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Why should we change????


My article of last week unexpectedly took care of a lot of comments. Some could not believe it. And some were complementary and asked to stay independent as a magazine and not to end up in a certain influence. “Winning” is for the fanciers and when asked it won’t be screened no matter whose interest. Pigeon sport needs excellent information. We try hard to arrange that and seen the lot of contributors we have this will certainly happen.


This article will deal with a subject that is in close relationship with last weeks subject dope. Next to a stimulating effect there is another danger attached for pigeon sport.


The use of dope hides a number of things with pigeons. I’ll give an example. When we notice with our birds that after blinking of the eye the so-called third eyelid stays visible then this has a cause. And you must find the problem. And solve it. That comes with our hobby. And makes it so attractive.


Because of the many adds of the pigeon doctors with tips many fanciers think that for each problem the doc has something. The waiting rooms of the pigeon doctors therefore look like churches then places were “patients” are seen. The doc comes and gets you and 10 footsteps further he knows you problem and puts the medicine on the table. Pay and go. Many fanciers visit the pigeon doctors to shop. The bag is filled up. And the doctor doesn’t even ask where it is for. Only the shopping list is checked if all is in the bag. And a happy fancier goes home with a bag full of “hope” for the next race weekend.


I work in an Academic Medical Centre where a lot of research is done. When patients are seen by a doctor they come for special care. There is no shopping and a bag is filled up with medicines. Seen it happen?? In pigeon sport it is different. Have a look at a show and see what is offered for sale as pigeon medicines. And sold by people that did not study medicine. In our sport a whole lot is possible. And the specialized pigeon vets hardly don’t do any research anymore and have turned into sales people. I know only a few vets that take their profession seriously. And simply refuse to send stuff over the mail. Depots are arising quickly and almost around the corner you can get a lot without having to make a call. So simple is it to get medicines. From the shop window or from under the table….


What are the consequences? The consequences of using to many medicines when it is not needed is, that pigeons are worn out sooner. Pigeons don’t last that long if we keep filling them up with all kind of rubbish. Or are basketed for a race without being able to notice that the bird cannot make it home anymore. But that is not the worse of all.


The worse of all is that the use of dope has entered our sport quietly through the backdoor. I don’t think it makes pigeons fly any faster. In my eyes the bird taking the shortest route home is the fastest one.


Fanciers think it makes pigeons fly faster. Certain stuff make pigeons fly longer. Such birds can fly longer at high speed because they don’t feel tiredness. Fanciers say they fly faster. But this isn’t so.


Another reason is that the orientation system is influenced in a positive way. Pigeons in top condition orientate better and fly home in a straight line.


First I have to make you a confession before you start asking more questions. I don’t know anything about dope. My meaning is nobody should use it on his birds. It is not fair and it is not allowed either. That’s why I’m not interested to find out. So know questions on this subject are not answered and I don’t want any contact with fanciers that have another opinion.


Allright. Or better not right. Dope has set foot in our sport. I find it my duty to point out to fanciers willing to listen the dangers of it and the treats it causes to our sport in general. The last one is simple. We only seem to get into the normal magazines when some fancier has been caught giving dope to his birds. So negative.


The other treat is that successes are so easily, that fanciers don’t want to think about it. There are not interested in other kinds of knowledge. Some drops into the water and go for it!


Pigeons full of dope feel top of the bill for a very long time. Top form all the time. Something a normal bird can hold for a couple of weeks. So it has a positive influence on vitality. Where we normally feel difference between birds and see it, in this case we don’t. All birds just handle the very same under the influence of dope. Just incredible. I have visited a top loft of which I thought I eat both my shoes if you are going to win 1 race. Shortly before the season I went to see him again to have another look. What I saw was a world of difference. I cannot get that done. There a all right or not. And when they are not all right it takes a lot of time to get it to turn around. It sometimes takes the whole season.


What happens is disaster. All of a sudden all pigeons have turned into champions. Because of this fanciers use wrong selection standards. If they select on results. And fanciers buy because of results. Buy wrong. In the end the quality has gone down. This happens more then often when we visit auctions. Quality has gone down definitely. And the public relation machine is the only thing left to make money.


Another danger even is bigger. Pigeons in top form because of dope catch less easy diseases. When the top form leaves because the fancier has stopped giving dope, then his birds do catch up all kinds of diseases easily. And what is worse medicines don’t help that good anymore. For that reason certain top lofts sell out so often.


Lets not forget that because of wrong selection and wrong use of medicines the vitality of such birds is not so good. And disease spreading organisms get resistant. In other words if a disease breaks out there is no medicine to help.


Those things do happen already. In our sport there is an extraordinary things to spread bacteria and viruses in no time: the pigeon transporter.


As known many viruses are airborne. Not to let this happen you have to refresh the air inside the transporter. The Dutch national pigeon organization is almost 10 years thinking hard whether it is needed to ventilate inside a pigeon transporter. Ask a fancier and he will say: look at my loft. And one sees that he looks after the ventilation of his loft. But when it comes up to ventilation of pigeon trucks our national organization (NPO) decides. And to make it happen the national sections. And they are not interested at all. Because it costs lots of money. Why not invest in the future of your sport? Some have come to their senses and make the needed change.


Then other rubbish spreads through the droppings. When we basken we like to spread out birds over as many baskets as possible. A basket might not open up, right?? An ideal possibility to get into contact with as much as possible lofts. The birds bring droppings home at their feet or it gets into their stomach when attached to the food. Take your wins.


And there is another possibility to catch a disease: through the drinking water in the transporter. Have you ever paid attention if the conveyer cleans up the drinking facilities?? Or empties the water tank so the inside can dry up? And just before leaving fills it up again with fresh water? No you don’t! At home we never clean our drinkers do we?? Never give fresh water… All not needed… Right??


Then something else. Willem Mulder has written an excellent article on the subject: mycotoxines. It will be available in English in this issue or very soon. Lately we talked about it how it was possible the quality of food is so much worse then it used to be. Willem gave a simple answer. Farmers stop farming. They change their businesses into camping’s. Or sell out to city people looking for piece and quiet. Food gets scarce. Quality goes down and prices go up. In the old days the worse maize became feed for the pigeons in the transporter. We smell at every piece of grain three times before we give it to our birds. Have you ever checked to the quality of the food in the transporter?? Show me some hands. Who?????????


I once made a terrible fuss to a conveyer who intended to feed bad maize to the birds in the transporter. I will spare you the details. But one thing is sure. Those birds would have poisoned. Read the article of Willem Mulder. If you don’t believe me, maybe you believe somebody else….


But I can write whole books right here and now and nothing will change. Everything will stay like it used to be. It has always been good this way. But one day your birds catch up something. Because of a bad ventilation in the transporter. Because of bad droppings, bad food or bad water. Ahhhh nothing is the matter. Untill…..


Until the moment comes a stress situation turns up. And those we have enough in the sport:


pairing up
chasing for eggs
laying eggs
raise youngsters
road training
being inside a transporter
working hard on difficult races
straying around for a couple of days
and you can think of a couple of more yourself.
Then the problem suddenly is there. And strikes hard. Old birds die within a day. And soon more follow. Young die in the nests. And the old birds are separated to stop the problem. You don’t know what to do anymore. Help me please! Help……..


Awake? Or goodnight…??

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Steven van Breemen