There are quite a few things I can't stand. Waiting is one of them. Whether it's in a traffic jam or at the dentist, I find it a waste of time. Slow drivers in the fast lane of the motorway arouse my irritation and an absolute disaster is having to take part in a kissing dance. Dear me, I spent such a lot of time in the toilet during kissing dances. Another thing that I can't stand is when experienced fanciers put novices on the wrong foot, and sadly, that happens often in the pigeon sport.
It is said that you can forget racing successfully if you don't have a lot of time and a lot of money. Especially money is said to destroy the pigeon sport. This is absolutely not true. I consider 'a lot of money' a DISADVANTAGE for someone with ambition.
- With 'a lot of money' you are less careful when you buy something.
- With 'less money' you are not so tempted to go for famous names, breeds and pedigrees.
- And with less money you select much stricter.
That last point is of enormous importance.
Champions can be enormously different, but one thing they all have in common. Without exception they select very strictly.
The real champions remove pigeons that were tested and deemed not good enough that in other lofts would have been given a place in the breeding loft. But I digress. What I want to say is that it is certainly possible to come by good pigeons, without having to pay a lot of money or to spend half your days visiting lofts.
A long time ago for instance, the Smits partnership won two Semi Nationals from Chateauroux and Bourges, real classics in those days, within two weeks against the cream of Zeeland, West Brabant and Mid Brabant. One of the winning pigeons they had bought for little money from a coupon (bon), th e other winning pigeon they had been given by a club member. But that is not all. I went to visit these winners and was startled when I entered their lofts.
My own lofts are a far cry from luxurious, but they are five star lofts in comparison with those of that partnership. Because they didn't have the time they didn't clean the lofts, and they never 'drove' with the pigeons for training either.
Fanciers like Smits you also don't have to ask about the seventh flight, square armpit feathers, the receding of the first flight, white toes, tail feathers with a white flag, a short inner wing, eye circle of correlation or so on. Aren't the greatest champions usually the ones that say they don't know one thing about pigeons?
Especially novice fanciers should not let themselves be made crazy by all they read or hear, because the result can be they start looking where they shouldn't look. The pigeon sport is not that difficult.
Breeding a lot, racing a lot and a very strict selection on the basis of health and achievements is the only way forward.
The way backwards is believing in secrets that don't exist and medicines for racing well. The distinction between a good pigeon and a bad one is the sense of direction, or in other words, a good compass. And you can't test a sense of direction by looking at the seventh flight, white toes or armpit feathers.
And IF one pigeon could fly faster than another, something that I don't believe in by the way, what is the value of such a super when it is too stupid to choose the shortest way home?
Fanciers who once raced very well but then later dropped back will know about the above. In their glory days they too were suspected of having secrets, until they didn't have such good pigeons anymore, and with the good pigeons their know-how and secrets disappeared. Good pigeons are what you need!
And good pigeons you can get as a gift, buy or just find.
A good family is something different; you don't get it as a present, you can't buy it, you will have to build it up.
What I mean is demonstrated by my 'Lichte' and its nest brother. They are not distinguishable in any way; the same colour, the same wing, the same general build and the same ancestry. I have to look at the ring to know which is which, but during flights, the difference is enormous. The 'Lichte' is a winner; his brother is just a prize flyer, or not even that. "When the brother of a good pigeon doesn't achieve good racing results, then that is the breeder," some would have you believe.
Come on. What evidence is that based upon?
I have bred from both and the youngsters from the 'Broer Lichte' weren't worth anything, and the young from the 'Lichte' were the same. Later, I paired both to other hens. Out of the racer, the 'Lichte', I then bred a good pigeon. Out of his brother, that should be the breeder, I still bred only bad ones.
I don't have the 'Broer Lichte' anymore. What a relief. Does that mean that you should only breed out of the good racers?
NOTHING is further from the truth. You need to be lucky! And you should do as the champions do: Breed a lot, race a lot and select strictly.
Or in other words: Remove the bad ones, sell the good ones, and keep the super ones.