Useful or useless?
It is needless to say good health is the most important thing in life and for many beauty and a nice figure comes at a second place; especially matter for women and many of them do whatever they can to prevent the body from looking older.
Getting breasts with the profile of a tyre and getting that belly which is so unattractive is a nightmare for many females.
For many men getting older, getting wrinkles, losing hair or getting grey is a sign of wisdom, they claim.
How much that wish of most females is exploited by industry you can see if you put on the television or open a magazine.
It seems as if all women have sexy slender figures and pretty faces.
Manufacturers know that many women want to cover the painful truth and therefore they come up with new pills, powders, salves, lotions again and again that will make them look younger, healthier, more energetic, more beautiful.
At least if they follow their advice and buy the stuff they sell.
If this aggressive propaganda would mot work they would not spend so much money on it. The power if the media seems to have no limits and unfortunately we see a similar thing in pigeon sport.
Manufactures of feed additives want to give fanciers the impression that, if they are not winners, they are to blame themselves, since they did not buy their products.
Most of these ads that promise a bridge even though there is no river have only one function: Rob people from their money!
Since it is often the same little select group of fanciers that keeps on winning, others suspect them of having other weapons than good pigeons; 'The magic bottle'.
It is as old as pigeon sport itself.
The champions know better, but the ads are not made for them, they are made for the people that get beaten again and again.
When in a pigeon shop I see people buy all that shit I cannot help feeling sorry for them. They waste their money on dreams.
I write about this more often but I sometimes feel like Don Quichotte fighting windmills
Though I would like to mention all the crap that birds do not need by name I prefer to write about things of which I think they are useful.
Grit (calcium and minerals) is by far the most important additive for our birds.
It is an absolute 'must' for a proper development of the bones and pigeons need it to digest the feed.
Tests in labs have proven that a shortage causes real damage to the body.
In Germany a researcher withheld the grit from the pigeons for half a year and found they lost much weight.
When he started to give grit again they soon gained weight.
The pigeons' instinct also proves how much the body needs grit.
If, after a hard race, birds get back home and there is grit and regular feed available they first pick grit.
Somewhere else we stated that grit should be fresh.
Some fanciers have a stone platform in front of their lofts on which they throw the old grit that was inside that pigeons did not eat any more.
Of course they do not eat it outside either but' this changes after a shower that cleaned the grit and now they greedily eat it.
It sometimes happens that, after a race, pigeons eat the grit that was cleaned by a shower first and then trap.
If grit is so important, why then, one may wonder, is it neither promoted nor advertised?
The reason is simple.
It is heavy and cheap and since it is cheap there is no money in it.
Beer yeast is one of the very few additives in which I believe.
Scientists praise its nutritional value for both humans and animals.
It is appetizing and a good depurative for the blood.
Many give their birds beer yeast a whole year round which is available in pills (takes much work), as a liquid and as a powder.
I prefer the powder, which I stick onto the feed that I moistened before.
VINEGAR AND YOGHURT
Late in the previous century 'the great vinegar book' came out.
In it one could read about many good qualities of vinegar for the health of humans and also pigeon fanciers got an interest.
Due to the high PH it is supposed to be a barrier for the development of harmful coli bacteria, thus many fanciers put vinegar in the drinker since the mid nineties.
Some do that almost daily, one spoon per litre.
Since so many vets, champions and scientists are positive about (apple) vinegar it just should contribute to the birds' health.
I used to think yoghurt and butter milk that contain lacto bacilli was helpful to prevent E Coli problems as well but now I have my doubts.
A regular bath is an absolute must.
It is advisable to put some vinegar and salt in the water.
Bath powder is also fine but in my opinion a waste of money.
Especially birds that moult absolutely need a bath regularly.
It is also a kind of parameter for the condition, as I wrote in another article.
One important thing you should bear in mind though:
Never allow birds to bathe late in the evening. They will get into the night wet all over and since they do not move in the dark they do not dry which may get the condition down.
ELECTROLYTES, PEANUTS, SEDOCHOL AND VITAMINS
Somewhere else I wrote why electrolytes are useful and I believe in pea nuts as well.
Once the birds are used to them they love it and therefore it is handy to make them tame. On home coming my birds 'know' some peanuts are waiting for them and I strongly believe it helps to trap faster.
Some give peanuts the day before a race to boast energy but I cannot believe you can make birds more energetic in just one day.
I also believe in Sedochol which you can read elsewhere.
I consider vitamins as a waste.
If you are a successful racer though and you give your birds vitamins, please go on. 'Never change a winning team' the English say, but'do not exaggerate.
Even scientists who are in favour of vitamins say 'once a week' is good enough.
Furthermore in case you give vitamins always give a complex, so never give A, B, E and so on alone and realise some vitamins expire soon.
In case they are exposed to warmth and light some only last for a couple of hours and may even get toxic.
You know what is very useful for our sport?
We lost many fanciers in the last decades, but' in areas where regional magazines and TELEVISION-stations pay attention to our sport it goes down less.
In my childhood most daily magazines had their page on pigeon sport every week.
Some wonder if we lost so many members because the media have forgotten us or is it the other way round.
Do the media ignore us since the number of fanciers went down dramatically?
On the National TV-stations in Holland the results of national races are published the very day. Since there is little or no money in the races any more, fanciers go for it to see their name on television.
Are you disappointed after having read this article?
You had expected to find more in it?
That reminds me of my late grandfather.
Whenever he had lost his purse and we found it back he did not give us a reward, on the contrary, 'I thought there was more in it' he sneered.
What I want to say is that most fanciers make this sport more difficult than it really is.