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message posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"If it cannot be done as it should... it should be done as it can"

Zoutleeuw: December 22nd, 2010
It's quiet at "BLUE HEAVEN LOFT". All the birds are breeding ... Every day we have given the birds some short-cut hay. It is quite a lot of fun to see how some birds willingly use it. The back and forth flying sharpens their swiftness and they find their way home almost blindly afterwards. But all that busy work and that back and forth flying with straw also teaches us a lot about the character and attachment to the nest that our birds are building. So we’d better watch out ...

Usually, the cocks are actively involved in building a nest. But every year we do have some hens too that build nests, while the cock is breeding. That’s something we like to see. Be sure to write down their ring numbers. Because they belong to your better birds... The image that you get here: a lazy and indifferent cock opposed to a driven and concerned hen...

In life it is the same story. You have households where the husband is the center, and where he organizes and runs everything. These households are considered normal. But you also have other households ... where it is the woman who is wearing the pants and is in control, while the man supervises quietly, rarely intervenes as long as it suits his convenience. I belong to this last group. I have a woman who can handle anything, fixes everything and runs the household seamlessly... while I see and feel that it’s good. Is that not beautiful? But then again, not everyone has 20 years of Taiwan behind him. I have all this time been searching for the perfect woman for me. I have looked everywhere and tried again and again ... And finally found my luck... If you are looking for such a long time, you really deserve it. And today I realize, better than anyone, that the choices I made in my life make me feel like I have won the lottery. The luck is on my side ... But how can you define happiness? It's an intense feeling that is difficult to describe. Once I read the following, it has always stayed with me: "YOU ARE THE SMITH OF YOUR OWN LUCK”. Certainly something to reflect upon.

And now back to the pigeons ... The coupling of our breeders has an annually returning scenario. First, we start with the testing of the cocks. One by one we check and handle every pigeon. Particular attention is given to the condition at the moment itself. Pigeons that are too fat and show too little vitality are regarded with suspicion and are set aside immediately. Of course we like a beautiful pigeon, with all the trimmings: silky plumage, perfect wing (rather long than short) with a skip of the seventh pin, a short rear wing, strong bones, firm and tightly closed tailbones, preferably as close as possible to the end of the sternum and above all an aero-dynamic equilibrium. Long and smooth muscles are a plus. But also the eyes are given the necessary attention. Yet I dare not say of myself that I am a real eye-man. I see everything as a whole. Because a pigeon with beautiful eyes, without many other qualities (listed above) is deceptive. That is also the case when talking about beautiful women. I've met women with very beautiful eyes and a seductive look... difficult for a greedy man to resist. And yet it is said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul. But if you look beyond that, you will soon be disillusioned. When you notice as a man that the figure and the shape fall short, well then your case is closed quickly. Beautiful and seductive eyes are not everything ... And with the pigeons this is no different. The view can look nice, but while laying in the hand, it is usually a disappointment. Because there are only two kinds of pigeons: the good and the bad, or even better defined, the appropriate and the inappropriate, or even the useful and the useless pigeons. It is therefore an important task of his pigeon fancier to assess them thoroughly and then make a choice.

ow can we do that ourselves? The good cocks always get, as far as possible, the same nest box. Experience teaches us that it is easier to assign hens to another nest box. Cocks are more likely to return to their former breeding box with all its consequences ... this is called expansion of territory. Once the cocks are placed, we move on to picking up the appropriate hens and this according to the same pattern we have chosen the cocks.
In the meantime everything, both from the cocks and the hens, is recorded and placed on file. These are mainly color of the plumage, sex, construction, figure, wing (short or long), long or short muscles, balance, equilibrium and finally a short, sharp appreciation of the whole. We never breed in compensation, large with small or vice versa has no chance. What we do however is search and look for an appropriate level of combination of both partners. This is easy for us because we previously have cleared the extremes. TOO BIG and TOO SMALL has been cleared ... we do not deviate from this norm, certainly not for pigeons that are meant to strengthen the breeding loft.

Something else we really believe in and therefore also take into account is this: Where can we link blue with blue, checker with checker. Why we do this has become clear already. Over the years, I noticed that, from the couples mentioned above, pigeons are born where the pigment of the color reflects better. This is best felt and seen when the pigeons climb to their highest level. When they get into good shape, you can see their colors more intensely. You should look into that, next season ....

And before we finally bring together the hens and the cocks, we are really looking at the eyes. Usually we link white eye cocks with hens with yellow eyes. That can be found in the records we made of each pigeon. Finally, we will always try, and that is necessarily our intention, to make sure that with every breeding pair, there is always one of the two partners with a full exploration circle. Preferably with the hen. Cocks with a full exploration cycle are rare, where hens with this property, and according to our standards chosen, usually give the best returns. A good loft cannot stay at top level for a long time, if it is not populated with some similar females ... You should try to take this into account...

Another few days and Christmas is coming ... The first youngsters in the nest ... a whole event we look forward to every year ... New life ... new hope. What it will be, remains an open question for us. But now there is hope and who hopes will live ... To all who read me, I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas, a good year end and a happy and prosperous NEW YEAR 2011 ... Until next time ...


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© 2004 Michel Vanlint
Michel Vanlint
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