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Bert Vanden Berghe (Wortegem-Petegem) wins Vierzon provincial yearling East Flanders

23 May 2023

The provincial race from Vierzon is pretty much comparable to the opening classic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in cycling. It is not yet the toughest race in distance, but it is a very good fitness test and value gauge before the start of the season.
This year, however, it was a cracker. With a powerful north-east wind, it was immediately a race where ability and fitness were a must. It was hard work and due to the rather heavy run-in flights at the beginning of the season, with also mostly head winds, it was clear that it would be a race of hard work.
And so it was. The first pigeons reached 1,100 metres and for many it was a flight of more than 400 km at 1,000 metres.

A girl with power !
It was a beautiful yearling hen (BE22-4100075) on the lofts of Bert Vanden Berghe in Wortegem-Petegem that out of the entire pack of pigeons (6,489 old and 3,239 yearlings) that won the second place on the OVV-FVOV flight and the 1st place among the yearling birds.
She is of good stock. As we know, Bert built his colony years ago largely on the pigeons of Gaby Vandenabeele, supplemented by some other top lofts. In recent years, this strain was supplemented with pigeons from Jan Hooijmans, Team Platteeuw, Sorin and a few more strong races. However, he has remained true to his old good base. That old base gave him very nice successes with names like Fyther, Gloria, De Boswachter and national wins and ace pigeons. 
The father of this little hen is a direct Gaby Vandenabeele cock coupled with an hen of Paul Gevaert (former Gevaert-Lannoo tandem) from Deinze.
It is a hen that was only weaned in April last year and flew Arras and twice Clermont as a youngster.


Bert plays his hens in a system where they are paired with two hens and one cock. In early spring, the yearling hens breed with this cock and when the youngster in the nest is 10 days old, the hens are transferred to the aviary. Then the old hens are allowed to breed with this cock. 
Towards the races, the yearling hens were left together with their cock in the nest box for half an hour and later the older hen was left in the loft without having access to the pair. In this way, jealousy is sharpened....and with success apparently. Besides the 1st provincial, the 14th; 49th etc... was also achieved. The week before, these yearling hens already flew a tough race from Orleans.
The yearling hens are a bit ahead of the old hens because they were raced a bit more and earlier. So we can expect fireworks with the old hens as well.
Bert and his groom Bart are hopeful that some nice results can and will follow.
In terms of food, the hens get the Platteeuw mixture supplemented with some fine seeds and some Energie from Versele. Clearly enough to cope with a tough race apparently.
Congratulations from the Herbot team !
Geert Dhaenens