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Scales from the eyes

When foreigners, and not only they, ask me information about a coming star in Belgium or Holland most questions can be summarised in 2 only:
- What strain does this new champion have?
- Can you tell me something about the way he medicates his birds.
These items seem to be on the mind of many. 
When I myself have a new star or when I win an important race it is the same thing:
What is the origin of the bird, or tell me about your medication they ask me.
Can you believe the following thing happened to me some years ago?
A Chinese who lives in Holland came to buy birds. But he also wanted me to do one thing: Write down the medication he needed to achieve well.
I was shocked, are fanciers brainwashed so much today? 
I answer these guys: 'Why medicate birds when they are healthy?'
I seldom medicate though I must admit this was different some years ago.
But I just feel they do not believe my words, but this is their problem, not mine.

As I said this was different some years ago. Especially canker was a plague and I could hardly raise a healthy baby when the breeders were not medicated before.
Then I started to put garlic in the water and apple vinegar.
This was about 4 years ago.
In those days many fellow fanciers also put apple vinegar in the water, it was supposed to prevent an outbreak of Adeno/Coli (young bird disease), but they found it had no effect.
But what people found was that from then on trichomoniasis was hardly a problem any more. 
The first champion who told me he stopped medicating against canker was a vet. Dr. Marien and he is a vet who races fantastic.
Later on you could read champions like Vandenabeele and De Bruyn and others also found trichomoniasis was no problem any more.
Treating the racers for a week before the season is not wrong, and then you are sure they are free. But treating them every day after every race is asking for problems on a longer term.

I have pretty many contacts with champions, vets and even scientists.
One scientist who is pigeon crazy once assured me:
You will get the diseases against which you medicate.
This was a long time ago and I did not know what to think about it.
Later on I found there was much truth in it.
Take coccidioses for argument's sake.
In the old days I had a microscope and tested the droppings of my birds every 2 weeks. And it seldom happened that I did not find coccidioses and therefore I medicated. But after 2 or 3 years I got so tired of it, that I stopped medicating and only one year later I hardly found coccidioses any more.
When I found a little bit I let it be and did not take any action.
Coccidioses is not a pigeon disease. They might suffer from it when they are weakened by another disease like paratyphoid or after a hard race.
Vet Marien used to test the droppings of the birds after a hard race.
He often found some coccidioses but' after some days it was gone.
Without any medication.
Today he still tests his birds but now for him it is a parameter of condition.
Coccidioses can heal spontaneously, provided the birds are in a dry environment.

Talking about New Stars, the best Short Distance racer in recent years is without doubt Stickers Donkers from Belgium.
Never ever did a fancier have such incredible results as he.
Never ever did a fancier win so many titles in the National championships of KBDB as he did in 2011.
Most fairy tale results were achieved from short distance, from 40, 70, 125 and 225 kilometres, but do not underestimate what it means in Belgium!
The origin of his birds?
He got them nearly all from local un known fanciers, only 2 of his basic birds came from fanciers with a name: Luc van Mechelen and Leo Heremans.
The price of some of his basic birds was ONE EURO !!

What medication he gives?
Since 8 years none at all!
Not against canker nor coccidioses, or respiratory problems.
Just nothing !!
And he found his results got better.
What distinguishes him from others is that he trains his birds like hell. He could be an American or a Taiwanese.
Most of his birds he races 3 times a week and when there is not a race he goes on the road with them.
Everybody agrees that the loft is important. It should be warm, dry, not draughty and well ventilated.
The young birds of Stickers Donkers are housed in an open aviary!.
The front wall consists of wire! No expensive extraction system, no heaters, just wire.
The babies are exposed to wind, cold and heat but still they destroy the races.
Week after week, year after year.

Last week I threw away a jar with a white powder in it.
At least, it used to be powder, now it was as hard as stone, since it was expired.
It was Ronidazole, stuff that I needed so often in the past.
What I do now is put garlic in the drinker for about a week.
The water is not refreshed; I just pour fresh water in the drinker when it is nearly empty.
Another week there is apple vinegar in the water, another week nothing and then I start again with garlic.
And since I did that I do not know what canker is. Since many champions do the same thing today this method just must be a good method. 
So in short:
Healthy birds need NO medication; you cannot pour condition out of a bottle.
- When my whole family would get sick I would of course medicate.
- When just a few birds would get sick I would eliminate them, unless there would be a good one amongst them and I would only treat this one.
- It is absolutely wrong to medicate all your birds in order just to heal a few.
Remember that we humans do not take aspirin either in order to prevent a head ache a few weeks later.
All those who think medicine will make their birds better racers are on their way to the same final station: The disillusion!