Not in the mood
More mails than I get now I actually don't want to get. Nevertheless, I answer them as much as possible. It is already hard enough to contact me by phone and I do not want to lose more fans (lol). The content of those mails varies, depending on what's going on. A top five for February 2017 would look something like this.
On 1: Mails from fanciers with complaints..
On 2: Emails from foreigners who want to know where they can buy super pigeons for little money.
On 3: References of fanciers that are happy with my birds.
On 4: Questions of interested people (foreigners) on pigeons that are offered for sale on various internet sites.
On 5: All sorts of questions, most of them about medication.
As for 2 and 4 I usually give an evasive answer for understandable reasons. I want to comment on ' 1’. Because right now many, especially Belgians, are unhappy, angry, discouraged and depressed.
-Especially the whole ' doping hassle ' caused much discontent. Of course much is wrong but I cannot believe that there is a kind of class justice and arbitrariness. Many Belgians however think different and find that the big shots who can afford expensive lawyers are treated differently by KBDB. -Fanciers are discouraged because of the hawks. They dare not release birds without being on post.
-Furthermore, right now there is bird flu and pigeons should be locked up. Will they not lose many babies later on that never flew out before? Why is there no indoor confinement in Holland and will the races go on in April?
-Fanciers are shocked by the crazy prices that are paid for pigeons, especially for babies that have not proven anything yet. Paper tigers with only one reference: The pedigree.
-Others are depressed by the young bird disease (Adeno) which is becoming a structural problem for many.
-Fanciers feel bad when they think about the good old days when they were with 200,000 compared with hardly 20,000 to-day. On the other hand, the number of ‘mob fliers’ is increasing rapidly which they find alarming.
In the past eyebrows were raised when Belgians heard about the many pigeons some Dutch and Germans raced. ‘But that was their problem.’
‘Verkerk who will start the season with 280 racers? So what. He is Dutch.’
‘Other Dutch that will race 300 babies? Not our business.’
But times change. To-day also in Belgium some, mostly younger guys, race or are going to race immense amounts of pigeons. Because of the Chinese?
Many birds is a problem for many but many GOOD birds is even a BIGGER problem
Those Easterners like winners. I also do but birds that could win this one race just because of a favorable wind? A bird that was 83rd nominated because it was not able to win a decent prize in normal weather before? They are not my type but some Easterners do not mind. Mob fliers know that too well, that is why they are mob flyers. ' I like to see many pigeons arrive ', you hear sometimes. But ‘the common fancier’ wonders if it is not good enough to get 20 pigeons home in a few minutes time. Why should it be 75?
They would like a limit, but it is too late for that. A restriction should have been introduced half a century ago. Now some have made pigeons their living and they are fully entitled to do so. But I must admit, I can fully understand the sceptics of the ‘common man’. Certainly after what I experienced myself in 2009. I had entered 3 pigeons for the only truly national race in Netherlands and won 9th and 12th against 9,334 pigeons. I found it a super result, but others apparently thought otherwise.
Later you could read about fellow sportsmen that ‘did so well’ in the same race. Those were people who won many prizes but still had no bird home when I had 2 from 3. 30 Birds on the result sheet looks good, no matter if 60 birds were entered or even 100. Two birds is not impressive, not even if only 3 birds were entered. There is this man that won 1st, 4th, 9th, 12th from about 500 birds. With this result he got all the publicity. It looked good indeed but in reality it was a very poor performance, since he had won only 9 prizes from 80 birds. In the same race the man who won 8 prizes from 9 birds was completely ignored. Strange sport this is. How am I supposed to explain to ‘outsiders’ that winning 60 prizes may be a bad result and winning 6 prizes super?
There is also this fancier who felt humiliated by a club mate. This man had clocked 60 birds before him. He tried to comfort him. I said he should realize he only entered 12 birds and his fellow fancier 150. And that this man was still missing 90 birds when he clocked his first bird. He shrugged, one year later he quit.
The loft of V Budts. No comment
It is also the media that are to blame for the pessimism of the fanciers with few birds. The pigeon press should relativize. In any loft report should be mentioned how many birds the fancier entered. If this is ignored I stop reading. Because then something is wrong.
'AND SO ON'
Also watch out for the words ‘and so on’. Take Mr X for arguments’ sake. On a website it said that he had won 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th prize and so on. Looks good. But his total result was 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 187th and 283rd . ‘And so on’ stands for the 187th and 283rd prizes. Mr X had entered no less than 63 pigeons. So 57 of them failed to win a prize and in reality it was a terribly bad performance. Even more since not even one of his first 10 nominated birds won a prize. But it is early birds that count and nobody knows that better than de mob flyers.
Sometimes I think it would be a good idea to have an extra sheet attached to the official result. This should be a list of ALL fanciers that participated in which is mentioned how many of the birds that they had entered did NOT win a prize. In such a ‘shadow result’ the man who ‘made the show’ with 75 prizes from 200 pigeons would again draw the attention, but this time in a negative sense because no less than 125 birds did NOT win a prize. And now the guy with 6 prizes from 6 birds would attract attention because he had the highest score: ZERO. So zero pigeons that did not win a prize!! But I fear this is a too revolutionary thought.
Anyway: When reading loft reports it is always useful to ask yourself: Why was it written and by whom.
Reading results properly is a kind of art