Breeding better Pigeons (part 5)

In my past articles on performance and selection I covered My 6 Common Denominator Grading System plus our family of birds that have worked very well for us, clients and friends. Every once in a while we should ask ourselves, are we as a breeder really going in the right direction?

To truly evaluate good or bad what a breeder has done over a period of time, one most be honest with himself and see if the newer generation of breeders are truly breeding better than the old. In this article we would like to cover the make up and race results of our own present day Bieche family. If you truly want to move forward in your own breeding program then always keep the following sentence in mind. Rather than trying to duplicate winners of the past, spend more time on creating something even better. We have said this before but I will say it again. Using key performance birds in your breeding program is a must. This very important factor is and always be our No.1 guide but you should not stop there. If you truly want to build a better family then selecting the correct mate plays a great role in moving forward at a more productive and a faster pace.

In our Breeding program

Wanting to breed only the best and make an improvement each and every year we leave no stones unturned. We do a lot of out crosses with new matting's. Line breeding and inbreeding also play a part in our over all breeding program. When new breeders are brought in every 2nd round is raised by pumpers. This gives us the opportunity to switch matting's. If a new cock or hen has two partners instead of just one the first year we can find out that much quicker if they are going to add value to the breeding program. By using pumpers we can also get our Y/B team together that much faster and they in turn well also all be at the same level. To keep our key families as pure as possible we also place the 3rd and 4th round back together with like family members.

Our Bieche family is a different story. Just like the Belgium’s we take the very best and build around it, striving for an even better specimen. Call it luck or call it skill through the use of performance and selection this family alone is responsible for 18 No.1 Ace pigeons in total with 6 of them being No.1 Ace Pigeons of all America. Our Vanhoutte  Import  “De Baron “ 94 Belg 3100109 is the back bone of our present day Bieche family. After having good luck selecting my future breeders from Verbruggen, I decided to do the same selection process with the Willy Vanhoutte Pigeons. This time my goal was to come away with just a hand full of impact pigeons. From two rounds (approx 80 birds) I found 7 birds, 4 cocks and 3 hens that I felt would serve me well. In this case the first year breeding Vanhoutte with Vanhoutte was very disappointing. Some pairs showed some favorable signs but nothing to write home about. Not wanting to give up on them after the first year I then went to plan B: the out crosses. From the Verbruggen family I selected about three young hens that complemented “De Baron” This blend turned out to be a match made in heaven.. The very best breeder over the years turned out to be my “ Magic Maker “ 09 Bie 9495 Cock. This cock was never raced and picked out by selection only. He is responsible for 3 No.1 Ace pigeons of all America himself. From another mating came a hen that I called Boots. She in turn bred “ My Cindy “ Another one of our No.1 Ace pigeon of all America in her class.

In some breeding seasons you just have better luck, or what you might say a bumper crop. In the 1999 breeding season golden breeders came from all corners. That year 9495 “ Magic Maker was born. Down from him came “ Asduif “ 1210  1st Ace Pigeon 3 years in a row 6 x 1st club 4 x 1st Combine vs. up to 2099 birds. He in turn is now one of our best breeders and the Gr. Sire of Sam Medeiros 2008 No.1 Ace pigeon Digest awards’ Another Son “ Show Piece “ Our 2006 Y/B No.1 Ace pigeon  of all America with 1st club 10 minutes ahead than  e 1st 1086 birds   e 1st 1082 birds both races arriving with the winner.  “ Comanche” 03 Bie 3011 ‘ our 2006 O/B No.1 Ace Pigeon Digest awards in his class. As a 4 year old he also won the over all 500m Rogerson Race. The following year from the same race station arriving one hr. after dark he also won the BALDI  Bay Area Long Distance Invitational Race.  Comanche’s full sister with her great breeding record is now Fred Goodchild’s new foundation hen in Canada. “ Comanche “ was raced over a 5 year period and received a total of 10 x 1st AU diplomas with 33 AU diplomas in total. Another full brother “DE 4050 won 1st 2394 birds.  Tom Hooks foundation cock is also a full brother of our “ Magic Maker “ . Another Super Racer from our Bieche family is “ Born to Win “ 1st Ace Pigeon Digest awards with 1st 2169 birds 5th 2394 birds and 7th 725 birds. His full brother “ New Horizon “ Won 1st 1760 birds as Y/B then as yearling won 1st 1165 birds  and 1st 1156 birds. In this case both cocks come from a  ½ sister of “ Magic Maker “ On the mothers side of these two cocks we also used a Janssen Hen from Marcel Sangers.

Then we have the 09 Bie 9099 BB/C that Bill Nesler loaned which bred him a Hall of Fame winner and great birds every year. When Bill Hatcher got back into pigeons the same 9099 Cock was used to make an impact in Hatchers loft as well. In addition Hatcher knowing the strength of this blood line purchased a hen on auction and called her “ Great Return “ In his breeding program she is one of the top back bones of his present day family. She has bred everything but the kitchen sink for him in some of the biggest money races in America. 09 Bie 9036 another full brother of “ Magic Maker “ was loaned to Steve Sterchi of Grass Valley Ca. From this blood line mated on to his Peter van Osch Janssens Imports had the 2008 Y/B 2nd best AU loft of all America. Another direct son of “ De Baron “ mated with a Roger Mortvedt’s hen was sent to China. Over a 3 year period youngsters were bred from this pair to compete in world wide one loft race competition. The youngsters from this pair did so well over the 3 year period that after the races were over they sold for more dollars than any of the Belgium birds.

In summation to our articles on breeding a better specimen of pigeon, both performance based birds were used along with our selection processes. In our case we did not spend 20 to 40 thousand dollars on just one Ace pigeon. Rather several key youngsters were selected from some of the top lofts of the World. To better our odds, only youngsters from the top pairs were selected.  In the 5 articles regarding Breeding a Better Pigeon we have enjoyed sharing our ideas that have worked for us and our clients. The 2009 young Bird American Ace Pigeon awards have just been listed and we are proud to announce a new Bieche Super Star. We call him " Mr. Dependable " He has now recorded the following awards. 1st AU 2009 Ace Pigeon of all America   1st  Hall of Fame Pigeon of all America  1st Ace pigeon over all Digest awards in our Class 1st Ace Speed Pigeon of all America Digest awards in our class. 1st Ace Pigeon of all California 601 to 900 birds per race.

Setting new goals 

Whether you are breeding for a better specimen or a better racer one should always set new goals. Our past personal goal with our pigeons was to breed a family of birds that carries our name that we and other flyers can be proud of. A pigeon  that can be raced week after week and score in the top percentile. Over the last 13 years having bred 23  Ace pigeons . Eight of the pigeons were also No.1 Ace pigeon of all America ,so at this point I believe we have met our goal. Because the money races have become so popular in America and around the world our new goal is to also be more competitive in the one loft races. To bring us up to another level we have imported a few select birds from Helmut and Alfons Klaas of Germany . In 2007 they won first over all in the South Africa race then in the same year bred the first over all winner in the World Ace Challenge Race. They also placed 22nd from 2200 in the China one loft race. In the 2008 Canary Island races with a bird they named “ Nina “ they recorded a first ( arriving alone )  plus 1st Hot Spot. The fallowing week they recorded 3 more equal Firsts. From the 10 birds arriving together in this race they also placed 3 in the Hot Spot positions. Flying pigeons from Island to Island is no piece of cake. Just ask our own Hawaiian flyers and they will gladly back up what I have said.

Remember above all keep your birds healthy.