Everybody makes mistakes
"What people call fate is seldom a matter of fate, but the result of stupidities made by themselves" the philosopher Schopenhauer said.
There is much truth in it indeed, so listen to my story.
Those who are familiar with the way I keep pigeons know I am not a man that spends much time cleaning his lofts.
One reason is that I do not feel like spending part of my life with a stupid scraper in my hand, furthermore I want to boost the immunity of my birds, so that they can handle harmful bacteria without the 'help' of antibiotics as much as possible.
Not cleaning lofts is not without risks though, which I noticed in the summer of 2007.
Some very old breeders were on eggs and when I checked them I was relieved to see that most of them were darkly coloured, which meant they were filled.
But a few days later something strange happened.
When I entered the loft I noticed that two pairs had left their nests, I felt the eggs and was disappointed to find that they were as cold as a nun on the North Pole.
'That's fate' I thought. 'Life goes on.'
But how wrong I was.
One day later 2 more pairs had left their nests and the eggs were as cold as 2 nuns on the North Pole.
I cursed a short word that is not fit for children's ears, since it seemed I had a problem.
Then I remembered something similar happened to me before.
Therefore I checked the nest bowls and indeed, I saw what I feared I to see; little red lice moving fast, even on the eggs.
They must have been so irritating to the birds that they ran away from their nests.
Why did these lice show up now?
The answer must be the humid weather and nest bowls that were neither replaced nor cleaned for a while.
Not clearing the shit around the bowl is not a sin, on the contrary, you can learn from it, since it is an indication about the health.
But fanciers that practise the 'dry litter method' should be on the alert and keep ears and eyes more open than those who are more hygienic.
The 'dry litter method' might work well provided the loft is dry and well ventilated but even then one should check for lice every now and then.
You may wonder why I did not take preventive measures, since there is good stuff available to eliminate these little bastards.
The reason is I have become careful.
It happened too often to fellow sportsmen that after disinfecting the lofts a dramatic fall in condition followed.
I even know about a man who used stuff that was real effective since it did not only kill the insects but the pigeons as well. He had got it from a vet who was not familiar with pigeons. Probably it was for pigs or bigger poultry like swans and geese.
Vets that are not familiar with pigeons often make mistakes!
Anyway, in the summer of 2007 I promised to better my life.
The breeding lofts will be disinfected repeatedly, the racing loft before or after racing season.
Ups. Pigeon gone. EVERYBODY makes mistakes.
Since the eggs I was talking about could not have been cold for long and were off good breeders I tried to save them.
I killed those little red bastards, replaced the nest bowls by clean ones but, whatever I tried, the birds refused to sit on eggs again.
Then I did something that was not stupid.
Since birds that come back home from a race mostly get on their eggs again pretty fast I put the birds into a basket for some hours, then I let them out and see, now they accepted the eggs.
It looked as if they had forgotten those irritating creatures.
Thus I managed to save most eggs.
In 2007 I made another stupid mistake.
I started the season by winning 1st and 3rd prize from 10,124 pigeons with 2 sisters but' I lost my 'Favourite' and' which is worse, again I should blame it on myself.
One day before basketing the birds had a training toss, they got home real fast apart from one that came home 2 hours too late.
Since it was my 'favourite' I was happy to see it again.
When I let the birds out the following morning for their daily loft training, my 'favourite' did not feel like training as it seemed, since he stayed in the loft.
I ignored it and entered him for the first race.
The result was I never saw it again.
It was stupid to enter it since his late arrivals and the fact that he was unwilling to train must have had a reason.
Some one asked to mate a 12 year old cock with its half-sister that was 7 years old.
Off that pair he would like to have some youngsters.
Since I did not feel like mating that old timer with that old lady I apologised.
I prefer to give old birds a young partner and preferably crossed.
Furthermore I know from experience, which is confirmed by statistics, that many good birds are bred off younger birds, yearlings in many cases.
People want pigeons of famous birds, famous birds are often old and' old birds OFTEN produce babies that are less vital.
Of course there are exceptions, therefore I said 'often'.
The man however did not give up.
He begged me if at least I would sell him babies off the cock, that had produced good birds before, when it was younger.
I told him the babies were not as vital as before but he did not care.
'Even if the birds are less vital the off spring may be good' he said.
I could not convince him to leave it, so he got what he wanted: Real bad birds in my opinion.
I felt sorry for the man.
He was a novice who complained that he had spent much money on birds before but he was always cheated.
Personally I do not think he was cheated. He just begged for bad birds, which is all due to those stupid pedigrees that brainwash people's minds.
In 2006 I raced youngsters with a partner in Belgium.
In the team were 4 babies off the same couple.
One of them raced fantastic, the others were absolutely worthless.
The bad birds were in the same loft, they had the same food and the same parents (pedigree) as that one that performed so well.
It reminds me of Klak's famous '613'.
Its parents were mated for 6 years, they must have had produced about 50 babies but only one '613'.
Should I keep the 3 bird that performed so poorly for breeding?
Where would I end up if I would keep all the brothers and sisters of good racers to breed from?
Once more, food for thought for pedigree crazy fellow sportsman.