Me and myself
I knew I had paid too much for "Son R " back in 2013, but I wanted it. Moreover the bird was pretty. Very soft feathers and a strong skeleton and that is what you need for long distance. And for long distance I had bought the bird.
It stands to reason that I bred pretty many babies off such an expensive pigeon. Some I raced, others I put in the stock loft and that is something I seldom do with babies that I bought. I prefer to race them.
July 14th 2014.
Bright, hot and headwinds. In Antwerp the young birds had their first Middle Distance race. And guess what? I had a fantastic result and won 1st, 2nd, 4th and so on.
My 3rd bird was four minutes slower than the winner but still won 4th, so you can imagine how hard the race was.
The winner (14-973) had even a higher speed than the fastest old bird. "Never happened before" it was said.
"973" Even had the highest speed of the whole province, from about 10,000 birds.
But you know what was especially exciting? The winner was a daughter of "Son R ". I had done the right thing to buy it. And how lucky I was that I had several sons and daughters to breed from. I had new gold in my loft. At least that is what I thought.
Some months later. My smart phone told me I had missed four calls, all from my partner. Not good!
I called him and indeed. Bad news. A pigeon lay dead in the loft. "A pigeon? So what? That was not the end of the world." But it turned out to be "Son R " of all pigeons. And I was in a bad mood for the rest of the day.
I felt good. I felt great. One reason was the birds flew fantastic and another reason for my good mood was that "Son R " had died the year before.
You should know that the sons and daughters of "Son R " in the stock loft had not given even one baby that was able to win a decent prize, while the loft mates raced super. How lucky I was, I realised now. If "Son R " had not died I would have bred a basket full of babies from him. And I would have had a basket full of poor birds.
DANNY VAN DIJCK
A visit to Danny van Dijck inspired me to write this article.
You should know Danny has a superbird, named "Kanon".
The bird is famous in Belgium because back in 2009 it had won, as a baby, 3 firsts in Union Antwerpen. That is even better than the results of "Kannibaal" from his famous namesake Dirk.
I asked Danny some questions for a magazine.
One of them was if his famous "Kanon" was a good breeder.
His answer surprised me. You know what he said?
"It is a good breeder indeed, but like all breeders, even good breeders, it produces more junk than good birds."
No commercial blabla about "super this" and "super that", while he knew I was going to publish his answer. Just the truth, no matter how painful it was.
ME AND MYSELF
Long way back I had my so called "Mattens" and "Sissi", two Icons in pigeon sport. In pigeon magazine De Duif a series of 13 articles was dedicated to results of their off spring. I can assure you it is amazing.
National Aces, National winners and Olympiad birds descend from this pair.
They were mated for 5 years and produced six real supers. Now you can imagine how many junk even this pair must have given.
Pigeons that produce no other than supers only exist in our imagination and in auction sites on the internet that are made up to mislead foreigners with too much money. Believe me, the fate of EVERY pigeon is that it produces more junk than supers. No matter whether it is named Wittenbuik, F 16, Rocket, "Fast as lightning", "Kanon", "Super this", "Super that" or whatever.
Therefore I wish all those that pay thousands of euros for just a baby good luck.
Believe me, they will need it, regardless the pedigrees of the babies they bought.
LAST YEAR AND THIS YEAR
In Holland I have the reputation of finding new upcoming stars long before others do.
But I do have many defects as well.
One of them is that I cannot stop buying.
Every year I swear to stop it, but it seems I cannot. It is something that is stronger than my self. So, last year, in 2014, I also bought a bunch of birds from some one who is often described as the best of Belgium.
That was before the grandchildren of famous "R" had proven to be no good.
When I am writing this we have had 9 young bird races. Good enough to judge quality. Without bragging I daresay the results are fantastic. Nobody did better in the Fed called ZAV (Zuid Antwerps Verbond).
But there is one "but". The babies of the "best fancier of Belgium" with pedigrees from here to Tokyo, do what the grandchildren of "R" did last year. They also failed to win a decent prize.
They do come home that is true, but that is what I hate most about them.
And what especially worries me? Unlike their loft mates they have problems to stay healthy. Did the famous guy create artificial condition by over medicating?
But there is also good news. Some birds that I imported turned out to be excellent breeders. But they come from fanciers without a great name.
They were cheap birds, I got them for free or they are the products of breeding together. I mean, mating a good cock from me with a good hen of a fellow champion, and vice versa.
Naturally, like others I also study the pedigree when I come across a super bird.
And what do we mostly notice when we study the pedigrees of super birds?
In the third generation or even the second you mostly see the names of unknown fanciers. The smarter champions mostly go to those unknown champions when they want to improve their lofts. From they can buy quality birds for little money.
Foreigners apply to the champions, the people with a great name. There they buy for crazy prices. Till the day comes that they will say:
"What A S said was far from stupid". But then their lofts, at least many of them, will be filled with junk.