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1st National La Souterraine for Michel VANLINT

Zoutleeuw - They got to know each other in San Fransico.... we're talking about Michel Vanlint and Willem De Bruijn. Two of a kind that found each other... they got along immediately....and it ended up in one of the most important "rushes to the top" of the last years. Who else but Michel Vanlint deserves to have the best loft of Belgium of the year of 2004!
They're not only two fanciers that think the same about the sport and the pigeons. It are also the birds of Willem De Bruijn (called the flying dentist in Holland) that are at the base of the spectacular career of the "Lost Son", who came back to Belgium in 2002 after he spend over 20 years in Taiwan. He looked for a house in Zoutleeuw but before he bought the place he looked where to build his loft and then he bought the house without even taken a look inside. In 2004 Michel started with 36 yearling couples on widowhood, 8 breeding pairs and about 100 youngsters. His accommodation build in the L-form by the hands of Van Ostaeyen from Boechout stands for 4 sections for his yearling birds and 5 compartments for the youngsters.

The words of the master...
I started to build the loft by the example of the late Huyskens-Van Riel, an L-form and in a South East direction. The direction is very important but most fanciers don't think about this aspect. My loft is also very compact; 16 m x 12 m. This year my young birds scored very well too but I think we will talk mostly about the yearlings.

I play the total widowhood and the 36 couples are devided over 4 sections... loft one contains all checquered cocks, loft two all blue cocks, loft three all chequered hens and on the fourth section we have the blue hens. These sections are two by two identical and all pigeons have to change sections every two days, this to keep them from pairing among each other. Also herby the cocks will eager even more to end up on the breeding section.
At the end of November the racing team is paired for the first time and they got to raise a couple of youngsters. After the weaning the cocks and the hens are separated and at the end of March the same thing was repeated one more time and then they got to breed for 10 days and next they left on widowhood. The learning of the racing team, as well as the short private flights in between, are very important. Once the birds learned all they need to know, they are privately trained, according to the weather, on 25 till 40 km for about three times a week. The hens get out of the basket as first and when they left for about 100 meters, the cocks are released too. And believe it or not but at that point the cocks want to get out so much that they race till they are together with the hens. At their arrival back home, both sexes only see each other on the roof and afterwards they are called inside with the magical stick to their own section. The whole operation looks more difficult then it is because after a while they all jump into their own compartment. The third private training flight is on the day of basketing and mostly the males and females don’t come together again on the moment of basketing.
Cocks and hens are played every week again of the 18th April till the 28th August and it's a fact that not all pigeons stand up against my rhythm. This season about 6 pigeons didn't get where I wanted them too of my team of 36. But I started with pigeons of Willem De Bruijn, which are selected like this for years now and this means a lot.

Another important aspect is of course the food. I tried all kinds of mixtures but I came to the conclusion that it's best to make my own mixture. I feed my birds on a shelve on the floor and I observe what they eat first. The grains they prefer is the one that is used the most. Of course it's always possible that the mixture changes every day because of their behaviour. Also the by-products are important and I follow the schedule from A to Z of the Herbots Animal Products with among others Zell Oxygen, Bronchovit, Vita + Bio, Aminovit....All these products are mixed with the food. Of course also the medical aspect is important. Before the early breeding and before the racing season starts, the birds are cured against trichomoniase for 5 days. During the season the pigeons get a cure of two days against trichomoniase too with all kinds of products sometimes used with the food and sometimes in the drinking water. The three most important aspects to me are: a good loft, pigeons that can hold on to my system and the fancier who has to take care of the medical aspect, a good training- and racing schedule and the proper food that provides them of the right condition. And this is a full time job!
Winner of the day was the "Adonis", NL03/1141085... a cock directly of Willem De Bruijn. And whatever they say, the cock had thrown 3 pinions before he ended up in the basket for La Souterraine and when they took a picture, he threw his 4th. That "Adonis" took care of the cherry on the cake of the season of 2004.....

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update 22-08-2013
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© 2004 Michel Vanlint
Michel Vanlint
Bogaerdenstraat 33 / 3440 Zoutleeuw
Tel: +32(0)475 75 79 58 / Fax : +32(0)11 69 66 78
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