- Oct 18, 2018
Woah. The club really should have voted, but, we do raise homing pigeons. We can't cancel a race every time it rains. (I know hurricanes are more, much more intense than rain).I figured they would not release but that jerk released anyway. I entered 4 birds, I got 3 back. Many people entered 20-30 birds and got none back, so I do have good birds, but I got so ticked off by cruel decision I stopped racing with them. I don't care how much they paid the liberator to drive, hotel and gas, those are little lives that I care about, raised, nurtured & trained, a real bond happens, at least for me, they had no right to release those birds without our vote or approval to do so, during a freaking hurricane.
what are you doing to encourage the youth to get involved in pigeons? We can't expect them to participate without them knowing about pigeons. I wrote this yesterday, writing to "The Racing Pigeon Digest" magazine in the letter to the editor section. I was frustrated with all of the articles in the issues saying the youth had no interest, and it was the end of the hobby. As they are interested once they learn, but no one is teaching them.Most club members are senior men & unfortunately many of today's youth are not interested in the sport or making the commitment of even keeping pigeons.
"First, I want to say thank you so much for all you do for the pigeon hobby. It doesn't go unnoticed.
"Youth are the only hope for the hobby, but are not interested in pigeons" is the common phrase thrown around today. Why do we say this? Where are we getting are information from?
Coming from a minor, youth are very interested in pigeons, once they learn about them. I had no knowledge or interest in pigeons until I read one small pamphlet on them, that changed my idea. I had no idea you could free fly them, and they came back. "What other bird can do this?" I asked myself. And was immediately ready to get pigeons. After several months of research, I got the go ahead from my parents, and here i am, 3 years later with 45 homers in my city backyard.
I gladly tell my piers about my pigeons, what I do with them, what they can accomplish, how many I have, and much more. I have yet to meet a youth who knew about homing pigeons. I also have yet to meet youth who had no interest. This gives me hope! The youth aren't getting involved, because they don't know that homing pigeons exist.
How do we teach the youth about homing pigeons? I can't think of a better place to start than tossing birds. Bring the birds to them. I have tossed my homers in front of 60 students at a school, and the moment the birds exited the cage there was instant excitement in the crowd; students and teachers alike. As the birds flew, they began asking questions. Common knowledge to me, but a new language to them. "How far can the fly" my blood can return home from 500 miles. "What do they eat" I feed a grain mixture, with 13% protein. "How do you band them" "What do you keep them in" "Are there any clubs that do this" "how do they know how to get home" (i couldn't answer this one) "how long do they live" etc. Why are the youth said to have no interest in homing pigeons when they had never heard of them before?
To do this, individual's and clubs alike should take initiative. Educate the youth, their parents, offer your name and phone number, and if the kids get the go ahead from their parents in a couple months, help them get started. Help them plan a small but well made loft, offer a few young birds (we all have a few to many) encourage flying them, and stay in touch. I am so thankful for the people who got me started in racers. Wow! They have helped so much with food, flying, breeding, getting birds, or when my 2020 bands are late! Thank you for everyone who has helped youth get started, it means a lot to all of us.
I am so tired of hearing "I'm enjoying the last few years of pigeon racing" "another nail in the coffin" "A dying hobby". Those that say these things obviously don't care enough about pigeon keeping to do anything about it, as those aren't the people that helped me get started.
I think its awesome to get youth involved in pigeons, its the best hobby. But they aren't the only hope. Adults are interested when I tell them about my pigeons to. Its never to late to start in the pigeon hobby.
So go toss some pigeons at the playground! Explain them to kids and their parents. Let them hold a bird, let them open the door. It won't be something they will forget about.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions from getting youth started to my setup. I love to talk pigeons!
Keep 'em flying