Lessons in breeding

Janneman Kitching enjoyed a swift rise to fame in pigeon racing and his methods have much to teach beginners and struggling fanciers, notes Thomas Smit

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By the time you read this, champion fancier Janneman Kitching’s dispersal sale will have been held. He says he has achieved all he could wish for in pigeon racing, and has other priorities for now.

Humble beginnings
Janneman started his racing pigeon career in 2000 from his home in Vanderbijlpark in the Vaal Triangle. His initial results were poor, but he persevered.

Many beginners look at upgrading their training methods or seek other reasons why their birds do not perform. Janneman knew he had done his homework with his training programme and realised he needed better pigeons.

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To earn extra cash for this, he even drove the racing pigeon truck part-time.

Upgrading quality
After the 2002 season, Janneman obtained pigeons from champions Remie Pluym, Babie Smith, Gys Louw and others.

Remie is well known for his champion Janssen Van Loon pigeons, while Babie owns some of the best Van Rijn Kloeck pigeons money can buy. Guys owns birds of various families, with his Oscar De Vriendt birds forming a powerful base in his stock.

Performance highlights
In 2003, with the offspring of his fresh acquisitions, Janneman started to make waves in the racing pigeon fraternity.

Some of his performance highlights include:

  • 2004 – Runner-up Club Champion and 1st and 2nd Points Champion Pigeon.
  • 2005 – Club Champion and best Open and Overall Points Champion Pigeon.
  • 2006 – Club Champion and Points Champion Pigeon.
  • 2007 – 3rd Points Champion, Specialist Organisation.
  • 2008 – Entered only a few races due to business priorities.
  • 2009 – 2nd Points Champion and Points Champion Pigeon, Specialist Organisation.

Multiple winners
Janneman says the key to successful racing is to buy racing pigeons with multiple top performance achievements in their pedigree history. He doesn’t value a once-off winner highly and won’t use it for breeding purposes, unless it’s bred from a line of multiple-winners.

Multiple-performers in the Janneman Kitching lofts:
• Two best overall points champion pigeons.
• Two best short-distance points champion pigeons.
• Two best middle-distance points champion pigeons.
• Two best long- and middle-distance points champion pigeons.
• Three best points champion pigeons (young birds).
• One four-time winner.
• Seven double-winners.
• Eight single-winners that also raced consistently.

Breeding methods
Janneman achieved success with pure-bred birds and cross-breeds. Surprisingly, some inbred pigeons also produced top performances. However, inbreeding was not the norm.

Janneman used as many multiple-performing pigeons as possible, referring to them as his “banker pigeons”.

Contact Thomas Smit on 011 680 4778 or email [email protected].