1st National Bourges yearlings, 2010.
Gaston van de Wouwer was surprisingly strong at the national Bourges. His little hen ‘Laura’ was both victorious against 17,061 yearlings and the fastest of all 39,301 Bourges-racers.
Berlaar, Belgium – Again, the white lofts at number 8 Melkouwen in Berlaar are triumphant as never before! The excitement about the national victory from Guéret 2009 against 14,261 young pigeons has barely calmed down, when ‘the Gaston’ strikes again! In the first national race of the season 2010 it is the same story again … his hen ‘Laura’ (B09/6111538) … that already raced with excellent results as a young pigeon … left all other contestants behind. She not only won the race from Bourges against 17,061 yearlings, she was also the fastest pigeon of all 39,301 competitors in the race.
Gaston Van de Wouwer (66) … his victory list is already many yards long … and includes victories like 1st National Champion KBDB long-distance young pigeons 2007 … 1st
Champion Long-distance Club Antwerp young pigeons 2007 … 1st General Champion Long-distance Club Antwerp 2009 … but the cherries on top of the cake are the national victories from Guéret 2009 and now the national victory Bourges yearlings 2010!
Gaston learned the pigeon sport from his father Edward, but when he started racing for himself in 1972, he began improving the quality of his pigeons. He started out with pigeons from the butcher Govaerts … every year his results became better … and in the regional races, nobody was certain of the victory before Gaston had presented his results.
But the speed races were declining, and at the end of the nineties he changed to the
middle-distance … and in 2003 to the one day distance races.
At first he brought in new blood by acquiring pigeons from ‘De Kaasboer’ … and one of these, the ‘Blauwe Kaasboer’, was such a great champion, that he became the best breeder of the loft. Later he also bought pigeons from Bart Hendricks … Theo Huysegoms from Meise … Johan De Belser from Berlaar … Van Eynde-Goovaerts from Putte … Eddy Janssens from Zandhoven … Kristiaan Hennes from Rotselaar … Ludo Van Nueten from Herentals … L-J-B Geerinckx from Wommelgem … and from WoutersWouters from Tremelo.
With lots of patience … expert craftmanship … and a ruthless selection, Gaston Van de Wouwer has succeeded in building up a colony from this basis, that can hold its own at provincial and national level.
Gaston started the 2010 season with a team of 15 widowers … 20 hens on widowhood … and some 85 young pigeons. The eggs of the 24 breeding pairs were moved to other nests, so that out of each breeding couple four young could be entered at the start of the season. The hens on widowhood were coupled on 1st March and reared two young. Their training was done while they were raising their young … and when these were 16 days old both
squeakers and cocks were moved from the loft … and the hens started on widowhood.
Medical care is kept to the minimum. One week before training started, cocks and hens received a Belgamagix tablet. During the season that is only repeated on the advice of the vet. There is no treatment against bronchial infections … although many fanciers don’t believe that. Four times a year, Gaston takes his pigeons to vet Mariën or Henk de Weerd for a check-up … and when the pigeons are doing well, there is always the indecision of giving treatment or not.
What then is given?
Form powder from vet Mariën … iron/vitamin preparations from vet Mariën … Belgasol from Belgica-de Weerd at the start of a race and at the return … regularly apple vinegar and garlic in the drinker … and also regularly Sedochol. The first two days after returning from a race the pigeons are fed with super diet … then they change to sport mixture … a mixture of the well-known brands VerseleNatural-Van Robaeys-Beyers.
And ‘Laura’ … that bright hen of barely a fist tall … finished before all other Bourges racers with a magnificent final sprint. The ‘great’ Gaston and his ‘little’ hens … a formidable team!
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