Bourges I Yearlings


  • DE RUYCK Walter
  • 23 May 2024 00:00
  • 25 May 2024 00:00
  • Yearlings

De Ruyck Walter (Nazareth): 1st Nat. Bourges 18,785 yearbirds - fastest of 42,791b.

The first national race of the 2024 season has been raced. The dice have been rolled, the winners known. With a rise of just under 3,000 pigeons, Bourges could again count on a very nice number of participants. Released at 9h45 - at a new release point - with a variable wind, the "Bourges gladiators" could start their battle. 

National winner yearling and also fastest of the whole bunch was blue hen "66" (B23-4018766) of East-Fleming Walter De Ruyck from Nazareth. With an average speed of 1,365 m/m, she did not tolerate anyone in her wake.

Passion is the common thread
Walter has been among pigeons since childhood. In his home town of Kruishoutem, he started racing with pigeons on his own in 1979 and in 1983 he moved to Nazareth where he continued his hobby. Besides pigeon racing, Walter (65) is active as a linesman (formerly referee) in football, which typifies Walter during the interview: he is thoughtful, straightforward and is not afraid of making decisions, even against the current. So too in looking after and managing his pigeons. He is incredibly driven, is a real winner, but can also put it firmly into perspective when his hobby is weighed up against the really important things in life. Pigeon racing is Walter's passion, but it is and remains a hobby. 
He just loves playing with pigeons, from speed to long-distance and, in the autumn, the Tour of Belgium. Organize a race, so to speak, and Walter is at the basketing table.

Basic pigeons 

Since the middle-distance and heavy middle-distance is his favourite battleground, Walter built his colony on toppers in this discipline.  At the time, he got them from the top pigeon in the region, namely Aloïs Gyselinck from Nazareth.  Wies, as he was known in the region, effortlessly played 4 or 5 first flights in the middle distance. The pigeons all have a head of character that stands out, but in terms of physique they are not paragons of beauty...but they are super racers. These pigeons were supplemented with pigeons from Meurysse Lucien from Lozer-Kruishoutem and the super long-distance and middle-distance loft of José and Stijn Van Laere from Lozer-Kruishoutem.  Later, pigeons were acquired from Eric Claus from De Pinte and Thierry De Keyzer. Final successful investments were made with Gevaert-Lannoo (Deinze), Saverwijns John & Els (Lovendegem) and Schoors-Dewaele (Adegem). "Sorry in case I forgot someone" Walter adds.


Lesbian hens

In our conversation, it is striking that things are not over-complicated at Walter's place. The lofts are solid but very basic and all self-made. They are dry, neatly maintained but there is not much comfort to be found. Basic but good.

The hens team has 25 units. Only about five of the better hens have bred, the others are constantly on widowhood. "From me they are free to mate among themselves" our national winner starts his story "When they lay the first time, I throw away the eggs. From the 2nd lay they are allowed to breed. Not all hens mate and that's why some 5 cocks accompany the ladies on basketing day, ambiance guaranteed. Those who want to can frolic and have fun, no problem. Those who don't want to, also good. 
I know this is not an everyday method, but I am satisfied with their results and that is the most important thing right?
Whether those hens then train well during the week? Yes...compulsorily they have to fly for half an hour twice a day. This is from 9am to 9.30am and from 4.30pm to 5pm.
In terms of feeding, Versele-Laga's mixtures are on the menu. Gerry Plus at the beginning of the week and raise with a Black Label sport mixture. Once they have eaten, those that do not breed are obliged to go into the aviary. 
Medically, they get BS in the drinking water on Sunday and a yellow drop goes into their beaks on the day of basketing. Belgasol on their arrival home and the best grit (Super Grit from Robaeys and All-in-One from Versele) as a daily supplement. For the rest, I give almost nothing in terms of products...far too little to be good I sometimes think to myself.


Walter, from the whole Herbots team, congratulations on this beautiful national victory


Stefan Mertens


1st National Bourges 18,785 yearbirds
fastest of 42,791 birds

Distance: 465km
Velocity: 1,365.47 m/m


Stefan Mertens