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Heard and read (04-04-22)

Heard and read

 When you get older, 'regularly win prizes' and write articles, you soon become suspicious of knowing something about pigeons. And people have questions. One is how a person manages to write something new every week.
“Something new?” Not always. Because you can't avoid repeating yourself sometimes, whether consciously or not. “Conscious” because there are important things that cannot be said often enough before it really seeps through.
I get my inspiration from conversations with fanciers, emails and what I hear and see in other lofts and in my own loft. You can learn the most in your own loft. For everyone: The beginner, the champion, the vet and the scribe. One has to take for granted that the latter sometimes cannot avoid pointing out his own achievements.

What concerns every fancier is the question of whether and how they can improve. The following factors play a role in this:

- Good pigeons.

- Condition.

- To adjust.

- Conditioning.

- And above all luck.

Noticing and acting on things separates the champion from the man who will never be a champion. That man did well, who only weaned his young at the beginning of March. He had paired later because of breeders who didn't seem healthy. That's called adapting. Another example.
Here the old racers normally train twice a day. But it happens that, especially the hens, train so long and hard that once seems enough.
If they are gone for 2 hours in the morning and then fall back to the loft in groups with their wings hanging down, a second training session seems completely unnecessary.

The amount of time you can invest in pigeons, the available space, the financial possibilities, the family situation, these are all factors that require adjustment with always the golden rule in pigeon sport:

Never keep more pigeons than you can handle.

Because let's not beat around the bush; The man with money, space and a partner can set different goals than the man with a full day's work who is alone for everything. That companion can be anyone, including the wife.
The man with a day job and without help has to make choices. Because I fear that we live in a time when a full day's work and playing well with pigeons no longer go together. At least… for the man who doesn't choose.
For example, play with youngsters alone, or only middle distance, or only overnight, or only short distance. So forget General (over all) championships over all flights. And if you make the choice that suits you, you can certainly still play a leading role in pigeon sport in 2022.


A while ago I read: 'Medically I will never do anything myself. I leave that to the man of science, the vet, who studied for it. What surprised me was that this was not said by just some one. Because 'man of science?' And 'studied for it?' Come on. I think even some vets will have read it with a smile.
As far as pigeons are concerned, a vet has not studied for anything. He does not get a minute of lessons about pigeons in his training, he has had to develop himself. Nothing against it, quite the contrary. Knowledge gained from everyday practice may be more valuable than knowledge gained in a classroom or from books. 'Not trained for' is also apparent from the fact that veterinarians regularly disagree and sometimes have completely opposite opinions.

Two years ago, for example, I was sent two clippings from a critical reader. In one article, a vet claims that fungi are a serious problem in pigeon sport. He had never heard so many complaints as in that year, 2019, and had another statement too. It was due to the prolonged warm dry weather. This causes the mucous membranes to dry up, resulting in an increased risk of infection. The good news was that medication often had a spectacular effect, he wrote. In the other clipping you could read that another vet thought differently. He had rarely encountered fungi and IF it should be a problem, it is in humid (!) weather. Because it is rarely a problem, medication has no effect. So wrote this man.

With regard to paratyphoid, it sometimes seems that there are as many opinions as veterinarians. Of course they all mean well, but it would be better if they found each other and expressed a common point of view. I don't want to talk about German vets who speak disparagingly about vets here ('too old'). Because of no level.

This does not alter the fact that many fanciers attach too much importance to medication. They return from manifestations with folders of the most expensive paper with the most beautiful color photos from which you can conclude that vitamins, medicines and other junk must be very much earned.
Not a word about grit in those expensive brochures, although that is perhaps the most important by-product. The "why" seems obvious. There is no money to be made from that.
Especially novice fanciers are fooled by cunning aggressive propaganda. There are no remedies to make pigeons fly faster, so you can't buy them anywhere. One may even have doubts about remedies that artificially induce shape.
They can even make people quit. Because of false hopes, the umpteenth disappointment and again pennies poorer for which some have had to work hard and which they could spend on nicer things. I can't stand it.

With regard to pigeons, you sometimes wonder whether you can really speak of a sport. Take the well-known club called ‘Diamant Verbond.’
There would be about the best sprint pigeons. But a pigeon that would fly 5 minutes ahead of each flight there would not be a national Ace pigeon. Due to low participation.
Stefaan Lambrechts was such a hopeless fancier without chances. To-day however he does have national ace pigeons. Because of more quality? No, it is not. Due to relocation! So that he could play in a combine where more pigeons fly. So it is a misunderstanding to assume that the National Ace pigeons are also the best in the country.
Incidentally, some Dutch people see with sadness how much is paid for National Ace pigeons in Belgium.

But that is entirely their own fault. Far too many different 'national' competitions with so-called National Ace pigeons in the Netherlands. Even for the Dutch it is sometimes impossible to understand, let alone for the Chinese. When there were still several pigeon magazines in Belgium, there were also several 'National Aces’.  To-day you want to see four letters in a national Ace pigeon: K B D B.