybody can build himself a loft as and where he likes .We do what we can ,not everybody can have his pigeons in the attic which would be the ideal place and so we need to find the best solution that will provide pigeons a healthy loft .

As i mentioned before the space you will need for 1 pair of pigeons would be 1m deep/1m wide/2m in height ,which should give you enough room for your beloved birds It is always recommended if possible the space to be even bigger but not in height as you will need to clean their boxes an have an easy monitoring over them ,or having their boxes placed too high will make this job harder for yourself

The loft should always be placed where possible, that way so it can capture the sun warmth as many hours during the day as possible ,the sun ,the life -giver ,provides warmth and light ,but it gives more than that .

Nowadays, the sun and its rays are very much at the centre of scientific ,interest ,and modern technology has made intensive research possible .Our lofts can not be healthy without sun and light but having said that we must always avoid too much glass which leads to abrupt changes in temperature For example after the sun goes down ,glass dissipates warmth quickly, cooling down the loft very quickly.

We let our birds out each and every day not only for exercising but to give them the benefit of the sun .

I have seen a lot of fanciers who exercise their birds at midday when they get the most of the sun .

When you stand inside the loft you must not feel a breath of wind or draught cold .

You can always check for more info in my published books

If you watch your birds ,young or old ones ,in or out of the nest bowls ,you will find that they turn towards the light ,so my dear friend let your racing pigeons benefit from the sun and light as often as possible.

A great care and watchful eye is need it if you decide to adopt the darkness system for you young birds and what i mean by that is as i allready explained the system in the Racing Systems chapter under the Topics section the darkness system will delay the moult of their feathers wich is obviously interfering with the normal course of nature ,these birds will later moult quite abruptly to make up for the lost time .

One day they will sit there almost bald ,and it will be an excessive stress to cover themselves up again .Instead of of the slow process of the normal moult ,they are faced with the sudden replacement of their feathers all at once .This necessarily takes more energy out of them and it is necessarily not conductive to a good moult because each and single feather ,big or small,must get its full completion of nourishement.

The quality of the feather are in danger of suffering ,beside during a sudden change in the weather the entire young bird flock will start to sneeze .Then we are faced with them sitting there in their inadequate plumage ,and nobody can tel you for sure what the consequences for the following year will be .

If you decide to adopt the darkness system then your loft should not suffer from sudden changes in temperatures , so be wise and realistic when taking a decision for your birds .

Everybody wants to win with their birds and the darkness system it does give a considerable advantage over the fanciers who race on the natural system from the moulting point of view ,but there is no good to have good results this year and the next season really bad because of the bad moulting of your young birds .

No pigeon can be expected to be healthy if there is no oxygen in the loft , no change of air ...and here we are confronted with a dilema can we provide fresh air without draughts ?.

Sealed tiles do not make the loft unhealthy ,nor do losely fitted tiles ,with the stars shining through the gaps and the wind whistling through them ,make it healthy .

The answer is quite simple an additional cielling will provide fresh air and replacing used up oxygen ,to be more explicit here is how most of the big fanciers are doing it :

Fresh air enters through openings at the floor level in the front of the loft .It rises at a fair distance from the birds heads tom the top of the back wall .

In other words there are ventilation holes in bottom of the loft front and in the top of the rear wall .It does not matter how the holes are arranged as long as the circulation of the air can be easily adjusted .

The best materials to build a loft from are those that absorb moisture .

The ceiling is very important and it must be a double one .On top of the highest boxes i the loft you need to install wire grid for the widht of the entire loft ,o top of this you will have the lower ceiling which is fixed and will take up half of the loft .The upper one slides onto it and can be adjusted to reduce the gap through which air can circulate up in the roof.

In severe temperature cold or heat you will have to decide how far you will have to draw out or push back the upper ceiling which serves as regulator .The pigeons sit under the lower fixed ceiling and are never exposed to draughts.

In a perfect healthy loft the difference between minimum and maximum temperatures is negligible ,and there is always a thermometer hanging up which is regularly consulted. On a perfect loft you will notice that the plumage of the racing pigeons are the same no matter if is raining or dump outside .

On a perfect loft the humidity inside must not exceed 70 percent. A loft must obviously be well built, well designed and properly finished .A pigeon must be able to land freely on the landing platform and its owner should not have to bend every time he walks under.

If you managed this your loft is in order you can adjust it perfectly to the weather conditions.

In one of my visits to a loft the fancier told me how happy is he by just finishing his total loft insulation.

I don t agree with that at all ,what we want is a slow air change ,no more no less ,but that does not mean that the loft must be a windowless box.

It is better not to have a flat roof .To fit in a fairly high-pitched roof encourages the birds to go in more quickly after the race . A high pitched roof has many structural advantages too ,such as less maintenance and less likelihood of leaks.

The pitch is made steeper at the front, so that the water drains off the back .


Sufficient depth is important in order to achieve a more even temperature and to give the birds the opportunity to be alone .When determining the height it is important that it is not so high that the birds can fly over our heads .

Suitable dimensions for a basic loft are : width at the front -3.5 meters

depth : 2 meters

height to the gutter : 1.90 meters.

The floor should consist of smoothly planed boards .Every joint can house pests which threaten the health of the birds ,so regular and consistent cleaning can and will prevent a lot of trouble for your racing pigeons. It is therefore also helpful to cover the floor with plywood .

The Garden Loft

The biggest advantages of a garden loft are the possibilities for social contact and the easy accessibility

The fancier is able ,at least if his loft is not too badly positioned ,to see his pigeons or at least some of them .And the other members of the family can see what he is up too .

Even more the fancier will be able to concentrate all his activities in one place ,which avoid a lot of fetching and carrying as happens with the roof lofts .

Garden lofts are situated if we ca say so in the middle of the nature .They are in the immediate contact with the wind ,sun but also with the damp conditions.

If you need more advice about racing pigeons you can find on my published books

" A true fancier is the one who`s birds are always on top, whether they race under his management or somebody elses generation after generation,a true fancier is the one who love competitions and speak highly about his competitors ...Above all ,a true fancier is the one who teach others into the sport and gladly talk about his winning ways "

Dacian Busecan.

brought to you by Dacian Busecan

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