Bieche family, "The Making of a new American family"

Alex Bieche, Gommaire Verbruggen holding the famous "De Gommaire "
and Steve Sterchi (USA)

Pigeons have always been a part of our Bieche family. In the case of my parents living in the old country they used pigeons for another source of food. Living out in the country they didn’t want to eat chicken all the time. I was born in Poland in 1944 at the end of World War 2 .

For the next 6 years we lived in Germany. Still searching for a better lifestyle my parents migrated to Canada in 1951. As a teenager I had pigeons but never raced. Canada was very nice but also very cold so off to California we went.

The year was 1961 and pigeons took the back seat to cars and girls. But that little spark of the love of pigeons was still there. Proper timing seems to play a big part in the racing pigeon game. After getting married and having my own house played a big part in the proper timing. One day  driving to work I spotted a flock of pigeons. The owner of the pigeons informed me all about the racing part of pigeons. One thing lead to another and within a few weeks I found some racing pigeons advertised in the local paper for five dollars. It was a start but I didn’t really do a lot of winning with those birds. After a disappointing first season I decided to find out were the local champions were and were their birds came from. I did a lot of reading about loft design, birds and anything that would help me get to the top. Building the Bieche family of pigeon.

In 1978 I purchased the best birds that we could get our hands on in our area. We were not interested in paperwork but rather the best racers and breeders that we could afford. Many were of the Janssen family. We also purchased a Gr. daughter of the original famous Janssen Merckx 63 Belg 6510753 Winner of 15 First.

In 1983 we hit pay dirt having bred our " Domino " Winner of the 1st Ace pigeon of all California with close to 2000 members in the highest level of competition 101 lofts and over.” Domino " was also in a class of his own having the highest Ace points in the history of California at the time with 458 points. Over 100 points higher than the next bird that year. For the next 8 years we tried several other families but in all cases they fell short to our original family. All young and parents of these birds were backed out.

In 1991 we imported our Verbruggen’s that made a large impact straight and crossed with our own family. To get the best we went to Belgium and hand selected every bird from all the top pairs. Our " La Tasha " The only bird in our area to ever win 3x 1st combine in the same year comes from the Verbruggen family and a direct daughter of our " De Gommaire " 92 Belg. 2198194 foundation cock responsible for over 100 Firsts.

In 1994 we added our " De Baron " 94 Belg 3100109 . His blood line goes back to the same original blood line as the old Verbruggen family but coming from a different loft.

This blend gave us yet another extra spark for even greater racing results and Ace Birds “ My Cindy “ our First 1997 Ace pigeon of All America in our class plus our " Asduif " 1210 cock winning Ace pigeon 3 years in a row 02/03/04 with 6x1st club 4x 1st Combine up to 2099 b.

In 2000 we added a little more speed to our Bieche family with the Marcel Sangers Janssens from Holland. Our “ Born to Win “ 03 Bieche 3106 BB Cock Won 1st. 2005 Ace Pigeon of all America in our class Digest Awards and 1st. Ace Pigeon of all California 1250 birds per race and over. Our other Ace pigeon “Blue Wonder “ 04 Bieche 4077 BB Cock Won 2nd 2005 Ace pigeon in California 901 to 1250 birds per race and also 2nd Ace pigeon AU awards in All America in his class. Both of our new Ace pigeons are the product of our modern day Bieche family. They score from 100 miles up to 550 miles in old birds. In young birds they go up to 350 miles plus tops in the money races. In the 2005 A.U. young bird race our family of birds took 4-5-10 and 51 positions winning over $56,000 More dollars won than any other American family. In the Islands of Hawaii flying over bodies of water we have also recorded 1st and 3rd Ace Pigeon. In World Wide competition our birds have also done very well. In Mexico the 3rd Ace of all Mexico comes from our birds.
In the 2000 China one loft race we had the No.1 American Breeding Pair. The sire came from our Bieche family and the dam came from Roger Mortvedt. In the last worm up race all three youngster from this pair were on the first drop. Two weeks later in the final race we took 5th over all with world wide competition and also had the first American bird. We were very proud that after the races the youngsters from this pair sold for more dollars than any of the Belgium birds.

In the 2004 China race we had the best American birds 3 out of 4 races. In the 2nd race we took first over all. Again with world wide competition. Old Birds We normally fly a small team of widowhood cocks. We have room for 24 but last year selected to only fly 14 cocks. In some of the later races we only send 6 to 8 birds. In addition to our Cocks we flew a few natural birds.

One half way through the 2005 old bird season we stopped the natural birds. It was just too much work and all the top prizes were coming from the widowhood loft anyway. After our young bird racing season all birds are locked up during the winter rainy season from October through December. This time of the year is also when flyers have a greater hawk problem. This way you don’t loose a valuable bird. About 6 to 7 weeks before the races start we let the cocks out and work them up to one hour fly time morning and night. Three weeks before the races we road train about 6 tosses working them up to about 100 miles. Once the races start we never road train again. In the short to middle distance races we loft flag the birds Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for about 1 hr. morning and night. Friday the day of basketing the birds are not let out. As the races get longer the hours or minutes the birds are forced to fly each day is shortened. Thirty or even twenty minutes in some cases morning and night is plenty. At this point the widowhood cocks are in great shape and getting them properly motivated and reserving their energy is fare more important. We feel it is impossible for any animal to be fit for racing 7 days a week. For this reason we work the birds at the proper time and also feed on the curve system. We start with smaller seeds on the return of the race birds and through Sunday, Monday. Tuesday morning we switch over to the race mix using the same feed through Thursday evening. We also add extra Safflower and a few peanuts on the longer races. Young Birds.

Normally we breed close to 100 birds for our young bird team. Before the races start we go through proper training and also cull back to the best 70 young birds in the group. For us this is a good number to go into the races with and presents no over crowding. We use our Bieche young bird system. We believe it is even better than the dark or the light system. Unlike the light system our birds go through a complete 100% body molt just like the dark system birds and also change all the flight feathers just like the light system birds. The best part of this system is that you do not open and close the loft as is the case with the dark system. Perfect for the flyer that is still working for a living. We have found that in the light system the birds do go through a small body molt, possibly 10 to 15% but not a 100% body molt. My friend Doug Sanders using my young bird system and our birds competed in 4 combine races every week and had possibly the best 2003 y/b record in the history of California. He won First average speed in all 4 combines plus Won first Ace pigeon in all 4 Combines. In the over all American competition he also won the 1st and 2nd Ace pigeon in his class. If this was not enough using our system in this years 2005 AU race he clocked the 1st and 2nd place winner. Another client of mine Steve Sterchi flying my birds and my system this year won 7 first over all combines with a remarkable 142 diplomas in young birds alone. The first year I used my new system flying in 2 Combines we set a new record in our area winning 8 First Over All Combines up to 941 b in only 3 weeks time. The details of my system are explained during my free seminars so other flyers can also be very competitive with their own quality birds. I have been blessed that other top flyers have shared their knowledge freely with me and I feel it is time for me to give something back to the sport I love. Medication. In young birds I treat for head colds and canker. Old birds very little medication is used unless I see a problem. Also all the breeders are put on a mild medication program 3 to 4 weeks before the birds are placed together. In summation I want to personal thank my wonderful Wife Cindy for helping me with the birds and also being my best friend.