Peter & Gwen Van de Merwe
A fixed value in Dutch pigeon racing!

Dordrecht in the province of Zuid-Holland is a beautiful city located on the three-river point.  Here, the confluence of the Beneden-Merwede, the Noord-Maas and the Oude-Maas is the busiest river junction in Europe.  The Dutch and water, it has always been something special and Dordrecht is a particularly good example of this.  The city has become large thanks to transport on the rivers, but the other side of the coin is that you always must consider the power of nature and the power of water.  This results in building on piles and a lot of effort and energy in constructing dykes and maintaining the infrastructure to protect the habitation. Hidden behind the dike lives Peter Van De Merwe with his wife Nathalie and daughter Gwen. Their home is neatly shielded from the water by the meter high Noordendijk and, despite its proximity to the city center, is an oasis of calm and exudes the atmosphere of a small farm.  The Van De Merwe’s love animals.  His parents live next door to Peter and Peter’s father Arie is also involved in looking after the animals.

HOW IT BEGAN

Peter is a proven value in Dutch pigeon racing. Since the early years he has been racing at the highest level. The love for the pigeon sport is in the family. In 1985 Uncle Piet van de Merwe introduced Peter in the pigeon sport. Until then, Peter was interested in almost all animals. His real love for pigeons started when Peter caught a wounded pigeon and took care of it until it was ready to fly home again. From that moment on he had lost his heart to pigeon racing. Uncle Piet saw potential in Peter and gave him 11 youngsters. Father Arie built a first loft and Dordrecht had a new pigeon fancier. The origin of the Van de Merwe colony starts with the pigeons of his uncle. Afterwards pigeons from the De Wit brothers were added (Klak/Tournier – it is a public secret that the De Wit brothers are at the basis of other top colonies in the Netherlands). At the time, eggs were obtained from Van Loon that turned out to be golden eggs. Other names which are in one way or another interwoven in the strain by purchase or co-breeding are: Ottevanger, Ad Schaerlaeckens, Cees Van de poel, Comb B&W, Marcel Sangers (100% Koopman) and the last few years successful investments were made in pigeons of Guy Van Der Auwera (especially the Goovaerts blood of Gaston Van de Wouwer) and Leo Heremans. Very recently the “Kittel pigeons” of Dirk van der Bulck were crossed into the Van de Merwe strain and the first results are more than promising and of course we must not forget the “Blauwe Leo” (has flown super and breeds real champions from Leo and Gerry Dockx) and “Dark Gwen” (another flying and breeding wonder from Hardy Kruger).

HAVE THEY EVER SEEN THIS IN THE NETHERLANDS?

As already mentioned, in the Van de Merwe house, they are all “pigeon crazy” and everyone, Peter, Gwen and Nathalie have their own department. The beauty of this story is that without realizing it, they stimulate each other to put brilliant results on paper.

The Van de Merwe pigeons have the art to perform season after season on an unprecedented high level and now no less than 30 NPO victories, dozens of national ace pigeons and many titles on provincial and national level adorn their palmares. When you see this, we really wonder if they have ever experienced this in the history of Dutch pigeon racing!

Also, in 2020, the results were FENOMENAL!

 

1st NPO Roye 20,199b.
1st NPO Fontenay 17,630b.
1st NPO Pont St. Max 12,240b.
1st NPO Blois 3,212b.

Pont St. Maxence 19,142b.: 2-3-4-5-7-8-9-10-12-16-17-20-21-22-23-26-29-36 etc.
Roye 20,172b.: 1-2-3-5-6-7-8-9-11-13-14-35-37-38-40-44-51-56 etc.
Fontenay 17,629b.: 1-2-5-8-10-28-32-38-43-47-50-69-71-72 etc.
Pont St. Maxence 33,678d.: 2-3-7-9-10-12-13-27-28-34-48-49-51-53-55 etc.
Blois NPO 3,212b.: 1-2-9-12-13-14-15-55-83-84-90 etc.
Chateauroux NPO 4,973b.: 3-4-10-16-23-41-42-43-73 etc.
Blois NPO 7,756b. 2-3-21-38-45-46-50 etc.

Such results do not come out of the blue. The whole thing must click perfectly. The lofts, the system, the fancier and of course the strong base of the breeding loft. Peter, being the down-to-earth person he is, sees especially the strong breeding base as the key to his success. “If it goes wrong there, you may be such a good fancier… nobody can make a racehorse out of a donkey, so you have to make sure you have racehorses! “

SYSTEM RACING PIGEONS

Once the season is over, the racers stay inside and can enjoy the spacious aviaries. If Peter does not do this, you can be sure that about 20 pigeons will disappear in the claws of the birds of prey. From February onwards, they can start training again, but at irregular times.

At the end of February, the racing team is coupled and may brood a maximum of 14 days. Afterwards, the sexes are separated, and the training is gradually increased. The pigeons train once a day. This has been the case for years and since the results are top, Peter is not inclined to switch to two training sessions a day.

Because of the later start of the 2020 season, the old and yearling racers were darkened for the first time. For 12 hours a day it was dark on the lofts. This went well but in hindsight, this was unnecessary because the season didn’t end later. Peter didn’t see a real difference and therefore the old ones won’t be darkened anymore in the season 2021. The last races, also called natour races, are finished in nest position so the pigeons stay in the feathers.

As far as motivation is concerned, little or nothing is done. Years of experience have taught Peter that motivation can have the opposite effect. Pigeons in top form motivate themselves and top form can be stimulated by training them well (if necessary, with the flag), feeding them well and taking care of them punctually. Peter has already experienced several times that when you have the form on your loft, you must do the least.

The old and yearling pigeons are played according to the total widowhood system. The strange thing is that one year the cocks perform well and the other year the hens. The total widowhood has been appreciated for many years and the big advantage is that afterwards both the better cocks and the better hens can strengthen the breeding loft.

The hens see the inside of a travel basket every week, while the cocks get a week’s rest now and then. Giving cocks a week’s rest can have a positive effect on their condition.

The hens are in the race a lot before the start of the season. During the season, the first days after the flight, they are also in the run and when there are some horny ladies, they are locked up in a special hen’s box.

Since a few years, Peter feeds the mixtures of Beyers. During the molting season, the pigeons get a mixture of 70% Galaxy Molting + 15% depuritive + 15% barley. This mixture is on the menu until the coupling in February. Once paired, they are switched to 100% breeding mixture. During the season they get depurative at home, afterwards it is replaced by Galaxy Light. The last days they are enriched with Galaxy Energy … 100% energy mixture is only fed on the day of basketing.

The pigeons are fed in a common feeding trough and Peter does not feed with a measuring spoon but by feeling. On the day of basketing, the pigeons are fed in the morning until they start eating with long teeth. At 1 pm they get some food again and as desert they get some candy seeds and Tovo mix. Other protein and energy additions are not directly for Peter.

Medically, Peter has full confidence in Henk de Weerd. Before the start of the season, all pigeons are vaccinated against paramyxo and smallpox and they are set free from tricho. After the flight, B.S. is put in the water. Especially in warm weather or when the pigeons have been in the basket longer than foreseen, B.S. is given. Once a month all racers get a Belgamagix.

In principle, we don’t cure against “head diseases” but if Peter thinks it’s necessary, he will consult Henk de Weerd and his advice will be followed. Last season everything went perfect, the results were super, so the medicine cabinet remained closed. But again…this only works if everything goes by the book. A bad race can cause problems and then you must cure your pigeons. 

The loft is oriented towards the southeast. During the day, the pigeons can always go into the loft. In the evening, the pigeons are fed in the loft and the windows are closed. The ventilation in the loft then opens to 60 cm. The floor is cleaned once a day.

The inexhaustible class of their breeding loft

For years at the top of the Dutch pigeon sport performing extremely hard… it is only given to a few, but Peter succeeds miraculously. His secret “class pigeons”… everything started with those well-known pedigrees such as “Replay”, “Gwen”, “Amigo”, “Replay Jr”, “Big John Jr”, “Nathalie” etc… Most of these toppers have first shown their capacities on the races and afterwards they excelled on the breeding loft by passing on their flying capacities to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation. When we asked Peter about his breeding strategy, his answer was short and clear ” I will especially cross the children/grandchildren from the above-mentioned stock pigeons. Rarely will there be an inbreeding pairing. I look a bit at the type of each pigeon, and I do not know anything about the eye theory. The most important thing is the results “Good x Good” is in my opinion the ideal pairing and it is striking that some breeding lines pass on their winning genes much better than others.”

One of the current top pairings is without discussion “Young Dreampair”.

“Young Dreampair” is formed by “Son Jill” (NL17-1280564) x “Bulck 118” (NL17-1826118)

They are parents to:

“Max” 18-5129512
2. Nat Ace Pigeon Ranking 6 price 2018
6.Peronne 8,420b
8.Quievrain 2,391b
11.Quievrain 1,234b
12.Pointoise 6,679b
27.Pont st M 18,381b
78.Pont st M 9,047b
67.Quievrain 2,755b

“Max” is father to:

16.NPO Chateauroux 4,973b 600 Km
32.NPO Pont st max 3,477b
45.NPO Vierzon 9,031b
107.NPO Fontenay  17,630b
120.Nat Pointoise  8,068b

9.Niergnies 3,393b

19.NPO Pont st Max 3,477b

38.NAT Blois 11,576b

55.NPO Blois 3,212b

91.NPO Pont st max 33,636b

58.Pointoise 1,555b

177.Nat Pointoise 8,068
241.Peronne 8,044b

 

“Maxien” 18-5129511

1.Nanteuil 3,086b

4.Prov. 12,413b

4.Melun 9,656b

7.Duffel 1,369b

8.Lennik 1,202b

9.Quievrain 3,742b

12.Melun 1,994b

17.Quievrain 2,192b

38.Lennik 1,837b

59.Pont 18,381b

 

19-1669913
1.Niergnies 3,393b
10.Quievrain 1,400b
15.Pointoise 1,278b
17.Lennik 984b
43.NPO Fontenay 17,630b

5.Prov Ace pigeon Middle distance 2020

19-7005626  
3. Peronne 568b
6.NPO Fontenay 17,630b (after loft mates)
6. Quievrain 1,400b
9.Lennik 1,202b
10.NPO Pointoise 3,173b
10.Peronne 1,108b
12.Nat Pointoise 8,068b
13.NPO Pont st Max 3,477b (after lovemates)
17.Peronne 1,954b
19.Prov Peronne 7,103b
45.Prov Peronne 16,670b

 Ineke 19-7005625  
1.NPO Pont st Max 12,240b
2.NPO Pont st Max 33,687b
12.NPO Pointoise 6,621b
36.Nat Pointoise 8,068b
37.Quievrain 2,234b
46.Lennik 1,837b

20-7021269
2.NPO Roye 20,172b After loft mate
22.NPO Pont st Max 19,399b

 20-7021303

6.NPO Roye 20,199b after loft mate
29.NPO Peronne 16,670b

18.Duffel 435b

30.Lennik 1,410b

50.Quievrain 2,835b

 

Another strong and important base breeder is “Blauwe Leo”

“Blauwe Leo” (B16-6047206 – original Dockx Leo en Gerry) is a direct son “Tarzan” (1st National ace KBDB young birds) x “Fenna” (won o.a. 4th Nat. Montluçon 11,056b. and 5th Nat. Argenton 22,464b.).
“Blauwe Leo” won himself: 2nd provincial Arras 12,475b. and 4th NPO Pont 12,751b.

“Blauwe Leo” is father to: “Evy” (NL18-5129349)

“Evy” won:

1st Nat. Melun S2 against 8,893b.
Fastest S2 + S3 against 38,000b.
8th Pont St. Maxence 7,771b.
3rd Pont St. Maxence 1.,034b.
15th National ace WHZB old birds

“Evy” is mother to:

“Leonora” NL19-1670031
3rd Nat Asce middle distance De Allerbeste 2020
1.NPO Blois 3,211b
8.NPO Fontenay 17,630b
15.NPO Fontenay 12,920b
20.Pointoise 1,555b
39.Lennik 1,837b
41.Pont st max 2,875b
52.Pointoise 1,275b
64.Quievrain 9,359b
67.NPO Vierzon 9,031b
73.NPO Chateauroux 4,973b

“Romil” NL20-1498569
2nd National ace Fondspiegel
7th NPO Pont St. Maxence 19,399b.
26th NPO Fontenay 15,396b.

Girl power on the breeding loft “Jill” NL15-1708672

Won:
1st National asduif jonge duiven Ranking 2015
4th asduif national competitie WHZB 2015
1st Duffel 1,064b.
2nd Duffel 2,355b.
1st Troyes 251b.
14th prov. Troyes 4,147b.
12th Asse 1,306b.
18th Nanteuil 7,763b.
13th Pont 6,160b.

“Jill” is mother to:

18-5129358 (uit “Rambo” x “Jill”)  
5. Nat Ace pigeon Ranking 2018
3.NAT Melun 8,893b
5.Pointoise 1,706b
10.NPO Pointoise 6,679b
5.Pont st Max   1,970b
16.NPO Pont st Max 7,771b
15.Pont st Max   1,034b
44.Quievrain 1,896b

18-5129359
11.Peronne 897b
13.Pont st M 18,381b
26.Pointoise 6,679b
26.Quievrain 2,192b
27.Pointoise 4,846b
39.Peronne 1,570b
47.Quievrain 3,742b
157.Pont st M 9,047b

“Sherwin” 19-7005628
2.NPO Pointoise 3,173b after loft mate
3. Nat Pointoise 8,068b
10.NPO Pont 6,733b after loft mate
1.Peronne 1,004b
10.Prov Peronne 19,257 b
1.Lennik  984b
8. Nat Ace Pigeon Ranking 2019

“Sherwin” is father to “Fleur”, this when he was paired to “Charlotte” (1st NPO Pontoise 16,215b.)
“Fleur” won 1st NPO Roye 20,199b.

Other children of “Jill” won:

1.Pont st Max 1,970b
7.NPO Pont st Max 18,381b
17.Peronne 2,165b
53.Quievrain 1,896b
86.Nat Melun 8,893b

1.Peronne 387b
2.Peronne 3,453b
20.NPO Vierzon 9,031b
28.NPO Pont st Max 3,477b
43.Niegnies 3,393b
93.NPO Chateauroux 4,973b
125.NPO Fontenay 17,630b

1.Duffel 7,593b
2.Chimay 359b
13.Asse 2,570b
14.Arras 4,115b
25.Pointoise 6,878b
26.pont st Max 7,593b
26.Roye  6,946b
38.Arras 3,713b
51.Pont st Max 7,593b
198.Nat Chateauroux 9,980b

Famous grandchildren of “Jill” are:

“Ineke” 19-7005625 
1.NPO Pont st Max 12,240b
2.NPO Pont st Max 33,687b
12.NPO Pointoise 6,621b
36.Nat Pointoise 8,068 b
37.Quievrain 2,234b
46.Lennik 1,837b

19-7005626 
3. Peronne 568b
6.NPO Fontenay 17,630b
6.Quievrain 1,400b
9.Lennik 1,202b
10.NPO Pointoise 3,173b
10.Peronne 1,108b
12.Nat Pointoie 8,068b
13.NPO Pont 3,477b
17.Peronne 1,954b
19.Peronne 7,103b

Max 18-5129512
2. Nat Ace Ranking 6 prijzen 2018
6.Peronne 8,420 b
8.Quievrain 2,391b
11.Quievrain 1,234b
12.Pointoise 6,679b
27.Pont st M. 18,381b
78.Pont st M 9,047b
67.Quievrain 2,755b

“Max” is father to:

16.NPO Chateauroux 4,973b 600 Km
32.NPO Pont st max 3,477b
45.NPO Vierzon 9,031b
107.NPO Fontenay 17,630b
120.Nat Pointoise 8,068b

9.Niergnies 3,393b
19.NPO Pont st Max 3,477b
38.NAT Blois 11,576b
55.NPO Blois 3,212b
91.NPO Pont 33,636b
58.Pointoise 1,555b
177.Nat Pointoise 8,068b
241.Peronne 8,044b

Maxien 18-5129511
1. Nanteuil 3,086b
4.Prov 12,413b
4.Melun 9,656b
7.Duffel 1,369b
8.Lennik 1,202b
9.Quievrain 3,742b
12.Melun 1,994b
17.Quievrain 2,192b
38.Lennik 1,837b
59.Pont 18,381b

19-1669913
1.Niergnies 3,393b
10.Quievrain 1,400b
15.Pointoise 1,278b
17.Lennik 984b
43.NPO Fontenay 17,630b

 

And what do you think about the breeding value of “Rambo”, again a direct son to “Jill”

 “Rambo” (NL18-5129358) won
5th Nat. ace WHZB
3rd Nat. Melun 8,893b.
10th NPO Pontoise 6,679b.
16th NPO Pontoise 7,771b.

On the breeding loft he became father to “Leonora”.
“Leonora” NL19-1670031 won
3rd Nat Ace middle distance De Allerbeste 2020
1.NPO Blois 3,211b
8.NPO Fontenay 17,630b
15.NPO Fontenay 12,920b
20.Pointoise 1,555b
39.Lennik 1,837b
41.Pont st max 2,875b
52.Pointoise 1,275b
64.Quievrain 9,359b
67.NPO Vierzon 9,031b
73.NPO Chateauroux 4,973b

And we could easily go on like this for a while. Unbelievable how much class there is on the breeding- and racing loft of Peter and daughter Gwen.

Loft

Winners