Over the years I have heard of many things that I am supposed to look for when selecting birds to send to a race. Whether there is anything in these I have no idea, but here is a list of some I that I have heard.
It is said that warm feet in pigeons in pigeons is a sign of good circulation, whether that is a fact I don't know. What I do know is that birds are close relatives to reptiles, hence the scales on the legs, and reptiles are cold blooded, so are warm feet a good thing?
Pink Breast Skin
Again, something once told. separate the breast feathers and inspect the skin on the breast, it should be pink and without scales (dandruff). But you should do this at least 2 days before basketing so the pigeon can preen the feathers back into place.
The Blood Spot
Whilst you have separated the breast feathers you can look for a blood spot along the keel. Supposedly it is a sign of health and fitness. The further along the keel, the fitter it is. Just a theory.
Breast muscles feel like cork
As it says, the feel of the breast muscles should have the pliance of cork, now i have felt some hard cork in my time, so, again, its a theory.
Here is one I have seen, where the bird is at rest and appears to "shiver", can't explain it any other way, but I am sure it is a sign of excess energy, like a child with ADHD
This has to be one of the "gimmes" when the eyes are bright and shiny like new glass marbles. It is a definate for me personally.
Other than when feeding youngsters, the wattles should be white and have the look of chalk.
Another of the obvious signs of health is the droppings. Preferably small, solid, dark green with a white cap. a bonus is those with some down feathers on.