PAUL & JELLE ROZJERS OF BEVEL, BELGIUM By Ski Grabanski
I met Paul & Jelle in February of 2013 just after they had a fantastic young bird season flying from a new location and new loft.
Some history on the Rozier family. Paul, the father is the breeder and Jelle is the flyer of this great father & son team. In earlier years, Paul was a trainer of racehorses and his breeding system with the birds are based on his experience with the racehorses.
Jelle developed a passion for pigeons at a very young age. He grew up among such champions as Jef Houben and Hubert Schroyens who showed him what pigeon flying was all about. Not only did he watch the birds arrive home, he also helped clean the lofts during the week and he could see how the birds were taken care of and how they were trained to become successful racing birds. Every chance Jelle had he evaluated pigeons, he compared them and drew his own conclusions. In 2004 he put theory into practice when he took care of a group of pigeons for Hubert Schroyens. After some time off he came back in 2007 and father and son decided to form a team. They were well aware that they needed excellent pigeons to compete at the top level. Jelle decided for the basis of the birds competing, he would use pigeons of the old bloodline of his grandfather Gust Roziers who passed away in 2011, as well as some new purchases and joint breeding’s with pigeon stars from around the area, including the Huben family and also Jos & Jules Engles, Van Hove-Uytterhoeven, Theo Yskout and Van Looy-Somers.
His father Paul won a first National La Southerraine young birds in 2004 flying partners with Tom Gulden and the winning hen originated from the pigeons of grandfather Gust Roziers (sire) and Theo Yskout (dam). This was a great achievement from this hen and she has been playing a key role in the team of Paul & Jelle Roziers right from the start. She formed the basis for a very successful bloodline and she became an outstanding stock hen. They of course are talking about the famous “Queen L”.
They decided to leave Berlaar to move to a new location in Bevel. They made a new start in 2012 with a talented team of young birds. Since there were only young birds in the new loft, Jelle could focus entirely on this team of birds.
The high quality bloodlines that moved from Berlaar to Bevel remained intact. They had beautiful individual breeding pens, breeder lofts and an excellent flying loft built, They brought along some additional breeding pairs that were used as pumpers for their best breeding pairs.
Paul and Jelle said the birds have to work very hard during the season. Jelle said “We breed pigeons to race them, in the hope of discovering a few super class birds”. They select their pigeons on their achievements only, The entire team (cocks & hens) are flown 290 through 360 miles. Those that cannot manage this are left behind. Jelle said the selection process is hard but fair.
They did not change a lot about their existing flying methods. The young birds are weaned sometime in January at about 25 days old. Jelle takes complete control of them from this point on. The birds are put on the Dark System (6 PM until 8 AM) at the beginning of February. When weaning later, March and April, the birds go directly on the Dark System. The birds are taken off the Dark System at the end of June. After the Bourges National in the beginning of August, he adds the lights from 5:30 AM until 10:30 PM. They stay on the extended daylight for the remainder of the season which ends on the first weekend of September.
After the birds are weaned, they are let out daily for exercise. Jelle says that as soon as the young birds are in perfect health, it is now time to focus on their fitness. He believes the best way to achieve this is by training them every day. Jelle starts to train them fairly late because he wants them to be fit at the start of the National Classics season. His first training toss by car starts the first part of June, than they are trained up to 60 miles. In July they go on the club training truck and at the end of the month they have to fly Bourges National (300 miles). By this time, they have done quite a few training flights and they should be in great form. That is why that at this time they are trained twice a day, 60 miles in the AM and 20 miles in the PM. The birds are trained Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday twice a day and if the race looks like a tailwind day, they are given a 40 mile toss on shipping day (Thursday). The race is on Saturday. After the Bourges National they go to seven straight nationals with an average of 335 miles. The birds do not get a break, the nationals are weekly.
Jelle said they fly the sliding door system with the birds. At the beginning of the young bird series the cocks and hens are not separated. The birds are separated for the first time a week before the Bourges National. On the day of shipping the door between the sections is opened and the birds are together two to three hours before they are shipped. When the birds arrive home, they are left together until the next day.
Feeding: They use Matador Feed. At the beginning of the week they are fed a breakdown mixture, in the middle of the week a racing mixture and at the end of the week they are given a high fat mixture. They always are fed as much as they want.
Medication/Products: The birds are vaccinated against Paramyxo, Pox, Paratyphoid & the feared Herpes virus. No other medication is given unless absolutely necessary. They do add Backs Omega Plus Oil and TS6 (Backs) to the feed regularly as a probiotic. Jelle favors natural products and he detests medication unless there is no other option.
Some of “Queen L’s” 2012 youngster results:
1st Prov. Ace Pigeon Antwerp Flying Club 2012
3rd Ace Pigeon Long Distance Union Antwerp 2012
7th Ace Pigeon Long Distance Union Antwerp 2012
8th Best young bird of Belgium on 3 of 4 Nationals in 2012
8th Ace Pigeon Long Distance Union Antwerp 2012
9th Ace Pigeon Long Distance Union Antwerp 2012
10th Best young bird of Belgium on 3 of 4 Nationals in 2012
39th Best young bird of Belgium on 3 of 4 Nationals in 2012
45th Best young bird of Belgium on 3 of 4 Nationals in 2012
Besides the above, I’m only going to list a few of the race results this fantastic father & son team accomplished in 2012: 7/21 230 miles 3rd,7h, 8th,12th, 23rd,etc. 3,082 birds 40 of 66 birds shipped in the prizes. 8/04 290 miles 4th, 5th,6th,82nd,etc. 3,282 bids 33 of 51 birds shipped in the prizes. 8/11 347 miles 5t,h,6th,9th,10th,14th,17th,etc 3,264 birds 33 of 50 birds shipped in the prizes. 8/18 290 miles 3rd,8th,19th,28th etc. 1,391 birds 31 of 45 birds shipped in the prizes. 8/25 370 miles 18th,44th,90th,etc. 5,015 birds 29 0f 44 birds shipped in the prizes, 9/08 368 miles 17th,29th,32nd,4th,etc. 2,550 birds 26 of 44 birds shipped in the prizes.
I could go on and on with their race results, but I believe you all get the picture. This is one great race team that people will be talking about for years to come. Jelle said that if you have any questions for him, he can be reached by email at email@example.com