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Roger Wits (Bierbeek, BE) is the winner from Orange against 3,869 old birds

Roger Wits from Bierbuik is a fancier with a strong will. A handicap can be a heavy burden but Roger did not change his way of life and he continued keeping pigeons.

All you need is an elevator

In top form

He has been very successful in the Obrafo Club Tienen and this time he achieved an impressive national win from Orange. Roger told us this win was not a complete surprise. On the day before basketing Roger had called a good friend of his to tell him about the great fitness of his pigeons. He had been away for 58 minutes and when he came back the sky was filled with pigeons, he said.  He had put much money on his pigeons from Orange. Roger believes that the quality of a pigeon is directly proportional to the money a fancier can put on his pigeons. “If you basket six pigeons and you put 150 euro on the first and 125 on the remaining five it shows you have confidence in your birds. If a fancier does not put any money on some of his pigeons, does that mean he does not expect them to perform well?" This is something to think about.

De Jos (438/99)

This pigeon was named after Jos Geens, a good friend who gave him this pigeon. De Jos developed into a crucial stock sire. He was paired to a hen from the Herbots Brothers (Halle-Booienhoven, BE) and he is the (grand)father of probably 85% of the pigeons in Roger’s current pigeon loft. He is still fertile despite his age.

De Jos (438/99)

The national winner from Orange, Zwarte Gemoelde (2058036/11), is a son of De Jos as well. His dam is again a pure Herbots pigeon. She has bred a first Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB ’99, a first Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB ’00 and a 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB ’03. You can read her full pedigree here. Another illustrious son is the 2106002/09, winner of Souilllac 2/403 pigeons, Limoges 15/472 and Orange nat. 19/3,869 old birds. In the race from Orange he finished 18 minutes behind his half brother.

Training and feeding

There is one important rule in this loft: the pigeons are not trained if the temperature is below 10°C. When temperature reaches 10° at 10 o’clock in the morning the windows of his 15 widowers will only be opened then and not a minute earlier. They are then allowed to fly around freely with closed windows. The windows are opened on Sunday and pigeons can stay inside if they want to. He gives his pigeons a 12-day cure with the already famous yellow powder of his vet Ectors from Herk-de-Stad. When they arrive home he adds some honey to the drinking water and on the next day he gives them a tea of blind nettle and honey. We asked him if his pigeons are given a paratyphus cure. “Why would I do that? Because other fanciers do?”

A close relation with your pigeons is very important. This is the national winner.


A pigeon needs strong character if it wants to make it to the team. Roger says he now has a high pain threshold and he expects the same from his pigeons. They have to cover quite a lot of demanding flights.

2 training flights (20 and 40 km) - Momignies - Soissons - Nanteuil - Pithiviers - Orléans - Limoges - Cahors - Orange - Brive - Tulle

Roger was initially planning to continue to basket his national winner but he is having second thoughts. “There is a lot that can go wrong during a race.” The race from Brive is only next week so there is time to think things over. A great performance from Brive or Tulle would of course further increase the value of his De Gemoelde pigeon. We conclude with a quote from Roger, who has had a turbulent week: “Pigeon racing does not make you rich but it sure makes you crazy.” Some fanciers might not agree with that.