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translation from Dutch by LCB
 Each advantage also has its disadvantage…
message posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2012

The week-end (19/05) before Bourges (26/05), our pigeons had to race Orléans (400km.). All birds went along in preparation to the first national race. We had the worst day of our life, never experienced before. It was a very big disappointment. The happier we were last week, the bigger the disappointment. Only a few small prizes and nothing else. The introduction of the last article :”Those that are happy about their victory yesterday, will have nothing to be proud of tomorrow.” So this also applies to us.
We searched for the cause, which has to be found as soon as possible. This is very important. In fact, our Dutch friend Willem called us on Sunday evening to ask what we did wrong.

  1. Was this the result of the recent change of one training flight to two a day? Each time, they’re obliged to fly for an hour by our balloons. May be it disturbed their rhythm.
  2. Could it be the white pealed peanuts? Although these come of a fabricant who makes the peanuts for human consumption. I only give these in the evening, before the night falls. The pigeons love it and especially our hens like to eat them before they drink and search their resting places for the night. Our pigeons were a bit heavier when we put them in the basket.
  3. May be we have to search with the big hemp? The kind that is used by fisher men. This is also used on regular times on our loft.
  4. Would it be the aromatic little stones we give every day?
  5. Something else to think about. Our cocks were still sitting on their little shelves in front of their boxes. Before basketing, we let them all running through each other and we took the birds one by one to put them in the baskets. May be they were too “hot”? Who’ll know?
  6. This season we didn’t give anything for the heads. We talked about it and explained a lot how to use it;  This will probably one of our options for the next days.
  7. Is it possible that our birds can’t take it any longer what we ask of them? Of course it’s possible but we doubt it. The national race from Bourges on 26/05 should tell more about it.
Energy builder
in preparation for the flight
for a super recovery

In the mean time, we interfered and treated them for the heads (Suanovil) and gave them a tablet against cancer. The race from Bourges didn’t give an answer to our problem.  It was better but we certainly didn’t come to our percentage of prizes we normally expect: 60 % prize.
Something we noticed was that not one pigeon that arrived home, went through their paws, several did when they got home from Orléans…Now they didn’t, after such a hard race of more than 6 hours racing over a distance of 460 km, at a speed between 1100 and 1200m./m. and all of this against a rather strong wind blowing our of the East. Nevertheless, our two first birds had mud on their paws, which was a sign that they looked for water and that they found it. We don’t like this but in these weather conditions, we understand and it can be explained.
Soon we will have our second national race from Chateauroux. The races follow very fast. Pigeons that don’t have a good condition, won’t be able to score. We try to do everything to get them all well… Giving them rest is an option but they have to fly, staying home is not our thing to do. So we will see…
As most fanciers with good results, also I thought that I knew all about our feathered friends. And certainly when you have a lot of experience of more than 50 years. But the opposite is true. We know a lot but certainly not enough to know the answer to every problem. Just like what went on with my racing hens, which are played on double widowhood.  They didn’t take a bath for more than a month. Of course I changed some things to the training program. In the month of April, the hens sonly could go outside in the late afternoon between 15 and 16.00 hours, all depending on the weather conditions. They could do whatever they wanted but they didn’t want to take a bath.  They drank of it but didn’t go into the water and so I started to worry. Till now, after the first middle distance race from Toury, they had to get into the air at 8 in the morning and the second time in the late afternoon. Well, believe it or not, but all hens wanted to take a bath, they were pushing each other to get into the water first. Now and then they suddenly went into the sky but every time they got on the ground, they wanted to get back into the water.
I really didn’t know that the hens preferred their bath in the morning and not in the afternoon. So, as you see, we certainly don’t know everything about our pigeons. We do know more about our women and those things are for sure. Women can be very nice, provocative and tempting. But they also can be as angry and false as a cat that can scratch at any time. They also are often jealous and suspicious. They are also able to find thousands of reasons to say no to their man when he approaches, we all know that for sure. Besides, I thought that the reward in the circus is given after the trick and certainly not before. It’s even worse, that women remember everything you tell them and they believe everything someone else tells them about you. It’s positive that they can forgive but they never forget. Women know that very well but we want be able to change their mentality ever.  Of course I don’t hate women, on the contrary, I love them with passion, intimate, like crazy and I even couldn’t live without them. Self service is not my thing, although it’s something that a lot of men do in times of need.
Inspection : it’s very important that we control our pigeons on regular times. When the boards of their eyes and their noses aren’t white, it can be seen from far. When the little feathers aren’t flat against their heads in the area of their ears, this can be noticed very well too.  Mostly these problems solve themselves when you let them get enough rest.  But who can do that when we’re in the middle of the season? If you want ton participate, these birds should be supported and treated as good as possible. I prefer to search the cause at first but when you can’t find it, it’s best to ask the advice of the man of science. An experienced and up to date vet like Raf Herbots can surely help you with your problems.
See you in two weeks.  Stay well and healthy.

Your servant


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Michel Vanlint
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