Sometimes you see things in fellow sportsmen that make you think 'hey, I didn't think of that myself.’ Or 'that's handy, I should remember.' A few examples.
Willem will soon be pairing his birds again. He prefers several early, so playable youngsters from his best pigeons, to youngsters from dubious parents.
But… for that you do need foster pigeons and it is those foster pigeons that he soon lets together. Linking is too strong a word for that.
He just leaves the cock and hens together and then they may sort it out. It will be a bit chaotic, but then what? The pigeons can also come with eggs a little later and irregularly, but that is no problem at all.
When the 'real' breeding starts about November 26, he doesn't have to worry about the foster pigeons anymore. The eggs are simply taken from them on the day the others are paired. Those foster pigeons now come for the second time with eggs at the same time as the better pigeons whose eggs have to be moved.
Simple really, but you have to figure it out.
One cures against canker by a tablet once, the other cures for a week via the feed or drinking water. Some wonder what the difference is.
That is complicated, but what counts for the fancier: With a tablet, you will have to repeat that sooner, so more often than by means of a long-term cure.
While canker used to be a problem for almost everyone, times changed.
Some no more cure their pigeons, it seems they are immune, others have to be constantly on the lookout. And which pigeons seem to be the most vulnerable? Those which are the most cured. There is a lot of truth in the slogan: 'you get what you cure'. Have asked people more knowledgeable than me if there is an explanation as to why canker is less of a problem than it used to be. No one had an answer.
What you saw at Gaston v d Wouwer can also be imitated. Especially if you are a bit older, forgetful and have a lot of pigeons. Mostly of the same color.
Or if others have to take care of your pigeons.You could know the couples with him by the color of the clip rings. If a cock had a blue ring on, the hen with the same color ring was his hen.Of course, that also applied to other colors.
Even the nest boxes were marked in this way. So that couple with white clip rings belonged in a breeding box with white clip rings around a bar.
I use those rings a lot myself.
Pigeons that have had the mandatory vaccination against PMV get a clip ring. Pigeons that were lost and were picked up or that were much too late from training are given a clip ring of a certain color. The same happens with young from favorite breeding couples. Handy if one is lost and is reported.
Pigeons that are tame and manageable are infinitely nicer than shy animals that you can barely catch. Are you unlucky when you have shy pigeons? Not at all. There will of course be those shy pigeons, but most are made that way. You can get that especially if they grow up behind a shelf somewhere where they never saw people.
Leo Heremans always had very manageable pigeons and he had taken care of that himself. He had a feeding board in the loft slightly lower than chest height.
When the babies were about sixteen days old, he didn't put them on the floor, but with the bowl on that shelf. And every time he came into the loft he stroked their heads. Thus the hands of the boss for the pigeons did not become something to be afraid of, on the contrary.
There are fellow fanciers that you would rather not have a visit. Because of no manners. They sometimes enter your pigeon loft without question. They take pigeons without question. Roughly, beaks are pulled open and then, oh so disrespectful, pigeons are just dropped or, worse, they are thrown away.
Such people do not realize the effort it takes for a pigeon to land on its feet if it is dropped bluntly.
It goes without saying that such pigeons may lose trust in people for good. Your hands should never scare pigeons. If you want them in the box, it's better to use a stick. It is also better not to wave your hands to get them out of the loft or to get them to fly.
Many fanciers like to change partners during the year. Then it is useful if you have several breeding lofts.
I have two. Small indeed and they are furnished exactly the same. Very useful if you couple pigeons and put them in the other loft.
When Boeckx once came to borrow a cock here for joint breeding, the first thing he asked was 'where is his place in the loft?'For example, if a pigeon was above left here, he would also place it in his loft above left.
One fancier is much more skilful at getting over pigeons from another loft than the other. That is no coincidence.It is best to do this in the evening during dark rainy weather. Or better yet in the rain.
And even better when the own pigeons have flown out and are back on the loft. It all seems so obvious, but I once heard a fancier say 'I want pigeons of a friend in my loft, but the weather has been way too bad for that for a few days now'.
Many sprint players have droppers. These can be very useful, especially in (strong) tailwinds. However, the moment of letting them go is important. That seems like a kind of art and you don't do it automatically when you see a pigeon approaching.
It is better to wait until the moment that he seems to hesitate between landing immediately or making another tour. And 'one more tour' is often one too many in modern pigeon sport. Pigeons that don't get the place they deserve on the result sheet because of bad entry is something I can't stand. Maybe you are the same.