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Inside the loft
1st NATIONAL PAU
2nd INTERNATIONAL PAU
Tongeren: Pau…the first international meeting of this season had a difficult start. Bad weather on Friday and Saturday held the fond flyers in the basket, and they had to wait until Sunday at 12:00 'o clock before being released. The pigeons had just left the place of release when the organization Colombe Joyeuse began to be criticized.
Remarks like “There was a release without permission of the release responsible from the KBDB” and “Pau was announced as morning release and not as a noon release” were circulated immediately in the pigeon world. We are neutral, but we want to tell the people that criticizing is always easy. We are looking at the sportive aspect of pigeon racing and we can conclude that Pau was a hard but fair flight. In all parts of the land, early pigeons were clocked, and with Jans Arnould we have a nice winner.
Arnould (64 years old) is a fond fan in “pure blood.” The pigeon sport is a pure hobby, and he always enjoys it when one or other pigeons have made a great performance. Winning Pau national is his highlight thus far in his pigeon career. Arnould remarks, “I have been through a really difficult, tiring week. You have to know that my wife has been in the hospital for an entire week because she is seriously sick. My thoughts go to her every second, and then now I win Pau National. Friends are here to congratulate me, lots of reporters make appointments to come by... I want to make time for everyone but from the other side I want to be with my wife in the hospital. Easy is something else.”
“But let us talk about Pau," Arnould continues. "Yes I am extremely happy with my national win, but I will never know if I lost the International victory. I'm going to tell you like it is... I never expected Pau this soon. Just released at noon with that heavy north wind. Honestly if you had told me on the day of the release that I would clock a pigeon from Pau at 10 'o clock, I would have signed immediately. For that reason I didn't set my alarm clock and I awoke at 7 o’clock like any other day. When I got out to go to the pigeon loft, I saw a chequered cock in front of the closed window of the widowers loft. ‘Who can this be?’ I thought, and not suspecting anything, I let him walk in. Suddenly I saw that it was a Pau flyer. I couldn't believe it and I checked its ring number again. My electronic system wasn't on yet and my control clock was still in my kitchen... I can assure you that I have never moved so quickly in my life as then. It was just 7 o’clock. At 7h1m20s I registered my Pau flyer--good for the 1st national! How long he was sitting there, I will never know, but I guess he was there for a while already.”
And then we got by the national winner. “Felix is a typical fond pigeon. A fine body but muscles to be jealous of. In its head are strong pigmented eyes that have a smart view. ‘Felix’ got coupled like his loft fellows in April, could breed until he left the eggs and became a widower then. In preparation for Pau he did Gien (400Km) and Brive (690km) and then rested until Pau. Between Brive and Pau we did nothing special, and nothing special means: every day the same menu (½ sport and ½ breeding mix), no food supplement and only good grit with redstone and some ‘vita.’ There wasn't any medical treatment. Also for motivation, there wasn't anything special to mention. Before the basketting they get their hen and that's it.”
You are reading it correctly.. The pigeons have to do it in the natural way with Arnould. And the result of Pau also proves that it can be done in that way.
VAN OIRSCHOT FRANCOIS
1st NATIONAL MONTAUBAN 6,654 OLD PIGEONS
Kapellen: The result from that weekend was without any doubt the national victory from Montauban of the “De Zwarten” of François Van Oirschot from Kapellen. Montauban… for most of the participants a flight of 800 km may be catalogued under heroic flights. The flight began at 6:30 a.m., and the pigeons were accompanied by a strong northern wind. Several hours of flying against the wind reminded us of the performance from “Invincible Montauban” of Maurice Casaert (Néchin).
A few hours after the start of the race, the prognoses were made and the people who should know were convinced that this time a national victory would fall in the preflight. And the first prognoses were right with the early arrivals in Harelbeke and Ronse. But this was all without the class of “De Zwarten” of Francois van Oirschot. For a distance of 845 km and 587 meters he was clocked at 20h03min16sec! This means a speed of 1039.74 metres/minute!
SECOND NATIONAL VICTORY
François: “I am going to tell you something you probably don't know. This is my second national victory in my pigeon career. In 1985 my ‘Quattro’ won the first national Tulle against 3,487 old pigeons. Back then my heart already belonged to the long-distance races. Something I got from my father Louis. As a small boy of seven, I first stepped into the pigeon loft, and since then I never stopped with pigeons.”
“As I already said, I prefer long-distance races, and for that reason I've built my colony with pigeons from Struyf Francois (Zandvliet), Van Olmen Jos (Broechem) and Imbert Jos (Stabroek). I never liked to have a mass of pigeons, and therefore my team of widowers contains only 20 pigeons. On this team are 15 yearling cocks.”
“Man, I've enjoyed this victory,” François enthuses. “You would be amazed how much people congratulate you, and usually they express their respect for this victory. Yes, I didn't expect it either, but ‘De Zwarten’ likes flying in this weather. Also his other prizes were made at these speeds. So he won in 2008: 85th Bourges 618 p. (1100 m/m) - 45th Orange 460 p. (1022 m/m) and 54th Issoudun 387p. (1023 m/m). Due to a disease in my old pigeons, I didn't race with old pigeons in 2009.”
To come back on this national victory, François continues, “‘De Zwarten’ was very motivated this season. In the basket next to him lives a yearling, and I can assure you that these pigeons can't stand each other. All the time the two pigeons try to take each others’ baskets. When one of the pigeons is on a race, I have to lock the other pigeon up, and sometimes during the week I have to keep the pigeons away from each other because they are fighting. A real winner hasn't really emerged, and I'm more than sure that this was stimulating ‘De Zwarten’ to give it everything on Montauban. The extra day’s basket would probably have annoyed him more!”
“‘De Zwarten’ was obtained from my friend Frans Bode (Essen),” François explains. After some searching we were able to locate the pedigree of this pigeon.
Father is “NL92-9287165” – direct from C. Van Bijsterveldt (Chaam). This cock is the son of his famous “Dakman” (NL95-9531981). “Dakman” won 88th nat. Dax 20,349p. – 106th nat. Soustons 10,953p. – 115th nat. Mont de Marsan 11,436p. – 123th nat. Soustons 13,781p. – 146th nat. St Vincent 21,385p.
Mother is “B04-3239110” direct from Antoon Malfait. She comes from “B00-3240214” (Taverne Rigolle) X “B02-3207745”.
François explains, “For years I have been using the same system. We couple the widowers, and they can raise two youngsters. Before the hen lays again she goes to the aviary. The hens stay there for around 14 days and then they get back in the loft. They can breed for a maximum of 10 days and then they become a widower. Widowers get basketted every three weeks. In terms of treatment, we don't need to note a lot. Medically I work with Flagyl (1/4th pill) against tricho and against Ornithosis we never treat. For feeding, the pigeons get a full basket of sport mixture after the arrival, and then 100% full depurative and the last four days before the basketting again 100% sport mixture.”
François -- again congratulations and enjoy this fantastic national victory!
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Luc and his wife
the 1st National Orange
Van Den Broeke
2nd NATIONAL VICTORY
Manage: Orange became the first millimeter sprint of the season on a national flight. It became a battle between previous national winner Montélimar Luc De Roeck from Manage and Julien De Potter from East-Flemish Zottegem. Luc clocked at 17h29min and 8 seconds for a distance of 708km380m, good for a speed of 1074.715 m/m. Julien plays on a distance of 751km824m, and he clocked 18h10min and 31seconds, good for a speed of 1073.243 m/m! It couldn't be any more exciting!
It's the second national win for our French speaking friend. Also in 2005, Luc was first national champion great middle-distance or in other words he has a top loft for national races.
Luc, on retirement since April 2010, has been busy with pigeons all his life. Together with his brother, he was fascinated by the performances of a neighbour pigeon fancier, and slowly they got into the pigeon business too.
The first pigeons came from Meunier. This man had the sort of Hector Desmet (Geraardsbergen), Camille Durant (Geraardsbergen) and Gorin (Ramegnies) in his loft. The basis of the Meunier pigeons was strengthened with the purchase of the “Bordeaux” of Richard Mersch from Strée (’77) and a half-brother from the “Bourges” of Henry Van Neste.
Luc moved to his current home in 1980 and started playing with the pigeons in his own name. In 1985 his brother quit the pigeon sport. All proven flyers and breeders moved along to Manage and a new start was made. In the early nineties Luc invested again, and again he went to Henry Van Neste. Afterwards he also went to Raymond Cobut and also some pigeons from the Herbots brothers did a superb job. As final additions to his loft, there are the pigeons of Julien Vaneenoo (Wingene), Germain Imbrecht (Bornival), Deneufbourg (Estinnes) and Emiel Denys (Zulte).
Luc started the season with 62 widowers, whereby 30 are year cocks. He has also a few hens on the nest, but he is going to work out this system much better next year. Considering that Luc can't compete in speed races, he aims his arrows at the national and international races. The widowers got coupled at the beginning of March, could raise a couple of youngsters, and on the 10th of April were established on widowhood.
“Normally the widowers get basketted every 2 weeks,” “A maximum of three weeks, but a lot depends on the weather circumstances and the condition of the pigeons,” says Luc. “Listen… my national winner of Orange was on my list for Montauban. But since the weather predictions weren't very promising, I left him at home with another pigeon in the same loft and reserved him for Orange. There is no special motivation here. At the basketting the nest hardly gets turned around. There are two reasons why I don't motivate my pigeons. Firstly, I want to basket the widowers as quietly as possible, and secondly I don't want to interrupt the other pigeons that stay at home.
As for nutrition, I work with mixes from Mariman. At homecoming I give widowhood mix, then Super Winner (low in proteins), and then the last days before the basketting again a widowhood mix. As for by-products, I use fresh grit daily, and I usually sprinkle the food with garlic oil and yeast. On the medical scene, I treat for only trichomoniose. I don't give antibiotics against ornithosis. I want a loft with good air ventilation.
Or the new name for the national winner. “l’Orange” (B06-9045227) is a cock with a serious record.
He already won
24th national Orange (’09) against 5,237 old pigeons
32nd national Bourges (’08) against 19,084 old pigeons
35th national Bourges (’07) against 16,023 yearlings
Did I see its homecoming? No... I was separating the hens from the Argenton flyers when I suddenly saw him sitting on the roof. It's good that he didn't waste too much time getting in the loft, because he didn't have such a big lead!
Luc… congratulations and I would say, “On to a third national victory!”
SIERENS-VAN DEN BROEKE
National winner of Chateauroux
Fastest of 39,144 birds
Zwevegem: Sierens Van den Broeke is a name as well known as a clock in the pigeon world, so we were a bit surprised when Luc Van den Broeke told us that this victory was their first national victory. Luc says, "Every year we win some top prizes on national level, but we have never won a national race. So with this victory we succeeded in our goal."
This tandem was second national champion Long Distance (2002) and in 1995 the "Driebander" was the 1st national ace pigeon long distance KBDB. That's the reason for their name recognition!
Wing of the
Van Den Broeke
of the lofts
Norbert Sierens and Luc Van den Broeke had 65 widowers (of which approximately 50% are yearlings) at the start of the new season. The widowers had a winter breed together with the 14 breeding couples, and after a winter rest the hen came back into the loft on the 10th of March. They brood for three days, and after that they went on widowhood. Through short- and middle-distance races, the first very important races were the ones on the national level.
Norbert says, "As you can see, I have a very big loft installation. A whole row of garden lofts together with many ceiling lofts, I just don't know anymore how many lofts I have. But just because I have so many lofts that does not mean that all of them are 100% populated. No. There are only two pigeons living in some lofts, and the loft of the national winner has only nine pigeons in it. I have my own theory about this: where pigeons have performed well as a youngster, they may stay there for the rest of their racing career. Many lofts does not automatically mean much work. The contrary is true though. On some sections, there's almost no work just because there are so few pigeons in it.
For this national race Norbert and Luc basketed 30 pigeons. They were waiting in full suspense when suddenly a pigeon came from the right direction. The clock pointed at 13h44min and 9 seconds when the pigeon walked over the electronic clocking system. Luc says, "We had to wait for 20 minutes on our second pigeon, but then the other pigeons arrived very quickly. At 14h30min, we had already 20 from the 30 pigeons at home. The fact that we had to wait so long for our second pigeon was a good sign. It meant that this guy was very early.”
The national winner is ‘The Chateauroux’ (B08-3009301), a well-built beautiful blue cock with a character like no other. For preparation he raced on Ablis (29th against 261 b.), Chateauroux (135th against 604 b.), and Brive (52nd against 552 b.). “Did we motivate him specially?” Norbert muses. “No, not really. As always, he was allowed to see his hen for three minutes just before basketing. I noticed that in the last weeks the condition was moving to a climax. Their way of training was not the same as during the early season. There was now more power and nervousness.
“Feeding is done either individually or collectively,” Luc says. “It all depends on the number of pigeons that are in the loft. If there are only two pigeons, then the feeding is done individually. Drinking is always together. In terms of food, I use a mix of Versele-Laga, Van Robaeys and Beyers. In terms of by-products, the manufacturers will not get rich because of me! I only give some extra electrolytes + glucose. Medically, all pigeons will be made free from all the known diseases. This means that they will be treated for five days against Ornithose (Soludox + Linco spectin powder), Trichomoniasis and Coccidiosis. During the season they are treated for Tricho and Coccidiosis every 14 days. Against Ornithosis, I only treat them when I think it's necessary. Between Brive and Chateauroux, the Chateauroux winner got Linco Spectin powder for two days in his drinking water."
Luc and Norbert ... a brilliant performance for a great colony ... on to the next national victory.