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  News > Eric Brootcoorens

Silvere Toye:
Yesterday is History
Tomorrow is a Mystery
Today is the Present

by Stefan Mertens


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Silvere Toye

Silvere Toye's
racing lofts

Silvere Toye's
young bird lofts

Otegem: If you ask me to tell you the name of the best all-round champion of Belgium, then I will not think long and will immediately name Silvere Toye from Otegem. Why? Well, first of all, an all-round champion is in my eyes a fancier who makes top results on the very long-, long-, and middle-distance races, and does this with old-, year- and youngbirds. And, most of all, Silvere performs well not only with widowers but also with the hens and youngsters. He's the man to beat.

And do you know what I personally respect the most in Toye? It's the fact that he's very honest and open. He's a fancier from whom you can learn something. When he tries something new in the pigeon sport, he's always prepared to talk about it, and that cannot be said of everybody.

I know that facts speak louder than words; therefore, I give you his "Walk of Fame" of the last 20 years.

2nd national ace-pigeon Long distance KBDB with "Young Tarzan"
5th national ace-pigeon Long distance KBDB with "Dikkop 205"
2nd national champion Long Distance KBDB

3rd national Champion Long Distance KBDB
Olympiad pigeon Praag with "Young Tarzan"
1st national Limoges 10.999 birds with "Young Dikkop"

1984 1st International Pau with "Peter Pau"

1988 1st national ace-pigeon long distance KBDB with "Tarzan Boy"

1989 Olympiad pigeon Katowice with "New Tarzan"

1991 1st national Champion very long distance KBDB

1992 1st national champion long distance KBDB

5th national ace-pigeon long distance KBDB with "Romulus"
1st international ace-pigeon very long distance ZLU with "Romulus"

1995 1st international ace-pigeon very long distance ZLU with "Black Devil"

6th national ace-pigeon long distance KBDB with "Mephisto"
16 X 1st prize

22 X 1st prize
5 X 1st provincial
3rd national ace-pigeon long distance with "Mephisto"
2nd national Argenton against 15.443 youngbirds with "Soleil"
2nd national Périgueux against 5.591 birds with "Thalys"

1st national Bourges against 3,397 hens with "Libelle"

5 X 1st provincial

1st national La Souterraine against 1,334 old birds with "Turbi"

5 X 1st provincial
37 x in first 100 national in category Hens
18 x in first 100 national in category Old Birds
11 x in first 100 national in category Yearbirds


1st provincial Brive against 1087 old birds
14 X 1st prize
11 times in first 100 national category Old Birds


1st provincial Bourges 1830 birds
11 X 1st prize
8 times in first 100 national category old birds


5 X 1st provincial
12 X 1st prize
17 times in first 100 national category Old Birds
5 times in top 10 national


Silvere: "I have now constructed my own system of total widowhood. Before I can explain this method, I must first tell you how I started racing hens. It must have been in mid-1990. People who know me know that I travel a lot during the winter period-South Africa, China, Taiwan, Japan, America, etc. Thanks to the pigeons, I saw all those places. When I came in contact with fanciers from those countries, they always asked me why I didn't race hens. I always had an excuse as an answer, but afterwards I thought to myself why not give it a try. So I started with four hens, which I put between my youngsters. Since they were sitting between the youngsters, they were on the same treatment scheme. So they were also darkened, and during the day they had to stay in an aviary. Honestly, I didn't expect that much from those ladies, but I had to change my idea because they beat my widowers more than once. After the season, I decided to race with hens and I perfected my system."

"Listen," continues Silvere, "to explain my system I start at the end of the racing season. Once that is finished, the hens go to an aviary and there they stay the whole day. Only during the night they can go to the loft. Do those hens start to pair up with each other? No. When they have had a hard racing season and they moult, then they don't have any intention to pair."

"At the beginning of December, I prepare the hens for the winter breeding," Silvere explains. "One important detail is that the hens don't breed or brood. I act as follows. I couple my best hens against a superb widower or breeder and as soon as she lays her eggs, I put the eggs under another couple and the hen goes immediately to the aviary. There she is put on a kind of winter regime or in other words, very light meals and almost no training."




"When the month of February is on the calendar, then I start darkening those ladies," Silvere continues. "I darken from 17 o'clock till 9 o'clock. [5:00 p.m. until 9:00 a.m.] I darken till June. Just one little detail about darkening: if you darken your loft don't make the mistake of closing everything. Be sure that there's still some ventilation."

"Once we're in March, I change my system. Now they may train every day at 16 o'clock. Do those hens train well? Yes, no problems with it. They're with a nice group and they train one hour without any problem. I think they train well because they're in a big group. I don't think you have to try my system with, for example, five or six hens. Thirty hens is a minimum. Once they stop training they have to enter the loft immediately. No parties allowed on the roof!"

Silvere goes on, "As soon as the weather is good, I start to train the hens. I like to train pigeons a lot. Before they're basketted for their first race, they have certainly done 10 to 15 tosses."


"Motivation is important… very important," Silvere emphasizes. "When I started racing hens, I saw immediately that hens are more jealous than cocks, and now it became an art to play that card. Motivation can happen in several ways, but don't make the mistake of putting all your best cards on the table at the beginning of the game. I handle this as follows. On the first races (April till mid-May) I never show the cock before basketting. When the hens arrive there is a cock sitting ready in the box but he stays "half-box". At the middle of May, I do the following. On basketting day, I let them train at 16.00 o'clock [4 p.m.]. They train, come in, eat, and drink, and then they go to the aviary. When they're there, I put the cocks in the loft but I just put them in the first box that is free, so they are never in the same box, which means that the hens never get the same cock in their box. After some weeks the hens know the game I'm playing, and they start searching their favorite cock. You can imagine how jealous the hens are."


Silvere continues, "So, you understand that I have very good results with that hen system, and on a certain day I decided that I'm going to race those cocks also and so follow the total widowhood system. It goes as follows. In fact, I'm following just the same system with cocks and hens. The whole week the hens are staying in an aviary to the left of the central loft and the cocks in an aviary to the right of the central loft. When the hens train, the cocks are in the aviary, and that aviary is then darkened so that the hens and cocks don't see each other. Once the hens stop training they come into the loft and they eat in the corridor of the loft. Meanwhile, the cocks train. When the hens have finished eating, they go to the aviary and can drink there. The aviary is also darkened a little while-just until the cocks have entered the loft to eat. Once they have eaten, they also go to their aviary and stay there for the rest of the day."

Now, to be clear I follow this system with pigeons which are basketted on the 400-500-600 km races-or my favorite races. The cocks which are raced on the very long distance are raced on widowhood and are prepared in the normal way.

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"Tarzan Boy"

"New Tarzan"

The eye of
"New Tarzan"

The eye of


"Grote Barcelona"


"Invincible Montauban"

The eye of




"Mirabelle" (3406040/77) is the top-breeding hen in the Toye loft. She comes out of the "Kleinen" (3459253/73) X "Ijskopduivin" (3169396/74).
"Mirabelle" is mother or grandmother of following top pigeons: "Tarzan Boy" (1st nat. ace-pigeon long distance 1988) - "Kleine Didi" (1st national ace-pigeon long distance 1997) - "Young Tarzan" (2nd national ace-pigeon long distance 1982 - Olympiad pigeon Praag - 5th international Lourdes 1982) - "New Tarzan" (Olympiad pigeon Katowice) - "Romulus" - "Black Devil"- "Rita" (1st provincial ace-pigeon long distance) - 1st national Souillac 2001 by Gilles Galles - 2nd national Montauban 2002 by Degrijze-Steenkiste - "Gloria" (3rd national Bourges '98 against 3397 p.) - "Tarzan Boy" (3rd national Perpignan 1988) - "Mephista" (4th national La Souterraine 2002 against 13,737 youngsters) - "Tarzan Senior" (7th national Pau) - "Iris" (9th national La Souterraine), and so on. It is really unbelievable. I think we're talking about the best breeding hen in the world.


It is known that top fanciers like to invest in superb birds. This is the same with Silvere. When he thinks that he can make a good investment, he will not hesitate.

In 1977, he bought 20 youngsters from Norman Norbert. Those pigeons, crossed with the old base ("Kleinen", "Mirabelle", "Carla") gave "De Tarzan", "De Dikkop", etc.

In 1991, Silvere bought from Eric Limbourg (Brussegem) two top birds:

(1) "Alibaba" (2136208/89). "Alibaba" comes out "Tamme Stichelbaut" (4850721/86) X "2102600/84" and became in 1991 the 1st national ace-pigeon long distance KBDB. Some race results: 1st Vierzon 700p. (5th provincial 1748p. - 71st interprovincial 9418 p.) - 48th national Cahors against 8167p. - 40th national Montauban against 4477p. - 119th national Brive against 18,146p. - 114th national Bourges against 7788p. - 16th national La Souterraine against 2051p. By Silvere "Alibaba" became a real top breeder. He gave several first prizewinners and he is also father of "Thalys" (2nd national Perigueux 5594 pigeons).

(2) "De Grote Barcelona" (2136128/89). He was in 1991 2nd national ace-pigeon long distance. He comes out "2021726/83" X "Valepijnduivin" (3044560/80). "De Grote Barcelona" won the following top results: 15th national Brive against 18,416p. - 11th national Tulle against 5132p. - 56th semi-national Chateauroux against 4000p. - 132nd national Montauban against 6721p. - 175th national Bourges against 7788p., etc.
"De Grote Barcelona" is also father of several first prize winners, one of which is "Soleil" who won 2nd national Argenton against 15,443 youngsters.

In 1992, Silvere again bought a top bird, and then it was the "Invincible Montauban" (628452/90). This top cock won the first national Montauban against 5,338 birds--this with 20 minutes in front. The first young that Silvere bred out of "Invincible Montauban" was "Mephisto" and that top widower became in 1996 the 6th national ace-pigeon long distance KBDB, and in 1997 the 3rd national ace-pigeon long distance KBDB. But also "Miss Universe" (10th provincial ace-pigeon long distance youngbirds), "Casanova" (1st Orleans 579p. etc.) - "Amadine" (2nd provincial Argenton 1951p.) - "Windsor" (6th provincial ace-pigeon long distance), etc., are children or grandchildren of the "Invincible Montauban".

In 1996, Silvere went to Gaby Vandenabeele and bought several youngsters there. He also made a golden deal here. The hen "Gaby" became mother of "Rita" (1st provincial ace-pigeon) and the cock "De Majoor" became father of 1st national Bourges against 3397 hens. And there is also "Turli" who became mother of "Futura" who won 1st national La Souterraine.


1st provincial Tours (428km) against 2409 b.
1st provincial Bourges (418 km) against 1937 b.
1st provincial La Souterraine (526km) against 1799 youngsters
1st provincial Argenton (488km) against 360 old birds
1st provincial Guerret (526 km) against 186 old birds
2nd provincial Bourges against 1973 b.
2nd provincial La Souterraine against 1799 youngsters
2nd provincial Chateauroux (461km) against 7347 yearbirds
2nd provincial Tours against 3026 b.
4th provincial Tours against 3026 b.
4th provincial Poitiers (531km) against 1023 b.
5th provincial Poitiers against 3390 b.
6th provincial Chateauroux against 4498 b.
10th provincial Chateauroux against 4498 b

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