A memorable weekend for Davy & Amber Verleije (Damme, BE)

Davy and Amber Verleije have been racing from a new location for the past two years. It is their neighbour Wilfried Rotsaerts who takes care of the day to day maintenance of their pigeons. His experience and tranquillity match well with the youthful enthusiasm and the vitality of Davy. They have won the first national old birds from La Souterraine.

It was only a few moments later when one of their pigeons won a sixth national prize from Libourne yearlings. They won three first prizes in a single day in the long distance club of Steenbrugge: the first La Souterraine old birds, the first Libourne yearlings and the first Libourne old birds. This was a day to remember for the fanciers from Damme.

Davy, Amber and Wilfried

Davy (39) races in a partnership with his daughter Amber (4). Davy kept pigeons at an early age. Initially he kept pigeons on his own, before forming a team with Pol Cocquyt as the highly successful combination Cocquyt-Verleye. The lofts of Pol were sold when he passed away and Davy built a new loft in the garden of his new house.

It was a coincidence that Wilfried Rotselaar (79), an established name in the long distance, no longer had the energy to keep pigeons on his own. Davy had a brief conversation with him and they soon found a way to cooperate. Their breeding pigeons were put together in Wilfried’s loft, where they are taken care of. Wilfried visits Davy’s lofts every day to maintain them and to release the racing pigeons. When Davy comes home after work they work together in the loft. Davy spe3nds all of his spare time in his pigeon loft and no effort is spared. His enthusiasm and the experience and calmness of Wilfried are a great combination.

Amber, mother Ilse, Davy and Wilfried

The bloodlines and the pigeon breed

They started the season with 62 widowers; 32 old birds and 30 one-year-old cocks. The hens are not raced due to lack of time and space. The cocks are raced on classic widowhood and they do not have to breed. Approximately 120 youngsters from two or three rounds are ringed every season. About 65 birds from the first round are darkened; they have to take part in the national competition. When the two fanciers decided to join forces in 2011 all breeders were placed together in Wilfried’s loft. 24 breeding pairs and ten pairs for brooding the eggs are kept in his loft and Wilfried takes care of them. He breeds youngsters as well. It is safe to say that the two fanciers have an interesting collection of high quality pigeons. They have pigeons from the bloodlines of the old line of Verleye-Cocquyt from Moerkerke, Wilfried Rotsaert from St-Kruis, P&D Houfflijn from Wortegem-Petegem, Gino Clique from Wevelgem, De Buck-Baele from Assebroek, Team De Jaeger Freddy from Knesselare, Garre-VDBerghe from Vichte, Van Quickenborne from St-Amandsberg, Paul Boddaert from Liederkerke, Jan Declerck from Maldegem, Lannoo-Ballegeer from Moerkerke, Kurt & Raf Platteeuw from Rumbeke, WMJF Boddaert from Oostkamp, Luc Van Hoecke from Oedelem, Vanwildemeersch-Vyncke from Westkapelle, Filip & Nicholas Norman from Knokke, Rik Cools from Ruiselede and De Baene Hubert from Beernem. These bloodlines have turned them into a really successful partnership.


Wilfried visits Davy’s loft twice a day. When Davy’s at home they do everything together. If not, Wilfried maintains the pigeons on his own. All lofts are cleaned twice a day and the pigeons are fed separately in their private box. The young and the old birds are fed in similar fashion. They make use of three types of mixtures: Beyers Vandenabeele, Van Robaeys no. 29 and super condition of Mariman. Towards the end of the week some Robaeys no. 39 and Widowhood Super Power of Mariman are added to the diet as well. Dr. Wim Boddaert takes care of their pigeons’ health. He usually provides advice by telephone. All pigeons were given a cure against ornithosis fourteen days ago with doxycycline and a cure against fungus. It is remarkable that the national winner demonstrated his form already, as on Wednesday he did not arrive home after the morning training; Wilfried had to return to the loft 60 minutes later to let him in. 

Lofts with coloured landing boards

When visiting the lofts we immediately noticed that each landing board has a different colour. It was an idea from his wife, who used some leftover paint. This is something we have never seen before and we had no idea what the purpose was. Davy explained to us that his pigeons no longer ever enter the wrong loft now that the landing boards have different colours. It also allows for easy communication with Wilfried, because every loft now has its own colour: they have a blue, a yellow and a green loft.

Broere Bond wins first National La Souterraine against 9,536 old birds

Broere Bond is a two-year-old cock that he obtained as a youngster from Wilfried Rotsaert. He was only trained from Arras (110km) as a young bird. His sire was Den Teen, a pigeon that originates from a pure Quickenborne from St-Amandsberg, paired to De Teen of Hendriek Mortier. Boere Bond stems from the pair Vanwildemeersch-Vyncke x Ignace Viaene from his mother’s side. Wilfried obtained this hen from Van de Buck-Baele from Assebroeck. She is the winner of the following top prizes:

Arras    31/452
Clermont 14/320, 12/169 and 65/1,054
Tours    42/307 and 95/391
Bourges  37/277
Gueret   23/1,932
Limoges  63/390