Pulderbos, Belgium – Last weekend was a real high point for André Roodhooft. The Grandmaster, who has set so many fanciers on the right track with the ‘green booklet’, masterly reached a new zenith in his magnificent career as a pigeon fancier. The fancier, who on several occasions missed a national triumph by inches, topped-off a fantastic 2012 season with the national victory against 3,379 old birds in the last national race from Guéret.
André Roodhooft has a colony that is mainly based on the names of Gust Hofkens (by way of Nelles Van de Pol)… Gebr. Janssens from Arendonk… and Lou Wouters from ‘s-Gravenwezel. He is the man who does not believe in ‘names’ but in ‘bloodlines’… and according to him there are only two kinds of pigeons… good ones and bad ones. Selection is the only direct route to success… and that selection starts the moment the birds emerge from the egg and is never ending for a fancier!
André started the 2012 season with a team of 40 widowers… 20 hens… and 130 young pigeons. There were few losses among the young pigeons but nevertheless, there now remains only some 40 of them… and even more will be weeded out.
After the 2011 season, widowers and racing hens reared a late round of young. Before the start of a racing season, the widowers nor the racing hens are used for breeding. The racing team is paired for the first time on 1st April and sits eggs for five days. Training starts from the moment of coupling… with 4 to 5 times from 20 to 60 kilometres… and then they are raced on widowhood until Bourges (the partner stays at home). After Bourges, cocks and hens are coupled… the race from La Souterraine is flown when the birds are sitting on the nest… and basketing for Guéret is done when the young are 14 days old.
The winning hen is the ‘Daughter Tom’ (B11/6025013)… a hen with a magnificent track record and the national victory old pigeons from Guéret is the cherry on top of the cake. It is a very nice little hen that raced well from Quiévrain to Guéret… and last weekend she flew like an arrow towards the sputnik in a formidable sprint finish! She didn’t lose a single second!
André is very thorough in his medical care! After the last race of the season cocks and hens are put in the aviary and are given a 10-day treatment with Baytril. Paratyphoid breaks out easily during the moult period and that has to be prevented. All pigeons are therefore inoculated against paratyphoid in spring.
Before the start of the racing season the pigeons get a 8-day treatment against trichomonas via the drinking water. Every two weeks during the season there is a few days treatment at the beginning of the week. At the slightest sign of bronchial infections they are treated for two days with Ornisol + Belga Tai (de Weerd)… or three times in 2012. Before basketing for Guéret there was no medical intervention at all… but that a stunt performance was in the making could have been anticipated by friend and foe alike after the fantastic result from Noyon in the week before!
And herewith a word of thanks to friend and helper Roger who of course also has his share in this national success.