Jimmy Van Kerckhoven with his national winner (BE14-4162421)
The regular spotters who come by to watch the pigeons arrive after a race are traditionally invited for a nice barbecue for the last race of the season. It was not only the last race, Jimmy and his wife had also been married for 46 years that Sunday. Enough reason to celebrate! While preparations were being made that day, one of the spottors saw a pigeon arriving. It was Blauwe 421 that surprised everyone. "From the moment I called my club to report the arrival the phone didn't stop ringing. The interest from the pigeon press was huge", Jimmy says. "Experiencing this with all of my friends present was fantastic."
Blauwe 421's wing
Blauwe 421 (BE14-4162421)
This blue cock has proven his worth before at the middle distance. Check out his list of achievements of this season:
Gueret national 19,035 p. 1 Tours zonal 3,829 p. 164 Tours national 24,097 p. 1,675 Chateauroux zonal 3,653 p. 213 Chateauroux national 22,818 p. 2,025 La Souterraine zonal 2,705 p. 215 La Souterraine national 18,588 p. 2,190
Jimmy only bred a first round of youngsters from the breeders and racers. About 100 young birds were weaned and sexes were split after the first race from Noyon. They were all darkened from the beginning of March up until 21 June, which is the start of summer. Jimmy flags his birds into the air twice a day. If weather permits, he liberates them once a week from about 40 km. The youngsters, including Blauwe 421, were flown on the sliding door system. For the three last races of the season, nest bowls are put in the loft as additional stimulus.
"I go to the animal clinic in Merelbeke twice a year for a check-up of all pigeons." In the racing season, pigeons are regularly given a pill for tricho. In the drinking water, many natural products such as red beet juice, herbal tea and lemon are added. During the week, Jimmy sometimes gives Colinol, which is good for the intestines. Jimmy prefers a breeding mixture with red corn for his racing birds because he think it contains more variation of grains.
The lofts in Denderhoutem
Jimmy was obviously thrilled about having won a national race: "It has been a fantastic expierience. Together with about ten spotters who witnessed the arrival of our national winner we cracked a few more bottles of champagne." We hope to see Jimmy's name appear at the top of the results and wish him all the best next season.