Messelbroek - lies in the province Vlaams-Brabant and is a municipality of Scherpenheuvel-Zichem. The now 72 year-old Marcel De Keyzer has been a pigeon fancier since 1946. Initially there were only races from as far as Paris…according to Marcel they didn’t race any further in this part of the country. This all changed at the beginning of the 60’s when a few fanciers became interested in racing longer distances. Marcel also wanted to race further and decided in 1962 to enter the races “further than Paris”. He had a lot of success over the following years and he was one of the stars every week.
He really enjoys his pigeons and can think of nothing better than waiting for his pigeons to return from a race… just like he waited for his pigeons from Argenton.
Marcel and his wife José were just sitting down near the loft to wait for the pigeons … when José suddenly saw two pigeons coming... she called: “Here Marcel, 2 at the same time”… Marcel jumped up and saw the two pigeons as he was walking to his loft… 1 chequered and 1 other pigeon… they must be from Argenton because one of his favourite pigeons looked just like the one that had landed with the chequered pigeon.
The chequered cock jumped inside and the “peep signal” from the Unikon clock did its work. Almost at the same time, the hen jumped inside and nothing happened… as it turned out, the hen was not one of his pigeons…
Whilst reporting the pigeon it became clear that it was “very early” and a short time later it was confirmed that Marcel had won 1st prize nationally against 20921 competitors and was the fastest from the whole competition against 31979 pigeons.
The “206” flew the race with an average velocity of 1446,33 m/min, followed by the Molse twosome Van Reet-Vermeerbergen who commanded 2nd place with a velocity of 1440,22 m/min. This twosome had a super result because their 2nd pigeon was clocked with a velocity of 1429,44 m/min and with this won the 14th national. The bronze was also for a twosome, Van Den Eynde-Goovaerts from Putte.
Marcel used to have many more pigeons, but because of José’s allergy and the fact that Marcel was getting older, the numbers were reduced and will probably be reduced further in the future.
At present the pigeons are entered for races up to Limoges…but Marcel is very interested in the extreme long distance. The interest was aroused through the “Kleine Geschelpte” 2131421/93. This widower won numerous top prizes in the races up to and including Chateauroux. When this great pigeon was 5 years old, it was raced for the first time from Barcelona and achieved locally the 1st prize, provincially the 5th and nationally the 32nd, and this against 12678 pigeons.
The foundation of his present stock consists of pigeons from Meulemans (line Kadett & Prins), Verbruggen (line Teen), Sylvain D’Hondt, Van Den Abeele Gaby and for the extreme long distance pigeons were bought from Domenico Barberio (NL)
In total Marcel has 16 widowers and 40 youngsters and after the season there will probably be another 12 yearlings keeping them company.
The youngsters were darkened until the 8th of June and all the pigeons live together… they are free to breed if they want, if they don’t want to breed they don’t have to, but they all have to race… it couldn’t be more simple.
The feed has to fit two criteria … light and cheap! It is supplemented with their home grown corn. There is only 1 by-product used… their own honey.
The young cock that won Argenton is the 2057206/2007. He and his hen didn’t have a nest box and so had to make do with a nest on the floor between the corn-cobs which Marcel uses for floor covering and is very pleased with.
The “206” was basketted for Argenton on a 21 day old youngster. The last 2 days before basketting the hen stayed with the youngster during the night and during the day the “206” stayed alone with the youngster. The fact that the ”206” and his hen were separated and took turns in raising their young stimulated him to get home quickly because Marcel had noticed that he was very protective of his offspring.…. Marcel will never know whether his partner was also as stimulated… she was basketted for a middle distance race from Sens, but due to bad weather conditions brought back to Nanteuil where she was liberated… but never seen again.
The father of the “206” is the 2192960/04 and is a son of the super pigeon from Marcel, the “Kleine Geschelpte” x the 932/03 (pedigree “Teen” Verbruggen).
The mother of the “206” is the 2141494/05 and this hen has chiefly the blood from Vos-Jennes, Van Der Wielen, Nouwen-Paesen and Albert Bils running through her veins.
The “206” also had some good results during the season with:
15th Soissons 558p.
106th Soissons 687p.
136th Momignies 1169p.
147th Sens 706p.
153rd Momignies 531p.
151st Bourges New Hageland 844p.
819th Bourges Prov. 4655p.