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Here we go again (febr 19th)

Here we go again.


Unbelievable how much stuff there is on the market to ‘increase the health of pigeons’, or like they say ‘to make pigeons fly faster’. The shelves in the pigeon stores are filled with all kinds of boxes, bottles, powders, lotions that all promise the same thing: Successes ! I must admit it is not so bad as it used to be, fanciers have grown wiser as it seems, but… it is still bad. When I see novices and not only them, buy that stuff from the money that they had worked for so hard I really feel sorry for them.

Now those brokers of castles in the air have found a new market: China. If you open a Chinese magazine you do not know what to do: Feel like laughing, or is it crying? In numerous ads ‘magic stuff’ is promoted that will turn average pigeons into winners, provided fanciers buy that shit. ‘Now they found out the secret of the champions and the sellers are so charitable as to share that with less successful fanciers. Unbelievable! Some even advertise homeopathic remedies. You know what a well-known scientist once wrote about such stuff?

Am I too sceptic? Or should I keep my mouth shut because I mainly race Middle Distance and not Long Distance? Hmm. See how some fellow fanciers do that DO race LONG DISTANCE think about this matter. Not just fellow fanciers, but great champions: Jellema and Verkerk.

Is Jellema the best great long distance racer of Holland? Hard to say. He is real good indeed but his prize percentage is far from impressing. In the great long distance races 2016 he won:

-11 prizes from 22.

-2 prizes from 4.

-10 prizes from 18.

-5 prizes from 11.

-21 prizes from 52

-8 prizes from 12.

-5 prizes from 12.

-10 prizes from 14.

-10 prizes from 31

-22 prizes from 45 birds in the race.

This means a prize percentage of not even 50%. And that is far from impressing. When I have a race with a percentage of 60% I make many people happy. I had years with no race at all with a prize percentage that was less than 60%.

But on the other hand, a great prize percentage is one thing, top prizes is something else. It is top prizes that matter. And concerning real early birds I wonder wo did better than Jellema in National and International long distance races in recent years. And then you should know that from races such as Barcelona (for him about 1,200 kms) he races 200 to 300 kms further than some Belgians and the French.

Jellema is a vet and as for vets I still remember that question that a fancier once asked me when I had a seminar in my home town. I was the leader of the panel and in the panel was amongst others dr. H de Weerd. Fellow fanciers often said my results were so outstanding because I knew so much more about medicine. This was reason for a club member to ask dr. de Weerd: ‘Who races best, the fancier with the best birds, or the fancier with the best vet?’ De Weerd just smiled. He had just bought a round of birds, very expensive birds, from a great champion. Why would he do that if he had the knowledge and the means to make pigeons fly faster? So Jellema is also a vet. All medicine that you can imagine he can grab just from the shelf. And you know what? He is strongly against any medication, whatsoever. In his drinkers is pure water 360 days per year. In the remaining 5 days he medicates against canker and that is it. And what about additives? Vitamins and stuff? Nothing at all !! While the harder or further the race is, the better Jellema’s results are. Who demands more from his birds than this ‘long distance guy?’ Verkerk maybe.

Undoubtedly good stuff, but... manufactured for sick pigeons only!  

Verkerk races his pigeons in every race there is to be raced. His birds do not get a rest for even one week. A hard race from 750 kilometres? While other fanciers will skip next week’s race Verkerk does not even think about it, his birds will be basketed again, no matter how hard the previous race was. And Verkerk agrees with vet Jellema. He does not medicate his birds and he does not believe in vitamins or whatever additives. He tried out everything but he never saw any difference.

Verbree and de Bruijn are good racers as well. Both fanciers are very ambitious and will do anything to win. In the past both of them tried out all kinds of medications, they gave their birds all kinds of additives. They stopped medicating their pigeons, they stopped giving their birds vitamins, additives or whatever. And found themselves better racers. So medicine or food additives do not make the difference in pigeon racing. Good birds, that are healthy by nature, do.