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Parkinson L J 16-01-18

Parkinson. L.J.

In my job I am very often researching pigeons and in the process looking for photos of related pigeons and their results. Photos of pigeons are so confusion when researching because there are usually more than one with the same name. It’s OK when you take time to look at the ring number but on some pedigree’s, there are no ring numbers so if you are not careful you have the wrong details with the pigeon. With this in mind, I thought of a register crossed my mind, a register where all named pigeons were kept against a ring number. The prefix to any name could be the registered owner’s name or loft name. In my case it would be Elimar a name that I started using nearly 40yrs ago, for those who don’t know this was devised from Elizabeth Mary, Eli Mar. I was looking at the meaning of this name after seeing it so many times in places around the Mediterranean. The meaning is something to with being by the sea, no wonder so many hotels have used the same name. So why can’t we have a register for the racing pigeons that we have, I know there is the Thoroughbred but that is not the case with most racing pigeons they are not thoroughbred’s. I would go as far as to say you would have to do an awful lot of researching to find a handful who could call their pigeons after themselves. By that I am of course referring to keeping the same pigeons together for very many years without an introduction and that is by careful breeding. I remember looking at the Busschaert’s many years ago and they were pigeons from here there and everywhere and as soon as they went into Busschaert’s loft they went onto his pedigree’s as his own. A fancier was saying that he had come across a good line of Busschaert’s but if he had researched them via the ring numbers he would have seen that they were part of a batch of 60 Dark ones from the lofts of Etienne Devos. This came to me when we were visiting Georges Busschaert’s nephew’s lofts, he was the one who showed me the rather large framed photos. This was a frame that must have been towards 6ft x 5ft and all normal sized photos mounted in the frame I would say about 15 in each. Busschaert was no different than any other top loft, they all swap birds and that is how they build up a good gene pool in the stock loft. I doubt if a register for the everyday racing pigeons would ever be done but it would be useful if it did happen. We could all work on the old thoughts of “Inbreed for the stock loft” and “Outcross for the race team” As we all know there are exceptions to the rule where a few very inbred pigeons do win in the races but in general if you check them out most are not. There are a lot of fanciers who breed their race team and then re-pair to rear a round where they will select a few for stock. There are also many good stock birds that come out of the race team when fanciers breed off their best pigeons of the season when the old bird racing has finished. The problem is we see far too many good stock birds bred out of birds that don’t necessarily have what we would call a top-notch pedigree or several generations away from the top winners. Of course, these are all options that fanciers use one way or another and they can all produce what we want to a certain extent. However, when it comes to breeding what we want there are a lot of extremely good pigeons but not numbers in any loft, unless of course you are one of the big boys. In fact, probably above average are bred from different lines of pigeons are bred closely together. When I say close I am referring to there being several top pigeons in the first three generations of winners not necessarily blood related. You can see this in the Peter Fox pigeons where there are many really good pigeons, National winners and National Ace Pigeons. There is a cracking line down from “Kannibaal” of Van Dyck also “Kleine Dirk” and “Wittenbuik”. We also have a great pigeon named “Nationaal I” a great pigeon with at least 7 x 1sts National winners following in his breeding line. Yes 7 but they are well crossed down the road and they are not closely bred but have all sorts of line in them as do the other previously mentioned pigeons. When it comes to breeding closely I have noticed that there are far more inbred pigeons who win in the longer distance races. The crossing is predominantly in the sprinters where that cross has put strength in the pigeons. The day after I wrote the above I had a call from Mike who does a lot of work for me, he pointed out that there were two pigeons with the name of “Hannibal” and both off the legendary “Kannibaal” and I had the wrong information against them. I thought that is a good reason why a register of names of pigeons would be a good thing. We don’t want fanciers buying pigeons with the incorrect information against them and it is easily done as I have found out. This might sound double Dutch to some but as a scribe I am looking at it from all angles, so that all are represented.

I have just received a copy of the Mid Cheshire race programme for the coming season and it is an improvement on last years. After last years racing had finished I was talking to the Fed haulier Phil Brown and I was telling him the feeling of many fanciers in the federation. He did say that if the Cheshire organisations got together they could have their own programme and finished by saying there is only one person to do that but that was never going to happen. I think last year half the races were less them 100mls and as I was saying to Phil many fanciers are happy to have one race under 100mls and then for this area into the race points at 120mls which is the Bristol area. The transport people are not going to run races at a loss but as I said to Phil all the shorter races are not helping them to make a profit because of not wanting too many short races. There are a lot of pigeons lost in the shorter races because they are so fit nowadays they have gone over before they know where they are. The more shorter races they have the more chance of then hitting a day when they have a tail wind and that really does send them way past their home loft. Anyway, I feel that this programme will keep a few fanciers persisting with the fed, I say that because I know a few were looking at the alternatives to having all those shorter races. The programme for 2-18 starts on the 14th April at Cheltenham and then on c consecutive weekends to, 2 x Mangotsfield, Yeovil. Portland, Mangotsfield. Then across the channel for the first water race from Carenton, Mangotsfield, Fougeres, Mangotsfield, Messac, Cheltenham finishing the old bird programme at Ancensis. The young birds start at Worcester on the 21st July followed by 2 x Cheltenham, 2 x Mangotsfield, Yeovil with the last race from Portland. This is a far better programme than last year, and I would think as long as it is completed then the members are going to have a good season.

I was talking to a fancier recently and I asked if he was going to have a go at the NWCC this year, the answer surprised me. He was saying that the club didn’t pay enough out which shocked me a little because they had 5 races and paid £10,500 with an average of less than 350 birds per race. When you look at the bad races that the Nationals had in 2017 they did take a lot of birdage off other specialist clubs over the season which is generally the case, I would have done the same had I been racing because my main club was the NFC. The main point being that they were 5 channel races into the North West with the shortest flyers covering 365mls from Messac and the longest being Saintes with all flying over 500mls plus a young bird channel race of around 300mls, that is a good programme unless of course you are a sprint flyer. With the interest shown already this year and we are only in January that figure is expected to increase all round and I will let you know shortly in my report on the Blackpool Show weekend. When all said and done all races depend on the kind of season we have and in 2017 it was not good for the Nationals, who knows what this year will bring.

I was exchanging emails with Leo Van Rijn recently and I was saying my best 2 distance pigeons were very small to which he replied. “Yes, also My very best hens have never been big hens. to race they better be not too big. The best hen I ever had, Royal Lady, was lucky (and so am I) that I didn’t kill here before we start racing, because she was ugly small. Kind regards. Leo van Rijn”  


Les J Parkinson.

11 Rushton Drive,

Middlewich, Cheshire,

CW10 0NJ.

01606836036 Mobile 07871701585.

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