The young birds' races of 2017
The young birds' races have no secrets for the team of Embregts-Theunis. They have been remarkably successful in this discipline over the years, and again in 2017. They have competed in six races so far, winning the following prizes in Rayon 2, CC Westhoek '70 of Province 2 Brabant 2000:
08-7-2017 Lessines, 111 km and 1,537 pigeons in the race 2-4-5-9-11-13-14-15-17-18-20-21-22-28-29-30-31-32-33-34-35-36-38-39-58-60-61-62- 64-etc.(122/43) 15-7-2017 Quievrain, 142 km and 1,496 pigeons in the race 1-2-13-14-15-16-18-20-21-28-29-30-31-44-48-53-54-57-69-70-74-82-84-85-86-89-93- 95-etc.(106/45) 29-7-2017 Morlincourt, 248 km and 1,294 pigeons in the race 2-3-4-16-20-24-26-30-31-33-53-55-62-68-71-75-77-94-etc.(102/43) 05-8-2017 Creil, 298 km and 1,316 pigeons in the race 3-4-12-14-15-17-18-19-23-27-28-29-30-32-35-36-37-43-51-60-61-65-67-69-72-73-74-75- 76-etc.(102/64) 13-8-2017 Pt.-St.-Maxence, 289 km and 1,005 pigeons in the race 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-18-19-20-25-26-27-28-34-37-41-43-44-47-55- 57-58-59-63-etc.(98/51) 19-8-2017 Fontenay-sur-Eure, 417 km and 737 pigeons in the race 1-2-3-4-5-6-9-10-12-13-15-16-17-20-21-30-31-33-34-37-40-42-55-56-58-etc.(91/50)
As you can tell, this team has been getting some incredible results and many top prizes almost on a weekly basis, with an impressive 65 top 20 placings against an average of 1230 pigeons. This is quite remarkable!
What is their secret?
I asked Peter that very question, and this is what he told me: "Our pigeons' everyday health is very important to us. They drink Naturaline mixed with garlic every other day throughout the year. Pigeons that get sick are simply dropped from the team. We had a few adeno treatments this year, and the birds were smoked out once as well. They have a training flight twice a day with the flag. For the final races the youngsters complete an additional mid-week training flight of about 30km, after which they can see each other for an hour. They are no longer together on Thursday, and they are taken from the loft as such. The pigeons are separated halfway the races and usually after a few hours at the end of a race, depending on the difficulty.
The youngsters fly out at a fairly young age, from mid to late March, in small increments, and on a weekly basis. We also breed selectively, using only pairings in which one partner has done well as a racing bird. In addition, I select pigeons on their overall health. In fact, we have had fewer losses compared to prevous seasons. Every week I look for pigeons that should no longer be on the team because they are not up for it, and that includes pigeons that were injured. I noticed over the years that injured pigeons tend to develop a fear of flying, which prevents them from getting decent results."
Peter has no clue as to why he has been getting such great resuts in recent weeks: "If I knew, I would be doing the exact same thing every week. I guess that the slight headwind has been a factor; my pigeons usually perform better at speeds of less than 1400 m/min, which gives them the opportunity to stand out from the others." We thank Peter Theunis for his candour.
Favourite young birds
It would be almost impossible to talk you through each single young bird in this team, so we asked Peter to show us his most favourite birds instead.
- NL17-3715065 Golden Ace: with 1st Quievrain 5,214 p., 2nd Lessines 4,550 p.
- NL17/3715057 Lichte Super Rossi: 3rd Pont-St.-Max. 3,462 p., 11th Lessines 4,550 p., 23rd Creil 1,316 p.
- NL17-3715027 Athena's Rossi: 17th Lessines 4,550 p., 21st Quievrain 1,496 p., 28th Pont-St.-Max. 1,005 p.
- NL17-3714984 Maximal Rocket: 4th Morlincourt 1,294 p., 14th Pont-St.-Maxence 1,005 p.
- NL17-3714995 Finest Rocket: 4th Lessines 4,550 p., 11th Pont-St.-Max. 3,462 p., 18th Quievrain 1,496 p.
Click on the pigeons' ring numbers for their respective pedigrees.
Founded on world class breeders
Peter told us he breeds very selectively, with his pigeon family revolving around the descendants of Rocketeer and Witbuik. Superrossi, from Miss Goldnugget, is an outstanding breeder in particular. No less than three of the aforementioned young birds are direct youngsters of him.
The remaining two young birds come from the line of Blue Rocket, which is a great breeder as well:
Satellite loft in Friesland
Peter Theunis works closely together with Jan Timmermans from Donkerbroek. Jan races in Province 11 Friesland, using Peter's pigeons almost exclusively, and these have been quite successful indeed. In fact, one of Peter's direct pigeons won a 1st NPO Quievrain of 13,332 pigeons in Province 11 Friesland just last weekend. A great feat.
Peter has shown over the weeks that his young birds are in great form. We have the closing races of the young birds' competition coming up, some of which are often regarded the most appealing races of the season. Will Peter be able to maintain his level of performance? We will keep you updated.