De Baere Gust, "Compensation in breeding"

Jef (left) and Gust Debaere

When Mr. Gust De Baere, the fourth famous Belgian breeder to tell of his breeding methods, and his brother decided to start with pigeons in the middle 1950s, they have also heard of the almost legendary feats of the great "Klaren".
This famous pigeon, bred in 1946, brought fame to the Belgian town of Nokere and directly contributed in large measure to the prosperity which his owner, the now deceased Mr. Matthys, was able to enjoy in his old age. "De Klaren" flew from 1947 to 1952 and earned R 8100.00 in price money from races for the combination Desmet-Matthys.
He was also a superb breeder because his progeny flew equally well and in turn produced still more champions.
It would be unpardonable to omit the name of Mr. Theo Guilbert of Zulte who bred a family of pigeons which formed the basis of many other Belgium lofts. "De Klaren"s mother came from this family.
When the brothers De Baere started pigeons in 1955 they were aware of the fame of "De Klaren" and therefore hastened to acquire pigeons from the lofts of Mr. Theo Guilbert. These pigeons were mated with descendants of "De Klaren" and they have built a family around this basis.
Their pigeons excel in both the middle and long distances, although they believe in specialisation. For this reason the De Baeres would not easily basket a pigeon for a long distance race which had given proof of its ability to fly well over a middle distance race.
Mr. Gust Debaere became the breeder of the partnership whilst brother Jef attended to the racing. The partnership has become famous over the last 18 years and the combined results of the lofts of Desmet-Matthys and Bros De Baere have placed Nokere on a par with Moere (where can be found the lofts of Cattrysse and Oscar Devriendt) for pigeons fanciers the world over.
The De Baere brothers have already won the title for long and middle distance champions and pigeons from their lofts are producing winners in various countries.
Mr. Gust De Baere also selects and classes pigeons and his selection is based upon the following points.

The initial impressions gained when handling a pigeon are important.
The pigeon must have a soft silk-like feathering, be well balanced and should have a well muscled body.

The wing must be supple, with thin and well formed flights. Mr. De Baere likes to see a wing with the first primary flight at least 1 cm longer than the last secondary flight.
This "décalage" as it is called in French improves the wing and is an essential characteristic of the fast pigeon. The openings between the last three flights could be anything from 2 to 3 cm and these flights should be of equal length if at all possible.

The head must be strong with the eye placed as high as possible, preferable above the extension of the beak line. The eye colour does not concern him except with regard to mating. He prefers to mate a dark eye to a clear brilliant eye. Dark brown or orange coloured eyes are mated to pearl eyes. His own experience is that the pearl eyes bred from such matings became excellent racers.
Furthermore he believes in matings where the one pigeon's qualities compensate for its mate's shortcomings or faults.