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Good and bad people (July 11)

Among pigeon fanciers you have all sorts of people. Some love this sport because of the friendships, the nice social contacts, and all the fun that they have with fellow sportsmen. Others quit the sport because of the jealousy and selfishness of so many. I myself also have my good experiences and a few bad ones.

Take the brothers ‘K’ who come and clean my lofts once or twice a year. They are pretty young and I give them eggs for their work. Not many but off my very best. Young guys should not buy expensive pigeons I tell them then. What others have I also have, because… if I know about a fancier of whom I think that he may have better birds than I have I do not rest until I have his birds in my loft.

So why should you waste money? The brothers got these birds under one condition. If there were real good ones among them they should breed me babies from them.

And it must be said, they were lucky and are extremely successful with my birds. They even won 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 against over 1,900 birds. This year they bred me six youngsters from my birds’. Four of them got lost because of the hawk which is a nightmare here. Now that I am writing this we have had one race for young birds. Those two of my young friends were both on top of the result sheet.

So after one race only they already have proven to be far better than ALL the shit birds that I bought from ALL those renowned breeding pairs from ALL those world famous ‘CHAMPIONS’ together. I treated them well and they treated me well by keeping their word.

B is somebody else. It must be about 15 years ago now that he was at my place to buy 10 babies but I still have not forgotten him. When he had put the birds in the basket he asked how much he owed me. I was surprised. He KNEW the price. I mentioned it again, but though it was very reasonable he begged for a discount. He did not give up until I got so tired of it that I finally was so stupid as to agree with a discount. Later on I heard that there were 3 real good birds among them. And 3 real good ones out of 10 I find fantastic. Some years went by and then I got a mail from a Chinese. He asked if I could give him more details about birds from me that he had bought. When I saw the ring numbers I was shocked. They were the birds that I had sold to B!

He had kept the good birds and sold the shitbirds for 4 times the price that I had charged him. So in fact he had the good birds for free and had made a good profit on the whole deal. I was so upset that I could not keep my mouth shut and explained the Chinese the whole story. I told him he was fooled. He was surprised. ‘But was not it you who bred those 6 birds?’ he moaned. ‘Sure’ I said, but like EVERYBODY ELSE I breed more bad birds than good ones. What B had done was dirty and not good for my reputation to sell birds that had proven to be no good.


M is American. About 5 years ago he contacted me for youngsters. I shipped him some but in quarantine in the USA some got sick and even died, together with other birds. How embarrassed I was. I had shipped many birds before and now the first deal with this man problems. But not for the American, with whom I have built up a good relation meanwhile. He did not reproach me anything and did not lose confidence, on the contrary. Later we made another deal. I would buy 20 babies for him at a reasonable price from a real good fancier. I would race them and ship him the best. But unfortunately there were no real good birds among them.

I felt sorry for him but also for the breeder. He is an honest man with good birds, but just bad luck. Again the American made no problems. He is pretty new in the sport but already realises that real good birds are very rare good luck is what mainly matters.

The good news is that he also had great successes though he is pretty new in this sport. Anyway, from now on I do not want a bad word about Americans any more.

It must be about 5 years ago as well that Belgian H bought a voucher from me. When he came to pick up the bird he said he was not interested in a pedigree. Three years he suddenly stood on my doorstep. He wanted a pedigree of the bird that he had gotten from me some years before. It had produced a National winner that he had sold together with the parents. No problem for me. The bird that I gave him was his now. But….That National race took place some months earlier !!! In between I had spoken him many times and he never brought up the origin of the winner.

He could have been more grateful!  

In every fancier’s life there are races that he will never forget. For me the race from Pithiviers in 2007 was one of them. It was a gigantic smash, and as usual with such races the bad pigeons made it home while the real good birds got lost. I lost 9 of my first 10 pick birds (nominated birds). What a disaster. Later on it turned out how good they were. Before the racing season Jespers v d Wegen had bought eggs from these racers that got lost. With the off spring he was to become the best racer on the Nationals for several years. That means from ALL Belgium. One week after the smash that had kept me awake a fancier in the local food shop heard about it. ‘Did S lose 9 of his 10 best birds? Great! That means one competitor less in the coming years.’ It is a long time ago, but the remark of this fellow ‘sportsman’ still hurts. How could he?