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  News >HEINDRYCKX WILFRIED – ZEDELGEM-1st National Bourges 23,208 old birds













Heindryckx Wilfried



by Stefan Mertens






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1st National Bourges 23,208 old birds

The first National race of the season was well-provided with 23,208 basketed old birds. Since 1991 only the editions of '99 – '02 – '05 – '09 and 2011 knew a higher quantity of participants.

Fastest of all old birds was "B15-3020313" from the sympathetic Wilfried Heindryckx of Zeldelgem, West-Flanders. Clocked at 12h14min and 09 sec for a distance of 453.598km, he got a speed of 1,443.89 m/m. He left, with this speed, the old birds from Deprez Olivier (Poperinge – 1,440.26 m/m) and Demely Liliane (Moorsele – 1,439.10 m/m) behind him.


We meet a very happy Wilfried when we congratulate him with his national victory. You could tell in a minute that Wilfried never expected that winning a national victory would cause so much commotion. Two phones that are ringing without stopping, visitors with felicitations, press and so on…it will take more than one good night sleep for Wilfried to realize what kind of top result his '313' achieved.

Wilfried: "Pigeon sport is something I was born with. Both my grandfather and father walked around the house most of the time with their overall around their shoulders. Since 1984 I race independent from my current address nevertheless my job took me about 12h a day…so you know enough. Luckily I could always count on the support of my wife Linda so it was possible to make beautiful weather on the short distance and small middle distance races. I retired in 2016 and decided to test my pigeons on the national races. And…to be honest…I'm not a highflyer but have already enjoyed their results, especially basketed for the races from Bourges until Brive.

I call myself a 'small' fancier, with modest means to enjoy pigeon sport in my own way. I could never dream about a national victory and look now…I can already put one on my palmaris…pigeon sport can be this beautiful!



The base of my loft exists of pigeons from different fanciers. My fathers' pigeons were strengthened with pigeons from: Eric Honoré (Snellegem), Loft Bastiaensen (Snellegem), Den Duyver (Ichtegem), Baert-Symoens (Torhout), Gebr. Van Houwaert (Hertsberge), Halaert (Ichtegem), Eichert (Duitsland) and De Coster Ronny and Stijn (Roksem). I apologize if I have forgotten someone.

My widow cocks team exist out of 6 old and 7 year birds. Count another 2 racing hens which are being raced between my youngsters and you know the size of my racing team. I weened 45 youngsters from my first round (there are about 30 left now) and my 12 breeding couples take care of the necessary after breed.

The widow cocks were coupled on the 6th of December. They could race a couple of youngsters and when the hens and youngster were taken away from the loft, the widowhood could start. There was no second coupling. The first time they got to see their hen was at homecoming of their first short distance race. As there wasn't a second coupling and as they never see their hen at basketing (they only get to see their nest dish), I leave the hen for about 1 to 2 hours with the widow cocks. After a national race I even leave them together until the day after.


Feeding is being done with a spoon and on the menu there are racing mixtures of Van Robaeys and a racing mixture of Versele-Laga. My widow cocks are never hungry on the day of basketing and I feed them 3 times that day, a matter of basketing them with a full crop. At homecoming I give them electrolytes in their water and I dare to give them a vitamin preparation during the week.

The vet did the obliged vaccination of paramyxo and did a control of the droppings at the same time but everything was ok. I use weekly yellow drops and now – after Bourges – I'm going to give them for the first time a Spartrix. They didn't get a treatment against ornithosis yet.


Whether my winner was extra motivated? Not that I know of…his box is his sanctuary…nobody can get in. Even I get a huge fight when I try to put my hand in his box. I must say that I basketed Bourges nervously…the day before basketing my widow cocks trained their regular rounds but due to a party at my neighbours' house they flew around the entire evening or sat on a neighbours roof but didn't want to come in. It took until 9 o'clock in the morning until I could call my last cock in.  To gain their trust I've let them train once more on Thursday but they were still a bit scared. Again it took way too long to get them in. Maybe it was due to this situation that my '313' got some nerves and which made him super motivated…who will tell!

Stefan Mertens
































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