1. Puttrie Barry Yon Tuesday ,17 October 2000
I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT THE OLD PUTTRIE STRIAN IN SOUTH AFRICA
Puttrie Story Herman
Wednesday ,18 October 2000
Hi all from a hot Johannesburg,
1. Putterie story
Barry, to answer your question about the Putterie strain in South Africa would take a whole book, so I will attempt to summarise it very briefly.
Frans Putterie was a Belgian of birth who came to Kimberley, South Africa in the thirties to persue his trade as diamond cutter. Having grown up with pigeons, he arranged to have pigeons from top lofts in Antwerp sent to him. They were from the most famous Belgian strains, viz. Vincent Marien, August Ramael, Alphons van Engelen, Alphons Lambrecht and Frans Cools.
He started with eight pigeons, of which I think three hens escaped from his loft in the
first year. He then had to use some of the young hens in his loft for breeding purposes,
and around those few pigeons he built what became the very famous strain in South Africa.
The mere fact that he
managed to establish a strain that would up to this day have an impact on so many lofts in South Africa speaks a lot for his expert skills.
Frans moved to Johannesburg in the forties, having send his birds up to a friend about
a year before he moved. The friend was supposed to try and sell the birds, but could not
find buyers, because of the depressed economy no doubt but also because fanciers did not
like the shape of
the birds. So when Frans finally settled he had a number of birds available for racing. He started winning from race one, and his birds soon became very much in demand. Apparantly he was a very generous gentleman, always prepared to help other fanciers even to his own detriment. I am fortunate enough to race in the same organisation with older fanciers who knew him very well, like Monty van der Burg and Jannie Koekemoer. They always talk highly of the man Putterie.
Because of his generousity, the birds, which soon became known as Putteries were soon sitting in most lofts in Johannesburg. They started dominating the results of the TRPF (Transvaal Racing Pigeon Federation) and were sold/donated to fanciers further afield. Because they could win races from 100 to 600 miles in all weather conditions, and crossed well with other pigeons, the birds became very popular with pigeon fanciers all over Soth Africa.
The pigeons adapted well to South African conditions. Their most salient charactaristics are the distintive eyes (Jack can tell you more about that), superb plumage, strong bone structure and the short curved appearance of the flights.
This the story in a nutshell. I do not profess to be an expert of the Putterie story, but have read a lot about them and will be basketing a few birds with the Putterie blood on Thursday for our longest race of the season. I have nothing but respect for the Putteries, and they still win for me. Maybe somebody else also responds to your question, Barry, then I can also learn something new about this great strain. I myself can tell you a lot more, but we do not want to upset Manfred today, do we?
Puttries Herman Thursday ,19 October 2000
Manfred, my remark was made with tongue in the cheek. I am a lazy bugger when it comes to typing, that is why I keep the stories short.
One correction though: I reread my book on the Putteries last night and must apologise for an error in the number of birds Frans Putterie imported to South Africa. He actually brought in six pairs of which one hen died on the ship. The remaining five hens all escaped from his loft in Kimberley, presumably because kids who went to look at his birds opened a corrugated iron sheet, allowing the hens to get out. Kobus Muller, who wrote an excellent book on Putterie, is of the opinion that the cocks were all sitting on nests at the time, and this is the reason why they did not also fly away. The fact that Frans had none of his original hens left speaks a lot for his ability as breeder of quality pigeons. He was left with only a few baby hens bred before the incident, and he certainly knew how to make best use of them!
South African Strains Jim Thursday ,19 October 2000
I enjoyed reading the comment on the puttries strain. Which I hadn't heard of and found most interesting. I have also heard of a strain over there by the name of "Slimme". Would any one be able to tell the list a little history behind that strain and how it's done in S.A.?
Friday , 20 October 2000
Hi all from a hot Johannesburg,
Thanks for the kind remarks on my notes on the Putterie strain, Jim. I sincerely hope
that somebody will be able to answer you more fully on the Slimmes, as my knowledge of
family is limited to what they can do on race days. Perhaps Jack comes in on this one, I saw some colors amongst his Slimmes the other day that I never knew existed.
The Slimme strain was found by Sonny Kippen, who took part in racing at about the same
time as Frans Putterie. Like Putterie he also imported birds from Belgium, but by all
reports only two birds of note were brought into the country. They were 1948 models,
namely the Slimme (cock) and Boerin (hen). I do know they were both from Antwerpen in
Belgium, from where Putterie sourced
all of his imports. They also had a bit of Vincent Marien blood in their veins. Maybe it is no co-incidence that these two birds from Antwerpen were the most successful pair in establishing the Slimme strain in South Africa. The masters from Antwerp, which included names like Wegge,
Remael and Marien, certainly knew how to produce pigeons that could transfer the winning genes from one generation to the next. That is why Putterie, who grew up in the area, insisted that all his imports should come from the great genetic pool created by these master breeders.
I know that quite a few very successful fanciers kept both the Putterie and Slimme
strain in their lofts, and that crossings between the two families did very well and are
still doing well today. A name that springs to mind is Flippie van Vuuren who raced both
families pure and crossed,
with excellent results. Another fancier from my area who still do well with both Slimmes and Putteries (and outcrosses) is Jannie Koekemoer. Both these gentlemen are hard to beat, I should know, I raced against them in the same club! My late uncle also did very well with his Slimmes.
At this point I would like to stand back and let Jack do a bit of talking, he has a lot more Slimmes in his loft than me, and I suspect mine are a mixed bag with a fair amount of Putterie blood in their veins.
Friday , 20 October 2000
I have the story By Sonny Kippen on the PUTTRIE Strain, which were predominantly violet
eyes, plus the story of how Sonny Kippen went to Belgium and did what I have been
advocating all along, he purchased many pairs of birds to introduce into the Puttries to
bring the family back to
its previous quality, which was lost as I believe by continuously putting pearl to pearl or violet to violet. Out of all the imports he kept only one pair which clicked, the Golden Eyed cock, yes you have guessed it, his name was "SLIMME" and his hen a cheque Pied was "Boerin", these paired to the progeny of a pigeon called "Lady Dudley" produced the Slimme as it is known today. I will try and put up some b&w pic's of these at a later stage. Herman , your friend by the way said there were no pied slimmes. "Boerin" was a cheque pied of which mine are carbon copies. I will stick my neck out by saying that this is the only loft I have seen where the originals have been restored to the genuine. I can produce colour photo's of my Slimme which is a revelation to all the purists that have visited me. There is much more to this story, if there a people out there wish to know how Jock Duff loft manager for Kippen put this great strain on the map. East Londoners you can be proud, it was not all perfected in Johannesburg and the reef, don't let them kid you.
Yours in Sport
Who came to South Africa 20 years after the "Slimme" and RESTORED THE GENUINE.
Slimme Herman Saturday ,21 October 2000
Hi all from a very modest Johannesburger,
Not all Jo'burgers believe they are the sole originators of great ideas, Mr. Barkel. Thanks for reminding the pigeon fraternity that fanciers from other parts of this country also contributed to establishing our great sport in South Africa.
I strongly believe and has publicly stated that South African fanciers in the smaller centres are not getting all the credit due to them. Thanks for putting things right, Jack.
Yes, and please tell us more about the Slimme strain, and Jock Duff and Sonny Kippen.
The friend you mentioned is much older than me, and given my poor memory, must have
forgotten what the original Slimmes looked like! Since my visit to you I made enquiries
about pied Slimmes and one of the older fanciers in our club confirmed to me that there
were indeed many pieds and white flights flying around our skies in days gone by. Perhaps
you can also fill us in on the origin of
those funny coloured Slimmes you have in your loft? Not unlike the recessive red, I would assume?
On the issue of pearl eyed Putteries, I was introduced to a retired pigeon fancier last year who I was told still keeps a very pure strain of Putteries. I visited his loft, which was full of blue bars, mostly with yellow eyes. Of all the birds he gave me to handle I spotted not more than two or three with pearl eyes. I thought this to be a shortcoming but did not say anything to the man. Besides, he was talking all the time and never gave me a gap to say anything! He kept on telling me about his great performances and how he kept his family pure, and to his credit even backed up a lot of his claims by showing me old newspaper clippings, photos and club results. I must admit, not very unlike my son, I do not always listen to everything older people have to say, so I might have missed a few of his remarks.
His birds are predominantly Van Engelen family, and a lot of them had the distinctive "smudge" on the inside blue bar, which I have seen on old photographs of the Van Engelens, noteably "No 11", Mrs Putterie's pet bird. Many of them were carbon copies of one another, much to my dismay. (I like to see variety in my race team, Mr Barkel!) In any event, the old man must have liked me for providing him with an audience to relive his racing days of fourty years gone by, for he presented me with six babies to try out on the raod. One of the six was a dark chequer cock, bred off his old cock mated to a hen loaned to him by a wellmeaning friend of mine. This hen, also a Putterie, was what I think he needed more of in his breeding loft. Not only was she of different colour, but she had a very pale pearl eye and her body shape deviated from the standard in his loft.
Being a very sceptical person by nature, I did not expect much from this lot. They looked well enough and handled OK, but could they fly? After all, the family had not really been tested on the road for a very long time. We are now at the end of our racing season and I can report that they came through the test with flying colours. The crossbred cock, after taking three days to return from his first race and escaping the dustbin by a whiskers breadth, became the star of the lot. He flew at least four very good club positions and made it on the Fed sheet on two occations. The rest of them also performed well enough to be kept for another season, with the exception of one that got lost around the loft shortly after arriving at my place.
And here I must do a bit of free advertising for our good Mr. Barkel.
You keep telling us day in and day out to mate yellow with pearl, and I think more people should listen to you. The race results of the young cock bred that way provide better reading than those of his half sisters. Also, with the yellow eye dominating in the old man's loft, you were proofed right that there would be an increase in stamina and homing ability and a decrease in speed. The four birds who descended from yellow- eyed parents all did better on the harder races. They still have the Putterie wing shape and did not lag behind too much in the fast races, but virtually all their positions flown were on harder races. I intend mating one or two of them to my own birds, and I can assure you it would be to pearl-eyed mates. None is so blind as he who will not see!
The old fancier mentioned above probably never intentionally selected his birds for yellow eyes, yet the pearl eye kept cropping up any way. I think he would do well to introduce more pearl eyed hens in his loft, but then again, he is only keeping the birds for fun and will never race again. And he has sadly already become a forgotten hero in a town where he once excelled in pigeon racing.
Cheers for now and have a fabulous weekend!
Slimme Jack Saturday ,21 October 2000
Hello Herman and All,
From a not so modest Potchefstromer
I do not wish to bore overseas fanciers with the Slimme story, but would just as my
last final comments on the subject say. No Puttrie family that introduced a cock not of
that strain is a pure
Puttrie anymore, but there are ways to breed to the characteristics of that strain, this can be no better seen than in families of the last birds disposed of by Jaap Peyper and Pieter de Wet.These are the last of the masters that I could see tried to preserve the strain. Many introductions were made to improve them from the deterioration of putting pearl eye to pearl eye. It became so bad at one time, that when these birds tried to clap their wings like our normal racers they were so imbalanced they fell out of the sky. This fact I possess in black and white from the 1960s.The
introduction of Slimme to the Puttrie Strain created a new strain because the birds were bred down from this Vermeyen Cock and the progeny of Lady Dudley. Remember what I have been saying all along, as soon as you introduce a cock, you change the strain, but what great hens Sonny Kippen and Jock Duff had to draw on from the gene pool of the famous Puttries. I write this
more to help people to create their own family or strain as Franz Puttrie and Sonny Kippen did more than to boost these two South African strains any further. What I am saying is that the Slimme strain was created by a man that realised that by introducing this New Vermeyen Cock to the pure Puttries would produce a strain to last into the next decade. UNFORTUNATELY many fanciers introduced cocks from both strains and several other strains into these two families and today it is hard to tell the difference. Many people will testify that I have often picked the Puttrie or the Slimme out of a loft full of mixed breeds, that is because I have made a study of the
characteristics. While in Kimberley where Franz Puttrie first began his S/A career or pigeon fame, I came across a Lemon hen with the most reactive pupil and strange eye I had ever seen. I enquired of Mr Boeta Pretorius the owner how it was bred. He replied seven generations of Slimme Blue Cheques with one Blue Pied. Well I borrowed it, he would not sell, I paired it to my best Slimme Cocks and today I am on my way to the creation of a new South African strain that was founded out of the best of the remaining Slimme which in turn was founded out of the Puttrie & Boerin the Slimme, this was the maternal line. Nowhere in history can I find a recessive Red Puttrie or Slimme, but somewhere down the line someone was very naughty and did not keep strict records. Herman if you ask are my Lemons Slimme I will say no , Slimme based, they can be known by nothing more or less than Barkel's Biscuits. If they do not set the country on fire like the Puttrie and the Slimme they will quickly fade out of recognition and myself also. For if you do not create a strain, no matter what you do or how you perform in the sport you will soon fade into obscurity. I need another three to four years, if I am to succeed. Puttrie was an import, if I succeed they will say Barkel was an import, so the only South African that ever created a strain was Sonny Kippen for Puttrie was a South African by choice not by birth. A great man , but still a Belgian. From what I have seen and studied if I had to name the three top S/A fanciers for the last 100 years and I mean Master Breeders I would say Sonny Kippen/ Jock Duff partnership, Vick Furstenburg, Monty van der Burg. Why do I say this,Sonny&Jock proved it, and Vick and Monty are the only ones I know that bury their mistakes and only allow class pigeons to leave their lofts. They in my book have mastered the art of selection when the pigeons are still babies. My comments on this subject is closed as it means little to the overseas fanciers although Herman it was two overseas fanciers that enquired about our two great strains. I do not know if you are aware but a Puttrie pigeon even made it onto a special issue of a British Postage Stamp. I hope Herman and I did the subject and the people responsible justice.
Yours in Sport,
Slimme/Putteries - Electronic timers Herman 24 Oct 2000
In reply to a previous question on the performance of the Putterie and Slimme families, just this one final note:
We finished our racing season this weekend with a race from Matjiesfontein to Johannesburg, 1 058km or 660 miles. I was fortunate enough to time 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9th position in our club. The first two birds are both Slimme/Putterie crosses as is the last one. Sufficient proof that the two strains and their offspring, which Jack already told you are of mixed blood, are still doing the trick.