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Also important (09-03)

Also important 

Performance is what matters most in pigeon sport. For me as well. You do not want to know how many "tricks" were used, all with that one goal: to get the best out of the birds.  What was done?

- Put another cock in a widower's box.

- The nest bowls with breeding pigeons were pushed closer together.

- I put pebbles or an insect in artificial eggs so that it looked like it contained life.

- I even placed mirrors in breeding boxes so that the pigeon that lived there would feel threatened.

- And so much more. Even as a brat, I learned a lot of those 'tricks' from semi-drunk fanciers in smoky pubs. Some believed themselves firmly in what they claimed, others just wanted to show off, just be important.


But unfortunately, it seldom had an effect. When I placed a mirror in a nest box, the pigeon that lived there did not get angry with its own reflection as I had been led to believe, on the contrary, it threatened to run from the nest. And looked at me as if to say "Don't you need some rest, mate?" With those "tricks" I managed to make even very good pigeons miss their prize and that's why I kind of believed that champion who always says: "I don't believe in motivation. Only two things count for me. The birds have form or no form, they can win or they cannot. The rest is bullshit. '

The man plays well, I have never heard him tell lies and you learn more from such men than from half-drunk fanciers in smoky pubs. Or of people who want to be important.


I write it more often, the territory has a huge influence on well-being, so also form and therefore performance. In nature films you see how animals fight themselves to death to defend this. In that respect they are just like people, who also kill each other for a piece of land. It used to be like that (Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Saddam Hussein) and it is still like that. If the own territory is so important, it goes without saying that you should make it pleasant and livable. People do that with their houses, banks with the bank building, teachers with their classroom.

It is no different with a pigeon loft. A pleasant environment where pigeons have a good nature will usually have more effect than tricks because creating form from one day to the next is an illusion. The day of basketing doing "crazy" things seldom work.


But still you can do something. I still remember that man who invited me to come and see the pigeons. He played tremendously and you can learn from people who play "tremendously".In the widowers' loft he asked 'don't you notice anything?'But no matter how hard I tried, nothing struck me."Count the pigeons," he said then. I counted and arrived at thirteen."And now the nest boxes," he said.I didn't have to count it. "Twelve" you saw it like that."That's my secret," the man laughed.'Of course you have to have good pigeons, but a thirteenth pigeon in a loft with twelve boxes can work wonders.' And I took him seriously. 


He feeds the pigeons separately, such a 'loose' cock also wants to eat and will fly in some box at every feeding turn. The "actual resident" will naturally get tired of such an intruder and will be constantly on the alert. Form may be aroused and such a pigeon will rush home more motivated out of hatred for that intruder than love for the hen. Such a surplus cock can also be used when the pigeons are on their way to the release station. Then you can open a box in which you let it 'ground' for a while.Two pigeons that both "trust" that a particular spot is theirs can cause a fire. Even with an entire loft. Keep everything under control. Because it is known that iit is mostly finished with a pigeon that was fought of its own box.


Empty boxes in a loft for widowers is also useful. You can sometimes open it and give two cocks "the idea" that they are boss there. So be careful again, you have to be there and close the pigeons in turn. And again: Start on time.You can have enormous success with it, but you can also be hopelessly screwed up. But ... don't the most beautiful orchids also grow at the edge of the ravine? 


In a pigeon loft it is always good to have some rivalry. That is why boxes in L-shape are fine or better yet opposite each other, such as at Verkerk and de Bruijn. Adding or removing perches now and then can also bring more life. Temporarily placing a shelf close to the box can have a double effect. One pigeon wants to claim that extra place, the other feels threatened. If you start on time  such a "thirteenth pigeon", extra perches, opening empty boxes may also make the fire burn longer.


A few years ago, grids became fashionable. Understandable. The many daily hours that some think they have to spend on pigeons can be such a burden that they can no longer afford it and quite.Grates save a lot of work, but there are grates and grates. My first were iron.I was not satisfied with it. Young have little nature, they will not flatter themselves relaxed and do not promote the building of nests. Pins and tails are also damaged. There are also plastic grids (light and clean), which are much better, and wooden grids. They are also useful, but I have the idea that grids in racing lofts are a bit out of fashion. 


In case of wooden grids pay attention to the gap between the battens. If they are too small, the manure will not fall through, if they are too wide, walking will be made more difficult. An opening of 22 millimeters seemed the best. When Voets was so dominant a long time ago, I came there regularly. It must also have been the time when Willy Daniels got gold there. Incidentally, I have never seen him. Maurice was struggling with his health, could not clean the lofts but how successful he was with pigeons on (wooden) grates. Conclusion? Lack of time to clean does not have to be an obstacle to performance or a reason to quit.   


 Interior loft Huyskens van Riel. They were already aware of the importance of a good loft. Boxes in L - form. Pigeons have a view of each other and are always alert.