PART I - 1st and 2nd in the competition Best Fancier of the Netherlands WHZB/TBOTB Translated from Het Spoor der Kampioenen, the Dutch pigeon sport magazine
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An article was published in the Dutch pigeon sport magazine to pay attention to the titles achieved by team Eijerkamp in 2020. In particular, obtaining the titles 1st and 2nd best fancier of the Netherlands.
This article has been translated and will be published in parts on our website so that everyone can read how the pigeon sport is experienced by Hans and Evert Jan Eijerkamp.
1st and 2nd in the competition Best Fancier of the Netherlands WHZB/TBOTB
- 1 Lotte Eijerkamp
- 2 Hans & Evert-Jan Eijerkamp
To begin, I will take you to the lofts of Hans & Evert Eijerkamp and (grand) daughter Lotte in Brummen. Not only were they, 1st in the competition Best Fancier of the Netherlands WHZB/TBOTB, but also 1st General Grand Masters One Day Long Distance and Young and 1st in Category 3 Young Bird One Day Long Distance in the FondSpiegel. Every title by itself would require an article, but instead we will merge them together into one in-depth article.
As a pigeon fancier you must be "hiding in a cave somewhere" if you have not read, heard, or have come across, the comings and goings of the Eijerkamp family’s furniture business and their racing pigeons. Both have risen to the top by making prudent decisions and hard work. To judge the current unbelievable successes Hans and his son Evert-Jan are undergoing in the pigeon sport, we can not ignore the past.
The family business was founded in 1928. Hans embraced his father’s motto "you should not wait for happiness; you have to search for it". From a simple furniture store in the heart of Zutphen to two well-known modern Residential Centers in Zutphen and Veenendaal. Nevertheless, the path to success for Hans and his family certainly has not always run smoothly. Hans had to learn the hard way that the most beautiful roses carry the sharpest thorns. The successes are Han’s and his alone, they did not just fall in his lap. To travel down his chosen path required, a tough, tenacious character, and a willingness to learn from his mistakes. Changes were followed with open ears and eyes and where necessary adjustments were made. Moreover, "country smarts" were a welcome trait used to allow the growth to what it is now. This included the formula used so successfully, that of earning one or more vouchers for youngsters from their exceptional breeding stable when purchasing furniture. Many from the Netherlands and from abroad visited the Eijerkamp furniture centers followed by a visit to the Ponderosa & Greenfield Studs.
Step by Step
For more than half a century, from the top of his head down to the tips of his toes, Hans has been an avid pigeon fancier. Always performance-oriented in everything he does and making optimal use of every opportunity to further strengthen their pigeon colony with proven toppers. The lofts were, as they gained knowledge, updated several times, and improved right down to the last detail. The choice of caretakers was carefully examined and considered. Medical supervision of the large flock of pigeons was used to the utmost. Through long experience, Hans and Evert-Jan realize that week in and week out top performances are only possible, if the triangle, pigeon-loft-fancier, introduced by the widely appreciated writer and top fancier Arie van de Hoek, is in balance.
The founder of geometry Euclid (300 BC) described the balanced triangle, as a triangle with three sides of equal length, three angles of 60 ° each and as such a regular polygon. At Greenfield Stud, this regular polygon is currently the absolute basis of their unprecedented successes. In the following we tried to get answers from Hans and Evert-Jan, to just exactly how the three equal sides and the three equal angles (loft-pigeon-fancier) as the basis of their success are carried out.
The lofts are situated in an open area near the banks of the Ijssel river. With all its vagaries, the weather has a full and a quickly changeable influence on the lofts, affecting their temperature and humidity.
A race loft must function well under all weather conditions. All the floors and walls of the race lofts are insulated. In all the race lofts floor heating has been installed and turn on via a hygrostat when the humidity rises to more than 70%.
Furthermore, we continuously adjust the ceiling sliders to keep the temperatures even as possible. These are normally opened 20cm, so that minimal ventilation takes place. If necessary, we adjust the sliders according to conditions.
Our lofts are not all built the same. For example, we also have several different roof styles on the lofts. Lotte’s loft has a lot of volume in the roof. Almost up to the ridge, the roof is insulated with duo panel sheets. As a result, the temperature in the roof area (attic) remains lower, especially under very sunny conditions, than the lofts’ temperature, creating a chimney effect, resulting in natural ventilation. The other lofts have smaller roofs, with less volume. We fly well from both types of lofts.
The lofts face southeast, so that the early morning sun can warm up the loft. The sun also shines in Lotte’s loft through a clear roof panel. None of the windows are double glazed. In dark weather we do not use lights in the lofts.
By the way, lofts should certainly not be too bright or too dark under normal conditions. The morning sun should of course never be hindered, it is the largest source of vitamins. The lofts housing the cocks and hens are handled the same during the racing season. However, the hens are locked out in an aviary in front of their loft during the day and in their lofts at night on perches, while the cocks are in their nest boxes.
The aviaries attached to each loft are especially important, in the winter months all pigeons are locked out in the aviaries all day. Oxygen is the best medicine for pigeons. During the racing season all the hens are also in the aviaries all day, while the race cocks are not outside during the day. Furthermore, it allows us to give the pigeons a bathe outside. No extra problem with moisture in the lofts.
The investments and expansion of the furniture business and the pigeon colony went hand in hand, Hans is gifted with a drive to take his great passion the pigeon sport, to the absolute top.
Hans on his current stock of pigeons: Our Janssen x Van Loon pigeons, which we have created as "our own family", go back to the first Janssen pigeons I obtained in Arendonk in 1964. Afterwards added to and crossed with pigeons via various purchases from the Heremans-Ceusters in 2006 and then from Leo Heremans. These pigeons make up 80% of our current strain for sprint/middle-distance and one-day long distance. Over the years we have bought many proven national and top international pigeons. Several pigeons from Stefaan Lambrechts have also been successful for us, both in the race and breeding loft.
We were, also extraordinarily successful with several pigeons obtained from Gerard and Bas Verkerk. Other top pigeons were purchased, the German Olympiad Category: Young. Olympic Hans"Olympic Hans" (Olympiade pigeon Netherlands All-round), Turbo Rossi"Turbo Rossi" (won 5x 1st prize) and Olympic Leo"Olympic Leo" (Olympiad pigeon Germany All-round). In 2019, several youngsters, from Gerard Koopmans’ best pigeons, were bought, among others out of "Manu", "Paco" and "Royal Dream". In addition, in 2019 we bought some Top 10 National ace pigeons from Frans and Gert Rondags in Belgium and some from the Brothers Leideman. Also, in 2019 and 2020 some youngsters were purchased from the Brothers Leideman and Willem de Bruijn, these we placed straight to our race lofts, with great success.
Click link to read part II