What to do for a lost (stray) racing pigeon
Racing Pigeons Get Lost
In spite of an uncanny homing instinct, racing pigeons do get lost - disorientated by weather conditions, fatigue or dehydration.
Care of Lost Racing Pigeons
A lost racing pigeon needs protection from cats and other predators - please put it in a box, a shed or some other secure place.
A bowl of clear water is most important.
Feed it with any type of grain - raw "pop-corn", rice, lentils, raw porridge, wild bird seed - all of these are excellent for a lost racing pigeon.
After a few days of rest a racing pigeon will usually return to its loft. If kept for several days it would be best to liberate it several miles away if possible - this would "encourage" it to respond to its homing instinct.
FINDING THE OWNER OF A RACING PIGEON
All racing pigeons bear a permanent band called a "life ring", put on when they are about a week old, and un-removable thereafter. Life rings give four vital pieces of information:
Remember, ALL those four pieces of information on the life ring are needed to identify the owner.
A soft rubber ring bearing numbers is put on the racing pigeon for the duration of a race, but it is of no consequence in the identification of the owner. If a racing pigeon is wearing one of these, it is a good indication that it has been racing, but has not yet returned to its home loft.
In some instances, the racing pigeon may have an additional plastic ring with the owner's address or phone number on it. Other times, a phone number may be ink-stamped on the underside of one of the wing feathers.
IF YOU DO NOT KEEP RACING PIGEONS YOURSELF
By far, the best course of action is to search through the names in "CLUBS & CONTACTS", for a club official most convenient to you. They have the ways and means of both looking after the racing pigeon and getting it back to its home loft.
You can also, of course, contact one of the Region Secretaries in"ABOUT US" and you will get the name and address of the owner.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO EMAIL US:
If an "IHU" ring also has an "N", then send it to email@example.com
Don't worry about the choice of email addresses above - we do communicate with each other and your message will be passed on if necessary. But PLEASE include a telephone number or an address. We will pass the message on to the owner, but the owner may not have access to emailing facilities.
IF YOU DO KEEP RACING PIGEONS
Go to"RING LISTS" where IHU ring issues of racing pigeon rings for each club from 2001 to date are available.
Contact one of the names listed for that club in"CLUBS & CONTACTS".
You can always, of course, contact the respective Region Secretary directly.
Do not keep, train or race any stray racing pigeons.
Once you report a stray (lost) racing pigeon, confine it until contacted by the owner.
Acknowledge reports of any found racing pigeon AT ONCE - it is a Union rule, and courtesy demands it.
Remember, the best way to get a lost racing pigeon back to its owner is through the Irish Homing Union. We have the information and the expertise. Either write, phone, or use the email form on page 7. Please supply that added information requested.
Lost Racing Pigeons with "GB" Rings
If the racing pigeon's life ring has the letters "GB" on it, chances are it is from Northern Ireland - not all, but most of these rings are issued in Northern Ireland. For these rings contact:
131 North Road,
Co. Antrim. BT38 7QS
Please Note - from the Republic of Ireland the "04893" should be replaced with "02893"