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The sound of hollow barrels

Do fanciers have an aberration?

When I look at myself I would definitely answer this question with 'yes'.

But you need to see this question in a larger perspective.
The question becomes more interesting if you ask yourself if your fellow fanciers have an aberration.

It gets even more fascinating to check if you, dear reader, need a shrink.

If you have answered 'yes' to all questions we can conclude pigeon fanciers all have a problem. 

It was after a seminar, long way back, that I had my first doubts about common sense of many pigeon men.

I do not like seminars, since the panel members have to give the impression they know something about pigeon racing, but anyway, though I still don't know why, I accepted the invitation and I went there.



Sander, a pigeon broker, was one of the panel members.

I was in it and, don't be surprised, no less than three vets.

And if there is a seminar with vets you can be sure they get all the attention.

The seminar started as usual; the questions were boring and so were the answers.

The first question was 'how good pigeons should look'.

But this was not what the majority wanted to hear.

They already did have good birds, at least that was what they thought.

They wanted to know how you could make them fly faster and that topic was what the vets were waiting for.

They talked about viruses, bacteria, vitamins, eye drops, disinfectants and it didn't stop. And when one of the vets suggested that homeopathic medicine could make pigeons win I realised:


The mysterious medicine man, crushing bark at full moon to prepare brews to make pigeons fly faster, will make good business as long as this sport exists.


It was during this seminar that I felt that I had chosen the wrong profession.
If you want to make money, you should start a business in healthcare. When you can sell someone the idea he will live 20 years longer if he takes 'product X' he would spend his last dime to get it. 

Pigeon men in particular fall for 'secret stuff' and medicine.


It is especially at pigeon shows that you can see what I mean.

These shows had a refreshing facelift recently which is due to the pharmaceutical industry.
Boxes, pills, drinks, flyers'. you see them all over the place.
It looks like everybody is blinded by everything that they can administer their birds.

It has become a  craze and never ever did I hear someone say:

'I don't need this BS, I want quality birds.'

Guys, who sell all that shit, pick their words carefully, since they know that difficult terms such as oligo, enzymes, biotin and so on will make people believe they are knowledgeable.

'Knowledge is power', they don't want to pass it on, but who wants it, can buy it.

So the knowledge of a lot of pharmaceutical people is based on people's naivety and these guys catch more simple fanciers in their nets than fishermen can catch fish. Until they are crushed under their own ridiculous creativity.

A champion doesn't owe his successes to medication but to common sense.

While the losers take refuge to needless additives or medicine, the champion lies awake at night, thinking.

He thinks and sweats and asks himself questions.

Which birds should he keep?

Does he have to alter the loft?

Until his wife calls him to finally go to sleep.
But he does not fall asleep, he keeps on thinking and staring at the ceiling, since he realises the magic bottle will not lead to successes.

'Non-champions' sleep well and don't think that much, which makes life a lot easier. 
It is those people that are not successful who have to watch out.

Pharmacy salesmen watch them closely, since they know they are an ideal prey for them. 
Once I saw a seller of 'conditioners' handle a bird.

He did that so clumsily that the poor thing nearly died in his hands,

The difficult words he used were clearly no indication for the number of birds he had handled in his life.

So far I did not mention the ads which can be funny sometimes.


A man, who has a bag of pigeon feed in his hands, says:

'I am Peter and I won a National because I feed my birds brand X.'
So far so good, you would say, until' you turn over the page of the catalogue.

There you see another person who claims he won a National because he feeds his birds a mixture of company Y.
Thus, guys who know the weak points of the average fancier take him on a ride through the 'wood of lies'.

The point is, like I said, that people would do anything for good health.

I suspect some men of wearing a checked cap when they read it improves their sexual performances and then, in their imagination, they can handle a whole harem.

I have learned to stop fighting naivety, since I found I am bound to lose.

If your performances are good and you tell people the truth about your methods they call you a liar.

You better tell them what they would like to hear' even though it is the 'sound of hollow barrels'.
Don't get me wrong. Every bird can get sick of course and the sport has become unthinkable without good vets and proper medication.

But believe me, many explanations for failure were born in people's imagination.

And all those, who believe they can pour successes out of a bottle, are on a trip with the same destination: the disillusion!

I do not like seminars any more, since the greater part of the audience is only interested in things that are not relevant and vets in the panel are the people fanciers listen to.