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The return of the hens

Nowadays there is for (some) men the Viagra pill. Women (again ‘some’) are not happy about that, as they do not know how to deal with it.
They already had their pill and now the other half of mankind has theirs.
The point is that the pill for men may result in something that women try to prevent with theirs.
That’s why problems were bound to rise after the introduction of Viagra.
In recent years women managed to get equal to men or even more; with their salves, their oils, shoulder fillings, other fillings and push ups they even threatened to crush men.
A then came Viagra.
It is especially women that are not too young that regret the pill that solves hanging problems with men.
So far they could sleep peacefully or watch their favourite television program after their husbands had come home from work, as those guys lay snoring on the couch, completely exhausted.
But Viagra changed the lives of many women dramatically. They are not the superior sex any more.

Many men who were humiliated and burned out so much in the past are trapping their feet with impatience now when they are awaiting their wives from the mall, as they can handle the whole world again since they have Viagra.
‘Where there is a pill there is a way.’
The strange thing though is that the opposite happened with regard to pigeons.
With pigeons it is the hens that are making a dramatic revival.
In the past fanciers raced cocks mainly, especially in old bird racing, as cocks were supposed to be superior but nowadays they ‘go to war’ with hens and very successfully indeed.
Stars such as Verkerk, v d Merwe, Geerts, Van Hove Uytterhoeven, Engels, van Elsacker, de Bruyn and so on do not risk to back the wrong horse, that’s why they race hens as well.
It was infamous ‘Paula’ from Remi de Mey and the even more spectacular ‘Fieneke’ from the late Flor Vervoort that set an example.
Both birds were such sensational racers that many eye brows were raised; hens coult also win as it appeared.
This was a dramatic development. It was well known that in ‘young bird racing’ hens were better, but old birds was a different story people always thought.

Is it true indeed that young hens race better than young cocks?
I myself have a pretty good bookkeeping about my pigeons and have the results of years back neatly arranged in maps
I must admit though I do not often look at them, as that would make me feel sad.
That bookkeeping shows me that once there were about 120 fanciers in my little hometown alone, nowadays there are only 35 left.
In the past there were four clubs, now there is only one; in the past there was pretty much money in the races, the money is gone now.
Apparently people rather spend their money on feed, as they keep far more pigeons than before. Many of them do so in order to enhance chances to have that lucky winner that will put them in the spotlights, which may help selling birds.
But I am not the only one that has a bookkeeping, that from a fellow sportsman is even more precise than mine.
He writes down EVERYTHING and works with statistics, graphics and percentages in all possible ways.
That information teaches him that he had won 52 young bird races in the last decade, 38 of them were won by hens.
He also made a study about young Ace pigeons; two third of them were hens!
He also found that from the last 207 young bird races no less than 149 were won by hens.
But there is not only his bookkeeping and mine, from prestigious Nationals such as Orleans and Bourges the winner is a hen in most cases as well.
So if we assume that we breed as many cocks as hens we just can’t deny that hens perform better, at least in young bird racing.

But there is not only a difference in results.
Nobody knows why, but both in Holland and Belgium cocks easier get lost than hens.
That is bad for those who fancy old bird races with widowhood cocks, as losing young cocks might put their next season at stake.
Talking about widowhood, with hens there are 2 possibilities; you can race them natural or on widowhood.
As for racing natural one may wonder what their best position is; on fresh eggs, on eggs that are about 10 days old, on eggs that are about to hatch, on new born babies or on older ones?
There is no direct answer to these questions, as it differs from one pigeon to the other. Some perform better when they have fresh eggs; for others the favourite position is pumping an older baby, but the majority are at their best when they have babies of about 6 to 12 days old.
That’s why the young bird specialists do everything they can to have their hens on this ‘ideal’ position when an important race is on the agenda.
The more hens they can enter on this position the more they can rely on a good result. Therefore their expectations are as tight as the elastic in the underwear of Dolly Parton when the race is on.
Whereas pretty many fanciers in Holland and Belgium race young hens natural, this system is out dated for old birds.
Hens that are raced as old birds are always raced on widowhood.
The strange thing is that such hens are at their best as yearlings; only very few perform well when they are older.

Why young hens do better than young cocks is hard to tell but there are striking differences between both sexes apart from the fact that they are cocks and hens.
- Cocks fight in the baskets on the way to the release station. Therefore they often arrive home with eyes and noses that are hurt or flights that are broken. Due to the fighting they waste energy that they could better save for the race. As hens are more peaceful the trip to the release station is more relaxing for them and consequently it does them less harm.
- Hens can be raced more often than cocks (the more the better), as they seem to recover faster; cocks sometimes need a break.
- Hens will train like hell when raced on widowhood. When they are in super shape some fanciers even dare not let them out in the evening, as they might not return until the following day. Hens that are raced NATURAL do NOT practise loft training, that’s why you will have to go on the road with them, which may be an inconvenience.

But it is not all gold that glitters, racing hens also has its disadvantages:
When the sexes are separated they easily mate amongst each other and if that is the case you can forget a good result; in fact hens with lesbian characteristics are not fit to be raced on widowhood at all.
They should not love but hate each other!
Lesbian hens are seldom a problem when raced natural.
Another disadvantage of racing hens natural is that they may lay eggs or be on the point of laying eggs and such birds cannot be raced either.
Furthermore hens that are raced natural are in super shape for 2 or 3 weeks only; that is when they are on eggs for at least 10 days and the two weeks that follow.
Concerning the two systems that I mentioned (natural and widowhood) it is important to know that not any hen can handle any system.
One will perform better when raced natural; the other is better fit for widowhood.
Hens that hang on to their nests and do not leave it when the mated cock does not show up for breeding are ideal to be raced natural.
As for widowhood those hot, lewd hens that mate whenever they have a chance are not the hens you can rely on.
The ideal types for widowhood are calm and cool and not eager to mate amongst each other or the moment they see a cock.

After having read this you may think that it is better to have good hens than good cocks. That would be true if only racing was concerned but there is more to it.
Off of good cocks you can breed numerous babies, whereas hens can give about 10 eggs per year maximum and as we know, racing is silver but breeding is gold.
Let’s finish by summarising some hot items.
a. As for young bird racing hens are undoubtedly better than cocks whether you race them natural or on widowhood does not matter.
b. Not every hen is fit for any system. If you race hens on widowhood it is better to have calm and cool types. Hens that mate amongst each other do not perform when raced on widowhood.
c. The disadvantage of racing hens on nest (natural) is that they do not train spontaneously around the loft; moreover they will be in super shape for only a couple of weeks maximum.
d. Old hens can also win, but mostly as a yearling only and raced on widowhood.

After this you can imagine that ‘young bird specialists’ prefer hens, whereas people that fancy widowhood with old birds will prefer cocks.
‘How can we see if a four week old bird is a cock or a hen?’ people often wonder.
To get an answer to this question they look at the rounding of the head, the flights, the size and even the toes.
That is all B.S.
With birds that are real young you are never sure about the sex.
Humans are far easier to distinguish, certainly after the introduction of Viagra…