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No nonsense (1) (29-03-23)

Especially through writing I came into contact with a lot of real top players.
Most are rather taciturn, prefer not to show the back of their tongues, others let you know everything. Sometimes you also see or hear things that make you think. Because you can learn from them or because they make you doubt.

Do I still have any doubts after so many years of successful pigeon sport? More every year, it seems. I don't think that's a bad feature, on the contrary.
Rather a hallmark of many champions. Yet it is from them that you can learn the most.

Jan Grondelaers is generally regarded as one of the greatest ever. Someone you listened to when he opened his mouth. When I once wanted to buy pigeons from him, he said:'Have you thought about it? I would rather buy sprint pigeons and cross them with your good birds. They are cheaper and you are more likely to succeed. Vitesse pigeons have already proven to have the most important quality that a pigeon should have; good orientation skills.What good are tireless strong pigeons if they are too stupid to take the straightest route home?'And Jan was not just a man of words.
He bought ‘Eenoog’ from Hofkens. This bird won 51 first prizes, I read in an American pigeon paper at the time, Americans exaggerate more. But a super it certainly was.Butcher Grondelaers bought 'de Prins' from Van Reet, another pigeon that won one first after the other.
One wrote it won 26 first prizes, some else said 32 and yet another claims that it won 41 first prizes. His son 'Daniel' would even have won 57 first prizes and there would have been a flight from Quievrain, 120 kms!, that father and son won 1st and 2nd with a lead of 8 minutes. At least that's what an Englishman who of course has van Reetbirds claimed.So I don't believe in so many first prizes, but it is certain that they were particularly good pigeons. They also proved that Grondelaers was right: the descendants of those sprint pigeons made him famous in the long distance.
Was it so much different with Willy Daniels and v d Wouwer?


I mentioned champions who did not show the back of their tongues, others discuss the tips of pigeon tongues.
One asked my opinion about blue-black tongues. According to sportsmen, they would be worth nothing.
German T v Ravenstein too had never seen a good one with a blue-black tongue.
Taiwanese money players are known to never buy a pigeon with blue black tongue due to being worth nothing. And with pigeons that are worth nothing you lose everything you have in Taiwan if you are not careful.I'm just a simple country man and didn't really know what to do with the question about black tongues.
I myself never open the beaks of pigeons and fanciers who do this with my pigeons will not get their hands on another one.However, I wanted to answer the man and therefore asked 'experts' for their opinion.
One thought of breathing problems.The other thought it was all just silly. In chickens there would be a connection between dark tongues and respiratory infections, but according to him you cannot compare pigeons with chickens. Still another thought of heredity or simply a matter of pigment.That matched what I read in the email.
The man had bought many pigeons in Europe, including 3 with a black tongue. None of those three was worth anything and all three came from the same loft.So should we remove pigeons with a black tongue?Hmm.


In the 1990s Daems from Bevel was hard to beat. Once when I was there with a friend we asked what his best breeders were.The late Miel: 'If you depend on the babies of one favorite couple, you have a problem. You have to be able to breed the good or even your best pigeons from others as well, if not your breeding loft will not be strong in width.'It reminds me of Klak.

The best in the Klak loft was his '613' at the end of his career. Of course many wanted its youngsters and when they asked about the price they were always told: 'I have ONE price for all youngsters. No one knows where the best will come from. Klak was down to earth about those things.

When a friend once bought 4 youngsters and said that they were quite pricey, Klak responded 'yes and the chance that there is a really good among them is negligible'.
Of course someone with so much demand for pigeons had an easy time talking.

Karel Schellens was someone with money and he bought like a Chinese. I sometimes met him at his good friend Voets.
Schellens, Voets and Christiaens were mates in those days. I was curious which pigeons were Schellens’ best breeders.
He shrugged, when I asked him.'In the past', says Schellens, 'I used to spend long winter evenings making coupler notes. In recent years I have stopped doing that, let the birds mate freely and breed as many good ones as before.'Possibly the greatest champions that Midden Brabant knew in the second half of the last century were Johan Verhoeven and sons Goirle. Pigeons that liked each other were allowed to form a couple. And yet they bred good pigeons for many years. Now you may understand why I hate people who ask me to mate a certain cock with a certain hen. Such a question usually comes from people who have never seen a pigeon from me.


It is reminiscent of Verkerk, who regularly gives his breeders other partners. Even those who already gave good babies. Klak believed that the longer a couple stayed together, the less the quality of the offspring.
Think both were right. Of course I also know those (very rare) examples of 3 good brothers. But if 30 pigeons were bred from the same parents, and you easily do that in 4 years time, 3 only amounts to 10% good ones.