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Thoughts on numbers entered by Les J Parkinson


I don’t know how many watched the On Assignment programme last night Tuesday 4th June. Not a programme I normally watch but earlier in the night they mentioned pigeons in China so I thought it might be worth taking a look at.



I very often here about fanciers here in the UK talking about mob flying their pigeons, after seeing this programme I think that is an exaggeration. They were entering hundreds into the races with one woman who had inherited the pigeons from her father sending 500 to a race. Number’s entered don’t bother me because as I have always said, “If you send 1 or 101 if they are not right, then they are not going to win” I know fanciers who send big teams but a large proportion of them are sent as part of their preparation for later races in the season. They are not all in competition for every race that they are entered into.



The report said there are over 100,000 pigeon fanciers in Beijing alone, that is a lot of fanciers in one area.



The loft that figured prominently had over 4,000 pigeons, and what did make me laugh was the way they exercised the pigeons. All along the loft, on the top, there were people with flags waving them and they had to stay there for 4hrs. I was watching those pigeons fly and they were being turned into homers and not racers. After so long you could see them just flopping around the loft with no urgency about racing. They were going in all directions, but if they were out in smaller batches they would race around the loft, so there is a downfall to having so many pigeons to look after and exercise. The other way of looking at it is, if you have to basket so many pigeons every day for training purposes then you are going to be basketing for hours.



On the downside of the programme, the exceptionally big lofts and the numbers of pigeons would no doubt put some people off having them.



The programme did make a point of mentioning the cost of the best pigeons and the amount of money involved which would catch the eye of some potential pigeon fanciers, but they would be few and far between.



There were no, what I would call normal back garden lofts to attract people to the sport. Lofts to show that you don’t have to have lofts on a grand scale to enjoy pigeon racing.



Watching the programme, the impression came over that there is no such thing as a back-garden loft, pity they didn’t show a few instead of just showing the very big boys. There are no fanciers in the UK that I know of who come anywhere near the super Chinese lofts with so many pigeons and who send so many to each race. If there are a few lofts like the one shown, its no wonder there are so many pigeons in Beijing.



I suppose we have to look at the point of, any publicity is better than no publicity.


Chris photos


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