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I prefer the racer (nov 24th)

I cannot help smiling when I hear people talk about the ‘many friends’ they have. Do they know what ‘friends’ are I ask myself then. I do not have many friends, one of them was Klak but he was a REAL friend. In the late 90-ies, before we started to clock our birds electronically I went to Klak’s every Sunday to clock his birds. I could do that because we raced on Saturday. Klak was not able to climb the stairs to his loft anymore , so I clocked the gummi bands of the home coming birds. One of them was his ‘613’.


This ‘613’ was the best bird that Klak had in the fall of his life. And it stands to reason which birds were wanted: Babies off the same parents! Buyers would not mind paying more for them, but they did not know what kind of man Klak was. Brothers or sisters of ‘613’ or other birds? It did not make any difference to him. When he had babies ready (4 weeks old) he contacted fanciers who had ordered birds and asked them to pick them up.

If there were brothers or sisters of ‘613’ among them they were ‘lucky’. Unlike the majority of other champions Klak charged the same price for all his babies. ‘Like everybody I breed more shit birds than good birds, and I really do not know which are the good ones. ‘613’ was a super but his brothers or sisters are certainly not better than other babies that I breed,’ he used to say.  

I understood. Throughout the years I have handled very many super racers. But never ever have I handled a super racer that had a handful of brothers or sisters that were equally good. And it is here that many make a big mistake. They think a pigeon is a good pigeon just because the brother or sister is good. It is not as simple as that though.

Back in 2014 a pigeon called ‘Ad’ was in the spotlight. It was the best Middle Distance bird of Belgium, 1st National Ace KBDB and 1st Olympiad bird as well. ‘Ad’ was a product of co-breeding. The father was a cock of Mr Wouters, the mother was a hen of mine. Also Short Distance Boeckx knew about this and he suggested to do the same as I did with Wouters: Co-breeding! That was fine for me since I had too many bad experiences with buying birds. The greater the name and the more expensive the birds, the poorer the quality, I found. So to Boeckx I went in the spring of 2014 with two cocks of mine: 10-308 and 09-622. Those 2 cocks got 2 hens of his as a partner and guess what?

Both pairs produced a real super. One for Boeckx and one for me. Boeckx named his super ‘BAS’. This name referred to our initials. ‘Bas’ was a multiple first prize winner and 3rd NATIONAL Ace KBDB, so the 3rd best sprint bird of ALL BELGIUM. The super that I had from our co breeding was 14-976 that was Ace bird 2 years in a row in the Fed.

Since what we did turned out to be a great success for both of us it stands to reason what we I did in the spring of 2015: I went to Boeckx again with the same 2 cocks that produced ‘Bas’ and my super racer 14-976.

Boeckx mated those 2 cocks with the same hens as before and again we shared the babies. They were raced in 2015 and guess what? None of them was any good. The full brothers of National Ace ‘Bas’ (16-488) performed poorly and the full brothers of probably my best bird (14-976) were not any good either.      

11-732 (‘Wonder duifje’) was also a fantastic racer. It is a multiple first prize winner and was 1st Ace in the Fed in 2012 and 2nd Ace in 2013. In 2014 I had 3 brothers of her in the race team. None of them was any good. 732 herself however DID breed real good babies.

Another fantastic racer in my loft is 13-006. No, I do not give my birds fancy names such as ‘Rocket’ or ‘Fast as lightning’, ‘Speedy’ and so on. So just ‘006’ is the name of this star. It won 1sts from all distances and even a 1st National z from Argenton. In the province of Antwerp it had a lead of no less than 10 minutes, with headwinds and at the greatest distance. Second was Roodhooft. 006 Descends from Iconic pigeons such as Extreem, Leeuw, Di Caprio and Cow girl.

This year (2016) I let the parents of 006 together and they gave me 3 children that I could race. None of them was any good. And you know what is funny? Of 006 itself (so the racer) I bred 4 babies which… ARE ALL GOOD.  

As for the racing season 2017 I did something that I seldom do. I did not eliminate those full brothers and sisters of super racers that performed poorly but kept them.

But I am not optimistic, though. And I feel pity for those guys that pay crazy money for babies from so-called ‘Golden Couples’. Breeding pairs that only give good babies only exist in auction lists and in the minds of (mostly foreign) dreamers.

Of course, the champions in our sport know this. That explains the enormous cloud of babies that fly round their loft every spring. Wouldn’t it be more fun to breed fewer but real good birds from those ‘breeding pairs?’ Of course you have more chances with the brothers or sisters of a super racer. But not more than chances. Remember Klak: He had only one ‘613’ though its parents were a couple for many years.       

If fanciers know about a fantastic racer they want babies of the same parents. I was no different long way back, but I have learnt my lesson. To-day I prefer babies from the racer itself to those of its parents. The racer, the bird with a record, has proven to have inherited the good qualities that we want from pigeons. This does not always count for its brothers or sisters, on the contrary.

When fanciers lose a good bird they sometimes say: ‘Too bad but thanks God I still have a brother.’ Now you may know how I think about this.

Pretty often it happens that of two nest brothers one is a good racer. ‘Then the other should be a good breeder’ some claim. ‘Dream on’ is what I think then.