The method of the champion Jules Beernaert (Antwerpen, BE) as recorded in 1945

First of all Jules Beernaert draws our attention to the clear fact that methods in pigeon fancying differ from fancier to fancier. There are no rules or regulations in pigeon racing.

Jules Beernaert has been racing on widowhood since 1893 but he never completely abandoned the natural game. If you want the widowhood game to be really effective and successful you have to use good quality pigeons of at least two years old. You need pigeons with a lot of experience, who have showed their strength as yearlings.

Method for the sprint races

The yearlings will be raced as follows:
a) The cocks:
Distance: between 100 and 300 km. Nest position: sitting ten days. We give them a small youngster one hour before basketing. We take the youngster away after the cock has left. The hen will continue to sit and the cock will assist her as soon as he returns home. For a second basketing and possibly a third basketing you apply the same method.
b) Jealousy method:
For some shorter races Jules usually tries to motivate his cocks a little bit. That is why he has created special nest boxes in his loft. A removable triplex dividing wall allows for easy operations. Seeing other pigeons near their own nest is reason enough for some pigeons to fly back home as quickly as they can.
c) The hens:
There is a different motivation method that I use especially for the hens and which gives me great results. It is important that one hens lives next to the other. The advantage is that you can play with two hens at the same time. This is how it works: three or four days before basketing you move the nest boxes so that they are near each other. On the day of basketing you remove the cocks from the nest; the hens remain in the nest. You take away one nest and you remove one hen from the loft; you place the hen back in the loft after having taken away the other hen. A few minutes before basketing you let the other hen back in the loft. She will immediately go back to her nest and start sitting. However, she will notice that a different hen has taken her place on the nest and they will usually start a fight. The fancier will have to take the hens away just in time for basketing. After basketing you have to make sure that each hen has its own nest again, to allow the cocks to continue sitting while they are waiting for the hens to return home.

Nest of the first hen – nest of the second hen
Move the nests in the direction of the arrows
Nest position on the day of basketing, when the second hen is sitting
Nest position on the day of basketing, when the first hen is sitting
Entrance of the nest – entrance of the nest ​
How the nest is placed just before basketing


Method for the middle distance races

I advise you to race the cocks on widowhood. The hens can be basketed sitting youngsters of 5 to 12 days old, but make sure that their male partner is removed just before the hens are basketed: the hen has to understand that the youngster will be waiting for her.

To succeed

Jules Beernaert has made no secret of the fact that first of all you need very healthy pigeons in order to be successful. Unhealthy pigeons will lead to disappointment.
That is why you should take great care of the feed that you give your pigeons. The grains they eat should be healthy and of good quality. This also helps to avoid health problems.

The famous "Blois" of champion Jules Beernaert; ring number 6115223/1931.
One of the best pigeons in Belgium. He won 78 prizes in 92 races.
As a yearling he was raced naturally and in 14 races; he won 12 prizes.
He has been in the breeding loft since 1938.