Established 1979 Company Number: 11693988 VAT Registration Number: 284 0522 13 +44 (0)1606 836036 +44 (0)7871 701585

My Birds & Methods By Roger Lowe, Orbital Lofts




by Roger Lowe, Orbital Lofts

Roger Lowe

My name is Roger Lowe racing as Roger Lowe, Orbital Lofts. I previously raced under R. Lowe & Sons and also under the name of Hudson & Lowe. I started racing in 1973 when my neighbour Bill Huggins introduced me to the sport. Previous to that I had kept fantails and ornamental birds, which were only any good to look at. With racing pigeons the bug took hold and I was well and truly hooked.

My target races these days are the middle-distance ones with the National and Classics at about 400 miles; all the yearlings have to do this. The base bloodlines of my loft today are Janssen De Klak and Lou Waters for the sprint-to-middle distance races. I have just introduced Freddy Van Den Hede, and Daniel Aerens for extreme long distance. As these are new I have not been able to test them yet.

The best pigeon I have ever owned in 40 years is My Little Diamond. She won the young bird national in her only race ever in 07 and every cock she has been paired to she has bred first prize winners with. She is the dam of The Main Man who finished 2nd open Saintes national last season and 3rd Open Saintes national the previous year the dam of Nemesis, winner of last season’s young bird national with the National Flying Club. She was also dam to Little Delight winner of 1st open Old Hens’ Classic and 2nd Old Hens’ National Flying Club, all last season. She is from the Jannsen De Klak family. Sire of Nemesis is Wonder Boy bred by Andre Roodhoft of the Lou Wouters bloodline. He is also the sire of a 3rd open Saintes national winner 2009 Pied Wonder 64.

All my birds are raced on total widowhood. They are allowed to see the hens before the race for the first two or three races then they are only given hens on their return. Feeding has changed over the years as now there are more choices than years ago when it was tic beans from the local farm stored in the loft to ripen off. Today’s feeding consists of when racing Versele Laga using depurative on arrival mixed with trapping mixture coated in brewer’s yeast. Sundays 50-50 depurative and Gerry Plus, Monday and Tuesdays Gerry Plus, Wed and Thursday Super Widowhood Plus. Friday energy corn with Widowhood Plus. Young birds are fed before training starts on young bird no maize, and when training/racing they are fed the same as widowhoods. Stock birds are fed Gem Plus breeding mix. In winter time they are fed on a winter mix from Gem. Garlic is used on a regular basis; these are garlic granules. As for medication all birds are wormed during the winter with a recognised wormer and treated with Ridzol for canker before pairing.

Widowhood training and home exercise consists of the following. Before start of season they get up to six training tosses up to 30 miles and after the first race they get exercised at home for an hour in the morning and the same again in the evening. When the overseas races start, depending on how hard it was, they may be rested.

When a pigeon is in top form it will handle like an empty paper bag and show itself when exercising around the loft. They show when they are in form - you just need to keep a keen eye. Because I have a reasonably large set up I do not have time to spend on individual pigeons and most times when I am in the loft the birds are out exercising.

My complete set-up

As far as the loft design is concerned, being a builder each year I tend to make modifications to various sections or aviaries but the overall design stays basically the same. The widowhood loft is four sections with twelve cocks in each which measures 10.5m by 2.4m with an apex roof with standard widowhood boxes and grilled floors. Trapping is done through open doors leading to the corridor, walking through three bob wires into their section which then clocks them using the Bricon ETS. In the roof we have Velux windows which can be opened to control the air flow. The young bird loft has automatic boxes and houses a maximum of 70 young birds. It is 5.5m by 3m with a corn store at the rear. It has an apex roof and a sliding ceiling and 1.2m aviary on the front which they trap into using the ETS. The second young bird loft is of similar design measuring 4.2m by 2m. All the above are timber construction with PVC cladding. The stock loft consists of 4 sections of 2m width housing 8 pairs in each with aviaries on the front. The main structure of the stock loft is made from block work and render. Various aviaries at the rear house the stock hens in the winter months.

Shots of my racing lofts

I have visited many top fanciers on the continent where I have picked up many useful tips. I normally go with my good friend Sheldon Leonard from Arklow in Southern Ireland.

The top fancier at the moment in this country and the man to beat is Mark Gilbert from Windsor. Whether he sends one or a hundred and one birds to a race no matter the distance this man excels. He has re-written the text book of pigeon racing. But I better not praise him to much because the higher he is the further he has to fall. He is the man to beat but please note Mark, you are only as good as your last race!


Some of my most memorable performances have been winning the BBC by twenty five minutes with Fast as Lightening in 2011, also in 2005 with Conmix Dream when only five pigeons made it home on the day, plus winning the Central Southern Classic Flying Club in 2011. To date I have won the CSCFC three times, the NFC twice, the BICC twice and the BBC four times, finishing the season last year with 1st and 2nd national having 5 prizes in the top twenty six positions.

March 2013