Lamberton Racing Pigeons

Loft Management Series

"The Importance of Droppings"

There are solid wood floors in our racing lofts.  We scrape the floor twice a day.  See VIDEO.  This routine is followed every day not only to keep the loft clean; but also because we believe that the droppings of our racing pigeons are critically important to an effective race management program.  See VIDEO.  Droppings are an external window into internal digestive system of racing pigeons.  The color and consistency of droppings can give vital information about the internal health of our pigeons.  If you are not visually analyzing the droppings of your pigeons on a daily basis, you are ignoring volumes of critical data or information about your race teams collectively as well as each young bird individually.  Since each young bird occupies their own nest box, we are able to examine the droppings of each young bird twice a day:  once in the early morning and again during the evening feeding.  If your work schedule doesn't permit you to precisely follow this cleaning routine, then simply adjust the routine to your schedule. 

When we first enter the racing loft in the morning, we observe the loft and the birds.  Next, we observe all of the droppings on the loft floor and in each nest box.  The droppings should be somewhat dark in color and excreted in small fairly round balls located in a close pile or mound that is about two to three inches in diameter. The texture and color of the droppings will demonstrate whether or not the racer's internal systems are balanced and whether or not the racers are digesting and utilizing their food properly.  The proximity of the droppings will demonstrate whether or not the birds rested well during the night.  Droppings excreted in a very small area of the nest box demonstrate that the racers stood in one spot in their box and didn't move around.  Droppings excreted in a close area demonstrate calm birds at rest.  Droppings spread all over the nest box demonstrate birds moving about and in motion and not birds at rest.

Soon after sunrise, pigeons will begin to move around their box and will probably step on their droppings which will change their consistency and form.  Because we want to examine droppings as uninterrupted as possible, we release the young birds for their morning exercise flight early in the morning in order to keep the droppings as pristine as possible for examination.  We make daily notes on what we think is the health of the race teams only noting unhealthy changes in droppings.  In other words, if the droppings look healthy, we make a check mark under a column in our daily notebook and log marked "healthy."  If the droppings do not look healthy, we may make more extended notes about the droppings.  Droppings should be compared on a daily basis per bird to develop a history of droppings over time.  Also, if a bird is medicated individually, we want to be able to examine the droppings in 24 hours to see if there is a positive or beneficial difference in color and consistency due to the medication.