For more than 30 years, we have found the name of VAN ELSACKER-JEPSEN on the first page of many results! When you’re able to do that, you need to have great class, super quality and outstanding pigeons! Serge and Kirsten always had a passion for the small middle distance. They only rarely enter a pigeon for a national race and always come away with a top prize. But these last few years, several fellow fanciers have claimed: “They can’t do more than 400 km”….. In 2017, however, Serge secretly decided to take up the “fight” against these people …. And so he did, with top results. When you succeed in classifying 3 pigeons among the 15 best of Belgium by the end of the season, that says it all!!
It’s always very pleasant to pay a visit to Serge and Kirsten Van Elsacker-Jepsen. It’s clear that everything has been well thought through and they know what they’re doing.
In fact, there is one big loft with several compartments and plenty of possibilities. Besides a lot of oxygen, their pigeons also receive a lot of fresh grit and minerals everyday. You get a good metabolism when the intestines are in optimal condition and this is why their birds receive are given some extra Premium Minerals on a daily basis. “Many fanciers forget the importance of a good grit-mineral mixture and these mixtures also contain several plant and small seed extracts, … the pigeons just love it.”
Serge is a very level-headed person. The last few years, he has decided on total widowhood – although with strict rules! He prefers 90% of the pigeons to have a steady partner and when a particular cock or hen shows super scores after a few weeks, the partner stays at home because this partner is the reason for the other one returning as quickly as possible!
Another rule :a strict and fast selection. It is a fact that the basket shows which pigeons are the best. The results take care of the selection and breeding has to take place with those that score very well!
It may all seem very simple, but these are the most important rules of the game. The sooner you select, the less pigeons on the loft. This is why it is important to spend more time on those pigeons that are worth it and show their value. When you have a good bird, use it to breed with and hold on to this family, this strain as the basis of your colony! Wise words based on experience!
A good moult is another important aspect in our sport! During the moulting period, the pigeons hardly ever go outside. They regularly (3 to 4 times a week) receive Taubengold in their drinking water and energy oil and Pavifac beer yeast on their feed. When the weather is good, they are free to go outside to prevent their muscles from becoming stiff.
At the beginning of March, they go outside 2 or 3 times a week, and at the end of March the pairs can be together again. The end of March sees the start of some short training flights (maximum 30 km). This is a kind of “interval” training so they get regain their confidence. A small detail here: when the birds are driven away by car, then only with the hens or only with the cocks – the partners always stay home!
Training in the morning is the best
Here the pigeons only train once a day – in the morning. This way, Serge can observe them well and it is important that the birds maintain the same rhythm for the entire season. This also ensures they gain the confidence they need.
The Van Elsacker pigeons
In Kirsten’s and Serge’s colony, we can talk about their own “race of pigeons”. Over a period of 30 years, they have kept a basis of Stoces – Janssens – Meulemans – Hofkens pigeons, with which they have created their “own race”. Of course, after all these years people have got to know these birds and as a fancier, you soon know what to expect. In recent years, they have strengthened their breed with some new blood from other fanciers, including Rudi De Saer and Rik Cools.
Important tip: on returning home from the race, they are not immediately let into their nest box, although otherwise they can do what they want. The pairs are only locked inside their nest box after a period of about half an hour to one hour. This way, they have the opportunity to drink and eat and by locking them inside their box, they then become calmer and enjoy being together. After one or two hours, they are separated and can eat.
“Keep it simple” …. This is a kind of a rule of this colony. For more than 20 years, Serge has used the same mixture every day. During a visit to the Van Laer Brothers in Pulle, he noticed their birds to be in top condition. He copied their feeding method and the next year (1986), Serge became King of the Antwerp Union. This mixture contains 50% corn, 10% green peas – 9% Tasmanian peas and the remaining 31 % is divided into equal parts of wheat, hulled oat, dari (sorghum), cardi (cardoon), sunflower seeds and paddy. The last-named was originally barley but Serge changed this because the pigeons prefer to eat paddy. Besides this, the pigeons can eat as much as they want and like. A richer mixture before basketing is not done here in Schilde as the pigeons have to be in good health 365 days a year. These birds therefore never grow hungry and to entice them inside after training, he uses his own kind of “candy seeds” (hemp and peanuts).
For many years now, Serge has been using Röhnfried products. Between seasons, he prefers natural products – these strengthen the immune system.
Avidress Plus (prevents adenovirus)
Usne Gano (oregano, good for the intestines)
During the sports season, condition and recovery are the most important aspects.
On arriving home from the race, the pigeons always have clear water to drink, but in the two following days, he uses Avipharm.
Blitzform: once a week (iodine, pink breast)
BT-amin forte: amino acids
K+K protein tablets: particularly after difficult races (they recover faster)
Hexenbier: cleaner pigeons – both the head and blood circulation
Energy oil: extra reserves
Carni-Speed: especially before the season starts because it ensures a faster condition and stops them becoming fat.
As an additive to the food, he chooses to use Röhnfried Jungtierpulver and Immunbooster; these provide the birds with a perfect condition and ensure a well-functioning digestive system.