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Additionally (June 1st)

"I put on top of the article about you: "At Middle Distance the best loft in Belgium in 2019’, reporter Luc said when he came to make the report that recently appeared in pigeon magazine De Duif.Knowing pigeon fanciers, at least some of them, I said "Then better put a question mark behind it.’ Luc: No question mark, on the contrary, an exclamation mark! Fanciers who think they did better may contact me.’No one contacted him. "In fact, not a single negative comment has been heard, on the contrary. Not even that young fancier who had compared my results in the magazine, on Pitts, Pipa and so on. "No one comes close’, he wrote. 


Of course a report can be so extensive, completeness does not exist. In addition, readers have different interests. One is interested in feeding, the other in the medical picture, a third one in the loft. As for that report on our results, additional questions were asked. Some may be interesting.



Patrick and Frank are very critical when they go to buy d for the breeding station from Descheemaeker. They only want the best, and it must be said my birds made a stunning impression upon them. "Go keep more d, you will even become more famous than you already are’, they said several times."Why don't you play with more d?" I have often been asked that question.This is mainly due to age. In addition, both my assistant Roger and I hate mediocrity and that will be more the case the more d you have.I was never tempted to keep more d to stand out and continue to perform.Furthermore fanciers should focus only one discipline, for me that is Middle Distance. To be on top you must make choices. Ours is races from 300 to 500 kilometres.  


Also Roger the chairman of the club  repeatedly asked: "Why don't you race long distance, so the nationals, with such d in such a super form? At long distance you can make your name greater. I'm not saying your birds are better than those of the world famous names, but they are certainly no worse. You hurt yourself by not playing long distance ".The answer to that question resembles the previous one: Too few birds. Also consider the extensive work if you choose more disciplines and the associated stress. In addition, I hate to lose a good pigeon and that chance is greater in the long distance. And regarding age: The time that I would like to race every day if possible is behind me. Take that famous Antwerp fancier too. He would like to excel at the Nationals. I think he would succeed on one condition: That he gave up the short distance and fully focused on the nationals with ALL his birds. 


Medically, there is little interesting to report about my loft, although that may seem implausible. I have perfectly healthy birds and as soon as one is not fresh, it can leave.The vet does not earn anything from us. If so, that vet would have shouted out loud already that we are his customers. Of course you cannot ignore the vet.  But there is a big difference between "ever needed" and an examination every two weeks and a cure every week.In 2011 we were not spared from disaster.Birds that did not perform, got lost, youngsters that grew up or died, unfertilized eggs, birds that were never tight, we all experienced it.Paratyphoid would turn out and you don't want to experience that a second time. Baytril, so detested by many, brought salvation very quickly, otherwise we would not have become 1st Champion youngsters in both the Federations Union Antwerp and  Fed ZAV in 2012; so against all the big shots.


What about supplements? "There is little I have not tried, but I never saw any improvement in form," famous Verkerk always says.Here's another one. Also tried everything, always to only some of the d to be able to compare, but did not (yet) discover anything that brought any improvement in the condition. Now I restrict myself to electrolytes in warm weather and the yellow drops that are the fashion to-day. Do you play well and do you believe in supplements? Ignore these rules !!! 


Despite almost half a century of pigeon sport, I still cannot tell from a pigeon whether it is a good one. "Bad" is easier. Some birds have such major flaws that they cannot be good.The same applies to breeders, no one can see whether a pigeon has the potential to produce good.What you can make as a requirement for both breeders and racers?Soft plumes. A pigeon with hard feathers and stiff fragile pens is a bad one for sure! . Of course you should not turn things around.All cows are animals, but all animals are not cows.So birds with bad plumes are not good, that does not automatically mean that birds with soft plumes are good.I like them somewhat smaller, compact, well-ventilated last pens and a small pupil facing forward. I have never seen good racer with hard plumage, the same applies to rear viewers. Get rid of such.


The quality in the breeding loft must be so good that it does not really matter who pairs with whom. You can even do free mating.You can steer a bit by placing the breeders in two or three sections. The mistake I make myself is not being able to give up older basic birds.You shouldn't imitate me in that. What I have had good experiences with is pairing yearlings that both flew very well as a youngster.And which I am also convinced, I wrote earlier, that you have a lot of chance of good breeders if you have two nest mates that both performed very well.Did one perform and the other fail? ‘Then the other is the good breeder’, some say. Everyone his own truth, but I prefer the babies of the good racer.


In conclusion a piece of advice to novices. Use the internet only to read results and ignore all those sales. Birds are made into such a hype that it is very difficult to resist the enticements of "delicious" pedigrees. Hooymans was successful with ‘name birds’ indeed, but he is the exception to the rule.