Bostyn Leopold, The method of



Pol Bostyn is well-known in the pigeon sport and is often called: The lion from Flandres.
He is also a specialist in the Pau races, and through his outstanding performances in those 900 Km. (541 miles) races, he became an international celebrity.

He has bred many famous pigeons, so as his well-known “Dadelier,”“ De Blauwe,” “Benoni,” “Pasport,” etc..
They were pigeons with unforgettable performances which have given their support to improve the Belgium pigeon strain. Pol Bostyn has, before 1949, formed his own pigeon strain. Not through breeding from mediocre pigeons but through breeding from pigeons he obtained from many well-known fanciers so as: Alois Stichelbout, Vincent Manen, etc..
Through diverse crossings the Bostyn pigeons came into existence.
When the war was over in 1944 and Pol Bostyn was able to keep pigeons again, he had to start all over again but through the knowledge he had of forming good breeding pairs, it did not take long before he was the great Bostyn again.
His greatest triumph came when he won the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th prize in the Pau National race (541 miles). Pol Bostyn never reposed on his laurels he always looked for pigeons to improve his strain. He obtained pigeons from Daniel Labeeuw, Cattrysse Bros. and Descamp - Van Hasten. From Germain Van Landegbem in Deinze he obtained the pure Ch. Vander Espts and in North France he bought the best pigeons from Duguenoy.
When Bostyn declares that he has his own strain of pigeons we can’t say he his wrong, but after the short history we mentioned before, one can’t deny that Bostyn formed his strain through crossing pigeons from good origin. He used the same tactics as his predecessors who made history with the Belgium racing pigeons.

Bostyn was a natural man.
Even when he himself maintains that he can neither read nor write, we must testify that he is more cunning than many other fanciers. He likes to show off and with all kind of utterances he will try everybody to believe that in the years he had go to school he walked around the fields and worked for farmers.
Born and bred out of a farmers family, Pol Bostyn has learned to appreciate nature more than any other pigeon Lander and put this kind of life into practice with his pigeons. For example he gave his pigeons plenty of rest after a hard race and even in the winter months he always kept his pigeons locked up in the loft in such a way that they could not see what happened around the loft.
Not long ago, Pol Bostyn declared to a journalist: "My main worry is to prevent my pigeons to waste their energy at a time when they don’t need it".
He never let his pigeons fly outside the loft. They will benefit from the enforced rest when they have to compete, the following racing season, in the long distance races.

As all other fanciers, Pol Bostyn practices the widowhood method but the following points are strictly adhered to:
1. The lofts must never be overcrowded. When there is room for 20 widowers, there are only kept 10 or 12 widowers. The widowers have thus plenty of room.
2. After the birds have had their hourly morning and evening training flight, the lofts are darkened to keep as quiet as possible.
3. Before they are sent to a race, the widowers are allowed to see their hen for only a few seconds, but treading is not allowed. By Pol Bostyn a widower is only allowed to tread his hen as a reward after it returns from a race.
4. After a normal race from 600 Km. (541 miles), the hen can stay with her partner for a few hours.
When the race has been a hard one and the widowers came home late at night or the following morning, the hen stays for at least for a half day with the cock but during that time they are locked up in the nest box.
5. For races from 500 and 600 Km. (312 and 373 miles approx.), the widowers are sent every fortnight.
For races from 700 Kin. (about 435 miles) and Barcelona 1,050 Km.
(about 659 miles), they are very often rested for 3 weeks. In other words they are given sufficient time to recuperate and to gain enough strength to participate in the following race.

According to Bostyn, there are no secrets in the pigeon sport. Every fancier has to make out for himself what he has to do to keep his pigeon healthy.
Pol Bostyn very often consults a specialized veterinarian or has the droppings from some of his pigeons examined. Anyone which follows procedure will never have any problems in the loft.
The great secret of his success in races is: Breeding. strong pigeons which don’t need any medicines to keep them healthy.