There is no clearly expressed breed of postal pigeons in nature. All birds have the ability to return to their nests from distant distances. Just some breeds of pigeons make it worse, some better. The latter are considered to be postal ones.
Currently, there are basically three varieties that are considered postal: the Flanders, Luttich, English quarries and Antwerp. The English quarry is distinguished by its large size, powerful physique, very well developed round-eyed ring and beak with a pronounced growth. The Flandre pigeon, on the contrary, has small dimensions, as well as a thick and short neck and beak. The wings of his very tightly pressed to the body. The Antwerp pigeon is distinguished by its long beak and neck, and Luttich's pigeon is very small in size. These are the four main breeds of postal pigeons at the moment.
Post pigeons require special conditions of maintenance and training. Particular attention should be given to feeding. Under normal conditions, birds are given about 410 g of food in 8 days. With increased feeding - 820 g. During the incubation period, both the female and male are fed according to the number of chicks. It is impossible to overfeed these birds. Otherwise they will become sluggish and lazy. Adult birds are fed three times a day - morning, afternoon and evening.
Most postal pigeons eat yellow peas. At the same time, you need to make sure that green beans do not fall among the yellow ones. From them pigeons can begin indigestion. If this happened, it is necessary to temporarily add to the diet cereals. Be sure to give salt, chalk and lime in small amounts. To stimulate reproduction, feed doves and animal food (meat-and-bone meal, fish, etc.).
For the intended use, postal pigeons must be trained. Training begins after feathering of the chicks, at about six weeks of age. Initially, pigeons are taught to fly around the pigeon. This is done about a month and a half, and then begin real training. At the same time birds are taken away from the nest for a certain distance, gradually increasing it, and releasing it. The best time for such training is the period from April to October. In the first year the distance is brought to about 300 km.
It is best to let the trained bird from an open and elevated place. In the valley, pigeons can not immediately orient themselves, and mountains and forests scare them. A basket with birds is put on the ground, open and move away from it. Usually after that they fly out, climb to a huge height and, after describing several circles, fly off at high speed towards the house.
It is believed that the maximum distance from which postal pigeons (photos of birds can be seen on this page) can find the way to the pigeon, is about 1100 km. However, there are cases when birds flew back home from more remote areas. But such a distance can only be taken by a dove that has reached the age of three.