Nobody can tell
"What are you looking for in a bird to see if it is any good?" people sometimes ask me.
Well, the answer is this:
A good bird has a tail, a head, 2 wings, 2 eyes and 2 legs.
With other words:
No one in the world can say for sure if a bird is good by the way it looks.
To see if a bird is good the criterion is the result sheet.
Only after you have raced the bird you will know about the quality.
Why else would most fanciers breed so many babies?
Every spring the young bird lofts are fully filled with birds.
Even fanciers that only want to keep say 12 old racers breed 50 or more birds.
That enormous cloud of babies that fly round the lofts daily is the living proof of the ignorance of even the greatest champions.
'You must breed many birds and eliminate many' people say.
And even if you have a pair that produced a good bird you have no guarantee it will ever give you another good one.
There are also numerous examples of champions that sold babies that proved to be much better than the birds they kept for themselves.
And believe me, if he would know for sure if a bird would be good no serious fancier would ever sell it.
Only a fool sells his good birds and will keep the junks.
Nice examples are those of 'Knook' (the father of Klak's famous 613) and the famous 'Young Artist' of Houben.
Both birds were for sale when they were 4 weeks old but no one was interested since no one liked them. Not even Klak or Houben themselves.
There are also numerous examples of so-called look alikes.
I mean brothers that look exactly the same; you have to look at the bands to see which is which, but when it comes to racing one is a super bird, the other has no value at all.
Even though they look the same and they have the same parents and are raced in the same loft with the same care they are incomparable.
It is often not difficult either to see if a is NO good.
First of all those are the birds that have problems to stay healthy.
Some birds are just born as weaklings and such birds will never turn into good racers.
Do you know which birds you should not trust either?
Birds that are 2 to 5 years old and that are offered for sale in the internet.
Occasionally the breeder needs money, but in many cases he has no confidence in them and he just wants to exploit the ignorance and naivety of (foreign) buyers.
Sometimes there are record birds or even winners among them.
Those were mostly lucky winners or birds that have proven to be no good as breeders.
And for breeding purposes people buy, don't they?
Last year a famous name offered old birds for sell on the web. At the same time he was bidding on young birds from fellow sportsmen.
It is na've to believe that fanciers sell birds of which they think they are good and bid on birds of which they know nothing.
No wonder many people complain about the quality of birds that they bought through the internet.
Personally I would never buy a bird that I did not handle unless I would know the man who sells or if a complete round is offered.
Also watch out for birds that are not offered by the breeder himself.
I often heard Klak complain about this.
A fancier bought say 10 birds from him. If he was lucky and there were 2 good ones among them the other 8 were offered for sale.
Of late a fancier asked for information about birds of mine that they had bought through the internet.
Those were birds that did not wear my bands.
'I bought them as eggs' the seller had told the buyer.
That may be right, that may be wrong.
Some 'dealers' pay much money for birds that are very old.
And some of those 'pedigree birds' are 'fertile' at a very high age'