Scouts raising Pigeons?
Steve Souza (76703.633@COMPUSERVE.COM)
Thu, 29 Apr 1993 18:32:43 EDT
quiting From: "Herman Suijs" H.P.M.Suijs@kub.nl
> I'm not really interested in starting up a loft, but I'd really like to
> know how they would fit into scouting, because I think there is a club
> with birds near our 'honk' (club-home).
> It would be a great idea for a program and maybe some of the younger
> scouts find it attractive enoughto start with it as a hobby.
Herman, I'd be happy to tell how this relates to Scouting (of any country).
Homing pigeons, as with any other bird or animal that kids get involved with
can teach them things like responsibility, dependability, etc. The birds are
normally housed in an enclosed coop or loft, and are not free roaming to
find their own food or water so the birds depend on their owner/breeder to
provide these things for them.
If the Scout raising them fails to feed and water the birds they (like any
pet so treated) will get sick and/or die. Once the basic needs of life are
provided, the Scout can learn to work with the pigeons (fancy or homing) in
the areas of selective breeding, learning the rewards of properly choosing
which animals to breed to each other.
Like any responsibility the Scout can either see the birds as a joy, or a
chore. If anyone is interested, I can list the requirements of the former
Merit Badge for pigeon raising, but the basics are that the Scout needed to
keep and care for a minimal flock for a specified period, keeping records
(costs, hatchings, deaths, etc.), and writing a report at the end of the
Merit Badge process.
Raising and racing homing pigeons is a very big sport in Europe in the areas
around Belgium, as well as in the eastern US. There is less interest in the
western US, but there are still dedicated breeders and racers to be found.
When a racing pigeon is in form, it can be taken 500 to 1000 miles away from
it's home loft, to somewhere it has never been before, and it will find it's
way home at an average speed of 55 miles an hour (daylight flying only).
Well that's the basics, anything a Scout can learn from breeding, raising
and caring for any other animal, they can learn from pigeons (though the
costs may vary <g>).
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