Welcome to “ATBREEDINGLOFT”, Hoeilaart

Intro : For as long as he can remember, Thierry Aerts (ATBREEDINGLOFT) has always been fascinated and attracted by racing pigeons. A creature he considers mysterious and fascinating, the pigeon-fancying habit is well developed in him, but the demands of his professional activities and numerous trips abroad prevent him from taking part in pigeon-fancying competitions. However, he does nothing by halves, and always aims for perfection.

Highly fortunately, pigeon fancying is a multi-faceted art, which allows everyone to practice it at his own competence levels. Thierry therefore decided, short of taking part in the sport itself so to speak, to consider his pigeon fancying as pigeon breeding.

It has to be said that already immersed in the horse world, that he has mastered the laws of Mendel to perfection,and is an avid geneticist who wishes to benefit his colony from the valuable assets he has acquired.

Aware of his limits at playing-field level, he therefore allows the specialists, the renowned players, to exercise their know-how. He sees pigeon fancying as a challenge, like a broad agenda fraught with pitfalls, but it is precisely this challenge, which pleases and thrills Thierry.

With this in mind, the best breeds of Belgian colonies have elected domicile in the dovecotes of Hoeilaart, as follows:

– Chris Hebberecht : AXL line

– Nouwen – Paesen : Beauty Marseille and Zwarte Jo line

– Gaby Vandenabeele : Bliksem and Rudy line

– Deno – Herbots : “Clyde X Christiane”, Beckham, Blauwe Bliksem line, …

– HerbotsGebr.: Yvan line

– Daniel Parijs : Olympic Mila line

– Marcel Aelbrecht : Bak 10 line

– Johny Jonchers : Little Joe line

– Jan Hooymans :  Harry line

An unbelievable primary material provides a solid base, allowing Thierry to contemplate quality-breeding programs and to carry out unstinting research into “ideal” cross-breeding with the aim of seeking out the all-round homing pigeon. To do this Thierry is always on the lookout for supplementary reinforcements, which could come to complete this gallery by their lineage, or by successful crossbreeding with other pigeon lofts.

The colony comprises:-

–> 12 breeding males staying captive in individual boxes who service a triple hand of quality females reserved for them.

–>25 additional productive pairs, an assessment pigeon loft whose occupants are liable to gain access to the reproducing pigeon lofts based on the results obtained by their descendants.

–> 30 rearing pairs (downgraded producers kept for their fostering qualities), receiving eggs from the individual box.

Cage space allows for the keeping of a selection of young in order to supply the pigeon lofts with reproducing and producing birds, in order to guarantee future supplies and to preserve the promising fruit of trials already carried out

Pigeon loft hygiene, health care given to the pigeons, medical follow-ups and a Spartan continuous supply are essential to Thierry for the realization of his objectives. It has to be said that every care is given in this quasi-professional set-up.

Nothing escapes. A decent number of producers, whatever they may be, wherever they come from, have seen their status rapidly downgraded and have moved on for the best to the breeders’ pigeon lofts.

In order to move on and attain the goals set, Thierry quickly realized that fine pigeons with noble bloodlines were something accessible, but that he absolutely had to put the fruits of his research to the test in competitions. The ultimate aim is not that his pigeons take part in competitions and not in exhibitions. The Belgian pigeon has acquired its international renown thanks to his sporting services.

First off he gravitated towards taking part in “One Loft” and that’s how tens of fledglings were dispatched throughout the world.

Starting from 2014, there is a partnership with the amateurs from Brabant Walon. That’s how nearly 200 young birds  per year have strengthened the colonies of Hadrien Marsille – Ophain, of Roger Pierre and David de Pécrot, Sébastien Bastogne de Corroy-Le-Château, Julien Huart of Nivelles. The only condition laid down is to train and play these young birds without worrying about their origins and/or their attractiveness. These partnerships have quickly turned into a challenge in which potential competitors have become pigeon-fancying pals and share their advice and knowledge, and their experiences in the research of a common interest.

As of 2016, this exchange will extend to some amateurs in the north of the country ; Hilaire Surrinx of Nieuwerkerken and Clément Matterne.

As far, the colonies intending to take part in substantive or substantive competition are concerned, Thierry deems it a case of more or less long-term investment, given that training and educating pigeons takes several years.

On the other hand, collaboration with Hadrien Marsille de Ophain has borne fruit from the first year and then in remarkable quantities.