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Eddy & Maarten Leutenez, Kruishouten and Milan Leutenez, Kluisbergen think they’re up for a beautiful season !

06 Apr 2021

In conversation with…no, this would be too much credit for me. In this still difficult and confusing corona times we try to stay safe if possible and don’t go physically to the fancier but try to get things done by mail and phone. So, due to this I sent a questionary to Maarten and Eddy Leutenez to make a loft report before the start of the new season on 2021. Mostly some mails go back and forward, a phone call is being made…but underneath story was ready-to-use in my mailbox. So not only amazing fanciers, Maarten has a future as reporter in front of him ! 

Short Intro

We are Maarten and Eddy Leutenez. I (Maarten) am 35 years old. My father just turned 70. I (Maarten) live now for about 2 years in Kluisbergen, where we’ve built a new loft and race under the name of my son Milan Leutenez. My father lives in Kruishouten, where we race under the namen Leutenez Eddy and Maarten since over 10 years. This is also where the breeding lofts are. My father used to race in Semmerzake where he in eighties and especially in the nineties about everything won what could be won. Until the health issues from my father made us to sell the entire colony beginning of the years 2000. After a few years without pigeons we made a restart in Kruishoutem…. 

In fact we race all races from 100 to 800km. But we always had a preference for the youngsters game and the long distance game with the year birds. That’s where we like to focus a bit more on in comparison of the other disciplines. 

Our highlights until now :

7 x 1st  National !
5 x 2nd  National !
1 x 3rd  National !
2 x 1st National Ace bird K.B.D.B. !

Left the loft in Kluisbergen - Right the loft in Kruishoutem

How did you get interested in pigeon sport?  

My father has been racing pigeons since the seventies. He got the pigeon germ from the moment he started to help out with his neighbour back then…He got more and more interested and got his on loft rather quick after that. I didn’t see anything else since I was a kid myself, so yes…it was just a matter of time before the pigeon germ got me as well. Nevertheless it took until my later teenage years before I really got crazy about them…but since then there’s not stopping to it 😊

Could you give us a complete possible history from your pigeons and breeding strains? 

Our current strain is mainly built around base breeding couple BE04-4385201 “Jose” x BE05-4159707 “Rita” and their super daughter BE09-4108109 “Het Bolleken”. Above 3 pigeons were bought in 2009 at De Noyette José. In the summer of 2009 ‘Het Bolleken’ won the 1st Interprovincial Tours young birds. Short after her provincial victory we took a look and were all very impressed by this young hen. We bought her directly together with her parents. For the first time since our legendary ‘Super Crack’ (see underneath) we had the feeling of having real classful pigeons on the loft where we could built an entire loft around. And this is what happened…from the 1st year on the breeding loft ‘Het Bolleken’ gave very good breed and train took off…underneath a few super reference from this blood strain:

4 x 1st  (Inter)-Provincial !
6 x 2nd (Inter)-Provincial !

1st        National Argenton 16,496b. 2018 -> with “Oscar” !
1st        Best year bird Belgium on the one-day-long distance 2017 -> with “Alaphilippe”
1st        National Ace bird All-Round K.B.D.B. 2017
2nd       National Limoges 8,301b. 2015
2nd       National Montlucon 19,298b. 2014 (at Frank Paridaen)
3rd        Nationial Asduif All-Round K.B.D.B. 2017
3rd        Olympiad pigeon standard category Croatia 2019
3rd        Best youngsters from Belgium over all National races 2010
7th        National Ace bird Greater Middle Distance Year birds K.B.D.B. 2016
7th        National Ace bird All-Round youngsters K.B.D.B. 2021
8th        National Ace bird Long distance K.B.D.B. 2017

Next to this “Bollekes”-strain we also have our “Milan”-strain. This is in fact our own old strain (still from in Semmerzake in fact). This old blood strain was brought back via Marc De Cock, who bought “Milan” on our total sale beginning of the years 2000. ‘Milan’ is an off spring of our legendary “Super Crack” BE83-4644784. One of the best breeding pigeons out of history of Belgian pigeon sport. Our breeding loft was built up back then totally by him. This pigeon was father to 2nd-2nd-4th-7th-7th-9th-… National and grandfather to no less than 6 different national winners !!!! Some famous pigeons on other lofts that have the same heritages are :: “Solo” (Verstraete), “Blauwe Fideel” (Vandenabeele), “Father Chipo” (Steveninck) and so on…

Also there are some pigeons of the De Rauw-Sablon woven in our strain. The fixed breeding partner to “Het Bolleken” was f.e. a 100% De Rauw Sablon pigeon. The father was bought on a total sale of Jules Mannaert. The mother we bought from Aelbrecht Marcel. The other De Rauw Sablon pigeons came to us via Marc De Cock.

And last but not least we brought lately some true classful pigeons to our breeding loft : 

“Golden Tulle” (Ronny Menten) : 1st National winner Tulle an top breeder !
“Jef” (Mylle Roger) :  father 5th National Ace bird KBDB year birds!
“Tanker Gilbert” (Limbourg Erik) : 14th-38th-46th-95th… National winner !

The above pigeons form our small but iron strong breeding loft ! 

How many pigeons do you have anno 2021? Racers? Breeders? Youngsters? 

We have a rather small loft occupation. Every year we have about 25 breeding couples. This year will let a group of about 120 youngsters out from our loft in Kluisbergen and will have a racing team of 40 (mainly year birds) in Kruishouten and 40 (2/3 year birds – 1/3 old) in Kluisbergen. Each time 50 hens and 50 cock who will be raced on total widowhood. The past few years we raced bad with about 20 widow cocks. By racing with hens is our racing loft doubled in quantity. As we are going to race with hens for the first time and to be able to keep everything combinable on the two lofts, we decided not to race youngster in Kruishoutem this year. I (Maarten) take care of the pigeons both in Kluisbergen as in Kruishouten…so not an easy job to get everything done 😊 😊 😊. 

How do you select after the season and has the selection been different now due to the special corona year?

The selection hasn’t been any different in comparison with the former years. The youngsters that race well + the youngsters that are built well with a smart appearance get their chance as a year bird any how (even if they didn’t show a lot as young bird)! We already had a lot of good year birds who didn’t have a lot to none results…although we like to have that they showed themselves just once. Even if it is a Top 10 on a short distance race….

How does the training schedule looks like? Did you already start? Youngsters as well? 

The pigeons train once a day. This both during the preparation as during the season. As soon as the pigeons could come out we started the training with the old and year birds. The trainings intensity was driven up slightly and now they train without any problem on a daily base from one hour to one hour 15 minutes. Once the races start, the duration of the training is of less importance. With one night basket we try to let them train for one hour. Once they go to 2 nights basket and the pigeons are on the greater middle distance races and have to go every weekend on a race it happens that they only go out two times for a training… 

The youngsters are in aviaries for the first few weeks and can come out after they did this for the first time and let them get to know the environment at ease. The 1st group has gone out for about 10 times now and we are in full progress of weening the second group. Once they finished their first moulting we start to build up the trainings one by one. The youngsters always get time to grow out. They don’t need to train too quickly for us. 

What do you feed your pigeons? Do you give medicines/supplements? Did you already give something this year? And anything before the season starts and when? 

We changed this winter onto the food from Aidi. We heard a lot of positives from other fanciers and after a one-on-one conversation with the company we got convinced. I a matter of supplements it is mainly Röhnfried (via sponsoring). Avidress Plus / Usne Gano / hexenbier / Gervit W / hessechol / K+K eiwit / Rotosal / Bt-Amin-Forte / mumm and so on... are being given on a regular base. These products are accomplished / alternated with some products of the Herbovet gamma such as : Herbosol / Herbobeets / Sambuccus / Herbial / Herbosol / Herbo Recovery Plus. Dolosan and Hepasan from the company Pro Bel Fly are being given on a regular base as well. We don’t have a fixed schedule. Both the food as the supplements are being given on feeling and are depending of the heaviness of the races and the kind of races…

Do you vaccinate your pigeons? Do you visit the vet on a regular base? Do you do anything preventive? 

The youngsters are being vaccinated against paramyxo, small pocks and paratyphoid. The old and year birds get the same vaccination schedule. 

Short before the season starts and during the season we go a few times for a check-up to Dr. Van der Cruyssen Johan in Oosterzele and once a year to Raf Herbots in Velm.

By giving the above products on a regular base like Avidress / Usnge Gano / Hexenbier / Hepasan and so on, the pigeons stay in a good condition and then it isn’t necessary to give medication during winter time. Before the season start the pigeons get a cure against trichomoniases via the drinking pot and during the season the pigeons get every 3 to 4 weeks a pill against tricho. Once the pigeons are on the 2 nights basket races, we do a regular manure check for coccidiosis. For the airways we only treat when it’s necessary and follow the advice of the vet. 

Expectations season 2021

The pigeons went true a very good winter and train very good in preparation of the new season…hopefully we can start as foreseen and can have a ‘normal’ year. We do have a lot of trust in in it and when the weather works along their might be a beautiful season coming, we think 😊
Just as the former years is the coming season our goal the national long distance races with the year birds and the national races with the young birds. Even though we will try to be at our best from the 1st until the last game ! 

Interesting anecdote:

Nice to mention is the coupling of “Het Bolleken” with her partner “Mauro”. When we coupled these for the first time none of them wanted to accept their partner. We didn’t have any boxes yet back than but only a small breeding loft where on three sides boxes were. We gave both of them different partners, but no match was found. They were seated a bit cross over each other and it strook that they were nodding to each other. I was like they had noticed them form the first time and didn’t want any other partner. We placed them together and is was immediately love at first sight. They weren’t re-coupled never again and gave us a lot of good pigeons in 1st – 2nd and 3rd generation !! 

Maarten and Eddy, thanks again for all the answers and we like to wish you a super racing season 2021 with great weather!