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Henri Menten from Herselt
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HENRI MENTEN from HERSELT
We visited Henri Menten in Herselt because of his super season 2014. Henri doesn't have a lot of pigeons any more but what their results are really astonishing. He would like to keep more pigeons but because of his health, he actually shouldn't have one pigeon. But if you're a true fancier, it's not easy to forbid him to continue his passion and so the only solution for Henri was to keep a minimum of pigeons but with maximum results.
When you start with hardly 35 young birds and still become 3 National Champion Youngsters SD, 1 National Ace-pigeon Youngsters SD and also 2 Olympic pigeons, you have to own real cracks. Henri is one of the very best of the season 2014 with the youngsters on the short distance. He reached the highest level thanks to a strong selection and a fancier with the right skills, who knows his birds through and through.
It's a fact that these weren't the first stunts that he showed. When we take a look at the titles in the national championships since 1998 (by the advice of Theo Yskout, he started to send in his results) and besides this also 4 Olympic pigeons, you know that these are top-pigeons.
The colony is mainly based on pigeons of Theo Yskout from Hulshout and Van Leest Peeters from Nijlen, where Henri went to in the nineties, to bring the very best back home. Throughout the years, he selected strongly and especially "The Berre" 6234227/2001 was super. He became the basic breeder that produced top-pigeons and first prize winners in several generations! In 2001, Henri had his 1st Olympic pigeon with his "Guylian" in South Africa and also this crack took care of many super descendants. Here, the best racers always move to the breeding loft, along with their children, brothers and sisters!
Later on, Henri went to look for fresh blood, which he got with Jo Van Den Brande in Westerlo, Walter Lambeets from Aarschot and Willy Van Herck from Retie. Also a sister of the famous "Kim" of Gaston Vandewouwer came in loan via a friend and last but not least, he breed together with Vanmeerbergen - Wilms, these last 2 already are successful on the breeding loft.
On the breeding loft, he can have 12 pairs and in total, only 30 pigeons pass on in winter.
Of his first round, Henri has about 25 young birds and another 10 of his second round, but surely no more. The pigeons he doesn't like in the hand don't arrive at the start. In 2014, he started with only 18 youngsters!!!
When the 1st rounds of youngsters are weaned, the pigeons can stay together for another 10 days and then Henri separates them. It's better for his health that only few pigeons are on one loft and this is no problem because he has enough space.
When it comes down to the darkening, he always makes a difference between the cocks and the hens. The cocks are not darkened and the hens are. The reason here so the condition is divided over the 2 lofts.
The birds have to train once a day, in the morning. Before the season, he drives his youngsters 5 or 6 times till max. 25km and then they should be ready for the season.
Motivation on widowhood
Because Henri doesn't have a lot of pigeons to race with, he can motivate them extra by pairing the youngsters to old partners. So he pairs about 5 cocks and 5 hens to the young birds and this succeeds very well. In the beginning, he has to pay attention with the old cocks because these have too much fire for the young hens but that's when the fancier becomes important.
May be you think that 5 old partners aren't enough for 10 youngsters but Henri takes care of this by another way. He can play the short distance on Saturday and on Sunday and so the pigeons that don't race on Saturday move to the aviary and so he can pair the old partners to the birds that have to race. The day of their arrival, they stay together till the afternoon or early in the evening and the birds that have to race on Sunday, move to the loft. Hereby, he has enough with 5 old partners on each loft.
The young cocks always stay together till 14.00 P.M. but the young hens stay together longer, till the early evening.
The luck of buying a coupon!
In 2012, Henri bought a coupon of Willy Van Herck, of which he had a super pigeons. Because of this success, he anted to get another one of these! One year was skipped and in 2014, he attacked again. He bought a coupon of Willy and he wanted one out of that pair. No sooner said then done and this one bird is the "Vettel", which became 1 National Ace-pigeon and 1 Olympic pigeon.
So as you see, luck can be hidden in a small corner...
2 Olympic pigeons
6196645/2014 Vettel – blue cock
Best results 2014
1 Quievrain 1.735p
Sire 6160452/2008 Direct Willy Van Herck
Gr.S. 6430644/2002 Won 11 Nat Bourges and 17 Nat Limoges
Dam 6099245/2008 Top racer MD with 14x p/10
Gr.S. 6094824/2003 Won 2x 1st - 25x p/10.
Best results 2014
1 Quievrain 1.565p
Sire 6160593/2013 Werner.
Gr.S. DV 02080/06/484 Top racer Werner Willems
Dam 6110813/2010 Kalila
Gr.S. 6299825/2009 Top racer Jos Van den Brande
The difference between these 2 top-pigeons was that "Vettel" immediately had the top condition and "The Vooruit" always started a bit later and in the beginning, he always lost too much time before he entered.
List of the most important titles
1998: 5 Nat Champion Youngsters SD+MD
3 National Champion SD Youngsters 2014
Quievrain 1.401p: 1 (645-14) - 70 (001-14)
The whole year through, Henri uses the Versele - Laga mixtures.
After weaning, the youngsters still get 100% breeding mixture for another 2 weeks. Afterwards, he adds 1/3 Gerry Plus. Once the young birds start to train, he starts to use the same mixture for the rest of the racing season: 1/3 Sport Subliem, 1/3 Start Plus and 1/3 Gerry Plus. They get this mixture twice a day. The birds never get a full trough but Henri knows his pigeons. He also has the experience that a smaller group of pigeons trains better than a larger group.
Every day, he gives them fresh grit and when he calls them inside, they always get some peanuts.
On medical level, the breeders are always treated against cancer before the breeding season. Before the youngsters are vaccinated against paramyxo, Henri prefers them to be cleared from everything. So first, they're treated against cancer and afterwards they get their vaccination against paramyxo and the pocks with the brush.
Just before the season starts, he visits the vet to be sure that everything is all right and if it's not, he treats them. This is the same with the head diseases but because there aren't many pigeons on one loft, he doesn't have problems with this.
Henri, congratulations with your results of the HERBOTS TEAM and hopefully you'll continue enjoying your birds.
Charles Siegel and Son, Inc.
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