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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 20:13   #26
pete1950
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Morton
Pete,

Could you please provide details of your source for this statement.

Anthony
My son in law, and my neighbour, I have witnessed the carnage after a clear out.

I know the money that floats around the Pigeon lofts, my son in law has bought stock from, (I think the spellings right) Mazzerella a well know flyer with a bank balance that allows him to gad around the world buying fresh blood, at prices you could build an estate of houses for.

Anyway common sense alone tells you that it would be pointless keeping a bird that doesn't perform, it would be both a waste of time and money, and you can't just give it away as a pet. (Even if there's no chance it'll find it's way back to you.)

I can imagine some kid coming home with a flying rat under his arm saying it's all right Mam I'll keep it in me bedroom.

It's not just Pigeon flyers that are guilty of culling duff stock, it goes on in any branch of animal husbandry that require a degree if perfection, including my own hobby of Rabbit showing, of course we don't shout it from the rooftops, and if confronted we issue a quick denial just as the greyhound racers and Pigeon fanciers do, so please don't take the moral high ground and try to defend what is on the ground, common knowledge.
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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 20:37   #27
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I can imagine some kid coming home with a flying rat under his arm saying it's all right Mam I'll keep it in me bedroom.


Hi Pete
I think the above statement shows your true feelings towards racing pigeons so I think we can take your comments with a pinch of salt .
I dont know where you get the idea that there is loads of money sloshing round as you put it , most birds change hands for between 30 and 50 and as for the breeder you mentioned he sells most of his birds for between 99 and 129 for a kit of six young birds , hardly a lot of money in this day and age .
Yes large sums are sometimes paid but this is the exception rather than the rule .
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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 20:41   #28
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"Anyhow it was on a race from France to the UK and clearly took the wrong turn!"

Some years ago, I kept Pigeons. There were rumours that when loading the trucks with baskets for overseas races, France etc, certain individuals used to put small magnets beside the baskets of birds belonging to others. They reckoned that this would disturb the magnetite in the birds brain, (recent research shows that there is magnatite in the upper beak tissue, their otolith organs, neck and nape) of the other homing pigeons and thus confuse the magnetic bearing capabilities, and homing instincts. It was thought at the time that these birds would then be more liable to get lost during the race.

Ahh, sporting times!!

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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 20:47   #29
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Originally Posted by alcedo.atthis
"Anyhow it was on a race from France to the UK and clearly took the wrong turn!"

Some years ago, I kept Pigeons. There were rumours that when loading the trucks with baskets for overseas races, France etc, certain individuals used to put small magnets beside the baskets of birds belonging to others. They reckoned that this would disturb the magnetite in the birds brain, (recent research shows that there is magnatite in the upper beak tissue, their otolith organs, neck and nape) of the other homing pigeons and thus confuse the magnetic bearing capabilities, and homing instincts. It was thought at the time that these birds would then be more liable to get lost during the race.

Ahh, sporting times!!

Regards


Malky
Hi Malky
If you did indeed race pigeons of which I have no doubt you should know that the racing baskets contain birds from many fanciers not just one , just another old wives tale again Im afraid .
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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 20:54   #30
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"I see the usual lets hate all pigeon fancier brigade are at it again any one would think we where the spawn of the devil . Sorry to disapoint but we are mostly (99%) resonable people who love our birds and hobby."

You do not dissapoint me. It's the usual story, that you have a title (pigeon fancier/racer) in this case, and the bad eggs in the barrel create the attitude that all the eggs are bad, Same with the gamekeepers. Same with all walks of life. No one remembers the last good deed done, only the last bad one.

"As for paying 60,000 for a pigeon well you pays your money and you takes your chance , mind you for that money I would expect it to fly faster than Concorde never mind the odd Perg."

I can now walk faster "than Concorde never mind the odd Perg." Who will pay 60,000:00 for me??

"Just to finish on a lighter note a guy once said to me " you pigeon fanciers are all the same when they dont come back you kill them " (a true story)"

It's like the quote from a certain person seeing a blind man and his dog "It's amazing how that blind dog can see".

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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 20:58   #31
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Hi Malky
If you did indeed race pigeons of which I have no doubt you should know that the racing baskets contain birds from many fanciers not just one , just another old wives tale again Im afraid.

Yes, but most of the birds from the same club go into one basket. Do they now mix club birds with others club birds in the same basket prior to races, due to this alleged practice??

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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 21:18   #32
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I can't seem to post a thread that a doesn't start a fight lately!!!!

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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 22:02   #33
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Yes, but most of the birds from the same club go into one basket. Do they now mix club birds with others club birds in the same basket prior to races, due to this alleged practice??

Regards

Malky[/quote]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Malky
I dont think I know of any club that only sends one basket as they only hold about 24 birds . My own club which is about average sends around 20 to 30 baskets per week (a lot of magnets needed here)
I believe though that research in the USA did find that magnets affected homing ability in pigeons but the magnets where attated to the birds skull I dont know if any one has any information on this .
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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 22:07   #34
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I can't seem to post a thread that a doesn't start a fight lately!!!!

Mike
Hi Weather
No youve got it all wrong its just a friendly exchange of views and a bit of banter keep up the good work .
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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 22:44   #35
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Originally Posted by pete1950
My son in law, and my neighbour, I have witnessed the carnage after a clear out.
With all due respect, I don't think that your son in law (wonderful lad though he may be) or your neighbour are proof of your sweeping statement that pigeon fanciers kill more of their birds than predators. It will take something a lot more scientific or statistical than that to convince me.


Quote:
I can imagine some kid coming home with a flying rat under his arm saying it's all right Mam I'll keep it in me bedroom.
Ye Gods! - Not that old jibe again, surely? Talk about give a dog a bad name!
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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 22:46   #36
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Originally Posted by The Tom
Hi Weather
No youve got it all wrong its just a friendly exchange of views and a bit of banter keep up the good work .
Hi The Tom,

There you are, my friend. I was beginning to think that even you had got tired, not to say giddy, of going round in circles. Welcome back!

Anthony
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Old Tuesday 3rd August 2004, 09:24   #37
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Originally Posted by Anthony Morton
With all due respect, I don't think that your son in law (wonderful lad though he may be) or your neighbour are proof of your sweeping statement that pigeon fanciers kill more of their birds than predators. It will take something a lot more scientific or statistical than that to convince me.
I think there is perhaps some realism in the statement even if we accept that there is no statistical support Anthony. To be honest here, you cannot be asking us to believe that fanciers genuinely continue to care for birds that are useless for racing are you? We can quibble endlessly about figures but it is irrelevent, even non-fanciers have to accept that destruction of failed racing birds is inevitable and is also necessary from a conservation perspective. It is difficult to discuss this when there is so much secrecy over the numbers that are destroyed due to concerns about a welfare image but I have no problem with that unless fanciers continue with the [sigh!] rhetoric over raptor predation. However, I am grateful for the RPRA feedback and I am now confident about directing the public back to this organisation when a fancier fails to arrange for recovery of a lost bird. Rather disappointingly, it has happened on at least three occasions (I am one of team of nine taking calls BTW) this season already. I have pointed out this before Anthony, it is a shame that such a noble sport is being corrupted by the minority who are dishonest about their activities. This makes it difficult for people like yourself too because I can understand the need to defend the sport even though it means hiding the figures of the bad minority.

There is an important analogy here and it is one that is perpetrated by Birdwatching magazine. I often read of exemplary behaviour by twitchers honouring requests not to access sites in certain ways yet I have personal experience that this is ignored despite what the magazine claims. The Marton Mere American bittern was a classic example with far too many people ignoring requests not to access the site through the caravan site. The bird was also hassled at close range (the evidence was imprinted in the grass) yet that was not how events were portrayed at the time. I could be accused of being bitter because the bird had (understandably) gone into cover by the time I arrived but I am merely being honest about events. This is not a criticism of Birdwatching or twitchers in general but just acceptance that in any walk of life there will be (at best) an irresponsible element that misrepresents the activity. I do not say we should just accept this as beingan unfortunate fact, it should be dealt with as far as possible. However, when the facts obscure figures in other directions then it is not possible to put up a smokescreen and although your efforts to (rightly) defend your sport are admirable, you are also understandably caught by the loyalty to your sport.
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Old Tuesday 3rd August 2004, 19:54   #38
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[quote=Anthony Morton]With all due respect, I don't think that your son in law (wonderful lad though he may be) or your neighbour are proof of your sweeping statement that pigeon fanciers kill more of their birds than predators. It will take something a lot more scientific or statistical than that to convince me.

Hey. I've held my hands up and admitted on a public forum that in my hobby culling of no hopers goes on, and if the figures were published the numbers up and down the country it would be horrendous, but as I have stated it's not shouted from the rooftops, and indeed it is denied as the public face has to be shown as a caring one.

I have known many Pigeon fanciers, and I will, with hand on heart say that all the ones I have known carry out culling of their birds some for health reasons but also under performers. It makes economic sense, or else there would be lofts full of dross with no value and no line of excellence, if they bred the strength of the offspring would also be diluted, and pretty soon the hobby would be in disarray.
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Old Tuesday 3rd August 2004, 20:08   #39
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I can imagine some kid coming home with a flying rat under his arm saying it's all right Mam I'll keep it in me bedroom.


Hi Pete
I think the above statement shows your true feelings towards racing pigeons so I think we can take your comments with a pinch of salt .

You can take 'em with a pinch of whatever you like, if you can't stand to read the truth. As for the little piece of rhetoric it was designed to add a little humour to an otherwise serious topic.

I dont know where you get the idea that there is loads of money sloshing round as you put it , most birds change hands for between 30 and 50 and as for the breeder you mentioned he sells most of his birds for between 99 and 129 for a kit of six young birds , hardly a lot of money in this day and age .


There was a case on the news not so long ago where a loft had been broken into and some birds either killed or mutilated, the old bloke estimated he'd lost about 5,000 worth of birds, hardly chicken feed is it.
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Old Tuesday 3rd August 2004, 20:57   #40
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Ok the following might be a tad out of date, and the latest record price could be much higher.

The most expensive racing pigeon cost over 110,000 and is called Invincible Spirit and was bought by Louella Pigeon World UK in 1992.


There are an estimated 80,000 fanciers in the UK who raise around 2,000,000 young birds per year.

2,000,000!!! With figures like that, which have been lifted from a pigeon site, could someone please explain how 2,000,000 birds are absorbed into the fancy each year given that the lifespan for an individual bird is around 3-4 years.?
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Old Wednesday 4th August 2004, 08:21   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete1950
Ok the following might be a tad out of date, and the latest record price could be much higher.

The most expensive racing pigeon cost over 110,000 and is called Invincible Spirit and was bought by Louella Pigeon World UK in 1992.


There are an estimated 80,000 fanciers in the UK who raise around 2,000,000 young birds per year.

2,000,000!!! With figures like that, which have been lifted from a pigeon site, could someone please explain how 2,000,000 birds are absorbed into the fancy each year given that the lifespan for an individual bird is around 3-4 years.?
Omigod, I had not realised it was as high as that. 2 million birds per year with a lifespan of 3-4 years gives a (potential) total figure of 6-8 million birds. Allowing for culling the birds for various reasons, that would give a figure of 3-6 millon birds in the UK alone. This may surprise everyone but that figure is greater than the number of wild pigeons and doves of all species in the UK and also explains why no true estimate can be made of the feral population. At least some of the ferals may be accessories that only visit feral flocks from time to time. If Anthony reads this, it is part of what I was trying to get over about honesty and whether fanciers would be willing to concede points to get some clarity.
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Old Thursday 5th August 2004, 18:52   #42
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Originally Posted by pete1950
Ok the following might be a tad out of date, and the latest record price could be much higher.

The most expensive racing pigeon cost over 110,000 and is called Invincible Spirit and was bought by Louella Pigeon World UK in 1992.


There are an estimated 80,000 fanciers in the UK who raise around 2,000,000 young birds per year.

2,000,000!!! With figures like that, which have been lifted from a pigeon site, could someone please explain how 2,000,000 birds are absorbed into the fancy each year given that the lifespan for an individual bird is around 3-4 years.?
Hi Pete
If you do the math on the figures given it works out to about 25 rings per fancier totaling over a four year period 100 birds bred , losses due to all eventualities (not culling) ammount to about 50% (my guess) leaving the average number of birds to survive at about 50 .
I think that figures quoted say each loft contains between 80 and 100 pigeons , so what appears an enormous figure at first glance then comes into perspective . Another point although most birds do not get to the five year mark some do and pigeons can live to a ripe old age (mainly retired racers or stock birds) I think the oldest bird that I have heard of lived to 27 years .
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Old Thursday 5th August 2004, 19:01   #43
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Hi The Tom,

There you are, my friend. I was beginning to think that even you had got tired, not to say giddy, of going round in circles. Welcome back!

Anthony
Hi Anthony
Sorry to have been away so long but Ive bin busy with the young uns , carry on with the good work and keep letting em know we are always at the ready to put the other side of the story , and keep the discussions balanced .
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Old Thursday 5th August 2004, 19:21   #44
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Hi Pete
If you do the math on the figures given it works out to about 25 rings per fancier totaling over a four year period 100 birds bred , losses due to all eventualities (not culling) ammount to about 50% (my guess) leaving the average number of birds to survive at about 50 .
I think that figures quoted say each loft contains between 80 and 100 pigeons , so what appears an enormous figure at first glance then comes into perspective . Another point although most birds do not get to the five year mark some do and pigeons can live to a ripe old age (mainly retired racers or stock birds) I think the oldest bird that I have heard of lived to 27 years .
Oh I did the math, but as I understand it the 2,000,000 relates to birds raised, even a relatively small figure of 25 per loft would mean 100 birds over the four years, that is from a standing start, as most fanciers have been going since Cain was a lad that's an awful amount of birds over the years. You say that most birds don't get to five years, this I know which is why I said four years as opposed to five, but that is the flyers, the stock birds last much longer because they do not have the same amount of stress.

A loft of 80 pigeons would swell to (your figures) 130, and you imply that retired racers are kept, or my figures are 180 for a loft of 80 birds over the four years. Should we say that a loft contains 100 birds then it is 200 birds and the need for another loft.

I also note in your reply you have again denied the culling aspect, I don't know why, what are the reasons other than you might get up the nose of some crank? Culling is part and parcel of keeping racing pigeons, (or any other fancy for that matter) it's not perhaps the most savoury part but it is necessary to maintain a strong healthy loft.

To perhaps put it another way, without the flying rat jibe, how else can you keep the numbers down to a manageable level and maintain the strengths of your line without culling? Or even worse selling them off as good birds, for which your reputation would quickly be shot.
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Old Thursday 5th August 2004, 19:33   #45
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Hi Anthony
Sorry to have been away so long but Ive bin busy with the young uns , carry on with the good work and keep letting em know we are always at the ready to put the other side of the story , and keep the discussions balanced .
Ye gad's.

I've been around pigeon, poultry, rabbit and dog breeders all my life, I myself have recently retired from showing rabbits, I am not on a witch-hunt, I just tell it how it is. Neither am I implying that cruelty is involved, but culling is a necessary evil that is carried out as humanely as possible but it still happens.
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Old Thursday 5th August 2004, 19:43   #46
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Oh I did the math, but as I understand it the 2,000,000 relates to birds raised, even a relatively small figure of 25 per loft would mean 100 birds over the four years, that is from a standing start, as most fanciers have been going since Cain was a lad that's an awful amount of birds over the years. You say that most birds don't get to five years, this I know which is why I said four years as opposed to five, but that is the flyers, the stock birds last much longer because they do not have the same amount of stress.

A loft of 80 pigeons would swell to (your figures) 130, and you imply that retired racers are kept, or my figures are 180 for a loft of 80 birds over the four years. Should we say that a loft contains 100 birds then it is 200 birds and the need for another loft.

I also note in your reply you have again denied the culling aspect, I don't know why, what are the reasons other than you might get up the nose of some crank? Culling is part and parcel of keeping racing pigeons, (or any other fancy for that matter) it's not perhaps the most savoury part but it is necessary to maintain a strong healthy loft.

To perhaps put it another way, without the flying rat jibe, how else can you keep the numbers down to a manageable level and maintain the strengths of your line without culling? Or even worse selling them off as good birds, for which your reputation would quickly be shot.
Hi Pete
If you read my reply properly you will see that only 12 to 13 birds per fancier (an average figure) survive each year that is about 50 over a four year period by which time the origional pigeons would have decreased exponentially and would then be replaced each year by new young birds so a balance is achieved . As for your assertion that culling is a part of pigeon racing you may have a point but it does not in my opinion play as large part as you seem to say .I have been a fancier myself for many years and only very occasionally have I heard of this anecdotal evidence of mass culling and can honestly say that I have never personally witnessed it .
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Old Friday 6th August 2004, 18:44   #47
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Hi Pete
If you read my reply properly you will see that only 12 to 13 birds per fancier (an average figure) survive each year that is about 50 over a four year period by which time the origional pigeons would have decreased exponentially and would then be replaced each year by new young birds so a balance is achieved . As for your assertion that culling is a part of pigeon racing you may have a point but it does not in my opinion play as large part as you seem to say .I have been a fancier myself for many years and only very occasionally have I heard of this anecdotal evidence of mass culling and can honestly say that I have never personally witnessed it .
You appear to have an obsession with mass culling, nowhere have I said mass culling, all I have said is that culling is part and parcel of animal husbandry (any animal) the dictionary definition of culling is: - To take out an animal, especially an inferior one. That would include ill or damaged, now can you say that you have never dispatched a bird for any of the above reasons?
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Old Tuesday 10th August 2004, 23:10   #48
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Sorry to disapoint but we are mostly (99%) resonable people who love our birds and hobby .
I can assure you that not claiming racing pigeons is taken seriously and failure to do so means expulsion from the RPRA .

This quote reminded me of a work mate who keeps the doo's.
He received a letter from a Morrocan gentleman who claimed he had his pigeon and wanted money for its keep. He denied that it was his pigeon and as a result the Scottish Pigeon Federation threatened him with expulsion if he didnt pay up.
I believed him totally not because he's a trusting bloke more that I couldnt believe any of his birds could make it to N Africa. ha ha
Anyway things were looking serious for him when one night the phone rang, at the end of it was a fellow pigeon fancier from down south and it seemed he had the same story to tell.
It turns out that a batch of British rings were found in an old Peregrines nest somewhere in England and these were then sent to Morrocco to help along the scene there.
As a result it seems the Morroccan thought he had latched on to a money making scheme.
With regards to BOP and Pigeons the fact that some end up as food for these birds I have no doubt,however several birds also fly in to power lines,parks and gardens and there is an instance of a flock of c5000 birds crossing the channel only to be wiped out by a large wave,
My point well when these birds dont reapear at their lofts who gets the blame ?
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Old Tuesday 10th August 2004, 23:24   #49
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I can imagine some kid coming home with a flying rat under his arm saying it's all right Mam I'll keep it in me bedroom.


Hi Pete
I think the above statement shows your true feelings towards racing pigeons so I think we can take your comments with a pinch of salt .
I dont know where you get the idea that there is loads of money sloshing round as you put it , most birds change hands for between 30 and 50 and as for the breeder you mentioned he sells most of his birds for between 99 and 129 for a kit of six young birds , hardly a lot of money in this day and age .
Yes large sums are sometimes paid but this is the exception rather than the rule .
Correct me if I am wrong but I was led to believe that this Mazzereli character was a millionaire by buying pigeons with big prices that had won top races.
He then breeds these and sells their offspring on much like a stud in horse racing.
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Old Wednesday 11th August 2004, 19:33   #50
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Correct me if I am wrong but I was led to believe that this Mazzereli character was a millionaire by buying pigeons with big prices that had won top races.
He then breeds these and sells their offspring on much like a stud in horse racing.
I think he made his money in ice cream, he does however have extensive interests in both horses and pigeons, both his stud and lofts are operated like a company.

His pigeon loft is open to the public, and yes you can buy youngsters at competetive prices, but these won't be from the top stock. People buy from him just so they can say they have some of his bloodline.
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