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Sometimes so strange

Sometimes so strange


September 9th 2016.

Last Saturday we in Belgium had our last Middle Distance race from Souppes, about 380 km. I finished another very successful season with 1st prize. The winning bird also had the highest speed of ALL THE BIRDS that were raced that day in the province of Antwerp (appr. 5,000 pigeons).

A full sister won 1st prize some weeks before, another sister is 2nd Ace old birds 2016 in the Fed and a bird of the same mother was fastest from about 35,000 pigeons.

The mother (09-601) was sold in spring. Such a good breeding hen sold? I did not tell you the whole story. It gave me two good birds in 7 years time. Not enough for me but good enough for the Taiwanese who bought it. Still I regret to have sold it.

But how could I know it would give me 2 good birds this year.    



From Mr. Marien, a well known vet and a very good racer as well, I heard a story which is about reminiscent. The difference is that he did not sell the bird. The story was about a good racer that had been in his breeding loft for many years but it had not given even one good bird. Yet the cock had many different partners.

Then, when 7 years old, it gave one good super after the other.

Sometimes pigeons are hard to understand.

There are also numerous examples of breeding pairs that only gave ONE good bird as long as they were paired up. This explains why many Dutch and Belgians cannot understand foreign fanciers that pay fortunes for just a baby for one reason only: It had a brother or sister that raced well.



Last week we in Belgium also had a National long distance race from La Souterraine (about 625 kms).

It was a race with fair weather. Bright and a slight breeze right from behind, with a little bit West. All the top birds were clocked in the middle of the country, which means in the Berlaar area.

In the West (Flanders) and in the East (Limburg) fanciers could hardly win a decent prize national. In the middle the race was finished in a bit more than half an hour (then one third of the bird was home), in Flanders the race lasted 2,5 hours.

- Birds that hardly won a prize regional in the centre won in the first 10% National.

- Winners in Flanders did not even win a prize national. Not one bird from the 1000s of Flemish birds that participated won a prize in the first 500 National.

Could it be more unfair?

‘It was the location of course’, fanciers say. ‘The birds in the middle had a favourable wind.’ Those remarks were reasonable. But I have not finished my story yet.


Also on (the same) Saturday the Dutch had a National race from Gien/Orleans. But unlike in Belgium fanciers who live far west (near the North Sea) won 3 prizes in the first 10 National and so did fanciers who live in the far East (near the German border). The other 4 prizes in the first 10 National were won by fanciers who live central.

Could it be more fair?

In the Berlaar area locals say they have by far the best birds. Honestly speaking I have never heard a fancier say that where he lives competition is poor. In the Berlaar area are certainly good birds. But the difference it too big. Not even one good bird in Flanders? Just impossible! Why fanciers in the west of Holland could win very early prizes national and why the pigeons in the west of Belgium failed? No one knows.


What is also inexplicable are the gigantic losses of young birds. It must have more reasons and one of them is absolutely poor health. When a fancier loses many birds and his fellow fanciers do not lose any there is only one explanation: Poor health.

Even if a vet found the birds were fine, since it may be a viral infection. A nice example of what I mean is that of Adri de Dooy. The man has real good birds but the first races he lost many of his youngsters, even from easy races with tailwinds. Some of the lost birds were reported and he got them back. Some weeks later he was surprised when he entered his young bird loft. The birds had shaped up unbelievably. In a good mood he entered the birds that were lost before and that he got back for a middle distance race. It was a pretty hard race with headwinds. He won 1st and 2nd against appr. 3.100 birds!

Those winners in hard weather were the same birds that he lost in easy weather. So it is clear that the losses before were not due to poor quality, the difference must have been the health of the birds. No fancier has birds that are all so stupid that they get lost from 200 kms only. Stupid birds come too late!