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Marcel and Didier
The hens' loft
An inside look
at hens' loft
The hens' aviary
Inside the hens'
The Desbuquois brothers, Michel and Didier, are guys who can zero in
on their target very well. They are young fanciers who know what they
want. Not only on a professional level but also in the pigeon sport,
they let their name be heard. It's a pity that, due to their very busy
profession, they don't have the time to focus on all the national and
international races. Therefore, our friends concentrate on only three
races, namely Barcelona International (old birds), St. Vincent national
(only for yearbirds and raced the same weekend as Barcelona), and one
month later Perpignan International (for yearbirds and old birds).
And that they're very successful is something that you don't need to
explain to their opponents. For almost more than 20 years, the name
Desbuquois is found in the top of the racing result of their favorite
races. To give you an idea of the quality of those birds, we take as
example the International Barcelona race 2005. Fanciers who came to
watch the pigeons come home got a lot of fun for their money. It all
started at 9:40 o'clock when "Lucas III" arrived (good for the 21st
national against 12,988b.), shortly (at 9:43 o'clock) followed by "Zora"
(25th national). Afterwards it "rained" pigeons in the Kuiermanstraat:
10:28 - 10:42 - 10:50 - 10:52 - 11:04 - 11:34 - 11:41 - 11:51 - 11:52
- 12:07 - 12:10 - 12:13 - 12:15 and so on.
Long-distance fanciers are known for their very "soft" method. Young
birds are hardly trained, and yearbirds are basketted a few times but
no top results are expected. As a two-year-old, the pigeons have to
make some top results, and as a three-year or older bird they have to
put the real top results on paper. Michel explains, "Before, I also
thought this was the method to follow, but when I became a good friend
of Eric Limbourg, I totally changed my system. The system of 'slowly
to the top' was changed into 'more racing' as a young- and yearbird,
with the only purpose to select more quickly."
Michel continues, "It all starts as a youngbird. Every year we breed
around 300 youngsters, and from the first day that they're weaned they're
by means of speaking selected every day. It is logical that the youngbirds
are not forced in their first year, but here they don't have to expect
a 'nice-nothing-to-do-life.' No, making kilometres is the task. As a
youngbird they do 2 x Quievrain (70km), 2 x Noyon (180km) and 2 x Dourdan
(350km). It's good to know that the youngbirds are liberated on all
those races among thousands of other birds and always have to watch
out to come home. Once the racing season is finished (and then we're
around the middle of September) cocks and hens are moved, and this is
without being coupled, to their future widower- or hens loft."
"Once the yearbird season starts the 1st of April, cocks and hens are
trained," Michel says. "This is with our own car, in five steps, up
to 60km, and then the basket of the club takes over. In a nice tempo
it goes to 2 x Quievrain, 2 x Noyon, 2 x Dourdan to Vierzon (430km),
and 15 days later Tours (450km). After Tours they stay home, and then
they're basket for their first important race, namely St. Vincent."
"The old birds are coupled around the 1st of April," he continues. "They
do their first training tosses on nest position, and after five days
of nesting they're on widowhood. Just like the year birds, they do 2
x Quievrain, 2 x Noyon and 2 x Dourdan. After Dourdan they're basketted
for Vierzon. Then they have Brive (600km) and three weeks later Barcelona."
When the racing season is finished, the racing hens stay in the aviary
after they have bred a couple of youngsters, until the beginning of
March. After this, they're transferred to their racing loft, and a few
days later the first training tosses are made. When they arrive from
a training toss, their "husband" is always waiting in the box. The purpose
is to basket the hens on their first nest of that year on a very long-distance
race, and therefore the hens are raced on widowhood on all their "preparation
races." About four weeks before their first important race, the hens
are coupled and can start a nest. Everything is very well calculated,
so that the hens have youngsters from two till four days old in the
nest at the moment that they'll be in the basket.
After the Barcelona and St. Vincent weekend, the hens go again for three
or four days in the direction of the aviary, and then they're coupled
again to start their second nest of the year. When everything goes as
planned, they can again be basketted on youngsters of a few days old
The breeding areas
breed in these
A breeding couple
with their young
Hens on the nest
don't train around the loft, and therefore the hens are tossed daily
for the last 10 days at 30km. "We don't look at the weather," says Michel.
"I can assure you that it has happened more than once that hens were
still arriving after 10:30 in the evening."
The brothers Desbuquois know very well that without a medical scheme
it is almost impossible to put top results on paper. In the beginning
of the moulting period, a cure against paratyphus is always done. This
treatment is administered through the drinking water. A vaccination
against this disease has not yet been developed. During this same period,
a visit to specialized vet Dr. Norbert Peeters is made, and if necessary
the pigeons are cured against tricho and cocciodiose. When this has
all been done, the medication is put away for the whole winter period.
During the winter months the pigeons must be relaxed and enjoy the open
When the pigeons are coupled the 1st of April, vet Peeters is again
visited in order to be 100 percent sure that nothing is wrong. After
their first race from Noyon (at the end of April), the pigeons are cured
for two days against respiratory problems. After arrival from Vierzon
(the third weekend of May) a cure for two days against "head-diseases"
is made. Always products from vet Peeters are used. After Brive (in
fact the last race before Barcelona), the brothers go again with a basket
full of birds to the vet, and normally a six-day cure against trichomoniasis
and a four-day cure against respiratory problems are advised. This is
always followed with a vitamin cure on the mixture. It is important
that three weeks before Barcelona and between Barcelona and Perpignan
a cure against streptococcus is made. After those treatments, the pigeons
have to be ready to "explode" on the race.
Also concerning feeding, everything is well planned. From the first
day that the season is finished until January 1st, a moulting mixture
is given. After that, the moulting mixture is changed to a protein poor
mixture. This mixture is given until the first 300km race. Afterwards,
the pigeons get a very rich racing mixture (a mixture of three well
known brands). It is very important to feed the pigeons in the right
way, and therefore the birds who will be basketted for a very long-distance
race receive in the last days before basketting a supplement of corn
and the mixture Energy Plus I.C. For the rest, nothing special is done,
only every day a portion of fresh grit with redstone.
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A section of
Inside a breeding
Aviaries for the
Aviaries in front
of the racing lofts
Lofts are not cleaned
in the winter
The racing lofts
The business truck
The base of this very strong Barcelona loft is of course not built up
in a few years' time. No, to know the real base of this colony we have
to go all the way back to the 1960s. In that period, it was uncle Valère
who formed a partnership with father Fernand Desbuquois. Middle distance
was their thing, and they were more than just successful. In those time
the family Desbuquois lived in Brugge, and with pigeons from Huyskens-Van
Riel and a certain Beullens they were the guys to beat. Their "Crack
Valère" was a very well-known top widower, and later this top cock became
the first base bird in the Desbuquois loft. Certainly, when those birds
were crossed with pigeons from Gorin, it made them again a little bit
In 1971 the family Desbuquois moved from Brugge to Kapelle-Op-Den-Bos,
and in the years that followed they raced further on middle distance,
specifically in Strombeek (a neighborhood near Brussels). Two years
later, the family moved again and went to Bornem. There the two brothers
Valère and Fernand met Dieter Debusschere (Mariekerke). Pieter was a
very good very long-distance racer, and his Gorin pigeons knew the secret
to put top results on paper. Pieter, Fernand and Valère became very
good friends, and on a certain day in the winter, they decided to form
a partnership. Debusschere-Desbuquois was now the combination to beat.
Valère and Pieter looked after the racing birds, and Pieter was the
man to take care of the stock birds. Those were very nice times.
But the pigeon fancier in Fernand wanted more than just breeding pigeons.
To guide pigeons to top results was his dream, and in good friendship
they decided to break with the partnership. Fernand made a new start
in a new location. Again they moved, and they went back to Kapelle-Op-Den-Bos.
A very nice, big house seemed to be the best location to start in the
first place a firm specializing in windows and doors, and in the second
place, to make a new start in the pigeon sport. We are now talking about
1985. All the widowers were moved, among them "De Wolle," a cock who
three times won top on Barcelona and the 16th national in this race
when he was seven years old.
A few years before (around 1981), Fernand had found a real goldmine,
meaning the superb pigeons of Emiel Matterne. We're talking about topbirds
like "De St. Vincent," "De Sebastiaan" (this out of top hen "Gebroken
Vleugel"), "De Barcelona," and "De K10." When we analyse the colony
Desbuquois very well, then we see that a daughter of the "K10" was coupled
to a brother of the earlier mentioned "Wolle." A son out of this coupling
is the "Sultan," and this cock coupled to a daughter of the 1st international
Barcelona from Peersman Brothers (also Matterne pigeons) formed the
very strong base of the Desbuquois birds. Nowadays, we can certainly
say that 60 percent of this very long-distance loft is formed with pigeons
from Emiel Matterne.
Of course our friends looked out for "fresh blood" and they found the
perfect crossing material from Eric Limbourg (Brussegam), Marc De Cock
(Temse, a daughter from the first national Barcelona from Jean-Pierre
Bogaerts was bought), and Luc Sioen (Moorslede - Brüggeman pigeons).
TOP RESULTS ON THEIR FAVORITE RACES
St. Vincent 10,624 yearbirds: 93- 175 - 242 - 281 - 328 - 344 - 373
- 382 - 402 - 478 - 479 - 574 - 602 - 655 - 692 - 716 - 749 - 763 -
1021 - 1040, etc.
Barcelona 12,245 old birds: 58 - 70 - 121 - 339 - 404 - 430 - 573 -
788 - 907, etc.
Perpignan 6489 old birds: 197 - 202 - 220 - 222 - 259 - 327 - 467 -
469 - 484 - 553, etc.
4086 yearbirds: 14-24-26-49-84-95-117-132-138-149-176-184-190-192- 203-250-264-284-309-323,
St. Vincent 10,020 yearbirds: 11 - 48 - 62 - 97 - 133 - 147 - 190 -
200 - 234 - 254 - 331 - 349 - 467 - 703 - 713 - 815 - 816 - 854 - 919,
Barcelona 12,998 old birds (71 mee): 21-25-88-122-146-150-193-298-321-359-367-433-443-453-467-601-
Perpignan 7611 old birds: 13-19-27-55-65-75-87- 147-185-186-305-308-322-342,
3808 yearbirds: 5-6-38-121-144-193-229-246-247-258-259-270-382,etc.
THE 3 NATIONAL ACE-PIGEONS VERY LONG DISTANCE KBDB 2005
"Lucas III" B03-2010126
21st national Barcelona 12,998 old birds
75th national Perpignan 7,611 old birds
328th national St. Vincent 10,624 yearbirds
674th national Perpignan 4,086 yearbirds
1653rd national Brive 20,310 old birds
150th national Barcelona 12,988 old birds
55th national Perpignan 7,611 old birds
146th national Barcelona 12,988 old birds
65th national Perpignan 7,611 old birds
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