Racing pigeons using the Natural System is popular with many fanciers. The Natural System takes advantage of a bird's natural instinct to mate, nest and rear young. What uses the Natural System takes is knowledge and observation.
Since pigeons are disturbed during different times of the breeding cycle keeping up to date and accurate records is important. Keen observation on the point of the fancier is necessary in discovering when its birds are in top condition. What is a good time for one will not be for another. Pigeons should be observed from an individualistic standpoint, and each pigeon should be looked at for peak physical as well as mental condition.
The driving period is when the cock becomes impatient and begins chasing the hen around to lay eggs, usually about a week after a pair has been mated together. Racing the cock during this time has been widely accepted as a good strategy. However, racing the hen at this time is not advised.
In addition when a pair have been sitting on eggs for around ten to fourteen days, it is acceptable to race either cock or hen. There are mixed reviews on racing pigeons during the following stage, 'chipping eggs' when the youngsters start to chip out of the eggs. Some people believe that if they are put into a race during this time the type of milk the parents make during this period can go sour before they get to the little ones.
Many fanciers will utilize various tricks during the different stages to increase motivation. If a pair has been sitting on eggs for longer than two weeks, with no signs of hatching, an egg can be removed, hollowed out and a live cricket can be placed inside of it, sealed back up of course. This can artificially produce the 'chipping eggs' stage. In addition during the chipping stage, you can 'borrow' a baby from somewhere else in the loft if you have a pigeon getting ready to race. These are only a few of the many tricks fanciers can use, hone and develop to get the best form for their racing pigeons using the Natural System.
Utilizing the Natural System when racing pigeons allows for fanciers to play with different variables to see what makes each individual bird race best. Treating each bird as an individual and keen observation are the two big factors in the Natural System. A fancier who spends time with the birds, discovering what times they are in best form will do the best come race day.