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Inside the widowers' loft
Inside the youngbird loft
Bekkevoort: Normally we don’t do this--visit a fancier in the middle of a racing season to ask him some questions about the previous season. We make apologies to Lismont Patrick but we felt obliged to make a report about this short distance fancier at this time. Not only did Patrick win for the second time in his career the national championship short-distance old birds, but also in other racing seasons we have to list Patrick Lismont among the best short-distance racers in all of Belgium...
On a national level, it all started in 2005, when Patrick became 6th national champion short-distance old birds. A season later, in 2006, Patrick became 1st national champion short-distance old birds. In 2007, he became 2nd national champion short-distance old birds, and 7th national champion
short-distance young birds. In 2008, he clocked the 4th national ace short-distance, 6th national champion short-distance old birds, 5th national champion short-distance young birds and 2nd Olympiad bird Cat A Dortmund. In 2009, 1st national champion short-distance old birds.
If you analyze this very well, then no further explanation is necessary.
Patrick…how many pigeons do you have?
For the 2010 season, I have 36 widowers. There are 22 old birds and 14 year birds. This team is basketted every week for a short-distance race, and then we are talking about Momignies (115km) and Soissons (214km). In addition to that team, I also have seven old and 18 year birds who will have to prove their abilities in the middle-distance races. Every year I breed around 130 young birds and in the breeding loft I have 40 pairs.
A lot of work for somebody who still goes out to work?
Yes…indeed. I work in a brewery and this involves changing working hours, sometimes very early in the morning, then sometimes late in the afternoon, and sometimes late in the evening. This does not sound so interesting for a pigeon fancier but these working hours have more advantages than disadvantages. Now during the daytime, I’m at home for a few hours, and as I can count on the full help of my wife Sonja, we now have here the perfect team. I tell her what to do, and she does this perfectly. Feeding pigeons, letting the pigeons train, calling them in….she’s worth gold.
For the past two years, I also have the help of my friend Julien Mollu. He baskets the pigeons for Soissons, goes after the race with the clock to the club, and sometimes cleans the breeding loft. Without these two people, I would never have the results that I have now.
What is the base of your colony?
Both in my family and in my wife’s family, we have a lot of pigeon fanciers. When I said in 1992 I would like to race pigeons, everybody in the family helped me. Over the years I looked out for other strains, and I found what I was looking for with Gebroeders Cumps (Langdorp), Benny Willems (Bekkevoort), Patricia Verhaegen (Aarschot), Geerinck Danny (Zolder), Guisson-Van Brabant (Kuringen – strain Soontjes), Medart Marc (St. Truiden), Beyers Louis and Julien Mollu pigeons of Marnix Schoors.
And sometimes…sometimes a fancier needs more than luck. This is a nice story to tell. A few years ago, I was called by a fancier who had bought a pigeon from me, and he asked when he could collect the bird. Because I was not breeding anymore, I took a cock and a hen from the breeding loft. This couple was coupled to each other for the first time. The cock was a son of my base couple, and the hen came from Dutch fancier Baggen Jo. The babies were ready to wean, and the fancier was able to choose from of two very well bred youngsters. He took one and he left me a red cock. Believe it or not, but that red cock became my base cock!
We’re now in the middle of the short distance racing season. Are you satisfied with the results?
Yes and no…but I am more inclined to say no than yes! I will explain. On the short distance, we have the club result, but then we also have a result with ten clubs combined. I wanted always to be the best in that big result, but as of now (interview was done on the 11th of May), it is not going as wished. I didn’t clock a first prize, and also on clocking my 1st and 2nd nominated old bird I have a lot of problems. Every night I’m awake thinking about what went wrong. Is it the cold spring weather that we are having, or is it just a matter of missing top form in the loft? I don’t know!
Unless things change very quickly within a few days, I think that you will not find my name in the championships at the end of the season. You never know. As I have already said, we have been having cold spring weather, and maybe when the temperature goes up, it may change. Let’s hope so.
Did you change something about your system, or did you put your best cocks in the breeding loft?
My system is in fact the same as before. The only thing that has changed is that I didn’t couple my widowers anymore just before the racing season. During other years, I have always done this and let my widowers brood for a couple of days before they are on widowhood. Don’t ask me why I changed this, but one thing is sure. Next year they will be coupled again.
I kept my best widowers from last year in the widowers loft, but a catastrophic race made me lose three good pigeons. That is also pigeon sport...there is nothing you can do about that!
Also regarding motivation, I did the same as before. Before the widowers are basketted the hens come in the loft. The cocks are sitting half box, and cock and hen can only look at each other. How long does the hen stays with the widower? That varies from widower to widower. My Olympiad bird liked to be with his hen a long time. The longer he saw his hen, the better he performed. Other cocks may only see their hen. It is up to the fancier to see and feel what every bird needs to be super motivated.
Can you tell something more about your system for caring for the birds?
Regarding feeding, I feed like a lot of other fanciers. On arrival I always give a sport mixture, as much as they want. On Monday and Tuesday, the sport mixture is replaced by Super Diet. From Thursday on I feed 100% sport mixture again. Even on the day of basketting, I feed the widowers a sport mixture. Here in my loft the widowers are never raced on hunger!
Regarding supplements and medical assistance, I follow the advice of specialized vet Dr. Hendrickx Rudy. Three times a year, I sit in his consulting room and his advice is law! The widowers have in February a 10-day treatment against paratyphus and before the racing season starts, a five-day treatment against trichomoniasis.
In the middle of the season they’re treated again for trichomoniasis for four days. That is all the medical assistance I do. If they cannot do it with this, then they’re selected out! Do I never treat for ornithosis? Yes, but only and really only when the results are not good. I contact Dr. Hendrickx and explain the situation to him. If necessary I will do what he advises.
During the racing season, they receive on Monday and Tuesday Colombine Tea in the drinker. On Wednesday I use Conditie Tonic (Dr. Hendrickx), on Thursday apple vinegar and on Friday Blitzform (Röhnfried). On Saturday (basketting day) they have pure water. Sunday is arrival day, and they get an amino complex from Dr. Hendrickxs a few hours after arrival.
Outside the season on Sundays, I give Sedochol with B-pure (vitaminised brewer’s yeast) on the mixture. During that period I mix a lot of garlic in the drinking water.
During the end of the year there are always a few lofts which are standing empty. I clean them with water and a disinfectant.
The national championship short distance has been won with following results:
The national championship short distance is won with the best coefficient on eight different races with 1st and 2nd nominated old bird (no year birds).
Patrick won with a coefficient of 39.7914%. He beat Smeers Ronny (Diepenbeek – 45.1465%) and Wouters August (Oostmalle – 45.1644%).
||Number of pigeons
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