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  News > Vandenheede - Freddy & Jacques

Danny Van Dyck
1st National Ace-Pigeon Little Middle Distance Youngsters

by Stefan Mertens


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Breeding loft

"Breeding Loft"

Young bird loft

Floor young birds

"Young Bird Loft"


"Hens Loft"

"Widowers Loft"


"Het Kogeltje"




"Nestbroer Kanon"





























































































Pulle: Did his grandfather Richard realise, when he gave 8 youngsters to his 14-year old grandson Danny, that this was the start of a brilliant career as a fancier? Already now, his results are impressive but I’m sure we didn’t see the last of it yet. The reason why we write this down is because nobody can deny that Danny has the “feeling”. Like all big champions, he noticed every little detail much faster than anybody else but also because Danny always refuses to sell his good pigeons. Top-pigeons like “Kanon”, “Brother Kanon”, “Fiona” and the national ace-pigeon “Kogeltje”, still can be found in the breeding boxes of the colony Van Dyck. Indeed, this mix already proved several times to be a success to a superior pigeon sport. And Danny remains level headed with all these successes … no big mouth…no bragging… but realising that every season is a new start.

Here a list of the nominations that his pigeons won in the national championships:

1st National Champion MD KBDB Youngsters 2011
1st National ace-pigeon MD KBDB Youngsters 2013
2nd National Champion MD KBDB Youngsters 2008
3rd National Champion MD KBDB Youngsters 2009
4th National ace-pigeon MD KBDB Youngsters 2009
5th National ace-pigeon MD KBDB Youngsters 2009
5th National ace-pigeon MD KBDB Youngsters 2011
7th National ace-pigeon MD KBDB Youngsters 2009
7th National ace-pigeon MD KBDB Youngsters 2013
8th National ace-pigeon MD KBDB Youngsters 2009
1st Belgian Ace-pigeon European Cup Dortmund 2010
European Champion Mira 2012
1st Ace-pigeon Belgian Master 2013

Danny, do you mind when we call you a specialist with the youngsters?

No, to me, the game with the youngsters is the most important. You must mention that I work full time and that I’m lucky to have my wife and my neighbour Rik to help our or otherwise I shouldn’t be able to race the pigeons. I like to see my name at the top of the result and that’s only possible if you specialise and to me it’s the game with the youngsters on the middle distance races. Nevertheless, I also have 13 couples of old and yearling birds, which I play on the system of the total widowhood and I’m not afraid to show you the results. I put in 152 old and yearling birds and I scored with 121 prizes of which 71 per 10!
Because I’m a fancier that still works, I have to keep to a strict planning. At the beginning of May, the first pigeons can train at 6 in the morning; the old and the young hens. Before I leave at 7.30 a.m., I hope that I am able to call inside all pigeons. If not, the loft has to stay open and that’s not ideal. The young cocks get out at 15.30 p.m. and here I can count on the support of my wife or Rik. When I arrive back home at 17.00 p.m., I call inside the young cocks and next the old and yearling cocks can start their training.”

Can you tell us how many young birds you have for the season 2014 and how did you take care of them till now.

“There are 63 youngsters of the first round and 40 of the second round. When all young birds of the 1st round were weaned, I used an anti-cancer product in the drinking water for about 3 days. About a week later, the vet vaccinated them against paramyxo, which I always prefer to be done rather early. I vaccinate the pigeons a second time against paramyxo, just after the season. No other medication is used but every day, I use Naturaline + apple vinegar in the drinking water. Till one month after they’ve been weaned, the youngsters get a breeding mixture; afterwards they get a moulting mixture. Why I use a moulting mixture? Well, the young ones moult little feathers and this mixture contains a certain percentage of barley, the ideal measure to see if they’ve eaten enough. “

What about the illness of the youngsters…

Good question.  Till now I was very lucky because I didn’t have many problems with it. I sometimes have some sad young birds or some that haven’t a lot of appetite. I’m not a man of science but I think the reason why I don’t have many problems with it is that I never get strange youngsters on my loft and every day they get apple vinegar + naturaline. Of course, this is what I think but maybe I’ll be sitting in the waiting room of the vet tomorrow with a basket full of young pigeons.

Danny, today we’re the first week of March, do your youngsters already fly well?

No, and it’s something in which I annoy every year again. At the beginning, the youngsters can get used to their environment from an open aviary and afterwards, my young birds get outside at 16.00 hours. You all know that young birds that get outside that late don’t show a lot of lust to fly. Every year again, I think they don’t get in the air in time and that I won’t be able to train them in time but every year again, it’s done in time. Yesterday we were March 7th and I chased them into the air for the first time.

Would you like to explain something more about the system with your young birds?

I start darkening them on February 20th till 3 weeks before the middle distance season for the youngsters. The darkening starts at 17.30 p.m. but I don’t darken them that long and at the end of the season, they‘ve already thrown 3 or 4 feathers.
In the middle of April, when the weather allows it, the training starts. Because I’m always working during the week, it all has to be done during the weekend. The number of times I drive them away, depend on how many good weekends we have in the months of April and May. Once the young birds did Quievrain with the club, I don’t drive them away anymore. My neighbour Rik always says that driving a lot with the young birds is important and he often asks if he has to take mine together with his. I don’t take his generous suggestion because it doesn’t fit in my system. At this moment, I succeed by my way of doing, so why should I change?
After their first Quievrain, they get separated and for the rest of the season, the youngsters are played by the system of the sliding door. About two hours before basketing, the door is opened and they can party. To make it all cosier, I put some boxes and shelves on the loft in the second part of the season. When they arrive back home, they can stay together for the rest of the day.
Before the youngsters get trained, they are cured against cancer. Before the start of the middle distance season, they’re treated for the head diseases. Last season, I cured for 5 days with Soludox. During the middle distance season, as long as the results are good, they’re no longer treated against the head diseases but after each race, during 3 meals, they get B.S. (De Weerd) over the food. Other by products I often use is apple vinegar with Naturaline, beer yeast and a lot of grit + Leckerstein and Vitamineral.

Was your national ace-pigeon, the “Kogeltje” specially motivated?

Yes, the “family situation” was a bit odd. The “Kogeltje” fell in love with a certain cock but soon it seemed that love didn’t come from both sides. At the beginning of the season, this cock stayed in the corner with the “Kogeltje” and afterwards, he dropped his eye on another hen. I think this situation made the “Kogeltje” jealous. After a few weeks, the cock didn’t care about the “Kogeltje” any longer and at that moment, I had to interrupt. First, I let the cock with another hen and then I put the “Kogeltje” with her cock alone on the compartment. This seemed to be a good decision because she went into the basket super motivated every week again.
The top results of the “Kogeltje” B13-6215758:
            1          Dourdan        1.487p. (Fastest against 5.591p.)
            1          Noyon                        1.449p.
            4          Dourdan        2.433p.
            16        Dourdan        2.374p.
            17        Dourdan        2.179p.
            26        Orleans prov.            4.262p.
            31        Quievrain      2.443p.

What about the system of total widowhood of the old and yearling birds?

Before the season, I have 13 couples on total widowhood. They got together in the first week of January and when their little ones were about 16 days, the hen and 1 youngster moved to the youngster compartment. The cocks had to raise the other youngster. Once the young birds start to eat alone, the hens move to their own compartment. At the beginning of April, a second pairing is on the program and they can breed for 4 days.
The old and the yearling birds have to do a middle distance race every week. When they arrive home from a race, they get “Champion Plus” (Versele-Laga) and as I do with the youngsters, they also get 3 meals B.S. over the food and in the drinking water, I use Belgasol. On Sunday, still Champion Plus to eat and the Belgasol are changed into Naturaline + apple vinegar. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning, they get a protein poor mixture (Gerry Plus) and to feed them up, again they get Champion Plus. On Thursday, they get Dextrotonic. As well before as after the race, they get dropped with Clinagel or with Formadrops.

Are you a strong selector?

Every fancier should select strongly, it’s as simple as that. Of 120 youngsters I weaned in 2013, only 20 reached the end. All breeders were very successful as a youngster. Several prizes per 10 are a must if they want to survive.

We didn’t talk about the base of your colony.

In fact, I was very lucky when Rik Hermans bought the house next door. We became very good friends and good friends exchange pigeons. For sure, my colony is based for 50% on Rik’s pigeons. The last few years, I was very successful with pigeons out of “Beautifly”, “Sister Beautifly”, “Charlene”, “Son Propere”, “Son Athena”, “Son Munli”, “Brother Asduifke” etc… . Also the mother of the “Kogeltje”, a Karel Boeckx hen, arrived on my loft by Rik and was paired to the “Kanon”. Other pigeons with which I succeed are of: René Smolders, Eddy Janssens, Dirk Van Dyck, Jos Cools, Theo Van Genechten and Johan Donckers.
The two best breeders are the “Kanon” (father 1st Nat. ace-pigeon KBDB MD “The Kogeltje”) and “Brother Kanon”. “The Kanon” was 4th Nat. ace-pigeon and winner 1st European cup MD 2010. “Brother Kanon” was 5th Nat. ace-pigeon).

Stefan Mertens

































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