Money, time and success
People talk about crazy prices for which pigeons are sold today.
What they forget is that is has always been like that but now, with the Internet, the news spreads much faster when again a bird was auctioned for a fortune.
Some say that you can forget good performances if you have little money or time but they are wrong.
Money is easy, without money you just have to be a bit smarter.
With money you cannot buy all.
Having lots of money can even be a disadvantage.
- In case money is no problem people are less alert when buying.
- If you have little or no money to spend you do not fall so easily for names, strains and pedigrees.
- With little money you will be stricter when selecting birds.
Champions in this sport differ in many aspects but one thing they have in common. They all select their birds very strongly.
The champions get rid of the same birds that others would put in the stock loft.
But believe me, it is still quite possible to become a champion in pigeon sport even if money and time is a problem.
I remember a visit that I paid to Mr Smits and his wife, both pigeon crazy, a long time ago. In 2 weeks time they had won 2 Semi Nationals (young birds) in a competition of over 10,000 birds.
Those were races from Chateauroux and Bourges and no one else ever managed to do the same.
One of these winners they got when it was 4 weeks old through a cheap voucher, the other winner they got as a 4 week old as a present from a club mate.
The lofts of Mrs Smith, SHE was the racer, were a surprise as well.
My own lofts are simple and far from clean but compared with theirs mine are 'a 5 star loft'. They simply had no time to clean and they had no time to toss either.
It seems again that this sport is not as difficult as many think, they make it more complicated than it really is.
Good or bad? No one in the world can tell for sure.
With people like Smits it is a waste of time to discuss the 7th flight, square arm-pit feathers, eye sign and other shit.
They would look at you questioningly and right they are.
These things are not relevant at all.
A funny thing is that it is the great champions who claim they cannot grade pigeons.
Of course it is not difficult to judge if a bird is pretty or not, but picking out the good ones is another piece of cake.
Especially novices should be careful when they listen to pigeon talk.
The result may be that they seek for details that are not relevant.
You just have to breed many babies, race many babies and get rid of many babies.
And then cull the bad ones, sell the good ones and keep the supers.
That is the way that leads to successes, the way back is to believe in secrets that do no exist and in medicine that should enable pigeons to fly faster.
Beauty does not mean much, I mean
What distinguishes a good bird from a bad one is his compass, its capacity to navigate, which is something that we cannot see in the eye or under its arm-pit.
And in case one bird would be able to fly faster than the other (which I do not believe) what sense would it make if it is too stupid to fly straight home?
Right, you understood me well; all birds develop the same speed when flying.
So pigeon races are not speed contests but navigating contests.
On racing days in my town we see thousands of birds on their way home.
But never ever do we see birds that cannot follow the others.
What we do see is many birds together, that may be 100 or more and here something is real wrong.
These birds belong to different fanciers so they should not be together anymore.
They are on the wrong track, since they are stupid or lack condition.
People who performed well before but turned into average fanciers will know best what I mean. In their good old days they were suspected or even accused to have secrets. Till they did not have the good birds any more and with the good birds they 'lost' the secret or magic bottle.
The example of Mr Smits is one of the many that show that you can buy good birds but you can also get them for free or even just catch them.
To get a good FAMILY is a different story.
You can neither get or buy a family, a family should be built up little by little.
What pigeon sport is about was clearly shown by 2 cocks of mine.
They were nest brothers and look-alikes; same colour, same eyes, same wing and same parents; I had to check the bands to see who was who.
Only on racing day there was a big difference, one was good, the other as stupid as can be.
'If you have 2 nest mates and one is a good racer the other is the better breeder' some people say.
I bred babies of the good cock, they were no good, and I bred babies of its stupid brother which were no good either.
I gave both cocks another hen.
Now the good one gave me a baby that performed well, the babies of its brother again were no good.
Being a nice man as I am understandably I found a good place for the brother: Heaven!
'So you should breed of the good racer himself?' some may ask themselves.
Again bull. There is nothing you SHOULD.
The only thing you should is have good luck.
We can help (here we go again) if we breed many, race many and get rid of many.