About Dutchmen, Belgians and 'The others'
I do not know how many foreign pigeonfanciers have visited me throughout the years but it must be close to a thousand. They came from everywhere including Taiwan but the majority was American, German and Japanese.
Most of these pigeonfanciers visit the champions in Holland and Belgium for one reason:
They want to buy ‘our’ pigeons.
And why do they want to buy our pigeons?
Because they think they are better. But… is that a fact?
Are pigeons from Holland and Belgium really better than pigeons from say Taiwan or other countries? I think it is not that simple. People who mean that all Dutch and Belgian pigeons are good and all pigeons from other countries are bad are defenitely wrong.
Also in Holland and Belgium the majority of the pigeons have hardly any value, they have no value at all or they are just average.
I know most champions personally and I also know the great names (that is not the same!) in our two small countries at the North Sea. Believe me, all these champions no matter how great they are, are real happy with every good pigeon they breed.
And of course in Japan, America, South Africa and surely in Taiwan are also good birds.
The reason is that many superbirds from Holland and Belgium are sold to Taiwan and this must result in good pigeons in the country to which they are exported.
If we talk about the AVERAGE quality that’s another story. Maybe the AVERAGE quallity in Holland and Belgium is better for the simple reason that competition is strong:In Holland and Belgium are over 100,000 pigeonfanciers.
Once there were over 300,000 but that’s almost half a century ago.
Moreover there are races with an entry of tens of thousands of birds.
Very many fanciers who compete each other and very many birds in the races simply must result in pretty good average quality and pretty occasionally a superbird.
The fame of pigeons from Holland and Belgium is also worldwide because the roots of pigeonsport are here. But for that we have to go back more than a century in history.
A strange thing about foreign people buying Dutch and Belgian pigeons is that their wishes are so different. What they have in common is they are so much influenced or even brainwashed by the pigeonpress.
I will go more into detail.
- German buyers:
What most of them want to buy is four week old youngsters. But…NOT cheap ones.
If you offer a German a baby for say 250 USD and one for double the price he will take the more expensive bird.
Because German people think rational. For much money you have a better car than for little money.
For much money you have a better camera than for little money.
For much money you have a nicer house than for little money.
They think for pigeons this is the same.
But everybody in Holland and Belgium and also smart fanciers aborad who are engaged in this sport know this is not true.
As for babies you can buy good pigeons, even potential superbirds for much money but ALSO for little money. You can even get them free for the simple reason that no one in the world can tell if a four week old bird is good, bad or average. I myself have often bred superpigeons off of just yearlings which were not even good racers. And… I have often bred bad pigeons off of parents which were super racers and which were parents of superbirds already.
- American buyers:
In my opinion they are the most naive of all. The only thing that counts for them is ‘strain’.
This is because they are brainwashed.
American pigeonmagazines are one big joke. People over there advertise and brag with the offspring of birds of Dutch and Belgian fanciers only known by my grandparents.
As for grading birds they nearly all make the same mistake too.
They like big birds with a ‘strong back’ with the tail down. However, pigeons with ‘a strong back’ and ‘the tail down’ are out-dated.
The modern superbird is rather small, he has a narrow back and the tail NOT down.
- Japanese buyers
Japanese want to buy winners. Preferably from long distance races or winners against thousands of birds. This is not strange as in Japan long distance is popular.
Their problem is that they do not realise a winner may be a lucky bird. For a bird which won a 1st National from a long distance race they pay up to 5 times more than for a 2nd prize winner.
Still it is quite possible that the 2nd prize winner was better than the winner in the same race.
When there is an eastern wind all early birds, including the winner are to be found in the west, near the North Sea. But… the pigeon of a fancier who lives in the East of Holland, near the German border that won a 10th prize National did a better job that day than the National winner because of his bad location due to a disadvantageous wind.
- Taiwanese buyers
Taiwanese buyers are the smartest. Do not think I want to flatter Taiwanese readers, it is the truth.
Why I think they are smarter?
Because they are not so much interested in winners as they know they may be lucky winners.
They want Ace pigeons, birds that performed well in many races, so more consistent birds.
With such birds you have indeed the best chances.
The point when buying birds is one should always realise there are not many superpigeons.
Not everybody likes to hear this.
When I write in magazines in Europe that also the champions breed far more bad pigeons than good ones several champions are not too happy with such information.
The reason is that they want to sell as many birds as possible.
Once I stated in one of my articles in ‘NPO’ (The National magazine in Holland with appr. 25.000 subsribers) that nobody breeds 2 superpigeons every year regardless the amount of breedingcouples he has.
If there was such a man that would mean he would breed 10 supers in 5 years’ time.
But nobody has 10 superpigeons!
I challenged my readers to show me I was wrong and what they had to do was send me the results of their 10th best pigeon.
Concerning this you must realise in Europe you can race birds as babies, as yearlings, as 2- years old, 5 years old, it makes no difference.
You know what happened?
I got no reaction at all!
Nobody dared to show up with the results of his 10th best racer!
To realise what this means you must know that most fanciers breed at least 50 babies per year so when nobody dared to show up with the results of his 10th best bird you can calculate yourself.
In the past fanciers did not breed so many babies as they do now.
The reason is they realise you need much luck to get that superbird in your loft.
The more babies you breed the more chances you have to get a super!
You can compare this with a lottery: The more lottery-tickets the more chances!
This is a fact for the small fancier but also for the champion!!
What many foreign pigeonfanciers should realise is that a pigeon is not good for the simple reason it was bred by Janssen, Grondelaers, Verbruggen, Klak, v d Wegen, Toye or whoever.
With birds from champions like these you have more CHANCES but that’s all.
You are never sure.
In my opinion that is the nice thing in this sport. If you were sure about the quality of a bird this would mean the end of the sport as the good birds would soon be in the hands of the rich people.
New life, new hope but nothing more than that
Do people from all over the world come over to buy our pigeons, it stands to reason that ‘we’, certainly the champions, also buy birds.
But when the champions from Holland and Belgium try to improve the quality of their family they act differently from foreign buyers. They have other criteria.
-Unlike foreigners we do not care for strains and the pedigree is not ‘holy’ for us. Many real good fanciers do not even have pedigrees of their birds. It often happened that foreign buyers wanted to buy a good pigeon and when the owner was asked for the pedigree this ownerwondered: ‘A pedigree? What’s that? As for pedigrees people in Holland and Belgium sometimes say:‘Many foreign buyers buy a pedigree and they get a pigeon free to go with it’. Another saying is ‘the more detailed the pedigree is, the worse the bird. Comment on the pedigree must mask the lack of quality.
-Unlike foreign buyers we do not care for names. The reason is we are not brainwashed. Pedigrees do not count, names do not count, strain does not count. The only thing that counts are results!
- For that we are in a priviliged position. We SEE and know about the results of pigeons and fanciers, people from abroad do not. They depend on what is told them or what is published in magazines in their country. These publications are often paid for with the intention to sell, sell and sell. Because that’s what many European fanciers want and what their agents in Europe and abroad wants. When reading a report about a loft it may be useful to ask yourself 2 questions:
A. Why was this loftreport written?
B. By whom was it written?
- Unlike (many) foreign buyers we do not care much about the eye-sign, the colour of the eye or the eye at all when buying birds.
-And…unlike foreign buyers we make a good study of the results of the man from whom we want to buy.
In another article I will go more into detail.
(will be continued).