About Double T Lofts’ Super Families
One of the 1st birds Double T Lofts purchased in 1998 was Adam. Adam, a son of Ariel and Super Crack 65, is the father of at least 23 winners, as well as the grandsire of many other winners. Included in the winners off of Adam is a hen that has won 1st & 2nd Texas Center Hall of Fame in consecutive Old Bird seasons. Adam proved to be such a super pigeon that Double T Lofts bought his mother Ariel from Mike Ganus in 2000. Both Ariel and Adam have proven to be incredible breeders. Ariel is a Tournier/Janssen cross, and she was the 1st National Ace of the One Day Long Distance Races of Holland in 1996. Double T Lofts has flown one direct child of Ariel, and that hen was a 5th Texas Center Hall of Fame Young Bird in 2001. More than 40 of Ariel’s grandchildren or great grandchildren have been at least equal 1st for Double T Lofts. This bird family has excelled because of its intelligence, speed, and toughness. Our Ariel family excels at all distances, and is an excellent family for the many One-Loft races across the US. Multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren of Ariel have won money in One-Loft races across the nation. For example, a son of Adam was equal 1st on the two training races of the Vegas Classic in 2002, and he was on the 2nd drop (19th Overall) in the 300 mile Vegas Classic. In the 2006 Vegas Classic a great-granddaughter of both Ariel and Adam was 16th, and another great-granddaughter of both Ariel and Adam was 1st in the 2007 Vegas 330 race.
We acquired the 969 Janssen family in 1998. The majority of our 969 Janssen came from the loft of the late Dr. Ken Warren in Houston, Texas. Dr. Warren had acquired a large group of sons and daughters of the famous 969 (a son of 019), and we in turn were able to acquire a number of very nice birds from him. In 1998, we brought in 5 pair of 969; and in 1999 young birds, all five pair raised at least one bird that was at least equal 1st. In 1999 young birds, we had a 969 Janssen hen Pure Silk that was 1st Texas Center Hall of Fame, and we were 2nd Texas Center Hall of Fame with another 969 Janssen hen. Our family of 969 has grown to include 2 sons and 2 daughters of Assured Gold and Granger’s Diamond. Additionally, we had a direct son and daughter of 969. This family has been a very good family for us, and we continue to have great success with them. We have found that they are sometimes even better when crossed onto our De Klak Janssen.
Our De Klak family of Janssen consists primarily of birds from the loft of Jos Leuris & Son in Holland. Jos Leuris had a super cock that was 11 times 1st and greater than 70 times in the prizes, as a racer. That super cock was Den 55. Den 55 proved to be a great racer, and he has proven to be an even better breeder. His sons and daughters have been exceptional. Two of his sons that are now breeding at Double T Lofts are Atomic Bomb 55 and Atomic 55. These cocks were exceptional racers and, along with their half-brother Dark One 55, they have proven to be excellent breeders. All 3 of these cocks have produced multiple race winners and excellent breeders. For example, a son of Dark One 55 was Combine Champion Old Bird. A full-sister of that Combine Champion Old Bird has been 3rd and 6th Combine Champion. Similarly, a daughter of Dark One 55 was 24th in the 2003 Vegas Classic. Additionally, a daughter of Atomic Bomb 55 was 1st Texas Center Hall of Fame in 2001 young birds. Another daughter of Atomic Bomb 55 was 2nd Overall at the Texas Center Convention in 2004.
Double T Lofts also has quite a few super performance Janssen. One example of our performance Janssen is Blue Rocket. Blue Rocket is a fairly recent addition to the breeding loft of Double T Lofts. This super cock is 100% Janssen. Three of his grandparents are straight out of the Janssen Brothers loft, and the 4th grandparent is the mother of De Klak’s famous 613. In fact, one of Blue Rocket’s grandfathers sold for $28,800 at De Klak’s final auction. Blue Rocket’s race record includes the following: 1st vs. 6,886 — 1st vs. 4,546 — 1st vs. 2,953 — 4th vs. 3,958, etc. Another super cock that we have added to our breeding loft is the outstanding Janssen cock we call Asduif. This cock was 3 times the Combine Ace Pigeon of a 200 member combine. These two cocks along with a number of other super performance Janssen (e.g., Mettet, Millenium, Topper) make up Double T Loft’s performance Janssen.
In December 2002, Tom and Tim of Double T Lofts were among the first Americans in 7 or 8 years to visit what is possibly the best loft in Holland. They went to the home of Bas and Gerard Verkerk. During that visit they selected 9 excellent Verkerk Janssen. The Verkerks have a family that is predominately DeKlak and has been super since about 1998. After that initial visit, Double T Lofts has imported an additional 13 birds directly. Plus, they were able to acquire 3 more from Geert Kolvenbag and Mike Ennis, which they had acquired directly from the Verkerks. Double T Lofts had immediate success with their Verkerk Janssen birds. In the first year of breeding, 2 hens flew very well at the distance. One of these hens placed 7th in Division 6 of the Racing Pigeon Digest Long Distance Awards. In 2005 YB’s a 100% Verkerk was our club Ace Pigeon, clocking 5 weeks in a row in the top 10%. We have great hope that this family of outstanding 200- to 500-mile birds will develop for Double T Lofts into the super family that the Verkerks enjoy in Holland. We are now breeding out of 23 direct Verkerk-bred birds.
Tournier / Grizzles
Double T Lofts also has a family of long distance Tournier, primarily grizzles. The majority of these birds are from Jimmy Brands of Belgium and Alois & Luc Van Den Plas, also of Belgium. Both of these lofts are top long-distance lofts in the Antwerp Union. In fact, Jimmy Brands was the 1st Ace K.B.D.B. (All Belgium) Extreme Long Distance in 2000, and he was 7th in the same category in 2001. Jimmy Brands has three main cocks, along with their parents, that he considers his best. These three cocks are all brothers, and they were 1st, 3rd, & 5th Aces Extreme Long Distance in the Antwerp Union in 2000. Here at Double T Lofts, we have two children out of each of these three cocks, and we have two brothers of these super long-distance aces. Jimmy Brands’ Tournier grizzles combined with the Tournier grizzles of the Van Den Plas have proven to be super here in the US. In fact, Jimmy Brands’ cock Trademark mated to one of our Van Den Plas and produced a son that was 8th in the 2003 Vegas Classic. Our Tournier grizzles fly very well both as young and old birds.
Double T Lofts’ Philosophy
The birds are housed in three different lofts. The breeding loft is about 50’ x 50’ with the center opening to the air. This loft consists of 5 group breeding lofts, 6 large holding pens, 16 individual breeding pens, and 4 polygamous breeding pens. Each loft has an aviary attached that allows the birds to get outside. Tom’s flying loft is approximately 18’ x 48’. It contains 2 young bird sections and 2 widowhood cock sections. During the old bird season, one of the young bird lofts is used to house the widowhood hens. Also in Tom’s flying loft are 2 group breeding lofts and 8 more individual breeding pens. All of our individual breeding pens are 3’ wide x 5 ½’ deep x 7’ tall, and each individual breeding pen has a 4’ x 4’ x 4’ aviary attached on the outside. Tim’s flying loft is 16’ x 24’, and it contains 5 sections. There are 2 young bird lofts, 2 old bird lofts, and a section of nest boxes for the old birds. All of the lofts are well ventilated with the air coming in from the bottom and leaving through the top. All of the flying lofts have solid plywood floors, and the breeding loft has expanded metal floors 3’ off of the ground. Each of the lofts are cleaned daily by a full-time employee, and cleanliness is a top priority.
At Double T Lofts, we believe that feeding is key to both good racing and the raising of top-class healthy youngsters. We feed only Heritage Acres feed, and we have been very happy and very successful with that feed. Our breeders are fed approximately ¾ Boost (Heritage Acres breeding mix) and ¼ Ace (Heritage Acres pellet). Our youngsters, after weaning, are fed a mixture of 1/3 Boost, 1/3 Ace, & 1/3 Boss (Heritage Acres main racing mix). During racing, we feed our birds a combination of Boss, Euro, Ace, Corn, Super D, Nitro, and Turbo, depending on the distance of the race and other factors. Additionally, we mix our own small seed mixture as a treat for the birds.
Vitamins & minerals are also something Double T Lofts stress. We like to give the birds a number of options when it comes to minerals. We buy a combination of pick stones, pick pots, pink minerals, black minerals, and a number of different types of grit in order to give our birds a wide variety of minerals. Similarly, we give our breeders and sale birds vitamins twice a week, and we give our race birds vitamins once a week.
As far as different products go, we use a number of them. However, the majority of what we use for our race birds are Belgica De Weerd products. These products include B.S. for canker & coccidiosis, Parastop to prevent paratyphoid, and a number of other super products. We have had great success with the Belgica De Weerd products, and we highly recommend them. We also vaccinate all of our youngsters for PMV and Paratyphoid each year.
The system that we use for our young birds is the light system. We keep the lights on for 17 to 18 hours a day in our young bird lofts for our early hatches, from the day they are weaned until around May 15th. This, as most people know, gets them through their wing moult before the start of young bird season. We use the lights, as opposed to the dark, because of the extreme heat in Texas during the summer. It is very tough to keep a loft as dark as it would need to be, and get enough ventilation to allow the birds to thrive. We typically train our youngsters 2 to 3 times a week during the season, and we try to have them out to about 75 miles before the 1st race (100 miles). We keep the sexes separated, and we open the door between the lofts a couple hours before we catch them for basketing. We have been very successful with this system for the last few years. We have won a number of AU, Texas Center, and Digest awards over the past 5 years.
Similarly, we have had great success with our old birds. We have been most successful flying double widowhood. We use the same products for our old and young birds, as far what they are given on certain days. The feeding is also very similar. We have tried a light to heavy method of feeding, and we have tried basically a heavy to heavier method of feeding for both old and young birds. So far the heavy to heavier method has been more successful. However, we are constantly slightly tinkering with our methods in order to improve. Our old birds, like our young birds, are trained 2 to 3 times a week. However, as the season goes along and the races get longer, we cut back on the training.
Through our trips to Europe we have been able to obtain a number of super pigeons, and learn more about how Europeans race. While visiting fanciers like Serge Van Elsacker, Bas Verkerk (and his father Gerard), Jimmy Brands, Albert Marcelis, Andre Roodhoft, Hillaire Verhellen, Co Verbree, Arie Van Beek, Joop Koch, Alois & Luc Van Den Plas, Jos Van Olmen, and others we have acquired a number of super pigeons. Everyone that we have visited in Belgium and Holland has been very gracious.
Our goal at Double T Lofts is to sell quality racing pigeons with the utmost integrity. We want to send out only top-quality birds that have the potential to become foundation breeders for our customers. There is hardly anything more gratifying than hearing excellent results from our customers.