How do you pair your breeders? – Part One

How do you pair your breeders? – Part One

Fanciers start looking back at their old and young bird racing seasons in November and start to look at bringing in new birds to their lofts. If they didn’t do well in the short races, they’re going to be looking for speed birds. If the long races were a problem, they’ll be searching for distance birds. You can investigate, search out good birds, buy them at live auctions where you can see them and handle them, or through online auctions which are becoming quite popular. You can do it all right, but remember that luck still plays a big part in getting the right birds to do the job for you.

One of the things that I’ve found to be the most successful is to get youngsters from very successful pairs. Highly successful pairs have proven that their gene combinations work, and will continue to work past the first generation behind them. I like to find pairs that are super successful, the more successful the better. The more pigeons that have come out of a pair and raced well, the better I like it.

As far as pairing the birds is concerned, I like to breed birds of the same type, unless I see that there’s a deficiency in a certain type. For example, if I am working with a short distance family that is becoming incapable of clocking at anything beyond 150 miles, or only on easy races, I feel that a deficiency has developed that needs to be addressed. In the U.S. this is not really good enough, because we fly a regimen that includes 350-mile to 400-mile races in young birds. In some combines, you don’t even start combine competition until you get to a distance of 150 to 200 miles.

You can improve that distance performance in a short distance family by bringing in a little bit of distance blood. And you can do this without necessarily sacrificing the speed. You’d bring in a distance bird whose family has proven it can also win at some of the shorter and faster races. Breed that bird into the speed family, and race the youngsters thoroughly. Then breed one of the best of these youngsters back to the speed family.

You can also go about this the other way, breeding speed into a distance family. Breed that cross back into to the distance family to introduce a bit of speed. One of the best known lofts that has done this successfully was the VanHee lofts. The Motta line of distance birds were found to be getting too slow for the races in Europe, so they bought direct Janssen pigeons. They introduced the Janssens one time as a cross, and then they took those half Janssen and half VanHee birds and they bred them back to the VanHee side, coming up with a ¾ VanHee, ¼ Janssen bird. They produced many national winners with this combination of bloodlines.

Check out part 2 => How do you pair your breeders? – Part Two

 The Racing Pigeon Insider

  1. #1 by ronald on April 7, 2011 - 8:42 pm

    chris very good advice on breeding pairs but i think if you put good birds together and let them pick there own mates the birds are more happy its like this if i put you in a room full of girls and you picked the one you liked best than i come along and put you with the one i like for you its just not the same as the one you picked out pigeons mate for life if left alone and one you have happy pairs they will race home as fast as they can so no other pigeon can be with there mate o my is that what widow hood is all about makeing your birds jellous ha ha ha ronald

  2. #2 by David on February 3, 2011 - 1:16 am

    In this article the VanHee line is mentioned. It is my understanding that the VanHee birds were all crosses. In fact, in 2009 I read an article in which Ms. VanHee stated that she was in the process of creating a VanHee family.

  3. #3 by Lee Fessenden on December 10, 2010 - 11:39 am

    This is the best explanation that I have ever heard on line breeding and inbred birds. I always new that the birds needed to be crossed out at some point to insure that they were not to closely inbred as you would genetically start to get birds with all sorts of difficenties. I want to thank you for this artical as though I have done this with my family of whites that I breed and had some very good success doing so I needed to see it elsewhere in print or from some other breeder that does the same thing.

  4. #4 by Alister murray on December 6, 2010 - 5:25 am

    Firstly,thanks for the post,great reading.I have a family of clean blue’s.Janssen and meuleman cross.I got them off an old fancier who was a National winner.I breed in-breeds and line breeds and have found line breeding to be best.But firstly and most importantly winner to winner.I’m still looking for a good cross to bring in but they will have to be very good to convince me.I got some Vandy’s off a club member who win’s races consistantly,so I will race these hard and maybe breed off the best.I wonder how many good birds are culled because fanciers are in too much of a hurry to get winners.For an example,I have a cock who was only average at best as a young bird and yearling,and club mate’s were telling me to cull anything that wasn’t in the top ten birds every week.But I liked this bird.Something about him,Strong and dominant.As a two year old I paired him up and raced him while he was feeding young.Well he was a completely different bird,being my first bird home for the first three races then he won the first two treble races hands down.I put him to stock and paired him to a hen that was a winner off the same family.They bred a cock bird,but due to financial problems I couldn’t race my birds for the next three years.I just let the birds fly at home.Didn’t even train them.Then I started to race again so I jumped this bird into an old bird program.He had four races and then scored “first” club 650kms.I know this family is going to do well so I’m going to breed more off them and line-breed them.Cheers.

  5. #5 by scottdenholm on November 9, 2010 - 6:47 pm

    the secret of eye-sign

    this is the famous green and the rarest of all
    it is referred to as green it is really a shade of a dirty green
    (never emerald or grass green)
    and like all the other sign-marking it needs to be wide and of solid depth of colour

  6. #6 by Glen Wellmann on October 14, 2010 - 10:33 am

    Hi asking for anybodys help where can i get a pair of proven birds for free i have just started racing in South Africa and yes there are good pigeons here but everyone wants to sell them .How do you know what you are getting? Secondly i have 3 kids to feed and i will never afford them anyway,so i must carry on racing with what ive got until i get a winner and then breed from that surely this could take years? Thanks for all the grat articles

  7. #7 by Joe Walsh Dublin Ireland on October 4, 2010 - 9:01 am

    Hi Craig

    You are correct in what you are saying about the sport, I agree completely.


  8. #8 by jay on August 23, 2010 - 7:22 pm

    sir, how about the pairing of a good eye sign? did you have an idea about whats the proper combination of color of the cock & the hen? thanks!

  9. #9 by jay on August 23, 2010 - 7:16 pm

    yes! thank you sir, its a great idea and an additional info to the fancier, i love this site because it gives a lot of learning things and ideas about how to make a good pigeonracer in my country… have a succesful racing,..!!!

  10. #10 by hunter on August 15, 2010 - 12:42 pm

    Thoroughly enjoyed this article-very informative.
    Difficulty these days when starting from scratch is where do you start in establishing a family of breeders.I prefer to identify a couple of top lofts buy a few latebreds breed pure, race the offspring and then cross best performers. This can be expensive,is a slow process and you have to put your faith in the successful fancier being above board and totally honest about their methods etc.

  11. #11 by Michael Spiegelberg on August 12, 2010 - 6:47 pm

    Good Subject … I am Not a racer …. Yet , so I sit and Look at The coloration and Hope that This one pairs up with that one , and this one to that one , But I have no control — I 1st Hope because of the birds attitude and 2nd because of the coloration — as I am Just a Hobbiest for now and I would rather sit and look at some nice looking birds rather than the typical bluebars and bluechecks — If I feel the hen is calm , I hope to see the bit crazy cockbird to mate with her to make the babies somewhere in between crazy and calm — and then hope the coloration is a good combo — Today was my 1st action in the Loft as I only begin 3 months ago — I have 4 Cock Birds and 3 Hens and they all paired up today — My only Bluebar cock got left out — so the next hen i introduce will be a Pied bluebar for this cock bird … Its alot of Fun , By I wish you’s or someone would have some type of chart or something we could check to see what colored Cock birds mated to what colored hens would produce what coloration – as I have NO clue what any of my pairs will produce , Like always – Love The Topic and Thank You , Peace !

  12. #12 by Len Lyon on August 4, 2010 - 7:28 pm

    Good article. Particularly interested in your comments about van hee and Motta lines. Motta was purchased by Louis Massarella in the UK for a then record price and a lot of good long distance pigeons in the UK came out of Motta I am not an expert in the history of Janssen Bros but I believe they were not solely sprint pigeons. What Van Hee did others do but I dont think they are crossed back in to the base family until the outcross has proven successful

  13. #13 by Mircia Dobrin on July 13, 2010 - 7:05 am

    Have a very nice day! I have a concern regarding the performance obtained in the pigeon sport over the years. Year by year, decade by decade fanciers are working hard, pairing the birds according to the science, experience, nose style, etc.Does exist any research with regard to the performance obtained by the birds over the time from Bricoux time(for example) to Dordin time, to…etc up to now on long_ medium_short distances? There is in the same environmental conditions, any difference in performance having in view the known races Barcelona, Poitier, …etc? I have choosed reference from Europe because I know a little bit of it.
    Many thanks,

  14. #14 by johnglemser on June 29, 2010 - 4:41 pm

    Ican sell you a pair of proven pair of my schofields breed many winners this old bird races flew 8 races won 6 races one2ndone 3rd at 500 mile 8 day birds in combine sent 5 and got 5 with a 11 bird team all yearlings email me

  15. #15 by justogonzalez on June 28, 2010 - 6:08 pm

    thank you for all your info i am still learning about rasing and racing i have not started yet.were do you recomend getting a pair of birds, i live in dunkirk ny.thanks for all your help.justo

  16. #16 by andrew olegario on June 24, 2010 - 8:22 pm

    I’ve meet several breeder in our town, but most of their advice doesn’t gives me good results that’s why all my birds are not racing well. Thank you for sending me the breeding and pairing techniques as well as the design of the loft. I love it very much. Thank You and MABUHAY!!!!!

  17. #17 by tetrapack loft on June 9, 2010 - 8:12 am

    thank you for this advice. im so lucky that i registered in this site. now i know how to breed a good racer.

  18. #18 by FARI on April 25, 2010 - 5:21 am

    i have pigeons in pakistan one of my pigeon’s back bone is fractured thats why she cant give eggs. is that problem curable or not.plz give me the answer that was on of my favorite pigeon.thnks

  19. #19 by Fred on April 14, 2010 - 12:31 pm

    My best results has been Father to daughter – a daughter from this pair back to the father or grandpa (same bird), Then again a daughter to her father or granpa or great grandpa. Now have something special available to cross with. Super results.
    Another excellent result is half brother to half sister with the father as the common leg. Niece to uncle seems to do fine as well.

  20. #20 by Timothy on April 6, 2010 - 11:19 pm

    I now better understand the process of attaining and selecting successful breeders. Thank you.

  21. #21 by Spencer Fallon on April 5, 2010 - 9:44 pm

    Great stuff, At last i’m starting to understand,a bit about Breeding!

  22. #22 by Pyrate on March 28, 2010 - 6:54 pm

    I’ve always been taught never to closely breed your pigeons,I have flown very inconsistantly. But now after flying for several years I’ve noticed of the pigeons that I bred, that were closely related ,are having better and more consistant results at certain speeds and distances.

  23. #23 by ARTEM on March 22, 2010 - 6:33 am

    This sit is very good.

    Iam agree with linebreeding because you are purify the blood.

    Breeding is an ART.


  24. #24 by mayo recto on March 8, 2010 - 8:38 am

    thank you to this site, now i have learnd more idea for the breeding and training of young bird,
    thank you and more power!

  25. #25 by Craig poido on March 7, 2010 - 2:48 am

    this im afraid is a tough one personally i dont know how much cheaper you can make the pigeon game electronic timing in theory is killing the sport no 1 cost of electronic timing in system plus life rings plus special electronic rings i no i will be putting a few noses out of jount here but im speaking my mind plus feed costs plus m the high costs of medications what im getting at once they look at this they say bugger this for a joke the way i see it these are defer netly some of the majour problems that is killing our fantastic sport of racing pigeons once again these are only my thoughts poido

  26. #26 by Craig poido on March 7, 2010 - 2:18 am

    i have a couple of different ways of breeding my birds one method is pairing what is left over after racing they are the survivers also with the following season i race the parents and there offspring the other method which i have had success with is letting the birds pick there own parteners this to me is a more natural method once again food for thought poido

  27. #27 by mike on March 2, 2010 - 6:07 am

    one tip I will give you, if you decide to bring in a cross always apply that cross to your race team, always keep your stock birds pure. enjoy your birds mike

  28. #28 by mike on February 17, 2010 - 7:14 pm

    I agree its the most fun of all breding winners

  29. #29 by john glemser on February 15, 2010 - 9:54 am

    Hey mike breeding is an art. Your challenge is to build a better pigeon that you can win with. That no one has that combination of birds in your club.The winning racing genes.

  30. #30 by john glemser on February 15, 2010 - 9:52 am

    Hey mike breeding is an art. Your challenge is to build a better pigeon that you can win with. That no one has that combination of birds in your club.The winning racing

  31. #31 by mike on February 14, 2010 - 8:30 pm

    i agree but sometimes they wont do what we want them to do then what???????

  32. #33 by PigeonRacingFan on February 11, 2010 - 12:49 pm

    mike :

    what about the theory the pigeons know more than we do??????

    Hey Mike,

    Good point! 🙂 lol, In my opinion, racing is not a natural occurance in mother nature so us as fanciers need to supplement what the pigeons do naturally to make them better racers.

    Thanks for commenting
    Yours in ths sport,

  33. #34 by mike on February 11, 2010 - 12:40 pm

    what about the theory the pigeons know more than we do??????

  34. #35 by Morne on January 30, 2010 - 1:56 am


    Well i like to pair my top racers to each other.Winners to winners and constant top performers to each other. I like to look also at their pediggrees. I am only a beginner so what i know is what i have read. Read articles about GG Gaddin and from the Kitchenbrands. They said BEST TO BEST!!!

  35. #36 by john glemser on January 4, 2010 - 5:25 pm

    I love eye sign .I bin looking in the eye for 35 years it takes time but you can save years of hard work by doing so. you only buy a bird or two if you need the blood and know what to look for.if the best to best is ok in your loft. you must have good family of birds. I wood keep them that way. keep up the good work.John

  36. #37 by Robert Hegarty on December 31, 2009 - 3:31 pm

    I just pair the best fliers to each other. This works ok for me.

  37. #38 by john glemser on December 30, 2009 - 5:10 pm

    I use all the tools in my bredding loft.The eye the wing the family. ITs and art to bred good birds ever year and be at the top of the club and conbine. Your way is the right way. this will help a lot of flyers.Thanks john

  38. #39 by David Petracek on December 7, 2009 - 1:38 am

    I’ve had several people try to explain this and it never quite soaked in. Thank you now that I have it on paper, so to speak, I understand it a lot more. Thank you again sir great reading.
    Thanks, Dave

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