At this time (12-12-2019)
December 7th 2019. In Belgie 90% of the fanciers have mated their birds. Or even more. In the Netherlands it is the opposite. Very few have started the breeding season. Why this difference? In Belgium the young bird season starts much sooner (middle of May).
Much has been said and written about breeding. What is best? Inbreeding? Line breeding? Crossing? ‘Compensation breeding?’ Cross two inbred families? Inbred, forming an ‘own family’ looks like a good method. Especially for business. In America many fanciers claim to have their own family. But creating an ‘own family’ is something you better leave to your competitors. Inbreeding may result in reasonably good pigeons indeed, but ‘reasonably’ is not good enough? Many of us dream of that pigeon that stands out, that super. Well, I can tell you this: Most of those ‘supers’ are products of crossings.
Take Belgian P Lenaerts for arguments’ sake. He has the 1st National Ace KBDB 2019 Middle Distance. And believe it or not, its four grandparents he got from four different fanciers. Vanoppen-Luyten, Tournelle, Schepmans en van Eynde Goovaerts.
ALSO THE BEST?
Talking about National Aces, are these pigeons also the best of the country? There are many reasons to doubt this.
You have a better chance to get such an Ace if the competition is poor. For example if you, as a Middle Distance racer, live in an area where fellow sportsmen focus on long distance and sometimes even do not clock from Middle Distance races.
And there is something else: If in Belgium fanciers have a good bird they have to send in the results to the KBDB. Many fanciers however hate this paper work. There are lots of examples of super birds that would have been National Ace (or 2nd or 3rd) if the breeder would have sent in the results. But since the fancier did not do that these birds are only known to locals.
I had the 3rd NATIONAL ACE Middle Distance (known as Maegh) this year. It is a very good bird but I also owe this title to the fact that our Fed (called ZAV) organises races together with another Fed (called Grensverbond). Looking at the results it seems that our Fed is stronger. A 1st prize against for example 700 birds in our Fed is mostly a 1st prize as well against say 1.300 birds in the combined result sheet. There are other Feds (Turnhout and Mechelen for example) that do the same. They make up a result sheet of the 2 Feds together. Thus there are many birds in the competition which makes it easier to get a good coefficient.
But what is so unfair? Many fanciers do not have this opportunity. The Fed in which they race has no combined results with another Fed. Thus the entry is too low to get a nice coefficient. And as for coefficients a 1st prize against 200 birds or against 900 makes a big difference.
SHORT DISTANCE CHAMPIONS
Many fanciers assume that the best sprint birds of the country are to be found in the Berlaar area. Over there several fanciers stand out spectacularly in the short distance races. Why then do we never see their names when the National championships are published? They cannot send in their results since the entry is too low.
And why is the entry so low? Fanciers, other than the champions, dare not compete there and therefore they enter their birds in a competition that is not so strong.
And there is something more. In Belgium you are allowed to basket birds in another combine or Fed than they usually do. So what happens? When the wind is East some fanciers will basket their pigeons in a club that lies west, and vice versa. I said ‘some’ because again there is something so unfair: Most fanciers do not have that opportunity to choose, depending on the direction of the wind. In Holland it is different. WHERE FANCIERS LIVE IS WHERE THEY RACE.
YVES VAN DE POEL
Yves is a Belgian fancier that runs a quarantine station. Most of the birds that are transported to China will be taken care of in that station. The location is not real fancy, but so what? What matters is how good the birds are taken care of. And concerning this Yves and his assistants do a good job. I handled birds that came out of his quarantine. Their condition was breath-taking. In some races he is also successful, which is not so strange if you see what kind of birds he has.
A PIECE OF ADVICE
When both sexes have been together for about a week or so and some are not mated yet you should separate them, keep on the lights and try again some weeks later. Are there many birds that are not mated yet? Separate them all and wait for a better condition. If it is only one or two pairs that refuse to mate it is often helpful when you put the pair alone in another loft. The result may be spectacular and the birds may be a pair on one day.
As for National or provincial aces and the strength of the competition one last thing: A race with an entry of 600 birds many fanciers in Belgium find a nice race. But if these 600 birds were entered by 20 fanciers or by 100 makes a big difference.