Though unknown in Romania, Albert Derwa has been a great champion in Belgium, for the last 20 years.
His famous Female, “Paulien” is one of the best breeders from Belgium for the general and Middle Distance Races, and at the moment it is considered a real “goose with golden eggs”. After the excellent results that its followers had in the lofts of Koen Miderhound and Jos Thone, great champions like Eric Limbourg, Gerard Koopman, Peter Veenstra or Jan Hooymans have introduced their direct offsprings in their own aviaries and had immediate results. Our friend Jan Hooymans together with Albert have made a wonderful mate : “Paulien” was sent in Holland to mate with the famous “Harry”. Two offsprings resulted for each person:
*”Invictus”- 1 National Issoudun from 16,587 doves in 2013:
Having a very small place for doves, Albert has always participated in races with a small number of doves. Always only maximum 15 females and 15 males. Most of the times, under 10 for each sex. It is like the story of David and Goliath, Albert being like David , if compared with the great pigeon fanciers from Belgium.
Albert was and is one of the greatest champions with offsprings from Belgium, but he is also a specialist of the flight for widowed females; his method became an art.
Albert was quite open to our questions; from his answers and advice, here is a short summary:
*”To reproduce real champions, we have to cross species. Always!!!!My doves have as a basis the Pepermans-Vanhee (Pepermans was the champion at speed races for his generation- in Belgium). Besides these, at the basis of my dove colony there are the de Janssen pigeons that I took indirectly from my uncle Andre Jacobs and from my friend Gommaire Verbrugen. Moreover, I have some pigeons from Gaby Vandenabeele . These are the lines that are at the basis of my dove colony. The doves best at flight are always put at the breeding, as we never sell our champions.”
*”I treat my doves a month before mating, for 7 days, against trichomonose. During the next 3days, the doves receive vitamins. As vitamines oxydate very fast in water, I prefer to replace the water plus vitamins, with clear water.”
*”7 days before the season for offsprings starts, I give them Sedochol in their food, every day.”
*I don’t agree with the early weaning of the squabs. Some wean them at 18-20 days, but I usually wean the squabs at 25 days old. When I wean them I give 1 pill to each of them (Gamba- Tab, against trichomonose and coccidiosa”.
Regarding the squabs, I use Iodine in the water almost every day, and I don’t use it when I feed them with vitamins. We should never mix the Iodine products with vitamins. Nobody believes me when I tell them that my doves receive Iodine in their water every day. ( Now I remember why the great Silvere Toye, one of my mentors, told me in 2004: “In the first 10 days after the weaning , my squabs receive Blitzform in their water daily and they receive peanuts as food.”)
*”At the age of 14 weeks the squabs are vaccinated against paramixovirosis, and after 2 weeks , against diphtero-variola.
*My doves always receive a hot individual bath when they arrive from the race. It’s a lot of work, but is worthy. The water is so hot that I can hardly keep my hand in it…thus, my doves relax a lot and they float like ducks.”
Towards the end of our visit, Albert told us that last winter he crossed 2 birds in a unique crossing: “De Zoon” (son of “Paulien” and Olimpic dove) with his mother, the famous “Paulien” (she is already 8 years old and Albert did so in order to ensure the future of his dove colony). Form the first pair of eggs already resulted 2 squabs , the new pair hatching now two good eggs. Albert told us that the first 4 squabs will be kept directly at the breeding, and the 3rd line of squabs being already reserved by Jan Hooymans. He asked us if we want to check these offsprings “at hand” , we answered “yes”. Albert came with two blue squabs, a male and a female, that were perfect “at hand”, despite their close consanguinity. The male was the copy of his mother, from all points of view. Looking at the doves and the pedigree , Mr. Sorin noticed that “De Zoon’s” father is named “Valentino”, like his older son. So he told Albert: “Mr. Albert, the grandfather of this offspring is named like my son, so I now baptise it “New Valentino” and I take it with me at Bucharest.” Both Albert and his wife Mrs. Paulien laughed , but the answer was immediatelt “NO”.I have to remind you that Albert never sold his champions and he was never running for money, as he is a very modest man. The Derwa family do not have any child and the doves and the passion for doves are their whole life. As Mr. Sorin has an innate sense of negociation, he did not give up so easily and he continued the negociations with Mrs. Derwa, in a highly inspired manner. At some point Mrs. Paulien answers him politely:”But, Mr. Florea, you did not even asked how much it costs!” and Mr. Sorin answered in a very polite manner:” I am not interested in that, Madame. Do we prepare a Bucharest identity card for it or no ?”Mrs. Paulien stretched her hand and smilingly , she said :”Yes”. Like so many times in life, it is clearly proved that the wisest decisions in life and the final decisions are taken by the women next to us.
As always , Team Florea Sorin promotes the Romanian pigeonsport at its highest level.