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Leaving things the way they are…….


Last week we published an old Hints article in Dutch. When I read it I realized over the last five years nothing has changed at all. We just went on walking the old paths. The sections are only interested in their own little shops. Convoyers are not willing to think in the interest of the pigeons. The NPO bureau acts with the same arrogant management style. The NPO board shows little or no interest in the future. Clubs disappearing. And fancier numbers dropping.


Did anything change then? Sure. The clubs pay less interest to higher politics. And the ones that tried to suggest useful ideas stopped doing so. They spend time on other things. They don’t attend meetings anymore to tell their members what did change. That’s an easy job and time saving as nothing new ever comes up. The saved time is invested in the public relations of the local club. A very wise decision, because the club is the most important thing for the fancier.


Walking on the Spring Exchange I bumped into a well-known fancier.


“You know what?” he said.
I said: “No, please tell me.”


His members voted against a favorable opportunity with the releases. They opted for a mass release with federations situated all in the east now resulting in birds coming back from behind and against the wind.


“Are they that stupid or am I that clever? You tell me,” he said.
“If it is not me, then it certainly is not you. That’s how fanciers minds think,” I replied.
He nodded.
“But we can shake hands,” I said.


Our races had been turned once again into lotteries with unfair chances resulting in giving minutes to fanciers living farther away and clocking earlier. They didn’t vote with us. Once again pigeon politicians didn’t realize they were influencing the sport negatively. And when you try to make a point, the answer you get is that you can’t stand losing. Isn’t that it?


In my club they will let things be the way they are. And so right they are after the last confrontation with the justice system of the NPO. The day it happened the NPO secretary phoned me to ask if the release officers had gone mad to let the birds out in full rain. Birds on all the rooftops in his village he said. Do something about it, he said. So we did. And guess what? Case lost! The real-time radar images shown were considered to be fake! Release officers did a splendid job!


“We will let things go,” my club secretary said out of years of experience managing a big company. “Nothing can be done anymore on this level. Another level from outside will interfere. Know what? We will focus on a better atmosphere in our own club. And what happens elsewhere is not of interest anymore.”


I think he is right. No, I know for sure now.


I’m going to be 51. I can remember the day 20 years ago what birds I had. What plans I made. I wanted to leave something behind for the sport. I think I may say I have done something for the sport. When I was 31, I wanted to help realizing necessary changes and looked on guys of 51 as old-timers and conservatives. In ten years I’m going to be 61. Then junior flyers will talk about that stupid old man who knows it all. Therefore, it is time now to go back to the real sport. Spend more time with the birds. Feeding. Cleaning. Observing. Training and racing birds. To enjoy the birds in my own backyard. Have fun in my own club. Play pool. Tell jokes at the bar. And laugh. And let outside things go the way it goes. Let a fancier of 31 stand up and put as much energy in the sport as I have done. Let him spend his energy as positive as possible. And let him go on the positive energy he receives back on his doings. And when negative energy hits him it is time for another young guy of 31. If they are around then.




My cocks have gone mad. Last Friday I took their hens and youngsters away. In the beginning they were not fed much, but the last couple of days I had given them a bit more. Last night I had to let one in at dusk. He had been gone for hours. I’ll put the brakes on, otherwise I might loose birds. And I’m not looking for that.


Two have gone from the team already. One with a loose shoulder. I thought I would be lucky this year, but touched the wrong wood obviously. A pity. But it is a nice inbred red cock from my foundation cock “Het Boerke”. I like him so he is going to the stock loft. The other one was a mealy. Not one of my favorites. When the trainings were pushed up and he had a big youngster in the nest bowl he caught E-coli. But I did not reach for the medicines like I used to do before. I just let it go and watched what would happen. I trusted the good job the Profi Solution would take do. And so it did. And I got rid of the mealy after a couple of days. The virus had found its way into the liver and had worn him out totally. Pity.


The youngsters are doing great. Knock on wood! I still add 1/3 Profi Solution to the mixture and I don’t hear my wife complain they don’t listen when she calls them in. That’s a signal something is not working properly. Profi Solution makes the inside work much better and birds with a good working digestive system are hungry always the same time one day later. Birds with a not good working system are not hungry. They stay out. Miss a meal and trouble starts. They are on their own now for six weeks and nothing to worry about. Great! They grow and develop super. On the weekend is the only time I can watch them. And it makes me feel good having youngsters doing all right.


I hope this coming weekend the weather will be good. Then it is time to put the birds in the basket. But not too far as there is not much energy around needed for the birds to orientate. So they will use visual orientation. That has to be updated first and good weather is needed then. As soon as they leave from the spot right away, you may go to another place further away. Let the birds tell you how it is and listen to them. Train a lot in the coming weeks. The birds will feel more secure. And that is needed. When convoyers think the bad weather is perfect to release in, then they will need it.


After the weekend I’m going to let them together again with their hens for another nest before the start of the season. It will be a short stay of 5 days. Not more, otherwise they will change the first primary flights and we don’t want that. I will start a bit different. Before the first race they will be 10 days on widowhood. I hope to train them the weekend before the first race a couple of times and the last time they will find their hen in their box. Then they must understand the game and are ready to roll.


In this time of the year it you need to observe your birds well. I mean health wise. If they are healthy you can expect great things to happen. It is known birds with the very best health orientate best. The ones that are not in good health are doomed to fly in the pack. And you even might loose them. Take care you will not find yourself in the waiting room of the vet after 2-3 weeks. Because the birds don’t want to perform the way you want them to. Then you are too late mate! Observe your birds well now. Are they flying high and fast? Or are they making slow turns around your house? 

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Steven van Breemen