I often write that in our sport you need quality birds in the first place to perform.
But the question for many is "how do I get such birds?"
The answer is simple.
You can buy them, get them for free and even just catch them.
Personally I experienced that the price does not reflect the quality.
It is often the opposite!
Many of my basic birds I got for free.
And many birds for which I paid much money turned out to be junk.
The late Albert Marcelis often told me he had never paid one penny for birds.
But with most birds he imported he was successful.
Recently G v d Wouwer performs real well. He never bought pigeons either; he only spent little money on vouchers donated by local fanciers.
Super champions in the Antwerp area today are Boeckx, Vloemans, Stickers Donckers, Diels, Wouters, Jos v d Veken.
None of them paid much money for pigeons either.
In the past M Voets was a super racer as well. He formed his family with birds that he got for free.
L Claessen, Verkerk and Vandenabeele as well only started to buy seriously after they already got good birds.
They were just smarter than others and knew where to go to get quality birds for free or very little money.
But it must be said; others like L Heremans, Koopman, the late Schellens, Verreckt became famous with the off spring of pigeons that they bought.
But it may be clear that you need not be a wealthy person to get good birds.
Those people who became champions because they are wealthy do not owe their fame to money but they are pigeon men and far from stupid.
Who had ever heard about Toine Lowet?
Pascal Verreckt however knew about him, he bought 2 rounds of eggs from him and today he is a superstar, even on national level, mainly due to the eggs he got from Lowet.
Numerous others tried to buy eternal fame in this sport but failed hopelessly.
The reason is they were no pigeon men; they did not have the feeling.
ME AND MYSELF
The first pigeons that I bought, long way back, were from Smits from Zandhoven.
He had won 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize in a prestigious provincial race in Antwerp, which was a sensation in those days.
But even more sensational was the fact that those birds were brothers!
I bought a pair of the same parents and one of them turned out to be a super.
Later on Maurice Voets won 3 weeks on a row the 1st against all big names in theprovince of Antwerp.
I bought 40 babies from him and what he said after I had filled up the baskets I will never forget.
'There must be some good ones among them' this modest man said.
And indeed, two of them became a super pair. I think I got rid of the others too soon.
I mentioned the little town of Zandhoven. In this town lives a guy called Dirk van Dijck who became famous with his 'Kannibaal'.
The pedigree of Kannibaal should be well known. He got the parents from unknown locals with good birds, I bet for free, or almost for free.
You get good breeders by building up an own family and an own family you get through inbred.
That is what people say.
But wasn't world famous Kannibaal of van Dijck a product of crossing?
The 'Old Golden Pair' of Meulemans is often described as the best breeding pair ever. The pair was a crossing as well.
If you want to sell in the first place, inbreed is what you should do.
If you want to perform well, you should cross!
I myself I felt like being fooled once and once only.
From a famous Belgian I bought a full round and after I had paid he invited me for a dinner.
I still do not know why but I accepted the invitation.
- When we had soup he said he trained his birds every day.
- When we had steak he said he medicated against canker weekly.
- When we had cheese he said he frequently used Bay trill.
- When we had ice cream he whispered he injected his birds with Lincospectin before every important race.
- When we had coffee he admitted a vet visited him every fortnight.
When we said good bye I knew I wasted my money.
Never buy birds from 'medicine men'.
Do not buy from fanciers who spend 10 hours per day on their birds.
My advice is to get birds from fanciers who perform well but who have little time to look after their birds.
Do you have lots of money to spend?
Buy the top racers themselves.
Is money a problem?
Buy more babies (only summer breeds) or eggs for little money from one man, preferably from a local guy who beats you.
And if you fail with the imports do not think too soon you were cheated.
Good pigeons is what matters to be a champion.
But good pigeons are rare and others than the famous names do have such birds as well.
A great name, known all over the world, bought his best birds from a local guy without a name.
He paid 50 euro per bird maximum.
He himself charges 400 e per baby or more.
But he has an impressing website and advertises a lot, understandably not inBelgium but abroad.