Ga direct naar de inhoud.

Buyers of very expensive birds not THAT crazy (May 18th)

Buyers of very expensive birds? 

                                                                                Not THAT crazy !  

Vandenabeele is one of those that practice artificial insemination. It is cheap, easy and it pays off. . When Willem de Bruyn once asked him how many babies from a single cock he could grow in one year he said: "As many as I want to ."

It was reminiscent of what I saw long way back at Christ van de Pol from Goirle . A Japanese wanted to buy youngsters from his National winner of St. Vincent . Christ invited us into his lofts and pointed at about 20 babies, all about four weeks old " Take your pick ," said the butcher . " That is nice but I only want children from your St. Vincentwinner," said Kayama. " They are all from my St. Vincent winner," said Chris . The eyes of the Japanese popped out.  


Artificial insemination ? Using cocks as so called bulls ? This gives us a different look on the absurd amounts of money paid for birds today. 150,000 euros for just one bird, or 15,000 euro’s for just a baby is not exceptional any more. You have only two words for it? 'Just crazy?' You are right: Just crazy! The point is that to-day for many fanciers it is ‘all for the money’. Long way back a good cock of mine stopped filling its eggs. It was in the lofts of two good friends, but over there the same story: Eggs no good.

Then I gave it to a man that I thought was a friend. He would like to have it as a collector’s item, he said. However, the new owner must have been a better handler than me and my friends because he was able to breed dozens of babies from it that he could sell for $ 7,500 each. Since people are willing to give so much money for even youngsters, artificial insemination has become very interesting business wise.

Breeding 20 babies a year from a good cock has become very easy. Selling those babies for 7,500 $ easy as well. So Chinese and others who pay such crazy money for a National Ace sure know what they are doing. At least when it is a cock. They are not that crazy.

The National Ace from Daniels is a different story. That was a hen !! Hens cannot produces dozens of babies per year, that is why nobody understands the 400,000 euro’s that was paid for it. And from hens you cannot breed 20 babies a year.


Should the average fancier be worried about those big prices? Are they killing the sport? Will people with money dominate the races in future? Not at all. These huge amounts are usually paid for pigeons that have proven something. But for none of their youngsters is a guarantee that it is any good. Real good pigeons are very rare and even super birds give a lot of junk, although you will not get that impression when you look at auction sites. To-day a lot of money is not only for Aces but also for so called ‘fashion’ pigeons. Take Leo Heremans for arguments’ sake. The fact that his pigeons are so sought after is justified. He raced well and many are hugely successful with his pigeons .


More than 500 birds per year Leo bred after his third ‘total’ auction. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that 150 of them are good. That is far too many of course, but anyway. That leaves 350 birds that are no good. And those 350 birds will breed 100s of babies that are no good either. A big chance the money is wasted is the fate of all buyers. So buying youngsters from such a ‘fashion name’ looks a bit like a lottery. With very expensive tickets .


It must be said though, it is admirable what this man has achieved. In the beginning of this century he was completely unknown, when I was at Leo’s back in 2004, only one foreigner had been there before: Wolfgang Roeper from Germany. Only one decade later, the whole world knows him and want his pigeons. And making some millions in a few years’ time? Any business man would be admired for that.

Furthermore it should be noticed that Heremans never advertised in foreign pigeon magazines like others do. Among those ‘others’ are the sellers, that need to do so to compensate for their poor results. And because they have no clients for their birds.


Belgians sometimes sneer at the Dutch since they call races ‘National’ that are not even provincial. But in Belgium the situation it is no less ridiculous.

There you have 1st ‘national Acepigeons’ of all kinds.

- National Acepigeon KBDB.

- National Ace Ave Regina

- National Ace pigeon BDS ( earlier) .

- National Ace LCB

- National Ace Pigeons in the pigeons magazines. " National " refers to "nation". A National Ace should be and is supposed to be the best pigeon of the Nation. But is not it a fact that only ONE pigeon can be the best in the country?

In my imagination I see a Chinese brag about the national Ace that he bought . "No," says his fellow-fancier. ‘I have bought that National Ace.’ "You were both fooled , I have the National Ace " says a third fancier.


To-day races are finished so much sooner. Take May 11th of last year. Provincial 25,600 pigeons were entered for a middle distance race. Once it was 80,000 but 25,600 is still a lot. My first and second pick bird arrived together. One trapped only after one minute round the which cost him 600 places in the result sheet.  


Talking about dealing pigeons, early 90s, a trader from Japan (Mr. S) asked me to buy pigeons from someone who was not known yet in Japan. Then Vandenabeele ' s star was rising , his pigeons were still affordable and I sent him a round Vandenabeeles . Later he said it was a big mistake buying these birds. "Were they that bad ?" I asked. That was not it . He had not been able to sell one feather, because no one had ever heard of V. But times changed. VDA became well-known in Japan as well, his pigeons became more expensive, but then it was too late for Mr. S. He had everything cleaned up and did not have any Vandenabeele bird any more. All killed!

His wife heard about it and S ended up losing everything: His money, his pigeons, his reputation and his wife. I wondered how he could be so stupid as to tell his wife. I have a friend who only tells his wife when he had won money, or sold birds. His wife is still with him.