Thoné Pigeons, From Belgium to the World

Thoné is a synonym for obsession - obsession for pigeon racing. Jos Thoné is a romantic idealist in matters of pigeon- sport, an athlete for every discipline, a man who plays everything, from the short distance until the extreme long distance. Professionalism is there in every aspect.

Jos Thoné, Belgium
Jos Thoné, Belgium

We're going strong! In the meantime Jos has a "team" working around him with the pigeons. His oldest son Xavier left the corporate world in 2018 to become a professional pigeon fancier and together they are striving to reach even greater heights with their "Thoné" pigeon colony. 

Jos and his son Xavier together in Shanghai, China
Jos and his son Xavier together in Shanghai, China

A flying start

Thoné Pigeons was founded in 1991 by Jos Thoné (1961) in As, Belgium. Together with his charming wife Gaby, he took up residence in their brand new house with brand new pigeons lofts. Within a very short period of time, he could convert the knowledge he collected from the time with his father-in-law - the infamous Thomas Peeters - and reach the absolute world top in pigeon sport by winning all possible titles. 

  • 4x World Champion 
  • 6x Gouden Duif
  • 5x Olympiad Pigeon
  • 7x 1 National
  • 2x 1 International
  • 1x National Champion KBDB youngbirds
  • 12x 1 National Champion BDS
  • 13x 1 National Champion LCB
  • 1 National Champion KBDB long distance, yearlings

Jos Thoné: "From the moment I could walk, I was interested in pigeons. At least, so says my father who also still races pigeons. You couldn't get me out of the lofts in the following years. I pedalled my bike like a mad man on my way home from school, to be back to the lofts as quickly as possible. I was busy with the care, feeding, releasing, anything and everything. When that was done, I was off to the basketting room to help getting the baskets ready, preparing the clocks, cleaning and any other chores. I was often the only youngster among the grown men but I didn't care. I already knew that pigeons would be a determining factor in my life and that I wanted to reach the top. It was a sort of burning passion which I can't explain."

View from the loft in springtime (1994)
View from the loft in springtime (1994)

Architecture of the lofts

Jos Thoné's lofts still are a model of creativity. You can see that everything has been thoroughly thought through. Practicality and functionality are key: nothing overdone, simply good. The philosophy behind the 60m long building and its fittings, is to produce as much as possible surface area with as little as possible unnecessary work.

The lofts in Autumn 2018
The lofts in Autumn 2018
Pigeons enter and exit through large windows
Pigeons enter and exit through large windows

The lofts are arranged in such a way that one can walk along them to the various sections. The widow hens are housed behind the widowers section. Jos designed perches for these hens that prevent eye contact. In each of the stock lofts of the cocks there is a radiator. These are not to be found by the hens. Why? "Because in my experience, the cocks are more sensitive to humidity than the hens. The hens are much more equable than the cocks in that respect. Preventing eye contact also a very important factor in preventing the hens pairing up together."

The perches help to prevent eye contact between the hens
The perches help to prevent eye contact between the hens

Breeding

The quality of the breeding is the foundation for the success in pigeon racing. Top priority has to be given to the act of breeding itself. Jos Thoné has already proven that he masters the art of breeding racing pigeons. Nevertheless, the pigeon's quality represents the most important element of the chain called success. Once you have the quality, you need to retain it. 

The aviaries of the breeding pigeons
The aviaries of the breeding pigeons

To read the full story, one can order our latest book 'The Idea of Jos Thoné' through our contact form (€25,00 including free worldwide shipping). Order here