Lamberton Racing Pigeons

Loft Management Series

"The Importance of A Loft Coat"

Loft coats can be a very important tool in the management and training of racing pigeons.  There are several benefits to wearing a loft coat.  First, because it pleasantly reminds us of many wonderful days spent enjoying the pigeon sport in Belgium, wearing a loft coat motivates us to work diligently in the loft on a daily basis.  Motivation is one of the most important factors in the ability of racing pigeons to consistently perform at the top of the race sheet.  Likewise, fanciers must also be motivated to work hard to play the racing pigeon game at the top of the race sheet. There are many distractions that prevent fanciers from spending the appropriate time with their birds.  The first distraction that often prevents fanciers from spending time in the loft is a function of the number of birds that they manage.  The more birds in the loft - the more time it takes to care for each one of them well - day in and day out.  The time commitments of family, i.e., spouses, children, parents, extended family, all are other important factors that naturally reduce the amount of time that fanciers are able to spend with their pigeons.  There are other distractions that fanciers consistently face like caring for the house, the yard or garden, the automobiles, etc.  Of course there is the huge commitment of working for a living that often significantly limits a fancier's time with the birds.  All in all, fanciers' motivations are often the reason why their pigeons fly at the top or in the middle or at the bottom of the race sheet.  Loft coats help motivate us to cope with the daily problem of distractions and obligations. 

Loft coats are like uniforms in other professions, i.e., military, police, fire, doctors, nurses, etc.   Uniforms create a sense of professionalism and commitment to the purpose of the activity for which the uniforms are worn.  Uniforms are external representations of the internal motivations of the people who wear the uniforms.  Uniforms are generally regarded as very important social symbols as well as psychological motivators.  In past Blogs, we have suggested that fanciers hang meaningful pictures or some other types of positive memories in order to support and increase their daily motivation to spend as much time as possible in the loft.  There are many fanciers who hang trophies on the wall or use awards as motivators.  We do not use awards as significant motivators because we believe that these type of motivators take away from the true focus of the sport.  For us, the real focus is the relationship that we create and enjoy with our pigeons rather than any type of social recognition that we can receive.  The one exception to this opinion are the awards that out pigeons receive for their outstanding performances.  In the USA, these awards are in the form of AU Championships and Elite Championships.

A second important function of loft coats is the pockets that informally create a system of organization.  For instance, we keep small note tablets and pens or pencils in the upper left hand pocket.  With easy access to these note-taking tools, we are ready, willing and able to quickly write down important notes about the pigeons that might be very important information either at the moment or in the future.  As we have often stressed, the creation and archiving of information is one of the primary differences between fanciers who play the game well and fanciers who do not play the game very well.  Many fanciers try to retain important daily information in their "heads" or "memory."  However, more pigeons in the loft generally means more information to remember and even the best memories can be temporary and faulty.  For instance, how often do fanciers forget to record the parents of a key young bird or other type of management mistake?  Written and archived records are a very reliable source of long term memory.   Keeping a small tablet and a pencil readily available is extremely important on a daily basis. Tablets kept in easy to reach pockets can significantly reduce the number of management mistakes.  Later, when we have more time, we transfer the most important hand-written information into our computers for permanent storage.

We also keep an eighteen power jeweler's loupe in our lower left hand pocket at all times.  Although we may not use it every day or every week, it is still kept safely in that particular pocket of our loft coat.  We also keep our cell phones in our loft coat when we are in our lofts.  We may keep a packet of medication with us in case we observe an opportunity to medicate a pigeon quickly.  There are many reasons why pockets that contain the tools of our craft in a predictable pocket make daily management and care of our pigeons much easier than if we constantly need to think to go retrieve something to treat a pigeon at the moment or to write down an important observation while we are managing our pigeons.  In addition, when we visit another fancier's loft, loft coats readily contain anything we might need to enjoy an afternoon with another fancier.  Of course, after visiting any other loft and wearing our loft coats, the loft coats are thoroughly washed and disinfected before they are used again.

Like most sports, athletes or fanciers perform at a higher level when they simply react to game situations rather than needing to take the time to think about the implications of these situations.  Great athletes instantly react to what they see.  Fanciers should do the same.  One of the greatest barriers to performing at a high level is the word procrastination.  Loft coats help prevent procrastination by housing the necessary supplies and tools of our craft so that they are instantly available to us at a moments notice.  The pigeons of fanciers who are managed very quickly on a daily basis will perform much better than the pigeons of fanciers whose management system is so cumbersome and complex that they habitually procrastinate or put off or totally forget necessary management decisions, activities and remedies in the loft.  Loft coats can make the appropriate daily management of racing pigeons much easier because of its organizational benefits.

Another obvious benefit is that loft coats help keep clothes clean and absorbs most of the dust, dirt, and droppings from pigeon lofts.  So clean loft coats help keep the messier side of general animal husbandry and the specific disadvantages of the pigeon sport away from good clothes and out of the house and away from the rest of the family. 

Finally, there are Belgian fanciers who believe that pigeons are less disturbed and maintain more daily calm if they are constantly exposed to the same appearance and dress of their caretakers and other humans in the loft. 

If you haven't done so, try wearing a loft coat.  Keep important tools of the trade in various pockets to which they are regularly assigned.  Learn to quickly react to your pigeon's needs rather than try to remember to address these needs later by keeping the tools of your hobby readily available in pre-assigned pockets.  We guarantee it will help the health and performance of the pigeons and reduce the stress and work upon you.