Right or wrong (october 15th)
Talking / emailing to fellow fanciers or just handing over a pigeon is sometimes enough to form an opinion. Whether they are good players, or will become, or… that a leading role in pigeon sport has not been put away for them.
S is, in pigeon sport standards, still a young guy. Yet he can already boast of great successes. He and his father were visiting me to buy some eggs. Soon a rather famous Belgian pigeon came up of which I had a brother and a sister who had given excellent youngsters. I still had another brother of the famous pigeon but this had only produced junk. I told the visitors they could have that brother of those good breeders for free. S was very much interested. A pigeon from that loft and a brother of that famous pigeon? Father said, "If you couldn't grow anything good out of it for three years, we shouldn't want it." He was right !!
Though P had entered an army of young birds for some weeks on a row, the results were horrible. He does not even have one really good pigeon, but he does have 18 breeding couples. How wrong he is. Playing so badly and having so many breeders does not mix. I advised to remove all breeders from 2018 and older and also all older flyers. A short while later I saw him again. He came from the vet because he had played badly again. And some of the older breeders he had not removed, because they were pure Heremans strain. He will continue racing badly. 100% sure.
I also made a lot of mistakes myself, but sometimes I do things well. Three years ago we had a great breeding. The youngsters performed fantastic and at the end of the season we were faced with the choice: Keep all the youngsters who had good results, or keep the supers only.If we would keep all the good performing babies we would have to expand.We chose not to build an extra loft, we got rid of pretty good birds and kept the best.I have never regretted it.
The most important thing to succeed when you catch up with pigeons is luck and you can force that a bit. Just an example:A ‘friend’ had bought a voucher from a well-known loft and he could choose there after the season. A youngster from the best racer or one from its parents. He asked for advice and I recommended taking the young out of the racer. My experience is that you have a better chance with the young from the good flyer than with the young from its parents.Also take Willy Daniels. He got one of his basic pigeons from a local: De Meyer. At the time, de Meyer had a super sprint pigeon. Willy had bought a coupon and was allowed to choose. From the super sprinter or the parents. He took the young of the racer. The descendants brought him world fame. GOODIn the 80s and 90s they were mainly Germans who came to shop here. In room auctions they were unbeatable. Long distance pigeons were mainly bought by Japanese. Where have all those Germans and Japanese gone, one wonders. But they are not extinct. For example, I got a visit from a German after he went to buy pigeons somewhere. The man showed me some pedigree cards. "They are from good racers, the ones from the breeders were too expensive for me," he said. "Well done," I reacted. Not only because of cheaper birds, but probably also better ones.
Unfortunately there are many fanciers who do not manage to keep their pigeons healthy. Unhealthy pigeons work on my mood. Pigeons that have plenty of condition on the other hand, make me happier.What is a common mistake made by fanciers who keep having problems?Do not remove the very first pigeons that get sick, but try to keep them upright with medicines. Often because of the pedigree.Medicating an entire loft in order to cure one or a few pigeons is asking for problems. If loft mates are healthy, others have no excuse to become ill in the same environment, with the same care. Giving medicine on your own when you notice that pigeons are not in good shape is also wrong. Especially those many cures against "respiratory problems’ have already ruined many lofts. GOODWhen breeding, you look better at the performance of the parents than at the pedigree. If you pair your best performing cocks with your best performing hens every year, it is hardly possible to do otherwise than breed better pigeons.
In the end, what has finished many are, though it sounds strange, their own successes. Fanciers have a real super bird and buyers come, foreigners in the first place. If one had to rely on fellow countrymen, there would be a lot less professionals. And the number of fanciers that breed more than 100 youngsters would not be that large.Those buyers can completely change the lives of fanciers. They are not used to money and now it comes in so easily.So what are they doing, almost unconsciously? Keep more pigeons so that one can breed more and sell more. For countless fanciers this was the beginning of the end. After a while the bank account has increased but desperately one wonders where those good pigeons from the past have gone.And keep more and more pigeons? Believe me, it already led many into the abyss.
There is one more thing to remember. Excelling in the long distance for two years may be good enough to make you (world) famous. To achieve the same fame you have to play well at the Middle Distance for 20 years. Ask Gaston van de Wouwer.