The 'Inner loft' of the partners (hens)
GeVo company at work
Slowly it gets along
The dividing walls are also supplied with layers
A total picture
3 very important persons in my life; L. van Loon, my father and J. Ryckaert
Now it’s June and the second long
distance race just ended; the season is really on
the road now. We are very happy to be spared of
too many problems like losing pigeons, birds of
prey, injured pigeons, et cetera. Things you can
never get used to as a pigeon fancier.
Luckily the condition of the pigeons is very,
very good at the moment.
Next week, when about all breeding birds are
placed on the website, I shall tell more about
the racing season and tell you of which breeders
the top prize winners descend. It will then be
easier to search for the parents of the top
racers on the website yourself.
On the way to the introduction of the top
racers, it is maybe interesting to know how the
partners of the racers are housed and how we
The hens are situated in an open aviary (no roof)
23 of 24 hours a day. Once a day we let them in to
eat and drink. The ‘inner loft’ of
these hens is divided in two sections. The first
is to eat and to drink; the floor here is made of
wooden grids. The second part is lockable and can
be darkened completely by a dividing door. That
makes it easier to put the pigeons in the basket.
In the ‘inner loft’ there are no
perches for the pigeons to sit on.
The cockbirds are housed behind the loft of the
racing hens and by means of a bolt on the bottom
side they can go to their partners.
Whole week these pigeons get a mixture of about
70% Barley and 30% All-In-One. Because I never
show the hens to the racing cocks before a race
– maximum once a year – the hens get
to eat All-In-One as much as they want on the
racing day. So they are not too hungry when their
partners return home.
For the racing hens; they get to see their
partner from the fourth or fifth race every week.
These cocks naturally get to eat enough before
they are shown to the hens.
The aviary for the ‘new loft’ is
tuned some more. Because this loft is faced in
south-western direction, we tried to dress up the
aviary more as a ‘loft’. It is roofed,
the sidewalls are covered and also the connections
are supplied with plastic layers (not entirely
transparent). The more pleasant condition in the
aviary sends out to the loft. My first impression
is we made the right move; however practice must
show the real effect.
With pain in my heart I recently had to say
goodbye to my friend and tutor Louis van Loon
from Poppel in Belgium. Almost every day I
realise that the way I home pigeons is according
to the philosophy of Louis. His farewell was
entirely in style of the way he lived his life;
Via the reports in sports magazine ‘De
Duif’ and Koos Tjeerdsma from Almelo I met
Louis in 1975/1976. In all those years Louis
always stayed the same man. Like no other he
lived pigeon sport. He woke up with pigeons, what
means when the sun came up in the summer he went
to the pigeons and when it got dark he too went
to bed. Louis learned no wisdoms in books –
he observed his pigeons with hawk eyes and tried
to transform this observations in words …
what the pigeons wanted to tell him as their
During summer I try to do just like Louis van
Loon and that is only possible when you are in a
good condition yourself. Last years of course
many pigeon-journeys came on my way and about 3
to 4 months I am away from Ermerveen. Louis used
his method non-stop for over 40 years; I believe
that made him to the most talented pigeon fancier
I ever met.
One of the many examples of Louis’s
‘no nonsense’ policy I always keep in
mind. He told me once a very good pigeon raced in
his area. When Louis heard this man was about to
sell his total colony, he went to have a look at
the crack. He checked the pigeon and believed he
was not good enough, so there was no deal. Some
years later an unknown fanciers started
performing very good; with descendants of the
pigeon Louis believed to be not good enough
… Louis was flabbergasted. He made an
appointment with the fancier and he had to
conclude that this man’s top breeder was
the pigeon Louis did not want. Descendants of
this pigeon made the man a true champion. For
Louis the signal theory is not always practice;
in pigeon sport you cannot force a thing …
I always remembered this anecdote.
After a short sickness, our Chinese colleague Pei
Jun He (Louis) had to say goodbye to his father.
For Louis as well as his family this came very
unexpected … we wish Louis and the He
family much strength in this period.
As I said, next week I shall say more about the
racers with their results and an impression on
our journey’s in wintertime. Until
Gerard & team