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An interesting super bird

Every 5 years or so other birds, fanciers or strains are kind of hot.  

In recent years Figo, Kleine Dirk, Kannibaal were very popular, one decade ago the hottest bird in Germany was 'Nationaal' from the late Belgian diamond cutter Schellens.

In an old magazine it was described as probably the best racer in Belgium. back in 1987. 

It was called 'Super yearling then' and there is an interesting story attached to it.

Schellens was loaded with money and I will never forget what he told me about this bird when I once met hem at Maurice Voets, one of his best friends.



The results of this 86-6260314 were very promising as a baby, but as a yearling it disappointed.

Even after 5 races it had not won a prize and Schellens was about to eliminate it.

I am going to tell you the story.

You must know Schellens had several lofts and 314 was housed in 'loft 6'.

But Schellens had noticed it did not feel comfortable there.

314 did not even care for his hen before basketing when he let the sexes together; he started fighting instead of trying to 'make love'.

Schellens had also noticed that that yearling cock sometimes entered in 'loft 5'.

'Loft 5' was the young bird loft where it had performed so well as a baby.

Then, one day, when 314 had entered its 'old loft' again and saw that a pair was breeding in the box that was his the year before, it happened.

It looked like he was about to explode, its eyes spit fire, and if Schellens would not have been there he would have killed the breeding hen.

'I will give him a last chance' Schellens muttered and entered it for Dourdan and see, the same bird that seemed to be too stupid to win a simple prize before won first!



'Aha' Schellens thought, 'are you that kind of bird?

In the end of the week that followed he allowed 314 to enter its old loft again, then he basketed it for Orleans and now it even won 1st Provincial yearlings (4,301 p).

One week later was the Great National from Bourges.

Now '314' did not only win regional but even National (7,806 yearlings), hence its name 'Nationaal'.

This result was also sensational since Schellens had only entered one bird; the same bird that failed to win a prize earlier in the season.

Its motivation was to be in the loft in which it wanted to be; his home as a baby.

The story also tells how important it is that the fancier is a good observer.

In the pedigree of '314' (named 'Nationaal' later on) we find the names of Engels, Raeymaekers, Stoces and Lesage.



Some fanciers say widowhood cocks hurry home in order to make love with their waiting hen that they did not see all week long, while others think the drive is the love for their territory.

I think 'the others' are right.

It reminds me of a yearling cock that I once had.

As a yearling it won the first prize in the first two races of the season.

I had not shown him the hen before basketing (I never do or did) so the hen cannot have been the reason to be so motivated.

What was his drive then?

I will never know.

A silly thing such as a cock that has flown into the wrong nest box a couple of times may be a reason to motivate others, since they feel threatened.



'Nobody' Schellens always said and his friends Grondelaers, Jef Houben, Stoces and Engels thought the same.

Therefore Schellens practised free mating at the end of his career.

Before he had studied which cocks he should mate with which hens for years and 100s of 'coupling papers' he had made.

Till the day came that he got tired of it and he let the cocks choose their hens.

And what was the result?

From then on he bred more good bird than before!

It is kind of funny that many fanciers pretend to know how a good bird looks and how to mate while so many champions admit they know nothing about pigeons.

Especially Klak, Jef Houben, Meulemans and even Janssen Brothers often told me about their ignorance.  

'The result sheet and nothing else shows if a bird is any good' they claim.

The following story is a nice example of what they mean.



You must know the basic bird of Schellens was a pigeon that he had got from Engels. It had won no less than 15 firsts for Engels and it was an excellent breeder as well.

Since money was no problem he went to Engels to buy its parents.

But Engels told him he had made a nice soup from both the father and the mother.

What had happened?

Engels had given a pair of breeders as a present to a carpenter that had built a loft for him.

Some time later the carpenter returned to Engels with the present and asked if he could have another pair.

He had shown the pair (the parents of that miracle bird with its 15 firsts) to some fellow fanciers who all agreed they had never seen such bad pigeons.

Flor Engels did not hesitate long and killed them.

'Birds that are not good enough for others are not good enough for me' was his philosophy.



Now you may understand how I felt when I got that mail from a fancier from The Emirates. He wanted to buy a bird whose father was a son of Mattens x Sissi and the mother should be a granddaughter of Mattens x Sissi provided it had yellow eyes.

It is one of the few mails that I never answered.


1  Comb J Vermeulen & Z  1250  6-1064628    2  0597,094  12.33.40  1641,873

2  W.A. de Bruijn        1714  7-1821679   42  0576,521  12.22.04  1637,457

3  W.A. de Bruijn        1714  7-1821782   49      2     12.22.06  1637,302

 4  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  6-2162368    4  0585,945  12.27.56 1637,021

 5  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817850   48      2     12.27.57 1636,945

 6  W.A. de Bruijn        1714  6-1071725   33      3     12.22.14 1636,683

 7  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  6-2162275   11      3     12.28.03 1636,488

 8  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817869   18      4     12.28.14 1635,650

 9  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1818004   29      5     12.28.18 1635,346

10  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817923    1      6     12.28.20 1635,194

11  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817969   26      7     12.28.21 1635,118

12  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817907   19      8     12.28.21 1635,118

13  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817922   22      9     12.28.22 1635,042

14  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817855   15     10     12.28.22 1635,042

15  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817985    7     11     12.28.24 1634,890

16  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817846   14     12     12.28.27 1634,661

17  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817981   27     13     12.28.29 1634,509

18  N.W. de Wit           1714  7-1823199    3  0580,186  12.24.57 1634,483

19  G. & S. Verkerk       1710  7-1817891    2     14     12.28.30 1634,433

A race of almost 600 kms!! Never happened before!