A fan? Hmmm
A collegae who also writes in a pigeon magazine complained about all the hate mails that he gets. Though I never beat about the bush it never caused me problems. The mails that I get are mostly serious and sometimes different.
Like the one below:
Dear Mr S.
What a masterpiece was your latest article. The older you grow the better your articles, as it seems. And what a pigeon knowledge you must have. Every time I think by myself "better is impossible" to find out I was wrong when I read the next one. Believe me, reading your articles is feeling in Heaven.
Did I feel flattered? No, not at all.
Did I feel like vomiting? No, I did not either.
Because I knew what kind of mail I could expect next and I was right: He asked for 6 babies at a special price, because he was a fan.
It is also clear that this man does not know how many questions I myself have, even after so many years in the sport. Concerning this I resemble Andre Roodhooft.
Strangely enough in the pigeon sport it is the fanciers that have poor results who often pretend to be connoisseurs.
I daresay I have bred many good birds throughout the years.
And this was pure luck in most cases.
I still do not know how to form that pair that will produce one super after the other.
There was a time that I thought "nothing can go wrong" when I formed a breeding pair. Now I know better. You must know I purchased National Aces and mated (for example) the best cock of All Holland with the best hen of All Belgium. Or I mated a national winner with a national winner. It brought me nothing. Therefore I always say:
The breeding pair does not make the super bird, but the super bird makes the breeding pair.
What I mean is this: First the good pigeon is there and only later on we are aware of the fact that the parents did a good job.
Now you may understand why I practise free mating, but try to avoid inbreds.
You should CROSS if you want to breed good birds.
To make good money you should inbreed.
When you have finally bred a 'super' you may think "ha, now I have that breeding pair of which I have been dreaming".
And later on you find that the pair only gave ONE super, the others were rubbish.
I sometimes write that "breeding pairs" do not exist.
Maybe it is exaggerated, but not much. Even Klak always said he had never had a so called breeding pair. You know what I also found?
The longer a cock is mated with the same hen, the poorer the quality of their babies, as it seems. There is no scientific explanation for it but many champions experienced the same thing. Therefore they nearly all change their matings every year.
And all those people that are so nice as to mate your breeders if you pay for it?
Those 'sportsmen' should not walk around freely but belong in an isolated cell in which they cannot tell stories.
LOSSES AND MUSCLES
Losses of young birds is a big item today. What is the reason of these losses? I have no explanation. And I do not know much about muscles either. Of course I feel when a bird is swollen but to me it seems a matter of condition. My guess is that birds that win long distance races in hard weather just must have muscles.
But maybe such thoughts are too revolutionary.
And eyes then? Please, let's not discuss that please.
Books have been written about eyes. I also saw those foreigners weapened with those funny glasses to study the eyes of pigeons. And I also heard them say:
- Good breeder or not.
- Good racer or not.
- Good for short distance, good for long distance, good for bright weather and so on.
Are pigeons so different then from other live beings I sometimes wonder.
- Do the eyes of a dog tell you if it is a good watcher or not?
- Can you see in the eyes of a canary if it is a good singer?
- Do the eyes of a horse tell you if it is a good race horse?
- Have Messi and Ronaldo other eyes than the average soccer player?
Eyes may tell us about the health, that is true, but for the rest? Hmm.
The church in my little town is loaded with wild doves. They have eyes such as they are supposed to be. But even 5 kilometres is too far for them to make it home.
Some Dutch long distance players claim that birds should train 3 hours at least daily.
Some Belgians say "nothing is better than rest". And what about me? Again I do not know.
If I know so little about pigeons, why then could I race so well during all those years? I paid attention to three things:
- Basic natural health
- Soft feathers.
- A good balance.
- And last but not least: The results.
The result sheet is my bible. Results show if a bird has good muscles, a good wing, the right eyes.
And there is something more that I did good:
After a successful year I did not build an extra loft, nor did I put extra nestboxes in the lofts. Thus I just had no space for good birds and got rid of birds that would be good birds in other lofts. The mistake that many people make is that they think too soon a bird is a super. Only supers? Such birds you will only find in sales on the internet..
A man with good results. But like other champions he claims to know little about pigeons.
Am I too modest? Definitely not. I will prove how little I know about pigeons.
- I gave Knaven a bird. Its offspring made him NATIONAL CHAMPION.
- I sold v d Zijde a pair. They bred him the NATIONAL Ace fond.
- Cor Leytens got two of my birds. One produced the 2nd World Champion fond, the other became mother of an Olympiad bird short distance.
- Bas Verkerk got his Bubbels. A breeding hen second to none.
- H Kennis got a hen from me that became mother of a real miracle that won 4 times in the first 13 S NATIONAL.
- H v d Oetelaar bought a bird that gave a baby that was fastest of 28.000 birds and also fastest of 32.000 birds. Its brother won 3 times in the first 8 S National.
- Jespers v d Wegen got his so called Fleur. Her children destroyed the nationals.
- B van Oeckel got a bird for a voucher. It is mother of 1st, 3rd and 13th NATIONAL. .
- I gave C Verbree a cock that became father of the best cock of Holland AND the best hen of Holland.
- The NATIONAL Ace Middle distance of Pieper was also bred from a cock of mine and so was the best youngster of Holland in 2011 (H van Doorn).
- I let Belgian Marcel Wouters use a hen. She became mother of "Ad" which was the best bird of Belgium: 1st NATIONAL Ace and also 1st OLympiad bird.
- And many many more.
Do you really think all those people would have gotten those birds if I had known how good they were?