from L. to R. Louis and Frans Nijns with son-in-law Albert Vangeel.
This much desired title is won for the best 5 results with the same pigeon, ratings per 10, with a minimum total of 1.300 km raced for the 5 chosen races and this from races from 250 km to 450,00 km (in all races from 225,0 km to 495,00 km with a minimum participation of 150 pigeons.
The title went to Nijns Frans & Louis with a coefficient of 1,4493, silver for Dhanyns Julien & Dirk from Evergem (2,6442) and the bronze was for Steveninck Benny from Hamme with a coefficient of 4,0662.
In the 2006 season this coefficient was much lower, respectively 0,8321, 0,8691 and 1,8246. The compulsory move of the liberation stations to Germany because of the bird flu definitely had a negative effect. Many participated in the races reluctantly, or just didn't take part.
Crowning after a long career
Father Frans is still "The Boss" of the colony there in Geetbets. He has been involved with the pigeons since he was ten years old and is now facing his 75 year anniversary. Son Louis is restricted in his movements due to an accident, but this problem was eased by the son-in-law Albert Vangeel who has taken over nearly all the care since he has been at home all day and we have to add that everything looks spick and span. Luckily Albert only lives 500 metres from the family home of his wife so it is easier to visit a few times a day. Davy, the son of Albert records everything on the computer. Louis is the walking encyclopaedia and knows all the pigeons out his head.
"The Boss" in front of a widowers loft
The lofts for the youngsters
The preference of the duo, or should we say trio is obviously the Middle Distance. From Small to Grand middle distance. They participate weekly in the Sprint races, but the number of pigeons basketted is reduced so much after a few Sundays that it is not really worth the effort. Once upon a time Long distance was even raced with a pigeon that had raced three times in the top 1000 national Barcelona, but that was not for Louis, and the Barcelona pigeon was removed. Louis obviously has something against the overnight races.
Not knowing how long the prohibition for liberating pigeons in France would continue, they participated in 2007 from Maagdenburg. Their best pigeon, the "501/2006", half brother of the "Kenzo" didn't like the changed direction and flew resolutely to the North. Two months later he was reported from the North German Wakken. The "501" was collected, it was a trip of 655 kilometres to collect and 655 kilometres to return home. He is now back in the racing loft. The father of "Kenzo" is now infertile, he had never been outside in Geetbets, but the mother is still in the breeding loft. (no other pigeon has a name by Nijns, but are given names by the buyers)
In the seventies they bought a cock from Achiel Leus from Lede which formed a stock couple with a Sweevelt hen. More were bought later, Vos-Jennes Diest (Webbekom), Lambrecht-Lismont (Kortenaken), Petrus (Brussel), Goyvaerts Louis (Berlaar) ...
The father of the Ace pigeon "Kenzo" is a son from a direct Vos-Jennes pigeon, namely the 2095557/96 (see his pedigree under photo "Kenzo")
The youngsters sit on straw
Principally the pigeons are coupled around Christmas, but 2007 was an exception and they were coupled 14 days later. The eggs of the breeders go under the racers and the pigeons are allowed to start a new nest straight away. The widowers are placed in celibacy once the youngsters no longer need the help of their parents. Classic widowhood is raced without any frills. The preference is for the game with old pigeons and yearlings. About 100 youngsters, which are bred every year for own use, are only well trained with a few hens that are allowed to go further. Last year a young hen won a fine prize from La Souterraine and Gueret national.
This lady may be raced this year or she may be supplemented with a few other hens, but in the past, racing with hens was low on their list. Once the pigeons return home from a sprint race they are given honey with 50% diet and sport. The next day, pure diet and for the middle distance pigeons pure diet or 50/50 on Tuesday. The fixed rule is that they are not allowed to mess around with their food... everything has to be eaten otherwise they are not given another gram.
Now and again they are given garlic in the water and they have a bath every week. So as you can see, if you have good pigeons you can keep it simple. "Simplicity is the best learning school". Frans and Louis have concocted their own brand of tea that consists mainly of deadnettle, sage thyme and chive. All the compulsory vaccinations are carried out and sporadically they are given a tricho cure. A few years ago they first vaccinated their pigeons against paratyfus, two weeks before coupling. It was their worst ever season. The breeding was a failure and the racing was undersized. At the moment this vaccination is left out, but if it is necessary, then only after the season.
The run for the hens, the front is open summer and winter
Youngster's loft for the second round
1st national Ace pigeon Small middle distance KBDB 2007
Father Frans with loft carer, son-in-law Albert
Important performances in 2007
1st Ace pigeon KBDB Middle distance West- European Nations cup
1st National Ace pigeon KBDB Small middle distance
1st provincial Ace pigeon Flemish-Brabant KBDB Small middle distance
2 interprovincial victories Petit-Club Fleurus.
In total 35 1st prizes from Momignies to Montluçon.
1st prizes from Momignies, Soissons, Nanteuil, Melun, Gien, Toury and Montluçon.
Hoop in de toekomst Grazen (Local club)
1st champion 1+2 - Small sprint Old
4th champion 1+2 - Small sprint yearlings
3rd Ace pigeon - Small sprint Old
1st champion 1+2 - Grand sprint Old
2nd Ace pigeon - Grand sprint Old
3rd Ace pigeon - Grand sprint Old
5th General champion 1+2 - Grand and Small sprint
Middle distance Obrafo Zone East
3rd best loft - Old 2nd champion 1+2 - Old
1st Ace pigeon - Old
3rd champion 1+2 - Yearlings
10th champion 1+2 - Youngsters
5th General Champion
Middle distance Obrafo
9th best loft - Old 3rd champion 1+2 - Old
1st Ace pigeon - Old 9th champion 1+2 - Yearlings
Extreme middle distance Obrafo - Kumtich
9th best loft - Old 9th champion 1+2 - Old