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Most important of all, I want one that has flown consistant and maybe won a race or 2 but at least flew some distance races and returned good. The more races it has completed the better. Then as for phisical traits. I like a bird that is med to large, no steps in the wing and no gaps, the keel must go within one finger width of the vents, tight vents, a short forearm, and the eye must be bright and have good movment (jiddery). I also like to see a dark inner circle in the eye for a breeder. It must have a nice breast with good muscle and the keel not pronounced or deep. I like to see nice red feet and it is better if they are warm. I like the single tail feather. The most important for me is the race sheet and if I get a bird based on that then most this other stuff with follow form. At least locally here that is how they are and that is what you need is birds that win locally.
 

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How about the flights? Do you prefer thin or thick flights? And how about the back. Do your prefer a strong back? And how jiddery do you like the eye to be? The more it jidders, the better?
 

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I like what warren likes. the picture of the ludo bird looks very sharp with nice structure and well balanced pin tail. I do like the bird to have strong pectorial muscles and bowled shaped body where you can not feel the keel. As for flights, I would like the birds wing tips to be more round than pointy. Also want the wing to be very thick and strong. Strong meaning when you fold the birds wing open to look at the flights you can feel the birds muscles trying to retract the wing and you can feel that the wings is kind of heavy. TO me a weak wing is when the flights are open and the wings feels light and goes limp. these are what I look for in a bird and thats the type of bird I have in my lofts
 

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Very interesting information.
 

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How about the flights? Do you prefer thin or thick flights? And how about the back. Do your prefer a strong back? And how jiddery do you like the eye to be? The more it jidders, the better?
I like thick flights and soft feathers. I don't know how to check the back for anything so I guess if it is strong enough to fly what does it matter. As for the eye they usually either jidder or don't but I guess if the eye didn't stop jiddering it would be bad.
 

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Racers, not Show Racers.

I like what warren likes. the picture of the ludo bird looks very sharp with nice structure and well balanced pin tail. I do like the bird to have strong pectorial muscles and bowled shaped body where you can not feel the keel. As for flights, I would like the birds wing tips to be more round than pointy. Also want the wing to be very thick and strong. Strong meaning when you fold the birds wing open to look at the flights you can feel the birds muscles trying to retract the wing and you can feel that the wings is kind of heavy. TO me a weak wing is when the flights are open and the wings feels light and goes limp. these are what I look for in a bird and thats the type of bird I have in my lofts
One thing I have figured out, is that over time, a fancier will develope a wide range of "likes" and "dislikes" kind of bias. In my personal experience, some of these may have nothing to do with what a pigeon needs to win a race. I call these "pretty" pigeons.

Early in the YB season, when I am still settling the birds, I often make a mental note of those "picture perfect" kinds of pigeons, and those ugly ones, which seem to have something about them which I may not like. This is where the guys and gals into show pigeons have an edge. At six weeks of age, or perhaps even sooner, they can "see" what it is they have really produced. With race birds, you don't really know until after a series of races. I confess, that I have often been surprized as to which pigeons turned out to be the major diploma winners.

A case in point, I own a cock bird which earned his chance in the breeding loft, because of a single good race performance. He had the wrong "eyes" according to my "eye experts", he in fact had two different colored eyes. In other regards, he seemed rather "typical", not the one with super star looks, or the one other fanciers would get excited about. But, 3 years later, he has produced two "Bird of the Year" racers, and Combine diploma winners and 1st place club winners, every year. So he has produced the goods, without having all the looks.

There may be fanciers out there, who can look at, and tell which the great ones are, but again I confess, I am not one of them. I therefore rely on the race basket and nest box, to tell me what the real ideal pigeon should look like. Which is why I refer to my family line as "Performance" based. I learned some time ago, that certain traits might be nice, and desireable. But, some of the important traits, can not be seen or felt by the fancier. Homing ability, ability to come into form, strong immunity system, willingness and dersire to race home, etc. etc. etc.

Only after the season is over, and the races finished, do I sort through the team, and pick out the ones with the "pretty" traits I like at the moment. And some of those things have changed a bit over the years. As an example, early on, if a bird won a race or two, I figured that was one of the "best". As I matured a bit, I began to look at those birds which perhaps never finished first, but may have been 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th....but perhaps did that in twice as many races as the once or twice and done "winner". It took me a number of seasons to figure out, that with a 3 bird clocking limit in our Combine, that there were also a lot of "good" birds which perhaps were being over looked as breeding canidates, simply because they may have arrived and clocked slower then the first three birds...and perhaps they did that for 5 or 6 races. On paper, a bird which "won" a couple of races, but then was done for the season...might appear as the better bird.

So in conclusion, I don't totally trust some of the things "I Like". At the end of the day, the race course and conditions determine what traits are really important, and even then, you can't trust the "evidence" as in who the "winner" was. You must measure and evaluate the performance over the entire season, over numerous races, and different distances. Over time, if that is the main selection method, then whatever the real ideal traits are, will manifest themselves. I have often suspected, that we sometimes focus too much on what we can see and touch, while forgetting things such as the brain, heart, immunity system, etc. etc.
 

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I connot say anything worth while then what SFL has said....My dad had a great racing cock who won everyhting,100 to 500 mile races in New York with big competion..But never bred anything to brag about..This cocks full brother,named the " big dummy",because he was lost as a YB,and returned after 2 1/2 years,bred more winners then I can remember...Both cocks were identical in all outward respects....But it`s what INSIDE that counts when breeding..Can a pigeon PASS on what`s inside of him/her.....Some birds can...But alot more birds cannot...Alamo
 

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I connot say anything worth while then what SFL has said....My dad had a great racing cock who won everyhting,100 to 500 mile races in New York with big competion..But never bred anything to brag about..This cocks full brother,named the " big dummy",because he was lost as a YB,and returned after 2 1/2 years,bred more winners then I can remember...Both cocks were identical in all outward respects....But it`s what INSIDE that counts when breeding..Can a pigeon PASS on what`s inside of him/her.....Some birds can...But alot more birds cannot...Alamo
Alamo,

I have heard of a theory....where in a nest, one of the two will be the racing champion, while the other the breeding champ. There may not be anyway to really prove such a statement, but I'm willing to say maybe it could be true. The only real requirement I have tried to put into place, is that a pigeon must at least be a "Homing Pigeon", in other words, it must first prove it won't get lost off the landing board, it can return from training tosses, and it must be able to find it's way home from some races. I have purchased the brother or sister of a racing champs from time to time, at a 90% discount, and only time will tell how that has paid off.

Late Rode 430 was the base of generations of Ludo Champs, and as far as I have been able to figure out, he never even had a racing career. So, selecting from your winners is a good starting point, but it may be the brother or sister which simply returned home, which might be the real breeding champ. Which makes this process all the more challenging. If all one had to do was to breed their best racers to their best racers, why this would be pretty easy would it not ? :rolleyes:
 

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Funny I was reading the article in RPD a few nights ago and was trying to make sense of Bieche's grading method. Don't get me wrong, but no where did I see anything about the breeders breeding winners. Many of the points have nothing to do with racing and everything to do with phenotype or looks of the pigeon. Bieche is a good breeder of pigeons, but is it because of his breeding methods or the fact that he has great pigeons. Most of his points are debatable. And like Warren and others have said, winners come in all shapes and sizes, all different eyes, wings, etc. His Throat theory is also popular in Europe. My only negative on the throat is that at one time the bird may have had a great or rated 10 throat and over stress lost its look. Does that mean it will breed bad throats or the great one it used to have. I think the genes are set before the demise of the throat. So my question is, Is the throat valuable in grading pigeons?

My method is of grading racers and breeders is much simpler. If the bird wins it is better than its current competition. If it wins against the best competition in the world it is a great racer. If it consistently flies in the top 10% on the race sheet it is a good bird against that competition.

As for breeders, if they breed winners they are good breeders. They are even better if their offspring breed winners. Keep stock that breeds winners and get rid of the others. I have also been successful in breeding the offspring of my best breeders and will stock a few select young off these pairs without racing them.

And a third point is that great and good racers do not always make a good breeder. But the odds are better that they just might. I have also found that the third season of breeding has been my birds strongest. Not sure why.
 
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