The loft of Lydie and Wilson in the Heulestraat in Zingem breathes pigeon sport. I was still fairly young when I visited the Dekens family for the first time 30 years ago to make a report. They were heavily focused on the sprint races back then. Today, they have successfully evolved into a long distance and extreme long distance pigeon loft. They gave us a warm welcome, just like 30 years ago. The two enjoy talking about their hobby with great passion. If Wilson pauses to take a breath, Lydie continues his story almost seamlessly. They complement each other really well: Wilson takes care of the pigeons and Lydie handles the administrative side of the loft, because Wilson would never want to switch his place in the loft for a place in front of a computer screen. They are proud of their achievements but in a modest way. Just how we like it.
Wilson and his lofts
A successful transition to the long distance and extreme long distance
Wilson had demonstrated his skills as a pigeon fancier a long time ago already. He did exceptionally well in the sprint competition, up to a point that he could no longer motivate himself. He gradually changed over to the longer distance races with the same collection of pigeons and they soon appeared to be just as successful over longer distances. Wilson prefers not to name the lofts which his best pigeons originate from, because he might forget a few. We could say that his breed is founded on pigeons of top class fanciers from around the neighbourhood. He gradually strengthened his breed with successful long distance bloodlines from Belgium and The Netherlands. His stock pigeons of today’s racing team originate from the successful bloodlines of Jos Das (Meldert, BE), Luc Van Coppenolle (Ouwegem, BE), Georges Verschueren (Zingem, BE), Jan Aarden via the Natural breeding station, Marc Debacker (Merelbeke, BE), Daniël Aerens (Drongen, BE), Germain Dhondt (Anzegem, BE), Luc Bafort (Temse, BE) and Batenburg-Van De Merwe (Klaaswaal, NL).
New Ace (BE10-4030190), Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2012 provides a breakthrough
He has been a very successful fancier for years but the crowning achievement came in 2012, with his title of National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB with New Ace (BE10-4030190) . New Ace is also a full brother of the 4th Nat. St.-Vincent, which illustrates the breeding value of his parents and other related pigeons.
Sire: Geschelpt Witpen BE04-6030372, a 100% Jan Aarden pigeon bred from a grandson of Lange 044/93 (Lange was a brother of the renowned Lichtenberg, combined with an inbred to the world-famous Dolle) x Geschelpt Aarden 833/01 (a combination of the famous Aarden pigeons including Vlekje, Lange 017 and of course stock pigeon Dolle).
Dam: Dochter Jordy BE08-4112820, originates directly from 6th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2008 Jordy BE05-4281706, which is a son of stock dam Goed Geschelpt paired to Blauwen Van Coppenolle 169/03. Jordy was paired to Lolita BE02-4400300, which is the last daughter of stock cock Zwarte Pau 348/88 (a direct Daniel Aerens via Mark De Backer) x Blauw Norman 256/92 (a direct N. & F. Norman and a full sister of the 1st Nat. Argenton). Click here for the list of achievements of Jordy.
New Ace has found a new home among the other champions at the PIPA Elite Center. Click here for the full pedigree of New Ace.
Monti (BE10-4031613) took over the lead in 2013 with two provincial wins
Wilson did not have to wait long for a new champion to rise up. His new star is a son of the excellent long distance pigeon Zwarte Vlieger (BE07-4046731) and the hen Geschelpte Brinkman (BE07-4351153). Monti was destined to make it to the top. Click here for the pedigree of Monti.
Long distance champion Monti
This is his impressive list of achievements:
2011: Angerville reg 436 YL 30 Vierzon OVV 570 YL 105 FVOV 4,366 YL 300 Chatearoux reg 716 YL 64 prov 6,148 YL 223 zone 10,587 YL 587 nat 25,263 YL 1072 Argenton reg 690 YL 58 prov 4,948 YL 235 zone 8,000 YL 423 nat 19,782 YL 817 2012: Pont reg 252 p. 19 Angerville reg 237 p. 70 Vierzon OVV 754 p. 34 FVOV 5,893 p. 126 Perpignan reg 152 p. 44 prov 1,150 p. 261 nat 6,661 p. 1495 int 16,793 p. 4058 2013: Noyon reg 488 p. 57 Ecouen reg 333 p. 37 Montelimar reg 49 p. 1 prov 471 p. 1 zone 803 p. 1 nat 5,952 p. 9 Libourne reg 112 p. 33 prov 1,480 p. 246 zone 2,498 p. 528 nat 6,658 p. 772 Souillac reg 64 p. 1 prov 1,250 p. 1 zone 2,435 p. 6 nat 5,282 p. 7 Tulle prov 1,605 p. 289 zone 2,572 p. 401 nat 7,350 p. 1281
These are without doubt excellent results. Monti has now been moved to the breeding loft.
He appears to be part of an outstanding bloodline as well: two pure brothers have won great prizes in many races as well, ranging from Ecouen to Montauban. The sire of Monti, Zwarte Vlieger (BE07-4046731), is winner of national and international top prizes from St.-Vincent, Barcelona, Perpignan and Montauban, which again proves the quality of this bloodline.
Sterke Zwarten (sire of Monti)
Altitude tent avant la lettre
We did not notice anything special about the caretaking in the loft of Wilson and Lydie but there was one thing that caught our attention: the pigeons are housed in some form of altitude tent. The underside of the lofts is opened (covered with grids) so that fresh air can flow into the loft without causing any draught. The young birds are kept in the aviary so they basically live in open air. This is an innovative system that resembles an altitude tent and it prevents the pigeons from contracting any respiratory diseases.
Some rules of thumb
- 85 young birds were bred from 45 breeding pairs in the first round.
- Pigeons are being paired fairly early and the young birds have to gain a lot of experience first but the young cocks are not selected yet. Long distance pigeons need some time to develop and they reach their best form at a later age.
- 71 widowers compete in all long distance races and they can win a top prize in the middle distance from time to time as well.
- The pigeons are treated against tricho and coccidiosis but there are ususually no preventive treatments.
- The lofts are cleaned twice a day.
- The pigeons get a lot of tea, because this seems to makes the pigeons fit without much effort.
- Wilson always provides a lot of feed and he always provides the same amount, because the pigeons are basketed in the lofts.
- Some sweet seeds and peeled sunflower seeds are provided on the day before basketing.
- The cocks can see their hen before being basketed.
- The pigeons get electrolytes and grape sugar after they arrive home.
- Wilson is not happy with the synthetic baskets that are being used today to transport pigeons. He is also afraid that pigeons will get infections more easily via fertilizers.
The oxygen rich lofts of Wilson
A visit to the loft of Lydie and Wilson is always inspiring. They are passionate fanciers and they seem to motivate others to spend more time in the loft as well. We wish them all the best for next season!