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De Norre Lucien & Son, "The History of the Belgian Racing Pigeons"


Introduction

Born on the 9th of June 1922.
Profession : Wholesale cattle and meat.
Fancier since: 1945.
Children who help in loft : Son Dirk.

Foundation and build-up of strain
Lucien De Norre had a great deal of respect and admiration for the late Hector Desmet in Grammont. He went regularly to watch Hector’s birds return from long distance races and repeatedly bought pigeons at his sales and at his loft. Over a period of time he practically became a member of the Desmet household. Later he bought pigeons from the late Kamiel Durant who was the other great master in Grarnmont. These two strains are the principal foundation of present strain.

Fame came by dominating short races, later as master of middle distance racing and now by being very strong at long distance and marathon racing. Lucien already has five national wins behind him

1969 La Souterraine, Old Birds
1970 La Souterraine, Yearlings
1974 Cahors
1980 Tulle, Old Birds
Tulle, Two-year-olds

Lofts
The lofts are just as they were at the beginning and face South-East. De Norre and Son are assisted by a full time loft manager because De Norre’s work keeps him too late to devote much free time to pigeons.

Stock birds
- What is your breeding food mixture?
- Do your widowers and breeders get greens?
- Which greens and when?
Breeding feed mixture is store-bought, therefore it is not a personal mix. The birds get greens every Tuesday, ie rasped or ground carrots placed in small containers in the loft. The birds are used to them and really like them.

Breeding Ace Pigeons
- What is the breeding of your Aces - your national winners?
- Crossing or Inbreeding?
Most of my national winners were produced by crossing the Hector Desmet and Kamiel
Durant strains. Birds like the 1969 La Souterraine National winner, the 1970 La Souterraine National winner, and the 1980 Tulle National winner.

A few other stars:
“ Dokus”, 4795445-59
“ Oude Bliksem” (Old Lightning) 4804270-58
“ Blauwe 19,000” (19,000 Bluebar) 4496970-57
“ Prins Durant” (Prince Durant) 4331117-60
“ Jonge 19.000” (Young 19,000) 4798455-61
“ Teen” (Toe) 4451811-61
“ Jonge Prins Durant” (Young Prince Durant) 4767999-63
“ Witneus “(White-nose) 4805611-67
“ Kleine Angoulême” (Little Angouléme) 4845118-63
“ Ferdi”, 4865060-74
“ Braven”, 4796366-66
“ Barcelona,“ 4765649-7 3
“ Souterraine 2”, 4814114-69
“ St.-Vincent”, 479157 1-72

Theories
- Are you a believer in eye and wing theories?
Neither eye nor wing theory is part of my hobby
I would be dishonest to claim I was a believer in either.
A lot of champions have been hatched in my loft and they all had beautiful eyes (brilliant and richly colored), also perfect wings to bring them
triumphantly home from all distances.

Medical Treatment
The birds are treated for coccidiosis and trichomonosis (canker) before and after the race season.
They are wormed only if and when the veterinarian finds worm evidence in their droppings.
The veterinarian checks their droppings and throat mucus with great care. He prescribes the medication and the exact manner in which to treat the birds.
No other medication is ever given. It is wrong to give pigeons medication that they do not need, they are better off without it.

What do you feed your widowers?
Widowers get a commercial mixture. Mondays and Tuesday a light, cleansing mixture and from Wednesdays on they get their race mixture. Their grit is also bought commercially and is a mixture of three or four brands. After an especially hard race vitamins are given but this must not be overdone.

Methods
- Widowers.
Hens are always shown before basketing, whether it be for short, middle or long distance races.
Up to now (1980) each pair raises two youngsters before and again after the race season.
Whenever a widower loses weight and does not seem right he is checked by the veterinarian.
Observation: healthy pigeons always eat enough.
The widowers have free loft mornings from 6 to 7 and evenings from 6 to 7 pm.
They are fed in their nest compartments.

Form
- How do you decide that your birds have come into form or into top-form?
When the birds fly well during free loft and go out of sight several times during this period.
The lofts are not darkened, the entrance windows are the kind you can not see through (frosted glass) so the widowers remain calm all day.

Hens
- When are the hens taken from their mates:
a) In the Winter?
b) Are they (the hens) free in an aviary or kept separately?
The birds are separated around the middle of January.
Up until the present they have been put in an aviary or fly pen. After 1981 they will be placed in separate compartments when they are first removed from their mates.
During race season they get only barley at the beginning of the week a few days before basketing they get the same mixture that their mates get. We have not raced hens since 1968.

Vitamins and Trace
As mentioned earlier, widowers get vitamins now and then after a hard race, they are added to their drinking water. Usually this is on a Monday. Under ordinary race conditions no vitamins come into my loft.

Hygiene
- When are the lofts cleaned and disinfected?
The loftman cleans lofts twice daily all year through.
Every year the nestbowls are disinfected with a blowtorch. The disinfection is drastic and complete.

New blood
- Are you in favor of introducing new blood every year?
Whenever the chance to obtain a real top bird arises, there is no hesitation about giving large sums of money.
An acquisition we might mention is “The Professor” from Deraedt-Van Grembergen, winner of the Kings Cup, bought for 192,000 francs (roughly $1,000.00 at the time). He sired several good breeders and flyers such as “0 1”, “02”, and “The Young Professor”. These birds proved themselves in the longer races such as St.-Vincent, Perpignan, and Barcelona. “Niko” and “Châteauroux” from Pierre Tremmery were bought at his sale in Brussels. These birds crossed with the Hector Desmets and Camiel Durants with great success.

Good advice for beginners
- What good advice have you for beginners in our hobby?Obtain your birds from good, honest fanciers. At the end of the race season get eggs inexpensively remembering that it is better to have two eggs from outstanding birds thans ten from somewhat less good birds.