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translation from Dutch by LCB
 Where’s a will, there’s a way…
message posted on Thursday, December 27th, 2012

It’s cold outside, - 5 degrees (Celsius).  It’s misty and it snows without stopping. The visibility hardly is 2 till 300 metres. Beijing is at my feet, the immense capitol of the  Peoples Republic of China (PR China).  From my hotel room (KUNLUN), I notice the CITYMALL at the other side of the boulevard and I can also see a glimpse of  the WESTIN HOTEL, that rises high above the town.  Further, there’s also the LUFTHANSA SHOPPING CENTER. Already since 1982, we visit here minimum 1, 2 or even more a year. We know the environment and certainly the changes of the last years. You don’t think it’s possible, you really can’t imagine the progress of the Chines market of the last few years. For sure, the organisation of the Olympic Games are at the base of these changes.  Hereby the total infra structure of Beijing and the region, have had an enormous boost. When you didn’t see it with your own eyes, you can’t imagine the changes. Of course, the influence of the West has been very important in this development.  But the consequence is that the prices of everything can’t be compared to those of 15-20 years ago. But these changes also made sure that the Chinese products with the label ”MADE IN CHINA” are much more upgraded.

Your servant, The Lost Son, in the P.R. CHINA

And yes, the pigeon sport in China isn’t the same as it used to be, when they wanted but couldn’t. The sport that seems to have passed its peak in Belgium, it rises in China to an unknown height. “ONE LOFT RACES” are very popular here.  This time, we had the opportunity to visit such a complex of lofts, by guidance. The immense space where thousands of pigeons can stay, is and will remain remarkable. During the day the pigeons stay at the front side of the lofts, one big space without anything to sit on.  A space of which you could say it’s open below and not closed above. But because the open floor is covered with wooden slats, you can easily walk throughout the complex. They took care of fresh air but nevertheless I still have the impression that the pigeons didn’t seem that well. They sat there quietly and also a bit hungry.  During the night, the birds can move to a deeper space where they find sitting places in form of honeycombs and also slats on the floor covered with twined mats (+-5cm) in straw. These mats keep away the moisture and the cold during the night. Every month, these mats are burned and replaced by new ones. All pigeons had been treated against the most common diseases like Paramixo and pox but not much more is done. All the same for everybody… Only those that arrive later or the wounded birds get to a quarantine section where they get medicines and when they recovered well, they can return to the group.
It’s remarkable, but recently we heard the same story in Belgium. A wellknow long distance fancier build new lofts.  These lofts had a simple construction, about half a metre above the ground and orientated to the South South East. Below, a floor covered with wooden grates. The front is completely open and the backside of the loft is covered with flags that don’t let any wind through. The roof is covered with isolation plates “SANDWICH PANEEL” that are 30 centimetres longer at the front and minimum 1 metre at the back.  This fancier raced his pigeons on the long distance races in 2012 on this loft and he did well.  Normally these races are all done in the best and warmest period of the year. We can’t get writ of the impression that these lofts are not the ideal place to those birds that have to fly a heavy middle distance race every week. We’ll find out in 2013 because the owner of these lofts would like to change his ambitions towards the flights between 450 and 630 kilometres.
Of course, we wish this man the very best and a lot of success in 2013…to be followed…
A whole life among pigeons and women of all kinds, on 5 continents, of different nationalities, of all kind of measures and weights, small and big, all nicely chosen, one better than the other…but all of them taught me something and made me more experienced. I became homesick thinking about those days… The battle and the fire still is inside me, the urge to conquer has become a bit milder but the touch of an old cock that tries to conquer a young hen, is still present. This and a lot more were the power and the cause that brought me to the Far East for the second time in three weeks. Do I have regrets?  Of course not!  Till now, I never had regrets about anything I did. I do regret about things I didn’t do. That’s why it’s good for us men that regret only come after the sin… If it would have been different, there wouldn’t be a shortage of priests. Of course, everybody has his own vision… But all who runs around doing well, who enjoys life and does deeds with mutual approval, doesn’t have an affair and does nothing wrong, or am I mistaking?

Three essential nutritional
supplements, a blessing
for our pigeons, all year round.
But you have to get them
and use them.

Back home again after a flight of more than 10 hours during the night, with a lot of wind at the head and turbulence, we immediately started the preparation of the pairing of our pigeons. During my absence, my wife had given the birds more light and she changed the food from moulting mixture to breed mixture. The next thing we’ll do, is selecting the cocks and give them a place in the boxes and on the breeding loft. We’ll talk about our experiences later on…
December 20th  2012 : breeders and feeders (a few days later) are paired. In boxes and most of our cocks in their habitual environment and I must say that the pairing went well. While I have been busy doing this and observing my birds doing their love game, some things run through my head. No, it is and wasn’t always gold that shines in my life. Me too, I saw black snow in my life and certainly at the beginning of my remarkable adventure in Taiwan, the paradise on earth. But I kept on fighting and I did my best to make something of my life, also with ups and downs. But the UPS stay on my sight and I thank God for it. You really have to work and fight for your luck and you must remember this that you are the one to make your own happiness.
And then again my wife…she was he one who made sure that flying in and out their boxes and getting used to the breeding loft, all happened without real fights. We always make sure that fresh grit and vitaminerals are present in the boxes but also on the floor. We prefer these two possibilities because once the hens are paired well, they hardly have time to eat some of it when their partner is chasing them. Sometimes, they don’t even get to drink. Pay attention to it. Of course the mutual envy isn’t strange here and they lived apart from the end of May till December and this certainly has its influence. Those that read us already know how we pair our pigeons.  No compensation breed. No extreme big cocks with too small hens, if it’s possible but the other way around. We do look for combination convenience. Blue cocks come together with blue hens. Chequered cocks get in the nests with hens of the same colour. Years of study let us know that this has advantages, certainly with the youngsters that are born out of this. The colours become deeper and much more intense. And once the birds have to race and their top condition appears, you will notice it. It also gives you an indication about their health, which is a very important aspect in our sport…
We promised to come again before the end of the year. Because of these holidays, the article isn’t that long but I’m sure you’ll learn of it.

To all of you, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and of course a good health. Again in 2013, we will try (right in time) to knock on your door. In the mean time, stay well, enjoy life and the opportunities you get, but most of all stay healthy and optimistic. These are the wishes of your servant.


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© 2004 Michel Vanlint
Michel Vanlint
Bogaerdenstraat 33 / 3440 Zoutleeuw
Tel: +32(0)475 75 79 58 / Fax : +32(0)11 69 66 78
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