The perils of the Internet
Internet; a hidden persuader
Mails I get really too many.
I shrink back sometimes when I turn on the computer. I feel like being attacked when I see all those mails. Especially long-mails from names I never heard of I dislike.
I do my best to respond as much as possible, which is not always easy.
On the other hand, I must admit when there are only two consecutive days with barely any mails it feels like missing something.
Mails from novices is another story. Apparently there are still a reasonable amount of them and I try to help as much as possible.
Many of those beginners combine enthusiasm with a kind of despair. They love the sport, they need not necessarily become a champion but at least want to be average.
But year after year they are confronted with the same painful truth:
Nothing has changed.
But by then some are already many euros poorer.
And you know who is often the culprit for their misery?
It is the Internet! The internet puts many on the wrong track.
The Internet makes people believe that good pigeons are the monopoly of the well known names. So to them they apply for birds, to find out later on that they bought even bigger junk than that they already had.
The internet make people believe that good birds only give good birds.
As if it were that simple.
I let myself sometimes be tempted as well. I also bought pigeons with a pedigree with 6 times or more the word "super" on it, mostly followed by "breeder".
But the more colourful and extensive the pedigree, the worse the pigeon I often found. And I am not a beginner.
Then there are those that are not beginners, but who are tired of racing poorly and therefore tried another approach.
It was again the Internet that did them (slightly exaggerated) tumble into the abyss.
Because they were infected by the what I call "strain craze", the hyped propaganda to push certain names or strains.
The truth is that some names do not own their fame to quality but enormous amounts of birds that they race. Never ever did a foreigner ask me about a fellow sportsman "Does he race many birds?"
They saw some results and I must admit, 30 prizes on the prize list may look impressive. Even though the selling "champion" entered 70 pigeons.
I write that more often.
What fanciers forget about such a result is that 40 birds did NOT win a prize.
(We race 1 per 3 here. So an entry of 900 birds means 300 prizes).
A man who won 7 prizes from 8 birds he had entered just feels sorry for such a man that is admired abroad.
DRUGS AS WELL
For many the Internet also creates the illusion that you can not achieve good results without a cabinet full of drugs.
But believe me, those sellers of medicine owe their main income to he losers in our sport, not to the champions.
If the champions would be their main clients they could stop their business soon. The problem is that people do not believe the champions.
The "magic bottle" is as old as the sport.
Some have really tried everything.
And got as frustrated as a castrated rooster in a henhouse when they were humiliated in the races by fellow sportsmen who know nothing about medicine, who had never heard of those famous names, and do not know the schemes of veterinarians.
In Holland there is a special soup for pigeons.
The price? You will not believe it, 50 euros for a little bottle.
It may not be bad, but believe me: Pigeons can do without.
And what about the powder that is often mentioned in a Dutch magazine?
It is supposed to reduce the losses of young birds.
Has this world became crazy?
Brokers of castles in the air, they are. People that promise to build a bridge even though there is no river.
Even losses with young birds have become a niche in the market.
Still, racing well, or at least pretty well, is not that difficult.
I can cite many names of people who started to play well after they got some good advice.
Some I advised to get rid of all the junk they had and buy a basket full of bad pigeons. Yes, BAD pigeons, I am not drunk or on drugs.
By "get rid of" I meant the birds that they had, but also their drugs and the Internet.
Nothing is wrong about looking at the Pipa notifications when a national race is on.
It was a good idea and very innovative.
But those are notifications only, sent in by the racers themselves, which should not be confused by official results.
So "bad pigeons" should be bought that only need to meet two conditions: Pretty young and, very important(!), healthy.
And to take no chances they should be cured once and once only against the well known sicknesses, certainly paratyphoid.
Only with a 100% certainty that those pigeons are in perfect shape it is time for the next step. Because good health in the stock loft is of vital importance. In pigeon sport all the good and the bad comes from the stock loft.
You cannot expect babies that come from that loft to be healthy if the parents are not. And health is more important than quality, as mentioned before.
"And then I advised them to get eggs somewhere to put under those foster parents?" Indeed. Where to go and get those eggs? Hmm. It is simpler to say where NOT to go.
- That is to mob fliers.
- To people who are exceptionally good and smart handlers.
- To people who train every day, unless you will do the same.
- To people that over medicate
- And to people that you do not know.
The best thing is to go to people who (obviously) have performed well for a long time and who lack space. Lack of space forces them to get rid of birds that would be good enough for others who have plenty of space.
Preferably you go to locals but who are not opponents. Such a local knows too well you both will often meet later which may be a good reason for him to treat you well.
WHAT AND WHEN
The next question is "what kind of eggs?" I would prefer those from the racers. In too many breeding lofts are too many birds that have proven nothing yet. They are there because they had cost money and / or because of the pedigree.
And "when" get those eggs?
Preferably before the season so you can race the babies.
Most will be worth nothing, that is the fate of every pigeon, regardless the quality of the parents or the fame of the loft. Get rid of those, of course.
The following year you repeat the whole thing and again you test the babies in the races. This is the best way to handle if money is a problem and you are the poorest racer in your club and are tired of that.
Provided you do not let yourself being fooled again by the Internet.
Unfortunately it is true that some "fellow sportsmen" rather throw eggs away than keep others in the sport.