Am I making progress?

Every pigeon fancier must from time to time sit back and ask himself a few questions like:

Am I making any progress?

Are my racing results still improving?

Are the pigeons stocking my loft of a better quality than they were five years ago?

Has my knowledge about various aspects of the pigeon sport and the pigeon itself grown?

These are just a few questions but they are very important because if I cannot give a positive answer to all of them I am standing still, which means regression.

This could lead to loss of interest and eventually I would give up pigeon racing.

What can I do to prevent this from happening?

I have to keep a keen interest in my pigeons and I need friends to help and stimulate my interest as well as theirs through discussion and study. Pigeon racing has become a science on its own and we are all learning from observation and experimenting, be it with training, feeding or breeding. Each of these features in pigeon racing offers a vast field of study.

It is very important that fanciers should exchange their views on these aspects and often you will find your observations are confirmed by another fancier. This means that you can proceed to a next step on that line.

Although pigeon racing has been practised for more than a century we have not yet succeeded in unlocking many of its secrets.

This is partly due to the fact that there are so few fanciers prepared to share their knowledge with others and even fewer who are prepared to publish it so that other fanciers could profit from it.

In this aspect the eyesign experts are certainly the most secretive specie of pigeon fancier. Perhaps if they would reveal what they see it could be confirmed by others that they are on the right track or they would discover that they are entirely wrong in their assumptions.

The question of breeding better pigeons is another field in which there is still a lot to be learned and to be discovered.

The knowledge of the workings of genetics and the heredity laws does not appeal to all fanciers. Some find it very interesting while others find it to complicated to even try and master some of the laid down principles of the heredity laws.

It is important for fanciers to acquaint themselves with the basic principles, since it could help them breed better pigeons or at least retain the quality of their family.

Breeding provides a topic for very fruitful discussions among fanciers. It also allows for very interesting experiments from which much could be learned.

It is the easiest thing to put a cock and a hen together and within ten days there would be eggs and eighteen days later the babies would hatch. The question is do we want to multiply the pigeon population or do we want to breed those extra racers who can win races and make a name for us and themselves.

Knowledge is gained through observation and experience by mostly from reading and discussions. It is important that pigeon fanciers should read as much as possible. Read as many books on pigeon racing as you can, and most important of all, re-read them from time to time.

I have a large collection of pigeon magazines and have had confirmation of many of the things I have experienced and observed from articles in these magazines. In some cases many years after they were published.

It is very interesting that in the learning process things which you read about only have significance once you have observed or experienced it yourself.

The good fancier remains a student for as long as he keeps pigeons. Once you stop studying, the sport will die for you.

It is for this reason that participation on a website like this is a must for all pigeon fanciers. It is equally important that more fanciers should start writing and tell the readers about their observations and experiences. We would like to read more about pigeons because that is what our sport is about. The fancier only becomes important once his pigeons are performing.

By Theunis F. Venter

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