Marc Van Haute, Belgium - 8. National Champion with youngsters 2012!

Marc Van Haute lives in Smetlede, a small village that is a part of Lede and is located in the “Denderstreek” in the center of East-Flanders in Belgium. In this quiet rustic village Marc is doing amazing things with his youngsters and old female pigeons.

How it all started
You could almost say that Marc has been born on the loft. From home he has always seen pigeons. Moreover, he could by chance by the absence of his father, take the first price at a fair contest in 1971. Something like that you won’t never forget at that age. Pigeons have always been a passion. In 1994 he played 1 season on his wife’s name Petra, but from 1995 he has started on a continuous build-up racing very well with youngsters. Recently, from October 1st 2011, things did go a bit easier. Marc was assigned at the army-base in Neder-Over-Heembeek and he was able to use an exit arrangement that perfectly suited his plans. That’s why he has started a racing team of hens too. As a youngsters specialist he didn’t always get the same appreciation as the performers of old pigeons and yearlings did receive.

Composition of the loft
He has 22 couples of breeders to ensure a full supply of youngsters.
The base is Dr. Rudi Hendrickx, Maasmechelen - from 2007 - and that is complemented by pigeons from Frans Sablon, Lebbeke. The first De Rauw – Sablon was via the sale of Roger De Busschere, Lokeren in “The Cat” in Ophasselt.
Further the loft was supplemented with pigeons from Chris Hebbereht, Evergem; Ulrich Lemmens, Balen; Pierre Vercamst, Anzegem; Jacques Vandenheede, Zingem; Carl Heinz & Jürgen Maydeck, Grevenbroich; Roger Ponnet, Burst and recently also with pigeons from Marcel Aelbrecht, Lebbeke and Gevaert-Lannoo, Deinze.
His racing team is 16 racing hens, yearlings and 50 youngsters.

The game
Before he started to play the game with hens himself, he gathered advice from well-known players who also played with hens. And it seemed like he learned it very quickly. Already today Marc see a constant. The good young hens are now the best yearlings. Before the season Marc thought about putting the three best youngster hens to the breeding loft but he did not – and now they are the best of the team.
Eventhough the loft was not 100% ready, the hens went to the current racing loft as soon as possible since the youngsters loft was needed for the weaned youngsters. After the exhibition of Fugare the last things got settled and Marc could use the loft properly.
Marc already had some experience with yearlings. In the past he played some yearlings between the youngsters - sometimes with success, like in 1998 when he won the 7nd National La Souterraine.
From 2012 he played a full loft of hens on widowhood. From the February 8th he started to train them. He trained them from every wind direction - rainy weather or sunshine, it didn’t matter - in small steps from 3 till 20 km. He didn’t take them much further – made it easy for himself - sometimes he even made the trainings shorter. Where Marc needed to be, that became the releasing point ;-) And sometimes the hens had to enter themselves – Marc did take this as a problem – he waited till he was home again.
From March 22nd in every weather condition they were trained as normal but now they were released one by one. Also in all possible wind directions – they had to learn how to fly alone and from all directions.
On April 11th the hens did see their mate for the first time at the race of Noyon. Just in an open nest – only paired up, no youngsters – after that every week in the basket for racing.
Actually the system is very easy and applicable for everyone. Things are very easy – and sometimes 2 hens mate up – no problem - they are just basketed and it gives another kind of motivation.
As youngster every youngster did fly as minimal one national race – some of them even three.
Before they are basketed they are allowed ‘to visit’ their partners on the nearby loft. When they come home from the race they go with their cock in around 30 minutes. The best hens from this team are going to the breeding loft to replace the older hens.

The youngsters are controlled by automatic rolling shutters - even the entrance of the aviary is being opened by this smart system. This system is really ideal for the working people.
Also this year the game with the youngsters has been played with success, because Marc has better time to do it now. The old pigeons have been paired with the young ones, after that the youngster are going on widowhood. The training starts meter by meter, starting from 1500 meters and after that longer distances with small steps. This season he started to train the youngsters on April 4th and they flew their first Quievrain on May 17th. After the first weekend of June they started to do their first competition flights.

They all went to the “ZWARE HALVE FOND” and every pigeon on the widowhood needs to race every week. In 2011 some of them went to Bourges on a breeding nest but according to Marc the widowhood is more steady. And it is also better for the pigeons to continue racing on the widowhood system as yearlings.

Next season in 2013, Marc will try with 24 youngsters on the nest – he hope that they will keep on their feathers so they can fly the last race of the season - Gueret.

Marc feeds his pigeons with a commercial mixture - most companies are professional enough to have confidence in them.
When they return from the race they get 50% sport and 50% diet, than they are feed low-protein Gerry Plus for two days and after that they get for two days Turbo Energy from Matador.
The youngster are getting the same when they return home but after that they get 50% purification and 50% sports, the last day before the race they get an energy rich mix.
As supplementary products, Marc always uses amino acids and racing vitamins, both are provided weekly. Also they receive every Saturday baker’s yeast over their food, 3 grams per pigeon dissolved in yoghurt. The yeast is very well for the intestines and it also purifies the blood.
Everything is done to ensure the fact that they recover as soon as possible after the race. 2 days a week they also get tea on a base of garlic, alum and sugar. He admits that it is a lot of work to do and a lot of pigeon fans don’t want to spend their time and energy on it, but Marc is sure that it pays off.

Marc is sure that everyone knows his own job. That’s the reason why he has the full trust in the “man in white”. Before the season starts he goes to the veterinarian to do a fully checkup and then they also get a 10-days cure against ornithosis. Also during the racing season he goes to the vet on a regular base to do a checkup or to avoid problems like Adeno. For the rest he trusts his own opinion and keeps the rest in his own hands.

Yesterday we received the fantastic news that Marc Van Haute is 8th National KBDB with youngsters in 2012 - amazing results with the hen - but you cannot hold back a youngster specialist ;)
We send our congratulations to Marc Van Haute - what an incredible season 2012.

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