The whole idea around heirloom genetics is that valuable genes can be permanently lost. There are a number of ways this can happen. For example a shift in the sport away from the distance races can shift the interests of breeders to a faster pigeon and several decades later the sport could find it very difficult to find birds with the genes necessary to fly 600 miles on the day.
Being a geneticist, I have a particular interest in preserving special genes. There are five families of the sport that I have found to be particularly outstanding, each in their own unique way. Over the years we have acquired a number of good representatives of each of these families and we have kept them straight.
Van Rhijn Kloeck
Julien & Roland Janssens