The Elektriek line is a cruel sort... they put themselves forth very easily. You can’t say that about all pigeons. Hence I now have a very good pigeon which wins the grand marathon or is the Ace pigeon Extreme Long Distance from Gistel. The times in the long distance has also evolved. I find that the union should distinguish between Ace pigeons. Earlier there were a Limoges, a Périgueux, a Angoulème, etc... grand distance races of 600 km. But we don’t talk about them anymore. Now it’s long distance from 700 km to 900 km. And, saw what you like, but Vanbruaene says that these are different pigeons. It is an especially big trump card for the name of the Belgians abroad. We are still the cradle of the sport and we must see that we continue to maintain this. To be frank, it is the long distane men who do so well in the 600 km races. You have to be careful because presently they are faster pigeons. We should all think about this carefully. Once the races are above 700 k m then it is more down to class. In my opinion, and seen in the daylight of the pigeon sport worldwide, this should be discussed. An dan Ace pigeon with 4 long distance races, as we see, is nothing. Or else they should distinguish between lighter long distance and tough races. We won the championship from Gistel with two pigeons over a minimum distance of 2200 km. It was "The Diplomaat" from Barcelona and the "Laureaat" from Montauban and Lourdes. The Laureaat is now the third Ace pigeon from Belgium plus the first Ace pigeon for the trophy Upjohn in Gistel. They came to ask me what prize I wanted. I said I preferred a steak to a beaker. Success is a burden, mister. I have no peace now. Always visitors. I have to go and there. I sometimes prefer just to chat over this and that than always having to talk about the pigeons. There are people who can only talk about pigeons, pigeons, and more pigeons.' But I still have my strong character and therefore will not back doen for the youth. You’ll have to excuse me, mister, but I can’t imagine that a young person only stays in bed until 7 o’clock in the morning. I’m not talking about anyone who is ill or an old person. But Vanbruaene is 77 and is up first every morning. It doesn’t matter how late I get home, even now in the winter. I’m always up at half past five (05h30). And in the summer it is much earlier. I don’t need an alarm clock. If I think of something then it has to be done. My pigeons fly when the sun rises during the season. In the late afternoon they fly from 18 to 19h. Look, go upstairs, yesterday I disinfected everything with bleach and then put quicklime on. It is still wet in some places. Pascal, the grandson, said: We have to learn to work according to the old method from grandfather. He dictated the law to us. His old tricks and nothing else.
We, and also he, regularly read old things, a.o. in the green book. You sometimes forget things from the old days which are still very good .
Unimproveable says Vanbruane. And he reads Practicum weekly. That’s the only reason he buys the newspaper. You have to read and stay with the times. Everybody can learn something from it. Naturally, says André, it is not always great with the pigeons. The care involves a great deal. The lofts are cleaned every day. I have eight lofts for widowers, each with 12 boxes. The lofts for the youngsters are quite full. The lofts for the two-year olds will be thinned out a lot after the season .
In the lofts for the old birds there are only 5 or 6 pigeons left. There is even a loft with only 3 pigeons. In the winter I never have more than 120 to 130 pigeons says André. And, mister, a yearling which shows off is usually a good three-year old and old bird. I always say that you have to make up a programme for the pigeons. A programme according to: their age. My pigeons develop further until their third year.
I would not enter any youngsters for Barcelona. That is just like a person at their work or in the sport. You can force somebody during their youth. This both at work and in the sport. First things first. Forcing is not good for anything. All in good time and in the fitting rhythm. Hence I teach my yearlings with a nest. They breed a couple of times and it is not until the last race of the season that I bring them into widowhood. That is my system.
Yearlings should first be allowed to breed. A nest or two and then introducing them to widowhood. So that they experience it. And then I enter them for Limoges. If they are early or not is not important. Sooner or later doesn’t matter that much. But when it is a normal race and there is an early pigeon, well, that will become a good one, if you are patient. Once the big races are on the programme then the street is full of fanciers coming to watch over the pigeons. My second Barcelona pigeon was also there before I was at my post. I heard them shouting and raving in the street and I still had to take the lift upstairs to open the trap. The pigeon startled, flew up, but luckily soon came inside. Now, it was Barcelona, but everybody knows that nowadays they can’t delay too much or else they could lose the first prize .
Now, in the middle of November, I start giving them barley. The pigeons are then over the big moult. The last pens have fallen out and it is gradually becoming time to switch over to barley. In the winter I give 50 % and a small rationing mixture. But during the racing season I can’t imagine what depurative is doing in the food. If you have worked hard, or a cyclist or manual worker comes home,...does your wife say: husband, be careful, don’t eat too much. Be careful. I’ll get you a glass of water, and dry bread and maybe an aspirin. Long Distance and depurative, no, I don’t believe that. I’m not saying not in the sprint. And the commerce can stay alive for me. I just don’t know why I should give them depurative in the long distance when they have raced so hard. I only have one food in during the season. If your wife gave you a nice piece of meat, good food after working hard, then I think that you recouperate much better that with water and dry bread. Look at how much the cyclists eat after a classic or a arace in the Tour de France. My pigeons are given that to, mister, and I have never seen a widower eating too much .