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Ally Norbert & Stefan (Aarsele) 1st National champion young birds KBDB 2022

01 Jun 2023

Although the first national race of the 2023 season is just behind us, we would still like to highlight the national champion youngsters great middle distance KBDB 2022. Winner of this championship was the Ally family from Aarsele in West Flanders. Norbert and son Stefan Ally are certainly not unknown names in our international pigeon sport. Their palmares with no less than 4 national victories are more than worth seeing. Add to this the numerous national and provincial championship titles and it needs no we are sitting around the table with a great champion. It is also a loft that can reinvent itself every year. When the important middle-distance and one-day long distance races arrive, they are always ready with their team to shine at the front of the races. Not an easy task, but for them it is a constant.

An overview of their main titles - at national KBDB level - can and will only confirm this:
1st, 2nd, 4th National Souillac '10 against 7,039b.
1st National Montauban '15 against 3,990b.
1st National Angoulème '18 against 5,030b.
1st National Cahors '21 against 3,651b. 
1st National Champion young birds KBDB 2022
1st General Champion KBDB 2010
2nd General Champion KBDB 2016
2nd National champion young pigeons KBDB 2015
2nd National ace great middle distance young pigeons KBDB 2015
3rd National ace pigeon long-distance KBDB old pigeons 2020
3rd National ace pigeon small middle distance young pigeons KBDB 2017

Wonderful performances which many of us would shout it loudly from the rooftops, but Norbert and Stefan are not like that. No... sobriety boasting, no naughty predictions but reasoned work and very well aware that such achievements do not just fall out of the sky. They keep themselves modest and humble and refute everything with deeds and less with words. Everything well considered in the approach with, above all, great respect for the pigeon. Norbert as a doctor of veterinary medicine, respect for animals is a common thread throughout his life.
Behind all these unique achievements there is a well thought-out plan. Knowing where you want to go as a fancier and then doing everything necessary to achieve the predetermined goal. 

 A strong foundation in the breeding loft
Norbert: "The breeding loft is the mainstay of any strong performing colony. If things already go wrong here, you can forget top performances. And here too, the lines in which to play football must be clearly limned. If we take early prizes nationally, it is usually in hot weather and headwinds. If you know that, you should also pick up pigeons that do not have the word "give up" in their dictionary in such weather conditions. Focused investment and watching the board is very important. Personally, we were lucky to invest immediately at the source of some very strong performing colonies when we started up our colony. My first pigeons and I am speaking of the mid-80s were from Gaby Vandenabeele, Gilbert Van Parijs and Norman Norbert & Filip. Coincidence brought me to these fanciers. I graduated as a veterinarian in '74 and despite the fact that I was mainly busy with cows and pigs, Gilbert Van Parijs was here regularly with manure samples of his pigeons to examine. Gilbert lived only 500m away from here. Gilbert was a good friend of Gaby Vandenabeele, an accountant at the time, and since I was looking for an accountant, the link was quickly made. Shortly afterwards, Gilbert became head keeper with Norbert Norman, and the rest is history. 
If you can pour the foundation of your colony with such pigeons, you are already on the right track. In 1990, I built my pigeon loft and was back at Gaby Vandenabeele's front door. A son of "Kleinen" and a son of "Wittenbuik" became my showpieces and made me dream of top performances. 
Recently, we were very successful with pigeons from Gaston Van de Wouwer (line "Kaasboer" - several toppers were bred from this line), Marc and Geert Pollin (a daughter of "Provincial Poitiers" - became mother of 1st Nat. Montauban), Erik Limbourg (out of "Blue Ace" and a half-sister of "Gilbert Junior", this one became mother of 1st Nat. Cahors 2021) , Willem de Bruijn (son "Zidane" and this one became father of 1st Nat. Angoulème). All these pigeons added value to my basic pigeons. A base that should give toppers from 200km to 750km.
A word about the breeders. My breeders are divided into 3 groups. Category A are the best breeders and from this series the eggs are shifted among feeders couples during winter breeding. Category B may breed two rounds where they have to raise their young themselves. Category C are mainly feeder couples. Family breeding is possible, but not too dense inbreeding.
Good performance pigeons become breeders. When pairing, little attention is paid to the pedigree. Compensatory pairing is done. We pair good x good. Pairs that have already given good breeding results are put back together again."

KBDB national champion youngsters 
The 2022 season was not an easy one. Especially for the youngsters, it was a weekly "fight" against high temperatures and headwinds. Not for everyone, but the Ally pigeons felt just that little bit stronger in these weather conditions. 
The national championship will be played with 1st and 2nd pigeon issued. A choice may be made from the provincial, zonal or national results of 3 of the 4 organised national young pigeon races. Father and son Ally won the title with a coefficient of 15.43%, beating fanciers De Troy Wim (16.03%) and Piens Bart (22.07%).


Norbert and Stefan continue: "Although our main aim is to race the old and yearling pigeons, we do not leave the youngsters to their fate. Every year we ring about 200 youngsters, which constantly have to pass various selection standards. A good basic health is super important and if it already goes wrong there, one should never expect top condition. One of the most important "condition determiners" is the loft itself. Every loft is different and if I change something at my loft it does not mean that the same change will be equally effective at your loft. For example with us, putting aviaries in front of the racing lofts was a real blessing. Especially during the hot summer months. Our lofts are south-east facing and built in Yton blocks with cavity wall which guarantees a constant temperature. All flight lofts have bean straw as flooring. This bean straw is refreshed every 6 weeks. 


System youngsters
From the end of February until 20 June, the youngsters are darkened from 18.30 to 8 in the morning. Once the darkening is lifted, they are no longer lighted. 
When the youngsters are 4 weeks old they are vaccinated with Paramyxo/Rota, which is repeated 3 weeks later. Once the youngsters are 3 months old there is a vacination Paramyxo/Pox and afterwards there is another Parathyphus vaccination (without prior medicine treatment). The conclusion of this much targeted vaccination is that the youngsters remain healthier. The well-known "adeno - young pigeon disease" is almost non-existent. 
Once the vaccination planning has been completed, the training basket is taken from under the dust and in about 12 steps the pigeons head for 30 km. Afterwards, they go with the club to sprint, middle-distance and national races. It is important to know that especially the young hens are played on the national races. With the young cocks we play more "reserved" with their future as widowers always in mind. We want our young cocks to gain enough experience, but they should certainly not go into the red because that is guaranteed to avenge themselves in their later career as widowers.
In terms of feed, we choose Versele-Laga's "Plus mix". These are grains with extruded pellets (minerals + amino acids) or a complete menu. 
The youngsters fly alternately a speed and a middle distance/national race. Upon returning home on Saturday and also on Sunday, an easily digestible mixture is fed with animal protein (yoghurt) and pellets (egg products, P40, Nutripower). On Monday, it becomes a low-protein feed (Gerry Plus). On Tuesday, it becomes 50% Gerry Plus + 50% Super diet. On Wednesday, it is then high-energy mixture depending on the programme and weather forecast. On Thursday, basketing day, it then becomes 100% energy-rich mixture. Sometimes some oil is added to the feed + "All in one" powder or Variamix (Gerard Koopman).
During the season, the racers are checked on a very regular basis. If a tricho infection is found in the youngsters, the whole group is treated with Tricho Plus (double dose). Our youngsters hardly suffer from head diseases. This probably has to do with the good loft climate and if a young pigeon comes back "on the road" after a few days, it is separated and treated individually for 3 days so it can return to the loft completely free of diseases. 

Some toppers of Norbert and Stefan


A relief to visit players like the Ally family. No flashy stuff, but proof with results. A strong breeding loft, a rock solid base to which fresh blood is added now and then. Well thought-out care and leaving little to chance. No doubt they will be back at the front of the tables in 2023.

Congratulations from the Herbots team !

Stefan Mertens/Geert Dhaenens