Start or restart?
Like other years the champions were celebrated past winter.
And like other years they were mostly the same that climbed the podiums again.
The conclusion is that the same fanciers as well failed to be successful.
A sport with the same losers year after year is bound to lose its attractiveness.
Those people often know their birds lack quality or condition but they do not take action to change the situation for the better.
They do not have the ambition or are just too lazy.
The result may be they will lose interest and finally quit. If the results are poor year after year then there is only one way to make an end to this: Get rid of all your birds and start again.
And think about the loft. Is it a good loft?
Because it makes no sense to import birds that you then put in a loft in which it is hard for them to get into good shape.
So empty that loft and disinfect it.
Dettol and Virkon S are supposed to be the most effective disinfectors. When disinfecting make sure that every single inch is covered, no crack should be skipped. Spraying would not hurt either.
Afterwards the burner should do its work.
Only when you are sure all harmful bacteria, lice worm eggs and so on should be gone other (better) birds should be put into the lofts.
And what about building a completely new loft?
I have my doubts.
Building a new loft is costly. Such a loft will be free from pathogens indeed but there is no guarantee it will be a good loft now.
The point is that many lofts are no good while the fancier is not aware of that. Therefore it is advisable to ask experienced fanciers for advice.
Even the slightest changes may turn the loft into a loft that is much better.
Or the opposite of course. In Holland and Belgium it is ideal when the loft faces south east. This may be different elsewhere of course.
Believe me a good loft (this has nothing to do with a fancy loft) is of vital importance to perform well. And personally I find condition more important than quality.
I would rather pool money on an average bird in super condition than on a super bird that lacks condition. Unfortunately there are no standard rules for a good loft. Many totally different lofts may be good. Like I said "fancy" does not count. I saw too many lofts of which I thought: "How can birds fly so well in such a loft."
So the other step is: Other/better birds.
There are several ways how to get them.
- You can get pigeons from which you are going to breed.
- Or you can import birds that you will race.
But for the average fancier I prefer another, cheaper, method.
He should lay his hands on eggs.
But eggs without pigeons is a bit problematic.
You first need foster birds. And concerning this many people make mistakes.
Those foster birds cannot be healthy enough.
If not you will soon be in the same boat that you were on before and that is bound to sink sooner or later as the Dutch say.
The best thing is to get them from one fancier only.
Why "from one fancier only?"
Because bringing birds of different environments together often means trouble.
I myself ship pretty many birds abroad and never had problems until last year.
But this shipment was different!
The birds were in quarantaine for a long time with birds from other lofts.
Since the health of the foster parents is so important I would not take chances,
medicate them and have their health checked afterwards.
Only when you are sure they are in perfect health it is time to get eggs.
THE THREE "W"s.
The question you face now is:
Buy eggs Where, What kind of and from Whom.
Since even the best birds of the world also give rubbish my advice is to race the babies. If you put birds that are no good in the stock loft you will lose time again.
Racing them is a better and faster way to find out if they are any good.
The risk to lose them you should take for granted.
Naturally you should only import eggs from a good racer and this should be a man of whom you are sure he will do at least his best to help.
Should those eggs be from the racers or breeders?
I would prefer them from the racers.
"Breeder" is no more than a name that we put on a pigeon.
Moreover, most fanciers have breeders that have not proven anything yet. They are there because they had cost money, or because of a pedigree from here to Tokyo. Furthermore many breeders are pretty old.
Racers is a different story. They have proven something and are younger in most cases. I prefer babies of younger birds.
Those fanciers that repeatedly sell all their birds "older than'" know what they are doing.
THE THIRD "W"
From whom should you get eggs?
- First of all from a man who is trustful, as mentioned before.
- He must be of good will.
- He should be local. (Then you know the strength of the competition, his birds and the character of the person). Moreover locals will realise that they cannot give you rubbish since you often meet and every time he will be confronted with the quality of birds that you got from him.
- He must have been racing well for many years, without much medication and others should already be successful with his birds.
- Furthermore it is advisable to always buy birds or eggs from fanciers who have little space. Little space means that every year such a man has no other choice than to get rid of birds that are good enough for others to keep.
Eggs from 2 fanciers or maximum 3 should do.
It is better to mate the fosterparents some days AFTER the birds of which you will get eggs. These eggs you can keep cold for a week and under sit when the foster parents get eggs.
Like I said the advice in this article is for the AVERAGE fancier who cannot or who does not want to spend (much) money.
Having little money does not mean you have no future in this sport.
You should just be a bit smarter.