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Thoughts on lines and the way we breed in the UK.


In my job I have seen a lot of change over the last 40yrs or so, I am now referring to the way we breed pigeons. We are now going back to the days when I first started and even much earlier than that. So, we are going back to about pre 1975 when there were far more pigeon fanciers about than there are today.



When I first started racing in the late 60’s we were all looking for good winners no matter what family they were descendants of. In those days’ pigeons needed to be an up to date winning line, otherwise they were no longer a member of the team. I feel that in those days’ fanciers were more choosey when it came to winning lines than they have been. I say that because in recent years the latest fashion is more important than winning pigeons, which is all down to publicity and in most cases, ¬†who has the most money to advertise.



Anyway, back to the point in question and the way we breed today. For many years’ fanciers wanted the latest fashion but that has now changed and one fancier who was a leader in those changes is Peter Fox, there are a few others, but Peter is the most prominent.



Why Peter, for one thing and the most important I know him well and have seen what pigeons he has had over the years. Peter along with his friend Mike Ganus have gone out and brought top class pigeons that have won more than the average, they have of course bought their own or swapped with each other. Many of those pigeons being Ace pigeons, the ones that are the most consistent when it comes to the races, or children of those winners. Peter & Mike have not bought everything together but working together has obviously been a help to them both.



They have not gone out and bought a family of pigeons, they have bought some of the best on the market that are available at the time. They and others who have had their pigeons have been rewarded with this way of breeding for the race and stock lofts, top breeding to top breeding no matter what family they are from. Peter has built up a good team that are always in demand.



Going back to when I started making these notes with “In my job I have seen a change” that change is in the way most of the top fanciers breed their pigeons. More are going back to breeding winners to winners or as close as possible without having the actual winners in your hands, not everyone can have them.



Bruce McAllister is another fancier who buys the best on the market, but he mostly prefers to buy the UK winners and he has had many very good results through to 1st National level. I was there on a visit and Bruce was saying what they were off, and he lost me in a sea of winners and breeders. What I cannot understand is when Bruce put’s any on the market they do not get the prices for the high quality of pigeons they are, and they are high quality. However, fanciers will buy pigeons from the same lines that are a generation or two further down the line in comparison to what Bruce offers, that’s pigeon fanciers for you.



Yes, the modern-day winning pigeon fanciers are changing as can be seen from the pedigree’s that arrive on the Elimar Auction site. I think if this trend continues fanciers will come up against tougher competition. They will have stronger pigeons in their lofts.

Chris photos


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