This is the story of how father Remi, and his sons André and Carlo, set to work on the task of breeding a colony of top class long distance racing pigeons, a task which culminated with them winning the ultimate prize 1st Barcelona in 1995 from an entry of 20,925 birds. This result was due entirely to the planning and co-operation between the family. The lofts of father Remi and André concentrate on the racing side of things, whilst the lofts of Carlo are used excusively for breeding. Father Remi' s experience linked with the enthusiasm of André and Carlo have ensured that success has been gained at the highest level.
Since the fondation of these lofts the enthusiasm has rubbed off on to Remi's grandsons, Hannes, Thomas and Nikolaas has joined the ranks. It is interesting to note that the family member in charge of the breeding lofts , Carlo, studied veterinary science at the university of Ghent. Thus he was able to combine both experience and theory, gathering lots of information regarding pigeon ailments and the medical supervision of racing pigeons. There is no doubt that this has been of great benefit to the family and their pigeons over the years. Carlo said that, apart from the quality of the pigeons, the lofts and the attentiveness of the fancier, the medical supervision of the race birds themselves is of the utmost importance if succes is to be achieved. Carlo said it is impossible to describe this subject within this article, with only limited time available, but a brief outline follows.
Obviously the racing season is an important time, but one should always limit medication at this time unless there are clear signs of a problem. He felt it was always useful to give the birds the electrolytes upon their return from races to help them recuperate quickly. If the race has been extremly hard, with wet, cold conditions, it is probably wise treat against canker and ornithosis for 24-48 hours. It is not necessary to treat against coccidiosis unless this problem has been regularly diagnosed in your loft, if it has, then you can establish a system of preventative treatment, say, once every fortnight. It should however be stressed that Carlo said that superfluous use of medication should be avoided. Carlo said that he had found some strains of pigeons have a lower resistance against disease, especially ornithosis. However, if a fancier finds that the necessity to medicate his of her birds becomes too frequent then the loft construction and in the particular the ventilation system should be carefully looked at. It should be remembered that after any treatment the build op for the birds next race should be carefully looked at. It should be remembered that after any treatment the build up for the birds next race should begin by giving vitamins and amino acids regularly in addition to natural products to enhance stamina. During the off season Carlo thougt it important to treat three times against canker.
Back in 1979, father Remi, had a very good family of Barcelona pigeons. Among them was the Oude Barcelona', who, in 1978 was 57th International Barcelona with 11,131 pigeons competing. His son Jonge Barcelona' 4165123/79 won in 1981, 90th international Barcelona, 13,202 pigeons competing. Nestzuster Vooruit' 4638565/74 was the mother of Jonge Barcelona' 123/79. A son of Jonge Barcelona' Sproete Barcelona' 4479934/84 won 1st Club Barcelona, one hour ahead of the other 292 birds and was the 86th International out of 18,079 pigeons. These bloodlines can still be found in the loft today. Jonge Barcelona' paired with the Cobut Duivin' produced the grandmother of Ronaldo' 22nd Barcelona 1979, 24908 pigeons competing.
It was in 1980 that André started racing pigeons independently. After obtaining pigeons from his father, Remi, he went to see Raymond Cobut, Anderlues, and purchased some young birds. One of those birds became the Cobut Duivin' 48596/80, the breedin hen, her sire won from Barcelona seven times. She is dam of Kiurdes' 54 th national Pau 1,549 birds, grand-dam of Zwarte Barcelona' 3303736/92 104th international Barcelona 1986 , grand-dam of Sproete-Barcelona 86th international Barcelona in 1986, grand-dam of Prost' 3rd National Narbonne, 6,167 birds and great-grand dam of Ronaldo', 22nd Barcelona international in 1997. In 1982 pigeons from Patrick Vandermeren were added and one son of the Vandermeren 674' was soon to leave his mark, with more successes from the long distance races. In 1983 a son of Emiel Denys champion Tee' was added to the colony along with some birds from Belgium's Barcelona Master, André Vanbruaene.
The blending of the pigeons along with then own have produced many very good long distance birds for the partners. The partnership are always aiming to improve and with this in mind more introductions were made. In 1991 birds from André Brouckaert were purchased and in 1993 some came from A & L Van Der Wegen. Careful breeding and thorough testing in races in ensuring that the pigeons from the lofts of Remi, André and Carlo Gyselbrecht continue to give a good account of themselves in the strongest competition.
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