Where and why
Every now and then people ask me where I go if I want to import birds and why I go to that specific fancier.
The point is that I have a reputation to be the first to find a new name with good birds.
Sometimes I am at the right place at the right time, ahead of others indeed.
Long way back I was the first to visit L Claessens with Taiwanese fanciers.
They did not buy since they never heard about that name then.
Later they wanted his birds but then they were too late.
About Vandenabeele the story is about the same.
It was in the early nineties that I shipped a bunch of Vandenabeele birds to Satoh, a pigeon dealer in Japan who wanted birds from a 'new name'.
Vandenabeele was not famous then but unfortunately Satoh did not find any clients for the birds.
I still remember his complaint:
'First people ask me to find new names and now that I got one they do not want his birds.'
The poor man had no other choice than to eliminate his Vandenabeeles and shortly after he found this was the biggest mistake he ever made.
It was in the beginning of this century that I introduced the birds from Heremans Ceusters to friends like David Lin, Kayama, Dinga, Omar Hamli and W de Bruyn.
They were pretty birds, cheap birds and most importantly good birds.
But business wise they should have bought more.
Only 3 years later many realised Heremans had quality birds but then they had to pay 3 or 4 times the price he used to charge.
Then there is J.
I prefer not to mention his full name since he is older and does not want to be bothered. He WAS real cheap and people who bought there all wanted more since they were good birds.
It was back in 2000 that I told W de Bruyn I knew about an un known fancier who had real good birds and who charged little money.
Together we went there, he bought a basket full of babies and one turned out to be a miracle bird both as a breeder and a racer.
If you want to import birds in order to improve your family one should carefully consider where to go; I mean in which area since the strength of the competition differs so much from one area to the other.
You have reason to be doubtful if again and again a fancier manages to win the 5 or even 10 first prizes. This is impossible in clubs or areas where competition is strong.
The best places to go are those where people specialise.
I mean where they all focus on a certain distance, either short distance, middle distance or long distance. There competition is strong.
Where fanciers race from 100 to 1,000 kilometres competition is less strong for the simple reason that in case of a middle distance race the long distance birds are also entered that mostly fail to win a decent prize.
And if there is a long distance race and the guys with short distance or middle distance birds participate that makes competition less strong again.
Bosua always says 'competition is strongest where people race for much money'.
There is some truth in it. In such areas people select strongly if not they literally will pay a price.
In areas where many people together enter few birds competition is stronger than in areas where few people enter many birds.
If in a race 300 birds were entered by say 75 fanciers and in another race 1.500 birds were entered by 25 fanciers I prefer the birds that did well in the race with 300 birds!
- I seldom bought from famous names. They mostly have very many birds and that is no pro. Moreover they mostly charge high prices because of their name.
- I prefer to buy from people who have few birds for the simple reason that they have no space to keep many. Thus they have no other choice than to get rid of birds that others would keep.
- The guy from whom I would want birds should not advertise!
Why does he advertise? No clients. And why does he have no clients? The answer is simple.
- I do not want birds from fanciers who medicate his birds a lot.
- If you only occasionally clean your lofts like me I find it not smart to buy from a man who scrapes his lofts daily or even more.
- Understandably a man from whom I would buy should race real well. Unfortunately foreigners face a problem here. How can they know if a man races well? Winning 30 prizes in a race means nothing if the fancier entered 100 or more birds. On the other hand winning 3 prizes on top is super if the fancier only entered 3 birds only. The guy who wins 30 prizes often gets the attention in the media, the fanciers with few birds seldom gets the credits he deserves. You need to see the complete result to find out how good or bad somebody is.
FANCIERS WHO RACE VERY FEW BIRDS WILL NEVER BECOME FAMOUS, REGARDLESS HOW GOOD THEIR RESULTS ARE.
- Furthermore I prefer not to buy old birds or early breeds. Serious fanciers do not sell such birds if they have confidence in them.
- And talking about confidence, this is probably the most important thing. When I see foreigners grading birds by looking in the eyes I think 'you should not look in the eyes of the bird but in those of the FANCIER.
Of course you still need a lot of good luck but it is often the same fanciers that are lucky when buying birds.
The reason is simple: These guys are just a bit smarter than others.
And what about the pedigree?
The paper itself does not mean much, neither do names.
On the other hand it stands to reason that the family must be good. I would not buy babies off a super bird if there are no other good birds in the family.
In conclusion 2 more things:
Very many super birds or their parents were presents, people got them for free.
In case I want birds from somebody I leave the choice up to him.
This is quite opposite of what some Taiwanese buyers do.
They ask fanciers here to mate a special cock with a special hen and from that pair they want babies.
The best pigeon of Belgium in 2006, raced by Crucke.
He bought it as a 4 week old for... 25 euro