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Widowhood System, Adapt & Conquer!

By John Lucchese
March 1st, 2010


What I am about to write applies to me and works for me. It may be different for you, so take what you like and discard what you don’t.

I have flown conventional widowhood, cocks only, and with as little as 8 cocks, 2 of them won 5 races in one season. All pigeons are not created equal, so all pigeons do not take to the widowhood system. Its up to you to determine which pigeons to keep on the system. Having said that, I will continue.

I like my hens and don’t want to sacrifice them. I split the sexes and race them separately. To the cocks, I give old hens that were breeders, but don’t breed or fly anymore. The hens, I leave alone and race them to their “mates”, they do very well winning up to the 500 miles races.

Getting back to you as an individual, you fly your pigeons as time and space permits. If you have a problem, you have to adapt and overcome, meaning, you have to revise your methods to suit your situation. This is true with any system you use. Widowhood is the best and easiest system for me to fly, contrary to what other pigeon flyers will tell you how “hard” it is. They don’t understand how to implement the system.

Basically, it is a system of Motivation. Lets use me as an example. I have two sections housing 32 pigeons each, including young birds, old cocks and old hens, which makes it a little difficult. Adapt and overcome. I separate the cocks from the hens and fly them separately, cocks on Friday night and hens on Saturday night.

My early youngsters I house with the hens. Every morning at 6 a.m. I let out the cocks and they will fly up to 2 hours before we start racing. The same with the hens. After the hens have exercised, I let the youngsters out with them. I find the losses are nil when you have older pigeons with the youngsters. By the time I reach my 200 mile race, I move the hens to the cock section and get them down on eggs.

I still race them separately, Saturday morning the hens come home to the cocks and Sunday morning the cocks come home to the hens, the eggs are an additional motivator, I guess at a stretch you would call this “modified” widowhood. I have a special situation, I fly out of 2 windows, one for each section, and being on the second floor there is no walkway for me to walk my pigeons in.

I have 2 Sputniks attached to the windows for the pigeons to enter the loft. First they hit the top of the attic, then they drop down to the windows to enter the loft. I use no chicos to get them in. How can I get 35-40 pigeons to trap in seconds? Adapt and overcome!

I bought a wireless chime from Home Depot that sounds like “Big Ben” when it chimes. From the time my youngsters are weaned, they hear that chime before they are fed. Coming home from a race is no different, they trap instantly. If they don’t, it’s my fault for feeding too much.

Pigeons must be hungry, never starved, but hungry, then they will fly through a hoop if you want them to. I watch for a race from a gazebo in the yard, the chimes will ring from up to 300 away from the loft. When the bird lands, I ring the chime and he drops to the Sputnik in seconds.

All that I have written so far, most of you probably do, in some form, anyway, its all common sense. The biggest part of my system is health, first and foremost, then training. A pigeon must be “super healthy” to beat your competition. In that area, I use the best vitamins, medications and minerals I can find. In this case its Beyers Plus products.

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