The close bond between man and pigeon
US President Ronald Reagan once said:"One of the most beautiful moments a person can experience is coming home and knowing that someone is waiting behind the door who is very happy to see you".
During a film shoot at Willem's, I spoke to his caretaker, Wybren Vreeling. His testimony about the level of discipline, or rather the unseen ferocity and determination with which the pigeons came home, has stayed with me ever since. Above all and for all, they wanted to be 'home'. Apart from physical ability, there must also be a desire.
"Homing pigeon" literally means: "a pigeon that flies home". Between man and animal, and between man and pigeon, there is an undeniable affective bond.
The longing for that shelf, that bowl, in that familiar loft, under that tight roof, that sacred "territory" around which the biological world revolves.
On this issue, a study was conducted.👉🏻
In this complex analysis, the pigeon's proximity to the fancier was one of the most vital factors. Future studies should pay more attention to observing how pigeons behave to gain more knowledge.
Searching for the best approach, Willem concludes that the first meeting with Comed (*) felt like a warm bed. You can't put it more clearly and honestly.
How pleasant is it when combining scientific analysis and interpersonal trust is the key to success?
Watch and listen to its compelling story 👇
(* now 15 years ago with Michel Vanlint)
The story behind Willem De Bruijn
… Welcome to Reewijk, where I have been pigeon racing at a very high level since 1983. In my youth - I come from Gouda and am an inner-city kid - pigeons were a boy's thing. Even then, I felt I could do more with pigeons than my friends. I was regional champion in two years and provincial champion in three. But I was very driven.
I was obsessed with showing everyone how good I was. I did everything maniacally. I had a young family, but I still managed. Get up at 5.30 in the morning and take the youngsters to train. Hurry home, do the pigeons, pick up the youngsters from training. And then off to work. I never missed a day looking after pigeons in my forty years as a dentist. It made me seek out good fanciers, still do.
I was always trying to be better but never satisfied. If I could do something to improve, I would do it. The result was that the pigeons were driven almost every day—70 km to the border and excessive use of medication. Of course, I had some medical knowledge from my training. The results were enormous. But because of my madness then, I forgot to enjoy everything. I remember very little of my achievements because I was so fanatical.
I could only think about the following weekend's performance when a race was over. At some point, you think: ‘Am I doing well?’ Nowadays, I think you have to have a working pigeon. It has to perform and be vital. Such a pigeon must cope with an infection in the basket and get it under control within a few days.
The intervention of Comed
I now rely on the natural qualities and resistance of the pigeon. This has helped me. I also rely on someone who is an expert. Like Jean-Louis Jorissen from COMED. Since talking to COMED, I have found what I have been looking for for years.
When I saw the COMED products, and especially after talking to Jean-Louis, I found out: that's it, EVERYTHING, A TYPE OF WARM BED of 'that's what I want'. I no longer want to worry about whether I am doing enough. The performance will drop if I don't give this medicine. The quality of the pigeon is my priority. Not the medication or a lot of travelling with the pigeons. As the years go by, I leave more and more things out. But that can only be done with products that support the pigeon.
For example. When you wean young pigeons at four weeks, they look great. Around the sixth week, they always fall back. Darkened youngsters, 'winter youngsters', start to moult. This lasts ten days to two weeks, and then the moulting stops. Then they get an infection. Often it is intestinal. When I give the product RONI, the intestinal environment becomes more acidic. Then you have less harmful bacteria. Some people think they can do it with vinegar. But that neutralises in the stomach and doesn't get into the intestines. You need a product that goes through the stomach into the intestine, creating a more acidic environment. When I wean the youngsters, I vaccinate them first with Paramixo and Rota. Then I give them RONI every day for two months. The intestinal function is then always calm and reasonable. The winter and dark youngsters moulting is always done in one go. They then have the full suit of old pigeon feathers after only three months of age.
There are by-products as well. During the season, I feed STOPMITE for several days in a row. The pigeons will then be less likely to suffer from parasites and lice.The droppings are good, and it benefits the airways. You can see from the pigeons that they respond well to it. All these products are supportive. They are not medicines. If they are sick and you give it to them, they get better, no. You ensure they get the most out of it by providing that support. I keep pigeon racing as simple as possible. Daily routine. A little of this, a little of that... make it a standard feed. If you have a problem with lice, you can sprinkle only STOPMITE on the feed for two weeks. Do it with LISOCUR+
Or CUROL, which has a bit more fat. I prefer to use it as a support during the other flights when more fat is needed. Pigeon racing is not that complicated at all. And yet it's not simple. Humans make it complicated. Try to have a suitable loft with exceptional pigeons. And try to treat them properly by doing the same thing over and over again. They respond well to that. Don't do something different every day. If you have good pigeons, ensure you have an excellent loft where they don't get sick. Not too crowded, fresh air or fewer birds. And to compensate for any deficiencies, provide a proper supplement as a base. Form and performance should follow...
……….70 unaffected boys auctioned off for 1 million...staggering ...
William's unparalleled and awarded sporting success is mainly due to the transparency of his approach and the simplicity with which he embraces it as a human being.
That Comed felt like a "warm bed" to William is something we humbly consider to be a great honour ...