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A thrilling interview on pigeon sport topics with Mr. Dan Rusu - part 2

14:00, Miercuri, 16.09.2009


A thrilling interview on pigeon sport topics

with Mr. Dan RUSU – ASC `AS` Bucharest Club - FCPR

- part 2 -



The apple of his eye, the Olympic hen `Nefertiti`



RRP: Do you prefer a certain type of pigeon? What size should your favorite pigeon look like?

D. Rusu: To be honest with you, I’m not into large-sized pigeons. They have to be fitted, middle-sized, with no heavy muscles. I like pigeons with flexible muscles, silky feathers and stubborn temper. This is what I’m looking for on a regular basis: pigeons that fly ahead and persist in coming back home among the first competitors. But this stubbornness can’t be noticed unless pigeons are not basketed.    



One of the racing sections



RRP: Do you have any favorite color?

D. Rusu: All in all, I like blue, dark and mottled pigeons. I kind of dislike red color. It’s not that such pigeons would lack quality. But there’s one single reason for I don’t own red, silver or grizzle pigeons: they are easily traced down and chased after by hawks. It’s well known that rapacious birds always strike as a couple: the cock always hits from below and `splits` the flock, while the hen attacks from high above and easily spots light colors against the ground. That’s why I think such pigeons achieve poorer results. If you have noticed, there are few red colored champions. You can check and see it’s a fact while flying over the mountains, when the risk of being attacked is much higher.       



 A super racing couple


RRP: Do you believe in eyesign theory?

D. Rusu: I don’t believe in eyesign or wing theory the same way I don’t believe in any other theories pigeon fanciers usually talk about. I believe in pigeons with a look that tells you something.


RRP: What about the eye, do you fancy any color?




The white eyes are Mr. Rusu’s favorites



D. Rusu: I like the white eyes on a regular basis. But I’ve always tend to avoid pairing up two birds with the same eye color. I mate them providing I wanted to stock their youngsters. I won’t do the same if I intend to race those yearlings. 




 The dream wing



RRP: What’s the importance you pay to hand selection?

D. Rusu: Frankly, I don’t pay special attention to this rule, but the pigeon must have a proper musculature, a fitted bone structure, smooth feathers because this is really helpful when flying back home.


RRP: But is it an eliminator standard indicator?

D. Rusu: No, it has never been this way. The basket is the best judge. I get rid of those pigeons with feathers or skeleton imperfections, while the rest of them go into racing providing they were healthy. My entire loft population must go into racing and I consider myself a satisfied person to keep 20% of my youngsters. So the autumn youngsters’ selection is carried out depending on their racing results. I’ve always used the following selection filter: my pigeons should achieve top results consisting of 50% + 1 from the total number of races they are basketed for throughout the season. But the next year they should perform on top no matter the category.  



2009 youngsters during lunch time



RRP: What about old birds’ selection? How long does it take for a racing pigeon to be put down providing unsatisfying results?

D. Rusu: A yearling should prove his quality after 2-3 races, that is to clock into prizes. Starting with the age of 2, they should meet a higher standard, that is to accomplish all the categories in special conditions, otherwise they are left out. 





RRP: How many pigeons do you annually bring inside the breeding section?

D. Rusu: I haven’t stocked too many pigeons for the last years because I had a large number of imported birds, but I usually stock from 2 to 4 pigeons. I currently populate my breeding section only with birds of my own, pigeons that achieved remarkable results for 6 years. 





RRP: According to what standards do you decide your breeding couples?

D. Rusu: I’d rather go for a loose inbreeding, such as grandfather x granddaughter. There were some situations when I coupled half-brothers, but their strain has been kept and mixed with class pigeons having outstanding results in competitions. That’s because I own a fine racing family.  





RRP: Where do your racing pigeons come from in terms of breeding method? Is it mostly from cross-breeding?

D. Rusu: My racing pigeons usually have 2-3 bloodlines, and after a certain period of time I get back to the roots and perform a tight inbreeding. Naturally I’m talking about a sort with remarkable racing results.





RRP: What method would yield a large number of champion pigeons: inbreeding or crossbreeding?

D. Rusu: I think what results from a crossbreeding comes by chance. Crossbreeding can offer you fine youngsters, but there’s no way you can compare them with the inbred ones.





RRP: How many sections does your loft have?

D. Rusu: The loft is made of 7 sections: one breeding section, two widowhood sections (one for the cocks, one for the hens), one section for my long-distance birds played by the natural system, one section designed for my yearlings, and another two distinct sections for widowhood hens and cocks.  





RRP: How many breeding couples do you own?

D. Rusu: Not so many. Only 15 couples, while 60-90 youngsters are ringed yearly.  


RRP: Do you play by the natural or widowhood system?

D. Rusu: Both of them. I have a middle-distance team made of 30 pigeons, and 40 birds for long-distance races that are flown by the natural system. My pigeons that are basketed for short and middle-distance races are flown by the widowhood system. Each widow hen has its own box, just like the cocks. Over the week, I use for motivation the following system: the cocks are trapped inside the hens’ boxes, while the hens are trained on the road for short races up to 5-10-15 km. After the toss, the cocks are waiting for them inside their boxes. All of my hens are subject to this rule until they get to learn it.





RRP: But you consider achieving better results in long and extreme-long distance races with pigeons flown by the natural system?

D. Rusu: My pigeons did well in long-distance races played both by the natural and widowhood system. But I’ve noticed that it’s very difficult for a widower to get back in shape after the third racing week.  





RRP: After how many races do you consider a widower gets into peak condition?

D. Rusu: A widower should get in shape after the third race. After that, there will be an up trend lasting almost 3-5 races, followed by a decrease.


RRP: Do you employ any tricks at this moment to get them back into shape?

D. Rusu: There are certain methods to be used. After the pigeon is no longer in shape, you have to trick him somehow: employing jealousy by means of using a different cock for his hen and vice versa.


RRP: If you have the feeling a pigeon is no longer in shape, do you still basket him?

D. Rusu: I used to do that, but those days are gone. I advocate for basketing only pigeons in good shape. Otherwise it’s useless. 

Doctor Sorin Stanescu, from Bucharest - a great pigeon champion of Romania - highlightsInterview with a Romanian Champion – Mr. Nicu Bizdrigheanu from Urziceni - Highlights – Part IILUCIAN LUCAN - a passionate young columbophile, ambitious and with a promising futureThe National FRC Exhibition, Mizil – December 2009 – Part IIBebe Chicheanu - Paul Rusu, Constanta, Romania - Unbelievable again in 2010
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