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  News > Beukenne - Fréderic

Fréderic Beukenne:
1st National Ace Bird
Small Middle Distance

by Stefan Mertens


Click on any photo for larger version 





The youngbird




Hens' aviary





The wing
of "Gaby"

Bruyelle: To be honest, the name Beukenne was already on my list to make a report last year, because at that time this fancier was national champion KBDB middle distance. To win this championship, you need to take the best five results with your first and second nominated old bird, this being on races between 250 and 450 km. Well, our French-speaking friend then won the championship by a very large margin.

This year, when we saw the list of the national champions 2008, we were happy to notice that the name Beukenne was again standing as number one. Now, this superb middle-distance loft won the national ace bird competition small middle distance. We were sure that now we would certainly visit Mr. Beukenne as one of the first new national champions to make a report about.

Bruyelle is only 3.2 square kilometers, a typically small Belgian village. The only special thing to see is that you see as many cars with a Belgian as with a French license plate. This is only logical, as you know that Bruyelle is only situated 10 km from the French border. Bruyelle has around 10 streets, one pub, one bakery and one slaughter house, which was our destination, because Fréderic, 40 years old, has been for 20 years the local butcher. Next to being a fanatic pigeon fancier, he is also a fanatic hunter during the autumn and winter period.

Fréderic, first of all congratulations with your results!  How are the pigeons doing ?
Good question, but to be honest I cannot answer that one, not that I don’t want to, but once the racing season is finished I don’t enter the loft anymore. It may sound very strange but I leave everything to my loft manager. He’s the man who feeds and waters the birds, he’s the man who lets them into the aviary during the day, and he’s the man who gives them a bath on a regular schedule. I trust him more than 100%, and when something is wrong, he will call me. Once the racing season is finished it is “no stress time” for fancier and pigeons. That is the time that I concentrate myself on my second hobby—hunting!

Careful here, though.  Don’t think that nothing is done for the birds.  This is not the case.  As a mixture, they receive the best on market, and in the drinkers we administer on regular basis Biochol (Oropharma) or Taubengold (Röhnfried). During the day the widowers stay in the aviary, and during the night they can enter their loft. Once the racing season is finished, you have to be sure that the pigeons are super healthy. If they have a little bit of trichomoniasis or coccidiosis, that is no major problem.  Just be careful that paratyphoid is out of the picture. In some lofts I have seen this disease attack after the racing season and this is no laughing about!  

Luckily, I haven’t had any troubles of this type yet!

Are you saying that you never had a “big” disease in your loft?
No, certainly not.  Those who say that they have never had troubles with “big” diseases are lying! Even this year, I had a lot of problems with my young birds. I will never forget, it was a Friday afternoon.  I was calling my birds in and one youngster didn’t come in. It was sitting there without moving. You must know that I live very close to the church, and I thought that one of those “church pigeons” was sitting on my roof. But when I wanted to feed my other youngsters I saw that they had no appetite either. Immediately I thought about the adeno virus. I called my specialised vet and explained everything to him. He advised me to give Cosumix.  I can still hear him say, “In a few days everything will be solved.”  But that was a total misconception because after a few days the real problems were there. It all started on a Tuesday, and over several days I found three or four dead young birds in my loft. Unbelievable!  From the 60 weaned youngsters, 22 died.  I never saw this in my whole life! The youngsters didn’t eat, and those 38 youngsters that were left drank eight liters of water a day! My loft was like a swimming pool! And then suddenly, from one day to the next, the problem was solved. The pigeons looked better, had a better appetite, and afterwards they performed very well!





Look at this

Strange story.  Did your vet advise you with the wrong medication?
No, this was not the vet’s mistake.  How can this man give me good advice over the telephone?  I made a mistake. I should have gone to the vet and shown him the pigeons.  He could have killed some and then made the right diagnosis. Afterwards, I informed him about what had happened, and he said that my youngsters were probably infected with the disease called adenovirus combined with some other virus! We will never know, but I learned one thing:  next time I will visit the vet and not just call him!

Fréderic, when I look closely at the national championships I can conclude that you’re  typically a middle distance racer.
Note this well—here pigeons are kept to race and not to breed. The fact that I have a widowers team of 60 cocks and only 8 breeding couples says enough. I would not classify myself as a typically middle-distance racer. Of course, the middle distance races are very important for me, but every year I’m also present when Barcelona is basketted. Also, for the other national races I’m present, and I can show you that I also clocked several top positions. In the last years, I have clocked 4th national Brive 9,466b. – 4th national La Souterraine 17,315b. – 5th international Béziers 6,702b. – 5th national Montélimar 8,633b. and so on!

Can you tell something more about the preparation of the widowers for the next racing season? I suppose that the early breed is part of your program?
Good guess, Stefan.  The widowers and the breeders are coupled at the end of November. The eggs of the stock birds go under some widowers and the breeders can start a second round immediately. The widowers can only breed one youngster, and before the hens lay a second time the hen is already in the aviary.

After the youngsters are weaned, the widowers begin a kind of winter regime. Depurative is part of the menu, and the widowers may not train a lot. At the beginning of April the hens come again into the loft, and after a short time of sitting on eggs they’re put on widowhood for the rest of the season. As I have already said, I have a team of 60 widowers. These are 40 old birds and 20 year birds. They’re housed in two separate lofts. The lofts can be divided into several departments, but all doors stay open the whole season because I’m convinced that the more widowers there are in a loft, the better the motivation is to perform. There has to be some rivalry in the loft!


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Good ventilation





Fréderic, can you explain your system?
I think you saw already that I’m not the man with a lot of theories. I think the pigeon sport is simple:   you have good and bad pigeons and with the good pigeons you have to go further. A pigeon has to adapt himself to the system of the fancier and not the opposite way. Only as a fancier you have to make sure that you don’t change from from one system to another too much. A fancier has to stick to his system!

Regarding feeding, I have as my base mixture a protein poor mixture. Twice a day I feed one soupspoon per pigeon. If a pigeon needs to be fed up for a race, I individually feed a racing mixture. The last five meals, I feed that racing mixture in their box. On the medical scene, I treat all the pigeons during five days against trichomoniasis, and during the racing season I give them every first week of the month a tricho tablet. I never treat against ornithosis or cocciodiosis or worms. When the pigeons arrive, I mix some Avipharma in the drinkers and once a week Kapuvit (vitamins) are given.

On the motivation level, I don’t have any special tricks. Before basketting I open the boxes, and when they arrive from the race they can stay together for two hours with their lady. Also the pigeons who were not basketted get their hen for two hours. The only rule that I have is that I’m very punctual. When the pigeons have to train at 5 o clock it will be 5 o clock and not 15 minutes later. Don’t think that I don’t do anything at all to achieve these results!

And the young birds … Do you like to race with them?
Certainly, in fact I spend a lot of time preparing for the young bird races. Every young bird is coupled with an older partner and raced on pure widowhood. From the moment that the youngsters are weaned I try to separate the sexes. So I put in one loft 12 young cocks. These are coupled at the end of March with old hens and from the middle of April they’re on widowhood. These 12 young cocks are basketted every week for a short-distance race. They’re on widowhood till the end of the season. To make it a little bit easier on myself, I let those young cocks train together with the old widowers from the middle of May on.

A second group is again formed with young cocks. These are coupled around April 15th , may sit on eggs for five days, and then they’re also put on widowhood. They’re basketted for races further than Paris to 400km.

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A third group is made up of the young hens. They have the national races in their program. These hens are coupled with an old cock on the 15th of June. After a few days, the old cocks go to the aviary and the hens are also on widowhood. The week after the first national race Bourges (always held the last weekend of June) the old cocks come again into the loft, and then the young hens are raced on nest position for the rest of the racing season.

All the young birds are darkened from the end of February until the 15th of June. For the rest, everything is the same as the widowers system.

Can you give some more information concerning your national ace bird?
Let me first tell you again the criteria to win this competition. The pigeon with the best five results on races from 250km to 450km becomes the national ace bird small middle distance. Only yearbirds and old birds can participate, this in the period of May 3rd to August 17th. The total kilometers of the five races has to be a minimum of 1,300km.

“Gaby” (B05-9011074) became the national ace. “Gaby” is a blue cock. He’s a bigger type and has a special character. During the daily trainings, he always flew alone and was always the last one to enter the loft. Friends told me that this was a sign of superb condition. They could be right! Already, “Gaby”  has been my best cock for some seasons. For the national ace bird competition, I could send in the following top prizes:

Orleans (311 km)
Bourges (392 km)
Dourdan (269 km)

"Le Tigre"


This was good for a coefficient of 1.707% and with that coefficient “Gaby” beat Jeunieaux-Lecocq (Givry – 2.427%) and Benny Steveninck (Hamme – 2.530%)

Other top results “Gaby” earned during his earlier seasons are (without doubles): 1st Chateauroux 611b. – 20th Bourges 3,024b. – 1st Chateauroux 175b. – 1st Pithiviers 298b. – 4th Ecouen 459b. – 4th Toury 482b.

Father of “Gaby” is B03-9012698 – bought as an egg from Gaby Vandenabeele (Dentergem).

He comes out of the coupling “Noel” (B96-3221608 – son “Turbo”) x “Het Tourske” (B99-3199530 – daughter “Wolfgang”).

The mother of "Gaby" is “Orchidee 2” (B09-9012682). "Orchidee 2" has as father “Simpson” (B97-9138531 – won 24 prizes 1/10 and became 2nd provincial ace bird young) and as mother “Orchidee” (B97-9196100 – daughter “Appollon”).

Fréderic, thanks for all of this information. Can you give us some general results, please?

25/04   Chantilly 317 oude: 1-3-5-14 etc…
03/05   Dourdan 512 jaarse: 2-4-5 etc…
10/05   Dourdan 622 oude: 4-5-7-9-14-32-37-45-47-49 etc…
18/05   Bourges 283 oude: 1-4-5-6-21 etc…
                           1189 oude: 1-7-8-20 etc…
14/06  Chateauroux 695 oude: 1-8
21/06   Montauban 228 oude: 1-15
12/07   Orleans 155 oude: 1-10
12/07   Jarnac 225 oude: 1-8
19/07   Orleans 151 oude: 1-3-6-7-8-9
26/07   Bourges 1400 oude: 2-10-16-56

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