The breeding season in Malta begins in mid-December, when the fanciers start to breed for the next racing season which starts in the following November and lasts till May.
The birds will be resting and moulting from June to September and are tossed and trained from October onwards.
The breeding stock birds are usually kept locked up in the loft, separate from the racers.
Ready to race
Our pigeons flying
Due to unpredictable weather of the Southern Mediterranean during the racing season, losses can be quite substantial at times. It is therefore nessesary to have at your dispostion a large number of pigeons to be able to race through the whole of the race program.
The main racing method used in Malta is the natural system and is mostly used due to two factors:
- With the natural system both hens and cocks can be sent to the races, solving the problem of needing extra space for other pigeons. Apart from this it will happen that after all the preparation needed for the alternate widowhood system, before the races start or possibly just after the first race, the pigeon is lost anyway, upsetting the whole race team due to extra hens or cocks as may be the case.
- The time spent in the baskets from the day of basketing to the day of the release is a minimum of two days, increasing if the weather conditions are not adequate. Many Maltese fanciers believe that the widowhood system is hence not good for Malta.
Many fanciers have found it not worth their while; when taking in consideration the amount of preparation the widowhood system requires, via-a-vis performance and decrease of losses of the pigeons.
Notwithstanding all these adversities some fanciers have also practised the widowhood system with success, even though many other fanciers practicing the natural system have been able to fiercely compete against them.
- In our lofts we practice a semi widowhood / roundabout system and have found this to be the best system to race in these difficult conditions,