DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK BEFORE SEEKING ANY PURCHASE OF NEW BIRDS! 

THIS IS A MUST.  THE KEY IS YOUR OWN RESEARCH.  DO NOT TAKE SOMEONE ELSE'S WORD.  IF POSSIBLE, YOU SHOULD RESEARCH THE RACE RESULTS FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS OF YOUNG BIRDS AND OLD BIRDS FOR THE CLUB, COMBINE AND THE RACE COURSES WHERE YOU WILL COMPETE.

YOUR RACING SECRETARY SHOULD BE A BIG HELP TO YOU, AS WELL AS THOSE CLUB AND COMBINE FLYERS WHO KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS.  ALSO, MANY CLUBS AND COMBINES PRINT YEARBOOKS WITH ALL OF THE RACE RESULTS THAT YOU WILL NEED.

THE LAST 30 YBS. RACES AND 30 OBS. RACES WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE INFORMATION ON THE TYPE OF BIRDS YOU NEED TO BE COMPETITIVE, OR TO IMPROVE YOUR RACE RESULTS IN YOUR AREA.

LOOK AT THE WINNING SPEEDS OF EACH RACE SERIES FOR YBS. AND OBS. 

FROM THIS INFORMATION, YOU SHOULD SEE A DEFINITE PATTERN IN THE SPEEDS OF THE WINNING BIRDS.

FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU FOUND THAT ALMOST ALL OF THE SPEEDS OF THE 30 YOUNG BIRD RACES IN THE LAST 3 YEARS RANGE FROM 1500 - 1900 SPEED, THEN THIS PATTERN INDICATES THAT THE COURSE YOU FLY IS FAST, AND YOU NEED SPEED BIRDS TO HANDLE THIS STYLE OF RACING YBS.  THE YOUNG BIRD RACES WILL RANGE FROM 100-350 MILES AS A RULE.  YOU SHOULD CONSIDER ALL DISTANCES THAT YOUR CLUB FLIES TO DETERMINE A PATTERN.

HOWEVER, IF YOU SEE A PATTERN OF SPEEDS IN THE 1100 - 1300 RANGE, THEN YOU SHOULD SEEK A DIFFERENT TYPE OF BIRD TO HANDLE THE TOUGHER COURSE IN YOUR AREA.  THE SPEED BIRDS WILL NOT HANDLE THE TOUGHER WEATHER OR LAND CONDITIONS FOR THIS TYPE OF COURSE.

YOU SHOULD CONDUCT THE SAME RESEARCH FOR OLD BIRDS RACES.  TAKE THE LAST 30 RACES, OR AS MANY AS YOU CAN FIND FROM DISTANCES OF 100-500 MILES OVER THE SAME COURSE.

REMEMBER, THE COURSE OR DIRECTION YOU RACE MUST BE THE SAME TO GET A TRUE EVALUATION.  YOU SHOULD GROUP ALL RACES FROM WEST TO EAST, OR NORTH TO SOUTH TOGETHER.  SOME CLUBS FLY VARIOUS COURSES IN A SERIES.  YOU MUST GROUP ALL RACES IN SAME DIRECTION TOGETHER. 

THEREFORE, STEP #1 IS TO DETERMINE FOR YOURSELF THE TYPE OF BIRDS NECESSARY TO BE COMPETITIVE IN AT LEAST 75% OF THE RACES IN YOUR AREA FOR YBS. AND OBS., FOR THE DIRECTIONS YOU WILL FLY.

NOW THAT YOU KNOW THE TYPE OF BIRD NEEDED TO BE COMPETITIVE IN ABOUT 75% OF ALL THE RACES IN YOUR AREA, YOU NEED TO SELECT SOME POSSIBLE SOURCES WHERE YOU CAN ACQUIRE THESE BIRDS.

DO NOT WORRY ABOUT STRAINS, FAMOUS NAMES, OR A CERTAIN FAMILY OF BIRDS AT THIS TIME.  YOU ARE SEEKING BIRDS THAT WILL HANDLE YOUR STYLE AND RACING CONDITIONS.

FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT, YOU ARE GOING TO SEEK OUT A "PERFORMANCE LOFT".  THIS TYPE OF LOFT WILL SHOW YOU RACE RESULTS.  STAY AWAY FROM THE SO CALLED "PEDIGREE LOFT".  IT HAS NO RACE RESULTS TO SHOW YOU, JUST FANCY PAPER, LOTS OF PROMISES AND BIG DISAPPOINTMENTS.

THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS ARE NECESSARY TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A PERFORMANCE LOFT:

1.   AN HONEST FANCIER WITH AN EXCELLENT REPUTATION IN THE SPORT AND GOOD RACE RESULTS FOR AT LEAST 7-10 YEARS;  THESE RACE RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS SHOULD BE CURRENT, NOT 5, 10 OR 20 YEARS OLD.

2.   A FANCIER THAT HAS A REPUTATION FOR SELLING GOOD BIRDS, THAT IS, THE BLOODLINES THAT ARE WINNING FOR HIM BOTH TODAY AND IN YEARS PAST; SOMEONE THAT WILL BE HELPFUL TO YOU WITH HIS TRAINING STYLE, FEEDING AND MEDICATION PROGRAMS FOR THE BIRDS YOU WILL BUY

3.   A FANCIER THAT HAS A FAMILY OF BIRDS THAT HE HAS BRED FOR YEARS; GENERATION AFTER GENERATION OF WINNERS IS THE KEY.  THESE BIRDS WILL HAVE PRODUCED WELL FOR HIM AND OTHERS.  HE MUST BE WILLING TO SELL YOU THE SAME FAMILY AND BLOODLINES, WITH HIS SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO MATE THEM.

ALL THREE OF THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS MUST BE MET TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE GETTING THE NECESSARY QUALITY BIRDS.

HOWEVER, HERE ARE SOME OF THE PROBLEMS THAT YOU WILL ENCOUNTER.

WE ALL KNOW FANCIERS WHO ARE WELL RESPECTED, HONEST AND HAVE EXCELLENT REPUTATIONS FOR MANY YEARS OF OUTSTANDING RACE RESULTS.  HOWEVER, THEY WILL NOT SELL BIRDS, DONATE TO AUCTIONS, OR SHARE THEIR METHODS.  THIS IS THEIR POLICY, AND THEY ARE FREE TO PRACTICE IT.  THEY FEEL THAT THEY HAVE SPENT YEARS DEVELOPING THEIR BIRDS AND METHODS AT GREAT TIME AND EXPENSE.  THEY DO NOT WANT TO COMPETE AGAINST THEIR OWN BIRDS OR BLOODLINES.  THEREFORE, THIS PERFORMANCE LOFT WILL BE OF LITTLE OR NO USE TO YOU IN OBTAINING THE QUALITY STOCK OR INFORMATION YOU NEED.

YOU CAN FIND PLENTY OF FANCIERS WILLING TO SELL BIRDS.  THE NATIONAL MAGAZINES ARE FULL OF FANCIERS WHO ADVERTISE.  REMEMBER YOU NEED A FANCIER WHO IS WILLING TO SELL THE SAME BLOODLINES THAT WON FOR HIM OVER LAST THE SEVERAL YEARS.  UNFORTUNATELY, YOU FIND MANY FANCIERS WHO SELL OFFSPRING OF THE NEW BIRDS THEY HAVE RECENTLY ACQUIRED.  THE NEW BIRDS ARE NOT PROVEN, AND THE FANCIERS TRY TO RECOVER SOME OF THEIR MONEY AND INVESTMENT, OR POSSIBLY SELL OFF THE ENTIRE NEW STOCK.

MANY FANCIERS BRING IN NEW BIRDS EVERY YEAR AND MANY ADVERTISE AND SELL THESE BIRDS AS QUALITY BIRDS THAT HAVE WON FOR THEM, WHICH IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE.  ALSO, YOU ARE LOOKING FOR HELP ON HOW TO HANDLE THESE BIRDS CORRECTLY.  IF THE SELLER DID NOT HAVE SUCCESS WITH THEM, HOW CAN HE ADVISE YOU?

A FAMILY OF PROVEN BIRDS THAT HAVE BEEN WINNING AND PRODUCING GENERATION AFTER GENERATION SHOULD CONTAIN PROVEN RACERS AND BREEDERS ON BOTH SIDES OF PEDIGREE.  THEY SHOULD BE SELECTED AND BREED FOR "PERFORMANCE ONLY".  THEY SHOULD SHOW A STRONG HISTORY OF CONTINUED SUCCESS IN MAJOR COMPETITION.  A FAMILY LIKE THIS SHOULD, AND WILL UNDER PROPER MANAGEMENT, CONTINUE THOSE SAME WINNING WAYS FOR THE NEW OWNER.  3-5 PAIRS OF THESE QUALITY BLOODLINES, PROPERLY MATED AS THE SELLER ADVISES, SHOULD BE ALL YOU NEED TO GET STARTED PROPERLY AND BE VERY COMPETITIVE IN YOUR AREA.

YOU ARE NOT LOOKING FOR A FANCIER WHO HAS A FEW PAIR OF TOP BREEDERS THAT ARE PRODUCING WELL, BUT WHOSE OFFSPRING ARE NOT PRODUCTIVE.  ONCE THE KEY BREEDERS ARE DONE, SO IS THE SUCCESS OF THE FLYER.  YOU WANT GENERATION AFTER GENERATION OF RESULTS FROM THE SAME BLOODLINES.  PLEASE TAKE THE SELLER'S ADVICE ON HOW TO HANDLE AND MATE THEM.  NO ONE KNOWS HIS BIRDS BETTER THEN HIM.  HE HAS THE SUCCESS AND RESULTS YOU DESIRE.

TO SUMMARIZE, YOU MUST DECIDE ON THE TYPE OF BIRDS YOU NEED TO BE COMPETITIVE (REMEMBER NAMES / STRAINS ARE NOT IMPORTANT, JUST RESULTS).  YOU WANT AN HONEST FANCIER, WITH AN EXCELLENT REPUTATION AND RESULTS IN THE SPORT (7-10 YEARS), WHO IS WILLING TO SELL BLOODLINES THAT ARE WINNING FOR HIM FROM A FAMILY OF BIRDS THAT HAVE BEEN PRODUCING GENERATION AFTER GENERATION.

"IT SOUNDS SIMPLE, AND IT REALLY IS," BUT MANY FANCIERS GET DISTRACTED AND SOMETIMES CONFUSED WHEN LOOKING FOR NEW STOCK OR BREEDERS TO IMPROVE THEIR LOFTS.

STAY AWAY FROM THE SO CALLED "EXPERTS" IN YOUR CLUB WHO OFFER YOU FREE OR CHEAP BIRDS, AND ALL OF THEIR GREAT ADVICE AND EXPERTISE.  THEY HAVE NOT WON A DIPLOMA IN THE LAST 5-10 YEARS, BUT THEY HAVE GREAT BIRDS AND ALL THE EXCUSES IN THE WORLD WHY THEY ARE NOT WINNING.  THEY WILL ONLY BRING YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL, WHICH IS THE BOTTOM OF THE RACE RESULTS.  IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS ARTICLE, WE STATED THAT YOU SHOULD DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK.  LOOK CLOSELY AT THESE SO CALLED EXPERTS THAT ARE WILLING TO HELP YOU.  IF THEY ARE NOT CONSISTENTLY IN THE TOP 10% OF THE RACE RESULTS, YOU DO NOT NEED THEIR BIRDS OR ADVICE, REGARDLESS OF HOW CONVINCING THEY SOUND, OR HOW CHEAP OR GOOD THE DEAL THEY OFFER.  A BAD PIGEON COSTS MORE TO BREED AND TRAIN THAN A GOOD ONE!  THE RESULTS ARE ALWAYS THE SAME, DISAPPOINTMENT AND EXPENSE.  THE SAME GOES FOR BAD ADVICE.

ALL ADVERTISING MAY NOT BE AS HONEST, TRUTHFUL, ACCURATE OR INFORMATIVE AS IT SHOULD.  YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PERFORMANCE LOFT FOR YOUR SOURCE.  IF THE AD CLAIMS WINNERS, LARGE PRIZES, "NATIONAL AWARDS WON", ETC., THEN THE SELLER SHOULD BE ABLE TO PROVIDE MATERIAL, DOCUMENTATION OF HIS CLAIMS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AS WELL AS REFERENCES FROM OTHERS WHO HAVE DONE WELL WITH HIS BIRDS.  HIS COMPETITION AND RESULTS SHOULD BE AGAINST BOTH STRONG, ACTIVE CLUBS AND COMBINES.

STAY AWAY FROM THE SO CALLED "PEDIGREE BREEDERS".  THE MAGAZINES ARE FULL OF THEM.  THEY ADVERTISE SOME FAMOUS BIRD (USUALLY OF FOREIGN ORIGIN) THROUGHOUT THE PEDIGREES.  LOOK AT THE PEDIGREE, AND YOU HAVE SEVERAL GENERATIONS OF NON FLOWN BIRDS THAT ARE NOT PROVEN IN THE AIR, OR IN COMPETITION.  A RACING PIGEON MUST HAVE A COMPASS, HOMING INSTINCT AND THE ABILITY TO NAVIGATE, ALONG WITH DESIRE, INTELLIGENCE AND THE MOTIVATION TO CONTINUE DURING LONG, TOUGH RACES.  PERFORMANCE LOFTS BREED FOR THESE QUALITIES. PEDIGREE LOFTS CANNOT BECAUSE PEDIGREES CANNOT FLY, HOME OR NAVIGATE.  THEY ARE NICE TO LOOK AT, AS ARE THE BIRDS THEY REPRESENT.  HOWEVER, THE RACING SPORT IS NOT A BEAUTY CONTEST OR JUDGE OF ANCESTRY.  DO THOSE FANCY BLUE BLOODS SHOW UP ON RACE DAY?

HOW ABOUT THAT "NATIONAL ACE PIGEON OF HOLLAND" OR THAT "CHAMPION BIRD OF ALL OF BELGIUM OR ENGLAND"?  THEY CERTAINLY HAVE A PERFORMANCE BACKGROUND AND RACE RESULTS.  HOWEVER, LOOK AT THE "DISTANCES" THAT THESE BIRDS HAVE USED TO COMPILE THEIR FAMOUS RECORDS.  MANY, IF NOT ALL, ARE UNDER 100 MILES (100 MILES EQUALS 162.4 KILOMETERS {KMS.}).  THEREFORE, IF YOU SEE A BIRD WITH A WIN AT 100 KMS. ADVERTISED IN THE MAGAZINES, THEN THAT BIRD FLEW 62 MILES.  IN ADVERTISEMENTS FOR THESE FAMOUS BIRDS, MANY TIMES YOU WILL NOT SEE THE DISTANCES OF THE RACES, JUST THE NUMBER OF WINS OR PRIZES.  THE DISTANCES ARE CONVENIENTLY LEFT OUT.  HOW MANY RACES IN THIS COUNTRY ARE UNDER 100 MILES?  REMEMBER, YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A FAMILY OF PIGEONS THAT WILL BE COMPETITIVE IN YOUR AREA, AND AT THE DISTANCES YOUR CLUB AND COMBINE FLY.  THUS, TAKING 2 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY AND MATING THEM TOGETHER, OR MATING THEIR CHILDREN OR GRANDCHILDREN IS EXPERIMENTAL BREEDING, WITH A HIGH PRICE AND A LARGE RISK TO THE BUYER.

MULLIGAN'S PLACE LOFT HAS ALWAYS GIVEN AND FOLLOWED THE SAME ADVICE:  IF YOU ARE FLYING IN HOLLAND, BUY BIRDS THAT HAVE PROVEN THEMSELVES IN HOLLAND.  IF YOU ARE FLYING IN BELGIUM, ENGLAND OR THE UNITED STATES, BUY THE PIGEONS THAT HAVE PROVEN THEMSELVES IN THE COUNTRY WHERE YOU WILL FLY.

STAY AWAY FROM THE LOFTS THAT ADVERTISE A NEW FAMILY OF BIRDS EACH YEAR.  FOR LAST 3 OR 4 YEARS THEY HAVE BROUGHT IN NEW BIRDS. EACH YEAR THIS "NEW FAMILY" IS THE BEST, AND "THE ONLY WAY TO WIN".  THEN NEXT YEAR, THE SAME LOFT MAKES THE SAME CLAIMS FOR A DIFFERENT FAMILY OF BIRDS.  DO YOU THINK THEY MAY JUST WANT TO SELL BIRDS?

AUCTIONS ARE BOTH BIG FUND RAISERS AND LARGE SOURCES OF BIRDS.  YOU CAN VISIT MANY LOFTS AND THE OWNERS WILL SHOW YOU BIRDS THAT HAVE COST HIM LARGE SUMS OF MONEY.  ONE BIRD COST HIM $2,000, ANOTHER $1,500, ETC.  THE FANCIER IS VERY PROUD OF HIS PURCHASES, AND AFTER EVERY BIG AUCTION THIS FANCIER GOES HOME WITH ANOTHER HIGH PRICED BIRD.  HE IS HAPPY, AND SO IS THE SELLER.  HE HAS NO FAMILY OF BIRDS, JUST A MIXTURE OF HIGH PRICED PURCHASES, MOST OF WHICH ARE ALL UNPROVEN AS RACERS OR BREEDERS.

YOU ARE LOOKING FOR LOFTS THAT CAN SHOW YOU BIRDS THAT HAVE WON BIG MONEY OR LARGE PRIZES OR DIPLOMAS FOR THEM (THIS BIRD WON $2,500 IN BIG FUTURITY, ETC.).  YOU ARE LOOKING FOR PERFORMANCE RESULTS.  YOU SHOULD NOT BE IMPRESSED BY HOW MUCH A BIRD COSTS, BUT BY ITS RACE RESULTS OR HOW MUCH IT HAS WON.  YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN TAKING MONEY OUT OF YOUR POCKET, BUT PUTTING MONEY INTO YOUR WALLET.  YOU ARE MAKING AN INVESTMENT, AND YOU SHOULD GET SOME RETURN.  IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE MONEY, BUT IT SHOULD BE REWARDING.  DO YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY ON AUCTION DAY OR RACE DAY?

EARLIER, WE SAID NAMES AND STRAINS ARE NOT IMPORTANT, JUST DESIRED RESULTS.  DO NOT FALL IN THAT BIG TRAP OF WORRYING ABOUT CERTAIN FAMILIES OF BIRDS.  SOME BUYERS HAVE CERTAIN NAMES THAT GOVERN THEIR BUYING DECISIONS.  PERFORMANCE LOFTS BREED FOR RESULTS, THE NAME OF THE FAMILY OR STRAIN IS OF NO IMPORTANCE. WHEN YOU LIMIT YOUR CHOICES BECAUSE OF STRAINS, YOU LOWER YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS.

ALWAYS GO TO THE ORIGINAL FANCIER OR SOURCE FOR YOUR BIRDS.  THE FANCIER HAS HIS REPUALSO, THIS APPLIES TO FANCIERS THAT BREED OR SELECT FOR EXTERNAL APPEARANCE:  WINGS, BACK, BUILD, SIZE, FEATHER, EYES AND TATION, HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND HIS BIRDS' GOOD NAME AT RISK.  USUALLY, HE WILL GIVE YOU BETTER SELECTION AND A BETTER DEAL.  THE FANCIER WHO OFFERS SECOND AND THIRD GENERATION BIRDS FROM A TOP LOFT MAY NOT BE AS HONEST.  YOU MAY NOT GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.  WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO SAY, IN A NICE WAY, IS THAT THERE ARE PLENTY OF DISHONEST FANCIERS IN THE SPORT THAT MISREPRESENT THEMSELVES AND THEIR BIRDS.  YOU WILL NOT HAVE A MISREPRESENTATION PROBLEM IF YOU OBTAIN YOUR BIRDS FROM THE ORIGINAL FANCIER OR BREEDER.

YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE AN INVESTMENT TO OBTAIN THESE BIRDS.  YOU EXPECT TO PAY A FAIR PRICE.  YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, SELECTIVE BREEDING, HEAVY CULLING AND POSSIBLY LARGE EXPENSE ON THE SELLER'S PART TO ACHIEVE HIS SUCCESS.  IN SOME CASES, A SELLER SPENDS A LIFETIME OF WORK AND DEDICATION ON HIS BIRDS AND REPUTATION.  HE KNOWS HIS BIRDS, SO LET HIM SELECT THEM FOR YOU, AND ADVISE YOU ON POSSIBLE MATINGS.  BREED THEM AS A FAMILY FOR AT LEAST 2-3 YEARS.  DO NOT CROSS THEM WITH OTHER BIRDS.  YOU CAN UNDO A LIFETIME OF WORK IN ONE MATING OR BREEDING SEASON.  YOU WILL BE ASKING HIM TO SELECT 6-10 BIRDS FOR YOU.  PRICES WILL VARY FROM FANCIER TO FANCIER.  THEY SHOULD RANGE FROM A LOW OF $50 EACH TO A HIGH OF $300 EACH FOR BIRDS THAT RANGE FROM 30 DAYS TO 1 YEAR OLD.  PROVEN BREEDERS AND RECORD BIRDS WILL BE A GREAT DEAL HIGHER.  YOU WANT TO OBTAIN THE PROVEN BLOODLINES, SO BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE RECORD BIRDS ARE FINE.  IF THOSE BIRDS HAVE PRODUCED GENERATION AFTER GENERATION THE BLOODLINES WILL PROVE THEMSELVES FOR YOU.

BE PATIENT!  KEEP YOUR MIND CLEAR!  BUY ON INFORMATION AND RESULTS, NOT EMOTION AND FANCY ADVERTISEMENTS!  DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU INVEST YOUR MONEY, AND YOUR INVESTMENT WILL BE REWARDING!