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Herbots Gebroeders Jo & Raf had a fantastic season in 2020

05 May 2021

With 59 pigeons ranked in the TOP 100 on the National races with the old and yearling pigeons on the greater middle distance and long distance you can speak off an exquisite season, a season where many of us can only dream of ! We had a chat with the Herbots team ! 

1st National Olympiad Ace bird Middle Distance (Cat.B) 
2nd National Olympiad Ace bird Long Distance ( Cat.C) 
3rd National Olympiad Ace bird Allround (Cat.D)
4th National Olympiad Ace bird Allround (Cat.D)
4th National Olympiad Ace bird Yearlings (Cat.G) 
4th National Champion KBDB Greater Middle Distance Old + Yearlings 
6th National Ace bird KBDB Allround Old + yearlings 
11th National Olympiad Ace bird Yearlings ( Cat.G)
13th National Olympiad Ace bird Yearlings (Cat.G)
13th National Ace bird KBDB Allround Old + Yearlings
28th National Ace bird KBDB Allround Old + Yearlings
28th National Ace bird KBDB Greater Middle Distance Old + Yearlings 

Top 100 National results 
17 x 1st Interprovincial or Semi – National 
59 x TOP 100 National ( 28 x TOP 50 ) Yearling and old pigeons 2020 

How was Spring for the old and year birds?   

Just as in the other years we couple our racing pigeons around Saint-Nicolas (6th of December), the 1st eggs of the breeders are being raised by the racers and will go on widowhood once they’ve done this. During the Winter period we choose, when the weather allows it, to let our pigeons out as much as possible. The youngsters 2020 are also already switched to their new loft for 2021. 
The last day of the season of 2020 is the 1st day of the season of 2021, which means that even more than before we work hard in the ‘death’ season to keep our pigeons in an optimal base condition. 

This year you had to darken to hold the moulting. Are you planning to do this again? 

We had to this to be able to race our pigeons until the end of the season (the 12th of September), the season was exquisite so it surely didn’t have any influence on the results. But if we will do this again the coming season…the chance is very small according to Geoffrey. They have to race from beginning of April until half of August, so a lot of racing means a slower moulting and from the longest day they are being given more light until the end of the season, so maybe we can keep them like this in the feathers. 

How important is the daily training ? 

It is a very important given for us, from the moment the youngsters are being weened (end of January) the old and yearling pigeons can train good again. Once the season has headed off they train once a day. On Mondays and Tuesdays this is usually with the flag (so obliged training) and on Thursday mornings they train one hour freely. The hens from 7h30 to 8h30 and the cocks from 8h30 to 9h30. 

Is extra tossing an exception or a rule ? 

From the moment the season has started this is a rule, every Wednesday we toss them at 30 to 35km. First the racing hens, then the cocks. At arrival they walk around amongst each other for about half an hour and along the season continues we leave them together on Wednesday for about 2 to 3 hours. 

Do you work with fixed couples or not ? 

We mainly race the so called total widowhood with our cocks and hens. They bred in Winter so couples have been formed, but off course during the season there are some losses so some of the pigeons have to look for another partner. This can lead for a new and extra motivation. 

Normally we leave them together after a 2nd or 3rd race for 2 entire nights (Saturday and Sunday), this is how they learn to know each other well again and this strengthen the bond between the partners, on Wednesday they have another race and can stay together until the evening and then we’re good until the end of the season. 

Do you make use of extra motivation or other variations ? 

We do dare to change some things on the loft, like putting an extra box on the loft or put down a nest dish somewhere so the instinct of the territory is being encouraged. 
After a race, a fast recuperation is very important and the pigeons stay together until the late morning on Sundays (arrival on Saturdays). But also the latecomers get the best care as even the best pigeons can miss out once. 

On Tulle you have a super result with 18 x TOP 100 National, something special was done then, no? 

The pigeons had the Saturday before Tulle ( 685 km) the national race out of Chateauroux (510 km)  and the plan was to stop after this race but on Monday we decided differently. After arrival from Chateauroux we placed straw on the loft and all racing pigeons stayed together. On Monday and Tuesday they didn’t train and only on Wednesday they were tossed at 30-35km, they stayed together until Wednesday noon time and were separated then to be able to eat well and in the evening in the basket for Tulle with the known result. 

On the last 2 races with the old pigeons you raced with a small team old pigeons? Tell us… 

This is a separate loft of hens that we raced for the 2nd year on nest position, they are being coupled before Bourges II ( 8th of August) and race Bourges II on 10 days breeding. These aren’t the best hens as we stop those half of August. This smaller team have to race the rest of the national calendar and are on big youngsters by the last race. In a matter of training isn’t it any different in comparison of the others. These train just along with the others from the beginning of the season and when they are breeding I let them train alone in the afternoon. When the hen is out we let the cock feed the youngster so the hens don’t suffer a lot from it. The last few weeks of the season we stopped with all the other pigeons so that isn’t any problem. 

Do you have a lot of problems with pairing up amongst each other ? 

No, in fact not, our hens are in aviaries during the day and go in the resting loft at night where there are sticks. When there are some that lay an egg we leave them be and mostly this stops by itself as they have to go on a race on a weekly base and suffer a bit from the many kilometres they have to do. 

Toppers of the season 2020

BE 18-2135111 “Manuela” Hen

BE 19-2131115 “Million Alaphilippa” Hen

4 NAT OLYMPIC ACE CAT G ( 5 races + 100 km in 1 year as YL )
28 Nat Ace bird Greater Middle Distance KBDB 2020

BE 19-2131092 Black white pin hen 
13 Nat Ace bird All Round KBDB 2020

1                      Laon                      399b
2          S.Nat Chateauroux     2,508b ( after loft mate  = 1st ) 
12        Nat                              33,833b 
4                      Salbris                  454b ( after 3 loft mates = 1st )
4          Fastest                             968b
6          S.Nat Tulle                       556b ( after 5 loft mates = 1st )
66        Nat                                4,451b
13                    La Ferte            1,404b

Father BE 16-2146451 Son Yvan
Gr.F. BE 07-2103401 Yvan – Base breeder
            1 Nat Ace bird MD KBDB 2009 -  4 Nat Ace bird GMD KBDB 2008
            Son to “BE 04-936” Venus Son Bliksem Gaby Vandenabeele x “BE 06-543” Jewel M & Y Vandersmissen
Gr.M. BE 12-6123310 Belgian Star – 100% Leo Heremans
            2 Nat Ace bird MD KBDB 2013 – 8 x 1st 
            Daughter to “BE 10-282” Son Jan Leo Heremans x “BE 08-190” 3 x 1st

Mother BE 18-2135480 Blue
Gr.F. BE 08-2169207 Multi 155 – Herbots Jo & Raf
            4 Olympiad bird All Round 2011 
            Son to “329-03” Junior 155 x “BE 04-528” Daughter Number 2
Gr.M. BE 16-3136585 Daughter Papillon – Anthony Maes
            Super breeding hen 
            Daughter to “BE 15-300” Son Rudy Gaby Vandenabeele x “BE 13-971” Papillon
            1 Prov Ace bird KBDB 2013 won 2 x 1st Provincial

BE 17-2140481 “First Figo Bliksem” cock
4 Nat Ace bird Gouden Veer old

System young birds  

We have thanks to the support of Raf Herbots a bit of a fixed schedule that we use with our young birds. At weening they get a roto / paramyxo vaccination, 14 days later a vaccination against herpes, 14 days later against small pocks and 14 days later against paratyphoid. By making use of this system we hardly suffer from the young birds disease or coli. 

What became a very big advantage the past few years are the big aviaries in front of the lofts. The pigeons are much healthier, have more oxygen, learn to get to know the environment quicker and with an isolated roof it stays very enjoyable the entire summer. 

In 2020 the youngsters started to train a bit later than in 2019, the sooner they train the sooner they get discipline ! An important factor for youngsters, says Filip, but Geoffrey masters it perfectly.

Do you toss the youngsters more than the old ? 

Yes, certainly, says Filip, there are 3 important words for that, TAKING OFF, ORIENTATION and EXPERIENCE. You just can’t teach a young bird enough were to go, when you toss youngsters and they hardly turn once they are out of the basket…that’s what I like to see. Don’t worry then, they will be present at the next race. 

So we toss our youngsters a lot, we start at 2x 2km, 5km, 10km and so on until maximum 35kml. When they don’t come home smoothly, we will go to the same place the next time. We do this that much so they will be trained well before their first race. Once they are on the middle distance races we toss them at least twice on 35km from Monday to Wednesday. At arrival they can run around each other for about 15 minutes and on Thursday morning (day of basketing) we leave them together for a few hours. At noon they are being separated so they can eat well again before basketing. After the race they always can stay together until the late morning the day after arrival. 

Do they have to be really paired up as youngster? 

We experienced this difference very well, we thought not to race them any more after Argenton, we left them together the entire week and noticed that they were paired up really well. Last minute we decided to take part on Chateauroux and the result was really good so we’re thinking to do this earlier next season to have more fixed couples amongst the youngsters. 

How much experience do they need before Bourges ? 

The winners are always right is what Jo and Miet say. For our group of youngsters we always try to work in long terms. That’s why we try to get them on a Provincial race before they have to do Bourges. When Bourges turns out to be a hard race you have the advantage of the experience, is Bourges an easy race the more fresh pigeons show up earlier. Finding a golden mean is the message, but our group mostly race 4 National race so we try to go for the necessary experience before letting them take on the national races. 

What after the racing season ? 

The youngsters will go into aviaries the entire day and get the products from Herbots and Herbovet during a longer period of time. In October they are first 10 days Emdotrim and afterwards 10 days Herbochol on the agenda for all our pigeons.  

Do you have some more advice? 

First of all the recuperation, which is really important due to the heavy racing season, that’s why our pigeons get a Super Flight Pill from Herbots Animal Products and an eye drop for disinfection. 

Have your pigeons get a check-up on a regular base, we do this every 14 days so blind curing isn’t something you have to do and your strain will become stronger. 

Don’t neglect latecomers, also these pigeons have given efforts and have to be taken care of very well. 

Support the pigeons that have to race a lot with the necessary products so their base condition and health are optimal. 

Give the pigeons on regular base a bath the entire year through, during the racing season we do this on Mondays and Wednesday after that the pigeons got together. They are relaxed and can be basketed quietly. 

Jo, Filip and Miet like to thank their team of care takers sincerely for all the effort that were delivered and the amazing results they’ve set. Thank you ! 

A few impressive results 2020 : 

Bourges 3,441 Year birds Brabant Union (Interprov.)       458 km :
1,7,8,23,25,26,27,36,40,60,63,82,94,96 …(74/131)

Chateauroux 1,730 Old  (Semi National ACRWB)  509 km : 1,3,8,10,14,87,129 …  (11/15)  

Chateauroux 2,508 Year birds (Semi National ACRWB)   509 km : 
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,12,14,15,16,21,23,24,25,26,28,29,30,31,32,33,34  (101/123)   

Argenton 2,005 Year birds Interprov. Luik Haspengouw  538 km :
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,18,20,21,22,23,24,26,28,29,31,35,37,38,39,40,... (85/123) 

Issoudun       1,484 Yearlings    S.Nat ACRWB                     485 km :

La Souterraine 1,624 yearlings S. National ACRWB          574 km :
1,2,4,6,8,9,15,16,17,17,20,27,29,30,31,33,36,38,39,40,44 ….  (80/105)  

Salbris 2,027 youngsters Inter.Prov Brabant Union           438 km :
1,2,8,23,24,26,28,32,47,50,51,52,53,55, …..(72 /132)  

Chateauroux 1,026 Youngsters Inter.prov Luik Haspengouw 509 km :
1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,12,14,17,20,21,22,23,24,26,28,29,30,31,32,34,35,36, …