How to succeed in pigeon sport


Lincia’s close relative, National Ace Pigeon of the Belgian sprint king, Stefaan Lambrecht, is now used in South Africa by Mark Kitchenbrand to increase the speed factor of his pigeons. Photo: PIPA.BE

The importance of good genetics in carrier pigeons cannot be underestimated. The base stock of South Africa’s renowned loft, Kitchenbrand’s Loft, is one example.

Co-owned by Mark Kitchenbrand, Kitchenbrand Loft Ace Pigeons are bred for performance and speed, and the loft’s incredible gene pool comes from the best genetic stock in the world.

The genetic strength of the best carrier pigeons will guarantee results on race day. As such, ambitious hobbyists are continually on the hunt for the best stock of genetic pigeons, which often leads them to purchase offspring from the same basic stock.

Therefore, the genetic makeup of Olympic champion pigeons in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, for example, can often intermingle, making them distant relations from each other.

Because they are also sellers, the descendants of founding pigeons belonging to leading breeders such as Pieter Veenstra, Jan Hooymans, C&G Koopman (Dutch champions), Alfons Klaas, Hardy Krüger and Gaby Vandenabeele (Belgian champions), are bred in the race pigeon population by them and various other buyers.

Speed
The pigeons of the Olympiad are classified according to the following categories: the best sprint, middle or long distance runners and the all-rounders. However, regardless of the distance, the pigeon that runs the shortest path home, at the highest speed, will always be the winner.

Kitchenbrand bought the now all-round champion Birdy for R800,000 at the 2007 South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race (SAMDPR) auction.

Birdy won the 2008 SAMDPR knockout championship, big middle ace and hot spot middle ace pigeon titles and passed on her extraordinary genetic strength to her offspring.

Bred in South Africa since 2008, Birdy’s offspring are among the most powerful hereditary transmitters in the world, producing the best results: Birdy’s first six direct descendants have all had multiple first prize winners. Four of his direct descendants were in the top 200 of the 2011 Sun City Million Dollar Race.

While Kitchenbrand thus has access to Birdy’s superior genetic line through his offspring, he has recently acquired some of Stefaan Lambrecht’s speed pigeons, currently the fastest pigeons in the world.

Birdy and Harry
Dutch pigeon racing champion Jan Hooymans bought Birdy in October 2015. Since then the famous Dutch Ace Racer Harry, a blue rooster owned by Hooymans, has been bred to Birdy.

None of their direct descendants has been offered for sale.

Harry is one of the best racers in the world, having won two races against 22,340 and 37,728 pigeons, and obtained third place against 21,520 pigeons. Harry’s offspring won against 11,337 pigeons, and a grandson won against 44,293 pigeons.

Key genetic links
Due to their exceptional genetics, Harry and Birdy’s offspring are expected to be phenomenal runners. Harry and Birdy are both related to a renowned pigeon strain: Harry was bred from the genetics of C&G Koopman and Gaby Vandenabeele.

Birdy’s dam is closely related to the same pigeons Louis van Loon and Janssen brothers used in the formation of the C&G Koopman gene pool. In South Africa, Birdy was bred to the best bird, Zander, bred by

Champion of the Netherlands, Pieter Veenstra. Veenstra Birds have a strong C&G Koopman foundation.

The offspring of Birdy with the pike perch therefore have a golden connection with the Janssen birds, as the basic birds of the Veenstra loft also connect to this lineage.

Thomas Smit is a carrier pigeon breeder, journalist and freelance writer.


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