Since the 2000s, racing pigeons have appeared spontaneously in the pigeon community in Ho Chi Minh City. Around 2009, the group “Saigon Pigeon” just started to be established. Since then, the tournaments began to become more professional.
To meet the standards of becoming a “sky warrior” according to the association’s regulations, from 5-6 days old, racing pigeons have been wearing braces with identification codes.
The bracelets provided by the guild often have the name of the race organization, the year number, and the number of the future warriors. “These braces are both the name and help the organization organize the tournament to clearly identify the contestants, ensuring fairness for each race. Without the braces, the pigeons will not be able to participate in the competition,” said To Chan – president of Saigon Doves.
Besides wearing braces, when officially participating in the tournament, the “warriors” are often checked by the organizers to record their coat color, eye color, and weight. They will then stamp the birds’ wings with a wooden stamp as a proof-of-concept pledge to be race-ready.
To ensure fairness, the organizers also affixed a secret stamp on the stand at the bird’s feet. Manh Manh – a person with nearly 10 years of experience in pigeon racing shared: “When the pigeons return to base, players will scrape off the silver scales on the stamp. Hidden under it are the numbers corresponding to the ordinal numbers that have been prepared by the organizers in the closed box. After notifying the organizers by text message, participants need to bring their “warriors” to the original gathering place to determine the results.
Mr. To Chan said: “Usually participants will bring pigeons and gather at the Ornamental Creatures Association. After the inspection, the birds will be put in a basket (carrying basket) prepared in advance by the organizers. All “warriors” will be transported by car or train to the drop off point. Since the opening of the cage door is the beginning of the pigeon’s journey to conquer, the competition time is also counted from that time.”
Before each race, participants need to set aside time to practice racing pigeons. After training them to determine the way home, they will be trained to race. When the bird is 4-5 months old, the breeder will let the bird practice at close distances from Cu Chi or Binh Chanh to the cage. Then will increase the distance further like Dong Nai, Binh Thuan, Khach Hoa …
When asked about how “warriors” can find their “base”, Mr. To Chan shared: “Doves have a very special characteristic. They have the ability to determine the direction very well, no matter what the circumstances they find their own way home. Therefore, the way the tournament works is also based on this feature. When releasing them in a strange place, the “warriors” always find a way to return to the cage.”
On average, from practice to competition, only about 30-50% of pigeons can survive to the finish line. In every journey, the pigeons also face difficulties such as playing against the wind, birds can be shot, cut by birds, hawks on the way… but they never give up.
At Manh Lua 105 base in Binh Tan district (HCMC), the “warriors” must undergo thorough training and health care to prepare for races of thousands of kilometers.
Racing pigeons are monitored for health and fully vaccinated. Besides, the addition of nutrients is also an important job. At 2pm every day, Manh prepares more than 2 kg of food for each of his birds. Food includes cereals, rice, brown rice, green beans, red beans… They are stored cleanly and selected appropriately to provide maximum energy for the birds.
For each racing pigeon breeder, besides taking care and training, their job is also “researchers”. They tracked the health and crossbreeding of pigeons with year-by-year diaries. “Preparing, taking care, training, doing everything myself, in the end I just want to see my warriors return home after every race of thousands of kilometers,” Manh confided.
at Blogtuan.info – Source: cafebiz.vn – Read the original article here