Racing Pigeons on the Widowhood System
Energize Your Racing Team
Sometimes the cocks seem to lose interest and the hens look like they want to start mating with one another. If this is happening, switch the sexes.
To do this, put the hens in the nest boxes (you may have to lock them in and feed them there) and allow the cocks to sit on the perches. This can do wonders in energizing your racing team and give you some great results.
Another trick you can use is to lock an unfamiliar cock into a box with the racing cock’s mate. Then, just before shipping, let the racing cock see the stranger in his box with his hen. This tactic can motivate the racer to rush home.
Just a caution on this last tip—use it on races that are less than 300 miles and not longer than six hours because some cocks will get so excited that they wear themselves out in the race basket the night before leaving little energy left for the race home.
“Ship the cocks cool and the hens hot.”
This advice for successful racing pigeons on the widowhood system holds true for most races. This is how you get those cocks cool and those hens hot:
At the beginning of the season, take the bowls completely from the nest box. The, before allowing the cock to see the hen, show it the bowl. As the longer races come up, take the bowl and put it in the nest with the cock. Let him get in and start to call. Then, ship him.
After doing this with all of your racing cocks, once they are all removed, let the hens in the boxes with the nest bowls. Let them have their way. To steam them up further before you ship them, put a few old unmated cocks into the loft. The hens should be nice and ‘hot’ for racing.
Rest and Reassurance
If you have a bird that has a bad race, coming home late, allow that bird to rest by locking it in its nest box without its mate for at least several hours to, ideally, overnight. Giving the bird the rest it needs and keeping it from an over-anxious mate will make a world of difference.
Then, after the rest period, allow the pair together for just a few minutes. This will reassure your returned racer that its reward is indeed there and waiting for it, when it is ready. The pigeon’s drive to return home may be the motivation to see its mate. The bird should make the connection that, after its racing performance, its reward (the mate) is granted.
I hope these tips for racing pigeons on the widowhood system will bring you a season of racing success.