"I really do not understand" is what both L from Taiwan and L from China said.
I know both of them and they have some things in common:
- They are fanatic and competitive and always looking for the best.
- They are "not poor" and bought pretty many expensive birds from great names in Europe that turned out to be totally worthless.
- And now they are surprised that such great names can breed such bad pigeons.
It makes me think of my own experiences. I also bought birds (never think you cannot improve yourself) and I often found cheap birds or birds that I got for free were the best. And then you should know how people do their utmost to sell me quality birds because they want to be on good terms with me/the media. They realise well their reputation is at stake. And it must be said, also others were successful with birds of mine that they got for free.
- Take Dutch B Knaven. I gave him a child of "Home Alone" as a birthday present. Only 3 years later her babies made him National Champion long distance.
- H Kennis had a bird that was probably the best of all Holland at long distance in 2011. It was bred from a present of mine as well.
- Back in 2007 I had 2 my 019 and 020, that were outstanding racers. J Storms got eggs off the same parents, the off spring made him one of the best in Antwerp.
- I let M Wouters use a hen. She became mother of his "Ad", the best bird of ALL Belgium and 1st OLympiad bird as well.
- Jochems van Hasselt got a pigeon for a voucher. Two years later he won 1st and 4th Semi National. With a baby of my gift.
- I donated R v d Zijde 2 birds that became parents of the NATIONAL Ace fond.
- I gave Cor Leytens a hen for free. A son (Lammert. 1st Olympiad bird) won:
3.353 p - 1
1.373 p -1
4.780 p - 1
4.720 p -1
1.972 p - 1
5.429 p - 2
4.799 p - 2 And so on!!!
- This year (2005) Boeckx has a real super that already won 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd and so on. How he got this bird? Last winter we decided to breed together.
I brought him 3 cocks of mine, he mated them with 3 hens of his and that super I am talking about is the result.
- Right now (June 2015) Luc van Mechelen is the talk of the day. He has 2 super hens, full sisters. Three weeks ago they won 1st and 2nd. One week later they won
2nd and 3rd. And more results like those. Only one more good race and both hens are serious candidates to be National Ace of All Belgium.
The father he got from me, for a "bon" he had bought.
I bred it from 08-683 (Mother "Ad"). She is also the mother of the National Ace called "Ad", raced by Marcel Wouters.
- National Chateauroux in Belgium 2015, entry 44,000 birds, was won by young Rik Hermans. The father
het got for free from Dirk van Dijck.
You can often read about super racers or breeders that fanciers got for free which is not that strange. With gifts there is more to it: Friendship. You do not give presents to a person you do not like. And persons you do like you will not give rubbish.
But presents are rare today, normally it is business. Pigeons for money, money for pigeons. And unfortunately foreigners face problems that we do not have.
Luc van Mechelen and his brother Guy. They are the sensation of the spring
season in 2015. Especially 2 hens perform unbelievable. The father they
got from me for free.
PROBLEMS FOR FOREIGNERS
- They do not know the strength of the competition, which is very important. A first prize means little. I need to know where it was won, in what area, against whom.
- They do not know if the fanciers from whom they want pigeons are "medicine men".
I do not advise birds from fanciers that medicate a lot
- They cannot handle the birds and it is hard for them to judge results correctly. Some race few birds, while others, the "sellers" in most cases, race an army. Ten prizes in the first 200 from say 5.000 birds looks impressive. Three prizes in the first 300 of the same race do not impress.
But' what if the first fancier entered 85 birds of which 45 prizes won a prize and if the second fancier entered 4 birds only of which 3 won in the first 200?
The point is media abroad do whatever they can to brainwash fanciers.
The result is that many are struck by the pedigree craze. They believe only great names breed great pigeons. And pigeons are good just because they were bred by great names. They believe that if a pigeon is good, the brothers and sisters are good as well. It is not that simple though, I would say: Thanks God.
Don"t all those people that pay crazy prices for birds realise there are so few good birds I sometimes wonder?
The answer is simple: No, they do not. And the media are to blame.
Take pigeon magazines. The money of the subscribers is not enough to survive, therefore they are involved in the pigeon business. Promoting and pushing certain fanciers and birds means money. The truth is not important.
And if some(!) middle men and auctioneers would not keep up appearances they would finish themselves as well.
In Belgium there is a saying that if you buy 10 birds and ONE is real good you were lucky. How true this is. Open your eyes and see:
- The majority of the well known names will breed at least a 100 babies yearly. In case 10% would be any good that would mean 30 good pigeons in 3 years" time. Who has TEN good pigeons?
- Take those fanciers that have say 20 racers and 25 breeding pairs. 25 pairs easily produce 600 babies in four years" time. Still 20 racers only? Hmmm.
- Why do champions breed so many babies to-day? Because they know it enhances their chances. Therefore I cannot help smiling when I hear fanciers from the Far East talk about Golden Couples. Stefaan Lambrechts, a coming man, once said: No one in Belgium has a pair that gives ONE super EVERY year.
The late Adriaan Janssens (one of the brothers), used to say: "A couple that gives one super in their whole life is a good breeding couple."
I agree, it is a bit exaggerated, but by exaggerating you can make things clear.
Take also Klak, Houben, Diels and Heremans for arguments" sake.
Klak had only one "613", Houben only one "Sony", Diels one "Goudhaantje". Gust Janssen (Leo Heremans) one "Olympiad". What about all their brothers and sisters?
- I myself handled numerous National Aces, National winners, Olympiad birds. But never ever did I see a bird that had a handful brothers or sisters that were equally good. The late Carlens used to say: "If people want to buy your super, sell the parents as well. Chances that the pair will ever give another super are almost zero." Naturally this was also exaggerated, but he did have a point.
HEREMANS AND V D WOUWER
That brings us to historic auctions like those of Leo Heremans and v d Wouwer.
Belgian fanciers shook their heads when they heard about the outcome.
10% of the birds good? Let us give Heremans the benefit of the doubt and let us assume 20% of the birds he bred were good.
That means 400 of the 500 that he auctioned for over 4 million (euros) were no good.
By now, 2 years later, it seems that fanciers have found out about that.
Only 2 years ago, it seemed that they thought Leo only bred supers. How else can you explain that it was hard to get a bird for less than 1,000 euros?
In the fall of 2014 he auctioned 10 birds again. The outcome was real bad. Would he only breed bad birds now?
Today people v d Wouwer birds are hot. He recently auctioned 300 birds. I think even Gaston himself will doubt if there were 20 good ones among them. Check out the prices that were paid and you get my point.
Within 3 years th v d Wouwer craze will also be over. Who will be next?
G v d Wouwer
Do not take me wrong:
- Of course you have a greater chance with pigeons from a champion.
- And of course you have a greater chance with brothers or sisters of a super.
And what about buying record birds only? Again hmm. Fanciers will sell their best racers only if they have proven to be poor breeders. Most record birds that are offered for sale are poor breeders. That is why they are for sale.
One of my sayings is: Buying is an art. Now you know why.
The National winner Chateauroux 2015 was R Hermans. The father of his
winner he got for free from Dirk van Dijck.
Great names does not automatically mean great birds. It is the art of a successful buyer to get bids just before a man gets famous. Such people have fewer birds, and those are cheaper. You have more chances since the demand is not so high.
Better buy birds from fanciers that lack space. If they do not have enough space they are obliged to get rid of birds that others would keep.
Stay away from "medicine men" and top handlers. They get the maximum out of their birds so that you get the impression that they are better than they really are.
People that exaggerate medicating have birds that lack natural health.
Fanciers who advertise a lot have a reason to do so: No clients for their birds. And why are there no clients? The answer is simple.
Only buy OLD birds in TOTAL auctions.
Never buy so called second hand birds. The seller should also be the breeder.
Do not pay crazy money for babies that have not proven anything, regardless the origin. Better buy more birds for a reasonable price. Compare it with a lottery. The more tickets the more chances.
Auctioneers that claim only super birds are for sale should not be taken seriously.
If you buy through the internet only buy from people that you can trust and have a good reputation.
Do not fall for inbreeds. Many people think the more a well known bird is in the pedigree the better the pigeon. The truth is that most good birds are crossings.
Many completely un known fanciers have better birds than the great names. They do not have a great name since they enter very few birds.
Never buy early breds. Serious fanciers need such birds themselves. They are their future.
If the fancier from whom you want to buy is a serious person do not tell him what he should sell you, but leave the choice to him.
And remember what I said about judging results correctly.
What I would do in case I would live in China, Roemania, USA or wherever?
Try to find a man in Holland or Belgium that you can fully trust and ask his advice. Such a man may also be a middle man of course.
Did not I say TEN commandments? Right. You got some for free. MAYBE they are the best.