I will try to give this word a satisfactory definition.

Maybe you tell me you do not have a problem because all your pigeons are healthy because you assume that vitality and health are synonymous.
Are you so sure?

Because if health and vitality have nearly the same meaning, it is not exactly the same thing if you do a little experiment on racing pigeons that seem to be in excellent health.

There is a system to test the vitality of a racing pigeon:

What I mean here by vitality is this energy, this dynamism of the body to maintain as long as possible its vital forces. This system is to let the pigeons fast completely for three or four days after molting, and examine them then to compare with what they were when we stopped to feed them. You should make this treatment several times a year!

It is obvious that the pigeon which has relatively lost less weight after four days without food has the body that is able to operate with greater economy, so the one that has the healthiest and more resistant organs.

This is of vital importance when we consider the fact that our birds do not feed during the flight, and the economy with which their body operates, will therefore condition their power of flight as and when the effort continues. This seems perfectly logical to me.

The vitality of a pigeon goes much further than I imagined and significant signs abound:

The richness of plumage with the flexibility, the elasticity and the strength of the feathers, the head and the eyes of the racing pigeon, muscles, the skeleton, the health, the disease resistance; in all this, vitality as I understand it has something to say.

pigeons racing

The vitality is already appreciated as soon as you handle the pigeon. But this first impression will be confirmed later. The vitality is the strength and the ability to life.

As soon as the good racing pigeon is in contact with the hand, it gives the amateur a strong impression of homogeneous, united, lively, nervous, almost vibrating physical mass.

All these different sensations represent a serious barometer of the degree of vitality.

The vitality is dependent on certain conditions: the lack of air, the age, the close interbreeding. I am convinced that the vitality influences the sexual instinct, especially in females. The vitality gives strength and self – defense.

A pigeons missing vital force is a victim of all the evils, it has no physical strength, it can not bear the slightest effort or even a prolonged diet, the most important is its recovery and this is extremely laborious and time consuming.

Full of vitality racing pigeons are a block of muscles and nerves that contracts in hand.

Playing widowhood in all its forms for thirty years, even today when I open the door of my widowhood racing pigeon loft and my widowed on the edge of their compartments, half open wings, eyes full of light that not lose any of my movements, so there they are at their maximum vitality.

racing pigeon

– I think the pigeon with a perfect organic vitality, must have a very silky plumage that is to say, a maximum degree of penetration in the air. This degree of penetration allows the pigeon to experience a minimum of friction, therefore air resistance.

This is largely the vitality that conditions the plumage. The pigeon should slide in hands. We must not hear it flying when we release the pigeon from our hands. The plumage is important for the sporting value of the pigeon. Abundance and sumptuousness are indicative of class and vitality.

These are hereditary qualities that pass easily. The plumage is a mirror in which one can read the health and vitality of the pigeon because the slightest illness leaves its mark.

But apart from intelligence and vitality there are still certain physical qualities that facilitate the flight and we have to consider them for the selection of our racing pigeons.

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