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Theo Weytjens (Zutendaal) from Barcelona maniac to ruling young pigeon specialist.

05 Jan 2022

1 NAT Bourges’20 - 28551 p - (478 km)
2 NAT Bourges’21 - 18710 p - (478 km)
4 NAT Argenton’20 - 23280 p - (566 km)
6 NAT Bourges’21- 18710 p - (478 km)
6 NAT Chateauroux’19 - 22476 p (537 km)
6 NAT Chateauroux’21 - 18741 p (537 km)

3 x 1st National Zone 2021   
Bourges (481 km) - 1489 p. : 1, 3, 38, 42, 62, 68, 96, 108, 123, 127, 139, 154 (26/57)
Argenton (562 km) - 1100 p. : 1, 2, 11, 14, 19, 22, 27, 39, 43, 76, 78,  (16/55)
La Souterraine (600 km) - 681 p. : 8, 13, 33, 34, 45, 47, 62, 70  (11/20)
Chateauroux (537 km) - 818 p. : 1, 5, 24, 41, 52, 67, 75, 132,  (15/38)

When the name Theo Weytjens appeared on the frontline of the youngsters classics, it was a surprise for many insiders. After all, for years Theo has been known as a specialist from the international classic Barcelona. Here he achieved fame and notoriety. The basis for these long distance pigeons was laid back then with internationally famous breeds such as Vanbruane, Gebr. Kuypers, Van der Wegen, Harinck Poelman and Nouwen Paesen.  At that time they chose for Barcelona, because on the one hand it is a "mystic flight" and on the other hand because it is one of the only flights, where, according to the theory, the game is more equal and gives a fair chance to everybody, because normally all pigeons have to stay overnight, and then in theory you are less dependent on wind and mass. On the national races from Bourges to Cahors, Montauban it's different. But also that overnight neutralization can sometimes be a big culprit. So Theo clocked in 2014 ( the year Remy Speltdoorn won Barcelona) from Barcelona at 23h37 and at 00h38. He will never forget the arrival of these pigeons at a distance of 1088 km. Memorable moments and it was really dark. When a lot of the characters already went home and they noticed that Theo had clocked his first pigeon at 23h37, many came back and they could still witness the arrival of his second pigeon at 00h38. Fantastic moment with a lot of friendship and pleasure! Nationally these two pigeons were classified at places 19 and 20 - provincially they were still beaten by three other fanciers who flew 10 to 25 km further, but got their pigeons home 4 to 5 hours later. A loss that is difficult to digest, but that is also pigeon sport. 

Theo as a human being

Theo (65 years) Weytjens and his wife Annie ran their own plant and garden centre in Zutendaal for 32 years. They worked seven days a week, without much rest or free time, on high days they worked with 10 people in the business.  A few years ago (2006) they decided to stop completely.  They worked on a new dream, the beautiful house and ditto pigeon lofts. Same shape and colour, in brick and finished to perfection, nicely painted white, hence the name "The White Pigeon Loft". When you look around the lofts, you notice as an outsider, the structure of a disciplined self-employed person, because everything is nicely arranged and stacked, the food, the nesting dishes, everything in its place stacked as it should be. For Theo, this is his passion. Cleanliness is therefore very important. Everything is done as it should be. He also enjoys friendship, basketing, drinking a beer with friends, going to parties, Bruges Barcelona Club, Cureghem Centre party, etc.... They are beautiful moments !

The switch to the Nationals with the youngsters.
The idea actually arose from a conversation between Theo and his wife Annie, who also comes from a pigeon fanciers family. When Theo bought other pigeons, she would take care of this group of breeders. This was the decisive factor and Annie kept her word. Theo went looking for faster pigeons. After some tests with different species, it were the pigeons of Gaby Vandenabeele that gave the first success. At the moment one can speak of a real Vandenabeele house. Indeed from every top pigeon from Dentergem we find descendants. But, very important, Theo wanted to see them first before he spent money on them. 
In the description of the current toppers, you can find these top breeders back. In addition, there is the contribution of the Leo Heremans pigeons and those of Wim De Troy , from which reinforcements are obtained every year. They catch well on the VdAbeele pigeons. ! 


The youngsters and the Nationals ...

This was in fact the reason for my visit to Theo, because when you can achieve 6 x TOP 6 National within a period of 3 years, then you belong to the top : 1 NAT. BOURGES'20- 2 NAT. BOURGES'21
In the short term about a hundred youngsters are bred, the eggs of the better breeding couples are put under feeders. If you work this way, you can have six youngsters from one pair to test them on the national races. 
The youngsters are vaccinated against paramixo for the first time when they are released and at the same time they get an anti-tricho pill. Afterwards, other vaccinations will follow such as against Rota, Herpes, Paramixo, Paratyfus and brushing against smallpox. This happens every time with an interval of minimum three weeks. The youngsters are let outside at a very young age. However, once they are well outdoors, this is stopped because of the birds of prey. Theo's loft is situated in a woody area and the old and yearlings only come out in the middle of March. The youngsters can explore the surroundings every day in the aviaries next to the loft. This way, he waits a few weeks, so the "foolish flying" is over. After all, the latter attracts the attention of the birds of prey. In the beginning they only come outside under Theo's supervision. They sit a bit tighter on the food, so they listen quickly and come inside. At the beginning cocks and hens are mixed. From half March onwards, we also start with darkening. This from 18h00 in the evening till 08h00 in the morning. The darkening is kept up till the longest day and after that the youngsters are illuminated, from 05.30 in the morning till 22.45 in the evening. As soon as the youngsters start to fly well, they are taken away by car. This is the most difficult period, sometimes it goes well, other times it is a torture to get them home. But once they return home well, they are, if possible, brought away daily for short distances. Afterwards they go with the club, as much as possible, to gain experience. After returning home from the first middle distance flight ( +250 km). In Limburg this is two nights in the basket, they are separated. Two weeks before Bourges, we start again with bringing them away. This is the task of my wife Annie. If possible, they are brought away three times a week for training flights of 30 to 60 kilometres. Cocks and hens are released separately with an interval of about five minutes. Theo waits for the youngsters and they are called in as soon as possible. On the last training flight, they are allowed to come together when they return home. 
The feeding of the youngsters is done according to the classic system of good food when they come home to quickly build up reserves and then a light digestible mixture rising to a fatty energy-rich mixture when they are basketed.

Playing short on the ball
When you want to shine with young pigeons, you have to play short on the ball. So in the beginning, the youngsters get the various indicated vaccinations, to strengthen the resistance. Through the drinking water, they get water acidification for the healthiest possible intestinal flora. When necessary, they are treated. Upon returning home, the pigeons always receive electrolytes and for two days a combination preparation from veterinarian Vincent Schroeder. If necessary, he can also get advice from the latter by telephone. The well-known "yellow drops" are administered here via the feed. 

The secret? 
Ensuring quality at the base, working hard and making the pigeons work hard as well. Doing a lot for them and then it will come out. People would have told him he was crazy to choose for playing with the youngsters on the national level in this remote corner of Limburg. But when you have a good foundation, these pigeons can do it. !!!


At this moment Theo offers his current youngbird champions in internetauction Pigeon Bids. 

This unique auction ends tuesday 11 January at 2 p.m. (c.e.t.)