SERGE VAN ELSACKER OF SCHILDE, BELGIUM

By Ski Grabanski

First a little history on Serge.  Serge received his first pigeons at the age of 10 and flew his first race at 11. At 16 he won his first race in the Schilde club. It was a yearling sprint race from Noyon 215 km. and ever since he has won at least one first place every year.  He has been married to his wife Kirsten for 35 years. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Serge flew only the cocks from 1968 through 1995. After a discussion with Willem De Bruijn of Reeuwijk Belgium, Serge decided to fly double widowhood in 1996 and has never had any regrets with this decision.

I’ll just list a few of Serge’s flying accomplishments. If I were to list them all, I would have to write a book. 1st Champion Yearlings Antwerp Union Middle Distance, 1st Champion Old Birds Long Distance Antwerp Union, 2nd Champion Long Distance Yearlings Antwerp Union, 1st Champion Middle Distance Yearlings Schilde, 1st Champion Old Birds Middle Distance Schilde, 1st Ace Pigeon Allround Yearlings Schilde, 2nd King Antwerp Union, etc. In one weekend on the same day Serge sent his birds to 4 different races and would you believe when the smoked cleared, he won all four of them. These were not double wins. The races were won by 4 different pigeons.  I could go on and on, but I believe you get the picture. There are many flyers throughout the world that are having excellent results with the Van Elsacker pigeons.

BIRDS:   The base pigeons are basically Janssen – Meulemans, Stoces, Schellens (Louis De Leus), Hofkens and for the last couple of years the Gaby Vandenabeele pigeons.

FLYING SYSTEM:  In the past, Serge would put his breeders and the flyers together at the same time in December. But now he puts the flyers together March 20th. After 8 days on eggs they are than put on the widowhood system.  He starts training the cocks when they are driving the hens and the hens start their training when sitting on eggs, this of course depends on favorable weather. Serge told me because of the unseasonal cold weather they had this year, the birds only had two tosses. One from 6 miles and one from 20 miles. They then went to the first race (70 miles) of the season. Here are the unbelievable results for first race of the 2013 season: 470 birds 2nd,5th,11th,13th,15th,21st,25th,29th,31,3,33rd,45th,47th.

Serge said that on shipping night, sometimes he will put the cocks and hens together and at other times he doesn’t. It just depends on how he feels. If he does show the hens, Serge said “If the pigeons come together before basketing they stay together 30-40 minutes, the last ones to be basketed 65-70 min.

It is all not that important, only the health and the quality from the pigeons is important”.  When they return from the race, they are left together until the evening and sometimes until the next morning.  He said his system has changed very little in the past 25 years. Once the races start, the birds are no longer trained. He lets the hens out once a day and the same with the cocks. If the cocks are performing well they are kept at once a day, if not, he may let them out twice per day. The birds are not let out the day after the race. Birds that are not raced Saturday go to the 150 mile sprit race that is flown on Sunday.

FEEDING: Very simple. The birds get the same feed mixture every day as much as they want for the whole season. He has done this for the past 27 years.

SUPPLIMENTS: Serge said he has never given the birds so much clear water than what he has given them in the last two years. Before that, everyday there was something in the water. If he has to treat the birds on the vets advice he medicates on the feed. He said this happens very rarely. But don’t misunderstand me, Serge said he does medicate. But only because in Belgium they are not allowed to put their birds in one crate. So because of all the different birds in the crate, he does need a health program.    

HEALTH PROGRAM:  Serge has his birds checked by a vet a couple of times a year. When we were there in February and ran into Serge at DeWeerds new clinic, Serge was picking up a group of birds he just had checked out. They came through with flying colors. In October he treats the birds against Parathyphus (Baytril 10% or Parastop). Then when the birds are sitting on eggs they get a 5 to 7 day treatment against canker with BS DeWeerd. This is usually the first week of April. All the medical products used are by Deweerd and all the minerals and vitamins are from Rhonfried. Serge said he gives a lot of minerals every day except on basketing Day.      

2013 Results to Date.

 

Date  

Unloading Point

Distance

Birds

Position

With Ent/Przs

1/6

Chateauroux Kfc

535 km

446 Old Birds

1,2,14,18,21,28,29,30,31,32,40,54, ...

20/14

1/6

Chateauroux Kfc

535 km

538 Yearlings

2,3,5,9,12,13,16,17,23,29,34,38,39, ...

87/48

5/25

Bourges Kfc

486 km

488 Old Birds

1.49,

5/2

5/25

Bourges Kfc

486 km

450 Yearlings

1,3,4,5,20,56,100,etc.

20/7

5/18

Dourdan Antwerp W

373 km

1309 OB’S

12,15,17,22,68,75,81,88,89,97,,..

15/13

5/18

Dourdan Antwerp W

373 km

1914Yearlings

2,3,35,64,67,85,91,113,126,182,185 ...

71/38

5/5

Noyon Schilde

215 km

280 Old Birds

2,7,10,13,14,21,22,27,28,30,43,48, ...

26/17

5/5

Noyon Schilde

215 km

398 Yearlings

1,2,6,7,8,9,12,15,17,18,24,27,28, ...

106/49

4/28

Noyon Schilde

215 km

336 Old Birds

3,5,14,15,20,22,24,26,28,36,39,42, ...

27/21

4/28

Noyon Schilde

215 km

471 Yearlings

2,3,4,5,6,7,8,13,16,20,21,23,24,25...

106/55

4/21

Quievrain

111 km

470 Yearlings

2,5,11,13,15,21,25,29,31,32,33,45,...

47/110

 

As you can see, Serge is off to another fantastic Old Bird season.  I would like to thank Serge for answering all my questions and also thank him and Kirsten for being such great hosts when I was at their home in February.