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  News >Maurice and Luc DeLaere
  Maurice and Luc DeLaere:
1st National Champion
Middle Distance 2002

by Stefan Mertens


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Luc and Maurice DeLaere

The roofline of the breeding loft





A breeding box




The widowhood and youngbird racing loft

"Loft within a loft" construction

Anzegem: Anzegem… a very nice part of "beautiful West-Flanders"--the land of Stijn Streuvels, the world reknown Belgian poet. He lived in this area, and nowadays you can still feel his spirit. Here in this region, the farming industry, along with the textile industry, puts "bread on the table" for a lot of families.

Our friends Maurice and Luc DeLaere also have farming in their blood because father Maurice comes from a farming family. But we didn't come here to talk about cows and pigs. No, we want to know everything about the pigeons from these national champions middle distance.

To win this championship, you need to send in your best six races (one per weekend) with your first- and second-nominated old bird. This is on races from a minimum of 250 km through La Souterraine. You need a total minimum of 1500 km. This is all easier said than done, and the De Laeres won with a coefficient of 28.14%, this just ahead of Jean-Claude Debiève (Hornu - 28.60%) and Van Elsacker-Jepsen (Schilde - 29.98%). This was a very close sprint between three top lofts, and our champions must thank their top-widower "Tieke" a little bit. "Tieke" is a top bird who was two years in a row 9th national ace-pigeon on the middle distance. Unbelievable.

With following six results Maurice and Luc won the championship:

05/18 Dourdan (290km) 398 pigeons: 3 - 32
06/01 Blois (396 km) 1386 pigeons: 52 - 71
06/22 Tours (435km) 1557 pigeons: 1 - 3
06/29 Tours 491 pigeons : 5 - 28
07/06 Blois 344 pigeons: 1 - 6
07/27 Bourges (425km) 11,689 pigeons: 49- 122


The word "Tieke" is a typical Flemish word (in the local dialect) and means the little white spots that the pigeon has around the eyes. "Tieke" (3010207/00) has as father the "Crayonnée" (3064556/98). That cock won the 1st prize from a 400 km race with 10 minutes in front. "Crayonnée" is a son of the top breeding couple "Jonge Bonten" X "Blauwe Van Renthegem" (more information further in the report). The mother of "Tieke" is the "Geschelpte Vooruit" (3126314/95). Once she won the 1st prize Orleans (360 km) with five minutes in front. So you can see that the parents of "Tieke" are also top racers.

Here are the racing results of "Tieke" for 2000:
12th Arras (80 km) against 580p.
257th Clermont (180 km) against 997p.
86th Chartres (305 km) against 2864p.
11th Chartres against 1085p.
15th Chartres against 1084p.
60th Clermont against 785p.
28th Chartres against 264p.
2nd Blois (396 km) against 541 pigeons - 12th provincial against 2709p.
23rd Tours (435km) against 373p. - 57th provincial against 1985p.

6th provincial ace-pigeon middle distance West Flanders

Here are the racing results of "Tieke" for 2001:
11th Clermont against 131p.
3rd Chartres against 248p.
3rd Dourdan against 244p.
2nd Blois 201p.
6th Dourdan 621p.
10th Tours against 330p. (25th provincial against 1006p.)
3rd Tours against 450p. (9th provincial against 4052p.)
1st Tours against 490p.
2nd Blois against 131p. - (2nd provincial against 1003 p. This after a loftmate.)

1st provincial ace-pigeon middle distance West-Flanders
9th national ace-pigeon KBDB middle distance

Here are the racing results of "Tieke" for 2002:
52nd Clermont against 172p.
24th Dourdan against 186p.
3rd Dourdan against 398p.
12th Chartres against 462p.
52nd Blois against 1386p.
1st Chartres against 165p.
1st Tours against 1557p. (1st provincial against 1557p.)
5th Tours against 491p.
1st Blois against 344p. (3rd provincial against 1059p.)

1st provincial ace-pigeon middle distance West-Flanders
9th national ace-pigeon KBDB middle distance


Inside the
youngbird loft


Special "seats" for
the widowers

Inside the
widowhood loft

Inside the
youngbird loft

The open aviary

In the 2003 season, "Tieke" was basketted again but on the second middle distance race the pigeons were liberated in very bad weather, and "Tieke" came home late in the afternoon. Luc and Maurice were very happy that he returned, and they immediately put him in the breeding loft. The new career of "Tieke" had started.


In 1973, Luc was 12 years old when he began flying in partnership with his father. He was a young, super-motivated guy who wanted only one thing and that was making better racing results. The old base was not good enough, and Maurice searched for better pigeons. Where can a man go better than to friends? On a certain day, there was a lost young bird among the youngsters. Luc caught it and phoned the owner. This was Willy Rutijn (Kruishoutem), and as a "thank you" they received a late bred at the end of the season. This late bred became the base-hen of the loft. Afterwards, they went to Willy again and bought a lot of pigeons.
The second strain is those of Julien Demilt (Kruishoutem). In a lot of pedigrees, we see the name of this fancier.
Father-in-law Edor Locquet also had good sprint pigeons, and he bred the "Jonge Bonten." Top hen "Blauw Rentergem," whose origin is Jules Rentergem (Zulte) came from Maurice Peirs (Anzegem), and so we're by the top-breeding-pair "Jonge Bonten" X "Blauw Rentergem." They are the parents of the "Crayonnee" (father "Tieke") but also the first prize winners "19/98" - "20/98" - "313/99" (4 times 1st as a yearbird) - "350/99" (2nd Chateauroux) and so on…


"We love to race with widowers," Luc explains. "Blois, Tours and Chateauroux are our favorite races. The game with the young birds is not so important for us. It stands in function for their later career as a widower."

Once the racing season is finished, this is after Bourges national at the end of July, the widowers may breed a couple of youngsters. When the youngsters are separated the moulting can do its work. During that period they receive a very good moulting mixture and get a lot of brewer's yeast - Sedochol - tea and fresh grit with redstone every day.
The first weekend of December, the widowers and the stockbirds are coupled. The eggs of the breeding couples go under the yearbirds, and the breeders can start a second nest. Once the youngsters are 17 days old they go, together with the hen, to the youngbird loft and the widowers get a ticket for the aviary. There they stay for about nine weeks. Luc explains, "This is the third year that we follow that system and we're very satisfied. The aviary is open on both sites and the wind can blow through it. It is sometimes very cold and windy, but it is a health-cure like no other. Empty lofts and pigeons in an aviary--no work for the fancier. During the "aviary-period" the widowers receive six parts barley, three parts depuratif and one part breeding mixture. We don't like fat pigeons."
Luc continues, "The third week-end of March the widowers come again into the loft and are immediately coupled. When they arrive from their second race everything goes away and the cocks are on widowhood."

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The wing of "Tieke"


Father of "Tieke"


The wing of the
father of "Tieke"


The mother of "Tieke"



The wing of the
mother of "Tieke"

Luc examines the
birds for canker
after every race


"Before basketting, the hen is always shown for five or ten minutes," Luc explains. "We never do an extra motivation. We 're a little bit afraid of this because it is easier to 'de-motivate' a pigeon than to motivate. Variation in the widowhood system is, for us, not necessary."
"After the race," he says, "the hen stays in the loft only a short time. This becomes longer and longer the farther the racing season goes. At the end of the season, they even stay a whole night with the widowers."

"When the clocks are in the club, we don't stay away from the loft for very long," Luc emphasizes. "No, after the race we give all the widowers a mandatory lukewarm bath. The widowers become quiet and they rest on one wing in their box. A quick recuperation is very important, because one night later the widowers again need to fight to be first in and out of the loft. If there is one widower who doesn't like to train or fight, then you have to be careful. Most of the time, a week of rest is then the cure."


"As I've already mentioned," Luc says, "we're no youngbird specialist. Our youngbirds stay together the whole year and a darkness-system is never followed. We race our youngsters on nest position, and when they're well motivated we are not afraid of all those 'darkened' youngsters. We try to bring them as late as possible in nest. When they start their first nest around the end of July, then we're well on schedule. Pigeons on the nest don't train, and therefore I make a lot of tosses with those youngbirds (25km) during the week. It is reasonable that we cannot make those 'chain-results' like those youngbird specialists."


Luc confides, "Everybody has his own 'selection rules,' but here we handle as follows. A youngbird must make some top results, say in the first 100%. A young cock with a big youngster in the nest who doesn't make any prize is directly selected out. From a yearbird we expect three or four prizes per 20 (1/20). An old bird must fly a lot of top prizes. I like a bird with a good eye and a lot of character. I don't like big birds. I prefer the smaller type. A top racer must learn to leave the group and fly home alone. I know that it is hard to find such birds, but once you have them in the loft you must treat them like diamonds."


"De 66" 3010266/00

2nd Arras 125p.
5th Clermont 172p.
32nd Dourdan 398p.
2nd Tours 177p. - 3rd provincial 1557p.
24th Tours 491p.
1st Blois 45p. - 12th prov. 334p.

"De Kleinen 31" 3010231/00

4th Dourdan 621p.
8th Blois 1003p.
2nd Bourges 205p. - 49th national against 11,689p.
5th Poitiers 573p. - 16th provincial against 3390p.
75th Ruffec 1600
16th Tours 276p.
19th Tours 373p.

"Dhaeni 05" 3010205/00

1st provinciaal Blois 1003p.
1st Dourdan 621p.
15th Tours 4025p.
4th Bourges 205p. - 122nd national 11689p.
6th Blois 344p.
14th Dourdan 398p.

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