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  News >1st National Gueret 12,516b - Marina Van den Velde

Marina Van den Velde


by Stefan Mertens





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Grobbendonk: In 2001, their "Samson" (B01-6093060) won 1st national Argenton against 23.419 young birds (fastest against 33.097 pigeons) and now it's "Miss Sara" (B13-6078600), which was responsible that the name of Marina Van de Velde stands at the very top of the national result of Gueret against 12.516 old birds. An important detail …"Miss Sara" is also the fastest against all 28.778 Gueret racers!

We went to the Dennenlaan in Grobbendonk, where we met a very happy couple; Marina and her husband Paul. The phone didn't stop ringing…friends that wanted to congratulate them… interested buyers … reporters….they all wanted to know it all in detail. "It's even a bigger "cuckoos nest" than in 2001," Paul told us, "Everybody asks me all kinds of things but I'm only a fancier, not an accountant. Like the pedigree, I also have to search all results and when they all give me some time, it will all work out alright".

3 hens for 1 cock

We immediately wanted to know all about the system that Marina and Paul use with their hens. "Well," they start their story, "We have 40 cocks and 40 hens. With exception of 15 pairs, which are played by total widowhood, they all are played by the system of the classic widowhood (their partner stays at home). Our national winning hen is part of the team that's played by the classic widowhood.

Throughout the years, I developed my own system. I have a central loft, on which some old cocks stay. Against each cock, I pair 2 old/yearling hens and this cock is also used as a partner to my young hens. So, each cock on this loft is paired to 3 hens.

"Miss Sara" has been paired in December and after she raised a couple of youngsters, she moved to the open aviary, where she stayed till one week before the first training races started at the beginning of April.

The hens train once a day, always before noon, after the cocks did their training. At the beginning of the season, the hens trained liked fools but the last few weeks, it became much less. It wasn't even easy to make them stay in the air for about 15 or 20 minutes and they certainly didn't leave anymore.  I lost my faith in their condition and to be honest, my cocks had the race from Gueret on their program. My hens already did 4 heavy middle distances in a row and I thought it would be better to give them a "calmer weekend" and so the cocks had to leave for Gueret. But the day of basketing, the cocks trained and they had fun for half a day because a hen had escaped and she constantly tried to seduce them. My cocks were so "tired" and that's why I decided to put in my hens for Gueret.

Old love doesn't rust

Before basketing, the hens come together with their cocks for about 20 minutes but with "Miss Sara", I tried a special trick to motivate her. A few weeks ago, before the basketing of the interprovincial race from Chalons-Sur-Saone, I let "Miss Sara" with her old partner, which stays on a different compartment than her "normal partner". When I put her on the compartment, the hen to which her old partner was paired now was very jealous and also "Miss Sara" didn't like her old partner to have found another girl.  This seems to have been enough stimulation to make her win the 22nd interprovincial against 5.376 old birds. And so…before the basketing of Gueret, I used the same motivation trick and … she wins the national victory!

The care-taking

The hens stay on a compartment, which is adjusted so the possibility that they pair among each other, is minimal. I use the mixtures of Ronny Van Tilburgh and the first two days after their return home, it's Super Diet and afterwards it's a sport mixture. The hens can eat for about half an hour till an hour and then I take away their food. On medical level, I have all faith in Raf Herbots. When it doesn't work out as it should, he's always my saviour. I really have to say that he knows his profession…when the releases of our birds were postponed several weeks in a row, he was the one who kept our birds on track. When it comes down to the use of by-products, I prefer the Herbots products."

Marina and Paul… congratulations of the whole Siegel team!

Stefan Mertens

































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