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Not doing well (23-02-23)

Not doing well

In pigeon sport you sometimes hear: 'Whoever makes the fewest mistakes becomes champion.' And also: 'Making mistakes is not a bad thing as long as you know and see that about yourself. So that you learn from them and don't make them again.'
Making mistakes is part of our existence, but in pigeon sport they are sometimes embarrassing. I often point this out, but in pigeon sport you can't tell some things often enough, it seems.

For example, there is that fellow countryman who has been racing long distance for years, but who plays unbelievably bad.
There are several reasons for this, one of which is that he is content too quickly. He is proud of results for which others would be embarrassed.
For a moment I had the urge to admire him because, despite his poor results, he did not give up. His optimism could be an example to many, but that admiration was not much left when I heard that he was actually quite ambitious to play well.
However: The way he keeps pigeons it can't work out and you are doomed to fail. Because how can you ring so many babies every year with not one really good old pigeon in the loft? He's got junk, always has and will, as long as he breeds, breed junk.
"Yes, if I would only breed from good parents I don't have to breed anything, since I do not have any good birds" you sometimes hear.
Those people forget that the big shots  of today, who can afford to remove pigeons that would be good birds for others, also had to start from scratch.
It is a matter of placing the bar at the right height, but always in such a way that you can still go over it.

I pointed out the importance of grit (calcium and minerals) earlier.
And what about fanciers who claim that their pigeons do not like it?
They do net get the point.
There is a big difference between not eating and not liking. Those complainers have grit in their loft and that is wrong. You have to give that fresh in very small amounts a few times a week. Grit that has been in the loft for some time remains untouched.
You should throw such grit outside on the pavement in front of your loft and then see what happens when you let the pigeons loose after a heavy rain shower.
They fly to it like the apostle Paul to the Corinthians.
Dr. Lemahieu, an authority, agrees on grit and says:
‘When pigeons come from a long distance race, you should prepare some feed and some grit and then see what they peck first.’
You already guess the answer.
What applies to grit also applies to mineral powders or mixtures. Don't leave it in the loft, it gets damp and you can throw it away. A heating plate or such an element that should protect drinking water from freezing can be useful.

Trichomoniasis is no longer the great danger it once was. At least not in Holland or Belgium,. Many fanciers no treat against it any more, something that was unthinkable a few decades ago. Still be careful though. You wouldn't be the first to get yourself into deep trouble by considering canker to be a thing of the past.

We can trust that those responsible will do everything possible to prevent massive losses from races. But excluding them completely is an illusion. 
And what do we often see during and after such a smash?
Much to their delight, fanciers do not lose that 'good bird', but that will happen the following week. Due to not sufficiently recovered.
That rarely happens to the more experienced fancier.
After all, he knows how important it is to only race with pigeons that have fully recovered after a bad race.

So what should you pay attention to? Especially body weight. As long as pigeons do not regain their old weight, they do not belong in the basket.
The same goes for the color of the breast flesh. That will be different after a bad flight, certainly not that nice light pink. Do not basket such a pigeon!
Also the daily training can be instructive.
Is the same bird always the last to leave the loft?
Watch out. This also applies, of course, to pigeons that are the first to land on the board after they finished training. Turning on the system of electronic clocking can help you with that

You also see people making mistakes with training. Especially beginners. With all their good intentions, they sometimes drive as far as the first release station.
If that is 80 km, the last toss is also 80 km.
As if the birds need to learn the way. A waste of time, energy and fuel. Before they start training, such people already have a certain schedule in mind. For example start with 5 km, then 10 km, 15 km, 20 km. 25km.
 The mistake such people make is not adapting to circumstances; an important quality of good players.
For example, if the pigeons come home badly from about 10 km, you should not drive any further the next time because it was planned that way. Pigeons that do not come home well must be released at the same distance on the next trip. In this case again from 10 km. And possibly one more time. Don't drive on until they storm home in a straight line.
'If they have been searching for a long time, they have learned a lot', some say. My idea? They have learned NOTHING, but lost a lot of self-confidence.

What also happens regularly is that a proven good pigeon returns home badly from the first tosses of the new season. You don't understand, but you think it will be fine later.
However, that rarely works out, if you keep racing such a pigeon you will lose him sooner or later. Coming home late once from a toss should be no problem. But if it happens more often that should be an indication something is wrong.

In earlier years, many Germans came to buy pigeons in the Netherlands and in Belgium. They were also present at room sales and usually bought many birds and the best. Those Germans  had more to spend, it seemed.
Sometimes you received a phone call from such a German. "What is the price of  young pigeons?" he wanted to know.
If it was reasonable, such a caller would ask a following question: 'And how expensive are youngsters from the breeders?'
They assumed they were better and a lot more expensive.
They did not realize that many pigeons were in the breeding loft only because they had cost money, came from a good fancier or had a great-grandfather (or something like that) who had raced well.
Pigeons in the racing loft on the other hand, have proven (or not) what matters: To perform! When I'm talking to a good fancier we never talk about lofts, feeding, medicines, supplements. What do we talk about then? Good pigeons!