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The Search for a Successful System


John Clements


An ongoing aspect of Pigeon Fanciers is the ability to select what they want to remember and disregard what they don't. I suppose I myself are also guilty  of this condition but I do attempt from time to time to be objective about my failings but it takes a big effort of will to do so. I am still trying.


To illustrate some of this I have a friend who firmly believes that more training automatically delivers better results. Thus money spent on petrol is a significant part of his pigeon budget. When results fail to emerge my friend has a fall back position. Position being the operative word because he then tells everyone that his loft is in a bad position in the Fed and that this is the reason why he does not get his desired results.


The trouble with all this mechanical materialistic (more means better) type of thinking is that it does not even work  every time or indeed statistically.  Some people don't train by road at all yet still achieve good results. Some people only flag their pigeons around the loft and do well while some do not let their pigeons out at all but religiously train twice a day in any weather to  achieve remarkable results. .


It seems, on the face of it, there are no hard and fast rules in pigeons. ‘One mans meat is another mans poison’  but to make sense of it all there is one thing that does tend to work and that involves the type of race the pigeon is expected to do well in.


As races get longer and the effort to get a pigeon home becomes more difficult the character of the pigeon rather than any specific management system becomes more important so it is essential to adopt a system where the Natural instincts of the pigeon and the pigeon’s character are allowed to develop. Rigid systems of training by road restrict natural development because they restrict freedom. Restricted freedom does not allow the pigeon to grow and learn local environment at a pace where the pigeon benefits. .


In really long races it is environment and the comfort a pigeon feels in his or her local environment that is the main incentive.  A search for comfort encourages the pigeon to keep going and keep flying despite the pain. The real pain for the pigeon and one that supersedes others is the mental pain of being forced to be away from home where it feels the most comfort.


Even as humans we can relate to this feeling - we too like to get home after a long journey but in the best pigeons this feeling is probably magnified a hundred times.  To sum up – “Open Hole” tends to enhance this home feeling - restricted liberty tends to destroys it.




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