Advice that will aid and guide you in your chosen hobby.
Welfare issues with regards this absorbing hobby covers aspects ranging from what is required from juveniles and adult new comers right through to what is expected from experienced fanciers. All of this information, in detail, can be found by accessing the DEFRA website, or by contacting the NPA Secretary who will put you in touch with the right people. What the Animal Welfare Law requires however, in all cases, is a bottom line of welfare of the livestock involved, in our case fancy pigeons.
At its base level the law demands that small live stock, as a right, must be given the essentials for a healthy and contented lifestyle.
In the case of our fancy pigeons it is accurate to say that without those two ingredients, ie health and a contented environment, success whether it be in the breeding pen, the show pen or in flying performance will never be fully achieved.
There is little point in these few notes to give in depth information on aspects such as feeding, loft management and construction, show preparation etc as all of these items, and many other considerations, will vary depending on what variety (type) of fancy pigeon you have decided to keep.
The three commandments however are good food, clean water and dry, draught proof housing. Within those three items the variations are infinite.
As an example heavily muffed or very ornamental breeds have different housing requirements to clean legged or flying breeds, whilst short faced birds will have a completely different set of 'dietary rules' to those of the blowers (croppers/pouters). The best option is to obtain a comprehensive list of do's and don'ts either from the source from which the birds were obtained or from the secretary of the relevant breed club. (listed elsewhere on this site). As a general rule the 'provider' should offer you a list of requirements for the upkeep of the birds being supplied. In an emergency do not panic. Almost any combination of corns or seeds and a supply of clean water will get you and your birds out of trouble. Short term a couple of birds can comfortably be housed in a rabbit hutch with wood shavings or straw on the floor.
Look after your birds properly and the world can become your oyster.