The moult of the widowers may also be regarded as a reliable barometer. Generally the widowers who did not breed, make a good start and then get a relapse a little before, during and after they have cast their first primary. Once it has started, the moult of the widowers must progress very regularly. Without any doubt, we all know that a bird in super form may keep this form for some time whilst a primary is growing and the casting of the following flight is delayed but generally successes will always be more regular with pigeons having a very regular moult.
Taken from The Practical Side of Pigeon Racing
by Leon Petit
Published May 1952