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Other thought (28-08-22)

 Getting older almost only has its drawbacks. I notice that as well as others of my  generation. But not everything is negative. What we, the elderly, can boast of is experience, an element not to be underestimated for successfully racing pigeons.

You learn to put things into perspective through experience. You also realize how many ingrained habits and views are just not right.


For example, in my younger years, older fanciers wanted me to believe that you had to be patient with widowers. Only when throwing the first flight would the real shape come. I experienced that it was bullshit, won too many top prizes with pigeons with a full wing. Now that we are delaying the moult ‘en masse’ by means of this Dutch find darkening, that view no longer holds. Due to darkening we can no longer estimate the age of the young. “Still very young,” they used to say in May about a baby that had “only” thrown one Flight. ‘Fuck, this youngster has already thrown one flight,’ they now say in July.


Probably many will disagree with the following, but that's okay for me. What I mean is the belief that you will breed better pigeons if you mate with a full moon. Even well-known names believe in that. I find it almost cool. That in pigeons the drive to mate increases as temperatures rise is another misconception.

Pigeons do not become lustful because of rising temperatures, but because of more light. Read: longer days. See birds in the wild. They really don't get happy or want to mate in December after a few days of mild weather. That happens when the days get longer. Even at lower temperatures.

'Really nice weather for widowers' you often heard in the past.That was when the weather was warm, clear and with a headwind.Hens would be better in less good weather and irregular flights.Admittedly, I went along with that for a while. And only later came to realize that it was a misconception to think that hens are no match for the widowers when the distances get longer and the conditions get tougher.
But who didn't think so then?That is why there was a separate doubling for hens. To protect them against 'the stronger sex'; so the cocks.
In the Netherlands it was already known in the last century that hens on races of 1,000 km and further were often superior. But gradually the realization dawned that they can offer the cocks a match at all distances. So also in so-called 'widowers' weather'.“Who protects the hens against the cocks?” would no longer hold true. Icons such as Vervoort, Derwa, v d Wouwer, Daniels and earlier Theo Ijskout in particular became so convinced of the qualities of the hens that they no longer raced cocks.Their predominance with hens was sometimes so great that one could ask the day 'Who protects the widowers against the hens.'Even in hard weather and from roughly 600 km?Right. Just THEN! Just read the reports of National winners.

I am anything but a long distance racer, but also icons such as Jan Theelen do not believe that you can put more energy into the pigeons body in a few days.The fact that more and more fanciers choose to feed the same composition all year round shows how they feel about it.Also take the names for the various compositions.
Moulting, purification, breeding, flying, diet, super diet and so on.Almost laughable if you ask me.And very big names endorse that. They feed the cheapest available.The Verhoevens van Goirle were the absolute top in the Netherlands in a gray past.
Albert, who died much too early, repeatedly swore to me that the price of feed and the quality were different things. Klak and Ludo Claessens also attached little value to it. And a mixture that makes pigeons moult (better)? Come on. The moult is a hormonal matter, a natural occurrence and a matter of light and dark.
And formerly of cortisones. By the way, compare the moulting mixtures of the different feed companies and see how they differ.
Purification is another term that has little to do with purifying. ADENO/COLIAIt seems that Adeno/Coli is becoming less of a problem. The same you can say about canker. The fact that fewer young pigeons get infected is certainly not due to the use of (apple) vinegar, as we were led to believe a few years ago.
I still remember what Dutch Peter vd Merwe once said to me:Every year he had to deal with Adeno Coli until he got tired of it and threw some apple cider vinegar into the water trough. After all, he had heard a lot of good things about it. He had never been so bothered by Adeno Coli as he was that year.


Some people you hear say 'Good at short distance means also good at fond’. Others criticize short distance pigeons because they would not be strong enough.  So it's a controversial topic. Do you know what W de Bruijn once said when I asked him whether two of his pigeons that performed well for me at Middle Distance would also be able to compete in the long distance?'I do not know.
You will notice that when you play them.”In the pedigrees of national winners in the long distance of fanciers from the Berlaar region, you can see the names of sprint specialists such as Heylen and de Meyer.Those super birds in the long distance of Willy Daniels who previously caused such a furore descend from Gert Heylen and de Meyer, sprint players in particular!!Admittedly, there are examples of super pigeons in the sprint for whom 300 km is already too far. Wouldn't it be the case that one sprint pigeon can perform at longer distances and the other cannot? Whether or not soft plumes could play a role in this regard. 

The best birds can be found in Belgium and the Netherlands. Hmm. Is that true? Are 'our' pigeons so much better?
They may have once been. But is that still the case in 2022? Study the results of One Loft Races and you will seriously doubt. Pigeons from Dubai, Austria, but especially Germany are not inferior to 'ours'. Belgian pigeons are  the most wanted. But they often fail very conspicuously.

The names of fanciers from the Berlaar region are often mentioned. Also by me.  Have you seen how they performed on the two National flights from Argenton recently? The first time, 10 of the 20 fastest pigeons in the country were basketed in the same club house in the town of Bevel, in the national race that followed, even 13 of the 21 fastest. With a national release! A coincidence? Come on. Then the outbreak of the war in Ukraine was also a coincidence.