The Racing Pigeon - 5th April 2024



was 20th in the St Vincent National and also 20th from Dax. After marrying my mother they moved to Goirle where we live now. The first years my father worked hard, in the evenings, too, and didn’t have much time for the pigeons, but in 1983 this changed, and he began serious racing. Then, in 1985, the first success came when he won 3rd prize from Dax against 13,308 birds with a hen he had from H Verhoeven. This hen had previously won 16th National Bergerac 15,069 birds and 7th National St Vincent 19,344 birds. A year later he won 1st National

do you go for new blood? At the start in 1979 at our present address my father bought 28 youngsters from Ad van Sas in Poppel who had pigeons from the famous loft of Louis van Loon in Poppel. One of these 28 youngsters – NL80-846054 ‘Sas Duif’ turned out to become a super stock hen whose blood can be found today in most of our birds. She is mother of the winner of National Orleans in 1986 and many other good breeders and racers. A cock that also had a big influence in those years was NL81-1956448 from club member Verhagen van Gorp. Later, we have introduced pigeons from other lofts in Goirle and from such internationally known

to 70-80. Tell me about your lofts and management: We have very ordinary lofts with natural ventilation. The lofts are arranged as follows – on the left a long distance loft for eight widowers, in the middle a young bird loft and to the right a short/middle distance loft for 20 widowers. There is also a smaller loft for overnight racers, another one for nine long distance widowers and finally one for young birds with an aviary. We clean the lofts for widowers and overnight racers twice a day. In the young bird loft we do not clean the floor – our experience is that in

Bergerac 15,069 birds and 7th National St Vincent 19,344 birds. A year later he won 1st National Orleans District 1 against 6,275 birds. And in each of the following years he did very well. I (Eugene) joined the sport because my father kept pigeons, and after some years of just watching I got my own loft at the age of 10. In 1990-92 I won the junior championship in Midden Brabant. And in the competition arranged by the magazine De Vredesduif I won 1st prize in 1990-92. I also won several championships in the club, but in 1991 some senior members proposed a rule in our club that junior members should not be able to compete for championships with senior members. In 1992 I would have been 3rd in the overall championship (nominated) had the proposal not been adopted. But in that same year I won 1st National Orleans in Region 1c. And in 1993 my father and I decided to go into partnership. Where did you first pigeons come from – and where

fanciers as Piet Manders, Baarle-Nassau, Louis van Loon, Van Limpt De Klak, P Gijbels and others. We constantly try to improve our stock with purchases from strong lofts in the area. How do you manager to stay at the top in your area year after year? It is owing to a combination of several factors. First and foremost good pigeons. Then we spend much time around the pigeons – making plans, preparations for breeding and racing, observations in the loft and during exercise and training etc. It is also essential to have a suitable feeding schedule with supplementary products. How many pigeons do you keep? At present, we have 14 pairs of stock birds; 20 widowers for short/middle distance; 17 widowers for long distance; 10 pairs for overnight races. And we usually start the season with 100 youngsters, but after training and the first race this will be reduced

this way they develop resistance to diseases spread via the droppings. The pigeons are paired up around December 15, expect the Natural pairs for overnight racing. Stock pigeons remain together until August. When the babies of the Widowhood pairs are 22 days old they are moved to the young bird loft with the hens. After the first four short races in May the widowers are again paired up, they are allowed to sit eggs for 3-5 days and are then separated and go onto Widowhood. This re-pairing gives them renewed motivation, and they are now ready for middle and long distance racing. The short and middle distance widowers see the hen for 10-20 minutes before being basketed each week. When they return the hen is waiting in the nestbox, and they are together for about 30 minutes. The long distance cocks get the hen in the nest for one hour before basketing and spend an hour or so together after the race. The widowers are exercised for an hour morning

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