You can always visit Dirk Van Dyck; he wants to race his pigeons every day. This is typical Van Dyck! He has a lot of lofts, different lofts and each one has its own function; the group for Quiévrain, the group for Noyon, the group for the small middle distance, the group for the difficult middle distance. And these are once again divided – for youngsters, old birds and the yearling cocks and the hens on widowhood.
This way, he has several opportunities every week. There’s always one group ready to participate in the races. Of course, this is all easier said than done. You have to keep the birds healthy, take care of them and keep it all up and running. This really is a “full time” job.
2017 was a very difficult year for Dirk. In September 2016, he had an operation on his knee and this spring, another operation was planned; he needed a hip replacement. There were complications with this operation and Dirk needed crutches to walk on for several weeks. Nor did the rehabilitation proceed as quickly as planned.
Of course, all of this also affected his ability to look after the pigeons and his planning for the last racing season. Nevertheless, Dirk is never one to give up and he’s not afraid of any obstacles.
Dirk is also very much attached to nature. He grew up with animals, he loves them and he respects nature, the environment and all its aspects. The bureaucracy that in recent years has become increasingly important – even in our sport, is not exactly his hobbyhorse. He prefers to work and take care of his feathered friends and he does it with a lot of passion and love.
Van Dyck is “Kannibaal”, he made a name for himself with this super cock, which became 1 Nat Ace MD KBDB’96 …. This cock was never sold, he remained in Zandhoven, where he provided many super descendants. He became a world-famous breeder and his descendants were super pigeons all over the world. Besides inbreeding and holding on to this golden blood, Dirk also reinforced his colony with pigeons from Op de Beeck – Baetens, Marcel Wouters, Gaston Vandewouwer, Marina Vandevelde, L B J Geerinckx, Leon Van Den Brandt, Marcel & Gunther Vercammen, Jos Vercammen and Leo Heremans. One of the most important reinforcements of these last few years was the famous “Di Caprio” from Leo Heremans. This cock was father of pigeons such as the Olympic Niels 6338005-08 “3rd Olympic Pigeon Cat. A Nitra 2013” but also father and grandfather of national winners. Not only Olympic Niels but also a large group of ace-pigeons and national winners form the basis of this colony.
Many lofts : as already mentioned in the introduction, we find here “metres” of pigeon lofts, a luxury of space but kept very simple! Of course, Dirk knows exactly what he’s doing. He prefers to keep it simple and as close as possible to nature. Each loft is filled with oxygen and has its own kind of pigeons, divided into groups. They all get paired separately to be sure of the condition throughout the season. In order to reduce the chance of infections. it all depends on one big system, all in the master’s head.
To keep the birds in good health, they receive a lot of fresh grit (Röhnfried Premium Mineral mixtures, but also Expert Mineral mixtures), good food, Avidress Plus and Usne Gano in the drinking water everyday and Gervit W regularly. During the breeding period, an extra herbal powder with the feed. In addition during the racing season, he has had good results using this product – it ensures a fast balance of the birds’ basic health. Before the season starts (from the beginning of February to the middle of March) Hexenbier almost every day – for Dirk it is one of the top products. It ensures a nice, pink breast and they the birds lose their old down more easily. He also uses this product during the racing season because it helps them to recover well and achieve a good basic condition.
As preparation, they again receive Hexenbier, Avidress and Usne Gano. Two weeks before the season starts, the pigeons receive Carni-Speed every day of the season. Carnitine provides for a better fat burning and is a good support for the organism, enabling them to take part in a race every week. You rarely notice that the birds arrive home exhausted. Dirk Van Dyck has also passed on this advice to other fanciers. The difference is remarkable; “You really notice the “speed” in their body”.
At the end of March for about 2 weeks, he uses Atemfrei (bronchial expectorant). Particularly in spring when the temperatures are low, it has a positive effect on recovery and they get nice white noses and circles around the eyes.
What’s important in Zandhoven
– “Every day outside” : also the day after the race so you can see whether they’re already fit again for the next race. And ….. what should you do? Do they need a lot or only a little support to become fit faster ?
– A bath on the day of basketing – in the afternoon with Röhnfried Bath Salt. It ensures soft feathers and stimulates the appetite before basketing.
– “Learning well”: experience is also taken very seriously here; the more they learn, the better it is. This is why he drives the youngsters for short training flights of 10 to 70 km…. “It is by experience that he has found out that the best youngsters usually become the better adult pigeons”.
Avipharm and Electrolyte Plus: electrolytes are best – they even receive it on the day of basketing, when the weather is hot. This keeps the water need in equilibrium. A pigeon that does not need to drink on its way home, wins prizes more quickly.
“Carni-Speed”, they get this every day starting 2 weeks before the first race! This enhances the fat-burning and they can be put in the basket every week and they’re hardly ever tired when they arrive home from the race! This is very important when you take part with the same group every week!
“ Entrobac (probiotic) and Jungtierpulver”: super for the digestive system of young birds – especially during the 2 or 3 first months. It promotes good digestion, equilibrium and the development of the natural immune system.
“If you can keep them healthy by using good food, a good rhythm and good by-products, they will achieve a good condition and this for a longer period.”