Throughout his whole life he worked, along with his father Cornelis, to build up his own pigeon strain. And he ultimately created a superior pigeon strain which has now proved itself all over the world for its exceptional capabilities. His pigeons have the special gift of almost unmatched speed and endurance. A swift launching capacity is typical of his birds: when the pigeons leave the basket, they already have a few metres head start, thanks also to their high concentration ability. He selected his pigeons based on this. Indeed, it is not always the fastest pigeon that wins the competition, but the pigeon that chooses the shortest route to the loft.
He is a pigeon expert in a million. He has made a perfect jigsaw puzzle with the following strains: Janssen Arendonk, Louis Van Loon, Dirk & Louis Van Dijck and Günter Prange. These are the mains lines which— for many years—he has worked with, bred, ‘tinkered with’, and ‘refined’ like a true professional. Ultimately, ‘the final product’ was ready; the pigeon which has won everywhere and at all levels.
His name: Gerard Koopman
Grandmaster Koopman puts his full confidence in our Beyer feed... ‘Because it contains the purest and best grains’ says Gerard!
We are just a little proud of this testimonial... to hear that from a big name like Gerard Koopman, is quite gratifying.
And one day Gerard Koopman made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.
He wanted to see his own mixture in a Beyers bag:
This mixture would bring out his vision of ‘modern pigeon racing’ and ‘modern feeding methods’. It has been well- known for many years that Koopman gives a little something extra to his pigeons, based on three components, namely: peanuts, cheese and sheep fat. The idea behind this massive new project—because that’s really what it was— was this:
Offering ‘main course’ and ‘dessert’ together.
This had to be an absolute success since, as we all know, in practice it is not always easy to give a main meal and then a little snack which fit together perfectly and to proceed according to the desired dosage.
In the end, you can’t always force a pigeon to eat. It’s often the case that one or more pigeons from the loft will eat too little of one thing or the other.
Either they are already full after the main meal and don’t even look at the dessert, or they eat too little of the main course and too much of the dessert, which means they lack essential nutrients.
In both cases the purpose of feeding is not achieved; and in the second case, digestion can even be disturbed, which will be immediately noticeable the next morning from the dropping in the housing trays.
Another discussion point was this: feeding the pigeons a different mixture each day, since that’s what it says in the many feeding schedules that are around... Gerard Koopman wanted to abandon this system and develop a feed that can be given to all pigeons every day, year in - year out. We searched... and found: The 5-star grain ‘Vitaform Plus’!
‘The child was born’ and named ‘All in one’. This mix makes it very easy for everyone! On the one hand, this means a very varied diet for the pigeons and, on the other, they get that ‘little extra’ at the same time—Gerard Koopman’s ‘secret weapon’ (besides his super pigeons of course): cheese, peanuts and sheep fat! These three products are combined in one grain.
The Vitaform Plus grain guarantees the full nutritional value of the three elements cheese, peanuts, and sheep fat, as well as a shelf life of 1 year, without any loss of nutritional value. This ‘Koopman grain’ provides the pigeons with extra animal protein, omega fatty acids and vitamins. We can say with confidence that the ‘All in one’ mixture is unique in the pigeon feed market. Major and minor champions are now convinced of the quality of this mixture: whoever uses ‘All in one’ feed will find the following:
1. Optimal digestion
2. Pigeons train harder
3. Pigeons become nice and round and easily develop pure breast meat
4. Better performances
Besides cheese, peanuts and sheep fat, this granule also contains the following substances:
- - Alfalfa: 8 vital enzymes, with excellent digestion as a direct result.
- - Beta Carotene: which ensures good vision and protects the pigeon against respiratory infections.
- - Seaweed: a rich source of vitamins, minerals and especially iodine, which in turn is good for the thyroid.
- - High quality brewer's yeast: Vitamin B and amino acids: helps digestion.
- - Wheat germ: this is the best natural source of Vitamin E, thus increasing the endurance of racing pigeons.
- - Egg yolk - cheese and milk powder: very good animal fats, protein and B vitamins.
- - Lecithin: provides a perfect conversion of fats into energy, also regulates the nervous system (!).
- - Pre probiotics for perfect intestinal bacteria.
- - Vitamin mix: all the necessary vitamins from the B complex + A, D, E, K and C.
Gerard Koopman and many others have been feeding their pigeons the ‘All in one’ mixture for several years—both to their racing pigeons and those who stay at home (breeders, aviary birds, widow hens, ...); in the case of the latter group, a certain percentage of depurative mixture (also from Beyers) is added .
Gerard Koopman offers a more practical explanation:
‘I always fill up my birds’ feeding trays. For short flights up to 300 km, 10 to 20% barley is added to the ‘All in one’ mixture, or for example 15% barley and 5% paddy rice (unhusked rice).
For flights between 300 and 700 km, my pigeons get 100% ‘All in one’ mixture. Again, I use the full tray method, but the pigeons get fresh feed twice a day. When they are basketed for 1 night, the food is removed from the loft at around 10am. In the case of 2 or more nights in the basket, the pigeons have ‘All in one’ available to them for the whole day of basketing. During shedding, ‘All in one’ is also given, and supplemented with 10% barley and 10% paddy rice: it’s important here to check regularly for overweight birds.
If you find overweight birds, I recommend feeding them less for a few days. I don’t recommend fattening pigeons since this can have multiple negative consequences on the overall fitness of the bird. The ‘All in one’ mix is so rich in nutrients that during moulting and the winter period, you do need to stay a bit alert. At that time, they are barely training at all. During the winter months, I give them 50% ‘All in one’, supplemented with 25% barley and 25% paddy rice. Then I add chopped or ground carrots to the feed.
When the young hatch, I only feed them ‘All in one’. During pairing, I give them the same feed mixture as during short distance flights, so ‘All in one’ + 10 to 20% barley or 15% barley and 5% paddy rice.
Finally, I wish everyone good luck in our beloved hobby ... the best hobby of all. Sincere thanks to the Beyers firm of Schoten for their consistently high-quality and pure grains, as well as the super collaboration!
Gaby Vandenabeele has been working with Beyers mixtures for years and even has his own mixture within this range. Very satisfied with the result!