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  News > Janssens-Timmers-Cleirbaut-Verbruggen

Johny Janssens,
Daniel Timmers,
and Willy Verbruggen --
Belgian Champions of 2011:
La Chatre, Argenton &

by Stefan Mertens


Click on any photo for larger version 

Johny Janssens


Head of

Eye of

Wing of

1st NATIONAL LA CHATRE against 21,123 Yearlings
Fastest of 36,950 pigeons


Hechtel-Eksel: In 1992, Johny made a new start with the pigeon-sport at his new address.  Very soon he was at the top of his province and even at the top on national level. Let’s be honest.  When you have references like being national champion with the youngsters (in 2005), Olympic pigeon Cat C. Belgium (in 2007), two national Limoges (in 2009 – lost in by few seconds), and then a national victory against 21,123 pigeons from La Chatre (2011), you can’t be called a “common” fancier.

It all goes well here with Johny. In the morning the care-taking of the pigeons is limited to 30 minutes, because our national winner has to go to work.  In the evening, all birds are taken care of very well. The racing team has 20 pairs for total widowhood and 15 hens for pure widowhood. When you add 130 young birds and 24 breeding pairs, you know the totality of the colony.  His lot is mainly based on pigeons of: Kamiel Nulens (line “Fenomenale”), his own race (line “Dorien”), Menten Henri, Johan Bleyen and Van Hertem-Schuurmans.

1st and 3rd NATIONAL
The result of Johny on this national race from La Chatre, is one to put in a frame. He put in 15 old birds of which there were 13 prizes per 3 and 18 yearlings of which there were 12 prizes per 3.

The first to arrive was a blue yearling at 12h09min36sec, the B10-5119500, good for a speed of  1891.10 m/m. In this way, he showed his tail to all other 21,123 yearlings that participated in the La Chatre race.  The second one was a chequered cock, the B08-5049068, at 12h12min56sec, at a speed of 1870.29 m/m or 3rd national against 15,827 old birds.

The national winner has as father B06-5037965 (out of the base couple x Menten Henri). The mother is B03-5240556 (strain Camiel Nulens)

The 3rd national has as father B02-5046561 x B04-5228659 (daughter of the 2nd national La Souterraine).
When we asked whether or not he did something special to motivate both pigeons, he answered without any doubt:  “Yes!”

Johny: “Let’s begin with my national winner. I have 13 cocks on that loft but only 12 boxes. This so called “reserve” stayed on a little shelf all season long, watching the others resting in their boxes.  You probably feel it coming.  Indeed, the week before basketing, I gave this yearling “reserve cock” a box. He was very happy and super motivated when he left for La Chatre. Because of our position, we have to have favourable winds to get at the top of the national result, and so I waited till the wind was right. It seemed that my trick worked very well, because he arrived as if the devil was chasing him.

Also the cock which won 3rd national was pepped up before basketing. You must know that I never show their hens before basketing, but this time I did.


The loft in which the cocks are staying was adjusted in the spring. I preferred to close everything so the aeration runs through the crest of the roof. When all work was finished, even I felt better in the loft. Last year it was very hard to create this condition, but this year it all went well.

I didn’t breed with the racers. This was the first time in my life that I prepared the pigeons like this for the season. At the beginning of April, they all got paired for the first time and after five days of breeding, they were on widowhood. The food I use is the Matador mixtures, and I regularly visit the vet to be sure that everything is OK. Furthermore, I don’t do anything special, but I do use a lot of Vior (mixture of acid).

The hens have to leave every week.  The cocks sometimes get some rest. Two weeks ago, the cocks didn’t go to the national race from Chateauroux but last week they did Chateauroux. “

Johny…again congratulations!

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Head of

Wing of


Against 15,827 Old Birds

Hechtel-Eksel: When we saw the name of the national winner, we knew we had already seen it before and yes, Tulle edition 2010…At that time, Daniel Timmers was known as the national winner, but afterwards, it seemed that the pigeon of Jean Lardinois from Moelingen was 0.08 m/m faster. Result: 2nd national Tulle ’10 against 8,426 yearlings.

This Tulle result had stimulated something with Daniel – namely the taste of a national victory, the urge to get at the top of the national result. With the weather conditions for the weekend of La Chatre, Daniel saw a new opportunity, and when his “Witstaart,” arrived together with a stranger, the same scene of Tulle appeared again.

“Never before was I so nervous than with his arrival,”  the national winner began his story.  “I knew the ‘Witstaart’ was very early on the national level, but he was more interested in the strange bird than he was to get inside.! For about two minutes, the ‘Witstaart’ had a good time, and only when the stranger flew away, he decided to go inside. He was clocked at 12h09min59sec.for a distance of 564.025 km, so at a speed of 1880.18 m/m. I can assure you that a lot of pressure disappears when you hear that you won the national victory. In spite of the time he lost, he succeeded.”


“The condition already has been good the whole season long. From Bourges we won 5th national yearlings, and on a local level we were always within the top of the results.

My colony is mainly based on the pigeons of Andre Roodhooft (Pulle). It was 2000 when I got my first pigeons from him, and since that time, I visit him every year again to get some eggs of pigeons. The Roodhooft pigeons found here the perfect cross-breed material with the pigeons of Jos Laevens and Guido (Tielt-Winge – races Engels and Herbots), Jean Evens (Linde) and a few birds of Hok  Vanderschans. I have 16 breeding pairs in the loft, and beside these I also have 13 breeders. Out of them, I breed an early round, but afterwards they are used as partners for the racing hens.

My racing team contains 11 old birds (3 cocks and 8 hens), 20 yearlings (14 hens and 6 cocks), and about 100 youngsters. The old birds are played by the system of pure widowhood, which means that the partner is always at home when they arrive back from a race.

All racers are paired at the beginning of April to breed for five days and then the widowhood starts. During the breeding period, they get their first training flights, next some short distances, then middle distance, and then heavy middle distance. Normally, all pigeons (also the cocks) leave every week to 430 km.  Once they pass this distance, the cocks leave only every two weeks. The hens have to work every week again.  But when they have had a heavy race, they leave the next week on a shorter race. After the heavy race from Chateauroux, I thought it would be better to give them a week of rest, and it seemed this wasn’t bad.  

When it comes down to the care-taking, I do the same as so many others. At the beginning of the week I feed them light (mix of Super Diet and Gerry Plus) and further along in the week, the food gets stronger (sports mixture with Energy Plus). The by-products I prefer to use are Sedochol, and the last days before the race, some condition powder and vitamins over the food or in the drinking water.

On a medical level, after the season I treat for 12 days against parathyphus with a product from the vet. In April, I repeat that treatment but now only for seven days. Of course, the birds have to be free of all illnesses. Only 14 days ago, they had a tablet against canker.

The Witstaart

This little but well-built cock, the B06-5001089 already scored like this:

2008:    1 local Argenton 84 p. – 7 provincial against +- 1000 p.
            6 Montlucon 123 p.
            6 Soissons 89 p.
            9 Pithiviers 132 p.
            10 Chateauroux 146 p.
2009:    1 local Argenton 81 p. - 7 provincial 736 p.
            3 local Bourges 223 p. – 27 provincial Bourges 3,165 p.
            98 provincial Chateauroux 2,424 p.
2010     82 national Bourges 7,176 p.
            53 provincial Gien 4,295 p.
2011     13 Gien 135 p. – 425 provincial 5,950 p.
            485 provincial Chateauroux 2,359 p.
            1 national La Chatre 15,827 p.

The strain of the “Witstaart” is 75% Roodhooft Andre (Pulderbos) and 25% Clerincx (Nieuwerkerken).

Daniel, we see that everything is going well.   The loft and the garden are very well taken care of as well.  Wonderful to see.


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Kris Cleirbaut

Argenton winner

"Miss Blue"

Eye of
the Winner

Wing of
"Miss Blue"

Cleirbaut's Loft


Bonheiden:  Kris Cleirbaut already won a lot, and so we were a bit surprised that this was his first national victory. “I’ve been classified at all places on the national result except on the first place,” Kris starts his story, “and now my little blue hen, ‘Miss Blue’ my dream come true.”

Since 2010, we have raced under the name of Cleirbaut-Desbuquois because Kris made a deal with the famous brothers Michel and Didier Desbuquois, so that Bonheiden would score on the long distance and the heavy long distance, too.  Now Kris has two lofts in his garden, one for the heavy middle distance and the other to play the heavy long distance. Let’s get back to the long distance colony of this tandem. On Libourne, they already won a provincial victory with the yearling long distance racers with their “B10-6318453”. This “453” is a pure Erik Limbourg (string “Bolleken Watten” and “Lucky 85”).

We just wanted to mention this, but the real reason for our visit is the national victory from Argenton against 19,728 yearlings and also the fastest of all 30,690 Argenton racers.


It’s striking this season that again we have a national winner who prefers total widowhood. Kris explains: “I have 10 cocks and 10 hens for the heavy middle-distance racers. I built a new loft and because this was only ready at the beginning of February, I could pair the racers in mid-February. Then they could raise youngsters, and the hens were taken away in time so they couldn’t lay a second egg.  Shortly after they were trained and by Quievrain, 2 x Noyon and 1 x Pithiviers, they went to Blois, Bourges, 2 x Chateauroux, La Chatre, 1 week rest and then Argenton. The cocks did Bourges, Chateauroux, 1 week rest, La Chatre, 1 week rest and Argenton.

During the week, the cocks stay in their own loft while the hens stay on a little shelf in front of their boxes (see photo). The floor of the compartment of the hens is specially made so that it’s impossible to cuddle in the corners.


Kris: “A fancier should find the system that fits him 100%, a system with which he and his birds feel well.  I found that system thanks to the advice of my friend in England, Moris Dann. He also plays in Thailand, and the most important aspect of his system is to release the pigeons every day. I studied this system very carefully, and my conclusion was that this was also the perfect system for me.  Instead of 2 groups of pigeons training 1 hour a day, I found somebody who’s willing to drive to Ittre (50km) or to Quievrain (87km) every day.

He releases the birds with a difference of a quarter hour in between the cocks and the hens, and when they arrive back home, they have to get inside immediately. So when they get home, neither sex gets to see each other.  This is an ideal system for me, and it seems to work out for the pigeons, too. I don’t look that much to the weatherconditions, only when it’s too bad, they stay home.

When the pigeons have to follow that kind of system, they must be taken care of very carefully.  When they arrive home, I feed them the mixtures of Versele-Laga (Start Plus and Subliem) and Van Robaeys (sport exclusive). The next two days, twice a day a mixture of Casaert and Gerry Plus. The last two days, again the mixture they get at their arrival.

I like to use a lot of by products -- every day Zell Oxygen (Herbots) on the food, and I dry it with amino acids of Dr. Vandersanden. I also like to use the products of Belgica-De Weerd.  On a medical level I regularly use WN (De Weerd).


The national winning hen and also the fastest of all, already has a beautiful prize-list.  Before her national victory, she already won this year 3 provincial Chateauroux 3,042 p., 290 national Bourges 20,544 p., and 254 zonal La Chatre 7,806 p.

In the pedigree we see that the father is of the own strain and that the mother comes from the loft Gaston Van De Wouwer.
Before she left, “Miss Blue” was super motivated. In the corridor of the loft, I put a cupboard, and the day of basketing, she spent her time there with her partner. This seemed to have done it.

Kris, Michel and Didier, congratulations!

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Wing of "Julius"

Willy's Lofts

Inside the
widowers' loft



Londerzeel:  “It was a big surprise,” Willy starts his story. “Of course, I expected the pigeons very early, but Didier Desbuqouis told me it would be around 7 o’clock. Still I didn’t trust it, and a quarter of an hour before neutralisation time finished, I went outside to take a look.  I didn’t believe what I saw!  A pigeon was waiting for me! My heart was beating like crazy, but I remained calm because I knew neutralisation time was still running. I locked my dog inside, put on the electronic system, and I even took my control clock with me. I called my Barcelona racer inside, but the system didn’t work, even when I put the bird on the system a second time, it didn’t make any sound.  I started to panic a little bit, and then I tried another board and this time I heard the sound. I don’t know how long the bird was sitting there, but I do know that he wasn’t there the evening before at 22.50 hours.”


“At the end of the nineties,” Willy continues, “I decided to start by racing the heavy long-distance races. I didn’t succeed immediately, but then the Desbuquois Brothers came to build a veranda, and I received some pigeons. It all changed very soon, and I can easily say that my pigeons have the Desbuquois blood 100%. It even became more than getting some pigeons.  I became a true friend of the Desbuquois family. When they go on vacation, I take care of their birds.”

“I started the season with 45 widowers (no hens) among which 23 old birds,” Willy says. “They get paired at the end of April and after 1 x Quievrain, 1 x Noyon , 1 x Dourdan, they went to Vierzon and Limoges. After Limoges, they got their rest till the basketing of Barcelona. Here this means complete rest, and only some training around the loft between Limoges and Barca. Not one race, not even a little training flight. I can’t tell you anything special concerning the care-taking. After Limoges, I treated to get clean heads for three days, and shortly after three days against canker with the products of Dr. Peeters. At first I use light food (super winner Mariman), 10 days before basketing 50% light and 50% sport, and the last days 100% sport (mixtures from different firms).”


Willy continues, “The national winner, B08-2142510, was baptised as ‘Julius.’ It’s a tribute to my wife Julliete, who died five years ago. He was trained at a very young age. As a yearling, he did St. Vincent and last year he went to Tarbes and Perpignan.  You ask if he was specially motivated?  No, like any other year, they got their hens for half a day and a lot of straw to build a nest.

I put in 10 pigeons for Barcelona. I clocked my national winner at 5:02 and the rest at 7:04, 8:32, 8:56, 8:58, 9:20 and 10:27. I’m very pleased with these results.

Willy, congratulations!

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