Gaston Van de Wouwer (Berlaar, BE) winner of 1st zonal and 1st provincial Poitiers yearlings

Gaston Van de Wouwer has won yet another provincial victory. This time it was Serena, BE12-6023303 which took the first prize against 2,538 yearlings. Serena is a full sister of Laura, first Nat. Bourges and a granddaughter of the world famous Kaasboer!

Gaston Van de Wouwer has had a successful career and last weekend his pigeon Serena added another provincial win to his list of achievements. “People ask me how many provincial victories I have won in my career. Honestly I don’t know. I’m not good with numbers but I’m fortunate to get assistance from my wife Maria”, said Gaston, when we asked him about his achievements at provincial level. Serena covered 593km in 9h26min32sec, which resulted in a velocity of 1046.64 m/min.

Kaasboer once again!

The amazing breeding pigeon Kaasboer does not need an introduction. He has proved his value once again this weekend. The provincial winner from Poiters, Serena, is a full sister of Laura, First Nat. Bourges 2000 against 17,061 yearlings. Laura was the fastest against 39,577 pigeons. They are granddaughters of Kaasboer on their mother’s side. The dam is a direct pigeon of LBJ Geerinckx, another excellent fancier from Antwerp and a granddaughter of Wittekop Sylvester x Willyke, two high quality pigeons. Click here for the pedigree of Serena.

The achievements of Serena, BE12-6023303:

Poitiers prov.   1/1,853
Melun            15/204
Orléans          85/1,414
Vierzon prov.    97/1,253
Dourdan          156/2,032
Dourdan          285/1,228
Melun            404/2,023
Blois prov.      756/2,275

For hens only

Gaston is also a passionate cyclist. In 2012 he suffered a shoulder injury in a bike crash and he decided he wanted to take things a bit easier: he started racing with hens only. This is of course a lot less labour intensive compared to maintaining a team of cocks on widowhood. Gaston turned his widowers’ loft into a hen’s loft, which means he now has two lofts for the hens’ competition. Many fanciers from Belgium and abroad have copied the Van de Wouwer system. Quite a few fanciers have paid a visit to Gaston’s loft to see how he has managed to be so successful with his hens. The friendly and kind Gaston is always willing to help other fanciers and to give them useful advice.

The hens are kept in the so called resting loft throughout the week. They are not locked up and the floor is covered with elastic cords to prevent the pigeons from pairing.  The hens are joined by their cocks in the breeding loft only before basketing and after a race. In case of a demanding race the cocks are removed from the loft only on the day after the race. Before the hens are moved back to their rest loft they are allowed to take a bath in the breeding loft.

The breeding loft. The hens can enter this loft only before they are basketed and after the race.

The rest loft, where the hens are housed throughout the week. Notice the elastic cords on the floor
to prevent them from pairing. When the hens are off to a race Gaston places the cocks in this loft
to keep the breeding loft clean and to avoid extra work.

The hens that have done the race from Bourges and Châteauroux were also basketed for a sprint race from Quiévrain on the Poitiers weekend, after which they were basketed for last weekend’s Montluçon. The hens that were basketed for Poitiers will in turn be raced from Quiévrain. Usually Gaston baskets his pigeons for a middle distance flight every week but because of the exceptionally demanding races of the last few weeks it was a better option to have his pigeons do a few sprint races instead.

This is the loft in which Serena won the provincial victory. This former widowers’ loft was turned into a hen’s loft.