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Van Elsacker – Jepsen, Schilde, believes in good healthy pigeons to be able to succeed.

26 Mar 2021

Serge Van Elsacker, living in Schilde province of Antwerp turns 63 years soon and has been a pigeon fancier since 53 years by now. Together with his wife Kirsten Jepsen he forms already for 43 years a successful tandem named Van Elsacker -Jepsen .

Serge came in contact with pigeon sport when his parents bought a business in 1968 in Merksem which had a pigeon loft on top of the roof where the pigeons of the deceased fancier still resided. With approval of his parents Serge could keep the pigeons and this is how the pigeon germ cuddled in Serge his body to never leave again. The stamp of ‘pigeon fancier’ could be used from then on. In 1973 his parents moved to Schilde where they still live. In the meantime they moved a few times but since 1991 the family Van Elsacker – Jepsen breeds and races from the current address. 

Nothing is left from the first pigeons that were on the loft on the rooftop. The base of the current ‘old strain’ was set in 1978 when buying pigeons from strains such as Frans Stoces , Karel Meulemans, later also pigeons from Gust Hofkens and Bros. Janssen via Jos Leuris out of Ulicoten, and two of the three best pigeons out of the total sale of Alfons Nijs from Arendonk (Hofkens, Janssen ). Also via Rene Michielsen from ’S Gravenwezel topbreeder “De Wezel “, who can be considered co-base-breeder came onto the loft (HVR , Meulemans ) . Through a yearly exchange with our friends out of Germany Heinz and Bernd Brüne from Wesel DL, some Gaby Vandenabeele and Gunter Prange pigeons and also a grandson to ‘Nationaal 1’ from Karel Schellens came with a lot of success. Out of these pigeons the ‘old strain’ was formed so especially going back to the Janssen / Meulemans kind where still a preference in a matter of type and character keeps on existing. 

About 10 years ago so also the Vandenabeele pigeons via Bernd  Brüne,Marnick De Neve ,Rudi De Saer and Rik Cools . We succeeded really well with these pigeons, but still we try not to lose the type of the old strain. 

And that they are successful with them is an understatement and is proven with underneath top pigeons of the past few years:

‘Speedy Gonzales’       2nd National Ace bird Middle Distance 2009
                                            2nd Olympiad pigeon Middle Distance 2010
‘Diara’                               3rd National Ace bird Middle Distance KBDB 2017
‘Tinkerbell’                     4th Olympiad Middle Distance 2011
 ‘Wondergirl’                  5th Olympiad Cat. C Nitra 2013
‘Beyonce’                        5th National Ace bird Small Middle Distance KBDB year birds 2015
‘Sweet Sixteen’             8th National Ace bird Small Middle Distance KBDB 2016
‘Diamond’                       8th National Ace bird Middle Distance KBDB 2017
‘Vanity’                             9th Olympiad Cat. H Nitra 2013
‘Dream Girl’                    15th National Ace bird Middle Distance KBDB 2017

But also in 2020 they set great results on a national level with underneath rankings: 

1’ best pigeon from Belgium after 7 Greater Middle Distance races (7 prizes ) PIPA B18-6051127
1’ best pigeon from Belgium after 7 Greater Middle Distance races (7 prizes ) KBDB  B18-6051127
2’ best pigeon from Belgium after 8 Greater Middle Distance races (8 prizes ) PIPA B18-6051127
9’ best pigeon from Belgium after 8 Greater Middle Distance races (8 prizes ) PIPA B18-6051261

Season 2021

About 200 youngsters are bred and this out of 35 breeding couples. They start off with 45 couples racing pigeons on total widowhood (the first weeks) and then the ‘bad’ ones are already taken out or kept home when their partner races really well. 

Notwithstanding the ‘Corona year’ we selected our pigeons even harder after the racing season of 2020 seen the pigeons raced amazingly well. 

The pigeons stay inside the entire winter as from September until March due to the birds of prey. That’s why we have to be more careful at the beginning and we are leaving them out now since onde week but not even every day. Once the flexibility is back in their wings they can train again each day. All racers are being coupled on the 1st of April and can breed for 14 days. During this period we will try to train them and to get to know their boxes even better. The hens are then still on the loft of the young hens. 

For us it is always a problem to get youngsters started as a group of 100 pigeons is rather big. So we have to wait long enough whereafter they usually set great results anyway. We also can’t let them out too long due to the birds of prey that are a real problem over here and we always stay with them, we do live next to a forest. 

Once they train well around the loft we release them on a few hundred metres from the loft. When we do this the fear to go further is gone quicker and will start to go away for a longer time then by themselves and then we can go on tossing them. 

Food and medically

All food is from VanRobaeys and all supplements come since 30 years from Rhönfried . If one is satisfied about something doesn’t need any questioning or need to be changed. 

We mostly go once a year to the vet and this in the month of February. When there might be some problems there will be a phone consult. All pigeons, young and old, are being vaccinated against PMV with Colombovac and also against small pocks. The youngsters once with Rota / Pmv and a few weeks later once with Colombovac on advice of vet Raf Herbots. 

Everything that’s done is on advice of our vets being Raf Herbots from Velm and Henk, Jan and Domien from Belgica De Weerd from Breda. 

Questioning what the expectations are for the season of 2021 we get the answer from Serge: ‘I really don’t know what to expect, but if we can keep them healthy and don’t get too many disasters it will work out as mostly every year…we hope…’ 

The entire Herbots team wishes tandem Van Elsacker – Jepsen a lot of success and hope to find them also in 2021 within the higher rankings of Belgian pigeon sport.