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The Chinese of the North

It is about half a year ago that I joined facebook.

"What have I done", I moaned afterwards.

Over 1.100 so called friends and about 100 in the waiting list is the balance today.  

To me it looks like a nice medium for children, for people who are lonely or feel bored or who like it to communicate this way.

This is not my thing though and I intend to unsubscribe one of these days.

Sometimes chatting is fun but I like to do it when I like to do it.

Like last week and believe it or not, the discussion that I had and is published below is for 90% true.


Do you vaccinate against pox and why or why not?

In the past I did not. In the last few years only when birds of fanciers in my area were infected. And the last 3 years they were!


Is it true that birds that are vaccinated will be safe for the rest of their lives?

This means that birds only need to be vaccinated once in a life time?

In the past we all thought so indeed but recently vets and scientists changed their minds. But pigeons that had pox from which they recovered seem to be safe for the rest of their lives indeed.


Is iodine a product that helps to dry the pox so that they fall off sooner?

If you put iodine on the pox they fall off in about 3 weeks.

If you do not do anything at all it takes about 21 days.


What is the difference between vaccinating and curing?

The difference is enormous but it will lead too far to explain here. You can find an article on that elsewhere.


Recently you wrote a positive article about Pipa but you also had negative remarks.

I did not criticize Pipa but the enormous amounts of money that are paid for birds on Pipa,. No pigeon in the world is worth 250.000 euro and no baby is worth 90.000 euro. Those buyers have lost contact with reality.

In fact I criticised them for their naivity.

You should also realise that it is the task of the organiser of an auction to collect as much money as possible.

As long as things are done correctly you cannot blame the auctioneer in no way.

Maybe the sale of a bird for 250.000 euro was good for our sport.

Now we cam in the spotlights of the media and that is exactly what we need.

Moreover I do not believe that one fancier will quit because of those crazy prices.

The point is that some believe that you cannot buy good pigeons any more for decent prices but they are absolutely wrong about that.

Even today many super birds were gotten very cheaply or even as a gift. And many of those birds for which crazy prices are paid will turn out to be no good at all.   


Now it seems that people pay more for Dutch pigeons than for Belgian birds. Are Dutch pigeons better?

The Dutch fanciers are better business men. They have the name to be stingy but they pay far more for propaganda to push their birds than the Belgians. Only look at Pipa.

Furthermore they often use the word 'National' for races that are not even provincial.

Another an important factor is that they only have one or two races in one weekend with the result that very many birds participate.

In Belgium there are many races and old birds and yearlings fly in different competitions. This results in races with a very low entry compared with Holland.


You did not answer my question which birds are the best.

In my opinion the Belgians have better sprint birds and the Dutch are better for long distance. As for great long distance the results of International two day races clearly show the Dutch birds are far superior.


And WHY do you think the Belgians have better sprint birds and as for long distance Dutch birds are better?

This is a matter of specialising. Very many Belgians focus on short distance only and where fanciers specialise in one sort of distance are the best birds. As for long distance the Dutch race against immense amounts of birds so they can easily select birds that won in the first 1 percent, while the Belgians often have no other choice than to select birds that won prize in the first 10 percent.


Would those Belgian sprint birds be able to handle long distance?

Some can, others not. A good fancier can feel that when he handles a bird.

Leo Heremans was such a sprint man but in the loft of W de Bruyn they have proven to be able to win at long distance as well.


There are many rumours about Janssen Bros. They say Louis passed away and there are no birds in their lofts any longer.

Louis did not pass away but there are no birds in the lofts of the brothers any more indeed. Many thought that the pigeons would go to either Herbots or Natural if Louis would quit but Pipa went away with them (26 old birds, 2 babies).


Why they? Were the Janssen Brothers not close with Herbots and Natural throughout the years?

Very simple: Pipa must have been the most interesting partner financially wise.

When money is involved people often lose their principles.

Look at what happened with the late Pros Roossens.

Pros was close with Hermans and with Herbots. They were friends.

So you would expect that one of them or they both would auction the birds. But for the family friendship and principles did not count: They chose for the money which means Pipa.

People will have different thoughts about that.


For about 2 decades the Janssens have not raced. Are the birds still any good?

I would not know, but it is a fact that Luc van Mechelen got his so called Chantillythere. His descendants brought him fame!


Is it true that the Janssens never imported other birds?

I dare not swear on that. Some people claim they can prove other birds were imported. The late van der Flaes and Louis van Loon amongst others.

Now also the pigeons of Louis van Loon are gone. But in a quiet way.


Were the Janssen birds really so outstanding?

Unbelievable. They were birds from another planet. Whoever got just one egg of them in my childhood became a champion soon.

The difference with Louis van Loon is that the Janssens were better businessmen.

They always had few birds while the lofts of Louis were loaded with pigeons.

Furthermore money did not mean so much for van Loon as it did for the Janssens.


And could the Janssen birds handle the long distance?

Some could. Long way back I bought the 1st prize National Barcelona from De Wit.

It was a pure Klak/Janssens. Also famous Patrick from Vanhee was a half Janssen.

As for the Janssenbirds you again see how good businessmen the Dutch are.

When they were a hype half the country claimed to race with Janssen birds.

Also people who never set a foot in the house of the brothers.

For many the only goal to visit Janssen was to be on a photo with the brothers or at least one of them.

With that photo they could show off. It was meant to sell.

It is like with Vandenabeele. Some bought his birds not in order to strengthen their family but to be on the photo with Gaby. As a proof they were 'friends' .    

Today the pigeons of Heremans are hot and Leo has to pay a price for that as well.

Now many Dutchmen and Germans want to be on a photo with him.

Those people are used.

Like the children with the drama with the coach in Belgium.

Some news papers put a photo of all the dead children on the front page.

Their goal was to sell more papers, to make money.

Such things make me sick.

But indeed, many fellow country men of mine are good business men.

The fact that they are called 'the Chinese of the north' has a reason.