I was born in Den haag. We’ve lived there until I was five years old. We moved to Rotterdam. On the balcony I started having ornamental Pigeons. Later on I build a cage which I kept on the flat roof of our house. In our neighborhood (west of Rotterdam), Lots of people were fans of race-pigeons, so I started to have race-pigeons myself. I‘ve been having them for 25 years now. And I can tell you: It isn’t an easy sport.
The first year, did not go all that well. Simply because I did not know how to take care of my race-pigeons or how to handle them. Not before long I met Peet Versluis and his father Henk.
They taught me all kinds of stuff I needed to know about these pigeons, and this was actually the beginning. One year later I started flying my race-pigeons together with Peet. At this time we were only 17 and 19 years old. It went very well, and as beginners we ended up with the champions.
In 1981 I met my wife Joke. She lived in Schiedam. After two years we started living together in Schiedam. I build a new cage, and now the race-pigeons had to get used to their new environment. I still keep my pigeons on this address.
There have been years in which I could not fly a whole schedule because of the school holidays. From 1999 on, we went on holidays, every other year. This was not good for the pigeons, but The Wife and Children wanted to go on Holidays…….
In the beginning I practiced the “nest-play with my pigeons, but one really has to have it in him, because it is very isn’t easy to get the pigeons motivated. In 1985 I became a member of the Pigeon assembly: “s.c.v. de Postduif”in Schiedam. Later on I became a member of pigeon assembly : “the freedom”also in Schiedam. I started to practice a different tactic: called widow ship ( keeping male and female apart for a week , and allowing them to see each other just before the race to make them even more motivated to get home soon). My achievements improved enormous.
I started to practice this method with both male and female pigeons, because otherwise the female pigeons were waiting the whole season for their race at the end of the season ( Natour race). With these races they got a lot of practice which is good for their achievements. It was the perfect solution. The young pigeons are kept in the dark until the longest day. Even very young pigeons are also going on tour, even some of those who still have their “Baby feathers” are racing the “Natour- flights.
I keep to the flight program but I do prefer : Short distance and middle distance races.
The feeding system I tend to is really quite simple. When they come home after the race , they get unrefined food ,to complement the lose of energy. On Sunday and Tuesday the get easy digestible food , and depending on the weather I expand their food. When they come home, they get electrolyte in their water once a week against disinfections and all kinds of diseases.
The other days they get a mixture of herbs in their drinking pots from: J. Smit. When one of my pigeons get ill, I call my vet, and when necessary he will give them medication until they are all right again.
Flying by night if not my favorite cup of tea, but I became champion of my assembly:” p.c.the eagle”, in 1989 and 1990. One of my best achievements: 45th Nat. Dax , 90th Nat. Barcelona,
64th International female pigeons. But with such a small amount of pigeons and suffering some loss, I did not have a lot of possibilities. It will take at least two years before a pigeon is ready for racing long distances.