If secrets would exist
If you make your living as a scribe it is kind of normal fanciers ask you questions.
Since I also write articles in English it is kind of normal fanciers from all over the world ask questions.
They are the usual questions about:
- The loft (ventilation)
- Line breeding and cross breeding.
- Feed additives.
- Manipulating the light.
- And so on and so on.
I sometimes think that every body is looking for secrets that do not exist and I feel sorry for all these good people.
If you would compare the feeding methods of 10 champions you would find that they all differ; so 'the perfect feeding method' does not exist.
Claessens always says 'feeding is the least important factor to be successful.'
I do not fully agree with him but there is much truth in his words.
I feed all my birds the same mixture the whole year round like many champions do today.
Personally I find the loft the most important thing apart from quality birds of course.
In it the climate should be agreeable for our birds. But the loft that is ideal for any fancier wherever he lives does not exist.
Factors such as the weather conditions, the location, the material of which it is built (and so on) play an important role.
Essential for a good loft is that there is fresh air in abundance, it should not be draughty though but warm and even more important DRY !!!
Especially a high humidity is deadly for the condition.
Furthermore the young bird loft should not be too light. Light is bad for the eyes.
Especially in panels medicating is often such a hot item that it seems medicating makes the difference.
At a seminar that I had in my club a fancier asked me:
'Which are the best racers, fanciers with the best birds or those who have the best vet?'
This friendly older man knows nothing about systems,
medication, feed additives. But his competitors
know he was hard to beat all his life.
Photo M Ku.
People such as Louis van Loon, Heremans, Klak, Janssen Brothers, Meulemans and numerous other monuments would all say: LOL !
They know very little or nothing at all about medicine but still they were super champions all their lives.
Medication does not make you a champion, on the contrary.
People have questions about so-called new systems.
There are new developments indeed but many fanciers that never heard about them and race the same way as they did for decades perform as well as before.
The most dramatic change in the last few decades was darkening young birds.
Darkening has become a must in Holland and Belgium to be competitive.
People ask themselves how they should mate their birds to breed good ones.
Should they cross?
Mate long distance birds with sprint birds?
Is line breeding the best way to build up a family or should they cross?
Should they mate big birds with small birds?
Are the colours of the eyes important?
I very often wrote breeding good birds is mainly a matter of luck.
Why do even the greatest champions breed an army of young birds every year?
The answer is simple:
Because they are uncertain, they do not know, they count on luck like in a lottery,
The more tickets the more chances.
If any one in this world would know the answer to the question 'how to breed good pigeons?' they would only breed a handful of babies.
Three super birds per year would mean 9 supers in 3 years' time.
But what is the truth?
No one in the world has 9 super pigeons!
Generally speaking you can say nearly all good birds are crossings.
Golden Couples, couples that produce good birds every year, do not exist.
Therefore most champions keep on changing the pairs.
If you were so lucky as to breed a super there is no guarantee the same pair will ever produce one more good bird.
Many people believe in feed additives to boost the condition.
Manufacturers of castles in the air are aware of that and aggressively advertise all kinds of stuff that pigeons do not need at all.
In these ads they try to make you believe that if you do not give your birds the stuff they sell you will never make it in this sport.
If you would follow the advice of some advertisers a week would not have enough days to give your birds all that shit that according to them they absolutely need.
Champion Verbruggen, a man with much experience, claims a big mistake he made was to give his birds too many additives in recent years.
How right he is.
I get many of such additives for free, since manufacturers want to publish my name as a user of their products.
So far I found nothing that turned average birds into winners.
The good thing about some additives may be that they boost the immune system.
THE REAL SECRET
To be successful in this sport things that really matter are
- A strong selection, based on both race results and natural health.
'Cull bad pigeons, sell the good ones and keep the supers.'
REAL champions get rid of birds that are put into the stock loft by others.
- A good loft in which birds easily get into good shape.
- If some would be able to turn average birds into winners by feeding, medicating, special breeding methods, training and so on I have some questions.
- Why would Koopman and Thone spend a fortune on birds from Wijnands recently?
- Why would champion Verkerk buy expensive birds?
- Why would Leo Heremans 'waste money' on a bird in the auction of Verkerk?
- Why would Claessens and Bosua fight for the same bird from P Fox from England?
- And so on and so on.
Good birds is what you need in the first place.
The good news for the fancier without money is that such birds can also be bought for little money and that you can even get them for free.
You just need to be a bit smarter.
For me it is no problem at all to mention the names of numerous fanciers that are well known all over the world who all started with little or no money!