And off we go to Yvegem, like they call Ingooigem locally. With view on the shopping mall ‘Molecule’ we find the house of Ginette Dewaele (76y). Ginette is, like they say in the West-Flemish dialect ‘een dulle’, meaning ‘brave’, ‘stout-hearted’, ‘brisk’…she worked hard her entire life, has raised 6 children and burst from energy and enthusiasm. Her husband passed away 4 years ago and before she also took care of her parents who lived in the same house. She never was afraid of being bored after a very active life. She cleans the house and the property thoroughly and everything is always very tidy and neat.
In the past she raced the pigeons together with her husband and all the lofts are still present.
The other side of the tandem is Barry (Ivan) Deseyn. Barry is 62 year, and comes out of the pigeon family Deseyn-Vandemeulebroucke from Vichte and was looking out to race the pigeons again after their total sale in 1989. Barry retired 5 years ago and after a long career as a truck driver and not too much time to practice his favourite hobby, he could start over again. Ginette and her husband go back a long time with Barry and from one thing came the other. They agreed racing together again. And this was obviously a very good decision.
A well-oiled team
What is a tandem when the chain hasn’t been oiled good enough and the gears creak? Well, you can find the opposite over here. Clear appointments were made, each his tasks and a good understanding leads into wonderful results.
At the sale of the very successful tandem Deseyn-Vandemeulebroucke (1 national Limoges, 1 national Narbonne and many more), 16 pigeons were sold in recall. This breeding loft was Barry’s and this is also the base of the pigeons of their current racing team.
The 15 breeding couples reside at Barry, where off a few of them in a breeding box. They are being coupled early and the eggs of the best couples are being replaced to the feeding couples so they can have about 50 early youngsters. They race the entire program, pigeon sport as a pure hobby but every week until the ‘Round of Belgium’. Other blood strains in this colony are: Battaille Ivan (now tandem Deprez-Battaille) from Zwevegem, tandem Dubrul-Verbeke from Kuurne, Secember Dirk from Waregem (short distance pigeons), Devlaminck Eric from Hulste, Devlaminck-Vandecasteele from Hulste and the old strain from Sylvère Toye from Otegem (strain ‘Zatopek’ and ‘Goudklompje’).
The racing pigeons reside at Ginette. The racing team exists of 35 widow cocks (15 old ones and 20 year birds). These don’t breed before the racing season, but after the racing season they can raise a nest. By not letting them breed before the season, they will keep their feathers longer during the season. In Winter they stay separated and fly out at normal and clear weather. To keep off the Winter condition Ginette keeps the feeding in control. The widow cocks live onto 4 lofts (2 lofts for the year birds and 2 lofts for the old ones). Year birds that succeed in their exam can move onto the old birds loft. There is a vision in this way of handling. Barry and Ginette like to race as from the very first race and train when the first Spring days arise, a first loft of old pigeons. This team can be used for the 1st races. The other 3 lofts are being trained a bit later and are being used for the nationals.
Clean, cleanst, ….Ginette
This is about the sequence we had in mind after our visit. The word ‘spotless’ isn’t strong enough to describe the condition of the lofts. The lofts are being cleaned at least twice a day, the youngsters loft even three times a day. Ginette likes to have everything in order and also has a very good contact with her pigeons like this. A part of the lofts (of the youngsters) which was empty during our visit, were spic & span. Everything is being cleaned, scrubbed with bleach and seems new, totally once a year, sometimes even more than once a year. This kind of discipline is being used for the global caring of the colony. She is being helped by Barry who is meanly responsible for the breeding, races, which pigeons will be basketed and also the social aspect (!) of the pigeon sport. Barry loves to be around and among pigeon fanciers in the club. The PR also needs to be ok, says a winking Barry.
Training, racing, feeding, caring
The widow cocks train once a day early in Spring and twice with good weather. They can train freely (but with closed windows) and in the beginning of the season Barry likes to get a ball into the air to get some spirit in. The training is the barometer, they don’t have to train long but there has to be ‘schwung’ in it and have to explode above the loft when they are in condition.
They race as well middle distance, long distance and extreme long distance and this with a small colony. This asks for a consequent handling in matter of feeding. Also this looks very logical over here. The pigeons who are about to be basketed that week are being provided with a note that has the first letter of the day of basketing on (W for Wednesday, T for Thursday and so on…). This is how Ginette knows how she has to prepare the pigeons for basketing. They only have 2 kinds of fodder namely a sports mixture and pure barley. The fodder is being bought together with a few other fanciers at Bonduelle. Good, decent food. In the quiet period of the year they get 50/50 sport and barley. As basketing is getting closer this becomes 100% sport with one spoon in the morning and one spoon in the evening. The day of basketing they get as much as they can eat with a treat of small corn. They are being spoiled daily with 2 or 3 peanuts and a sniff of candy. As Ginette cleans the lots twice a day, all the leftovers are being removed in time
They basket really quiet (as they have many home stayers) with a short ‘smell’ of their nest dish. The year birds know the game rather quick as they are being raced on sliding doors as youngsters and know the widowhood even before they become a year bird.
Not a lot of fuzz with supplements, the pigeons do get Columbine tea every fortnight and electrolytes at homecoming. Mostly and preferably they poor fresh water into the drinking pots.
The medical follow up is limited and in hands of Pascal Lanneau. Before the season there’s a check-up and preferably not treated. Tricho is being suppressed individually by administering half a tablet Flagyl. At a race where they have to be in the basket for 3 days they also get half a tablet of Flagyl. The pigeons don’t suffer from many other ailments. At basketing and homecoming the pigeons get a drop in the eyes to avoid inflammations or eye injury.
The youngsters are being raced on sliding doors. In 2017 10 young cocks will be coupled to old hens on a small loft. The youngsters team is being darkened from the end of February till the 21st of June from 17h30 till 8 o‘clock in the morning. The young cocks race from 300 to 400km (provincial races). The young hens are being raced fully on the national flights. The youngsters who have raced the nationals are being raced on the ‘Round of Belgium’ in the after season as well.
Which results do you need to become the 1st national champion long distance?
The national championship was won with underneath results:
9th of July Limoges 143rd ,530th national 6,946b
16th of July Jarnac 47th ,162nd national 3,904b
30th of July Tulle 18th ,50th provincial 1,176b
In 2016 they won some local, provincial and national classifications namely :
1st champion Belgium LD year birds (won with 5 different pigeons)
1st champion year birds club Rekkem national races
1st General Champion club Ingooigem old-yb-youngsters short distance and middle distance
1st champion youngsters lngooigem short distance and middle distance
1st champion Round of Belgium Ingooigem 1-2-3-4 signed
2nd champion old Ingooigem short distance and middle distance
4th champion youngsters national races Avelgem
4th champion youngsters Westflemish Union
Ace bird youngsters middle distance Ingooigem-Anzegem
Ace bird youngsters Round of Belgium
The three musketeers
There are 3 brothers on the lofts in Ingooigem who raced a nice palmares.
The father of these pigeons is the ‘Blauwe Pol’ (BE11-3165542) and the mother is ‘Battaille 01’ (BE11-3112701) direct Ivan Battaille from Vichte.
Argenton 2nd prov 1,266b
Argenton 1st loc 231b
Arras 5th 178b
Clermont 5th 250b
Agen 22nd prov 799b
Tulle 49th prov 1,028b
Poitiers 54th prov 2,621b
Clermont 153rd prov 6,891b
Brionne 2nd 373b
Tours 3rd prov 5,679b
La Soutteraine 5th prov 1,598b
La Soutteraine 8th nat 11,236b
Tulle 14th nat 5,976b
Poitiers 52nd nat 12,379b
Tours 64th prov 6,400b
Limoges 86th nat 7,221b
Argenton 3rd prov 3,339b
Argenton 2nd lok 459b
Clermont 9th 5,482
Chateauroux 44th prov 4,392b
Chateauroux 3rd 218b
Tulle 50th prov 1,176b
Chateauroux 64th prov 5,614b
Argenton 86th prov 1,907b
A few nice results 2016
Local 11,23,253 (3/3) 818 yb
Prov 64,144,1513 (3/3) 5,614b
Local 2,10,153 (3/3) 459b
Prov 3,33,834 (3/3) 3,339b
Local 8,17 (2/2) 113 old
Prov 22,90 (2/2) 799b
Local 1 (1/2) 79 yb
Prov 5 (1/2) 642b
Nat 5 (1/2) 2,932b
Local 10,28 (2/2) 142yb
Prov 49,161 (2/2) 1,243yb
Local 23,41 (2/3) 324yb
Prov 86,204 (2/3) 1,907yb
Local 38,66 (2/2) 260yb
Prov 164,266 (2/2) 1,159b
Local 9,19 (2/2) 120yb
Prov 28,80 (2/2) 772yb
Local 13,15,36,44,51 (5/6) 222 y
Prov 149,165,714,873,1119 (5/6) 1,119 y
Local 20,21 (2/2) 173 old
Prov 48,49 (2/2) 1028b
Local 8,21 (2/2) 179 yb
Prov 18,50 (2/2) 1,176yb
Local 13,38,53,75 (4/6) 388 y
Prov 67,148,234,267,828 (5/6) 3,368 y
Local 5,13,17,56 (4/6) 176y
Prov 35,76,86,354,611 (5/6) 1,887b
What will 2017 bring? There isn’t a lack of enthusiasm when you see Ginette and Barry. They are sharpening their knives all quietly to make a top season once again, but to outdo a national title will be huge challenge !