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Not real smart

"Dear Mr Sjaelakens. I am a fanatic pigeon man from China. I bought many super birds from Europe but still I am a nobody in this sport and I am desperate. I think I make mistakes with feeding or I maybe I do not have the right medicine.

Can you please advise me how to feed and how to medicate?

As I said I bought many super birds, for 170.000 euro total, and some friends who did not spend money at all beat me every race. This sport is no fun for me any more Mr Sjaelakens. I hope you will help me."


This was what a man from China mailed me.

He said he had bought many "super birds" and that made me a bit curious.

What did he mean by super birds?

I decided to ask him.  

When I got the answer I understood why he raced so badly. He had bought all the birds through the Internet, they were indeed children or grandchildren from well known birds here but... he had bought them all when they were 4 to 6 years old.

He preferred older birds so that he could breed from them directly. As most Chinese he had little patience.

And it was here that the man made a big mistake.



Of course I also see people try to sell such birds on the Internet. Sometimes I even see birds bred by me and offered for sale by some body else.

Why did such people sell birds like these?

Birds that they bought from others before that are older?

The answer is simple: They are no good.

I will make myself clear:

What very often happens is this:

Some one buys from a champion, say for arguments sake 10 birds.

If he is lucky 2 or 3 may turn out to be good.

And what does he do with the others?

The birds that had proven to have no quality?

In the past such birds were killed, today they are offered for sale.

Stupid fancy pedigrees and photos of the birds must make people hungry to buy.

And indeed, they do buy those sh.t birds. Very often for a far higher price than the fancier paid for them.  


Good or bad? No one knows. But I prefer such birds to 3 year old birds with nothing
else to offer than a fancy pedigree.


It reminds me of Klak.

Once a middle man was there to buy birds but he had none.

The middle man was pissed off and said: "I have exported more of your birds to the far East than you ever will export."

Klak was shocked, stood up and said:

"You fooled all those poor Easterners.  None of those birds of mine that you bought from others was any good. That is why they sold them. And those Easterners bought them because I bred them.

And the sad thing is that those people think that a Klakbird means a good bird.

What they do not know is that I also breed more bad pigeons than good ones.

Take my 613. The parents were mated for many years. But they never ever gave another good bird. Only this 613.

That is why I always charged the same price for all my babies, the brothers and sisters of 613 included.

And what I tell you now is not new for you.

You knew that you sold sh.t birds but did not care at all.

You are only interested in money, I wish you good luck with the money you make and

now please go and never come back again."



Klak was right. Foreigners take names and pedigrees too seriously.

- A pigeon is not good because his brother is good.

- A pigeon is not good because he was bred by a great champion.

- And... a pigeon is not good because it had cost a lot of money.

A friend of mine, a well known champion from Holland, races very many birds.

Ant it must be said, he is very successful. But still he tries to improve his family and buys about 80 to 100 babies every year.

Understandably he buys these birds from very good fanciers only and from their best birds. And every year it is the same story. About 4 to 6 are good."

And he is happy with them.

When you buy 80 babies and 4 to 6 are good you are lucky. 

When you buy 80 OLD birds on the Internet, birds that you never handled, the chance that there 4 to 6 ones among them is very little. 

So my advise is: Stay away from OLD birds. Do NOT buy them even though they have a pedigree from London to Tokyo.

People sell them because they have proven to be no good, neither as a racer, nor as a breeder.  

Of course record birds and birds from total auctions is another story. In such birds you may have more confidence.


But the sad thing is that today there are so many total auctions which are no total auctions.


The fanciers says he auctions all his birds because he has pains in his back, his lungs cannot stand the dust and so on.

But shortly after his "total" auction he has more birds than ever before.

So nothing seems to be better for people with a bad back or who have bad lungs is to sell their birds. No better cure than a total auction.

But let"s be serious.

They do not sell ALL their birds, they buy back their own birds, in fact they never had the intention to quit.

 So my advice is this:


If you try to improve your loft buy babies, record birds or birds in a total auction which is a TRUE total auction. And please realise that even the greatest champion breeds more bad pigeons than good ones.



- There was this man with 5 DIRECT Ludo Claessens birds.

But none of them was any good.

That was not a guess but a fact. He had bred 4 years from them with different partners.

Then the men in charge of an auction site heard about those 4 birds and asked if the man would sell them.

"No problem" he said, "but there is one condition. Do not mention my name. I do not want to take any responsibility, leave my name out, since the birds are no good".

Some weeks later half the pigeon world could see photos and pedigrees of the birds on the web. They were sold for a fortune.  

- Then there was this man with 3 sons of Kleine Dirk from Koopman.

He also bred 4 years from them and it must be said, one of them gave very good babies. But the others?

He tried again and again with different hens but none of the babies was any good.

Also these children of Kleine Dirk that had proven to be no good were put on the Internet and again sold for a fortune. To fanciers from abroad of course.



Why do you seldom see the names of champions that bid on old birds on the internet? Because they know there is a reason why they are for sale. Moreover they want to handle a bird before they buy.

And have you never noticed that the same people often buy from the same people?

Or, in other words, that friends bid on birds of friends?

The reason is clear. They want to get a higher price.

Thanks God, not every fancier from Holland or Belgium is like that. Some do offer good old birds for sale. But unfortunately this is a minority.

That is what I wrote to the man from China who mailed me.

He must have bought the wrong birds. Pedigree birds.

And talking about pedigrees, look at the parents and grandparents of world famous pigeons such as Kannibaal, Wittenbuik, Fieneke, Sprint and so on.

They are often the off spring of birds without name.

An Arab friend bought babies that were born in September. The parents were multiple first prize winners. That was the reason he bought them. He did not look at the pedigree.

Why should he if birds win so many firsts?

I hope the Chinese man who mailed me has learnt his lesson.  

And we will not lose him in this beautiful sport.