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Causes of failure (05-04)

The man who called had already invested a lot in pigeons, only bought from real top fanciers but without result. You hear a story like that more often. Pigeons of the noblest lineage that are completely lost by warriors who do not represent a name or strain. It indicates that not everything in this world and certainly not in pigeon sport can be bought for money. Thanks God.


Failure again and again with purchased pigeons can have various causes. And the supplier of the pigeons need not be to blame.

  1. Many do not have the feeling. They are no good handlers. They just pretend.
  2. Others fail because they made wrong choices. They bought names. And names? Often they are little more than a flag to cover the worthless cargo. Especially with those people for whom sales are their paramount.
  3. People fail because they misjudge the strength of a competition. They don't read results properly. One is blinded by incidental early prizes without taking into account the number of pigeons that were raced with. Or with the competition.

What about pigeon racing? Someone with many top rankings stands out, regardless of how many pigeons he raced. You can't steal a show with five pigeons. You can do that with 40 prizes, even if you basketed more than 100 pigeons. Yet the man with five pigeons has possibly better pigeons.

Some play with few pigeons because they know that they are sufficient to keep themselves off. That they are good enough. And why are many ‘mob flyers’ mob flyers? Because they know that even results can lie in pigeon sport. Won titles for example. Being a champion doesn't always mean "being the best."

In our sport you can even become a champion if you played badly. Finally, there are the people who fail with what they buy because they turn to fellow fanciers who do perform but… they do not realize that the competition is poor. For that reason a 1st prize or playing well doesn't mean much to me. I want to know where a fancier gets his good results and against whom.

In the Netherlands you had / have nominated and non-nominated champions. So, if you're looking for reinforcement, are you better off with the nominated champion? Appropriate titles are also not sanctifying. I remember well when, newly married and moved, I became Provincial Champion for the first time. I could become that because I had ... so many bad pigeons! Only three performed superbly, the rest were rubbish. Which birds to put at the top of the pooling list was therefore not an issue. I didn't win too many prizes, but those were top prizes with the right nominated birds. And thus I became champion against thousands of fellow fanciers.

This is all about the strength of competition and the value of championships. In my area fanciers focus on Middle-distance. Therefore you will not find there good birds for great long distance. But there too there are "long distance champions" and first prize winners great long distance. The fact that one can still win prizes and points when National is already "closed" does not detract from this. That is not really bad though.

"Champions of poverty" may also be happy with their title. They will not be concerned that it was won against a competition that represents little. But those things are good to take into account if you want really good (in this case long distance) pigeons. ‘Tell me who your competitors are’ and I will tell you what kind of pigeons you have. "So many fail with their bought pigeons because they come from lofts that are not as good as people think. The supplier of those pigeons that do not meet expectations is not to blame.

But also pigeons from REAL champions often do not live up to their origins. That is not strange, on the contrary. Because let's assume that "the champion" has 10 really good pigeons in the loft. There are few such, but let's assume. How many youngsters did he possibly have to breed to get those 10 good ones? Let's assume 70. That means 350 youngsters in 5 years. 10 good ones therefore equates to 1 in 35! The conclusion is clear: If you buy about 10 pigeons somewhere and there are two good ones, you were lucky! Whoever you bought from!

In addition, there is the following. As the demand for pigeons increases, many will "adapt". They are going to keep more pigeons and with the selection they become less strict. After all, every pigeon that is removed costs money.

 And so for many the number of pigeons on the loft list increases in proportion to the demand and quality and quantity are also inversely proportional to each other.

Pigeon sport has become top sport, winning or losing is sometimes a matter of seconds. But today's champion not only waltzes about the competition because of better pigeons, he also knows how to get more out of it! Bringing to a pinnacle of form on the day of flying. Not a day earlier and not a day later. They also sense exactly whether medical intervention is required, more specifically when. Many champions are just a bit smarter, which is reflected when their pigeons come to another loft.

Incidentally, the tragedy of a failed new contribution extends beyond "not performing". Pigeons for which was paid are not treated like others. Fanciers have more patience with them, with the obvious consequence after some time there are even more bad ones. One will have less patience with a free pigeon than with a downright bad one from a champion for which a big price was paid. "If they don't fly, maybe they are breeders," they reason. Are the children not performing? ‘Maybe the grandchildren.’

How many direct original Janssens birds would ever have been removed because  they were worthless? Yet there is a big difference with the past. Then people brought rubbish to the poulterer, to-day they are trying to find a market for it.

Of course there is much more chance with descendants of good pigeons. But don't be too quick to assume that you are being cheated if they do not meet expectations. So:

Don't let dazzlingly beautiful family trees stir up forgotten forces in you, because only a spade deep lies the playful power of the imagination and imagination has never made anyone a champion.

 I told the guy who called me that I couldn't help him. Because "fail everywhere"? I didn't feel like being next in line.