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Frans Rutten, Horst, has a nice, young racing team ready for 2021!

08 May 2021

Frans Rutten grew up in, a village in Northern Limburg and got his first racing pigeons when he was 8. He had a few uncles on mothers’ side who were pigeon fanciers. Beginning of the nineties some pigeons from Jan Jacobs out of Lomm were added, it were especially pigeons from Tournier/Janssen and the Kanon-strain from Wout Smeulders. This last one didn’t only gave him good pigeons but also good advice of how to handle pigeons. Later more pigeons came from Henri van Venrooy from Deurne and Joop Groenen from Ooij.

Already early and as a young fancier he got great results with these pigeons. This is how he won in 1994 the 1st National Orléans youngsters with the NL94-1863647. It was also the fastest pigeon of the entire pack against about 130.000 pigeons! In 1995 he also had the Best Ace cock from Holland named ‘Asdoffer 60’, NL93-1392560. Back then it was easier as a young fancier to start racing pigeons. You didn’t have the professional lofts as you have now and those overrule often the entire race.
in 1996 the total racing team was sold to Jan van de Pasch from Grubbenvorst as Frans had to move to Horst. Also the ‘Asdoffer 60’ and the ‘Orléans duivinnnetje’ moved with the rest of the pack. Out of the ‘Orleans duivinnetje’ Jan van de Pasch bred ‘Maxima’ who was best hen of Holland 2 years in a row at the WHZB competition in 2001 and 2002. Out of the ‘Asdoffer 60’ he bred ‘Millenmium’ who was 1st Cock WHZB 1999.

In Horst he started over again in 1997 with the remaining breeding pigeons and youngsters. Very soon he continued where he had stopped. 

In 2010 he lent via a good acquaintance from Jan Hofmans from Meterik two cocks for winter breeding. He got these pigeon via his friend Wim Gellings from Castenray. This Wim Gellings bought in the years before for a fortune of good pigeons at Gerard Koopman. Due to a serious disease he died which made that Jan got these pigeons in his possession. Jan raced the long distance races so he wasn’t that impressed by these pigeons.

With one cock it was immediately a hit in the rose and asked Jan the year after whether he couldn’t buy this one. Unfortunately Jan wanted to keep this cock but he could buy the other one if he wanted. Frans wasn’t that charmed about the other one but pure on pedigree he did it anyway and luckily he did as it became his base breeder of the current loft. He got the name ‘de Willem’. 

‘The youngsters I bred out of him weren’t really special but became as year birds and old birds real pearls. Also the after breed is until the day of today really good. So as I mentioned before the base of the breeding loft at this moment are the Koopman-pigeons.’ explains Frans. 

My favourite game is the one day long distance and I’m convinced that these pigeons can do that little bit extra with real pigeon weather. This is how I won the past year the 1st National Issoudun with a cock that came out of a grandson of ‘Kleine Dirk’ from Gerard Koopman. My latest asset is from Jannie van Denzen from Tegelen. This still young fancier is good friends with Florian Hendriks from Nijswiller. He has several children out of “Kleine Gerard” strain where I got on my turn a few youngsters. So again those Koopman pigeons. These pigeons were crossed in with my own pigeons as Jannie got some eggs out of my best racers a few years before. 


During Winter time I’ve got 75 pigeons whereof 25 racing couples on total widowhood and 12 breeding couples. In Summer time about 70 youngsters come in extra, so it is being about doubled than. That’s also all I want as it is a lot of work and seen that I also have my full time job as an insurance broker I often have to see how to divide my time. A lot of my free time is being taken in by the pigeons. I’m raised with the slogan ‘what you do, you do well and no half work’. My parents used to have a mushroom company so they knew what hard work was. My brother and 2 sisters are into the horses, also very fanatic. I take care of my pigeons totally by myself so I can’t give any job to someone else, no staff around here unfortunately…Nevertheless I think that I couldn’t work well with someone else within my hobby, I’m too wilful for that.
My pigeons are being trained once a day and this in the late evening during one hour due to my job. The cocks train by themselves, the hens with the flag. The youngsters often go out during daytime with a time clock and it is set this way that I only have to call them in when I get home. After 17h00 only the old ones train.
The youngsters are being darkened from 17h30 until 07h30 in the morning and this until the longest day of the year.
The old ones will be tossed about 6 times until 40km before the start of the season. The youngsters are being tossed about 10 times when I’ve got the time. In between the races I toss them along as I’ve got the time especially at the start of the season once a week, both the old as the youngsters. 

In Winter the pigeons remain inside and go out half of February. This is a pity but due to the birds of prey you don’t have a choice anymore. Especially for the fanciers that go out to work this is a hard time as you can’t release your pigeons and go of to work. The chance they get attacked is really big with all the consequences. What I’m concerned the races can start as from half of April. When the clocked has been reset one hour, the working fancier also gets some air also the weather is a bit more stable than. See what happens now, one week racing and the next cancelled and then racing again, this isn’t good for pigeons either. When you start to race you have to be able to continue to get the right rhythm. 

Selection, care and food

Selection of the youngsters is something I do on gut feeling. I have to like a pigeon, especially the youngsters can be manipulated in the youngsters game when you put enough time and effort in it. This doesn’t always say something of the quality of the pigeon. Often are the youngsters that race really well in their birthyear not best old ones. So the youngsters are being selected on feeling and pedigree. 

The old ones are off course being selected on results, no excuses there anymore. I rather have head racers that can miss once in a while than pigeons that make the list every week but somewhere in the middle of it. I also don’t just want to fill up my boxes, one year I’ve got more than the other year. 

In a medical way there are the obliged vaccinations paramyxo and small pocks. 
Until now I never did maintain them so no visits to the vet for a check-up before or after the season. I want to bring some change into this for the future, it is often a lack of time to leave this behind. But I do think it is important that when you think there’s something wrong you can discuss this with your vet where you put confidence in. Time will tell….

I do have everything at home what medication is concerned against ‘yellow’, ornithes and colli. So I can interfere where necessary but this happens until today pure on my own feeling. I think that when you can consult a vet you can act more directly which makes that your pigeons are faster on their ‘old’ level. 

I also give yearly something against lice. 
The best year is the year that you don’t have to give hardly any medication ! 

Food are different mixtures from Beyers, Mariman and Koopman All-in-one. I feed pigeon from light to heavy. The last 6 meals the pigeons get the most heavy mixture and can eat as much as they want for 15 minutes. As the races starting to get more heavy they also get some peanuts on a daily base. This only on the further distances. 

All of this is being accomplished with hemp seed, candy seeds, Tovo and several kinds of grit and minerals. I make my own mixture out of this and the pigeons love to eat it. They get this homemade mixture often after arrival of a race and rather eat this then the other food. 

There are a lot of extra supplements, I also tried a lot of them but don’t believe anymore in these kinds of wonder supplies. I don’t say it is bad for pigeons but it won’t make them race any harder. It is all about good pigeons who are healthy by nature and stay healthy by nature. A pigeon and often a young pigeon that isn’t feeling really well gets the chance to get better in a few days, if it doesn’t, it is taken out. This is, on my point of view, still the best way to select. You can better breed new once than keeping busy for several days with a sick one. Often are these pigeons the once that you lose first on the races, so in my eyes all a waist of energy. 

The expectations for the coming years are really well. There’s a nice young racing team ready where I trust in. The might excel when there’s good weather. Even if the competition is really high around here, we won’t be beaten just like that. The base of good results is quality and health. Sometimes it all goes by itself and sometimes it doesn’t work out at all and you don’t know where to look. There are no magicians but one fancier sees quicker when somethings wrong than another one. And that’s also the difference why one loft is more stable as the other on. 

Aside several different department victories Frans wants to share the victories that were the most special once for him until now: 

1st National Issoudun against 12,191 pigeons
1st and 2nd Sens against 12,475 pigeons
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6th Sourdun against 6,222 pigeons
2nd Best One day long distance pigeon Champion department Limburg, 2013 and 2014
In 2007 and 2011 National loft Champion young pigeons Holland
Several years titles of honour with the 1st 10 at the WHZB-competition