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A racing loft
For old birds
For racing hens
The name Deno-Herbots from Leefdaal is a very "big name" in the pigeon
sport. Believe it or not, but the number of provincial victories of this
loft almost cannot be counted. Also some national victories are noted.
Since 2006 Jos Deno (70 years old) and Filip Herbots can also note a national
championship and an Olympiad bird in Oostende. The team of Deno-Herbots
was simply the best in 2006!
To win the national championship in the large middle distance category,
you have to take the five best results (one result per weekend) with your
1st and 2nd nominated old bird on races between 350km and 600km. This
must take place in the period between 13 May and 19 August. The total
kilometers of the five races has to be a minimum of 2000.
Jos Deno and Filip Herbots won with the following results, thanks to the
superb results of two lovely blue hens named "Kim"(B04-2211502) and "Vuilke"
# of Birds
The father of "Kim" is "B96-5091961," also known as the "Donkeren
Armand." This cock is also father of the "Computer 302" (1st prov. Limoges
1253 b). He comes from the coupling "B91-5318251" (Pros Roosen) X "B95-2498678."
The mother of "Kim" is "Het Fretterke" (B94-2484270 - strain Verbruggen)
and comes from the coupling of "De Adonis" (B88-2336093) X "Blauw 059"
"Kim" won the following top prizes: 1st Toury 157b., 6th Toury
1974b., 16th Toury 1191b., 1st Orleans 1557b., 1st Toury 235b., 14th
Toury 1966b., 38th Toury 1274b., 18th Toury 1088b., 110th national Bourges
12,755b., 135th national Argenton against 4804 birds, 1st Momignies
132b., 126th Chateauroux against 11,526b., 3rd Sens 341b., 17th Montlucon
7459b., 27th Toury 1144b.
With these results "Kim" became 3rd Olympiad bird Belgium (category
B) Oostende 2007!
"Vuilke" is a 100% Gaby Vandenabeele hen. Her father is B97-3157422
"Kleine Wittenbuik." This cock is a direct son of the world famous "Wittenbuik"
(B88-3206112). The mother of "Vuilke" is "Blauw Witpen" (B97-3157430),
who comes out of B88-3206176 (son 1st national Bourges) x B92-9238276
"Vuilke" won the following top prizes: 1st Soissons 140b., 30th
Toury 2382b., 5th Toury 1088b., 8th Toury 573b., 62nd national Bourges
against 12,755b., 561st national Argenton against 4804b., 2nd Momignies
232b., 4th Sens 341b., 105th Montlucon against 7459b., 493rd Argenton
4522b. and 268th national Bourges against 10,759 birds.
HOW IT STARTED
It is very nice to interview Jos. You just ask him a simple question
and you get always a "more than one sentence" answer. Jos answers my
first question: "How I started? Well, through a good friend. One evening
my father came home with two youngsters. A little loft was built and
I became pigeon fancier. In the following years, I raced on the short
distance with pigeons from Filip Van Vlasselaer (St Pieters Woluwe).
In 1959 I married Paula and we moved to the Dorpstraat in Leefdaal.
Fanatic as I am, I started immediately to search for the better quality
years," Jos says, "I can mention following pigeons which gave
me more than just some pleasure. First I obtained, through my uncle,
a couple of eggs from the best breeding couple from Theofiel Vandereet
(strain Gebroeders Oomens from Breda). One of those youngsters was a
red cock, and he won a lot of first prizes."
" A son of that red cock was the 'Oude Blauwen,' a real superb
cock," Jos continues. "This last named cock was coupled with
a hen from René Swinnen, and I got my first base couple. They became
parents of 'De Kleinen,' a cock that won the first prize 11 weekends
in a row! But also a lot of other top pigeons were bred out of this
Cocks in front
In front of
a breeding box
A breeding couple
"Another superb breeding couple was without any doubt 'Mijn Dieleman'
(bought in the seventies for 1250€) coupled with 'Prinses' (a granddaughter
of the 'Benoni' from Pol Bostijn). Also I went to Arendonk and from
Karel Meulemans I bought children from his 'Kadet,' 'Tijger,' and 'Witneus.'"
"In 1983 I visited Gommaire Verbruggen the first time," Jos explains,
"and nowadays he is one of my best friends. I bought birds for a very
good price from his 'Maldini,' 'Kletskop,' 'De 20,' 'De Teen,' etc."
Jos explains, "The birds bred from pigeons from Jef, Luc and Nadia Houben
were 'bingo' and in 2000 I made a golden deal with Gaby Vandenabeele
(Dentergem). I bought children out of his 'Wittenbuik,' 'Stier,' etc.
Also from Gebroeders Herbots and Maurice Vandersmissen I was well served.
The last investments were made with the late Roger Florizoone, De Rauw-Sablon
and Robert Van Eycken."
"Let's say that 40% of my colony is based on pigeons from Verbruggen,
30% Vandenabeele, 15% Houben and 15% the other named fanciers," Jos
VERY BIG TEAM
We asked Jos the question: "If tomorrow you had to choose between the
widowhood system with hens and the widowhood system with cocks, what
would you choose?"
Jos didn't think but a second and answered immediately: "The widowhood
system with hens." But he went on to explain. "But like a lot of fanciers,
I like to gamble on more than one horse, and therefore I race birds
following several different systems. I have 36 cocks raced on the normal
widowhood system, and then I have 160 birds raced on the total widowhood
system (in other words 80 couples). This all is combined with approximately
250 youngsters and 45 breeding couples. A lot of birds which result
in a lot of work!"
Jos describes the way he works with these birds this way: "The preparation
for the racing season of both groups (widowhood and total widowhood)
is the same. The season ends in the middle of August. All the pigeons
can have a nest, but as soon as the youngsters are a few days old, the
hens and the youngsters are taken from the loft and all pigeons are
on widowhood till their following coupling. This is the 5th of December."
Once that date
comes up on Dono's calendar, the hens come again into his loft and then
they can breed a couple of youngsters without any problems. Once the
youngsters are weaned, the hens are taken from the loft and the widowhood
ship is a fact. During this period Jos is not afraid to let the pigeons
train twice or more a week. He says, "I like that they train well
in wintertime, because then I know that they're very healthy."
At the beginning of April, when the weather conditions are good, Jos
makes the first training tosses. Jos says, "I'm very careful and in
little steps it goes from 5 to 80km. Once they have flown the short
distance several times, they are basketted for a few middle-distance
races, and then they go weekly to races around the 600km distance."
Jos explains, "On basketting day we have a lot of work to do here. First
we have the widowers. When these guys are basketted, they only get their
nest bowl, with no hen. The motivation is served by the fact that the
cocks cannot enter their nest box during the week. They're allowed to
enter their box only on basketting day and the day of arrival. During
the week all the boxes are closed, and they're obliged to sit on perches
which are installed just in front of their nest box. The widowers know
this system so well that on basketting day, when the first nest box
is opened, almost 10 cocks try to get in the box and the real owner
has to do more than his best to keep all these opponents outside his
box. As a fancier, you have to be careful that there are not too many
fights, and that the right pigeon gets well motivated."
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Couples in boxes
Jos Deno's mix
"De Le Mans"
Jos' birds which are raced following the total widowhood system come on
baskettingday approximately one hour together. All the cocks and hens
from the same loft are always basketted for the same race. In that way
it never takes long before Jos has some cocks and hens at home on arrival
day and if the partner of one or other bird is missing he or she gets
another partner until the real partner is home. Then the couple is closed
up in their box. This is to avoid fights.
Jos says, "In total we have six lofts for the young birds. Through a first
and a second round, we get around 250 youngsters every year. Till now
we have only followed the 'open-door system.' The young birds stay together
till most of them have formed couples and then they get separated. The
youngsters are on this system till their last race and then we're speaking
about the second weekend of September."
"Of course they're darkened," Jos explains, "from the beginning of March
until the middle of June from 4 o'clock in the afternoon till 11 p.m.
So the young birds always wake up with the morning sun. After the longest
day of the year, on June21st, the days are made artificially longer. This
means that a light is put on from 5:30 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. and from 9
p.m.until 11 p.m. This is until the end of the season. The combination
of darkening and lighting means that in the middle of September the youngsters
have only thrown one or two wing feathers. So the last wing feather will
come out at the end of the year. This is no problem because the year birds
are only coupled around the 23rd of February, so they have all the time
to moult very well."
"To motivate the youngsters, we create on a lot of dark places on basketingday.
The party may only last one hour because we find that the longer the youngsters
stay together the worse the results are!" Jos says.
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On the medical scene, Jos places his full trust in veterinarian Raf
Herbots. Jos explains, "Every month I'm consulting him and on his advice
I treat according to his suggestions. After the racing season, all birds
are treated for eight days against trichomoniasis. At the beginning
of November a seven-day cure against paratyphus is made. This is followed
with a vaccination of all the pigeons, including the breeders. For the
rest, the medication closet stays closed. I give the Herbots special
breeding vitamins almost daily during the breeding season. Before the
racing season starts, I always treat against ornithosis, with the product
Soludox (which is a doxycycline product). During the racing season,
I never treat for ornithosis. I only treat against trichomoniasis every
Jos continues, "I'm never against trying new methods and when I hear
or read something is working especially well, I'm always the first to
try it. When Michel Vanlint came back to Belgium and put several top
results on paper, he made every fancier in Belgium wake up. His method
(a lot of tosses, feeding several times a day, etc.) were new for a
lot of fanciers. A few years ago I was in China with Marcel Sangers
(a top fancier and a very good friend of Gerard Koopman). We discussed
everything, and he convinced me to adapt my method. What changed is
simply explained: more tosses during the racing season and when pigeons
have to work a lot of course they need the necessary energy, which means
more fat in their diet."
"Before," Jos says, "I never tossed the widowers during the racing season,
but since a few years ago, I toss the widowers (and hens) every Tuesday
and Thursday at 80 km. The cocks and hens are liberated together and
when they have entered the loft they're immediately separated. Every
day (also on the days of the tosses) the pigeons have to train a minimum
of twice a day for a full hour around the loft."
this method," Jos explains, "the pigeons use a lot of energy,
so I adapted the mixture. This mixture became very heavy, and I feed
for 10 minutes as much as they want. Another important feeding supplement
is without any doubt the mix of sheep fat, cheese and peanuts. Winter
and summer I feed this mix four times a week one teaspoon per pigeon.
The formula is 60 percent peanuts plus 30 percent cheese (ordinary cheese)
plus 10 percent sheep fat. This is all blended up in a mixer, and I
give one teaspoon per pigeon. I can assure you that the birds are crazy
about this mixture!"
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