JUNE - Blog Entry -The youngsters are doing fine!

The lawn has finally become a real ‘greenfield’! The sunshine and the warmer temperatures ( 15C° - 20C°) are joyful for everyone everything: the pigeons, the garden as well as the fanciers! With a bit of sunshine, it all looks a bit better. The pigeons also enjoy the first sunshine. When the darkened windows open at my youngster loft in the morning, I wait half an hour before the youngsters are ready to make their morning training: the flutter out of their loft!
The youngsters are having their first training flights scheduled. It is the first time they will be in the transport baskets. To get them used to the baskets I put a few on the loft for some days, so the youngsters can freely walk in and out the baskets. I also feed the youngsters in this basket and put them one by one in the basket, so they get the feeling of being ‘captured’. It is important the youngsters get used to this strange object on their loft. From now on it is a bit of puzzling to let all the birds train at least once a day: the widow hens I release in the late afternoon, so when I get back from my work! In meantime the hens fly, it is for me a moment to relax: I sit on the bench under the garden shed and I enjoy to see them train hard! I have to watch the hens closely so they don’t get the time to discover the cocks in the open aviary! When I get to close to the widowloft, the hens come out of the sky and the training is over. Those hens are really devoted to me! Till now on there hasn’t been a preditor bird in the neighborhood, but I am cautious! I am not so keen to let the youngsters train when I am not in the neighborhood! With the youngsters, I mean the 1sth and 2nd round. The 3th round I release when the others lofts have trained, so around 7 pm they get open loft! The 3rd round is living in an open aviary and are not darkened. Cocks and hens live together for the rest of the season. They will only be trained for up till 200 km, next year, they get a full race schedule. With the summertime hour that has been in place recently, it stays daylight till about 20.30 pm, so they get the chance to train also. I try to arrange the pigeon sport with my job, so I can fit it all in to my daily schedule!
Some pigeons from my loft have been subscribed for a national and some foreign loft races.
I subscribed the pigeons together with a friend of mine. We find it quite exciting to see how my birds are doing in foreign country with another climate. You can follow our results under the team name: Vereecke – Moris.

I subscribed for the Algarve Golden Race (Portugal) with 3 birds (www.goldenalgarve.com). The pigeons are already in Portugal and are probably exploring their new loft in Monte Gordo. The final race is on the 26th of September. Also 3 birds are participating in the Danish Pigeon Race (Danmark), the final race here is from Göttingen, about 400 km, and at last, 5 birds for the Debry Brod one loft race in Croatia.

For the one loft race in my own country, Belgium, I bred 10 birds for the biggest one loft race here, The Belgian Master!
The Belgian Master, can be followed from now on: www.belgianmaster.com under the sub title ‘deelnemers’ you can see our team (Thailand) Prapat & Jumnong & Vereecke with 10 birds in the most famous Belgian one loft race. Soon, you can follow the training flight on this website. I will keep you up to date!
By the way, my widowhens did very well at the last race (349 km), I started with at 18th place from 1101 yearbirds! We keep working on it!




4-30-15 Blog Entry - Let the Lawn Grows!


LetthelawngrowThe garden work have come to an end!   The lawn has been sown.  In contradiction to what most pigeon fanciers like, I wish there would be a little bit of soft rain, to get de grass seeds germ.  I am not a football addict, but now there are 3 happy coloured footballs in our garden, so we can roll them over the ground to keep the curious pigeons off the ground.  In the meantime there has been another carpentry work going on in the small loft of the widow hens. Last Sunday morning what was supposed to be a lazy Sunday, we got started for some changes in their loft.  The yearling hens were sitting on shelves and my dad made a wooden framework with chicken wire in it, so the hens couldn't leave their shelves... Now, some of the most 'naughty girls' found a way to escape... they fold their wings together and throw themselves between the shelves, result: damaged wings and tail feathers! Some of them were hanging between the shelves.  So, we took the shelves out and placed in widowhood boxes.  Under each box there is a grid, so the birds are always sitting on a clean and dry floor.  Under the grid is a shelve so I can easily clean the boxes while the hens are in it.   The hens are now living in the boxes and only come out to train and to eat.  I never wanted to do this, but the boxes are extra-large and the hens are going into the box themselves, so they can take it easy and relax all day.  At the end of March the widow cocks and hens are being reunited. After that they can breed for about 5 days.  Afterwards they start the racing season. These yearling birds have been trained a couple of times up till 50 km. For me those moments are like a bit of a holiday to me: nice music ,a coffee mug, newspaper...  I spent a lot of time on training the birds on constructive distance training flights.   I believe also that yearling birds and old birds need this training year after year, to explore their orientation sense organ.  I also do this in the assumption the birds will less suffer from stress on the transport in the baskets.

Most of the youngsters of the 3th round are ready to be weaned.  They are housed in on open aviary and not with the older youngster who are living in a wooden and closed loft.  It is the first time that I will race those late youngsters.  There program will be very simple: training, and participating the races up to 200 km and that will be it for their season.  Hens and cocks will live here together and these birds are not being ‘put in the dark’ so they will quickly start moulding.  Everything I experience in the pigeon racing, breeding,… I take notes in my ‘pigeon diary’ so I can learn from it year after year. Most of the older youngsters have found their own spot in the loft. Every bird gets the opportunity to have its own place in the loft.  The pigeons with the most sanguineous character have chosen a box in the cock’s compartment.  When they were younger they didn’t make it an issue to share their box with 2 of 3 other youngsters, but those days are gone! 


2-27-15 Blog Entry - Making Plans!


At the moment, there is not a lot of job with the pigeons, it is rather calm: taking care of the breeders, looking after the youngsters.   I also appreciate a less busy period.  Now, it is the time for carpentry!  My dad has made a small, temporary loft for about 4 couples.  It is made under a garden shed with recycled materials, wood  grates for on top of the wooden floor… We closed every hole with garden wire.  Here in the area we have some foxes and weasels.  The can get through even a very tiny opening.  The chickens of my neighbor were killed by one of these preditors!

The team of youngsters is exploring the surroundings of the loft!  It is great to see they are enjoying themselves a lot! The first days in the outdoor, they were afraid of the smallest birds flying over, but now some of them are giving the best they can by flying in circles around their loft!  The weather conditions are not very pleasant at the moment, with temperature around the freezing  point and a northern wind blowing.  But they don’t know any other weather conditions: they were grown in an open loft, an aviary.  These youngsters are very  well adapted to cold weather. From the day the youngsters were weaned, I started to shuffle a plastic can with grains  every time they got fed.  After a few weeks now, they know the ‘ritual’ and I can call them into the  loft after an hour or two in the outdoor, wonderful! For me it is a signal to keep on going  this way, a reward for the time I spend with the pigeons. Most of the youngsters are well used to my presence.  Every time I visit my loft, I try to hold several youngsters, so they become used to my hands.  When I train the youngsters, there has to be a calm and relaxed atmosphere, so the birds are not stressed.

I am already making plans for the coming season.  In March we start racing the yearlings  and old birds.  The races with the youngsters  starts in May.   I have a small  loft with 2 compartments: 9 cocks and 9 hens.  The cocks are living in nest boxes, the hens are sitting on wooden shelves, during the racing season.  At the moment, the widow hens are living  in a  open aviary.  They don’t train at the moment.  The hens will stay in the aviary till the beginning of March.  Other years, the hens stayed  in  their racing loft, but the time between the bringing up of the youngsters (January) and the beginning of the training schedule (March) was too long.  Some of the female birds were mated with another hen, which is not so good…

Other years, I used to race the cocks and also there hens, at the same race.  But, after a few weeks, there was lack of motivation: a male came home after a long race and his ‘girlfriend’ wasn’t home yet…well, after a few races, you can imagine…This year for the first time I will only race, probably , the hens.    My system of racing both sexes, is due to the little space and the small number of pigeons that live on my loft. The food for the widow loft is like a real diet: lots of tea, apple vinegar, 100 % barley and some wild seeds!

The second round of youngsters is now being born. 

All the youngsters have a band with my phone number.  Last week I received a phone call from a fancier nearby, about 1000 yards to the north.   That day there was a cold northeast wind in the air.  It didn’t bother of the youngsters. The loft stayed open, so they could  choose, inside are outdoors!  I was surprised that this youngster got in the air, up against the wind and landed on the fanciers  loft with his youngsters!  Incredible!  A bit of a character!  Some fanciers don’t pick up youngsters after they get lost, but I always want to give them a decent chance! Who doesn’t get lost sometimes…




1-12-15 Blog Entry - Pigeonracing as a new chapter in my life!

First of all may I introduce myself.  I’m one of the few female pigeon fanciers in Belgium.  I got started as a complete 'rookie' in the world of racing pigeon sport.  For all kinds of  sport of skills there are classes, education or workshops, but not for racing pigeons.  There are books, magazines, websites, but I explored it most of all myself, with big errors, but also with successes.  Each fancier has its own method.  Each system must adapted to one's home situation, job, ... For me a pigeon is like a music instrument.  As a fancier you feel connected with your birds but you also must practice a lot to become a perfect team; the fancier and his birds.  It is a challenge to get your 'athletes' that far so they  want to get home before the others and also they need the physical and mental skills.  My success has been my rigorous way of selecting after I raced them for a complete season.  Due to little space I need to make a strong selection.   That has been the key to my success.  Year after year my racing results were getting better.  I spent a lot of time on my loft.  I love being with the birds, make them curious, so they sit on my shoulders, shoes...they may show no fear of those who take care of their loft.  

Pigeon racing is not a tradition  in my family.  It all started in 2007 when I joined the local club in my village,Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Waver.  I only had a couple of youngsters from a fancier in the neighbourhood.  Soon enough I wanted to expand my little loft.   A small garden shed was rebuild to a fine racing pigeon home.  The lawnmower and the garden chairs got a new location.   In the beginning I only raced with younsters on the short distance races (up to 200 km).  Due to the small housing, I could only keep a few yearlingbirds.   In 2010 I already achieved the title of ace pigeon with  the younsters in my club.  2010 was also the year I started racing the middle distance with about 40 youngsters. 

In 2014 we moved to a new location.  A bigger garden, so more space in the future for another pigeon loft...  With a group of friends and other fanciers we moved the complete loft on a trailer to its new location, some 7 kilometers further.  
In Belgium, the racingseason starts in april and goes on till september.    Most fanciers put the pairing up in the beginning of december for breeding youngsters.  The bandnumbers are available on old years day.    We try to have the birds not older than 10 days so we can easely put their bandnumbers on.  It’s incredible that those youngsters participate on races further than 400 km and up in the beginning of august! 
Every year I find it amazing!

Best results:

2009:     most prices (youngsters)

2010:     most prices (youngsters)

All round champion local club + champion youngsters on the race Quiévrain (short distance, 95 km)) + ace pigeon (youngsters) + Bricon Trophy 42°

2011:     8 x first price

2012:     5 x first price + Tipes one loft race Derby Mallorca 12° (final race)

National Bourges (469 km)  (yearbirds): 1° local club – 85°/862 regional – 187°/4782 national  

2013:     champion middle distance 1° + acepigeon (yearbird) + 2° champion middle distance (youngsters)

                Bourges (469 km): 41°/18478 national (youngsters) + 56°/11883 national (yearbirds)

2014:     Acepigeon middle distance (youngsters) + 2° champion middle distance (youngsters)