|Author: Bob Rowland||Title: Let's talk about... Ugly pigeons!|
|Date: 2005-09-03 22:29:13||Uploaded by: webmaster|
This is not a children's story about the ugly duckling that grows up to
become a beautiful black swan nor is it about Cinderella that gets
cleaned up, meets the Handsome Prince, and they fall madly in love and
live happily ever after. This is about ugly pigeons that have ugly
parents and will also produce ugly offspring.
The current dilemma is that we are looking for ONLY BEAUTIFUL PIGEONS.
If a pigeon is not so beautiful, we look for a reason to eliminate it
from our future. Perhaps we would think differently if our best Racing
Pigeon was also not such a beautiful one. My first 3 time winner was
long, skinny, and deep but he sure made me look good when my name was at
the top of the race result sheet. I would gladly have a loft full of
these same athletes as on many races one gets the recognition because of
their results and not their beauty.
We need to ask ourselves if we are looking for beauty or performance!
Most will say both but from my many years of experience in this game, I
found that getting a pigeon to perform near the top of the sheet was
much more difficult than it is to buy and then breed only beautiful
pigeons. Then the trick is to make these beautiful pigeons win!!
I know of those that have these beautiful specimens but will not race
them for fear of losing them. So now I must ask if this is merely an ego
situation? When we visit lofts there are people that want to tell us
about what famous pigeon they have children from. Rarely do I hear them
say that this pigeon from the special one has bred a number of winners.
All of us would like to think that we have something special and
bragging rights seem to be more important than what the facts actually are.
The good pigeons generally come from the good ones but when you look at
the OLD PIGEON BOOKS of 40 to 60 years ago, the photos of the pigeons
were mostly NOT RETOUCHED!! This means that what you were showed in the
photo. Many were not so beautiful! Now we have specialists that can take
a picture of a pigeon and with the help of a good sharp scissors or
knife, they can make many things appear differently than they really
are. This has all become part of the game. Look at any publication and
notice the appearance of most of the sales ads. There is no comparison
to those that attempt a picture of their pigeons and have not mastered
the art of posing and retouching their pigeons.
Another problem that happens often is the distance of the races that
some champions did well in are generally not given. The name of the city
is given but to many of us that are living in a different country, we
don't know how far the distance really is. In addition to that, when you
see a pigeon with a long string of top positions, generally this is from
a sprint pigeon. This is because of the ability to send that pigeon to
many of these short races. For a pigeon to have a string of victories at
500 miles or greater, this is very difficult simply because of the time
it takes to recuperate the pigeon after their return from a long race.
With sprint pigeons they can be flown weekly and in some cases, more
than once per week. For a good long distance pigeon to be entered into
50 or 60 long distance races, this pigeon would have to be more than a
few years old while the sprinter that is being entered in only short
races can be flown many times in just one season.
We must make up our mind as to what we wish to be known for and then to
concentrate with that specialty being the key to all our preparations.
If you want to be a great long distance racer, then you must have
pigeons that are bred for the ability to go the distance. These pigeons
will probably look and handle differently than the sprinters that
everyone seems to be seeking.
The world is full of 6 hour pigeons so there will always be more of them
shipped to the races of that required time to complete. As the time
stretches out, the pigeons begin to give up and this I refer to as the
fatigue factor. We all have the wall that stops us from doing certain
things and our pigeons are also only capable of so much. Some pigeons
hit the wall quickly while others can maintain for a longer period of time.
There are no RECIPES for success that are a guarantee. In all my
writings I try to get you to think about what I have just said. Many
tell me that I do NOT tell them what to do and this is because I don't
know what you did yesterday so how can I tell you what to do with them
today? Also, unless I live in your area and am familiar with your course
and the basic obstacles of it, how can anyone tell you what must be done
What I can tell you is that the recipe requires GREAT PIGEONS, a loft
that is comfortable and disease free, and a system that fits with you
and your pigeons, IN YOUR AREA!!
When I moved from Wisconsin to Florida, I brought my pigeons with me
that won before. Some of those pigeons have continued to give me wins
here in Florida but there were also lines that were excellent in the
Wisconsin environment and they have dissolved here in Florida. Try
moving an eskimos to the equator or one of the equatorial tribes to
Antarctica and see if they will survive. Some may but there will be more
attrition than success.
Your feed will also vary greatly from climate to climate as the
ingredients required for one climate may be a hindrance in another
climate. Here in Florida, the squirrels are small and have no fat as
they do not need it to survive a Florida winter and yet the squirrels in
Wisconsin had to have layers of fat or they could not survive the brutal
The amount of feathering varies differently here in Florida as compared
to Wisconsin. Although I believe the number of feathers is the same, the
quality of the feathers appear to be different. In Wisconsin I would
allow my pigeons to be in the aviary during the moult as this seemed to
give them an abundance of thick feathers to maintain their warmth for
the winter and here in the sun of Florida, the pigeons appear to require
more oils in their feed as the sun has a brutal effect on the feathers
due to the UV Rays and for them to keep the feathers soft and supple
requires an abundance of oil so they can use their preening gland to
keep their feathers from drying out.
We seem to worry so much about how our pigeons appear and yet when it
comes to feeding them we also seem to try to do this as cheaply as
possible. I don't believe good feathering is obtained by using cheap
feeds as they are mostly carbohydrates rather than protein and oils.
Does it make sense to buy expensive pigeons with many sellers costing in
the thousands for a young one and yet we try to save $2 on our feed?
For my self, I would rather have pigeons that win or place near the top
of the race sheet often and then if they are beautiful, then I am really
a happy boy but my goal in this sport is to win races and to experiment
to find better ways than what we presently do for our pigeons. I am sure
I shoot myself in the foot quite often but every now and then the sport
gets a kick forward because of the experimenters and pioneers of the
sport trying what others won't do.
It is my belief that Mother Nature will only allow us to make so many
mistakes and then her rules will come back to stop us from going any
further with that idea. There will always be some that will make their
mark as the Janssen Brothers did but as they sold many pigeons, others
attempted to do better than they had and in many cases, they failed to
just maintain the level they had purchased.
Remember that nobody knows your pigeons any better than you do so don't
be concerned about whether people find your pigeons beautiful or ugly.
If all they see from you is a result sheet, this should be enough to
impress them or nothing else counts. If your pigeons can't win for you
or anybody else, then I would say we have missed the boat and are
treading water until we drown.
I hope this message may have acted as a life line to you so that you can
proceed forward to a high level in the sport with your current pigeons.
If so, then you are evaluating truly what you are doing with your
pigeons and your future.
SpringHill, FLorida USA
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