The 2010 season in Holland and Belgium
2010 in Holland and Belgium
What a strange racing season we had.
Very few fanciers were consistent on the (semi)National long distance races.
Though good results on such races are more interesting business wise, I myself stick to middle distance.
The fact that good performances at long distance get more attention in the media I take for granted.
But also at short and middle distance I would not know of anybody who performed real well the whole year round.
I think the changeable weather that we had is responsible for that.
We had terribly hot days; races were even cancelled when temperatures rose up to 30 Celsius or higher, while in spring we had races in real cold weather.
There were also days when it never stopped raining.
Heat or cold, headwinds or tailwinds should not make much difference for good birds in good shape but 'good shape' was the problem for many.
I do not think the weather on racing day was decisive for the changeable results but the weather during the days before!
Because the weather has a great influence on the loft climate and the loft climate influences the condition more than anything else.
A good loft climate is more important than medicine, food additives and even quality.
I would rather pool money on an average bird in super shape than on a super bird without condition.
But it was almost impossible to have a constant good loft climate when the weather is as changeable as it was in 2010.
When it is cold and windy lofts that are closed off will be the better lofts.
In hot weather with no wind the same lofts that are closed off will turn into bad lofts that will put the condition down.
In tropical weather you need lofts that are open and well ventilated.
Therefore it is not strange that during the hot weeks that we had those fanciers who have an aviary before their lofts were the better racers.
A great mystery of the last decade is the losses of young birds, even when the weather is nice.
I wrote about that before.
2010 Was no different from previous years, some fanciers lost two third of their babies or even more.
And fanciers have questions.
- Why do those losses differ so much from one area to the other?
- Why do no birds get lost any more in August or later? Even squeakers without any experience, can safely be basketed then, the risk to lose them is almost nil.
If only worthless birds would get lost it would be no big deal but there are lots of examples that show that quality has nothing to do with it.
Numerous birds that got lost became super racers in the lofts of the fancier who caught them and who were allowed to keep them.
In 2010 we saw again that some fanciers race immense amounts of birds.
Champion H V is very much against mob fliers but he became one himself.
He kind of apologised:
'Next year I will race 150 old birds. I know it is bad for the sport but I have no choice since my biggest competitor will race 250. You win a war with an army, not with just a few soldiers.'
In the past fanciers who raced more than 20 birds were exceptions. Today those who race less than 30 birds are exceptions in some parts in the north of Holland.
Some of these mob fliers like it to see many birds come home; others race so many birds for business.
Today on many internet sites you find race results and in most cases only the first 25 or first 100 prizes are mentioned.
When foreign readers see the name of the same fancier several times on top he gets the idea this man performed well, but this is seldom true.
There is this man who won 4 early prizes from a national race, which seemed to be good indeed but if he had entered 'only' 30 birds he would not have been on the result sheet at all, since none of his 30 first pick birds won a prize.
In 2009 I myself participated in just ONE long distance race. I entered 3 birds (and three only!) and won 2nd and 3rd.
Against 9,334 pigeons I won 9th and 12th.
After the race 'the sensational results' of fellow fanciers were highlighted in the press. One won 18 prizes from 56 birds that he had entered; his first bird was clocked after my second (from three).
But' his name was 18 times on the result sheet and apparently this results was impressing than mine for the na've reporter of that race.
Now it may be clear that you need not race well to get a great name abroad.
What you need are MANY birds to race, preferably at long distance.
It reminds me of the mail that I got from a middle man from China who intended to go to Europe with clients.
He found me a 'knowledgably man' (hmm) and asked for names of fanciers with good birds.
I gave him 6 names of fantastic racers at Middle Distance.
The middle man however wanted other names since he found those 6 had no website and he could hardly find their names on Google either.
I was hardly surprised.
'Those six' never advertised, they hate publicity, they race few birds and the last thing that they want is visitors to buy birds from them.
Later on I heard the Chinese had visited some famous names and had bought birds there.
And now comes the funny part; believe it or not, some of those famous names got their best birds from some of the 6 names I had mentioned.
They had bought them for 50 euro per bird or less, while they themselves charged 500 e or more for babies.
Many of those mob fliers are dealers in illusions but unfortunately it will take some time before foreigners will realise that.
This year in Belgium 2 fanciers had a baby with incredible results.
Both of them had bred 6 babies of the same parents but' the others were no good.
Do people who pay fortunes for a bird think this is a super since the brother is also a super?
It is much smarter to buy more birds from the same fancier at a reasonable price than spend a fortune on the brother/sister of a super.
Understandably 'a reasonable price' is a disputable term.
But believe me:
Breeders ('Golden Pairs' Easterners say) that only produce champion birds only exist in the minds of daydreamers, on websites and in sales catalogues.
"The sky is the limit" some of those sellers of castles in the air say. But how can they say so when there are human foot steps on the moon?