Faster, Further, Better: Widowhood in the World of Pigeon Racing and at the AviRings Derby 2021


Widowhood is a well-known concept in the world of modern pigeon racing; almost every pigeon fancier practises it in one form or another. However, most racing pigeons are only separated by gender once they reach adulthood. At the AviRings Derby 2021, we’ve decided to take things one step further to make the pigeons even faster and guarantee that they can go even further. This means that the pigeons in the race will be separated by gender as soon as they reach sexual maturity.

Why? What are we trying to achieve? And why is widowhood so widely used in the world of pigeon racing? Let’s take a look …

What Is Widowhood?

The term widowhood means exactly what’s you’d expect: it means that we separate the pigeons by gender, essentially making them widows and widowers, at least for a short period of time. It has been popular in the world of pigeon racing for quite a while now, mostly because pigeon fanciers noticed that it can improve the pigeons’ racing results in races.
Before widowhood became popular in pigeon racing, the most commonly used method was the natural method, also known as the nestplay. This approach is based on the adult birds’ natural wish to return back home, to its nest. Pigeons of both genders were kept together during the week and only separated when either the male of the female pigeons participated in the race.

In widowhood, the concept is a bit different: the pigeons are separated by gender for the entire week before the race. The widowhood system is more commonly used with cocks, male pigeons, but it is sometimes also done with hens, female pigeons. In a system known as double widowhood, both female and male pigeons are flown.

Why Is Widowhood Used in the World of Pigeon Racing?

Young pigeons become sexually mature rather quickly. At the age of four months, they are already showing signs of adulthood: young males start to show interest in the females, chasing the hens and exhibit signs of being in love. Unfortunately, this reflects poorly on their results: experience shows that young males’ training results begin to decline at this point.
Statistics also demonstrate that females are more successful in one loft races with final flights of 450 km or more. This is because longer distances require the pigeons to be in top form for the race; this is something that the young males, who are in love and spend lots of their time and energy chasing females, are just not capable of.
In widowhood, things are different. Males are separated from the females, which helps improve their results in two ways. First of all, the separation represents a certain amount of stress for them and stress can be a powerful motivator. After the separation phase, the males and females are reunited for a short period of time, just enough to remind them of what they’re missing. The pigeons are then taken to the start of the race with one thing on their mind: “I’ve got to get back as quickly as possible!” This motivates them to fly faster and reach their goal in less time.
The second reason is a bit more practical: pigeons who aren’t sexually active regenerate faster and more efficiently, as they have more time and opportunity to rest. They also have the chance to focus more on the training and aren’t distracted by the opposite sex.

Why Are We Doing It Differently than Everyone Else?

By now you probably understand all the benefits of the widowhood, but perhaps you’re still wondering why we plan on doing things differently than most other pigeon fanciers. As already mentioned, pigeons are usually separated by gender only once they reach adulthood, but at the AviRings Derby 2021, they will be separated a lot sooner, as soon as they start showing the first signs of sexual maturity.

This unique approach will enable the pigeons to save some precious energy and better focus on the competition itself. Our goal is to ensure better results even in the most difficult races as well as to guarantee an equal position of both genders, making this one loft race truly one of a kind event.

Join Us at the AviRings Derby 2021 and See This New Approach in Action

Widowhood in young pigeons is a pretty innovative approach, but it will in no way be the only innovative thing about the AviRings Derby 2021. This one loft race will also be the very first race in Europe in which all racing pigeons will get to wear a GPS pigeon ring: the AviRings GPS Tracking Ring that will provide their owners with an abundance of information to improve their pigeons’ future results, as well as guarantee a whole new dimension of fun and excitement. 

Join us as a participant at this truly spectacular event, we look forward to welcoming you at the AviRings Derby 2021!