Dirk & Inne, with her little daughter.
Success Story for a short career: Inne Balleux & Dirk Vander Motte.
Inne Balleux, 45 years old, partner of Dirk and mother of five children.
She is an Industrial Engineer in Biochemistry by education, but professionally she has taken a different direction. Inne works as an ICT Analyst/Programmer/Consultant in Salesforce at Realdolmen. Simply put, I advise and develop custom solutions and applications for companies.
She actually took over the pigeon game from her partner who had already stopped for several years. Due to his health, he was temporarily unable to give them the care they needed and, in the beginning, Inne just started feeding the pigeons, but after a while she started to get more and more interested in the pigeon game.
I started in 2015 in Binkom in the Long Distance and Extreme Long-Distance races with yearlings. Her start in 2015 was well worth it, with a 65% prize percentage and a lot of second and third places in the championships.
Meanwhile pigeon sport has become a real obsession for her. And where her partner kept in the background in the beginning, she can now count on a lot of help from him and her children. Something Inne had secretly hoped for from the start.
Due to a back surgery and several cardiac arrests of her partner, 2017 was a disaster year for the family and the pigeons. Then it was decided to sell most of the pigeons for next to nothing, a decision that they partly reversed when Dirk felt better again.
The mother of ‘Cor O’Matic’ was inspected several times and stayed put. Neither did anyone who suspected this. “Apparently we all know that much about it! Even though I play in my name, I still view the whole event as a sport that I can only practice so intensely because the whole family contributes.”
Division of tasks
In the winter period:
Since Inne is going to work full-time, she gets up every day at around 5 a.m. and cleans the drinking pots and mixes the food if necessary.
Returning home in the evening around 6 pm, when Dirk’s health has allowed it to feed and to clean the lofts, she limits herself to feeding the breeders, ringing the pigeons and sometimes Inne and Dirk do the administration.
In the spring and summer period:
In the morning she does nothing about the pigeons and she leaves for work very early in order to be able to devote herself fully to feeding, cleaning, etc. from the early afternoon.
In the evening, Inne and Dirk often occupy themselves with drawing up flight, feeding and coupling schedules, something she attaches great importance to.
“I’m only interested in International flights, barbecue in the evening, a simple glass of wine, a cocktail now and then, like the real ones take a dip in our inflatable swimming pool, spend the night in the tent and get up broke. And all the while with one eye to staring at the sky… at that one who might just come in. Neither I nor my partner wish to be labeled as Long-Distance racers, we are first and foremost pigeon fanciers who should support each other instead of envying each other no matter what distance one plays. ”
In 2018 they raced with widowers as well as on a nest.
The nest pigeons try to basket them after brooding for 10 days or youngsters of 8 days.
Both young and old pigeons go outside for at least an hour every day. And if they are healthy and not sitting on a nest, they increase that price themselves.
With young and old pigeons, we drive ourselves the first times and are extremely careful to surprise them regularly afterwards by releasing them from a completely different direction.
Nest pigeons that do not fly home Inne takes to work at least 3 times a week, which can be in all corners of the country.
Yearlings start with society from 100 km to 200, 350, 500 km before starting Agen and Narbonne. But as long as they don’t come home decently from a certain distance, they certainly won’t go any further.
Young pigeons are not darkened or lit here.
In the field of pigeon motivation, Inne herself is still searching and to be honest she still has a lot to learn. According to her, motivating nest pigeons is not necessary, they do motivate themselves.
Thank you, Cor de Heijde.
The three main varieties with which they have succeeded very well are De Smeyter-Restiaen, partly via Johan Declerq-Vervaeren, Batenburg-v.d.Merwe, but especially the Cor de Heijde strain.
Now she is still carefully trying to introduce Jan Hooymans (especially the joint breeding with Cor de Heijde) and Jelle Jellema, but she has to wait until 2019 before she has results from this.
Inne also tries to buy a few National top-15 racers or ace pigeons every year to strengthen their breeding loft. For example, the 1st Nat. Agen, 2nd Nat. Narbonne, 3rd Nat. Pau, 5th, 13th ,14th Nat. Barcelona, 15th Nat. Marseille, 1st S-Nat. Montluçon, etc. in the breeding loft.
Inne would like to thank someone very special along this road, namely Cor de Heijde
When she started looking for extreme long-distance pigeons, she immediately noticed the strong performances of Cor de Heijde.
She then started reading all his reports and she even knew his arrivals in Barcelona in recent years. When Inne had visited Cor for the first time, she drove home happy with one pigeon. Not so much happy about the pigeon, but about the fact that she had finally met Cor in person and because he was such a correct and honest man.
“And I have no doubt that I have been given quality.”
I certainly do not want to fail to mention that the species of Batenburg-v.d.Merwe and De Smeyter-Restiaen are intertwined in our two best racers. Honor where credit is due!
The crown jewel this year came from Narbonne:
- 1st provincial – 2nd national – 2nd international against 6,324 yearlings.
Locally there were also successes such as:
- Pau 2°
- St-Vincent 2°
- Montelimar yearlings 1°
- Agen yearlings 2° (here they clocked 12 of their 19 pigeons on the prov. results) to name just a few.
In rankings we find this loft as :
2° European yearling hen on 2 international races and
5° National Ace Pigeon Agen-Narbonne.
In Obrafo Tienen we always find Inne, Lobke and Dirk in the first 3 in the championships in the extreme long distance, as well as in the East Brabant Long Distance Friends they won several ace pigeons.
In the field of medical supervision, they leave nothing to chance, in addition to the mandatory vaccinations, all pigeons receive a 12-day cure for paratyphus every year.
Young and old pigeons are never vaccinated for smallpox and if a pigeon has smallpox in the young pigeons, we hope that it will infect the whole gang.
All pigeons are treated before and during the season if necessary for Tricho, Cocci and heads.
If, despite these concerns, there is still one sick person in the loft, it is usually permanently removed. She believes that every vet who specializes in pigeons has one or more top drugs or top by-products. For that reason, they visit several well-known vets in Belgium and the Netherlands. Because always the same medicines, even if they are super, lead to resistance of the bacteria that the pigeons carry with them.
They do not believe in natural pigeons that do not need medication because these were often the first pigeons to get sick with them. In our opinion, good daily hygiene of lofts and drinking pots is the most important thing to keep pigeons healthy.
They regularly burn and disinfect the lofts, but never completely because we want to reduce the infection pressure but not completely remove it, good bacteria are also needed in the loft.
In terms of feeding, they try to adapt according to the season, the flight distance, the weather conditions, the nest position, etc.
They put different mixtures together and except for the few days just before basketing, these are always on the light side, especially when it comes to proteins. But they do get those proteins in powder form over their food because it is easier to digest.
In the moulting time, full bowl very rich in fat and varied, with a few percent oats and rye. Brewer’s yeast, oil, Sedochol and a soup of all kinds of vegetables, decanted water from potatoes is regularly on the menu as by-products.
In winter scanty and sober with up to 60% barley with a minimum of fats and proteins. Liquid brewer’s yeast, sulfur flour, Lugol, Sedochol, finely beaten charcoal and solfer flour, herlemmer oil, buttermilk, javel and apple cider vinegar are then regularly provided.
A light mixture during the racing period, but in the last week before basketing we switch to heavier food. Even then they make lavish use of by-products, short courses of by-products described above, vitamins, amino acids, condition powder, etc., also finely beaten charcoal and sulfur flour when they get home.
Throughout the year for feeding, we give a very little mineral mix. We always give vitamins and amino acids at half the prescribed dose.
She tries to ensure that all pigeons do not lack anything throughout the year, but they try to achieve top form for breeding and flights. Racing pigeons are not bred before the season so as not to mortgage their reserves. An important lesson she has learned from mistakes she has made before is that both acquired racing and breeding pigeons must be given the necessary time to acclimatize. It is therefore no exception that they leave a retrieved pigeon for a year before breeding from it.
Inne & Dirk have regular masonry lofts that are finished inside with Canada poplar sheets.
The grids are 40 cm from the concrete with a double bottom consisting of different layers in between.
Plastic foil, roof underlayment, 8cm floor insulation, vapor barrier, aluminum foil, O.S.B. plates, battens with quicklime in between and a bottom plate of Canada poplar.
Ceilings are insulated with 8cm insulation and the walls with 3cm insulation.