Bekkevoort- Patrick has done this in steps. He has planted the pigeon lofts in the sloping landscapes in the back garden. The space between the house and the lofts is filled with a lovely rock garden with a fishpond on two levels.
The hostess had prepared for the visit. The freshly made coffee smelt delicious as the front door was opened and the kitchen table was filled with all sorts of cakes. There is no clearer way to say that you are welcome.
How it began.
Most of the family members had pigeons of were certainly interested in pigeons. When Patrick wanted to start keeping pigeons he was given his father’s blessing. He kept going to wait for his father’s pigeons. In ’82 a start was made with the pigeons in Budingen with pigeons from uncle Georges. Uncle Georges Lismont had red pigeons that did well in the short races and Patrick wanted some of those. The following year a loft was built and Patrick became a pigeon fancier. He was studying at the time and in the summer holiday it was two months of pigeon feast. Pigeon sport became a bug that also infected father Emiel. After Patrick married Sonja he continued racing and dad was to take care of the pigeons as his son worked in three shifts in the Hoegaarden brewery, meaning they could relieve each other in this healthy and homely hobby.
When he was sixteen, Patrick’s life consisted of pigeons, football and the necessary hours at school. The first pigeons were a gift from uncle Georges. Patrick wasn’t noticed for his performances, but because of his young age. He wanted to perform well by buying suitable pigeons. To improve the red pigeons and to make them faster he visited Benny Willems in Bekkevoort. Benny mainly races middle distance and was prepared to give his fellow villager something good. This hen was coupled with a grandson of the basis couple, 1st chance, her son is the pigeon that resulted from the coupling, 2nd chance.
First chance came from dad Emiel. A promise was made that a young hen would move to Bekkevoort and her brother would be raced in Budingen in widowhood. By the forming of the breeding couples dad had coupled the promised pigeon himself. There remained nothing more but to move the racing pigeon in question. Uncle Georges took care of a hen. In this way, a following breeding couple was formed by Patrick, a couplet hat produced good pigeons. Over time, the hen by dad was removed from the breeding loft due to lack of good results.
During a winter auction of Patricia Verhaegen, a cock was obtained. This cock was crossed with own pigeons with great success.
Second chance. Patrick was telephoned by a pigeon fancier who had bought a voucher by a Champion celebration. The breeding pigeons were no longer coupled. In order to please the man and to keep to the promise of the voucher one couple was put together as a test. A cock from the 1st basis couple was coupled with a hen originating from the Netherlands, from Jo Baggen. The man was allowed to choose and he left the red cock. This cock is now the stock father of the loft.
A hen from Marc Medaert from St.-Truiden was placed in the breeding loft. It later turned out that this hen was the mother of the Olympiad pigeon 2008.
Searching further, Patrick arrived by Danny Geerinckx in Zolder. He bought several pigeons from him, but also pigeons out the lines of Guisson-Vanbrabant from Kuringen. She was the mother of 726/07.
All the pigeons are coupled at the beginning of December. The time is not bound by date, but work will be taken into account. There has to be a scheme so that the continuous shift system of the Hoegaarden brewery is not interrupted. Patrick has thirty six sprint pigeons and fifteen middle distance pigeons, everything is allowed to breed and is coupled again at the beginning of March so that they can race from Fleurus at the end of March whilst brooding for a few days. When they return home the nest has gone and the celibacy period begins.
The pigeons are basketted every week with the exception of the middle distance pigeons above Bourges, these are allowed a week’s rest or given a short race.
Before leaving, the cocks for the sprint races are allowed to see their hen. Patrick let’s the hens loose in the cock’s loft, the cocks have already had their box place half-open and the nest dish is turned over. The fancier doesn’t change this system and does the same thing with every pigeons. It was the habit that the “Olympiad pigeon 2008” always got to stay with his hen for a few minutes, sometimes for twenty minutes. Other cocks are then motivated by not letting the hen into the open box.
After the cocks have been basketted the hens are put back into the individual boxes under the loft where they had resided since Wednesday.
The middle distance pigeons are basketted more peacefully. Here the breeding dish is turned over and the box is opened fully. These cocks don’t get to see their partner before they leave. The reason that Patrick gives as to why he has a different method for the middle distance pigeons is his shift work. The cocks are closely observed as soon as they have access to the breeding dish.
There will be no surprised faces when Patrick says that he races with hens in widowhood. This current phenomenon has also found its way to Bekkevoort. This has not delivered the result so as by some pigeon fanciers. Hens are raced in classic widowhood with a cock remaining home.
Fourteen young hens are raced in widowhood and the remaining hundred and fifty youngsters are raced with the sliding door. The four national races were also planned in with changing success. Later Geuret was once again a good race.
Patrick is considering racing a loft of twelve young cocks in widowhood in August and September next year.
The youngsters are given plenty of time to perform. He leaves for the club with the big basket and the youngsters are given two to three months to show what they are made of. Consequently the percent of prizes is not so high by the youngsters. Not achieving results reduces their chance of survival and not enough early prizes, at least per ten also has a negative effect on their chances of remaining over the winter.
Feeding is a fixed recurring pattern. On the day of homecoming there is plenty of sport mixture so that the pigeons can choose. Here the soup ladle is used as the basis measure. Starting on the day following the homecoming diet “Cassaert” is given. On Wednesday they are fed fifty fifty and from Thursday 100% sport. The change over is made earlier by the middle distance pigeons. One day per week brewer’s yeast is added to the feed, usually at the beginning of the week.
The pigeons are called inside with nibbling seeds, there are no peanuts because there is always the chance that they are no longer good. They are also given a vitamin preparation regularly, either over the feed or in the water.
At the beginning of the week Apple vinegar or tea is added to the water. On Wednesday they are given condition tonic. “Blitzform”, a product rich in iodine, is given every Friday.
Amino acids are given when they return home.
Care & Medical guidance.
All the lofts here are cleaned twice per day. The house and gardens are well cared for and it is no different in the lofts. According to Patrick this doesn’t enable you to win more prizes, but it gives him a good feeling when he enters a clean loft. When there are problems you see it quicker in the droppings.
Sonja plays an important role in the care of the pigeons. Because she has chosen to work part-time it means she is there for her only child Michiel and she can take over some of Patrick’s tasks as he works three shifts.
Every day the drinking vessels are washed with a brush, refilled, and returned to the loft.
In the autumn a number of lofts are empty and that is the time to scrub the lofts with water and disinfectant. The burner is also used in order to destroy anything that could infect the pigeons when they return to the loft. The burner used to be used more often, sometimes once a week, but now it is limited to twice per year. A first burner clean is carried out after moulting and before the winter breed, the burner is used a second time after breeding.
Prior to the breeding the pigeons are given a seven day cure for trico, a second cure is given for five days before the start of the racing season and halfway through the season there is another two-day preventive cure. They were once cured every week or every two weeks, but the results weren’t any better.
At the end of the moulting period they are given a ten day cure for paratyphus. This medicine is given via the drinking water. In consultation with veterinary surgeon Hendrikx they use a different product every year.
Before the racing season the airways are treated and repeated if necessary when the results are not up to expectation.
The lofts were built up in phases. The first loft at the back of the new house consists of two layers. Three parts are for the youngsters and there is also room for the widowers. There is room under the loft for the breeders and the loose hens. Each compartment has its own run with a closed roof and sides, and so they enjoy living in the middle of the Hagelands nature. The floor wire one metre above the floor in the runs means that the droppings only have to be removed once a year.
A second loft stands almost at a right angle to the first loft and is built with spikes so that the pigeons can’t sit on the roof. Here there is room for a loft of youngsters and also room for a group of widowers.
The third Construction is a garden loft with a hallway in front of the inside lofts and with a grate in the inside loft. There is room here for the loose hens, loose cocks and four lofts for the youngsters.
Title “ National Champion Sprint”.
The season started with five nice performances in a row with the two first nominated at the fore. In order to do better other pigeons were chosen as first and second nominated. Luckily at the end of the season a top performance was delivered once again due to the correct nomination.
Momignies 672 pigeons nr1 1ste nr2 14th
Momignies 699 pigeons nr1 11de nr2 26th
Momignies 421 pigeons nr1 2de nr2 7th
Soissons 532 pigeons nr1 19de nr2 1st
Soissons 348 pigeons nr1 20ste nr2 12th
Soissons 191 pigeons nr1 2de nr2 9th
Momignies 102 pigeons nr1 3de nr2 6th
Soissons 155 pigeons nr1 1ste nr2 3rd
“The 507” 2220507/05
This pigeon with a beautiful honours list was 2nd Olympiad pigeon Sprint, prior to this the cock was 4th, 6th and 11th national Ace pigeon Sprint. This contribution of this pigeon was also of a decisive nature for the 2009 title, with six results.
Father of this champion was self 3rd Ace pigeon Ave Regina 2002. The grandmother is also mother of the 1st Ace pigeon 2005 and comes out the stock couple with a crossed cock from Louis Vandevorst. On grandfather’s side there is a hen from Benny Willems out pigeons from Vos-Jennes.
The performance of this pigeon with 12 first prizes is as follows:
“The 726/07” 2205726/07
With four results, the contribution of this blue cock is documented. As a youngster he was 2nd Ace pigeon small sprint Flemish Brabant 2007 twice. Father of his topper comes from 1st Ace pigeon VSOB with a hen from E. Schroeven.
Mother is a pigeon from Guisson-Vanbrabant which they in turn bought from Sapin out the line of “Soontjens”. What is remarkable is that great-grandfather on father’s side is the sister of 865/97 “Sapin” and great-grandfather on mother’s side is also a brother of this same pigeon.
The performance of this pigeon with 11 first prizes, is as follows:
A chequered cock that has already won three first prizes in the well-filled honours list.
This pigeon is a product of own breeding with all the basis pigeons woven in. 1st chance couple. His father is a full brother of the 12th National Ace pigeon Sprint KBDB 2005.
Mother is a daughter of « Superman » from Ludo Van Tuyn.
A selection of the better results :
This chequered pigeon has as great-grandparents on father’s side the 1st chance couple. Father of 202/02 was directly put to breed and is a son of the Ace pigeon youngsters KBDB 1994 that at the time was coupled with a hen from Jo Baggen out the line of “Strik”.
Mother comes from Benny Willems who had bred her out the line “Wit” from Vos-Jennes.
The performance of this pigeon with 9 first prizes, Olympiad pigeon 2008, is as follows:
This red cock gave away his lineage, via the line of the hen you come across the 1st chance couple.
Father is a Patricia Verhaegen pigeon bred out the “Grijze Kanibaal” with “Cinderela Patricia”. The parents of “Cinderela Patricia” have produced several good pigeons. Her nest brother was Olympiad pigeon in Utrecht.
Mother was 6th Ace pigeon Grand Sprint KBDB 2004 and was bred out a son of 1st chance couple with a sister of “Strik” from Jo Baggen.
The performance of this pigeon with 4 first prizes, is as follows:
3rd National champion Sprint zone C
1st National champion Sprint zone C
1st provincial Ace pigeon old birds small sprint
2nd National champion Sprint zone C
3rd National champion Sprint zone C
6th National champion Sprint
12th National Ace pigeon Sprint
1st National champion Sprint
6de National Ace pigeon Sprint
1st Ace pigeon Grand Sprint old birds and yearlings Flemish-Brabant
2nd national Sprint old birds
7th national Sprint youngsters
1st national Ace pigeon Sprint
2nd Olympiad pigeon KBDB sport team cat A
4th National Ace pigeon KBDB Sprint
5th National champion KBDB Sprint youngsters
6th National champion KBDB Sprint
1st National champion Sprint old birds
Date Race Category Nr. P. Prizes Prize/Entered
13/09/2009 Momignies Youngsters 176 p 1-5-6-7-8-11-14-17-18... 16 / 30
06/09/2009 Soissons Youngsters 122 p 1-3-4-5-6-8-9... 12 / 17
30/08/2009 Momignies Youngsters 1182 p 5-9-12-20-25-31-61-62-116-120... 18 / 26
23/08/2009 Momignies Youngsters 1306 p 3-5-41-50-53-63-87... 19 / 31
23/08/2009 Soissons Youngsters 611 p 1-16-19-21-23-31-44... 12 / 16
16/08/2009 Momignies Youngsters 192p 1-2-3-5-7-9-12-13... 15 / 33
16/08/2009 Soissons Youngsters 815 p 6-14-47-55... 11 / 15
09/08/2009 Soissons Old birds 159 p 1-2-4-10-11-13... 12 / 12
26/07/2009 Soissons Old birds 155 p 1-3-8-13-17... 5 / 7
26/07/2009 Momignies Yearlings 85 p 1-12-13... 4 / 4
26/07/2009 Momignies Old birds 79 p 1-2-6-7... 7 / 7
19/07/2009 Soissons Old birds 169 p 2-3-20-21... 5 / 7
19/07/2009 Momignies Old birds 102 p 3-6-9... 4 / 7
18/07/2009 Pithiviers Youngsters 235 p 1-2-4-6-7-12-20... 16 / 38
12/07/2009 Momignies Youngsters 179 p 1-2-3-4-7-11... 22 / 35
12/07/2009 Soissons Yearlings 120 p 5-11-15... 5 / 6
12/07/2009 Soissons Old birds 191 p 2-4-9-10... 7 / 7
05/07/2009 Momignies Youngsters 1984 p 23-27-37-39-87-90-114-122-126-143... 31 / 41
05/07/2009 Momignies Old birds 104 p 4-8-9... 7 / 7
28/06/2009 Momignies Youngsters 2154 p 22-26-55-64-114-118-180-181 26 / 37
21/06/2009 Momignies Youngsters 319 p 2-3-4-5-8-9-12-15-16-23-24-28-31... 37 / 86
14/06/2009 Soissons Old birds 362 p 3-5-6... 4 / 8
07/06/2009 Momignies Old birds 133 p 1-5-13... 4 / 7
07/06/2009 Soissons Yearlings 314 p 7-9-16-22-24... 7 / 8
31/05/2009 Soissons Yearlings 401 p 1-2-22-25-27... 7 / 9
31/05/2009 Soissons Old birds 348 p 12-19-20-24-30... 7 / 8
24/05/2009 Momignies Youngsters 259 p 1-2-7-8-11-12-13-14-18-19-22-24-26-27-28-29... 37 / 67
21/05/2009 Fleurus Youngsters 275 p 3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-14-16-18-19-21-22-23-25-26-27-28-29-30-31-32-33... 41 / 72
17/05/2009 Momignies Yearlings 233 p 4-6-11-15 4 / 5
17/05/2009 Momignies Old birds 180 p 2-13... 6 / 7
10/05/2009 Momignies Yearlings 328 p 2-4-11... 4 / 5
10/05/2009 Momignies Old birds 234 p 2-4-5-7-13-20... 7 / 7
10/05/2009 Soissons Yearlings 728 p 2-12-35-47... 6 / 8
10/05/2009 Soissons Old birds 532 p 1-19... 6 / 9
09/05/2009 Pithiviers Yearlings 290 p 3-4-7-9-10-19-31... 17 / 32
03/05/2009 Momignies Youngsters 426 p 1-11-19-20-21-29... 7 / 7
03/05/2009 Momignies Old birds 319 p 8-13-25... 7 / 7
02/05/2009 Pithiviers Yearlings 281 p 1-5-8-12-21-29... 17 / 33
27/04/2009 Momignies Yearlings 548 p 12-14-24-35-47... 6 / 7
27/04/2009 Soissons Yearlings 637 p 5-12-17-22-29-49-58... 24 / 39
19/04/2009 Momignies Old birds 421 p 2-6-7-12... 6 / 9
12/04/2009 Momignies Yearlings 822 p 2-13-17-27-56-57-64... 16 / 30
12/04/2009 Momignies Old birds 699 p 4-11-23-26-32-46... 10 / 13
05/04/2009 Momignies Old birds 766 p 7-11-14-41-50... 11 / 16
05/04/2009 Momignies Old birds 672 p 1-10-14-20-36... 10 / 20
05/04/2009 Momignies Yearlings 117 p 4-5-6-10-12-19-20... 10 / 16
05/04/2009 Momignies Old birds 103 p 1-4-5-6-10-12... 11 / 20