Q & A Ulrich Lemmens PIII
Hello Ulrich, we had a very open talk last year, about all your plans and ideas. We would like to follow up how everything went in the 2020 season.
Thanks, no problem at all, I was surprised with all the UK-Messages I got about my interview with you guys. But we don’t mind, we always try to help and we always have an opinion (which doesn’t mean it’s the right one).
Last time we spoke, you said you had a lot of questions about the system you where gonna use fort he marathon races. Did you figure it out?
Yes and no 😊. I decided to race them on a nest-position, because I noticed most champions use that. But I have zero experience in that, so I decided to prepare my team for Vierzon (490km), which I consider a training, on a 8 day baby, this way I had to go true the whole process of them being on eggs and doings races 100-200-300km etc. It was a lot of work, but I’m sure that was the right decision the continue the season.
For Agen/Marseille/Pau I had all on 10 days eggs. After those races, birds came home, some did go back on there nest, others left there nest for what it was. Because of the corona, the time between Agen-Narbonne was not long enough to just split everything up and go on 10 day eggs again. So for Narbonne I had several on quit big youngsters (15 days), most I tried to give eggs and later on they would lay there own eggs in the nest, but this way they also had 7-9 days of sitting on the eggs.
So which nest position you think was best?
I think it depends the individual bird. But now it was also hard to judge, birds that where late, also where in moulth to far, so it’s hard to figure out the reason. But my first bird on Narbonne was one of the birds I gave 1 egg in the nest and sit on it and later on layed two more in that nest. But percentagewise, the birds with a baby in the nest won most prizes. But the top prizes where won by the birds on eggs … So at the end, I don’t really think it matters. They are a week in the basket …
What about feeding/products etc … ?
Also made a big chance here, I didn’t do my normal feeding plan. I just give them full box. Every time I walked on the loft and saw the food tray was almost empty I would just fill it up again.
Which mix would you use for that?
I used Galaxi Light from Beyers and two times a week I mixed Galaxi Energy in between. But the feeding is a whole different interview, plus I learned my lesson not to kick against the “peas and beans” most guys in UK give (laughs).
Anything mixed on that food or water?
After each training race they get “Re-Load” in the water, which is basically a electrolity with amino acids in it. I really like that product (I also use it on basketing day).
After Agen they got my recuperation mix in the water (5 different products from Koehoorn). And the other weeks of the season I put some natural elixirs in the water.
What about training? Nestbirds don’t fly right?
Here I put most attention in. Look when you start feeding full box, it takes about 3-4 weeks for the pigeons body to adjust to it (when you don’t stick to it, the bird will become skinny or fat). After the 4 weeks, they had always a perfect body weight. And the more they train, the more they eat.
They had several road trainings, whenever I had to drive with my youngsters I would take them with me. In the morning at sun set (5-5:30 AM) they would go out in the dark and train for 1hour. In the evening I would let them out after 9:00 PM and let them train until it got dark. I build this up, first 5 minutes extra in the dark, than 10 minutes … You really can see birds getting used to fly in the dark. Also the trapping goes better and better. I think they need to overwin the “scariness” of the unknown dark.
Training in the dark? Why ?
A good marathon bird is defined like this: fly as long as possible on the day, than wake up as soon as possible, or even better, take a big part of the night the get home. So a bird has to train anyway … So why not do it early morning and late evenings … Maybe it helps … That’s how I do it.
Anything else that was important?
Euhm … not really … maybe yes, I changed my lofts for those pigeons. I changed two big sections to 4 small sections, the roof totally closed, only a ventilation system in it to take the air out. And a day-light lamp on the lofts (5:00 – 23:00). They don’t have an open roof, they don’t have a window, a real closed box. True the corridor they can go to the avery (which is also locked with draftscreen against the front).
The system was really easy for me … The full box really is the best for marathon birds (I wouldn’t do it on my normal racing team), every time I walked on the loft I just threw something in the trays… Peanuts, wallnuts, GEM, candyseeds, grit … lots of grits ! (Don’t forget, grit are the tooth of a pigeon, they need it to digest the feed).
2So how did the races go, last year your first sentences of the interview was “Terrible … just terrible …”
Haha I won’t do that again. But I told you how frustrated I was by the bad results and how much I had to learn. But I gave myself a speed course, how to fly marathon, … and I’m very satisfied with the results.
18-07-2020 Pau 965km
249 Provicnial: 12, 35, 56, … 3/8 (38%)
2919 National: 179, 336, 499, … 3/8 (38%)
24-07-2020 Agen 865km
1061 Provincial: 17, 35, 65, 73, 92, 97, … 19/42 (45%)
5955 National: 139, 219, 344, 387, 5000, 512, 599, …
24-07-2020 Marseille 875km
99 Federation: 1, 29, … 2/6 (30%)
290 Provincial: 5, 92, … (50° InterNational)
15-08-2020 Narbonne 905km
4454 Old National: 107, 189, 300, 462, … 6/12 (50%)
4120 Yearlings National: 11, 28, 48, 101, 114, 140, 276, 263, 295, 302, 358, …
527 Old Provincial: 6, 31, 54, …
548 Yearlings Provincial: 2, 3, 8, 19, 21, 25, 42, 43, 44, 47, … 15/37 (41%)
So like you can see I put the dates there, first I split my old bird team to Pau/Marseille and the yearlings did Age. Than I kept everything for Narbonne.
Marseille was very special, very hard race (rhone-valley) I had my best yearling of the year before on that race, fully pooled … and yes ! she did it again, winning 5° Provincial and 50° International we where very happy.
Those results look already really good, especially Narbonne, you really kicked ass!
Thank you, Narbonne was also very special. I worked my ass off for this race, because I really really wanted to have a top result. When looking at the arrivals we quickly new it would be impossible to clock a top bird, because it was getting dark and the birds sitting 40-50km in front of us.
But than IT HAPENNED, i still get goosebumbs when I think about it, in total darkness a bird arrives, winning 2nd in the province and 11th on the national. Such an amazing feeling, when you look on PIPA and you see only 2 birds above 900km are clocked in Belgium on the first day, it makes you very proud.
The only worries I had was the next morning, because last year on Narbonne, almost the same happened and the next day I didn’t get anything… But now they came like a train, in the morning you couldn’t see the loft of the fog, but still, they would come true, almost unreal.
I had a bunch of other fanciers coming to watch the race, we had bacon and eggs in the morning and see the birds coming. What a nice pigeon day !!!
So you’re satisfied, that’s the opposite of last year!
Yes very happy, I showed the quality is there, that I have the skills to do it. Now I just want to continue on this way and have steady results in the future. Don’t forget we all have new birds for this, so we need a good and honest selection.
About that … we discussed the bloodlines last year … which are the good once?
Our first bird of Narbonne is already bred like I planned it, which also makes me proud. The father side is the combination of “DE GUST” (my foundation bird of 100-700km loft) and “Dinie” 1° National Perpignan, the mother is a pure marathon bird. So you could say it’s 75% top marathon blood and 25% my all round bird “De Gust”.
My good old bird, is also bred like this, the father side is “Ringlose” (Prange) and “Mr. Tours” (Ludo Claessens) and the mother is the best of the best of marathon. My first old bird on Narbonne is a bad one of my middle distance team, which I placed on that loft to test. And see what happened … (I did it with 5 others as well, who failed the test).
Also very positive is, that I had 2 children of “Heilige Geest” (1° National St. Vincent, Grandson “Milos”) on the team and both did very well. So I think it’s save to say, we found the right ingredients to make a good soup.
What about that new racing loft?
Plans lighlty changed again. All youngsters 2020 are on the new loft, the first 2 lofts are build, the rest will come in the next weeks, so we’ll be ready for 2021 to fly there with yearlings. Not with to much ambition, but we’ll see. The change of plans is that because of my satisfying results, I will race those birds 1 more year, we haven’t decided yet if they all go to Barcelona or we split them. But it would be stupid not to try such a nice team, we have around 35 left, so that should give us a chance to fly some marathon races with the old birds.
So what about 2021 than?
The idea for the new location is, to breed as many birds as possible and train a big group of youngsters. In the mean while we have to figure out, how I am gonna do all the work. As soon as we found a plan for that, we will see what’s possible. So for 2021 the we’ll focus on training the birds and get them experience. The results will have to come from the old bird team at my location.
For the rest we also invested in some new birds. Including some “pedigree-birds” … So i’m very exciting to see if they are better than what we already have.