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  News > Paul & Jelle Roziers
     
 

Paul and Jelle Roziers:
Tops with the Young Birds
in the National Races



by Stefan Mertens



 

Click on any photo
  for larger version
 


The three
generations








Jelle






The lofts







Youngbird loft




 


Other youngbird
loft









Ventilation

 






Extra ventilation









Enough room

Berlaar: We have already mentioned it a few times. The Belgian pigeon sport has become more and more a specialization in one or another discipline. After the "birth" of the pure short-distance racers, the specialists at the middle distance came into the picture. A few years later, a new phenomenon came into the pigeon sport, so that we are now talking about the very long-distance racers. And now… a new category has appeared-namely the specialist with the young birds in the national races. These national races are Bourges (at the end of July), Argenton (14 days after Bourges), La Souterraine (14 days after Argenton) and Gueret (14 days after La Souterraine). Can we say that they're doing wrong?


Of course not. Let's be honest. First of all, those 500km races with young birds are the favorite game of a lot of fanciers. Those races are also the only national races in which thousands of pigeons are basketted, and the fanciers who put here top results on paper are the heroes of the season. The results of these races are maybe the only results which are well analyzed by Belgian and foreign fanciers. So the better the results, the more your name is known worldwide.


Specialists in this category are without any discussion Paul and Jelle Roziers from Berlaar. This father-son combination succeeded in classifying in every national race one or more pigeons in the top 100 positions. Nobody did better, and curious as we are we wanted to know this colony better. It is a pleasant affair there in Berlaar because Paul has a restaurant. In that restaurant a lot of people, and of course a lot of pigeon fanciers, come and enjoy their meals. The restaurant is named "De Laarhoeve."


"Do you come to know more about our pigeons?" asks Paul when I enter the restaurant. "Then I will call my son Jelle. He's the pigeon fancier. He tells me what I have to do in the pigeon loft and I do what he asks. I think this is the best way to be successful. Also in a company their can be only one 'big boss.' Well, it's the same way here in our loft."


A few minutes later, Jelle enters the restaurant. Jelle is 24 years young and with a fashionable cap on his head has already had so many joking references to his name (which sounds like "jelly") that we quickly ask ourselves where this is going to end. But all through all those top results we didn't hear a joking Jelle. No, Jelle knows perfectly well that the pigeon sport is still a game with animals and the big champion of today can be a typical pigeon fancier exactly one year later. We didn't hear big words, but realistic words. Here's our story.



4th GENERATION

The pigeon sport is not a strange thing in the Roziers family. Everything started with Marcel Busschots (the great-grand father of Jelle). Then in 1982 came August Roziers (the grand father of Jelle and still racing very well). In 1994 Paul filled in his first membership card of the KBDB, and since 1998 Jelle also concentrated himself on this beautiful hobby. "The last sentence is not all true," says Jelle. "There were some years that I was not interested any more in the pigeon sport. The reason was that I learned to know the world of discothθques and that was more interesting than cleaning pigeon lofts. This all changed in 2004, because then I started as loft manager for Hubert Schroyens (Itegem). Although I was busy with Hubert's loft, I also consulted with my father, and he won the 1st national La Souterraine with our top hen 'Queen L.' After one season my work with Hubert Schroyens was finished, and I started with Kris Cleirbaut in Bonheiden under the name Cleirbaut-Roziers. But again after one year, this partnership ended, and I started here at home with my father under the name Paul and Jelle Roziers. I can say that I never, and I mean really never, had a bad racing season. Every year I put very nice results on paper. How this is possible? I don't know, maybe I can load myself physically very well to go for 100%. I must say that I spend hours with Jef Houben. I learned almost everything from him. Also my grandfather August taught me a lot of tricks. I didn't learn which was good but which was bad and that was maybe the most important thing to do. You can say that these two fanciers were my main teachers. Without them I would not be where I'm standing now. But along with all the good advice, it is still the pigeons who have to perform."



 


Landing boards










Racing loft aviary









Feeding from
outside










Inside the
youngbird loft

"I'm also lucky to have a superior base," Jelle continues. "It wouldn't surprise you that the base birds are coming from my grandfather. These pigeons were made stronger with pigeons from Van Hove-Uytterhoeven, Houben, Engels Jos andJules, Van Looy Somers and Johan De Belser. Everything was crossed and the combination Houben X Van Hove Uytterhoeven turned out to be the best. In total we have 30 breeding couples and on this loft we can certainly talk about two very important breeding lines. On one side we have 'Happy Choise' and on the other side 'Queen L.' Certainly the line of 'Queen L' is extremely important, because not less than 25 children have a box in the breeding loft and they are not afraid to breed a national top bird. There is 'Texas Girl' who's already mother of 1st zonal Bourges against 13,049b. and 2nd national Bourges against 31,824b. Then there is 'Fifth Avenue.' He is father of 7th national Bourges '06. We also have 'Wall Street.' He is father of 6th national Argenton '06. What do you think about 'Shinji King,' who is father of 6th national La Souterraine against 18,973b. and 9th national Gueret against 12,586b.! Look, those are facts that don't lie!"


"Which strategy do I follow in the breeding loft?" Jelle muses. "Well, take as an example 'Queen L.' This lady has laid five rounds. Every time she is coupled with a different top breeding cock of another colony. The children born from those eggs go immediately into the breeding loft. There they will be crossed with some other bloodlines. A little detail--'Queen L' just has to lay. She never breeds. That's the job of another couple. We're not the fanciers who couple very early. The 10th of December is our preferred coupling date. If you want to have a successful breeding season, you need to prepare your breeders very well. For that reason all the pigeons are vaccinated against paratyphus the second weekend of October. I am different from other fanciers in that I don't treat the birds before this vaccination with one or another antibiotic. By the last week of November the days are getting shorter, and all breeders receive a pill for trichomoniase. When the pigeons are coupled they receive daily Vita Duif in the drinker and Viktus on the mixture. This is always combined with Form-Oil or Backx Oil on the mixture."

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Dimmers on
 timers






Music in
every loft
 










Special
widowhood boxes











Boxes for
yearbird hens

THE FIRST WEEKS AFTER WEANING

Jelle explains, "From the first day the youngsters are weaned, we do everything to bring these babies into healthy condition to their first training races. The first thing is that those youngsters have to grow out and therefore they receive a superb breeding mixture and every day a fresh portion of grit with redstone and a lot of natural products. By a lot, I mean really a lot. I always say laughingly that here the pigeons never get pure water, not even in their bath! When I give a natural product, I always give this product for a minimum of a week. So I give Vita Duif, Kaukabam, Vior, apple vinegar, and so on. Every weekend they receive Belgasol with Belga Biovit, and twice a week they get oil with Viktus on the mixture. To talk again about feeding, the breeding mixture is given until the beginning of April. Afterwards, I give a racing mixture to make sure that the youngsters start to train very well. The purpose is to start the training tosses at the middle of May. Everything starts at 10km, then 20km, 25km, 60km and then in the direction of Quievrain (100km). So within five steps they're at a distance of 100km. This is only possible if the youngsters are extremely healthy. Before I forget, at the end of March, all youngsters are also vaccinated against paratyphus."



ON WIDOWHOOD

"The 2007 racing season was a very special one," Jelle continues. "Our young birds did three times Quievrain (100km) and then they went in the direction of the middle distance. They only went one time further than Paris when our pigeons were not allowed any more into France due to the bird flu. We had to change direction, and personally I didn't want to do this. Therefore, I kept the young birds on the 100km races. Every time the youngsters came home very well. When we heard that we could go again into France, I basketted the youngsters for a 150km race. That happened on Wednesday and on Thursday evening they had already gone to the Bourges national. I made the right decision, because we started with the 2nd national and the 1st provincial. The week between Bourges and Argenton the youngsters went in the direction of Noyon. The week between Argenton and La Souterraine they were basketted for Dourdan. Between La Souterraine and Gueret the youngsters stayed home. So you see, there is no rest during the top season."


Breeding hens'
boxes










These boxes
from another view











Trophies





"Fanciers who know me know that I like to toss the youngsters a lot," Jelle says. "About two weeks before the Bourges national I start to toss a lot. Between two races I toss them three or four times a week. These tosses are made until Argenton, and then I toss them only once a week."


The Roziers' young birds are not raced on the open door system but following the system of pure widowhood. From the moment that the youngsters are weaned, they're already separated. They may train together but when they enter the loft they're immediately separated. Before the young birds are coupled with old birds, Jelle tries to make sure that every young bird has a box. When they have finished their first middle-distance race, they are coupled with the old birds. On the Sunday night, the old bird comes into half of a widowhood box that is divided into two sections, and on the Monday morning the birds come together. Except for a few, most of them are successfully paired this way, and the system of widowhood is established.


During the racing season Jelle gives also a lot of supplementary products. "In the beginning of the week I give Herbochol and Zell Oxygen," he says. "At the end of the week I give Belgasol. On the medical scene, I follow everything very closely. I go to three different specialized vets, namely Dr. De Weerd, Dr. Avet and Dr. Herbots. The first week I go to one, a week later to another. Only on their advice do I treat my birds. Listen, I prefer to pay 10€ for fuel to drive to the vet than to pay 10€ for an antibiotic which was not necessary to give. You understand what I mean. During the last racing season the top condition was more than present because I only had to treat twice against ornithosis and trichomoniasis, namely before Bourges and Argenton. Against trichomoniasis, I treat always individually."
























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"Sunlight Dancer"









"King of Belgium"








"Queen L"









"Perfect Light"



RESULTS 2007


Arlon 180 km
688 young birds: 5 - 18 - 25 - 31 - 46 - 47 - 50 - 65 - 96 - 149 - …

Arlon 180 km
808 young birds.9 - 11 - 17 - 26 - 45 - 58 - 59 - 85 - 109 - 135 - 141 - 142 - 143 - …

Dourdan 360 km
400 youngbirds:.1 - 13 - 22 - 24 - 25 - 33 - 38 - 49 - 53 - 60 - 64 - 72 - 73 - …
747 young birds:6 - 30 - 46 - 48 - 50 - 61 - 68 - 86 - 91 - 98 - 104 - 113 - 116 - …

Bourges II 475 km
1,519 young birds. 1 - 7 - 13 - 16 - 34 - 96 - 163 - 176 - …
Provincial. 4,290 young birds : 1 - 17 - 27 - 34 - 76 - 208 - 350 - 384 - …
National 31,824 young birds: 2 - 67 - 93 - 133 - 279 - …

Argenton 550 km
Club 404 b.: 2 - 10 - 18 - 20 - 25 - 34 - 47 - 69 - …
Provincial 2.712 b.: 10 - 35 - 56 - 60 - 73 - 115 - 179 - …
National 20,844 d.: 25 - 75 - 130 - 141 - 180 - 316 - …

La Souterraine 590 km
Club 764 b.:1 - 4 - 8 - 10 - 18 - 26 - 28 - 48 - 54 - 59 - …
Provincial 2,541 b.: 2 - 11 - 22 - 27 - 42 - 57 - 61 - 107 - 116 - 144 - 167 - 190 - 229-…
National 18,973 b.: 6 - 29 - 51 - 62 - 128 - 195 - 214 - 376 - 406 - …

Gueret 585 km
Club 513 b.: 4 - 16 - 18 - 19 - 30 - 41 - 42 - 53 - 55 - …
Provincial 1,774 b.: 4 - 20 - 23 - 24 - 58 - 79 - 80 - 105 - 110 - 147 - 174 - …
National 12,586 b.: 9 - 38 - 50 - 51 - 168 - 282 - 285 - …


 
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