Seems like a very cool hobby but not something I'd likely get into because of the time it probably takes to work with the birds.
Once you train them, which really takes almost no time at all, it's very easy. I haven't gotten to the point where I take them more than a mile away yet, but that's mostly because I want some babies before that happens (hawks become nasty things when you own pigeons). But I expect it will be much more time consuming once I get my flock to about 30 or 40 like I want it to be.
Ｉ really wanted to get into pigeons, and had researched the crap out of them, had my coop built and then my homeowners association banned livestock (which they included as pigeons or any animal that lives out of doors).
Was a total bummer, and I have a feeling it was because they saw me building the coop over the summer.
So yeah, I know all about pigeons, how to train and race them and how to raise squab for eating, etc. Just lack the pigeons.
Hopefully 2015 I'll be moving onto a big swath of property where I can do whatever the hell I want, and pigeons will be one of my first purchases.
That would be super cool! I did the exact same thing but with chickens until I was told that livestock are not allowed where I live. So I sidestepped that with some pigeons which really are just pets, right? (considering they don't really give you food)
My coop is very small and I actually almost completely recycled it from an old privacy fence that we tore down. I might post a picture.
Me, my older brother and dad used to race homing pigeons for about 20 years. It was a great hobby and sport, but became expensive and time consuming. Most summer weekends we had to stay home because it was either young bird season or old bird season. Races were anywhere from 100 to 300 for young birds and up to 600 miles for old birds. We were very succesful at what we did. Good birds cost $$$ so plan to spend if you get serious about it. It wasnt unusual for us to drop $500-$1000 or more for a pair of breeders from good bloodlines. The training is very time consuming. It was neccesary to take the birds down the road 25-50 miles several times a week for training and conditioning. Like most things, there is so much more to it than you realize until you dive in and commit yourself. Needless to say, we got out of pigeon racing a while back and now our lofts serve as yard barns full of junk. Was a great time and many good memories. A great high when your first bird hits the trap door on race day! You mention that your birds have paired. Keep in mind that good racing homers are purebred just like horses. There are certain bloodlines that do better in sprints (100 mile race) and others that do better in marathons (500-600 mile race). Know what you have and train to the bloodline strength. Most of all, have fun.
P.s. Planted aquarims are far less expensive and time consuming!!!
I haven't nearly gotten as far into them as you seem to have done before, but hopefully I'll make it there someday! Just looking at my birds fly, they seem pretty fast. I got them from a guy who has a faster bloodline, shorter distance and more speed. I didn't spend very much at all because I don't have a whole lot of money yet, and just want to make a flock and breed them out myself at first. That's really cool about your birds, I really do hope I can get to that point later.