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Stupid Papers and Smart Fanciers

In 2000 W asked me where to go to buy good birds.

‘Let’s go to M’ I said, ‘he lives far away, but his birds are good, he is honest and he does not overcharge’.

So to M we went and we got back home with 14 babies.

W did not buy one bird for much money off a special pair, as others often do, on the contrary:

W knows too well ‘high priced’ does not mean ‘good’ and ‘pedigrees do not fly’.


Since the birds were cheap W decided to race them.

He has never regretted it.

Among them was a cock that became one of the best racers of All Europe and it turned out to be a sensational breeder as well.

Among its descendants were national aces, national winners and Olympiad birds.

Naturally its fame spread like fire and in 2004 a Taiwanese wanted to buy 10 birds from M, the breeder of that super cock, but he first wanted to see the pedigrees.

M did not understand, but anyway.

I explained him what a pedigree was and he spent 2 days writing them.

When I saw the result I knew the Taiwanese would not buy and I was right.

‘Sorry, pedigrees no good’ he reacted.

I could not help laughing. ‘Pedigrees no good?’

I was so naïve as to think he wanted good BIRDS.

And good birds they were. In 2005 M raced the birds hat the Taiwanese did not want due to ‘poor pedigrees’ and they performed unbelievably.

NOW 60

Now understandably W got confidence in me and in 2004 he asked if I knew about another name where chances were great to get good birds.

I advised him to go to H and from H he bought 60 eggs.

He raced the babies and 10 of them performed like hell.

‘Only 10 out of 60?’ one may wonder.

Indeed, and that is FANTASTIC. Both H, W and me were happy with that.

Only some dealers in America claim all birds they breed are Golden which is the reason they charge fortunes for babies.

Among those eggs was a couple off the best breeding pair of H.

W had 2 pigeons that could not win a decent prize and believe it or not, they were off that special pair.

‘What should I do with them?’ W wondered.

‘Get rid of them’ I said and so he did.


Later on O paid me a visit, he wanted to show birds that he had bought from the same H.

He had only bought two, since he wanted the best he said, and asked me to have a look at the pedigree.

I saw directly the birds were off that good breeding pair that had produced bad pigeons for W.

‘What do you think?’ O wondered.

‘Who knows?’ I said, and did not mention the bad babies off the same ‘super pair’, since I did not want to disturb a dream.


Then there is this other Taiwanese.

I wonder why he still wants my birds.

He too wants to see pedigrees before buying and I let him pick.

‘He should be a good selector’ I sometimes think.

He always wants the poorest birds and leaves the good ones to me.

How come?

Like many foreigners he wants birds that are inbreeds, whereas it is well known that most good birds are crossings.

‘But inbreeds may be good breeders’ I can hear some of you think.

I have often heard that before.

I also know the theory that mating inbreeds from 2 different families is the road to success.

As for me it is no more than a theory.

Where is the scientific proof?

Perhaps Meulemans had the best breeding pair ever. Both partners were crossings! 

I often claim that the champions in our sport need not necessarily be the big names.

The un known fanciers with few birds are often the men to be beaten.

It stands to reason that they also import ‘new blood’ now and then.

But these guys buy local birds and are not interested in that piece of paper which is called ‘pedigree’.


Take van Dijck, the breeder of famous ‘Kannibaal’ for argument’s sake.

People from all over the world are after ‘Kannibaal blood’ now.

I heard Dirk, who is honest and realistic as well, often say:

‘First I try to breed good birds for myself and then I breed bad ones for clients, since bad birds are the ones they ask for. 

What he wants to say is this:

First he mates his ‘Kannibaal family’ with birds he got from local fanciers.

With the babies off these crossings he wants to win the races.

But no foreigner wants babies off birds Dirk got from unknown names.

They want babies that are inbred to Kannibaal.

‘They get what they want’ Dirk moans adding ‘how naïve they are, feel sorry for them’.


Vercammen is a great name and a great champion as well.

He enters many birds and wins a fantastic prize percentage.

He does not understand foreign buyers either.

Jos always says:

‘Buyers might be better off if I would cheat on them, but that is not my style. If they do not follow my advice I just give them what they ask for.’

In 2005 and 2006 he had some fantastic racers that he bred off pigeons he got from  German Dr. S. crossed with his.

'L’histoire sa repète.’

In 2001 I got a hen from a Mr. Janssen. People who wanted to buy youngsters cried out ‘wow’ when they saw the name of Janssen on the pedigree and begged for babies off that hen.

When I said the hen was not from THE Janssens they lost interest.

I am still grateful for that. The ‘Janssenhen’ gave me real supers and the same people that initially did not want her babies are begging for them now.

Too late now. ‘Fully booked.’

Sometimes it seems to me there are 2 sorts of birds: Quality birds and business birds (‘paper tigers’).

Most foreign buyers are not interested in quality birds, as it seems.

What they want is a nice piece of paper.

But, as I said: Nice pieces of paper do not fly.


'Famous Bosko from Jos and Lars Vercammen is also a crossing. The Belgian Superstar got the mother from his German friend dr. Schwidde.'