A forgotten item (May 2017)
Sunday May 14th 2017. Bright weather and slight tailwinds. As usual the Antwerp fanciers had two short distance races, one from Quievrain, about 120 kms, and one from Noyon 220 kms.
‘Tailwinds? That means lucky races that every bird can win. The birds just have to open their tails and they are blown home.’ That is what some fanciers say. Those wo regularly read my articles will know that I do not agree. Especially when birds make a high speed you need quality birds that are in good shape. And I gave numerous examples of super birds that won such races with tailwinds. Little by little I managed to convince some disbelievers. There may be some more after they have read what happened to-day.
Many consider the Federation named “Tienverbond’ as the strongest in Belgium. Therefore I am one of the many that are interested in the results of this Fed. Back in 2016 a pretty unknown name was really outstanding. Jos Cools was the name. He normally raced 2 or 3 birds only and mostly they were all on top of the result sheets. So you can imagine who I was going to visit. I wanted to know more about this man. Moreover mob flyers already get enough attention in the media.
Some results of Cools in 2016 alone:
-Noyon 506 pigeons: 1st and 42th with 2 pigeons in the race.
-Noyon 1.224 pigeons: 5th and 20th with 2 pigeons in the race.
-Noyon 575 pigeons: 11th and 44th with 2 birds in the race.
-Quievrain 373 pigeons: 4th, 5th and 25th with three birds in the race.
-Noyon 368 pigeons: 1st with only one bird in the race.
-Quievrain 245 pigeons: 1st and 4th with 2 pigeons in the race.
-Noyon 518 pigeons: 2nd and 29th with 2 pigeons in the race.
-Quievrain 213 pigeons: 11th and 13th, again only 2 pigeons in the race.
So in all these races a spectacular 100% score in the first 10%.
Modest Jos Cools before his modest loft
I wrote about this, it was read by Pipa and sometime later Cools birds were auctioned on the internet. Only some years ago Cools brought pigeons that were superfluous to the poulterer, among them also winners and Aces, but not good enough for him. He was happy if he could sell birds for 75 € each. The auction changed his life and Cools shook his head when he heard about the prices that were paid for his young birds that had not proven anything yet. Unfortunately he had to pay a price for his sudden fame. Last winter his breeders were stolen.
At his place I noticed that he had even fewer birds than I had expected: Nine racers total. Thus he could enter 2 yearlings and 2 old birds in both the two sprint races from Quievrain and Noyon. What bloodlines his birds are? Definitely not off-spring of icons such as ‘Harry’ or ‘Rudy’, ‘Kleine Dirk’ or whatever. In the province there ARE fanciers who got the off-spring of those birds, including direct children, but these birds have proven to be only good for business. Unbeatable Cools bred his winners from pigeons that he had gotten from local guys. He never bought pigeons, what he did buy each winter were some vouchers, but again from local guys only, he is allergic for great names. And apparently he knew what he was doing.
To-day, when we had those so-called ‘lucky races’ because of tailwinds, he won 5th and 7th prize against 1.057 birds in the fed. When many, some great names included, were still waiting for their first bird, Jos had all his pigeons home. He had entered only two !!! On the same day H Bevers won 1st in his combine at a speed of 1.850 mpm (111 kms per hour). The week before the same bird won a race at a speed of 1.150 mpm (69 kms per hour)! So again: Also with a high speed you need good birds in good shape.
In the loft of Cools I saw what I had expected to see. Big nest boxes. And it was amazing to see how much the birds were attached to them. In my Belgian loft it is the same. When Roger, the manager, reaches out his hand to give the birds food in their boxes, he better wear gloves. Unbelievable how much the pigeons dislike his hand and want it to get away. Away from their territory. And it is the same with many champions. For them grabbing birds is a matter of seconds only. They just pick them out of their boxes. When others want to grab a bird you can hear from outside how poor handlers they are. Birds fly in panic to all directions to escape from greedy hands.
The love for the territory, the will to defend it, is a very important quality of pigeons. Therefore I do not like pigeons that sit here one time and somewhere else another time. I prefer babies that I can find in the dark because I know where they are at, which perch is theirs. Most fanciers have the nest boxes against one wall. Verkerk, for arguments’ sake, has the boxes against to walls, opposite each other, thus the pigeons will always be on the alert. Take also loft training. After it birds should not hurry in because they feel hungry, but because they want to take possession of their territory.
Pigeons in good shape do not dirty the floor, since the floor is not the place where they are. Their droppings should be in the boxes.
Maybe you heard about legendary ‘Didi’ from Devos? ‘Did’ only had ONE loft mate and you cannot believe how much both cocks hated each other. Etienne had to lock up one of them, if not he would end up with a dead pigeon. Then he entered Didi for a National Race. He won 2nd but what was even more interesting? On coming home he trapped like hell and then he did not join his waiting ‘red hot’ hen but he flew to his rival, grabbed him by the neck and dragged him through the loft like a dog does with a rabbit. Feeling attached to the own territory, remember!