Pedigrees do not fly
A bird that had been my favourite for some years had died.
I did not feel bad for one second since this bird had fooled me too long.
It was a special bird though.
At a very young age it already caught my eye, since it was such a beauty: 'Eyes like bullets, softly feathered, a solid backbone.'
But' already at young age it had all the odds against him as well, apart from its good looks.
It was the last one to find the drinker and later on the last one to find out how to get out of the loft when I released the birds.
The bird was only good at one thing: demonstrating its immense stupidity.
It already became obvious that it wasn't born to win at the first training tosses.
When it got home I could close the lofts, since I knew all birds were home then.
In the young bird races it failed to win one decent prize but I thought, or better I hoped, it might get better when it got older. So it 'survived' the selection.
Winter came and that dandy kept on demonstrating its stupidity.
First I had a hard time moving it to another loft.
In its new loft it could not settle and frequently it went in through the wrong 'sputnik' to a section that was not his.
When he did enter the right one, he often flew into the wrong box.
Till finally I was fed up with it and I decided the bird should move.
Why I had had so much patience with such a bird?
That was not only because of its beauty, but its brother was my best racer and its parents were my best breeders.
Furthermore it looked almost identical to his good brother, I had to check the ring numbers to know who was who.
Fortunately I had neither given it away nor sold it.
The new owner would have felt he was cheated for sure.
Since a perfect good-looking pigeon with a nice pedigree is still no guarantee for
quality, I have my financial limits when it comes to buying babies.
It must be said though that buying pigeons does have its charms. Even when later on it turns out you wasted your money.
The illusion alone that you bought a good bird may make you feel good.
Some people say 'good pigeons you mostly get free'.
Indeed, there are lots of examples of people that got a good bird for free, but there are also many examples of fanciers that purchased birds that turned them into champions.
But if you are the kind of person for whom it is hard to get rid of birds that had cost money, you shouldn't buy any pigeons at all.
The traditional mistake many fanciers make is that they give expensive birds too much credit, not only since they had cost money but such birds mostly have a nice pedigree as well and mostly come from a great name.
Serious realistic fanciers should evaluate pigeons they bought the same way as their own.
You sometimes hear people say: 'good blood does not lie.'
But that IS a lie, thanks Heaven.
If not, all the good birds would inevitably fall into the hands of a limited number of fanciers; the guys with money.
So we may conclude that, if you can afford to buy expensive birds, this has both its advantages and disadvantages.
A STAR DOWN-TO-EARTH
Once someone asked Klak how much he charged for babies off his best breeders.
'You do know the price, don't you? It is the same for all birds, regardless the origin. To breed that good bird you need a lot of luck. All my birds may produce both good and bad babies, therefore I charge the same price for all.'
So no rubbish about 'Golden couples', just the truth and nothing else.
If you have a good racer it often happens that one of the parents is gone.
Some people think they have a simple solution.
They 'replace' the cock of the couple by its full brother.
How wrong they are.
I am the last one to deny that off some pigeons you have better chances to breed good babies than off others.
I also prefer a youngster off parents that already produced good birds, but breeding good birds is not a mathematical issue.
Since there are no standard rules, you better forget all those theories on inbreeding, line breeding and crossing of two inbred strains.
I want to tell you an anecdote.
A guy wanted pigeons off a champion that lived far from him.
He went to that champion and asked for youngsters off the best breeders.
The champ charged 1,000 euro, since this 'golden couple' only gave supers.
At least, that was what he said.
The guy got interested when he heard the word 'supers', since it was 'supers' that he wanted.
He replied: 'Money doesn't matter as long as they are good birds. I will even give you 10,000 provided we go to a notary to make an agreement.
If in the end the bird I buy doesn't turn out to be a 'super' you get it back and I will get my 10,000 back.'
The sale never took place. The champion felt this was 'no way of doing business'.
Let's get back to that stupid bird I started this article with.
'Why didn't you put it in the stock loft?' people asked me, since the origin was good and the bird looked great.
'If a bird is real good and its brother is not, the latter is a good breeder' they claim.
Right or wrong?
Hmmm, I don't know, but'I prefer babies off the good racer itself and leave breeding off the brothers of good racers to my competitors.
A friend compared my favourite with 'a dumb blond' like you can see in commercials.
The dumb blond repeats the text she learned by heart and tries to sell us a product that she herself doesn't know anything about at all.
Mostly there is an immeasurable stupidity behind her breathtaking appearance and killing body.
However, advertisers know that it is the 'packaging', as I like to call it, that sells. Shining bright teeth, a sexy smile and big boobs are always helpful means to seduce people to buy whatever stuff that the advertisers want to sell.