Pigeon Buying Guide—Part Three
One way to go for the ‘big’ money is to buy the ace pigeons of certain race competitions. In Europe, each year at the end of the racing season, the champion birds are put up for sale. These champions can go for record sums. Unfortunately, many of the great racing pigeons are failures in the breeding loft. Few champions have gone on to produce similar champions.
Using a first ace pigeon for breeding is no guarantee that first ace pigeons will be produced. Very often, it is the pedigree that is most important. A family of birds that has a history of producing a high percentage of first ace pigeons is a good family to purchase from. Pairing a high quality hen from the widowhood loft with a high quality racing cock bird from the loft, especially if the birds are related, could result in some above average pigeons.
Purchasing Birds from the Breeding Loft
Ace pigeons may be nice to own and are great for advertising, but the average pigeon fancier does not need ace pigeons to compete at the highest level. Birds purchased from the breeding loft, albeit somewhat risky, may actually be quite suitable. It really depends on why the birds were moved into the breeding loft and subsequently being sold.
One reason birds are being sold from the breeding loft is that they just didn’t perform to the owner’s expectations. Chances of those birds performing well for you are probably slim.
Other reasons older birds are for sale is because the pigeon fancier prefers to breed only the very young birds. If this is the situation, you can probably purchase a previously high-impact pigeon for a pretty reasonable price, introducing some high quality genetics into your loft.
If you do happen to get this type of bird, consider putting their eggs under younger foster parents. Quite often the reduced performance of bird offspring from older parent pairs is the result of not lack of genetic quality but a lower level of care that the older parents give their babies.
Finally, you might be lucky enough to purchase great quality birds from lofts that are being completely sold out. Typically, all of the records are available for the best pairs in the loft, along with the records of the best results. Sales like these can yield a gold mine for pigeon fanciers looking to buy.
Purchasing Racing Pigeons at Auctions
In the U.S. especially, purchasing racing pigeons from the auctions of convention and futurity races is an option. Frequently, the top position birds are sold after the race conclusion, quite often for relatively small sums of money. It is not unheard of to be able to purchase these birds for as little as $75 to $100. This is a bargain for a trained and race-proven bird.
Once you have the bird, you can phone the breeder and ask to purchase the pedigree for it. Typically, breeders are hesitant to simply give the pedigree away.
As a beginner, offer to purchase the fancier’s stock after the futurity or convention race. You can soon build a loft of high quality pigeons this way.