Your birds are well. They are very active, moving throughout the loft looking for their own sweet spot and using the fly pens, the settling cage and the open shutters to absorb as much of the sun as they can. They are eating well.
I will be in Toronto at the Burger King on Thursday night. I have a couple of flights and two pickups booked. If you wish to meet me, please call the house or send an email.
The birds are eating well and are very active. The fly pens are open and lots go out for the sun and fresh air. Thankfully the birds are settling down and behaving themselves. Being in the loft so often and cleaning each day puts my face in their flight path and even though my mask covers the lower half of my face, the top half of my head has become their favourite launching pad. The blood trickle has slowed considerably and I will heal up by week's end.
Two hundred and eighty birds have arrived at the loft. Birds were delivered on Saturday and Sunday. It is somewhat embarrrassing not being able to invite friends in for coffee but thankfully you understand. Hanging around the end of a truck [it use to be with alcohol] is not something I have done for a very long time.
Please email me [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] or phone the house [905 355 1804 ] to make arrangements if we need to meet this week. By air, send when you can. If you want to deliver to the house, just phone and let us know when you are coming. Schedules are out the window and we just have to do what we can to connect.
New feeders, drinkers, grit and and minerals have arrived and now we are set untill September. The truck has beem serviced, the trailer is ready and all I need are new loft muckers. Hopefully I can get them online. We are only a handfull of birds away from being full. Thank you for participating.
Over 200 birds are now in the loft and settling down. In order to teach them that we are the ones they have to deal with, we feed them 5 times per day. I give them 1/4 of their rations per trip and by the end of day 2, we are met with cheers of enthusiasm. All attack the feed troughs as if we are never coming back. No loose droppings and already lots of down feathers. The start up is going well.
Anticipating the worst, we have purchased new vermin prove storage fascilities and 5 tons of feed. We now sleep a bit better at night. I will post birds in the next couple of days and our next pick up times.
It's exciting watching the numbers go up an up. At the same time, it scares the crap out of me. A lot of responsibility will rest on my shoulders. If it wasn't for the team backing me up I'd run for the hills.
As planned, we will start our scheduled stops in Markham on Wednesday morning and finish at the Toronto Airport after supper. We have fanciers at every location ready to deliver their birds. Please have a list of the birds you are entering in the race with complete band numbers and their colours with you. Also add your name, address, email address and current phone number. This year we are sending out receipts for your entries using the system on wincompanion and not all of you have given us all the information that we need. We will also use the current protocol for social interaction.
All air traffic has become somewhat of a problem. I cannot dictate what day you should send the birds . Send them when and while you can. We'll pick up as neccessary.
Thanks again for all of your support.
Rick and Linda
We are about to start the 2020 season and it will be with a bang. The weather gods must have smiled upon many of you cause I can't believe how many early youngsters are ready for delivery. I will start on Wednesday, April 1 with a pickup at Markham Rd.and 401 at McDonalds at 11:30 AM. I will be in Woodstock, 401 and 59 at Tim's at 2 PM. I will stop in Guelph at #6 and 401 if needed at 3:30 PM. I will then be at Toronto airport at 5:00 PM. I have two flights coming in at that time. If you are meeting me, please let me know. I am not going to hang around and wait unless I know you are coming.
We will be using the guide lines issued by the health board. No hugging, kissing or hand shakes. Separation as required and in between pickups Linda and I will use lots of wipes on the baskets. I have had my share of lung infections and I do not need a step backwards this year.
We are furtunate to have extra help this year. We have hired a young man to help with the daily chores and as backup, his dad to help fill in when needed. A bit of training from John, a lot of training from Linda and I can do what I do best, putzing around. It's the putzing that keeps the birds happy and healthy and on their toes and that's the largest part of my job.
To say the world is going to hell in a handbag would be an understatement. Where is our reset button. They want us to hide under a log for two weeks. Hope that helps. I have spent most of my time, the last two weeks, out in the field rebuiding lofts. Not many cruise ships or airplanes have been by. I think I'm OK.
Shipping will be a problem, I'm sure. If possible, please ship with others to help reduce problems. You'll have to let me know what days will work for you. Airlines are cutting back on flights and we will have to adjust our schedules to suit them. I know a number of you are ready to ship now. Get in touch with me and we'll arrange to meet as early as possible in April. There are already those who are shipping on April 1 and coming to the loft.
Life will return to normal. It just might take a bit longer then two weeks in isolation.
In another 20 days or so, we start. For you, excitement. For me, the same plus maybe a bit more worrying and a few more sleepless nights. I say that but really, I believe in our vet and in our program. We are set to go.
We have stats. I knew these things existed but I've never had the chance to see them before. We have 2,562 individual followers of our site. Since September 1, 2019, they have been on our site 16,500 times. I don't know 2,562 people and I wish all could enter the race but, we only have room for 66 more teams. The rest of you will have to be content to just watch.
We are having a security system installed. Not state of the art but better than two tin cans with 500 feet of string. It will allow us to see what's happening around the loft after hours. I have never worried about my stuff. Not much is worth dragging away. Soon your stuff will be here and I have a responsibility to keep it safe.
We have moved. Our new address is 171 Bailey Rd. Cell phone service is worse here than at our old house. It will take texts, but not calls. Please use our land line. 905-355-1804. My personal lofts were dragged across the road and will be ready for use this week. I look forward to breeding my champions.
See you soon.
Snow is falling as I write. Normally it would be a pretty sight, but in the middle of moving, it's a pain in the neck. We were lucky enough to rent our neighbours house next to the lot we purchased. My lofts were dragged over here in the last week and with luck I'll have them set up by weeks end and we can start the breeding process.
Thanks to all who have signed up for this years races. Lots of compatition is what makes the races exciting. Each day I receive emails and phone calls verifying details and almost all calls end with " count us in". I'm sure we will pass the 1000 bird mark with ease. We have 1600 perches but our limit is 1400 birds.
The Master Breeder Award was started by Bernie Bedard and of course, that is his favourite part of the race program. To win this award you have to nominate one of your seven birds and it has to be the first bird you clock in the 340 mile race. It doesn't have to win the race, just be your first clock bird. It requires skill in picking your bird and also a good dollop of luck. In order to increase the competition level in the Master Breeder Awards, Bernie has asked if we will have a draw on race day. All participents in the Master Breeder race will receive a ticket for each teams entry and at lunch on race day, we will have a draw for a youngster off Bernie's best breeders. Bernie hopes that this will help push you into joining the fun.
Time to go to work. Talk to you soon.
Happy new year.
Hopefully, this is your year to shine. I have this feeling that this is mine. Don't enter one loft races were you see my name on the breeders list. You'll be wasting your money.
We are hard at it with the one loft changing a few small things that didn't fancy us. We are doing a thorough cleaning in preparation to disinfecting the loft and are adding more perches. On the outside will be adding new siding and enlarging our office and feed storage.
Having so many people enter your race gives you a bonus feature, it gives you an incredible amount of advice to draw from. Some makes sense, some doesn't. Success happens for a lot of reasons including sheer luck or despite everything we do. Our success last year only came about because of a very helpfull vet, Dr Rubin, who took the time to sort out the problem and provide the solution. So now I will give you some advice. Listen to the person who has DVM behind their name, not JAPF [ justanotherpigeonflier ]. I am as bad as the next fancier. I have had birds for 58 years and have experienced it all. Doesn't mean what I did was right. Vets spend a lot of time with their noses in books and now, me thinks they might know a bit more than us.
For 2020, we have a program, vet approved. It is comprehensive. It means I have to work hard. It includes, keeping the place cleaner than clean, regular disinfecting, regular use of supplements both natural and vet subscribed. It includes a feeding program that we perfected in 2019 and a training program that with a little tweeking will be even better than in 2019. We feel confident that this will be our year that surpasses all our expectations and we hope, yours too.
We have 80 teams signed up as of this morning [Jan 28]. Thanks to those who are on board. We are excepting 200 teams so please don't wait, we don't want you to miss out.