Once we have a few proven champions we keep the parents and discard all of the other breeders that did not make the cut. Culling the stock loft is more important than culling the flyers. The flyers will cull themselves but you and you alone are responsible for what goes in the stock loft.
When you have several proven champions from the air you will want to try them at breeding. There are countless methods of breeding but none have ever out matched the pretzel breeding method. I ran across it by accident really. When I was a boy my father and grandfather advised against breeding too close. There was a lot of apprehension associated with breeding close relatives. Since then I have bred them very close and tried every kind of mating you can imagine and using the very best of stock. Having tried inbreeding, line breeding and just plain old out crossing I can tell you, the best method has proven itself over and over again to be the pretzel breeding method.
The Pretzel breeding method is simply trying to keep your best three or four pigeons blood at the forefront of your breeding program in heavy concentration without breeding brother/sister or mother/son or father daughter mating. It is geared toward mating uncle / niece or aunt / nephew or cousins. Double cousins is a favorite of mine. It is not good enough to just mate double cousins and expect excellent results. They must be all proven pigeons and this takes time. They have to be flown out to prove themselves worthy of a shot in the breeding loft. Then they must prove themselves as stock birds. They must reproduce as good as themselves or better and in good percentages.
Building Consistency – Pretzel Breeding (part 3 of 6) by Ken Easley
4 thoughts on “Building Consistency – Pretzel Breeding (part 3 of 6)”
Very interesting article. It’s the first time I’m hearing the term, “pretzel breeding”. It seems to me to be the same as line breeding. Even I do practice line breeding, e.g. mating cousins, even second and/ or third cousins, great aunt to nephew, uncle to niece. Even the famous Janssen brothers practiced this sort of breeding system.
However, it is equally important to introduce fresh blood into your family from time to time to get vibrant birds. For example, try obtaining proven line-bred breeder/champion (cock or hen) then introduce it to your family of birds. The next generation would be stronger…full of vitality
I like the idea of using only proven pigeons that have actually flown a race. Seems like a weak program to buy high dollar breeders and not racing their babies because they cost so much that they have to be bred down to cheap pigeons before they can be flown! That’s at least two or three generations away from the originals. Crazy…
New breeding concept….could you provide a visual aid or drawing to help explain it further?
Pretzel breeding–new term for me, but the idea is the same as what dog breeders call closebreeding. That is, a method of linebreeding on the family of good producers rather than a particular individual itself. “The family is more powerful than the individual” and it is a concept that certainly works. A variation to this is more in tune to this article— where a select group of individuals serves as the “family” to be concentrated upon. As always, the closer the breeding strategy, the greater the need for proper selection.