How to Pair Up Racing Pigeon Breeders

(Image: carrier pigeon, feral pigeon image by Lars Lachmann from

The hobby of racing pigeons is almost as old as recorded history. It was once known as the Sport of Kings. To make sure the racing pigeons hold and maintain a good mileage record, a lot of thought goes into pairing the right hen and cock. Racing stock can be bred for short distance or long distance. It sometimes takes a combination of both genetics to produce the ultimate offspring.

Things You'll Need

  • Proven racing pigeon cock
  • Proven racing pigeon hen

Creating the Pair

Select a cock and hen who are proven breeders. Compare racing records for proficiency in short- and long-distance races. A genetic link is usually desirable. Line breeding is acceptable. Inbreeding is less successful.

Pen the pair together in a secure enclosure so neither one has access to other pigeons in the loft. It can take several weeks for them to bond since pigeons prefer to choose their own mates.

Provide a nest box big enough for the pair to sit together. They will take turns incubating the eggs but sometimes both will use the nest. The cock can be raced at this time, provided it is a short race and he is back on the nest to relieve the hen.

Eggs will hatch in ten to 14 days. Both the cock and hen feed the babies. The young pigeons will fledge, or begin eating on its own, in about a month. The cock can be flown but the hen needs to recuperate.

Tips & Warnings

  • A rule of thumb in choosing your birds is to pick birds from the same genus or breed. That has proven more successful for racing, than cross breeding.

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