Many insights make empirical knowledge.
Recently we had to deal with a considerable loss of pigeons. Only 10% of our winners reached the home front. Of course, this does not leave the pigeon sport unaffected. That is why we went looking for the possible causes of this loss. For this purpose, we came together with several experts in the field. Below, we will discuss a few of the hypotheses that emerged.
4G and 5G are the villains.
According to this hypothesis, the electromagnetic radiation of 4G and the more efficient 5G causes disorientation of our prize beasts. This theory less convinces Jean-Louis Jorissen: "For example, the electromagnetic radiation of the first wireless networks was many times higher than today. As the radiation did not disturb the orientation of the pigeons then, I do not believe that this is the case now. Ultimately, it is the devices that generate radiation , not necessarily the network itself."
The research agency Statista confirms this hypothesis. They compiled a list of mobile phones and what radiation they cause. The radiation is expressed as SAR value (Specific Absorption Rate) and shows the quantity of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation emitted to the user. According to the EU directive, this should not exceed 2.0 watt/kg. In normal circumstances, you will undoubtedly stay below this, although you will only know for sure when you add up all the devices around you.
Belgium is a small country but very large in pigeon racing. It is the case in all aspects, with heavy air traffic as a result. We do not have a complete overview of this now, but it would be an excellent recommendation to keep track of all current releases. This is also in line with the new guidelines that animals in general, and pigeons in particular, should only be transported across the border after a few days of quarantine. However, this is not the rule for training and racing flights. In short, everything is still allowed, but it is a matter of following the guidelines properly. So always keep yourself well informed.
The air over Western Europe is heavily congested and is not being replaced, or not sufficiently so, by fresh ocean air. The weather has, in a way, come to a halt. Bolsenaro is burning off the rainforest at a furious pace, slowing down the moderating Gulf Stream, essential to us. China, with its substantial polluting industry, is disrupting El Niño* and the associated jet stream. Pollution, deforestation and countless other practices are profoundly affecting our climate. We can call it unstable.
The showers that come in from the Atlantic Ocean, as usual, now form a traffic jam over Western Europe and are loaded with cubic kilometres of rainwater that may disturb the long sound waves that the pigeons use as a kind of relief map. So pigeons can, as it were, hear the mountains. They also use the scent and memory map and the geomagnetism, which shows fluctuations due to the imperfectly round shape of the planet.
In short, because of the changing climate, the pigeons are utterly lost.
The question remains about how to select the champions nowadays. "In any case, I am not an adherent of a strict Spartan selection, with a demanding programme for young pigeons. I selected it mainly based on resistance to disease. So my advice in this respect is to keep young pigeons healthy in a natural way," says Jean-Louis Jorissen.
At this stage of the competition, many fanciers usually report that their pigeons suffer from One-Eye-Cold. This time is no different. Mycoplasma causes One-eye-cold. Diseases such as Coryza and Herpes complicate this condition. For those who prefer to be antibiotic-free, the classical approach of COMED is sufficient.
As parasites are currently the foundation of diseases, Stopmite is a regular part of the care more than ever. Please include the product in the soil and the feed, or mix it in the grit like Albert Derwa always does. In his last column in “De Duif”, Willem De Bruijn also referred to Stopmite as a permanent sanitary product.
Life is a constant adaptation to the changeable. Our pharmacy team is also aware of this, as they are constantly changing our formulas to pursue perfection. These may be minor adjustments, but you can only arrive at the best product by tackling every detail. "It is a dynamic balance, and if there were not constantly new and exciting challenges, I would have quit long ago at 72," Jean-Louis Jorissen substantiates.
An optimisation is, of course, not a matter of guesswork. It requires wide-ranging research, an essential part of which are the discussions with our reputable test lofts. In addition, the insights of Willem De Bruijn are of great value to us, just like those of Pol Huls, Albert Derwa, Luc Sioen, Frans Rondags, Michel Vanlint and neighbour Jefke Geerts. We also like to start conversations with local champions to exchange experience and wisdom. Although you usually detect different findings and answers with each person, they always follow a specific line. They often used the products for years creatively but with a discerning eye because they were intrigued by the effect. We create empirical knowledge in this way.
The reason why we like to do that is simple. The pigeons and their performance do not lie. You can mathematically measure the effect of any change. That is why we listen to every suggestion because these people all have the same creative spirit. That is what makes the pigeon sport so fascinating. Therefore, our team insists on considering this information, based on intuition and common sense, through a scientific lens.
New brochure coming up.
In our new brochure, which we will publish soon, we already included some new conclusions we could draw this way. From now on, we recommend not to give anything except pure water and feed on the day of basketing, with water as the essential supplement. Of course, the products have a taste, and we want to avoid at all times that at the crucial moment of basketing, even one grain or one drop of water is consumed less. After the flight, we follow the usual system again.
Tip: after heavy flights, after the pigeons have drunk enough, you can dissolve Hydracom Recup in the water for 1 or 2 days for optimal recovery.
* El Niño is a natural phenomenon characterised by an intense warm-up of seawater in the eastern Pacific Ocean and can affect weather worldwide. Some areas experience extreme drought and/or heat. Other regions experience excessive rainfall. El Niño’s recur with regularity - once every two to seven years. Although they are natural phenomena, their effects are now being intensified by global warming.