The only certainty
In the pigeon magazine of April 3rd were some interesting loft reports.
Reports about real champions.
Many would also like to play as well as they and knowing that there is more than just good pigeons this may lead people into the temptation to imitate those champions.
But imitate champions is, strange as it may sound, risky business.
DIRK VAN DEN BULCK.
One report was about Dirk van den Bulck.
He races few birds only but is real good in the sprint races.
He hardly loses any youngsters and that is something remarkable today.
Today almost everybody loses lots of babies.
It was late March and bitterly cold. Many fanciers found it too cold to let the old birds out. And what could you read about v d Bulk?
He had tossed his youngsters, then about 10 weeks old, ten times already.
So that is it?
Start training at an early age and very frequently toss the babies?
Is that the way to prevent those heavy losses?
There is another fancier who hardly loses any babies: Boeckx is the name.
Others lose so many babies because they start training too early Boeckx says.
Youngsters in good shape need not be tossed much.
Vet Gijsbrechts agrees with him.
Only short distance players benefit from frequent training is the general view.
But Boeckx only races... short distance!
Loft training is considered to be very important.
Some do not feel at ease if their pigeons do not train twice a day.
Boeckx is different though.
He does not even train his birds ONCE a day. During the week his hens are in an aviary and hardly fly out at all. In the weekend he destroys the races with those hens.
W de Bruyn has bad experiences with trading birds. Others were always successful with his birds, he always failed with birds from others.
This year this should change with pigeons from Luc van Mechelen.
So to Luc we both went. We saw his birds and were shocked by their breath taking condition.
Luc thought that he owed this super condition to his loft which he had changed.
The ceiling was removed and above the heads of the birds his loft was completely open now.
The cold chilly wind inside made us shiver.
So lofts should be open?
The revelation of the last few years, is Bert Vanden Berghe from Flanders.
A "young" starter but a sensational one. Even in the Nationals against the big shots he is outstanding.
How could he become so good so soon?
Good pigeons of course and ... a good loft.
His loft is dry and warm with no ventilation at all. Above the heads of the birds a ceiling shuts off all incoming and out going air.
What is good and what is wrong?
You say it.
I had a dinner with the champions Vandenabeele, R Cools, Vanden Berge, de Bruyn, de Smeyter and vet H de Weerd.
Four hours we talked pigeons and this was interesting, because... There was nothing to learn!
I will tell you why.
- Some vets say it is better to inject birds against smallpox and not use the brush.
"Nonsense" dr. H de Weerd says. "The brush is still the best."
- Andre Roodhooft is one of the champions who lost their belief in tea for pigeons. Vandenabeele on the other hand believes in it. He was also successful with birds that had blue flesh, while others even dare not race such birds.
- Several veterinarians believe that vaccination against paramyxovirus only makes sense when the birds are old enough, at least two months.
H de W says the best thing to do is vaccinate immediately after weaning and later possibly a second time.
- Paratyphoid is another contentious issue.
Especially vaccinating is debatable.
The vets Schroeder, Herbots and others advise to vaccinate, while the vets de Weerd and Gijsbrechts say vaccinating is useless.
Dr. H de Weerd and vet Schroeder claim that birds that suffered from paratyphoid can fully recover and race well again. Other vets deny this and advise to eliminate such birds.
Baytril and Dicural are supposed to be the best medicine.
- It cannot be denied that L Claessen was a good racer. He found feeding of no importance at all. Many others agree with him and give their pigeons the same mixture the whole year round.
Rik Cools and Gaby on the other hand believe in adding extra energy when birds are entered for long and hard races.
- Personally I have not treated my birds against trichomonas for years. I think it is the garlic in the drinker that is responsible for this.
H de Weerd finds that acids in the drinker to prevent trichomonas is nonsense, while vet Herbots believes in it.
Many foreign fanciers only want Belgian pigeons whose ring starts with a six.
So birds from Antwerp.
Gaby Vandenabeele and Rik Cools could understand, since Antwerp pigeons may be faster and better in the middle distance.
And in some countries they fly short distance or young birds only.
But they think birds from Flanders are superior when races are longer than 600 kilometers and the speed is lower than 1.200 mpm.
Vandenabeele believes that competition in the Netherlands and certainly in Germany is less strong because those fanciers there basket all their birds, while the Belgians only race their best. On the other hand the Dutch and Germans do not have a high opinion about Belgian birds, because of little birdage competing.
"There are many roads lead to Rome" decided the H de W after we had changed our opinions.
This old clich' will never make it in "the great quote book" but the diner we had proved once again that the only certainty in pigeon racing is that there are no certainties!