The reporter of a foreign pigeon magazine wanted to know my opinion about a number of things.
The point was that there were so many misunderstandings in his country he said.
Therefore he would like to publish my thoughts.
I said: Go ahead but there is one condition. You should clearly state that what I say is just what I think and no more than that.
He could live with that, so he asked his questions and I answered them. Since his fellow country men found my ideas interesting I also publish them here.
In what area are the best birds for the sprint races? And what are the best sprint birds you have ever known?
It is hard to say where the best sprint birds are, since you cannot compare.
It is easier to say where competition is poor. That is where it takes a long time, week after week, before the race is finished.
If you insist on mentioning a name I would say the Berlaar area.
So Leo Heremans does not owe his fame to poor competition.
The best sprint birds I have ever known are the so called Olieman from J v d Veeken and a bird called Sprint (what is in a name) from the late Marcelis. This bird won no less than 22 firsts and it was repeatedly the fastest of the whole province.
Is it true that the province of Antwerp is the best for middle distance?
Are people right who only want pigeons whose ring starts with a 6?
(6 Is the first figure of the bands of pigeons in the province of Antwerp)
Right, middle distance birds in Antwerp are good, and indeed, maybe the best.
On the other hand Antwerpen also owes its fame to well known scribes in the past.
They lived in this province and understandably they mostly wrote about fanciers from their own province, with whom they were familiar.
As for me and myself: I imported many birds from Antwerp but one of the best ever was from a fancier who lived in Flanders.
The Dutch are considered to be the best long distance racers. Who were the best in the last few years?
As for long distance there is a clear distinction between one day races (from 500 to 700 kilometres) and two day races (700 to 1.150 kilometres).
The two day races are released at noon and the birds have to stay over night.
The birds for two day races are also another type than the birds for one day races.
In the past Kuypers, v d Wegen Braakhuis, Van Wanroy, Brinkman, Bruggeman, Lazeroms, Muller, van den Eynde and so on were the men to beat.
Then came Volkens, Vertelman and others. Today van Dommelen, Beens, Batenburg v d Merwe and bros Limburg are outstanding.
Beens repeatedly clocked a series of birds in the middle of the night, which was something unthinkable in the past.
We know who are the best young bird racers in Belgium. Those are the fanciers that achieve great results on the nationals that we can find on the internet. But in Holland are no nationals for youngsters. Who are in your opinion the best?
Hmm. I daresay that I was the best in the 80-ies and 90-ies. That is at least what the papers said. As for Orleans the National pigeon magazine NPO made a calculation every year who were the best and repeatedly my name was published as primes. From this race birds of the whole country were released together (200,000 birds !!!).
Today Orleans is history. Fanciers who are among the best of the country now are Comb van Wanroy, Embregts Theunis and van der Putten.
Do fanciers like AS make mistakes as well was the next question.
Of course I make mistakes. I daresay many.
A big mistake I made in the 90-ies. In those days Vandenabeele had fantastic birds and I had children from his best, such as Kolonel (father Bliksem), Turbo and so on.
The babies I bred from them were no good in the first year so I eliminated all those Vandenabeele birds.
That was stupid indeed, but not as bad as what happened to a Japanese dealer.
He asked me then to buy pigeons from an un known name with good birds.
I bought him Vandenabeele birds, but in those days no one over there had ever heard about Vandenabeele, therefore he could not sell any of these birds and after some years he eliminated them.
This was a reason for his wife to run away from him. Some may think he was a lucky guy, I do not know....
And what is a mistake that many foreigners make?
They buy the wrong birds.
What do you consider the best anti biotic against paratyphoid?
There are several good antibiotics but I guess Baytril is the best. One should give it for at least 10 days on a row.
Giving Baytril every year for 12 consecutive days is ok.
Giving Baytril 12 times one day is asking for problems on the long run.
What is the main quality of a good bird?
Two things are essential: A good basic health and soft feathers.
What advice do you have for foreigners?
A famous name does not mean good birds. The best birds are often to be found in the lofts of un known fanciers who race few birds.
In Holland and Belgium some realise well that to build up a great name abroad you should race many birds and race long distance.
So that is what they do. And they often buy their birds from fanciers with a small family who do not race long distance.