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  News >Commeene - Vandewalle/ 1st National Ace bird Short Distance Youngsters





Commeene - Vandewalle



by Stefan Mertens





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Commeene-Vandewalle from Sint-Eloois-Winkel (W-VL) win a second time the 1st National Ace bird Short Distance youngsters!

We start this article with a quiz. Question one: who had the fastest young pigeon of Belgium? Question two: who wins this year the title of 1st National Ace bird short distance young birds? The answer is the same for both questions and 'comes' from the West-Flanders village Sint-Eloois-Winkel; the tandem Rik Commeene and Patrick Vandewalle!

Amazing what these guys achieve, twice after each other being at the top of the podium to receive the ultimate short distance title: 1st National Ace bird short distance young birds. I'm not 100% sure but I think no-one has done this before and that this might be a unique double in Belgian pigeon sport. When I visited Rik, Patrick and Hendrik last year (yes, there is a third chain), they were telling each other 'We're not going to experience this ever again'…And look, we're only one year further and there they are again, all proud with their well-deserved title.

Three mates, one goal

As I've already described last year the combination 'Commeene-Vandewalle" exist out of three chains. Rik Commeene (57y.) is the racer; all the racing pigeons are at his home and are being taken care of in his way. Patrick Vandewalle (57y.) is the man of the 'finances', the basketing and the returning of the clock. At Hendrik Deceuninck (62y.) you can find the breeders, and also when Rik has to work, Hendrik will go and feed the racing pigeons and train them when necessary. This is how every member of the "Commeene-Vandewalle"-association has an even important task and rely each one of them onto the other. It was a real joy to see the three friends sitting together at the kitchen table. Proud of their national titles but especially happy that they have a lot of fun together, can drink a beer but maybe the most important thing; that they can plunder the cash register once in a while.

The same three blood strains since years

This unbelievable fast pigeon strain is built up out of three West-Flanders blood strains; Paul Levevere (Sint-Eloois-Winkel), Johnny Corbanie (Lendelede) and Danny Vandenberghe from Gullegem (especially Willy Vanhoutte-pigeons). On the breeding loft there are, for the winter breeding 2017, ten breeding couples ready. This is two more than last season. End of November they are being coupled together with the widow cocks. Now they can replace a few eggs from the most important breeders to the widow cocks.

The traditional widowhood game

As you could read in last chapter the widow cocks (for 2017: 5 old and 13 year birds) are being coupled end of November. They can raise two youngsters and can breed for another 5 days after this. There isn't a spring coupling. When the weather gods allow it they start the training flights mid of March. Remarkable is the fact that after these training flights their partners are already waiting for them. Now the old cocks now that the 'game is on' again and so the year birds can learn the ins and the outs of the game really quick. Before they go into the basket before a new race the cocks get to see their hens every time. And not only seeing, 'touching' is allowed. After a race the cocks can relax for an hour together with their partner. The cocks train during the racing season only once a day for about three quarters of an hour, and this always in the late afternoon.

Two young pigeon systems

Every year, about 60 young pigeons are being bred for own use. The first rounds, about 40, are being raced on a sliding doors system. Normally they switch to the nesting game in the middle of the season. This year this wasn't the case, the first round was being kept onto widowhood the entire racing season. Because the first round existed of about 2/3 cocks and even old hens had to be used to get the testosterone of the young cocks to a higher level. The second round was raced on the nesting system as usual. Both rounds are being darkened half, let me explain. After diner they get some time to drink but at 18h the curtains close. Even before the sun is up they are being opened again, Rik does this before he heads of for work. This is how the youngsters awake with the morning sun onto the loft. According to Rik this is enough to spare two pins. The young birds are being trained well before the season but once the races are at full speed they don't plan in any extra training.
Counting stripes, and believes me, as a youngsters you don't want to get any stripes behind your ring number. The selection starts as from the first races. The ones who have a couple of stripes after a few weekends are being banished out of the racing team definite. In other words, Rik Commeene his selection norm is strict, very strict.

Nutrition: simplicity rules

Rik has been a Vanrobaeys customer from Rekkem since years now. He isn't in favour of difficult feeding systems. The widow cocks get during the season 'Flight n°4 Yellow Cribs corn' as basic mixture. The last feedings before basketing they get a portion red cribs corn added. At homecoming, they get a light mixture. This exist of 50% 'Flight n°4' and 50% barley.  The cocks are being fed separately in their box, one spoon per feeding. In the middle of the week they get a treat, a coffee spoon of candy seeds.

The youngsters get a 'homemade-mix' from Rik. You will get a composition of two even parts with "Super Special Flight n° 12" and "Junior Flight Exclusive n°37". Before the season he adds some extra corn. Once the racing season starts the supplement of corn disappears. Also the youngsters can have some small seeds once a week.

All misery starts with trichomonas

This is Rik Commenee's theory and who dares to deny it to someone with his kind of palmaris? I must admit that I've heard this statement from several big champions. One keeps this disease under control with medication, the other one on a natural base. Rik does both. Before the racing season both the widow cocks as the young birds are being 'purified' from trichomonas with Tricho-plus. During the racing season this will be repeated three times. So Rik isn't against medication though he is a fervent user of natural antibiotics, namely garlic, to treat amongst other trichomonas. He cuts several garlic cloves in small pieces and let them extract in one litre of water for a few days. The pigeons get one spoon in one litre of water from this mixture. Against head diseases and breathing problems he cures preventive (before the start of the season) with Soludox. Last season they didn't have any adeno. Last year Rik gave me a very interesting tip; when the youngsters show the first signs of adeno, buttermilk (a dash into the drinking water) is the first aid. When they do have any problems or for check-ups and the obliged vaccinations, Rik goes to vet Bernard Tack from Heule.

The list of side products is short but important according to Rik. He has the same ones for years now and still proves their use. The widow cocks get every Thursday, only during the racing season, Provit Forte (vitamins) from Herbots. This is also handed to the young pigeons twice a week and this together with brewers 'yeast. They also give the electrolytes and Naturaline from Natural.

"BE-16-3108331; 1st National Ace bird K.B.D.B short distance youngsters

In the 'Klein Harelbekestraat' in Sint-Eloois-Winkel they call this crack in a short way "den 31". This blue cock is a rather special one; he is part of the first round and is being raced on sliding doors. But apparently he didn't suffer from any jitters that made him fall in love for the first time. So he 'enjoyed' his bachelor life amongst the other young cocks. But he had to get his motivation somewhere.  Rik suspects that he was dearly attached to his resting place and that the other cocks liked that space as well. Rik didn't force him to mate. "Den 31's" results were super so Rik left him be; a mistake that many fancier would make.

His father is the "427/10", a racer of his own but after a race from Clermont he came home with an injured wing so his racing career ended promptly. But maybe "den 31" his mother, the "531/09", is the star of the colony. She is mother of the 1st National ace bird 2016 and grandmother of the 1st national ace bird 2015; you won't find a breeding hen that is doing much better.  She was bought at Johnny Corbanie; in her pedigree you can find Paul Levevere and Dr. Paul Volkaert.
His palmaris could have looked even more impressive, but "den 31" always took his time to enter the loft. He first wanted to show the entire neighbourhood that he had arrived. He was also beaten once by a loft mate for a 1st place, nota bene a full brother of the 1st national ace bird 2015.

His palmaris

  •  Arras, 1st /485b
  • Arras, 91th/ 767b
  • Clermont, 1st/ 912b
  • Clermont, 2nd/ 1,123b
  • Clermont, 7th/ 796b
  • Clermont, 10th/ 538b
  • Clermont, 2nd/ 500b
  • Compiègne, 1st/ 687b (Provincial 16/19,493b.)
  • Pontoise, 13rd /893b (Provincial 82/17,902b.)

5 results: 0,95%
6 results: 1,43%
7 results: 2,30%

  • 1st National Ace bird Short Distance youngsters K.B.D.B
  • 1st Provincial Ace bird Short Distance youngsters K.B.D.B

Some results 2016
Old and year birds

  • Arras, 1-2-4-11-19-20-22     (134 old)
  • Arras, 1-3-6-13      (101 year birds)
  • Arras, 7-8-10-33-36     (234 old)
  • Arras, 4-14-17-38    (197 year birds)
  • Arras, 1-4-5-18-57    (385 old)
  • Arras, 1-2-41-62-63   (278 year birds)
  • Arras, 2-6-83      (278 old)
  • Arras, 3-7-57      (254  year birds)
  • Clermont, 3-14-16     (84 old)
  • Clermont, 4-5-27-57    (339 old)


  • Arras, 1-2-39-43-71     (485b.)
  • Arras, 16-22-59-63-64-72-74   (704b.)
  • Arras, 8-12-13-24-33-35-44-50-64    (767b.)
  • Arras, 10-12-39-40   (388b.)
  • Arras, 1-6   (100b.)
  • Clermont, 1-4-13-14-22-23-25-26-32-66     (912b.)
  • Clermont, 4-8-61-63-66     (1,123b.)
  • Clermont, 1-15-31-68-95   (1,133b.)
  • Clermont, 1-7-8-9-12-19-28-76  (796b.)
  • Clermont, 6-10-12-17   (538b.)
  • Clermont, 1-2-5-15-25-30-53  (500b.)
  • Fontenaye, 2-5-14-16-55   (452b.)
  • Fontenaye, 3-16   (843b.)
  • Fontenaye, 1-25   (649b.)
  • Compiègne, 1-2-17-41-70   (687b.)
  • Pontoise, 13-37-49-51-53   (893b.)
  • Pontoise, 12-37-39-49-57-58   (691b.)
  • Pontoise, 10-13-22-23-26   (557b.)
  • Pontoise, 7-21-80-81   (813b.)

Arras: 69.93 km
Clermont: 175.90 km
Compiègne: 179.95 km
Pontoise: 213.18 km
Fontenaye: 301.48 km


And again; see you next year?

I already had a feeling last year that it wouldn't be the last time that I would visit this loft. As the three best friends already described in 2015 as; 'unbelievable, we only live this ones'…But by winning the national ace bird 2015 Rik, Patrick and Hendrik were even more motivated to keep their status. For the second year in a row they can go to Brussels to receive their 'title'. In the meantime two out of three friends could place a marvellous souvenir in their house. But don't all the good things exist out of three? So gentlemen, see you next year?
































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