Fanciers can make money in an instant... and avoid numerous problems in the future – Part I

The famous movie Gone with the wind and Salmon Rushdie’s Satanic Verses were considered milestones in the world of cinema and literature. One of the milestones in pigeon racing was the publishing of the book, The full secret about the knowledge of carrier and home pigeons (Het volmaakte geheim in zake kennis van Reis- en Kweekduiven in Dutch) by F. Linden in 1925, which had quite an impact.

Several prominent scientists and renowned pigeon champions from Belgium and abroad credited him and the book was widely seen as the only modern day work about pigeons at that time.

Pioneer and discoverer

It was 1880 when Frans Van Linden decided to start a career as a fancier, under the watchful eye of his father. His father had been very successful in all competitions in Boom, even though there was some fierce competition with the best champions of Hoboken, Kontich, Puurs, St. Amands, Londerzeel and other neighbouring towns. When he had been in pigeon racing for a few years Frans was wondering how it was possible that an entire generation of descendants of a certain loft sometimes could not win a single prize. He thought about this a lot and after a while he was convinced that it should be possible to find certain characteristics or features in such a generation that could not be found in other pigeons. For over thirty years he had been working on a system that would allow him to identify the pigeons that would do well as a racing and/or breeding pigeon. He gained a lot of knowledge over the years and he discovered that certain pigeons showed signs of weakening, which indicated that they would prove useless in the future. He attached great importance to this and he spared no effort in drawing conclusions from his observations. He did not limit himself to writing down his observations; he also wanted to know where the phenomena came from and how they were caused.

The war of 1914-18 interrupted his work as he could not continue his research for a while. After the war, at the end of 1918, he purchased a few pigeons at a market in Antwerp. These pigeons performed very well in the races, just like their descendants. Unfortunately a disease broke out in the racing season of 1919. From then on he focused completely on his research and he did not stop before he had achieved his goal.

When Frans Van Linden wrote and published his book in 1925 he was right to say that he had found a way to avoid infection of the mucous membranes in pigeons. In fact he knew how to treat every pigeon disease that was known at the time. He was rewarded for his extensive research and he received messages of thanks from hundreds of fanciers who had had great results thanks to his book. The book was translated into French, German and English and Frans Van Linden gained international fame. It is no surprise that fanciers from all over the world wanted to consult him and that he visited thousands of lofts at home and abroad in the following years.

The book, The full secret about the knowledge of carriers and home pigeons by Frans Van Linden allowed fanciers to recognise pigeons with disorders or infections, to treat them and to prevent the infections from coming back. Just like today you could not be successful with a team of pigeons that was not in good health. Frans Van Linden never talked about medical guidance but he can be considered one of the inventors of medical guidance, if only because he encouraged his fellow fanciers to keep their pigeons in good health by giving valuable advice.

Throat examination

The major part of this book deals with airway disorders and diphtheria, which is usually the reason why racing pigeons do not perform very well. It seems that scientists were very interested in this book as well: several doctors, including J.C. Born, a doctor from The Netherlands and J. Lahaye, professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine in Cureghem promoted the book and the ideas of Frans Van Linden. Later on they even used his theories in their own course books, as well as his pictures of open pigeon beaks that were published in the book by Van Linden in 1925 in natural colours.

An examination of the throat proved a great method to find out to what extent the respiratory organs, the mucous membrane of the nose, the windpipe, the gullet and the arteries of a healthy pigeon differed from that of an infected pigeon.

Van Linden had been examining the throats of thousands of five weeks old young birds and he kept a record of each of these examinations. As a result he was able to tell if a youngster could become a successful pigeon by examining its throat. Fanciers were therefore able to select young pigeons based on an examination of the throat.


Marc en Martin
Als men alle jonge duiven van vijf weken oud met een slechte keel verwijderd zal u hokje niet te groot moeten zijn.
We krijgen een perfecte keel bij super gezonde duiven dit is enkel te bekomen met kuren.
Bij mij komen er de eerste drie maanden geen medicatie aan te pas.
Zo kunnen ze veel weerstand opdoen.
Dit is mijn gedacht weet niet of het de juiste manier is?

Beste groeten Eric

pour moi la throat de pigeons doit etre rose et ligne droite ,elle doit etre juger entre 8/10 ET 10/10 (les bons pigeons de grand fond)
slts said jallab

een perfecte keel alleen te bekomen met kuren ???
Duiven die ganse dagen in de voliere zitten of constant buiten vliegen hebben bijna altijd een perfecte keel;Meestal hebben jongen van 5 weken geen te goede keel omdat ze gewoonweg te vet staan . Bij mij krijgen ze dan nog altijd ruim kweekmengeling en dat wordt dan afgebouwd en eens ze beginnen te trainen komen die kelen wel in orde .
Eerlijk gezegd kijk ik steeds minder en minder in de kelen ...
roger casier

Ja zonder kuren kan men geen duiven perfect in orde krijgen.
En met te veel kuren zeker niet de forme gaat dan weg.
groeten Eric

I believe the author of this article should visit his vet to have his own throat sorted out as it reflects the rubbish which lies with in. PIPA has a very good reputation and I believe the directors of PIPA shall take a notice of the very first sentence of this article which is already very controversial and has nothing to do with the pigeon racing.