As A Kid, I Had Homing Pidgeons......

This may seem like a weird post, but I was thinking the other day how much fun it was to raise homing pigeons as a kid.  Seems many folks associate this hobby with a scene they've seen in a movie; where there's some young kid on a rooftop in New York getting lectured by his grandfather about life and/or the responsibility of taking care of something.  Well, there is some truth to it. but instead of a grandfather,  it was an older friend who turned me on to these flying pets.

The first thing that got me excited about wanting a coop, was witnessing the races they would have.  Each guy owned at least one racing pigeon, and they would place bets on who's bird would make it back to their home first.  Of course each owner had a name for their pigeon and a small ring on one leg designating ownership. How it worked was they would all meet at a location , say five miles from their home and release the birds.  Then there would be some impartial judges at each contestants coop to see which bird made it there first.  It was incredible how the birds would beat us by half the time getting home;  and we were driving! 

Yep.  That's what did it for me!  I learned from my friend the easiest way to make a coop was to search the streets for someone who was throwing out a T.V.  Not like the ones today, but the old wooden console type.  We would gut out the tube, and neatly tack hardware fenceing wire around the opening where the screen used to be, make a door, set it up on concrete blocks, and waa la!  A pigeon coop.   Some guys would get really creative with the design and painting.  My coup held only four pigeons.  I had a tumbler, fantail, and two racers.  The tumbler pigeon was cool. They're a pigeon indigenous to western Unitied States.  They would actually tumble to the ground....which looks like they were shot down.  I learned the reason they tumbled was to ditch a hawk or eagle if they were being attacked.  I can remember paying 50 cents per pigeon.  What a great memory!   Hell,  I may do it again............

Ambivilent Ambivilent
56-60, M
4 Responses Jul 24, 2010

Having pets as a kid is such an important part of growing up!<br />
I always had pets... and they really do teach you a lot about love, patience, unconditional love, death, compassion... <br />
Im a animal lover still today...<br />
I rescue any animal I can! <br />
Rescue pets always seem to make the greatest pets... they are so damn happy to be alive I guess.<br />
Hell, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I hope I come back as my pet!!<br />
LoL<br />

Hi Ambivilent!<br />
<br />
Thanks for your comments on my Ancient Egyptian memory thing. <br />
<br />
Just wanted to say, I've kept pigeons too -- homers, pouters, and a few tumblers -- not only when I was a kid, but also much later, whenever I could. I think pigeons are mighty smart characters on the whole. They way they check out the security aspects of any prospective new nesting box is really something to see. And I'll never forget a white fantail pigeon in the local bird market who, years and years ago, made it so clear that I, in effect, belonged to her, that I simply had to buy her! She turned out to be one of the best ever.<br />
<br />
I'm writing a book about my various animal experiences. I'll have quite a lot to say about pigeons. I'll let you know when (if?) it makes the scene.

I have no idea whatsoever? But it's a great story! lol

Is it true that the original rich Rothschild got so because he had a friend who's digs overlooked Waterloo and raised carrier pigeons and that the Brits were so sure they would get whomped by Napoleon that over in the isles they were selling pounds for pennies on the dollar but then when Wellington whupped the lil' French guy up oneside and down th' utter, Rothschild's friend was able to send him a pigeon with the news hours before the news would hit London so the first of the rich Rothschilds managed to get a boat captain to cart his butt over the channel (even though it was storming like the holy behoogees) and on hitting the turf in London he bought up all the cheapo pounds he could buy before the news of "England 1; France 0" at Waterloo" revalued the pound?