Rummen, Belgium – Davy Tournelle (28) is a young fancier who has already had a taste of a national victory, acquired with the excellent help of his father and mother. In 2007 Davy managed the rare feat of winning a double triumph in the national Bourges by not only winning with old pigeons (the ‘Cheyenne’), but also with yearlings (the ‘Julie’). And last Saturday he gloriously added the national victory from La Souterraine against 4,698 old pigeons to his track record.
The basis of the Tournelle colony is formed out of the ‘old sort’ of father Patrick… supplemented with birds from fanciers like M. & G. Casaert from Néchin… Gommaire Verbruggen from Kaggevinne… Guido Loockx from Tessenderlo… Harm Vredeveld from Coevorden… Clement Robben from Herk-de-Stad… and the Wed. Smeulders from Bekkevoort (1st National Limoges two-year old pigeons).
The team for 2012 consisted of 60 hens and 50 cocks (20 old birds + 90 yearlings) and all raced on classic widowhood. For both cocks and hens, there was no early coupling. After the racing season has ended, they stay in the loft… with aviaries put up in front of the lofts… and they will not be released again for exercise. Which basically means the birds stay in the aviary during the day… in the loft at night.
In early March, cocks and hens come together with their partner for 10 days and training starts. In some 10 to 15 stages they are taken away to a distance of 80 kilometres… which is very important for the development of the form and every day of the last week they have a training flight from 80 kilometres. When this is completed the pigeons are not taken out for training in between races anymore. They fly 2x Momignies… Soissons… Nanteuil… Toury… Vierzon… Bourges… and then both cocks and hens will participate in a race of some 500 kilometres every week.
After the race Bourges II the hens stayed together with their partners… they had a week of rest… then they flew Soissons… Toury… and La Souterraine. Most of the hens were basketed for La Souterraine when they were due to hatch. The cocks had flown their last race of the season from Blois the week before.
The winning hen is the ‘Lily’ (B11/2067722)… a hen of consistent performance… a nice little hen, that at this moment has cast four flights.
For Davy Tournelle, careful training of his young and old pigeons is a very important aspect of the pigeon sport. Another important item is the regularity of the care for his pigeons… in the summer the rooster crows at 5.15 am and the care and training is regulated to the minute!
Feeding is also done meticulously… on returning from a race on Saturday and on Sunday morning, they get ‘Volle Bak’ (a full feeder), consisting of two brands of sport mixture. Sunday evening they are fed with ‘Vandenabeele’ mixture… or again with ‘Volle Bak’ sport after a very difficult race. Monday and Tuesday morning it is 50% Vandenabeele + 50% sport mixture… but when a difficult race is expected, they always get 100% sport mixture on Tuesday morning. From Tuesday evening until Thursday (day of basketing) they get 100% sport mixture. On Tuesday evening 4 peanuts are added… and on Wednesday evening they can eat as many peanuts as they like.
Feeding supplements that are given over the feed are ‘Frutin’… a sugar extract from pears… apples… and strawberries, ‘Tarsin’… a natural product to strengthen the muscles. Also on Monday Zell-Oxygen + ‘Tarsin’… on Tuesday Zell-Oxygen + ‘Enterodox’ (pro-biotica).
Every month, vet Raf Herbots gives them a check up. In the spring there is a ten-day treatment against paratyphoid with Endoprim… but without an inoculation. Before the start of the racing season they are treated for seven days with Linco Spectin + Soludox against bronchial infections and for five days against trichomonas (over the feed). During the season… every week/ every two weeks… they are given Belgamagix… or a tablet from vet Schroeder or Raf Herbots. On the advice of the vet there was 3x a three-day treatment with Suanovil against bronchial infections. Before basketing for La Souterraine, the racing team were treated with Linco Spectin for three days.
And before we forget there must be a special word of thanks for loft helper Roger Breels, who is there every morning to help with the care of the pigeons. One thing that we have learned for certain in Rummen is… achieving good results with pigeons doesn’t come without any effort!