The D’Huyvetter family is gaining recognition in pigeon racing and has become a well-known name. In 2007, Jules (63) already won 1° Nat. Brive against 16,008 old bird; his twin brother Julien (as D’Huyvetter-Dhondt) won 1° Nat Libourne against 8,242 yearlings last year. This time it was the ‘Bonten Witkop’ BE11-4263517 who proved to be the best at national level in Chateauroux. He won against 15,894 pigeons at a speed of 1255m/min, covering the distance of 475.403km in 13h18’43”. Two weeks earlier he won 108° Provincial in Vierzon against 2,738 yearlings and 28° against 363 pigeons locally in Ghent. It is an amazing athlete with a very strong eye, which makes him popular among the believers of the eye theory. For Chateauroux Jules basketed two pigeons, one of which was to become the national winner. About two hours later his first nominated pigeon for Limoges finished 2° Provincial against 3,420 old birds and 7° National against 13,781 pigeons. It was quite a successful weekend!
This weekend’s winning cock is a grandson of the 1° National Brive 2007, which stems from the old line of Gaby Vandenabeele. He bought it from Clement De Waele. The pigeon was coupled with six hens of the ‘Maestro’ from Dentergem, before it moved away. Through ‘AI’ (artificial insemination) the six pigeons were fertilized in the lofts of Gaby, and the pigeons bred 11 youngsters. They were divided among the two lofts; Jules was given five children of the national winner in Brive (2 cocks and three hens). One of the three hens, born from the 1° national Brive x Laura, is now mother of the 1° national winner Chateauroux against 15,894 yearlings last weekend. The father of this winner is a son of a cock (born in 1991) that he got from a friend of his, Roger van Colenberghe from Zulte.
Jules was inspired by his father Alfred D’huyvetter, who was an important pigeon fancier in his days. After his father’s death Jules decided to take over the loft and initially he played under the name of his mother as widower D’Huyvetter Alfred…
Today, his father’s loft is still the home base, but he plays under his own name now. Father Alfred used to be actively involved in the caretaking of the racing horses of villager and middle distance champion Gilbert Vande Weghe. For his basis, Alfred crossed some of his old lines with the pigeons of Gilbert. In 1991, they obtained a round of Gaby Vandenabeele eggs from Clement De Waele. The two blood lines seemed to be very compatible, but the present colony is mainly based on Vandenabeele pigeons.
At the moment Jules has 26 racing pigeons (15 old birds and 11 yearlings) raced in classic widowhood. Before the season the racing pigeons are never used for breeding, pigeons can only breed one or two times. Before a race the cocks get to see their hen, but always with a half-closed box: they cannot get close to each other. The racers have a busy training schedule with two training session of one hour per day. In the morning they are given a purifying mixture from the Natural Company; in the evening there is a breeding mixture of De Stoop. This is a unique mixture of his supplier, rich in small corn. The pigeons are fed separately in their box however. In the final days before a race they are given breeding mixture only. About three times a week some beer yeast is added to the feed. When they arrive home there is honey and glucose. In case of a flight with two or more days in the basket, they pigeons are treated for coccidiosis and tricho with a medicine provided by the vet. Sometimes they are also given this medicine after their arrival. Later in the week there is some more variation with natural tea, cider acid, vitamins and some additional honey or glucose once in a while. Jules says that he does not pay too much attention to that. He thinks the pigeons have to do the work after all. “Our lofts seem a bit old and far from luxurious, but it is actually very decent loft and that is what counts.” The youngsters race two times in Clermont, two times in Ablis (until 2011) and one time in Blois. After that the cocks get some rest, to keep them fit for the future.
The invaluable Vandenabeele line was in important factor in the winning of 1° Nat Chateauroux yearlings, as it was for Rudi Desaer in Limoges. The D’Huyvetter family gains recognition with three national victories within five years’ time: two wins for Jules himself and one for his twin brother Julien! An exceptional achievement, keep up the good work!