Norbert De Keyzer (Maarkedal, BE) continues to excel at the long and extreme long distance

You cannot win a Golden or Silver Wing from Barcelona without a high quality pigeon breed. Norbert has been a household name at the long distance and the extreme long distance for many years and we think most insiders will be not be surprised to see Nobert win this title.

Norbert claims not to be a perfectionist, saying that he sometimes does not pay enough attention to his pigeons. That was not the impression we got during our visit. He is a very passionate fancier yet he has a carefully planned approach. Norbert is a true sportsman and he used to play football at a high level. This means he has great fighting spirit and he will always try to perform well with his pigeons. He competes in the races from Noyon, Angerville and Orléans as well, with the young birds, the yearlings and the old birds. Norbert tries to find the perfect modern day racing pigeon and he does not hesitate to compete in the middle distance races in preparation for the long distance and the extreme long distance, his favourite disciplines.

Norbert with his Narbonne

A pigeon breed based on the best bloodlines

The De Keyzer breed consists of a collection of old stock birds partly based on the pigeons of the late Denis Vanderbeke. In addition, he works with the best bloodlines of Georges Carteus, Tom Van Den Berghe, Andre Colbrandt, Koen & Oscar Brackenier, Wilfried Bruyneel and Eric Limbourg. His excellent hen, First Lady (see below) was paired to Den Barca of Solange Decuyper, arguably the best Barcelona racing pigeon ever. There was also a joint breeding with Jos Joosen and Chris Hebberechts. These are all fanciers with a great reputation in the long distance who continue to win great results every season.

Norbert is really pleased with the achievements of his pigeons in other lofts. Let’s have a look at some of his best references:

  • Martine Van der Beken (Overboelare, BE) wins a 1st international Soustons 2011 with a 100% De Keyzer pigeon.
  • Luc Bafort (Temse, BE) performs at a top level in the long distance with De Keyzer pigeons
  • Marcel De Keyzer (broer Norbert) wins the title of 2nd Ace Pigeon Long Distance 2013 Belgian Entente with a loft based for 90% on pigeons of Norbert
  • Willy Vanderhaeghen (Wetteren, BE), Van Hoecke Luc (Oedelem, BE) and Jef Wauters (Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, BE) have won great prizes with pigeons of Norbert

First Lady (BE01-4280687), the dam of a few excellent bloodlines

First Lady is a name that suits this pigeon. She is a pure Carteus hen and she is 13 years old already. She is the dam of Narbonne BE03-4247163 (2nd national Orange), Mulder BE05-4283606 (38th nat. Barcelona), Raket BE08-4181846 (17th nat. Bourges) and Kleinen BE08-4181845 (41st nat. Tulle). She is also the grandmother of the 1st intern. Soustons  (for Van der Beken), Schleck One BE07-4185779 (32nd nat. Montelimar and 5th nat. Orange) and Schleck Two BE07-4185780 (81st nat. Bourges and 37th nat. Orange). 

Her son, Narbonne (BE03-4247163) is also an outstanding breeder, as the sire of several successful descendants. The bloodline of Perpignan (BE03-4247178) is really successful as well. This pigeon has won a 30th and 6th international Perpignan, as well as a number of top prizes at national level.

There are no secrets, it is complicated enough as it is

That is the idea behind Norbert and his pigeon family. He is convinced that the strength of his pigeons makes all the difference in the long and the extreme long distance races, so he uses a fairly basic approach to take care of his loft. The breeding loft consists of 20 breeding pairs and he has 55 racing pigeons. All pigeons were paired in late December to breed a total of about 70 young birds in a single round. He would usually breed young birds in different rounds. They are trained regularly and he makes sure the young cocks can gain plenty of experience. He managed to perform really well with his yearlings: 2013 was an excellent season for the yearlings and he will have a promising team of old birds for the next few seasons. His yearling Den Argenton (BE12-4302551) won a first prize in the club (203 p), a 4th provincial (931 p), a 4th Zone A2 (1,036 p) and a 248th national (6,801 p) from Argenton. His pigeon, Vooruit (BE12-4302578) won a 1st Angerville (167 p), a 1st Angerville (175 p), a 4th Angerville (118 p) and a 6th Angerville (136 p.) This shows that the long distance pigeon of today can also perform very well in a middle distance flight.

The pigeons receive a vaccination against respiratory diseases and parastop is administered against paratyphus. He wants his breeding loft to resemble the pigeons’ natural environment as much as possible. His vet does not visit the loft very often, because Norbert examines the droppings himself and he keeps treatments to a strict minimum. He does provide natural supplements including garlic, linseed, cider vinegar, beer yeast, electrolytes, glucose and honey. In other words, he provides nothing but everyday products, as well as some vitamin supplements from Herbots from time to time. The pigeons are fed together but that does not always make it easy to follow his basketing scheme. A lot of attention goes to the feed: he uses a mixture of four high quality brands blended together. This is a no-nonsense approach; he does try to get as close to the pigeons’ natural environment as possible.

Norbert and his lofts

The numbers don't lie

It goes without saying that Norbert has had a splendid 2013 season with several championship titles and top prizes:

1st  Ace Pigeon long distance yearlings club Zottegem
4th  General Champion KBDB Long Distance Y1
7th  General Champion long distance East Flanders old birds
11th Champion long distance FVOV old birds
13th General Champion long distance FVOV old birds
8th  Champion long distance AJD old birds
1st  Honorary prize long distance yearlings IFV
3rd  Champion long distance Zottegem old birds
2nd  Champion long distance Zottegem yearlings
15th Champion extreme long distance Zottegem old birds
2nd  Honorary prize King's Cup
1st  Champion long distance Y1 Riddersclub

Quite a number of trophies!

Best results of 2013

Angerville (302km):    471 old birds: 2-8-21-22  (16/37)
                       242 yearlings: 3-8-9-21  (9/10)
Argenton (495km):      464 old birds: 1-28 (6/10)
Orange (749 km):       Club (44 old birds): 1-2-3-5 (4/4)
                       Prov. (395 old birds): 9-14-24-50 (4/4)
                       Zone A (360 old birds): 11-18-27-46 (4/4)
                       National (3,874 old birds): 98-159-270-557 (4/4)
Brive (647km):         Club (335 old birds): 7-15 (4/6)
                       Prov. (1.637 old birds): 35-61 (4/6)
                       Nationaal (8,331 old birds): 114-20 (4/6)
                       Club (217 yearlings): 4-18 (2/4)
                       Prov. (1,458 yearlings): 10-105 (2/4)
                       National (6,842 yearlings): 30-368 (2/4)
Narbonne (854km):      Club (89 yearlings): 3-7-17 (3/3)
                       Prov. (935 yearlings): 18-54-213 (3/3)
                       National (3,942 yearlings): 60-213-767 (3/3)
Tulle (602km):         Club (238 old birds): 4-29 (2/3)
                       Club (206 yearlings): 6-10-16 (3/3)
                       Prov. (1,571 yearlings): 49-65-99 (3/3)
                       Zone A (2,209 yearlings): 63-78-123 (3/3)
                       National (6,972 yearlings): 259-306-454 (3/3)
Perpignan (914km):     Club (142 old birds): 9-13-28 (5/10)

These are excellent results, with a high prize percentage and a consistent level of performance. This is something many fanciers can only dream of. We expect him to be just as successful in 2014 and to win several top prizes and titles!


félicitations et bonne saison 2014.