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message posted on Friday, March 4th, 2011

“Just like women like sex, the pigeons like peanuts...”

We all know for sure that women like sex and pigeons like peanuts.  That’s what I experienced when I lived in Taiwan as a single man.  There’s a song that says: “A bachelor only goes to sleep when he saw the stars, when he enjoyed his freedom, when he says it was nice, thanks and goodbye.”  I never met the guy who sang this song, in Taiwan and I’m sure he wouldn’t like it there.  He didn’t experience life the way I did, although I don’t have any regrets.  As use to say: “Don’t regret what you did but regret the things you didn’t do. A first conclusion: he who can talk well to women, who can seduce them… and always has some peanuts in his pocket, is the ideal fancier.  You can learn your pigeons all kinds of tricks with peanuts but they first have to do the trick before you give them the peanut as a reward…This really isn’t different with women…A second conclusion of the quoted text is necessary to mention, to convince you.  Not long ago, there was a proposition mentioned in the press with the question that women wouldn’t have sex while there was no government in Belgium.  This proposition was only just published when there was a protest from women. Isn’t that nice to hear?  Just think about it.

Now let’s get back to our pigeons… The beginning of March is the time to start darkening. We always start on March 1st till the beginning of May, concerning the old and the yearling birds.  We start at 18.00 hours in the evening till 8 the next morning.  The youngsters are darkened till the beginning of June, so three months and in an unusual way.  The young generation already gets darkened from 16.00 hours in the afternoon till 23.00 hours in the evening.  Here we use roll-down shutters that close and open automatically.  Our youngsters awaken by nature, so they can enjoy when the days get longer.  This gives them less stress, which is good for their resistance against diseases.  Daily fresh stones also helps to keep their health steady.  Also a regular degree of acids is very important to prevent all kinds of problems.  We only feed our young birds once a day till we stop the darkening.  So at the beginning of June, this changes.  From that moment we start to feed them twice a day; in the morning 2/3 candy seeds and 1/3 Super Diet.  At 11 o’clock they have to get outside.  With normal weather, they’re even locked outside but when it rains with a lot of wind, they’re free to choose.  Why so late?  Well, at the beginning of the season, there are a lot of pigeons in the air, releasements or fanciers who start the training flights.  There’s no need for them to get in contact with these kind of dangers so early in the season.  Around 2 in the afternoon, they are called inside, to eat for about an hour.  Why so long? Some youngsters fly like crazy and they don’t like to eat immediately after they get inside.  They need to recover before they start to eat.  When you didn’t notice and take away the food, you get problems afterwards. Young pigeons still have to grow a lot and they need to eat well.  When you don’t feed enough or don’t provide them the by-products they need, you’re looking for problems.  Mostly, when you have some apathetic pigeons, who are sitting quietly, it’s a mistake of the fancier.  They remain little children till their first training flights and children diseases are always there to break out.  It4s very important to observe the little ones very well. 

Our old and yearling birds are darkened, so we can play them till the last national race from Gueret, which is half September.  Half April, we change the time of darkening from 18.00 hours till 7 in the morning and this till May 1st, the moment we stop darkening the old and yearlings.  Till then, the racers only have to train once a day, but from the two last weeks of April, they have to train twice a day.  From that moment on, it gets serious
The beginning of March is also the ideal moment to get our birds vaccinated; as well the racers as the youngsters of 2011.  Paramixo and pocks are at the top of the list.  We still prefer the vaccination with Colombovac PM & Pox and here for we contact our vet Raf Herbots.  He’s a professional, who Works fast and correct; so we’re sure that everything goes by the book.

Question of a reader
He writes: “I read your story about  “Mysterie Lady” with a lot of interest.  How did you train her till the last national race from Gueret?”.

She’s stayed with her partner all the time and so she was trained and played like all other hens.  The last few weeks of the racing season of 2010, she was played on nest and as you know pigeons on nest almost don’t train but we made them train by flag.  One hour in the morning and one late in the afternoon.  Of course this takes a lot of efforts and work because you have to take them all of their nests and chase them outside.  It’s necessary to train till the last moment of the season.  This can only be done when you know that the pigeons use a lot of energy and so they have to regain this energy.  More than 20 weeks in row: fly, eat, drink, rest and sleep and this ritual is repeated till the last day of the season.  It all seems simple but it really isn’t… Have some patience, we will talk about it at the right moment.


Don’t forget to let your youngsters and racers get vaccinated.  Keep a close eye at your young birds, they deserve it more then ever.  They’re your hope for the future. Till next time!!!


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Michel Vanlint
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