Among the mails that I get there are pretty many from novices from abroad who have questions. And people that are new in the sport should be helped if possible, especially since they hear and read so much B. S. in their home country.
This sport is not easy for starters, therefore I always tell them 'there are no stupid questions, there are only stupid answers.'
I try to give answers that are not stupid, though many things in pigeon sport are also obscure to me.
There is this fancier from Portugal. He has to work hard for his living, he has a big problem with his birds, but still he is very ambitious.
And what wrong over there?
Respiratory problems, which is a problem for many fellow sportsmen as it seems. Now he wants to know which are the best antibiotics to treat them.
Well, first of all I want to emphasize that there are no GOOD antibiotics.
Furthermore his question should not be how to heal the birds but how to prevent them from getting sick. He should find out the cause.
I did not give him any names of antibiotics, because I know how it usually works.
The birds are treated, they shape up, but only some weeks later the same problem.
'The BEST medicine' I cannot advise for another reason. The problem may be Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, Ornithosis, coryza.
And the best way to deal with it is to give specific medicine for specific disease.
In most cases the environment is to blame. In other words: The loft is no good and should be improved.
Medicate birds that are housed in a poor environment makes no sense.
In a good environment birds do not easily get sick.
What works for Holland and Belgium is to put the pigeons in an open aviary in winter, where they are exposed to all kinds of weather circumstances. Thus they have 4 months to improve their resistance.
A Chinese sent me a mail which I found kind of funny.
He mentioned the names of 8 fanciers from Holland and Belgium and asked me who was the best. 'Who is the best?' is hard to answer.
-The best handler?
-The best racer?
-The best businessman (seller).
-Or the man with the best birds (which is not the same as the best racer).
-Furthermore there is a clear distinction between Short Distance, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Great long distance.
I answered him kind of teasingly, ignored the names he mentioned, instead I gave him names of fanciers of whom I was sure he had never heard about.
But I assured him they were as good or better than the names he had mentioned.
One of those names was Mark Janssen.
His reaction followed soon. He took me serious and wanted more information about this Mr Janssen.
I told him he had the best sprint bird of ALL Belgium (yrl) in 2015. In 2014 he had the 2nd National Ace and in 2013 the 3rd . Of ALL BELGIUM.
Again I was not real nice to him because I knew what he was curious about and that he wanted to know more: The pedigrees of those Aces, the 'family' of the birds.
Finally I satisfied his curiosity and mailed him what he wanted.
Those birds descended from Marcoen, Luc Vandenbroek, Van Dijcke de Beule and Lambeets.
I myself do not know Janssen personally and I had never heard of these names either. I only know what really matters: The results of his birds.
Furthermore, who says those un known names do not have good birds?
Hopefully he got the message.
Then there is that Rumanian guy. Like the Portuguese also a 'fan'.
He had a loft full of Schaerlaeckens birds that got impressive results he said.
I had never heard about him. Among his birds were black ones, so maybe 2,5% was my family indeed. What matters is that he was happy with them but now he and his partner found time had come to cross.
Cross with what? Koopman? Vandenabeele? They wanted my advice.
Questions like these I often get.
I answered him my birds are mainly crossings already and so are the Koopman and Vandenabeeles best.
He never reacted. Was he shocked to face the painful truth?
A small diner with H de Weerd and some fanciers that race real well.
But lots of un known fanciers also do.
In the past trichomoniase was the biggest health problem here.
To-day it is paratyphoid; not for the champions, but for many others.
The champions are aware of the danger and medicate, many others underestimate this disease. It is my firm conviction that many fanciers would do better if they would have 'salmonella free' pigeons.
H de Weerd claims that no less than 80% is infected more or less.
Why so many fanciers do not realise their birds are infected?
Because throughout the years the symptoms changed a bit.
In the past hanging wings and swollen joints were well known symptoms, today the main detectors are bodies that are not swollen or even skinny.
And too many eggs that are not filled of course.
Foreigners who import pigeons have an additional problem; Today quarantine is required for nearly all countries.
Those quarantines are not only a waste, the importers of pigeons would also be better off without. Such places filled with birds from several fanciers are perfect hatcheries for all kinds of diseases.
Pigeons are carriers of harmless viruses and bacteria. Those can become harmful when many birds from different environments are collected in one place.
A foreign friend also had a little problem with some birds. 'A little' because it is not the end of the world as he justly said.
One he got from me, while I was sure I shipped it in perfect health, because I cure.
The malefactor of many health problems is contact with other birds.
It can be treated very well, so why take chances?
Birds should be treated 10 to 14 days and the good news is that the cure does not hurt the moult.
Are real good birds so strong that they never get sick, as some say?
Put the healthiest and strongest bird of the world in an environment that is full of hair worms and see what happens. Real strong men may also get sick!
My best racer in 2015 was 13-006, believe me a sensational racer that even won National.
The father was 08-250, the mother 11-549.
No I do not give my birds names as "Rocket", "Speed as Lightning", "F16" and so on.
Well, both the father and mother of this 006 are imports.
Now you may understand that I cannot stop smiling when I read about others that have my family "pure".