Trapping is a big part of the race. If the bird comes home, but does not go in, the race is not over. To win races you have to have birds that will trap on command. This takes conditioning. You have to train over and over when the birds are young, so that it becomes a natural habit for the birds. They don’t even think about it, they just do it.

I start this training soon after the birds are weaned. I put them on the landing board with the front closed. I let them look around for a while, then I begin pushing them into the loft. I use a push stick that I made. It is just a long pole with a square piece of plywood attached. The corners are rounded and I made it smooth so it wouldnt’ hurt the birds. I use this push stick to maneuver the birds to the trap. They soon learn to go through easily.

I will push them inside, then put them back out on the landing board again and repeat the procedure. I do it several times the first day and repeat it several times each day for a week or two. I want the birds to know what is expected and I want the birds to get accustomed to me pushing them in, so that they don’t fly off the landing board on a race day.

All the time I am pushing them in, I whistle and talk to the birds. I use the same command words, “Inside. Come on, inside.” The birds learn to associate these words and the whistling with the behavior of going inside the loft. They are rewarded when they get there because their food is waiting for them. Soon the birds know that if I whitstle they are going to get fed. They rush to the trap and enter the coop. Then they get to eat.

When I let the birds out for the first time and everytime I train them, the birds are hungry. I only feed once a day and I do all my training before I feed. Because they are hungry, the birds are anxious to trap and get inside the coop. The birds that don’t trap on command, find that the food is all gone when they finally do go inside. Next time I let them out, these birds will be the first into the loft because they are really hungry. They will learn the lesson that to eat they have to trap when I give the command.

On race days, I rarely have a problem with birds that won’t trap. About the only time my birds don’t rush into the loft is when another flyer’s bird comes to the loft. The strange bird is not used to the routine and it will sometimes throw my birds off and confuse them. This happens only once or twice a season, and isn’t a great problem.

Another thing that I feel helps me, is that the only place for my birds to land is on the landing boards. I don’t have any power lines for the birds to land on. On top of my lofts, I have run pickets with string back and forth to prevent the birds from landing on top of the lofts. I never allow them to stay there if they do it as young birds. After conditioning them for this, they are good to land and trap immediately on race day making it a breeze for me. I don’t lose the race because the birds wouldn’t trap.

Trapping By Craig Goode

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  1. #1 by Alister murray on March 9, 2011 - 3:40 am

    My traping technique is very similar to the writer,and I don’t usually have a problem getting the birds in.If a bird does play up,he gets locked out till after the birds have been fed,I remove any left over food from the trays,then let in the bird.That bird will learn It’s lesson and won’t be slow next time.

  2. #2 by Billy Karapiperis ( K&K LOFT) on October 20, 2010 - 9:51 pm

    Mark Gordons book on widowhood is the BIBLE on the subject!

  3. #3 by J. Dennis Lathum on August 29, 2010 - 11:01 am

    That’s a very good artical on traping. Thanks -JDL

  4. #4 by Airbaby on June 26, 2010 - 3:55 pm

    For those of you that feed only once a day, what time do you recommend your one feeding? And also is this just for YB racing or do you also feed only once a day for OB racing also?

    • #5 by Billy Karapiperis ( K&K LOFT) on October 20, 2010 - 9:45 pm

      Friend, when racing it is very important to feed twice a day. In the AM only feed them 1/3rd of their feed but in the PM feed theother 2/3rd’s. if you ship friday for sat race. Feed them all they can eat on thurs PM. also for the100 feed all they can eat (100 % safflower) untill the fist couple go for water,then pull it out. Do this at 10 am. For the 200 do thesame exact thing but at 11 am. for the 300 do it at 12 (lunch time) hope this helps. yours in the sport Billy Karapiperis K&K LOFT

  5. #6 by Thomas on March 17, 2010 - 5:31 pm

    I really enjoyed that reading i dont race widowhood myself but in the near future i plan on doing so.. Any chance i get to read about it is great i even bought a dvd on the widowhood system so thanks for the post and keep up the good work…

    • #7 by Billy Karapiperis ( K&K LOFT) on October 20, 2010 - 9:49 pm

      Mark Gordons “widowhood flying”. Is the BIBLE on the subject. You can become a champion overnight by reeding this!

    • #8 by Billy Karapiperis ( K&K LOFT) on October 20, 2010 - 10:17 pm

      Make sure their are no perches in your widowhood section of your loft. even close off the underneeth part of the bottom box so no bird can get their. that goes for the top boxes also. you don’t want any birds roosting above or below the boxes. this will disrupt the otherbirds. the cocks need to be in their boxes only period.
      no other place to sit & it must be quiet. all hens should be as far away from them as possible.years ago i used to have an aviery on wheels that i held my widow hens in. when i came home from work i would roll them in the garage,shut thegarage door then go to the back yard & let out the widowers. when they where done flying i would lock them up for the night & go to the garage to roll out the hens again. the hens would stay outside untill the next morning. when i woke up i would roll thehens back in the garage & let the cocks out again. This worked great! the cocks never ever knew where the hens where. If they find out wherethey are or can see & hear them you will never get the best out of them. I know, I fly against 200 lofts & usually only ship 6-8 birds!

  6. #9 by Lou Erasmus on February 22, 2010 - 1:23 pm

    I condition my birds during all training tosses and all exercise outside the loft, with whole, raw peanuts on the same principle as your trapping regime. First in gets 2 or 3, late entries get none. Thereafter I feed the normal mix. Because they love the peanuts, they soon learn to waste absolutely no time on the landing board and sometimes trap so fast from the race, that I have to go look inside the loft to be able to identify the first birds.

  7. #10 by Cindy Placke on February 2, 2010 - 3:00 pm

    I have a racing pigeon that got lost and I’m trying to find out where he came from and what to do with him.

    • #11 by terry , area13loft on February 8, 2010 - 5:05 pm

      cindy, the # on the band is the breeder , if no band its hard to find owner

  1. Craig Goode « Pigeon Racing Pigeons

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