Yesterday we ran another inventory, had one come up missing yesterday but it clocked in this morning. This is the third inventory in the last 20 days and we are hanging tough at 1464 birds in the loft since the first inventory. As per our rules, if you have a bird come up missing BEFORE the first training toss you will get a free perch redeemable the VERY NEXT YEAR.
Health of the birds is maintaining. Seems any "bugs" they may of had, which any One Loft Race faces each year, has come and gone and now we are enjoying the fruits of our labor with very few sick birds this year. The waterers are disinfected every single day and the loft is scraped and sparayed down with Virkon S, in our opinion having done this five years now those two things in combination daily makes a huge difference!
Every day we catch birds while walking through the loft caring for them. The 9th and 10th flights are coming in nicely and the birds are starting to fly again, not all by many. In another week or so we suspect they will be flying high and for some time again. Once the flights are all the way in and the birds are flying well on their own we will start planning for road training. We are not in a huge hurry as we have lots of time before the winter weather arrives. It is supposed to be 107F tomorrow and close to 100F for several days thereafter, we will wait until it cools off to do any road training and we also hear there are fires down in Oregon which is the direction in which we train and ultimately race. So please be patient everyone, we are going to do what is in the best interest for the birds and we have no absolute time schedule that we need to stick by however we do hope to have the final race in October, preferably early October not late but just depends upon the weather.
Good luck to everyone this year in the 5th year of the Apple Cup and in any one loft races you have entered!
Rick & Olga
We ran a inventory yesterday, as you can see same number as the last inventory 10 days prior.
Your birds go out of the loft every single day. We have found that by allowing them out to play every day it greatly helps in maintaining health. If the birds are locked up for several days this is when you can run in to problems in a one loft race, especially with respiratory.
Several birds were examined yesterday to see how the 9th and 10th flights are coming in after pulling them the day prior to the first inventory. They are coming in nicely and all dozen or so birds handled were healthy and had nice clear throats and eyes.
Droppings look perfect every morning before scraping and sparaying the loft down with Virkon S.
Some of the birds are already trying to exercise on their own, we do not force them to fly when they are still growing in their end flights. About a week before road training starts we will flag them for several days just to make sure they all can fly on their own for at least 30 minutes. Some will fly for seemingly 2 hours or more, many 1 hr, then there is about 5% each year that just seem glued to the roof unless a Red Tail Hawk or a raven fly over which gets them all going. It is these few that we have to stand on the roof with a long pole running back and forth on a 144' long roof for that makes the neighbors think we are just some crazy bird brains on our side of the fence.
As stated before, we hope to start training mid August, but this all depends upon how they are flying on their own and how their end flights are coming along.
Everyone take care and try to stay cool.
Rick & Olga
We are running the clock a second day to see if we can pick up the 4 birds which did not clock in yesterday. Not sure if they stayed out or piggy backed, which is pretty much impossible with the way our traps are set up. We purposely made sure the birds were not real hungry or thirsty before letting them out and walk through the traps to scan in so we would not have them bunching up which causes clocking issues, this is why they clocked in so slowly yesterday and it was also pretty cool. The TauRUS system we use is very sensitive as far as reading the chips goes and the chips are very sensitive. We have held them 2 inches above the pads and they still read.
If you have a bird missing before the first training toss you get a free perch the next year, as per our rules. Once training starts there are no free perches for lost birds lost on training tosses.
Hope everyone is staying cool, it is starting to warm up here.
We finally got done assigning the chips today, pulling the 9th and 10th flights, and giving the birds a overall health check. Out of exactly 1,500 birds we brought in, we are VERY PLEASED to announce that there are 1464 birds in the loft. This means that only 36 birds were lost during settling, and keep in mind that some of these may of not been lost during settling they may of injured themselves while away from the loft out routing our trying their wings for the first time. Often times the first few times they are out they collide with eachother and sometimes we find injured birds around the loft, it goes without saying that collisions do happen away from the loft that we do not see as well as birds hitting wires, trees, fences, etc. For those of you who keep stats, this comes out to a loss of 2.4% during the settling process, we will take that any year!
The birds looked excellent, and I do mean excellent! Since they just had their flights pulled they will not be forced to fly, rather they will be allowed to come out on their own accord. About a week before we plan to road train we will force the few who seemingly do not want to fly on their own by flagging, this usually is only about 5% from our experience.
Almost forgot, of the 36 birds missing only one breeder had more than one bird missing. The one breeder who has two birds missing only sent two and if I remember correctly they were extremely older birds which we decided to take a chance on. If any of you loft flew your birds before sending, or if you lightly road trained I want to know if they are still here just for my own knowledge. My friend Ken Easley sent two a few years back which he had trained out to 100 miles, one stuck around the other was gone the first time they went out. This is a pretty easy place to settle pigeons since we are wide open out in the desert and everyone out here is pretty spread apart with 5-10 acres each. To the west there is no one and this is kinda where the birds come from on race day if it is not windy so we can see the birds arriving from way off in the distance which adds to the excitement!
Again, Olga and I are extremely sorry for taking so long getting this first inventory done for all of you and we explained why several times. We have decided that next year we will simply limit the number of birds we take in so that we do not have to add on to the loft. This year we had clocking problems so just started putting birds in the loft and before we knew it we had about 400 pigeons arrived. It became apparent that we needed to focus on the loft expansion since we had more birds coming in than I felt comfortable putting in our initial 12' x 84' loft. Now the loft is 12' X 144' with 3' deep aiviaries, so we can accomodate more birds next year without being distractred by trying to build while accepting birds like we did this year. We still have some exterior work to do on the loft, once we get that completed and a little painting we will update the photos on our site. The extension will look just like the pictures on out site, just makes the loft 60' longer is all.
Everyone take care and hope you enjoy the inventory tomorrow. Again, sorry it took so damn long!
Rick & Olga
Hope everyone had a great Independence Day weekend!
We have went through 750 birds thus far. Each bird is getting a overall health check to include looking down the throat, pulling any damaged flights to include the 9th and 10th flights, and of course having their chips assigned in to our clocking system. The birds look absolutely perfect, body weight is good and they feel muscled up from all the loft flying they get which is daily. This is a time consuming process and we hope to be done mid week and to have a inventory posted late week or Saturday.
The birds will not be forced to fly while the 9th and 10th flights regrow. Road training will start in August when the flights are in and the birds are loft flying on their own.
Rick & Olga
We ran in to a computer problem today, got it rectified and was able to get about 200 birds chipped this afternoon. Now that the problem is resolved it should only take a few days to get caught up, then the much anticipated inventory.
The 9th and 10th flights will also be pulled as well as a health check.
We have had several breeders contact us lately wanting to know what's going on with the Apple Cup since we have not updated in awhile whereas we usually update at a minimum weekly. Once we start training we update several times a week. We appologize for not paying attention to this and will make sure we are more attentive to posting updates so you breeders are not left wondering what is going on here.
All of the birds have been settled. We had planned on getting a inventory posted right after all of the birds were settled and the birds in the old loft section were merged with the birds in the new loft extension. However, about a week ago we noticed some loose droppings in the old loft section which is 84' long and these birds were being flown separately from the birds in the new loft extention which is 60' long, total loft length is 144', 12' wide, with 3' deep aiviaries. No birds died, probabably just a simple bacterial issue and it has been cleared up with amoxycillin and we will continue to treat them for a few more days. Just today the door between the first 84' and the new 60' was opened and all the birds were forced out of the loft together. A Red Tail came by and spooked the birds so they got some good exercise in. Red Tail quickly left and the birds settled back down. As of writing this most have trapped and just a few are hanging around on the landing board soaking up the light rain that has started.
Game plan is to let all of the birds out together a few more times so they all know to trap in together when we whistle to them. Then a few days later we will take a few days to run all of the birds down the hallway in to the chute at the west end so each can be handled so we can assign the chips, pull the 9th and 10th flights, and do a overall health check of each and every bird. We have explained several times how we got behind on getting chips assigned because we had clock issues when it came time to assign birds in to our clocking system, we could not get it rectified quickly and birds kept pouring in. Before we knew it we had several hundred birds in the loft without being assigned in the clock, more birds pouring in near daily, trying to work on the loft extension to insure no overcrowding this year every chance we had free time, and some family matters we had to attend to.
Bottom line is this:
The birds are super healthy this year. The few who were sick and had to be removed were replaced, and if not replaced the breeder was notified.
Inventory should be done within the next 7 days, weather depending.
If any birds are missing from the initial inventory it was due to settling, and we feel there will be very few lost during settling.
So please no worries everyone, birds are healthy and flying every day and we will get that inventory posted shortly.
Training starts early August, first race after Labor Day.
Finally, all of the birds which were going to be sent to us this year have been sent and that includes replacements. Our cut off date was the last day in May, however we had about a dozen birds which died due to Circovirus a few weeks ago and we allowed those breeders to send replacements this past week with the last birds arriving Friday. We got the Circovirus under control quickly with minimal losses. Knock on wood, health has been very good this year with losses around 3% and most of those were replaced by the breeders.
As most of you already know, we had some clock issues when the first birds arrived and we could not get it rectified when more birds started pouring in. We put a chip on each bird after arriving, however they were not assigned in to our clocking system since we needed the cage space which we put them in when they first arrive and they got put in the loft to free up those cages which the birds go in for a day to make sure they get feed and water after shipping. We were in the middle of loft expansion, our home roof being repaired, our 91 year old grandpa passed, bottom line we got further and further behind on getting the birds assigned in to the clock so we could run inventories. We finally decided that we would just wait until all of the birds were here and settled, then we will run our first inventory which should be in 10-14 days. This will give the new arrivals adequate time to learn that this is their new home and to learn to trap when we whistle to them. Once they are all rushing the traps and coming in on command at least 3 days in a row, we will feel comfortable in letting them out for the first time. It usually takes a few days of letting them out for the first time to get all of them on the same page and to pick up any who may of scattered their first time out. Usually when we let them out for the first time they just hang around the front of the loft unless spooked, then it takes a day or two to pick up those spooked ones who may of flown off and stayed out overnight. If we do this race again next year, which we currently do plan on doing, we will not make the mistake of getting this far behind on posting the first inventory. Sorry for the inconvenience everyone.
Current game plan is as follows:
Get the rest of the birds settled in the next 10-14 days.
Once settled, get them all assigned in to the clock, this will take a few days.
Run the first inventory and several others before we pull flights.
Around the first week in July pull the 9th and 10th flights, health check, chip check.
Around the first week in August, we will start training short distances increasing out to several 40 and 60 mile tosses toward the end of the month and eventually across the Columbia River which usually presents our most nerve wracking tosses.
We will not train over Labor Day weekend due to that being opening dove season.
Hopefully if everything works out right, we will be having the activation race the week after Labor Day.
Hope everyone is back to work and staying safe.
In the last update I made a mistake stating any birds activated over 1,500 will have their prize money added to 1st place. It is actually any birds over 1,000 activated will have their prize money added to 1st place.
Hope everyone has a great upcomming Memorial Day weekend!
Next week is the last week we are accepting birds. Memorial Day is Monday so the last day you can ship would be Tue. Since it is our last week accepting birds next week go ahead and ship on Wednesday if you can not get them out Tuesday. Our post office lobby is closed on Saturday but if we get any birds on Saturday they will call us early AM and we go pick them up before they leave late morning after sorting mail.
Again, health is great this year with about 2% of the birds getting sick and many of those have been replaced. Unfortunately we fell way behind getting the birds assigned in to our clocking system so we have no way of determining if you had a bird missing during settling. We have really taken our time settling birds this year ensuring that the older birds do not get a chance to pull off younger birds by keeping them separate and only merging them after the younger groups being settled get to go out for at least three times on their own and absolutely know where home is. Point being, we are very confident that if there were any birds missing due to settling they are very, very few and far between. Knock on wood, no hawk attacks at the loft this year which makes settling very easy. It really helps when you sit right in front of the loft all day the first few times the birds are out, nothing can even get close to your birds.
Please mail to our PO Box, the address is under the Contact Us tab. Make sure your loft name is on the box if you paid using PayPal, or on the check if sending a check, money order, etc.
We are sitting at 300 breeders and nearing 1,500 birds entered which we will break next week. Do not miss out on what will most likely be the 2nd largest One Loft Race in the US for this year with a GUARANTEED 1st prize of $100,000 on the final. Any birds activated over 1,500 will be added to 1st prize, so wish us luck on not loosing many during training so we can have a HUGE 1st prize for all of you on the final race!
Thank all of you so much for supporting us and for your encouragement.