Buying pigeons on-line can be very rewarding and also very disappointing. We can't put the bird in our hand, nor trust the photo will show us all. I've always believed in adding only IMPACT pigeons to our breeding lofts, and balancing our selections with performance, body conformation, pedigree, and health. So, how can we successfully determine the quality presented on these on-line auction sites?
Firstly, I will not register a bid or sale on an auction site I don't fully trust and have confidence in. These sites must be secure and conduct their business in a consistent professional manner with purchase conditions fully layed out for all to see.
Secondly, Know what your breeding loft requires. Have a PLAN. Don't add something you don't need, or will not compliment/enhance your existing stock.
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS - If the picture doesn't turn me on, than I don't give the bird a second thought or glance. There's no need to look at the pedigree and attachments, nor see why a bird is having a "bidding run", other than for entertainment. Possible breeders (and why would we buy anything else) have the stamp and stance of a CHAMPION. The wings are rich in color and texture. The wing, tail, and neck glow with vitality, and do not show wear. The feather is tight, and the pigeon has a short forearm. The bird usually has short, thick legs, and sports a matching thick neck. The eye is bright and stands out like a 3D image. If you are following a well researched plan, you will already know the family markings and traits, and should be able to identify some of them in the photo. And, lastly, know when the picture was taken! Unfortunately a picture taken by an amateur usually does not allow the potential buyer to see the qualities the pigeon possesses, and good birds often do not sell, or fetch their true value.
Only open up the attachments and pedigrees when you are fully satisfied with the accompanying picture. Look for the performance birds within the pedigree. Hopefully you will find three generations of performance pigeons, including the Dam and/or Sire of the bird offered. If you are purchasing a seasoned pigeon, look for performance offspring and evidence that the seller has saved siblings for their own use. If the seller is not interested in saving the blood line in their breeding loft, than I'm not interested in trying it in mine!
BONUS ... is when the seller is offering a performance bird that has already produced performance youngsters. Better yet, has produced quality Daughters!
So why were we interested in "1146" shown above and offered by the Stan Rebejko Loft?
I always like to try a couple of new birds each year to see if they will 'nick' with my families of birds. And currently my breeding loft has a complete Sion and Tasker component. However, the Hofkens still required Janssen replacements, and Stan's "1146" shares ANCESTRY with some of my current Janssens. Although Stan flies in a very small club, his loft is filled with quality performers, and like all of us, needs to make room for upcoming stars. Perhaps, if "1146" produced winners in every nest, than Stan may have kept him longer. However, I'm looking for Genes that will supplement my own loft, and am happy with the information and performance supplied. Stan's description of "1146" included two wins from Hearst (800 km), and he invited all to look up this birds four year race history in the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union year books. So I did. This cock clocked in the top 10 positions 16 times, and flew velocities of 918 to 1634 mpm. A very rounded performer. Stan stated that he was keeping five offspring, and that "1146" had produced a 2010 first place winner at the 503 km station.
Two comments Stan made, that supports the vitality seen in the picture of "1146" is that this 10 year old, handles like a three year old cock, and that his Grand Sire was fertile till 16 years old.
I hope the above thoughts help future on-line sellers and purchasers. Ensure the write up includes a quality picture, and includes the whole story. The seller can not know for certain what qualities or traits the purchaser is looking for. If the above thought process is used, the quality of birds offered on-line will certainly rise and their true value met.
I have not yet picked up "1146", but I'm sure he won't disappoint me.
TCC Loft - Mike Taylor