In The Loft Today
We are down to our hard-core Barcelona breeding lines now, using our own performance birds as stock. The base strain is mine with 43 years of dedicated thought put into the creation of it. We have some specimen cheqs, dark cheqs and blues, and progeny will be all related to each other and peppered with Barcelona performance birds that we have timed over the years. Our 2 remaining, yet related outbreeding birds are a Schlepphorst Stichelbaut cock, and a Jim Donaldson hen from 700 and 600 mile section winners. We are inbreeding and experimenting with strain purification using Barcelona Int. as the benchmark of excellence.
Stock Birds Put Together Today-21st Jan.
With the bowls in we let them run together today in 20 pairs of our marathon strain -full of performances from 50 to 879 miles. As a collection they are unique in the UK -43 years down the line from the 7 foundation pigeons! Believe me there are some real specimens and we accept no further birds into the gene pool. Our birds, being inbred are ideal for outbreeding. The corollary is that few of these will make the beach for liberation in The Barcelona International, where top race birds are flown. Many of our birds show the benefit of inbreeding followed by serious performance testing. The essence of our career is to do our own thing, and see what happens in reality.
Just Let Nature Take Its Course
As all our birds are related and tested each year out to Barcelona International 710 miles into the west, we allow most of the stock to run together in love matches or natural selection. All pairs, in aviaries are free and NOT locked in the boxes. The genome runs through the entire colony -why play God control with the free and easy approach? The racers are flying out each day, free as a bird in the elements-sexes out on alternate days. I have maintained this practice for 43 years, in the light of trends and changes in systems over that period of time. Birds are not completing their full repertoire of instinctual behaviours in closed in lofts for months-do it if you have to though! However, my feeding system is ultra-modern and unique and serves us well. Come April we do not need to dash about road training, as the race prog. conditions the birds before July. Judgement of a bird lies in Race Reality after the Barcelona liberation, and we continue to look inward in the mirror to try and improve.
The Right Type Of Distance Pigeon?
It is very simple to discover-they are the ones in the clock from 500 to 700 miles in race conditions-beyond that they are marathon pigeons. Different origins, names, colours and sizes and physical types, they have things in common. They all have stamina, navigational ability, homing instinct, survivability and the total genetic and internal qualities that I seek. The facts of the matter are made evident by good management of the fancier. I have bred a few in my 43 years of solid dedication.
Son Musgrove Persistent, Gson of Insights @ Addiction -8 Times Barcelona International 710 miles between them for Harvey/Emerton into the West of England-Jim Emerton.
Shrewd, Sharp, Astute, Crafty And Cunning
Beware when getting in new birds or you may be stung. Wise to befriend a top fancier and acquire ybs. off his best racers and breeders, having seen the results for many years. The cleverest thing to do is learn how he bred and raced his birds in minute detail-some have put serious truths down in writing for the mass audience-often teachers and academics they can articulate and express the truth in print! Wise to know that few birds are of great quality in themselves, apart from the money they change hands at. Your methods in racing will reveal the true worth of a bird, particularly in International events.
The Reclusive Fancier
I know some brilliant fanciers who remain aloof and detached from the mainstream cut and thrust of the media, fame and money. There is wisdom in this life choice as you do not get involved in overt jealousy and other negative human emotions. These eccentrics are often purists and strain builders, far removed from the madding crowd, unconventional, and very clever men with their birds, thoughtful and shrewd. I feel the main motive is individual reward and pleasure rather than money. We, are now a closed gene pool and stick to our own strain, although we have donated to many studs. The competitive sport is ego, power and self-gratification based in the psychological aspect. However I have spelled out my experiences in books with a new ghost written autobiography due out in 2019.
It is a deep and profound feeling generated by the brain/psyche synthesis and can be life changing and enhancing. There is a strong perception of the interior nature of these wonderful feelings of connection and union, when all is bliss with the outer and inner worlds, as experienced by the subject. In this state you feel powerful, transcendent and not at the mercy of, or under the influence of an external supernatural being or Godhead of religious orthodoxy or convention. There are people who look out and those who look in to develop human faith and belief systems as part of their common humanity. At the moment my autobiography is being written by a ghost writer as a project, which may reinforce my self-belief experience.