Pigeon-Talk banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,396 Posts
Hello and Welcome to Pigeon Talk,

PLEASE feel free to check out our homing and racing pigeon forum (in the pigeon for sport section), and read the threads that are available that will give you tips and offer alot of help.

Then feel free to ask any specific question you can't find an answer for.

Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
There are some wonderful threads on this forum for you to read through. Just do a search for what ever topic you might be interested in adn read away! Once you've soaked in all the good information on the threads feel free to ask your questions, that's how I started. Don't feel intimidated at all about asking questions, we all had to start somewhere!

Good luck - Henry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,098 Posts
I don't race, but one tip I hear is feeding them peanuts before the race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,121 Posts
Hey there,

My only "tip" would be to always question what you hear and weigh it against common sense. There are a lot of practices out there that people do only because "that was the way my mentor did it 50 years ago". Some of these practices go against every shread of medical and scientific research and fact but are religiously used anyway. Don't be affraid to ask questions and then research your own answers when the ones you get from people don't add up.

I am not saying that people are all frauds, just that we are all inclined to find the quick and easy "fix", if you will, to a problem or question. Take the time to research and investigate for yourself. Make your own mistakes and learn from them.

That would be my two cents.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,852 Posts
Here is a tip. Disregard "eyesign" as a means of picking good pigeons.

Being new to the sport, you probably wouldn't even consider eyesign anyway, however, some ads will stress eyesign as something "special". Common sense and science tell me otherwise.

Here is another free tip. You do not have to spend big money to get good racers. Start with birds free or next to free. Most (probably all) racing clubs will donate good young pigeons to new flyers. We all want as much competition as possible.

This is not to say those who purchase big money pigeons don't have an "edge". But how good does your beginning birds in the sport, have to be? Most of Ludo Claessens great birds, were started with a bird that just "showed up" at his lofts. From a deceased mans loft. A man that apparently we can not even find out the identity of.

Start out cheaply, and work your personal "magic", and good luck.

Oh, one more thing. The biggest mistake new pigeon flyers usually get into, is accumulating too many birds. Resist the temptation to get everything you like or is offered. It is supposed to be a fun hobby. Not a job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,367 Posts
Here is a tip. Disregard "eyesign" as a means of picking good pigeons.

Being new to the sport, you probably wouldn't even consider eyesign anyway, however, some ads will stress eyesign as something "special". Common sense and science tell me otherwise.

Here is another free tip. You do not have to spend big money to get good racers. Start with birds free or next to free. Most (probably all) racing clubs will donate good young pigeons to new flyers. We all want as much competition as possible.

This is not to say those who purchase big money pigeons don't have an "edge". But how good does your beginning birds in the sport, have to be? Most of Ludo Claessens great birds, were started with a bird that just "showed up" at his lofts. From a deceased mans loft. A man that apparently we can not even find out the identity of.
Start out cheaply, and work your personal "magic", and good luck.

Oh, one more thing. The biggest mistake new pigeon flyers usually get into, is accumulating too many birds. Resist the temptation to get everything you like or is offered. It is supposed to be a fun hobby. Not a job.
You crack me up !!! :p

Don't know why I feel obligated to defend my friend every time his name is used. But, somehow over time, I have become an authority on the subject. Even Ludo refers to me as a "Claessen Fanatic".....(he might suspect I am even a stalker, since I have peered into his back yard)

Ludo has been known to purchase thee most expensive bird at an auction. He has complained, that the better his birds become, the harder it is to find a bird good enough to meet his standards. For this reason mostly, has his colony become close in breeding. He was only able to secure about 10 pigeons since about 1995, that were good enough to cross with his.

Now, it is true, that he is a Grand Master as a selector, and has found excellent birds from which to breed over his career in some strange places. But, to suggest, that he acquired cheap pigeons along the way, and a bunch of strays, would simply not be true. There is only one known example, and he in the end, culled that bird, by selling it to Mike Ganus ! :eek:

IMO, everyone can have their own ideas, and I have mine. But, I just wanted to add my two cents to your statement....you actually made me laugh ! :p

Carry on....:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,852 Posts
Glad I gave you a chuckle. Since I do not know Ludo personally, I can only go by what I have read. From many locations, the same story.

A deceased mans bird "showed up" on Ludo's property. Ludo went through the procedures of trying to locate the owner and found out that he was deceased. Ludo was given permission (I assume) to keep the bird and liked the bird in hand. He bred from this bird many winners. It bacame one of the foundations of his loft (not the only bird by any means though). You have to have something worthwhile to breed the great ones to, don't you? It is a fact that Ludo was a great racer before this bird "showed up". My use of the Ludo story concerning this bird, should be evident that is was an illustration of how you do not have to spend big bucks to win races. Of course those that sell squeakers from big buck pigeons will disagree heartily.

I don't remember any sons of Lrry Bird, Magic Johnson, Pete Maravich, Jim Brown, Bruce Jenner or almost any great athlete, ever being as good as their "sire". Maybe the hens they were paired with, just didn't have the genes. I am sure that they had great teachers though. Their fathers and their fathers lifelong friends and associates.

A quote from the Mike Ganus web site:

"The gift from heaven. Ludo Claessens was in his yard when out of nowhere this
beautiful white grizzle landed. Ludo contacted the Belgium Royale Federation who
responded to him that the fancier had died. Ludo liked the bird so much that he bred
out of him. He bred the Golden White which won 13th Provencial Orleans vs 3069
birds and 4th Provencial Chateauroux vs 2031 birds. These are 300 to 350 mile races.
She then went on to be the 3rd Golden Crack Winner. Year after year this white grizzle family kept breeding winners so I went over to Ludo Claessens to see for myself.
As soon as I handled the Golden Witten I knew I had to have him.

Golden Witten is medium in size, strong perfect body, fantastic breeding eyes. The
most beautiful racing pigeon that I have ever seen. Most important thing though, I knew
that he already has bred winners at distances of 200 to 400 miles.

Father and grandfather to:
Yeti (NL 9964498-99) 1st Morlincourt 15,000 birds
Casper (NL 9835807-98) 1st Perrone 4,191 birds
White Cloud 8th Niergies 4,339 birds
Cinderella 10th Nijvel 2,281 birds
White Diamond 1st Nijvel 2,348 birds"

I assume that Golden Witten translates to "Golden White".

If you believe that I was saying that Ludo had cheap or free pigeons and became a legend through them, you misunderstood. What I was trying to illustrate is that you just never know where a world beater (really great pigeon) may come from. It might be the free pigeon some guy in a local club gives you.

To respond to my posting with wording like "and a bunch of strays" is exageration. I never said that nor suggested it. I did use the word "most" and probably should have used the word "many" in its place. But hey. I ain't the brightest light bulb on the Christmas Tree by any stretch.

I could go on and on, but I will end with how you also made me laugh by saying that to sell a bird to Mike Ganus is "culling". :) Are you insinuating that Mike Ganus has a bunch of "culls" in his lofts?

No, of course you are not. Neither was I concerning Ludo's Lofts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,367 Posts
Conditionfreak,

I was having a little fun with you ! :p


We are not in total disagreement. More then a couple people in the world, have attempted to acquire a world class colony by way of a very big check book....like 7 figures....$?,000,000.00 not counting the pennies. :p And if that system really worked without fail, then only the rich guys would have all the best pigeons in the world. More often then not, those great birds may end up in these lofts at some point, but they were produced and bred, for the most part, in fairly modest back yard lofts.

Most of the great breeders in the world, did not start out with a million dollar inventory. That gives hope to all of us, and what makes this sport so exciting and fun. You can start with relatively modest means, and over time, build a very impressive colony of racing pigeons.

There was or is a guy, who used to run ads in the RPD, he had developed a family of pigeons he called, the "Green Dragon" line. They were acquired at a local farmers market for a couple of bucks each. So, he did not lay out a bunch of money. But, he did get his hands on some good birds. The amount of money you pay for a bird, may not reflect it's value as either a racer or a breeder.

There was a similar story of Ludo and a friend, who went to a pigeon market. Don't know if this was like a swap meet, or a meat market. But, as the story goes, Ludo helped his frind find some good YB'sbirds. The friend was so greatful, he wanted to give Ludo one of these birds, at first Ludo didn't want to take the bird, but he did. The story went something like this, he raced the bird, it won a bunch of races, and went on to produce some great birds. These may have been pigeons sold for just a few Euros.

So, if you can ID some great pigeons, and get them free or cheap, then that will work just as well, if you had paid $10,000 each. The value of the bird is not based on what someone paid for it. The value is based on it's racing and breeding ability.

I would suggest, that if you are starting out, that you start with some good birds. The catch 22 is, most proven racers and racers, that have really produced the goods, typically are not given away, or cheap. It happens, but when it does, more often then not, the owner did not see the true value. And many fanciers, myself included, often do not spot the star before the fact. It is only after it has won races, or produced winners out of turn, that we say...oh yes, this is a star. And if you are smart, you rarely want to part with those rare gems. And that is why the owners want some money for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,852 Posts
True enough.

I would assume that with most people, there would be more gratification in starting with average pigeons and winning, than starting with ten thousand dollar pigeons and winning.

Reminds me of some guys I played basketball and tennis against on the old playgrounds. They had the best shoes, rackets, headbans, etc, that money could buy. But I crushed them because I had the never give up, never let up and never quit until it's over mentality. If things did not go their way, they would panic and not keep their head into the game. It also applies to a boxing match. Lose your head and plan, and you generally lose the fight.

I also believe that many a great pigeon was handled by a poor flyer and never had a chance. But I do not believe that it swings the other way very often.

If Ludo Claessens had my pigeons, I truly believe he would have done great, and in the interest of truth, if I had Ludo Claessens birds, I probably would not have done them justice. I just don't seem to have the knack for spotting a great bird of potential. I know what I like when handling a bird, but so far it hasn't transferred to winning the big ones.

But then again, I have only been in one big event and I got second place :) , and the bird I got second with, I wasn't going to send and a friend handled the bird and told me she was "ready" and to send her.

I hadn't even thought of sending her. She had never done anything other than below average.

So what the heck do I know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,367 Posts
My soap box or sermon on starting with quality stock...

Conditionfreak,

What the heck do any of us really know about pigeons ? :confused: I am sure we all know, or heard, or read about somebody , concerning some subject, who acted like they knew everything about something. When the facts were quite the opposite. Heck, ask any teenager about any subject, and for the most part, they already know everything ! :p (Teenage readers who are smart enough to read posts on this site, are different of course..:p)

Heck, I confess, I don't even know what I don't know. I read some of my posts from 2004, and I think to myself, boy ....you were a real smarty pants, weren't you Warren ? The more I learn about pigeons, the more I have learned to be humble, because I have learned that in a year or two, I will look back, and say....boy was that a stupid comment. (Sometimes it only takes a day or so...)

So, never accept most things I say as gospel, because there is always the chance I will later change my mind, or discover some new "truth". Everything I say, is only my understanding or experience up to this exact moment.

I don't know if starting with average or typical pigeons and then winning, brings more gratification then starting with $10,000 pigeons and then winning, is true or not. I myself started with .25 cent "barn" pigeons purchased at a farmers market, and some "fancy" pigeons for .75 cents. If I would have selectively bred those pigeons for the last 45 years, maybe I could have reached the point of winning a club race, I don't know. It's an extreme example of course...but most of those decades would have been discouraging. I would have invested years of blood, sweat and tears, to reach the level of the average birds in my club. Not sure that would be real satisfying. One could start with average to start with, and after 45 years still have average. Mathmatically speaking, most fanciers own average pigeons.

I didn't win too many races as a kid, in fact, I didn't win any. And the only real bright spot, was getting a bird home on the day from 500 miles, but that was not with the stock I started with, I had upgraded to some Paul Sion bloodlines down from Imported stock. I had managed to get my hands on some good stuff.

Personally, when I got back into pigeons after a long time on the side lines. I didn't want to spend the next couple of decades attempting to breed some typical birds up to good. If I had decided to get into race horses which I love, I don't think I would have tried to start with some old broken down horses ready for the glue factory, and then try to breed up from them to someday win a Kentucky Derby type of race. It might be possible yes, there were some famous cases of someone buying a horse that nobody wanted and it turned out to be a great racer. But, that might be a 1 in a million shot. I would have acquired good solid stock, that I could afford, and started from there.

If someone is starting out in racing pigeons, and they have modest means, then acquire the best that you can with what you have. Then attempt over time, to upgrade your stock, according to what you can afford, and what becomes available. Some of this upgrading may come from breeding a better bird, and some you will have to buy, or have given to you.

Even if you are in a position to start with $10,000 birds, that is not the end of it, that is just the starting point. I'm not satisfied with my pigeons, I want to breed or acquire even better. It may be more challenging now, in that when I started with .25 barn pigeons, someone like Mr. Ressel gave me a $50 bird, which in 1965 was BIG money, based on my $3 a week paper route. That was like 4 months of my gross income ! But, today not to many people are going to hand over to me, a pigeon valued at 4 months of my gross income. And even if they did, odds are it would be a lesser bird then what I already own.

Show me someone who is completely happy with the quality of their current breeding stock, and I will show you someone who is not striving to improve what they already have...and why should they...they are already happy. Show me someone who owns real, world class quality stock, and is not satisfied with the status quo...and demands improvement, even greater perfection.....well, I will show you the stuff that Champions are made of.

The people who sell diamond engagement rings, suggest six months of your income to buy your girl a pretty rock, she can show off to her girlfriends. Personally, I would suggest a weeks pay for one of those real good fake rings, and then take 25 weeks of income and invest in a couple pairs of some decent breeding stock. Or instead of sending your kid to one of those $30,000+ colleges, send them to the local community college, or have them join the army, and then invest the savings into something for yourself, like some first class breeders. Instead of that big expensive new car, save $15,000 and purchase a certified used car, and invest the rest into your hobby !

See....you get the picture, it really is all about priorities, and what is important to you....invest in yourself, you have worked hard your whole life, you deserve to get something really special...treat yourself.....:rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
I don't remember any sons of Lrry Bird, Magic Johnson, Pete Maravich, Jim Brown, Bruce Jenner or almost any great athlete, ever being as good as their "sire". .
Well of course there have been some, Just a few of the top of my head.

Ken Griffey SR. and JR.
Bobby and Bret Hull
Calvin And Grant Hill
and don't forget about the Ripkens

I think it's even possible in Pigeons, After all , isn't that what we're after.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,852 Posts
fastpitch dad. Yep, there are five or ten. Out of thousands, maybe milions world wide.

Warren. I agree with you 96% (for me to agree with anyone more than 80% is unique). But we were not really talking about starting with ferals or .25 cent pigeons (or 100 pasture horses). I was talking about starting with gifts or cheap to buy (cheap being relative to paying four grand for a Ludo or three grand for a Ganus bred bird) from club racing enthusiasts. I know there are people out there with a barn full of untrained and uncared for well, pigeons. But I believe that anyone who actually sends birds to races, pays entry fees, attends club events, etc., will have decent enough birds.

Yes, some will use a race to get rid of a bird or two they don't want to keep. Some will give away birds that they actually are thankful to get rid of. But the majority of club flyers have tended to their birds and tried to improve their birds over time, so that a gift bird from a club racer to a club newbie, has IMHO, a great shot at becoming a bird to be proud of.

I sure wouldn't want it to be known that I gave the "new guy" a piece of junk. Heck, my birds sometimes dissappoint me, but it ain't because I didn't try to get the best I could afford. I believe it is because I am not as good as my birds, in this game.

I firmly believe that it is 40% the bird (given it is actually a purebred homing pigeon), 50% me, and 10% luck.

Show me a great racing pigeon and I will show you a great pigeon flyer on the same property.

The best bird I ever owned was a gift from a fellow flyer as I was moving four states away. To be honest, I do not even remember the guys name, but I remember the pigeons band number. It has been 30 years.
 
G

·
I agree to what condition freak said as in its all in the flyer to make the bird what it is when given a good bird .. for I too could never do a bird like Zeus maxx justice if I ever owned such a bird :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
I wonder how many people have started with expensive birds and through poor breeding or poor choices ended up with mediocre or just rotten racing birds?
I think a lot of raising winners is knowing what you are doing, breeding correctly and not being afraid to cull a bird from your team.

(Added)
I like pigeons and I do not ever expect to win a race (Except against Ozark Bill, because there is a Dr. Pepper riding on it.) or produce world class racers. I raise homers because I like them, I want to be able to take some to a friends house, release them and see if they all get back home. You know I will worry about each bird until I see it trap, then I will smile and tell the birds they did a good job. So for me, it is the fun of it and the comradery of other pigeon fanciers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,350 Posts
For any new pigeon flyer,this is my tip/tips....
Tip #1)...Purchase good strong pigeons...If you make friends with an 'Old Timer',who takes you under his wing,you will get good birds for free sometimes...
Tip #2) Keep your pigeons healthy...This is 75% of the battle to be competive on race day...
Tip #3) Well fed pigeons,but not overweight pigeons will preform well on race day...
Tip #4) Pigeons trained but not overtrained will perform well on race day...
Tip #5) Don`t overcroud your loft with to many pigeons...They need fresh air 24/7...To many pigeons make for diseases to take hold of your birds....
Tip #6) Keep a clean loft,keep your water jugs sanitary,and never feed birds on the floor...Feed in a feeder,so the grains are clean,and not in the droppings before the pigeons eat them....
Tip#7) Use common sense in the loft...If something doesn`t seem worthy,don`t do it...
Example>If the birds look alert,nosey,clean,energenic,that means they are probally very healthy,so don`t give them any meds...If they are the opposite,get some droppings anyalised,to see if there is a problem....
Tip #8) Pay attention to the info that the guys who are racing their birds well,say here on Pigeon Talk...The guys/gals that are RACING their birds,have to be extra carefull in what they do with their birds,more so then someone who just keeps birds in their loft for pleasure....It is a little easier to maintain healthy pigeons,when they don`t get mixed up with other pigeons from other lofts....Alamo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
I firmly believe that it is 40% the bird (given it is actually a purebred homing pigeon), 50% me, and 10% luck.

QUOTE]



Hi Conditionfreak

I only agree 80% with you on the quoted text.

I see the percentages as to be: 25% the birds, 25% me, and 50% LUCK!!!!:D

Bezz
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top