DE COCK MARC – TEMSE

  • Nouvelles
Publié le: 16/04/2019 8:43

Temse: Marc De Cock from Temse… an introduction isn’t necessary as everybody knows he likes his beef fresh. One who has ever visited Marc and his team won’t deny that Marc is a super motivated pigeon fancier who can lead, thanks to amongst other perfect people management, his own classful colony straight for top results. Despite a very busy professional occupation – Marc is the owner of the well-known meat company ‘Charles’ (named after his grandfather Charles De Cock) – it is Marc that keeps busy every Sunday in writing down everything about his colony and discuss this weekly with his loft managers Luc Buyl and Andre Moonens. Marc has an eye for detail and his daily ‘walk’ trough the lofts can confirm the perfect execution of his directions.

“ROCKEFELLER”… the best all round pigeon from Belgium
To be able to crown yourself as Best All round pigeon from Belgium you truly have to be an allrounder as you have to be able as a pigeon to set a top result on the greater middle distance, long distance and the marathon races. To win this ace bird championship you need 5 prizes and only prizes from a national, zonal or provincial result count. And listen to this… for these 5 necessary prizes ‘Rockefeller’ (B17-4094340) managed to set a coefficient of only 6,66% ! A seldomly seen top result as number two had a coefficient of more than 14%. For a summary of these results we like to point out to the photo of ‘Rockefeller’ where these are nicely noted down.


“Rockefeller” is a marvellous pigeon. Average of size but very strongly built, a strong back and thick feathers around well touchable muscles. You feel immediately that ‘Rockefeller’ and Marc have a great connection. This isn’t only thanks to the fact he won a national title but especially his arrival from the international race Narbonne is one that Marc will never forget. For those who remember…Narbonne wasn’t an easy race…warm weather and thunderstorms at night. ‘Rockefeller’ needed one more top results to win the national All round ace bird title. From the 3,017 Belgian year birds that were set loose in Narbonne, only 6 made it home the day of release. It was for ‘Rockefeller’ an overnight race but as it suits a real all round pigeon, his boss didn’t have to wait too long for him. The next morning he registered at 9h39min and 29sec. When Marc held him in his hands he saw that he was injured and half of his tail was gone. The heavy thunderstorms had left their mark. Marc didn’t hesitate one moment and ‘Rockefeller’ got immediately a ticket for a VIP-box on the breeding loft.

MARVELLOUS SET UP
When the gate at the Brandstraat 29a opens, you immediately get an unique view on the marvellous loft set up. In total 70 meters of lofts, 2 stories high. At the top level you can find the racing lofts and the floor level has 40 meters of breeding lofts and 30 meters of office space and working space. A dream set up where everything has been worked out into the smallest detail. The lofts really feel comfortable. We were a bit surprised about the enormous air space above the pigeons. Across the entire roof there isn’t a single subdivision, but despite this enormous air volume the environment feels perfect. Every department has off course a wooden ceiling where an opening from 1,5 meters is foreseen. You can also control the ventilation by valves who are to be found in the wooden ceiling.


The lofts have floor heating who are coupled onto a hygrometer which is turned on winter and summer. This takes out the chilly air and makes that the lofts always feel comfortable. All floors are foreseen with wooden rosters and all boxes have conveyor belts for the manure. Darkening happens automatically and can be programmed digital. There is also an automatic sunshade so all windows can be placed open all the time during the hot summer days and this way an ‘aviary’ effect can be created. The hallway in front of the lofts is being vacuumed daily and the central vacuum system is the ideal help to do this.

BREEDING BOXES
In total Marc has 35 breeding couples whereof 8 cocks remain in a breeding box. The most important breeding strains are the original pigeons from De Rauw-Sablon, Marcel Aelbrecht and the “Eagle Eye” breeding line (via Limbourg Eric).
There are 8 breeding boxes where very important breeding cocks reside. Look at the end of the report for photos of those important breeders.
In the breeding boxes the cocks are always being coupled onto one hen. When the eggs are in the nest dish, the eggs are being taken out and a new breeding hen appears at the breeding box for a new breeding session.

WIDOW COCKS
The season 2018 was taken off with a group of 50 widow cocks. These remain on different departments. Three departments are for the extreme long distance pigeons, another three departments are for the year birds and the other departments for the long distance pigeons. As preparation they are all being coupled at the end of November and can raise a couple of youngsters. After this they aren’t being coupled anymore, only during the first training flights they are being coupled again to retrive the motivation of the cocks to be able to get home smoothly. Speaking about training…when the weather allows it this goes very quickly and in 6 steps they are at 60km. Then the races with the club follow and go from the short distance to the middle distance towards the national races. To temper the condition of the widow cocks in Spring they are being darkened from the 1st of January until the 1st of May, this from 17h until 8 o’clock in the morning.


Feeding supplier is Beyers. According the distance the cocks are being basketed weekly, every 2 weeks or every 3 weeks. Mostly they race the same distance per department which makes the care simplified. Let’s put down the schedule of the pigeons that are being basketed every 2 weeks. On Saturday (at homecoming) they get ‘Long Distance’ mixture. The following 3 days they get 100% Super Diet. Then 5 days 50% ‘Long Distance’ + 50 % Super Diet to get from Monday on (2nd week) until the day of basketing ‘Long Distance’ on the menu. The art is to get the pigeons to eat until the day of basketing and that’s why all widow cocks are being fed twice a day individually with means of a soup spoon.
Marc is pro side products and follows the next system. At homecoming they get during 2 days Belgasol in the drinking water, then 2 days Herbazim, again 2 days Belgasol, then 2 days Wonder Pigeon, again 2 days Belgasol and then 2 days garlic juice + tea. This cycle repeats itself.
In a medical way Marc trusts vet Piet Blancke. During the racing season they go once a month for a check-up. Against trichomoniases they get the known yellow drops nevertheless that Marc likes to give just before an important long distance race a tricho pill, just to be sure. He didn’t treat against ornithes last season. A good loft ventilation can avoid a lot of misery.

LADIES IN THE HOUSE
The hens team is 41 pieces strong ( 7 old and 34 year birds). The same as the widow cocks they are being coupled the end of November, can raise a couple of youngsters and not a second coupling just before the beginning of the season. Once the first training races passed by, they are being basketed weekly and have to race between the 200km and 1,000km. At basketing they can see their cock for about 5 minutes and after the race they can stay together until the day after.
To avoid the pairing up amongst each other the bottom of the hens loft is foreseen of a rolling system and can only sit on the chapels. At the contrary of the cocks they aren’t being darkened.
The hens get the same mixtures as the cocks only is their daily portion securely weight off. A maximum of 25gr per pigeon is the rule.

YOUNGSTERS
They breed about 200 youngsters for own use. Nevertheless the youngsters game isn’t their goal, Marc finds it important that the youngsters have enough experience in their birth year. ‘I like to get them at least once but preferably twice onto a national race’, says Marc, ‘experience that they can use as a year or old bird perfectly.’

Just as many, the youngsters are being darkened over here, this from weening on until the 21st of June and after this they are being enlightened until the last race. The darkening starts at 17h and at 9 o’clock in the morning they get daylight again. The youngsters stay together until end of June to be separated afterwards and the sliding doors system is being applied.
The training schedule is a big deal for the youngsters. They toss them almost daily for 14 days in a row and it goes in small steps towards 60 km. Also during the season they don’t look at a kilometre more or less and are being tossed twice to three times a week. At homecoming the sexes can stay together for about 30 minutes.

SOLARIUM
As mentioned before, Marc thought of everything to guide the pigeons in a perfect way. This is how the pigeons get a bath at the day of basketing or we must say a shower. There is a special place where a mist system and a bath is being installed and at the day of basketing the pigeons are guided towards this place. After they took their ‘shower’ they can walk on towards the solarium where an infrared radiator (the same as the once being used to warm up horses) is at their disposal. The pigeons really enjoy this ‘relax session’ and at the willingness of participating to the bath ritual Marc can tell whether their condition is ok or not.

We are really impressed how fanatic and how successful Marc practises pigeon sport. He, who as a 6-year old boy walked together with his grandfather Charles trough the former meat company and was placed on top of a stack of pallets by grandfather Charles. Charles looked deep into Marc his eyes and asked him to ‘make my company the biggest in Belgium in its sector’. Words that never were forgotten by Marc and he made the dream from his hero, his grandfather Charles, come true. It was also grandfather Charles who gave Marc his first pigeon loft from 1 square meter big and also here Marc succeeds many years later to place himself between the international pigeon sport.

When we asked Marc which goal he still had, his answer was: “win a national KBDB ace bird title with a child or a brother from ‘Rockefeller’”. “ Well Marc… we warmly award it to you to also achieve this challenge !

THE MASTER BREEDERS HOUSED IN BREEDING BOXES

Stefan Mertens