Pavlof and stuff
Pavlof , people and pigeons
How is it that man is the way he is? With all his different characteristics?
Centuries ago people were discussing this.
"A matter of heredity", some said.
Others disagreed. Man is the product of his environment is what they claimed.
The truth is, as usual, in the middle.
Our character is determined by both heredity and environment (a. o. upbringing).
Conditioning is part of the upbringing.
Take that teacher of mine in my childhood.
Whenever we were noisy he stood up and reached for his ring. And we became dead quiet. What he used to do before was give us a little tick on the head when we misbehaved, but first he took off his ring. Soon we knew what we would follow when he did so. Hence the silence that followed.
You may understand I am talking about "conditioning".
For those who are not familiar with Pavlof and his dogs another example .
I remember what happened when my grandmother "s cat was gone again. She shuffled with an empty dish on the floor and oops, immediately the cat showed up. Later I understood. Each time the cat got milk it happened with the same ritual: Shuffling with a saucer with milk in it.
Provide essential life needs (food) is THE way to learn, condition, teach discipline. See how they do it with dolphins, horses, dogs and so on.
Conditioning is an important facet in pigeon racing as well.
All champions condition their birds, though some do not realize this themselves.
By conditioning you can get disciplined manageable pigeons. Pigeons that do what you want them to do.
Fanciers that persuade birds to enter the loft by saying "come come" are already kind of conditioning. What matters is that, every time you feed the birds, you combine this with something else. For example a certain sound.
You can say "come come" or whatever. The point is that you ALWAYS do/say the same thing.
This picture shows more than words can say
- When B v Oeckel wants his training birds to enter the lofts he rings a bell and you cannot believe what effect this has. They storm into the loft, also after a race.
- A v d Wiel has a flashlight on the loft. If that turns on and off the same happens:
The birds hurry in like hell because they "know" what that means: Food.
- I myself have always a whistle in my pocket. Already when the birds are very young
I whistle on it when I feed them.
And I keep on doing this, even when the birds are eating. Alternately I whisper "come, come.""
WHAT you say is not important though. This can also be " f#ck off " or something else. Like mentioned before the condition is you say the same thing always.
- Klak had his stick . A few taps on the floor and the pigeons flew into their boxes.
Nothing more annoying than pigeons that are scared or lack discipline .
Sometimes I write "pigeons may be scared by nature but most of them are MADE scared by the fancier who is not a real pigeon man".
It is the story of heredity and environment .
You cannot start early enough to make babies "manageable ".
Even when they are still in the nest.
There may always be babies that do not enter the loft as fast as the others when you call them in. What some fanciers do then is to feed them later on, when they finally have come in. This is not conditioning, on the contrary.
By doing this you are spoiling your babies for the rest of their lives.
They get a reward for bad behavior.
If my babies do not enter the loft soon enough I close the window behind the trap
and they can have a night sleeping outside.
And this never made a bird sick.
Conditioning includes much more.
Entering the loft always wearing the same clothes with always a sweet like peanuts is also conditioning .
Why do babies of some fanciers spontaneously go into the basket whenever they
put a basket into loft and why do my birds not do that?
Now should know. Mine were not conditioned.
Sometimes you hear fanciers say that they experienced that it made no difference if they showed the racers their partner before basketing.
Of course this makes no difference!
Or you must be a man who likes extra work and basket pigeons excitedly.
Being put into a basket, the stay in the basket, the trip to the release station again and again means enough for pigeons.
They know what is going on. There is no need to show the partner as well.
And by the way : Horses, dogs, dolphins, etc. get their sweet not until AFTER they also showed their tricks.
"Total widowhood (racing both sexes) is not uncontroversial, but I practice this since 2006. The advantage is that you can race all the birds, none stay home, so you need half as many birds as the man who races "regular widowhood".
A disadvantage is that the cocks could do better.
In late February, the sexes are separated at my place. In March I start tossing them.
I put the birds into the basket, open the connecting door between the 2 sections and open the nestboxes. Then I go on the road with them.
When I get home from the first toss the pigeons usually fly around happily and do not feel like entering the loft at all. Once inside, I let them together for two hours or so and then they are separated again.
After the fourth toss not one bird will fly around when I get home.
AND NOW ?
Now when I am writing this it is middle of March, the racing season will start soon.
"This year will be my year" a fellow fancier says every spring.
His optimism is laudable, but I do not venture to say such statements.
Several of my pigeons have proven to be good.
But will they also be good this year?
That will depend on the form, which is at least as important as quality.
If I had the choice: Pool money on a super bird without form or on an average bird in top condition, I would choose the second.
And stuff to bring the pigeons in good shape?
This stuff only exists in the nursery of our imagination and in advertisements of brokers in castles in the air.
THE VET MAYBE?
Even vets and chemists cannot provide you with such stuff. They can cure birds that are sick. And if they perform better later on the fancier thinks that the stuff that he got from the vet brought the condition.
That is a widespread misconception. Through the medicine the birds got rid of harmful bacteria an viruses. That is what happened!
The veterinarian who claims the opposite ("his stuff created form") may present me with his stuff. I will reward him richly and make him famous. Because as long as pigeon sport exists fanciers have been looking for such a "magician".