Should the Derwa-Luxem partnership (Herent, BE) consider changing its name after their national win from Issoudun?

That new name would be Derwa-Luxem-Paulien, simply because the introduction of their hen Paulien has proved invaluable for this partnership.

Invictus, one of many successful descendants of Paulien

On top of the world

Paulien’s daughter Pricilla had already won the zonal first prize from Gueret this season and now another descendant of this amazing breeding hen has taken an even more important victory: Paulien’s grandson Invictus took the national first prize from Issoudun. He beat 16,614 opponents and he was the fastest of a total of 22,285 pigeons that were basketed for Issoudun.
This pigeon originates from Paulien on both his father’s side and his mother’s side. The sire of Invictus is a direct son of Paulien and both parents of the dam of Invictus are grandchildren of Paulien. You can take a look at the pedigree of Invictus by clicking here.
The pigeon that won the title of First National Champion Yearlings KBDB in 2011 was a son of Paulien and this season a daughter of Paulien is in the running for the title of National Ace Pigeon KBDB. This hen, which is in fact a nest sister of the sire of Invictus, has won an impressive number of top prizes this season. Unfortunately the provincial results are no longer taken into account for the national championships this season. This is her impressive list of achievements:
Montluçon nat: 636th against 21,827 pigeons
Gueret nat: 4th against 15,007 pigeons
Argenton nat: 16th against 22,463 pigeons
Blois Brab. Union: 4th against 1,717 pigeons

You can take a look at her full list of achievements by clicking here and here

Luck and a skillful fancier

We have said repeatedly that luck is an important factor in pigeon racing and that was also the case for Albert Derwa. Paulien had been bred for Paul Huls (Zonhoven, BE). However, Paul had been busy with work and he did not have time to pick up Paulien. Albert then gave her a place in his own racing loft, where she developed into a top class racing bird. A bit of luck was involved in the national victory of Invictus as well, although this was also the result of a skillful fancier. The young bird loft had 17 hens and only 14 cocks so Albert decided to two add two old cocks to the loft. One of these two old birds wanted to take over the nest of Invictus. Invictus did not want to give in and he managed to defend his territory, with a little help from Albert. This was of course a great motivation for Invictus when he was being basketed. Only five hours, five minutes and four seconds after his release Invictus was back in the loft, taking the first national from Issoudun.

Caution is key

Some of you might have noticed that the pigeons of Derwa are not in the results of the first three national races of 2013. Issoudun was in fact the first national race for young birds for which Albert’s pigeons had been basketed. “I do not have a lot of birds: ten widowers, 18 hens and only 70 youngsters, of which I have 35 left. So I have to be careful with them. I do not focus on the championships so I can easily change plans if the weather conditions are bad”, Albert explains. That is why the race from Issoudun was the first national flight of the season for his pigeons. This is a relatively short flight (482) that took place in decent weather conditions (tailwind).

Medical guidance

Albert uses a medical scheme that is strictly followed. Even today’s trend of limiting the use of medicines could not make Albert change his mind. All pigeons are given an annual treatment against paratyphus. This season the old birds were vaccinated for the first time. He uses a Soludox treatment against ornithosis and a seven day tricho cure is provided about three weeks before the start of the season, as well as a two day cure every three weeks. Albert prevents the pigeons’ eyes from infecting by using Linco Spectin drops. As the season progresses he alternates between Raf Herbots drops and Vincent Schroeder drops. Some might say this is a bit exaggerated but his successes show that he knows what he is doing.

Always the same

We think many fanciers have the same question: how does he do it? As with most successful fanciers the answer is simple: a collection of top quality pigeons is one of the key aspects. Albert has pigeons from Gommaire Verbruggen, the Herbots brothers, Paul Huls, the late Maurice Voets, Flor Vervoort and last but not least Rik Hermans and Koen Minderhoud. The second most important factor is strict selection, which he learned from the Thomas-Paris partnership (Kessel-lo, BE). They passed by his loft in 1976 to make a selection. Albert had 35 pigeons at that time and not a single one of them passed the test. Albert had purchased six youngsters from Albert and three of them could stay in the loft. This was the start of a successful career in pigeon racing. This is only the beginning and we wonder what the future holds in store for him.