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  News >1st NATIONAL VALENCE & BRIVE - Hebberecht Johan- Drongen





Hebberecht Johan - Drongen


by Stefan Mertens





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The name Hebberecht is known for years in the international pigeon sport. First you had father Octaaf who was a famous fancier and now it is particularly son Chris who is stringing together top results. But also his brother Johan is competing since years on the long distance races. Johan is in his second year of well-earned rest (retirement). After years of hard labour and working many hours he tries to enjoy life a bit more. And this national victory on Valence is something Johan and his wife Lieva, will enjoy for sure.

Their "Valentino", a nice chequered cock, raced in a millimetre sprint with the blue widow cock from Eric De Clercq (Viane) for the first place. "Valentino" (B13-4078510) raced 687,485km at an average speed of 1053, 99 m/m. The cock from the De Clercq family got a speed of 1052, 38m/m.


The cocks (13 old and 23 year birds – whereof 11 late ones which didn't make any training flights last year) can breed twice after the racing season (on unfertilized eggs). Also they go into the aviaries after that and this until the beginning of December. Then they are being coupled and can bring up 2 youngsters, but they pay attention on the fact that no eggs are being laid anymore so the hens are being removed on time.  From then on they are on widowhood. To have enough pins at the end of the season no spring coupling is being done anymore.

Hen's game

After the season the ladies (6 old and 3 year birds) can breed once on unfertilized eggs. During the moulting they go into the aviaries. Beginning of December they are being coupled and they can raise a couple of youngsters. Once the youngsters are being weened the ladies go onto the widowhood. As soon as the season starts, they race every week, and this until Bourges. Then they are being coupled and put into an ideal nest position, for Johan it means youngster of 5 days.


The youngsters (80 heads strong) will race with certainty one or more nationals this season.


During the racing season they feed in a classic way. At home coming they get a huge portion of 3 kinds of sports mixtures from Versele Laga. After that it is a mixture of 50% "Sport" Versele Laga and 50% "Super Diet" Vanrobaeys. The last four feedings before basketing they get again 100% "Sport" Versele Laga complemented with "Energy" Versele Laga and peanuts.

Until two years ago this kind of feeding was submitted as well but through feeding silos, this is because there wasn't any time to feed the pigeons twice a day. These were padded half "Sport" and half "Super Diet". The pigeons had food at their disposal all the time, only at home coming and feeding up they got the extra's in their boxes. Now Johan is retired they get a normal feeding twice a day.

Side products

  • Zell Oxygen and Optimix (Herbots Animal Products) is being given during the racing period. A recommendation for everybody.
  • Gervit-w,  Röhnfried.
  • Brewer's yeast and apple vinegar.
  • Bleech: his father Octaaf tipped him that when cleaning the drinkingpots with bleech to leave a bit bleech in the drinkingpots. According to him this helps against several of 'illnesses'.


Once the sport season ends the medicine cabinet closes. It stays closed until the beginning of March; all the racing pigeons (cocks and hens) go into the aviaries for fourteen days. On that moment the lofts are being cleaned thoroughly. The pigeons receive something against trichomonas followed by a cure against coccidiosis, also five days and both in the drinking water. They will get 1/6 or 1/8 of a Flagyl tablet after Vierzon (half May).

The second day after home coming of a long distance flight they are being purified with 1/8 Flagyl. To make sure that the pigeons don't have coccidiosis at basketing they get 10 days before taking off a capsule against this bowel disease.


Is an average big cock, a bit deeper with a strong back? Before his top result on Valence he also won underneath prizes:

1             National Valence                             6,236b.
255        Provincial Issoudun                         3,162b.
359        National Limoges                            6,907b.
646        National Brive                                  3,850b.
724        National Valence                             6,542b.
962        National Narbonne                         4,047b.

Weather "Valentino" was especially motivated?  Johan: "I strongly believe in territorial urge of the cocks and I like to respond to this. The loft of my widow cocks is in fact one big loft that is being divided into 2 lofts by a door in wire. Last year "Valentino" was on another section and on the day of basketing I left him with his hen running around the 2 lofts during one hour. So he both could go into his current box as in his old box and show off. I believe this motivated him more than normally.


After we visited Johan a month ago, on the occasion of his national victory from Valence, we could drive back to the A. Catriestraat in Drongen. Again it was bingo for Johan…now he can also write down 'National Brive' in capital letters onto his palmaris.

On Brive Johan had the same team as on Limoges two weeks ago which was finished with marvellous results. This team exists of 1 old cock namely 'Maxim' and 2 year birds namely 'Artiest' and 'Atleet'. On Limoges 'Maxim' ended at the 179th spot national against 6,492 old birds as the two year bird cocks 'Artiest' and 'Atleet' ended on the 97th and 100th national spot against 6,946 year birds. This Limoges result was already one to enjoy, but Johan didn't know that the cherry on the pie still had to come.
Brive national was finished with perfection by the 'Limoges team'. 'Maxim' won the 1st National against 5,956 old birds (also the fastest of 11,881b) and according the 1st prognoses 'Atleet' becomes the 97th national Brive against 5,931 year birds and 'Artiest' the 458th national Brive against 5,931 Brive year bird racers! A result to dream about!


We ask how Johan worked his way through from Limoges to Brive. 'Well…' Johan starts of his story 'at the home coming from Limoges these widow cocks didn't see their hen. You hear it right…there was no female attention to welcome them home from Limoges. On Wednesday I did show them their better halves and they could celebrate their 'Gentse Feesten' for three hours long. On the day of basketing I motivated all three of them by giving them a strange hen. To look for them I sat myself between the widow hens and tried to make the sound of a cock as good as possible. The three hens that came dragging their tail towards me were picked out. "They could cuddle these hens shortly before basketing. When both were in the nest dish, the cock was basketed. I like to basket motivated pigeons as calm as possible.
In a matter of training they got a free training on Sunday after the race. On Monday they had to train twice obligated for 30 minutes. Tuesday mornings they will train for 45 minutes and for 1 hour in the evening. On Wednesday, they got a free training again.

For more information about his strain and caring we like to refer you to the article about his Valence victory which you can find on our site.

Johan…no 2 without 3….we sincerely wish it for you!
Stefan Mertens

































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