Rule #2 Never act like it is you in the judging pen instead of the bird!
This happens all too often. People leaving the show mad because they didn't place first in a class. Now stop and think about these next couple sentences..... WHO HAD FIRST PLACE RED NORWICH OLD HEN AT THE 2005 DES MOINES MEET? WHO HAD CHAMPION POUTER AT THE 2009 PAGEANT, LOUISVILLE OR AT THE DES MOINES MEETS? Can't remember, can you? Neither do I. WHY? Because in the overall scheme of things it just simply isn't that important! Now I am not saying you shouldn't breed the best you can, get them in great condition and show trained, be a strong competitor. Those things greatly add to the enjoyment of the hobby for everyone. BUT, if you didn't win and think you should have, remember the times you did win and maybe shouldn't have!
Along the same line, I know from personal experience how frustrating it is to have your best bird who has been extensively show pen trained decides not to show on the big day! TAKE CARE! Cooing at the bird, hooting, shouting, clapping your hands, tapping the show cage, and talking to the judge are all perceived by others as very poor sportsmanship. DON'T DO IT! DON'T GET YOUR PRIORITIES MIXED UP! SHOWS ARE FUN, BUT WINNING IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS THE FRIENDS YOU MAKE IN THE HOBBY! NEVER ACT LIKE IT'S YOU IN THE JUDGING PEN INSTEAD OF THE BIRD!
Timothy Burke, Dec 1994
***As we reflect back on 2012 much has happen, the death of Marvin Hixon in Oct, Big Shows this past fall and successful breeding season for a majority of the pouter & cropper breeders due to a mild winter. Each year we lose special people in this hobby and that's a part of the cycle of life, so we need to build the bench.
When someone approaches you with the same enthusiasum that brought you into the hobby take them under your wing so to speak and teach them the ways of being a successful pouter & cropper hobbiest. I think the majority of us can think back of an instance that someone was excited to talk to us and we were too busy with our own lives to take the time to quench that thirst of theirs. If we don't share their enthusiasum then we've lost them, they will go find the attention somewhere else. I remember how I really like Fantails and English Trumpters as a youngster but nobody wanted to teach me the ways or sell birds to me. I really worked hard mowing lawns and shoveling snow to make money to purchase my first pigeons. I was helped by two guys who are my greatest influence in English Pouters.....Ken Cran and Ben Benegas. I'd spend 1-2 hours a day at Kenny's house watching his birds through the doors of his loft and Ben taught me so much about raising good birds and what to look for. Rick Wood and I discussed English Pouters on and off over the past 30 years and Rick has always promoted the English. Adil Hrnic, Frank Barrachina and Marvin Hixon in my later years helped me with purchasing some stock birds as did a few others. Guys like Frank get so many calls about pigeons that they just don't always have the time to spend on the phone to chat Pouters and Croppers. I understood that but it didn't help me quench my thirst for knowledge. Marvin Hixon was the man who loved to talk English Pouters and we spent some time doing that and I loved it! Thanks Marvin, you are truly missed!
So if you have people calling and wanting to learn about the hobby....take the time to help them, teach them and keep them excited. Make them feel special and a member of the Pouter & Cropper family; it's a must if we want the hobby to continue. I think it's paramount that we all do our part to keep the excitement in the hobby, keep it positive! Winning at all costs isn't the approach that will keep the hobby growing and leaving a positive legacy for yourself. It may give you fame and allow you to sell your birds at a higher price but the hobby is bigger than each one of us, it's a collection of all of us. We can get more accomplsihed together as a team than as individuals. If anyone is out there that needs their thirst quenched please feel free to call me and we'll chat! Contact Jeff Clemens at 719-339-6394. I know that Jeff Hankey always like to hear from Pouter people and he'll talk shop with you. Jeff's number is 314-791-1791. I will also reply to emails or letters, both are listed at the bottom of this page.
Lastly, if you have a facebook page, then add photos of your birds on there; let people see your hobby and generate some questions. Who know's you may bring a friend into the hobby that you may have thought didn't have any interest. Generally friends and other people will make comments about the birds and for the most part they are positive. Give it a try!
*I will continue this section with comments on other Pouter Breeders who are making an impact as I find the time. There are so many guys and gals out there who are excelling in their particular breeds and we need to recognize them for their efforts in the loft and showroom.
Here's a egg hatching chart you can use to count down
those days until your eggs will hatch.
Egg Hatch Chart
Request: Guys and Gals we are looking for articles
of your experiences or great ideas that pertain to English Pouters.
If you have some great pictures of your birds or loft,
champion birds at various club shows, please pass them along to Jeff Clemens.