Limoges I Old Pigeons


  • Noeyens Niels & Quinten
  • 29 May 2024 00:00
  • 04 Jun 2024 00:00
  • Old Pigeons

Noeyens Niels & Quintin - Merksplas: 1st Nat. Limoges 10,656 old birds

Limoges was the first national race of the 2024 season. With 10,656 old pigeons, there was a very nice number of participants but unfortunately the weather gods were not kind to the Limoges racers. In total it took 6 nights in the basket - until Tuesday - before they could start their journey home. Hereby a compliment to the organisation because we heard from many fanciers that the pigeons were perfectly taken care of. 

Online, the first notification came from the reigning General National Champion KBDB Harchies Christian & Cyril from Warchin. Their 7th signed made an average speed of 1436.27 m/m. The rest of Belgium could start counting. 

It became a battle on the edge and it was waiting until literally the very last minute (furthest distance) to know who was going to be national winner. Exactly 1h and 12min after Harchies, fanciers Noeyens Niels & Quinten from Merksplas clocked in. Good for an average speed of 1,442.39m/m and this for a distance of 701km. No one did better.



They are played under the name of sons Niels and Quinten but father Bart and especially uncle Vic take the lion's share of the care. Bart explains "our dad used to have pigeons too and through him we were infected with the pigeon virus. When father lost his life in an accident, we stopped playing pigeon sport, but after a few years, my brother and I started itching to start racing again. Some youngsters were obtained from Jan and Marleen Broeckx and from a garden house they mainly played with youngsters.
In 2017 Bart Van Oeckel moved and we bought his lofts. The signal to tackle everything more fanatically. We invested in pigeons from Broeckx Jan and Marleen, Van Oeckel Bart and Nance, Van Mechelen Luc and Stefaan Lambrechts. We currently have 70 breeding pairs because we want to give all pigeons a chance to prove themselves. 
Every year, we buy 500 rings, 80 youngsters are given for breeding and we keep 400 youngsters to play. We also have 150 old and yearling pigeons to play weekly Quievrain, Noyon, large middle-distance and long-distance races. Every week, 25 (cocks and hens mixed) go to Quievrain, 8 go to Noyon, 3 to long distance and most of them fly the big middle distance races. 

Fed too lightly

On 20/12 (slightly earlier than other years), all racers were paired. They were allowed to brood until they left the eggs. Once they left the nest, they were separated and widowhood started. Bart: "We play a kind of total widowhood/chaos system. As we are self-employed chap workers, it is wringing with time to take care of everything on time. For that reason we never show the partner on basketing day and they only see the partner when they come home. In terms of grooming, I start everything at 6am and from 9am my brother Vic takes over. After 18h I can help again.
We feed the Versele-Laga mixtures (Black Label) and both medically and in terms of by-products we have full confidence in Raf Herbots. Because of the poorer start to the season partly due to delayed releases, we recently sat down in vet Raf's waiting room. Everything appeared to be fine, just a bit heavier feeding was his advice. For that reason, breeding mix (Aidi) was added to the menu and I must say it went better with the condition.

Limoges story

At Limoges we had 3 pigeons with us . Unfortunately, we did not see our winner arrive. Tuesday is working day and we hadn't been home long when Bart Van Oeckel called us to wish "congratulations". We couldn't believe it at first but a look at the computer screen with the online reports from Limoges confirmed everything. Afterwards, we watched the camera footage and saw that our winner entered very smoothly. She must have been super motivated to stand out like that because when you look at the location of the other leaders nationally you can only admire her performance even more."

Bart, Vic, Niels and Quinten...enjoy and good luck to you all from the whole Herbots team


Stefan Mertens



1st National Limoges 10,656 old birds

Distance: 701km

Velocity: 1,442.39 m/m

The lofts

Stefan Mertens