“The preparations were near perfect”, says Stijn. “We had a good start to the season and could basket our pigeons every week. From April onwards we basketed on Saturday, Wednesday, and Saturday again, on Momignies. Hereafter, 2x Soissons, Salbris and Vierzon, Soissons another time and then the whole team was sent to Limoges. We paired the pigeons on 20th April, says Jeroen. In the winter we decide which pigeons will be basketed on which race. They are paired so that the whole pair can be basketed on the race sitting on eggs of 10 days. The yearlings are raced on Agen and Narbonne. Due to problems with pairing this season we played them on widowhood for Agen. As a fancier, you have to observe and be adaptive to what happens on the lofts, Jeroen explains.
The genes of Jef have a strong presence throughout this colony. "On Barcelona, our 2nd and 5th pigeon are half-brothers of Jef which we are very pleased with. Katrien was the first to arrive and she is bred from Roderik (son Nathan, 16th International Barcelona) x Elien (daughter Silke, 1st National Barcelona): a special happening with this hen”, Stijn says. “I noticed that she and her partner didn’t want to sit on the eggs anymore a week after laying them, no idea why. I took a 12 day old youngster from another couple and put it in their nest. The youngster was accepted by both and I put the youngster back with its original parents to be fed 2x a day after to be put back with Katrien and her partner. Is this what motivated her? Who will say? Observing and making the most of the situation…but Jeroen probably already said this”, Stijn laughs.
Our second pigeons, Marcel, is a half-brother of Jef. The mother of Jef is showing to be a top breeding hen. Something the Rans brothers are very pleased with.
I have to say that the hens recuperated quickly after Barcelona, despite the tough conditions. They were prepared for Perpignan and thereafter we decided which pigeons to basket. We feed 3x a day (Relax + Sport) and we want to be sure that 90-95% of the feed has been eaten. The last 3 days before basketing the pigeons are fed Long Distance by AIDI but not too much. That which they are fed, they have to finish. Youngsters are basketed for experience, the only thing they need to do is return home.
Our first nominated pigeon, Ruud, is currently the absolute star of the loft. Last year, he won the 29th National Barcelona and this year he wins 56th National Barcelona. His palmares becomes longer and longer every year, which is wonderful to see. He too is a half-brother of Jef.
Meanwhile, the international race from Tarbes is also behind us. The Rans brothers also managed a phenomenal result on this classic, placing 4 pigeons within the National Top 100 with a 8th-13th-18th-48th National Tarbes. The first and second pigeon are bred from a daughter and sister from Jef respectively, this is no coincidence…