No B S
"Motivation is just nonsense. The birds are good or they are no good. They are healthy or they are not. All the rest is B. S." These are comments you sometimes hear or read.
And since I am a sceptical person by nature those were also my thoughts.
You should know I never believed and still do not in tea, not in water vains, nor in depurative mixtures, not in mating birds during full moon, not mixtures that promote the moult, not in red beet juice, not in Adeno through stress and there is so much more in which I no longer believe.
Take Adeno/Coli, or the so-called young bird disease for arguments" sake. It is the result of stress in the baskets some say, among them even vets.
The point is that some fanciers are perfect imitators. They do not think, but just say what others say. I agree, that makes life a lot easier.
In the past, when we did not even know the words Adeno and Coli, let alone the disease, yet the babies also were with many in the basket for a first time.
Did they not have stress then, I wonder.
Understandably in motivation or " tricks " I barely believed either.
"Believed " (in the past tense), because I had to change my mind.
This was caused by visits to champions and experiences in my own loft.
Koen Minderhoud has his famous " Geeloger". By letting the bird be the boss on the feeder he motivated him from one victory to another.
I"ll give some more examples, that show in pigeon racing there is indeed such a thing as motivation. I also have to refer to successes of my own. Sorry, but you have to take that for granted. Moreover, one can always stop reading if it bothers.
In the 80-is and 90-ies I was described as the best young bird racer in Holland.
Back in 1985 I already got the nick name 'Mr Orleans' because of my sensational results on this Greatest race in the world then.
So I know a little bit what I am talking about.
Dominate the young bird races a whole season, like I did in those years is only possible with separated sexes. Playing babies natural, so on the nest, is a system that is good for just 2 or 3 weeks max.
This has not changed. But sadly enough, due to personal circumstances I cannot race babies with separated sexes any more.
The NATIONAL race is history, we can only race Orleans (450 km) provincial today and last year (2014), I won the 1st from 2.300 pigeons with the first nominated bird. The weather was hard. Too hard for young birds people said.
And they were surprised how I could win this race with the first nominated bird.
Why could I?
First of all I thought the bird had class. A pigeon does not beat 2,300 others by accident with strong headwinds.
And ... it was the only pigeon with a " position ".
She was breeding for no less than a month on plastic artificial eggs and in them I had put some little pebbles. Thus the breeding pigeon constantly thought something was going on in the eggs. Furthermore I had taken the cock away three days before basketing. I"m sure those circumstances made her win.
1981 is a long time ago. I was in my thirties but still I remember the Orleans race from then. It ended up in one of the biggest smashes ever and only 2 birds made it home on the day. Two nest sisters, the 81 and 82.
Then I played already separated sexes but hens that mated together I let alone.
Also those 81 and 82 were paired and came on eggs.
I can still see how they tried to push each other off the eggs. Starting from Monday before basketing I took one hen away and the following day the other.
Every night though I left them together for a while.
You should have seen them fighting. My hand made sure no winner came out of the fight, since they were ready to kill each other.
Two hens that are mated and have a nest? Believe me, it is a super position.
One reason is they want to breed at the same time.
My 144 was the nest sister of "Ace Four" (145). Two miracle birds, in their year of birth. They were 1st and 2nd ACE pigeon against average 11,000 pigeons.
As a yearling I gave " 144 " a box that in fact belonged to a cock that had got lost.
Then came the day that I heard a terrible noise in the loft.
And guess what? The cock that I had lost some weeks before had come back and was fighting with the 144. What I did then you can imagine.
Every evening the nest box of both 144 and the cock became a kind of o.k. corral. corral. The bars that separated them prevented that either 144 or her rival got killed.
With eyes that spit fire I basketed 144. She won 1st three times in four weeks time.
Also note the bird named "Didi " of the late Etienne Devos. It was housed in a loft with only one other cock and little by little those two began to hate each other. Then came that National race. Didi stormed with unprecedented ferocity into the loft. In it he did not join his waiting hen but flew right to his rival. He grabbed him by the neck and dragged him through the loft as a hunting dog with his prey.
He won 1st National. So what increases the urge for pigeons to get home: the partner or the territory?
The late Maurice Voets was one of the nicest guys I have ever known.
When I was there once I met his friend Charel Schellens. He told me about his "National ". It was a beautiful pigeon with superb parentage and he had only one defect. He could not win a decent prize. It is a bird like the great majority, no good, Charel thought.
In fact something more was wrong with him. Apparently he did not feel comfortable in the loft because again and again it entered into the loft in which it had been as a baby. Till Charel got tired of putting the bird into the loft in which it belonged every evening. He let him alone, the only old bird in the young bird loft.
Then something strange happened.
He shaped up so fast that Charel decided to race it one more time.
He won his first prize and' to his surprise it was the 1st prize. One week later he did so again and also the following week. This time from Bourges national against tens of thousands of pigeons.
Motivation is no B. S. for me any more. And motivation often has to do with love for/defending the territory. It seems to me just as important as the partner. Or is it more? How important that is you sometimes see in beautiful films about nature on tv. Animals fight each other to death to defend it. And pigeons, though very much cultivated, are animals still.