Theo Weytjens from Zutendaal (BE)
The town Zutendaal is in the province Limburg, near to The Netherlands. This town must be good for racing pigeons on Barcelona. I visited Arthur Schrijvers here a few years ago. This fancier started his Barcelona 2007 with national prizes 81-117 I went to visit another fancier in this town this time. I went to Theo Weytjens who won on Barcelona 2007 national 12.612p: 14-100-260-324-612-766
I did not know Theo Weytjens personal but I knew his name from the Barcelona race. He is one of those few fanciers who are in the national top 100 each year. Only a select group of fanciers are able to achieve this. I searched in my national Barcelona results and found:
10 years Barcelona (1095 km)
1998 national 12.678p: 238-409-1152-2560 (5/16)
1999 national 13.966p: 21-79-98 (4/15)
2002 national 13.021p: 15-71-117-485-761-1191-1222-1418 .(16/41)
2003 national 11.806p: 62-153-214-335-382-645-936-1058 (19/51)
2004 national 12.275p: 81-120-260-312-442-600-667-799 (19/58)
2005 national 12.998p: 70-110-199-277-296-418-461-703-763 (19/56)
2006 national 11.802p: 52-56-86-280-603-869-897-1032-1035 (19/48)
2007 national 12.612p: 14-100-260-324-612-766 (12/40)
Theo is a genuine Barcelona freak. He knows that Barcelona is THE BIGGEST RACE. Some other national long distance races are nice but not as special as the race from Barcelona. This is probably the reason that it was difficult for me to go home. We think the same about Barcelona. Theo always goes with his best pigeons to Barcelona. You would almost forget that he also has good results on other long distance races:
1st provincial Dax '02 599p with 'Jean-Claude'
1st provincial San Sebastian '03 with 'Silver'
1st provincial ace pigeon LFM '04 with 'Mistral'
5th national ace pigeon very long distance KBDB '04 with 'Mistral'
1st zone St-Vincent '05 2819p with 'Anouk' 'This is all very good', says Theo, 'but it is no Barcelona.' Theo insisted that I came to see his new lofts. I have seen nice lofts in Belgium and The Netherlands but this is the best! His new build white pigeon-ranch is the amazing. I will tell you more later.
Theo Weytjens (°1956) had pigeons for 6 years when he was very young. His father had pigeons long before he was born but his neighbour was a good pigeon fancier. Theo got married, build a house and started racing pigeons again in 1980. His first birds came from his brother-in-law Jean Vangronsveld (who stopped racing pigeons).
A direct bird from Jean won 1st provincial Orleans 4600p already in 1981. This was excellent for a young fancier. But Theo began a business in flowers and plants when he was 19 years old. This became a big gardening-centre some years later and the birds came on second place. This business was very important for this young man. Theo had already planned his life than. He wanted to work very hard untill he was 50 years old and than the pigeons should come on 1st place. He had already plans of building a big pigeon-ranch in his mind. Theo bought new pigeons after his 1st provincial victory for the middle distance races. The main races are in the spring and this is the most busy period in his gardening business. He that switched to the national races for youngsters (mostly in the summer and autumn). He had some very good results on this races. Theo entered the Barcelona race for the first time in 1987 with his middle distance pigeons. 1987 was the hardest Barcelona race in history; only 121 pigeons arrived in Belgium on the first day of the race. The world famous late André Vanbruaene from Lauwe had 7 of his 8 birds on this first day.
Theo heard this news and told his wife:' I am sure that my birds are not good enough for this race. I want to go to this André Vanbruaene and buy some of his birds'. Theo's wife agreed and they went to Lauwe the next day. The 8th pigeon from Barcelona arrived exact when Theo and his wife arrived in Lauwe. But the married couple could not buy youngsters yet. They had to wait until September. Theo bought youngsters from the famous Kuypers brothers (Neer, NL) the same year 1987.
The crossbreeding of these two strains were immediate a success. Now Theo could race both middle distance and very long distance. He got friends with the famous Fons van Ophuizen from Landgraaf (NL). Fons is famous for writing articles but also for his amazing results on the races. Several very long distance birds came from Fons to the loft Weytjens. But Theo had too many birds; he could not handle it anymore. He had too much work in his business. So he got rid of many long distance birds and only kept some youngsters from these birds. The results were still very good. He won 1st provincial La Souterraine in 1993 and became 'Superstar of the year on long distance' of the magazine 'De Duif' in 1994. Theo made a big decision by the end of the 90's. He sold all the middle distance birds and wanted to focus on Barcelona! When I see the results of the last 10 years Barcelona is it a good decision? Theo bought long distance birds from some of the best fanciers in Belgium and The Netherlands: Fons van Ophuizen (NL), Kuypers brothers (NL), Luci & Anton van der Wegen (NL), Nouwen-Paesen (B), Harinck-Poelmans (B), Florizoone (B), Desbuqouis brothers (B), Edmond Streel (B) and Albert Willems (B).
My host became 50 years and he now wanted to realize his dream. He stopped with his the gardening business and wanted to realize his long time dream: a pigeon ranch! Theo bough a nice peace of land and build a new house and a great pigeon loft ;all white! (see photo). He put youngsters on his aviaries in 2006 but still had the other loft at his old house. This aviaries (see photo) will be removed in 2008 when the big loft is finished.
Theo had a amazing result on Barcelona 2006 at his old loft (national 52-56-86 ) and sold many racing birds after this. Only 48 racing birds were not sold by the end of 2006. Theo had little time (buiding new loft ) for his old loft and only went there once a day to take care of this birds. He entered the national race Montelimar in 2007 but no good result.
The weekend of Barcelona -St-Vincent was closing in and he had to choose between racing yearlings on his new loft or Barcelona (40 pigeons) on his old loft. The 'Barcelona-man' wanted to race Barcelona for the last time on the old loft. He had a good result (national 14-100 ). His new loft is almost ready and now he does not have pigeons at the old loft. The Barcelona race 2008 will be raced at the new loft with 2-years-old pigeons . I will look close to his result!
The new loft and the method
I already mentioned this new loft in the Daalstraat 109 in Zutendaal. It's a dream for a pigeon fancier. I can compare it with the great loft of Noël Lippens from Aarsele. It matches the house, all white. Theo I am jealous! On the left site are the yearling and old pigeons. On the right site is the breeding loft and aviary for youngsters. This aviary will be replaced with another new loft in the same style. This must be completed by the end of 2008. Their will be an aviary in front of this loft so the youngsters can stay in the aviary during the day. Theo races his old birds and yearlings on total widowhood; both the hens and cocks are entered in the races. The yearlings were paired for a few days when I visited this loft on February 6th.
They can raise youngsters once so they can get used of their new place and loft. The old birds are paired in March for 5 days breeding. The total widowhood for old and yearling birds starts in April. The cocks stay in the compartment where they had a nest and the hens move to beautiful aviaries behind the loft. The hens cannot sit on the ground. They train once a day in the evening. They are released on the back site of the loft but enter on the front. Theo opens one big window so all the hens has to come throw this window. The hens eat and drink in one big compartment but cannot see their partners. They go to the aviaries again after 20-30 minutes.
The cocks train twice a day and stay in the some compartment the whole time. The couples only see each other after a race. Theo pairs the couples again in May for a second time. He lets his birds race Vierzon on breeding and separates the couples again for the widowhood system. His yearlings must race Bordeaux or St-Vincent. This is enough for the best birds.
The other birds get a second chance on a another long distance race. The old birds are mostly raced on Barcelona, some birds on the other long distance races. The old birds usually race Chateauroux or Montelimar before Barcelona. Theo has one compartment for natural system. His second bird on Barcelona 2007 was a cock with youngsters 5-6 days. He won 100th national! He matches this birds in March and than races them on widowhood for a few weeks. The hens and cocks are paired up after the national race Bourges (end of May) so they have babies when basketing for Barcelona.
Both hens and cocks of the same couple must race. Theo has 29 couples of breeding pairs. He would like to have 24 pairs but some really old cocks are still fertilizing the eggs. Norbert Peeters and Vincent Schroeders are the vets. Theo visits these vets 3-4 times a year and follows their advice. Theo knows that you cannot win Barcelona by drugs!
Some topbirds on this loft
Barcelona '07 club 564p-2 Provincial 2150p-3 National 12.612p-14
This pigeon was sold after the Barcelona race 2007 (maybe the name 'Osaka' give a hint?).
The father of this cock is the basic cock in the loft Weytjens. It is '5097369/97 Inteelt Kuypers'. He is inbreed from brother x sister. Father and mother come from 'NL538/89' direct Kuypers(Neer, NL) X 'NL530/89' also direct Kuypers. Brother x sister is very close inbred but it gives sometimes very good pigeons for crossbreeding with another inbreed strain. 'Inteelt Kuypers 369/97' is the father of several topbirds from Weytjens p.e. 'Mistral' (5th ace pigeon long distance KBDB 2004) and 15th national Barcelona 2002.
The mother of 'Osaka 278/03' is 'Hilda 5280908/97'. She is bred from 'NL938/92' (direct from L & A van der Wegen, Steenbergen ) x 'B075/89'(bred from 2 direct pigeons from André Vanbruaene; son Kapitein x daughter St-Vincent)
De Ballon 5009946/05
Barcelona '07 club 564p-6 Provincial 2150p-17 National 12.612p-100
This cock will be on the breeding loft in 2008.
The father is '349/03', son of two good racing birds. He is from 'De Jarnac 064/02', who won 5th prov. Jarnac '03, 15th prov. Pau '04, 61st prov. Brive '04 but got lost on Marseille '04. The father was 'NL240/97' (direct Kuypers) and mother was 'B953/98', a top-hen direct from Harinck-Poelmans from their basic pair '799/92' (son Narbonne Nouwen-Paesen) x '138/91'(Barcelona-hen Nouwen-Paesen). Harinck - Poelmans won national Barcelona 2007 and this hen has the same blood. 'B953/98' is a sister of 'Melissa' (ranking Primus-Inter-Pares 5 years Barcelona) . A sister of 'De Jarnac' is 'Nelly 537/04'. She won St-Vincent nat. 10.020p-57 in '05 and Barcelona national 11.802p-52 in '06.
The mother of '349/03' is 'Belle 306/01'. She won 62nd national Barca '03, 260th nat. Barca '04 and 269th national Barcelona '05. She was bred from 'Antoon NL066/99' (direct A & L van der Wegen) and mother is '5000/98' (direct Harinck-Poelmans from basic cock '799/92' (Nouwen Paesen) x '256/97'(Nouwen-Paesen).
The mother of 'De Ballon' is 'Silver 347/01'. She is another super hen. She won 1st prov. San Sebastian '03, 26th national Biarritz '04, 1158th nat. Barcelona '04, 70th nat. Barcelona '05 and 1422nd intern. Bordeaux. She has an excellent pedigree! The father 'B584/00' is from 'Antoon NL066/99'(van der Wegen) x '953/98' ( direct Harinck-Poelmans). The mother is '605/00' from 79th national Barcelona 1999 (Vervisch via F van Ophuizen x strain Vanbruaene) X inbreed Batenburg (brother x sister).
Chateauroux '05 14.082p-2966 St-Vincent '05 nat. 10.020p-117 Barcelona '06 nat. 11.802p-86 Barcelona '07 nat. 12.612p-2716 It's halfbrother of 'Jean-Claude 073/99'(1ste provincial Dax '02). They have the same
father. It is 'son Fondman 381/97' X 'Zwarte Perpignanduivin'. The 'Fondman 194/90' won 3rd prov. Jarnac, 10th prov. Bordeaux, 45th prov. Cahors and 107th prov. Brive. He was from strains Toebosch x J. Deglin (pure Carlens). The 'Zwarte Perpignan-duivin 577/95' is direct from Fons van Ophuizen from his 'Zwarte Perpignan' x daughter 1st nat. Pau from H. Seegmuller.
The mother of 'Hazes' is '576/99' from 'Black Jack' (21st nat. Barcelona 1999 from cross-breeding Van Ophuizen x Kuypers) X '953/98' (tophen direct from Harinck-Poelmans).
St-Vincent prov. 1331p-1 in '05 Zone 2819p-1 National 10.020p-6 She is 100% van der Wegen.
The mother and father are direct from A & L van der Wegen.
St-Vincent nat. 10.624p-72 in '04 Barcelona nat. 12.998p-110 in '05
The father '702/99' is direct from Harinck-Poelmans from Genk. A son of basic cock '799/92'. The '702/99' is also father of 117th nat. Barcelona '02 and 10th intern. Perpignan '02.
The mother of 'Bekelee' is ' Zwarte 511/98' direct from Fons van Ophuizen (son Zwarte Rennenberg x granddaughter 1ste intern. Barca Jo Teuge) X 100% van der Wegen-duivin via Fons van Ophuizen.
Bordeaux '01 7671p-1497 Barcelona '02 nat. 13.021p-71 Perpignan '02 intern. 18.264p-3799 Barcelona '03 nat. 11.806p-1555 Barcelona '04 nat. 12.275p-2393 Perpignan '04 nat. 6489p-1330 Barcelona '06 nat. 11.802p-56
This hen is direct from the famous Nouwen-Paesen from Grote Brogel.
The father is '2000/94' from their old strain 'Son As' x 'daughter Dikke'.
The mother is a hen from Germany '293/98' but strain from The Netherlands.