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16-08-2012
Determination of relationship by DNA part I
Kleine Dirk, from the year 1998

Kleine Dirk, from the year 1998

Separate breeding boxes

Separate breeding boxes

Unique pedigree 2012

Unique pedigree 2012

Relationship by DNA

Relationship by DNA

Expalantion

Expalantion

Result

Result

Certainty in pigeon racing ? A chronological survey

1998
When ‘Kleine Dirk’ introduced an entire new level of pigeon racing to me in 1998, more and more requests for children of him and his family came in. To make sure I wouldn’t sell all of him and keep some youngsters for myself to secure the future, I had to adjust the prices.

2000
Because the pressure sort of rose and fanciers wanted to be sure they really bought pigeons from the parents that were printed on the pedigree, it did not took me long – it must be in 2000 – to create separate breeding boxes. In these every pair is really housed separately. Necessary, as all pigeon fanciers know pigeon sport is just like the human world; nature goes before training!
As experienced pigeon fancier you know a mutual breeding loft breaks all guarantees for breeding pairs and their youngsters; that also means wrong pedigrees are not always intended.
In this same period I was also frequently confronted with pedigree fraud, that was not only a disillusion for the buyers, but it also harmed my own company.

2009
From 2009 we therefore decided to introduce unique pedigrees that include an extra control mean for authenticity for the buyer of the pigeon and also gives a certain guarantee when this pigeon is sold to a third party. As you know every pedigree is supplied with a unique number that is only visible for the one who owns the pedigree/pigeon and in the database in Ermerveen.
Via Jan Hooijmeijer from Meppel (Clinic for Birds) we met the firm Gendika from Veendam that year. They extensively informed us about the different possibilities for DNA testing and we decided to just use the method of gender-determination. Very important to us as many fanciers specifically ask for a cock or a hen. At a young age that is often difficult to determine; to ensure the sex we had them tested. Costs of such tests remained quite low, about € 14,- per pigeon.
In those days also the so-called DNA-passport of the breeders in Ermerveen were discussed. We than decided not to use it yet, because we believed the breeding boxes were sufficient to exclude ‘extramarital insemination’ on our breeding lofts.

2012
During a very pleasant and constructive brainstorm-session with Nikolaas and Thomas Gyselbrecht from PIPA also the subject ‘determination of relationship by DNA’ was discussed. PIPA and Team Koopman really give great value to quality and reliability and Nikolaas and Thomas emphasized DNA certification can never leave a doubt about reliability! PIPA even wants to sell all rounds of youngsters in the next racing season (2012/2013) with DNA certificated youngsters. With other words; a guarantee that the parents on the pedigree are indeed the real parents.
The arguments of Nikolaas and Thomas made us decide to get a DNA-passport for all our breeders. Most important reason is we want full transparency and want to exclude every doubt about the ‘genuineness’ of our pigeons. Extra advantage is that persons who want to put our rings on other pigeons can be tackled. About the precise way we shall use the DNA-passport and the visibility of it on our pedigrees we will make decisions soon. We are convinced that – a/o because of close corporation with PIPA – we will make the right decision.

For you?
Not only determination of the relationship is a possibility in DNA testing, also fanciers with strong inbred strains can use DNA as extra help. The so called ‘genetic variety’ can be mapped by comparing DNA-genotypes. The results can help you forming the right pairs – see ‘removed pairs’ – and can prevent degeneration.
Next time we shall inform you more about procedures and methods that are used by Gendika. Main part is the presence of a notary office to supervise the procedure. The implementation appointment is made for September 6th in Ermerveen. In our newsletters afterwards pigeon shall again be the ‘trending topic’, like it should.

Untill next time!

Gerard & Team

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