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from Belgium and Europe
Simply the Best
by Stefan Mertens
It is still standing there…I’m talking about the old barn with pigeon
lofts tucked under the roof. It is a very cold morning when I visit Ferdi
Lambrecht and Marcel Lismont, and I’m feeling the wind blowing through
the tiles of the barn. Ferdi laughs a little when he sees that I’m closing
my jacket because I’m feeling cold.
Ferdi Lambrecht and Marcel Lismont...
one of Belgium's most successful partnerships
used to the wind in the lofts," says Ferdi, "and a few wet places after
a rainy day…frozen drinking bowls in the winter…. We are not surprised
anymore. But one thing is sure. These are, in our opinion, the ideal lofts.
Certainly during hot summer days."
That’s right. The results list of this duo becomes more impressive from year to year. The top results are: 1st National Le Souterraine Young Birds (1994), 1st National La Souterraine Yearlings (1992), 1st Semi-National Chateauroux Young Birds, 1st National La Souterraine against 15,337 young birds (2000), 1st National Champion K.B.D.B. Yearlings (1997), and about 20 Provincial victories. Very impressive, if you ask me.
A good base...
Ferdi Lambrechts (age 57) and Marcel Lismont (age 58) have been in partnership since 1970. They are brothers-in-law, but when it comes to the pigeons, Marcel is without any doubt the captain of the team.
Our friends are convinced that everything starts in the breeding loft, and that is why the breeding loft gets a lot of attention. The base is formed by the following names: Jan Grondelaers (Opglabeek), Grommaar Verbruggen (Kaggevinne), Jos Deno (Leefdaal), Deraedt-Van Grembergen (Gentbrugge), Jef, Luo en Nadia Houben (Itegem), Remi Hoebrechts (Hoeilaart), Roger Persoons (Halen), Louis De Weerdt (Kessel), Walter Van Durme (Borsbeke), Maurice Voets (Kessel).
young bird loft
The 45 widowers are coupled around January 15th and they have to breed two youngsters. Immediately after that, they brood again for five days, and around March 15th they are put on the widowhood system. So the widowers are on widowhood for approximately one month before the season starts. After they have been trained three times at 30 kilometers, they are prepared for the rest of the racing program. In all, the widowers are on widowhood for about 20 weeks. When the widowhood system is finished, they are put on nests, and they are basketed again for some 500 km. races.
So you can imagine, it is always a hard-working summer for the widowers. Don’t be surprised when I tell you that there are some widowers in the loft with more than 6000 kilometers "in the wings." Unbelievable, but true.
To make sure that the condition stays strong during the whole season, Marcel and Ferdi use a variation of the widowhood system. The first six weeks of the widowhood system, the widowers receive, at the departure for and at the arrival of a race, a "strange" widowhood hen in the box. Afterwards, they get their own hen. This is, of course, a superb system to keep the motivation and condition on a very high level.
To keep the pigeons very healthy is the main thing in the pigeon sport. And Lambrecht and Lismont train their eyes to observe the pigeons carefully to see that there are no diseases developing in the loft.
"From the moment that you see the first symptoms of disease, you have to cure very quickly," says Marcel. "Before the racing season starts, our practice is to visit a specialized vet. If there are respiratory problems, we use Suanovil. For trichomoniasis, we use a product based on Ronidazole or Spartrix."
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Note dark place in loft corner
2000 – 1st National La Souterraine...
It was the "Genopte 659" who won the 1st National La Souterraine against 15,337 young birds. A very nice victory of the kind that can be won only by a superb pigeon. But the story of this victory is a very special one.
Marcel and Ferdi had 15 youngsters for La Souterraine, but at first they had planned to basket only 14 youngsters because "De Genopte 659" was chasing his hen the entire week. She had not laid her first egg, and the "Genopte 659"didn’t trust the whole process. The "future father" didn’t take a break for a minute. He didn’t even take time to eat. Marcel’s opinion was that he could not basket this cock because he was feeling so "light."
But it was still a few days before basketing, and to make sure that the "Genopte 659" would have some extra weight, Marcel gave him an extra five peanuts. But the cock would eat only three of the peanuts and then start chasing his hen again! But on the day of basketing, the partners decided to basket this cock. The result—1st National La Souterraine!
Young birds and the darkness system...
The partners started the racing season with 109 youngsters, divided into three lofts. The fanciers allowed the youngsters to select the loft they’d go into. On March 15th, Marcel started the darkness system, but due to some technical problems, they could darken only two of the three lofts. Each youngster had already chosen his place in one of the three lofts, and Marcel wondered whether all the youngsters would move to the undarkened loft if only two of the three were darkened. But everybody stayed in his place and two thirds of the youngsters were darkened until June 21st.
The result of this "unusual" experiment was that by mid-September the "undarkened" youngsters had moulted four to five wing feathers, and the "darkened" youngsters had moulted only one or two wing feathers.
Marcel explains further: "When we started darkening, we didn’t know what the result would be. But now we think that we will repeat the whole system. Maybe we will change one little thing, namely not to darken until June 21st but just until the beginning of June. Because I’m wondering if the youngsters would come through the moult by the end of the year.
Once the darkening system has ended, the youngsters come together and can do what they want. Some will start a nest, and others will stay "only in love." One thing is very clear, namely, the "darkened" youngsters didn’t start nesting as quickly as the "undarkened" youngsters.
The youngsters are always fed as much as they want. In the beginning of the week, they receive Super Diet, and afterwards there is a racing mixture on the menu. The young hens are basketed every week, while the young cocks stay at home from time to time.
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Exterior view of the racing lofts
lot of training flights...
Ferdi Lambrecht trains the youngsters beginning in early April. When the weather is good, he does a 30 km training toss three to four times a week. Before the youngsters are basketed for the first club race, they have already had 15 "training races." Even during the racing season, the youngsters are training at 40 km once a week.
One week after weaning, the youngsters are treated against trichomoniasis and coccidiosis. Before they have their first training flights, they are treated again against trichomoniasis and respiratory problems.
In the year 2000, Lambrecht-Lismont won a total of 42 first prizes!
NATIONAL AND PROVINCIAL
RESULTS – 2000
1st National La Souterraine – 15,357 young birds, 8/26/00 1st National Zone C – Bourges – 4,017 yearlings, 7/29/00 1st National Zone C – La Souterraine, +/- 5,000 young birds, 8/26/00 1st & 2nd Provincial Issodun – 1,298 yearlings, 7/8/00 1st Provincial La Souterraine – 1,589 young birds, 8/29/00 1st Provincial Issodun – 241 birds, 7/8/00 1st Semi-National Fleurus La Souterraine-- 3,862 young birds, 8/26/00 2nd & 3rd Provincial Issodun – 1,097 old birds, 7/8/00 5th Semi-National Angouleme – 3,693 old birds, 6/10/00 5th Semi-National Bourges – 3,645 yearlings, 7/30/00 9th National Zone C – souillac – 1,248 old birds, 7/22/00 13th Fleurus – Perpignan – 1,732 old birds, 8/5/00 17th Provincial – Blois – 3,230 young birds, 7/15/00 17th Semi-National – Vierzon – 14,596 old birds, 5/20/00 21st National – Bourges – 11,249 yearlings – 7/30/00 24th National – Zone C – Argenton – 1,277 yearlings, 8/12/00 25th National – Zone C – Bourges – 4,017 yearlings, 7/30/00
On these six long-distance races, Lambrecht-Lismont won 13 prizes from 17 birds basketed.
1st & 5th Angouleme – 158 old birds, 6/10/00 1st & 11th Narbonne – 167 old birds, 7/29/00 1st Souillac – 176 old birds, 7/22/00 2nd & 24th Perpignan – 232 old birds, 8/5/00 2nd, 12th & 20th Cahors – 392 old birds, 6/17/00 2nd, 13th & 19th, Montauban – 174 old birds, 7/1/00
1st, 2nd, 5th & 8th Momignies – 533 young birds, 6/18/00 1st, 13th 18th & 22nd Momignies – 837 young birds, 6/1/00 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th & 7th Momignies – 748 young birds, 6/12/00 1st, 14th, & 17th Vierzon – 493 old birds, 5/20/00 1st & 6th Bourges – 350 yearlings, 7/29/00 1st, 2nd & 9th Issodun – 220 yearlings, 7/8/00 1st, 2nd & 8th Issodun – 165 old birds, 7/8/00 1st & 13th Sens – 219 old birds, 5/2700 1st, 2nd & 3rd Blois – 118 old birds, 8/5/00 1st, 12th & 17th Momignies – 291 young birds, 7/16/00 1, 3rd & 16th Toury – 190 old birds, 5/13/00
BEST RESULTS 1991-1999
1st National Champion K.B.D.B Yearlings 1997 1st National La Souterraine I Youngsters, 13,724 birds 1st National La Souterraine II Yearlings, 1,774 birds 1st National La Souterraine II Hens, 878 birds 1st Semi-National Chateauroux Youngsters, 1,007 birds 1st Semi-National Saint-Witz Youngsters, 786 birds 2nd Semi-National Brive, 1,286 birds 2nd Semi-National Saint-Witz, 1,019 birds 2nd Semi-National Viezon, 1,640 birds 3rd National Argenton, 3,008 birds 3rd National La Souterraine, 1,361 birds 3rd National Vierzon, 11,717 birds 4th National Argenton, 20,538 birds 4th Semi-National Vierzon, 6,085 birds 4th Semi-National Vierzon, 5,943 birds 6th National La Souterraine, 2,135 birds 6th National Clermont-Ferrand, 6,721 birds 6th Semi-National Bourges, 3,334 birds 6th Semi-National Tours, 1,077 birds 7th National Montauban, 6,721 birds 7th National La Souterraine, 2,135 birds 8th National La Souterraine, 2,728 birds 8th National La Souterraine, 2,135 birds 8th Semi-National Chateauroux, 3,568 birds 9th National Argenton, 3,008 birds 10th National Argenton, 7,005 birds 10th National Argenton, 4,096 birds 11th National La Souterraine, 2,460 birds 12th National Argenton, 2,328 birds 13th Semi-National Brive, 1,646 birds 14th National Barcelona, 11,423 birds
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