News and Updates
Jun-14-2019
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY WEEKEND!

First off, happy Father's Day to all of you fathers out there.  Whether you have had children or not, you obviously had a father if reading this. so happy Father's Day to all! 

Thank God, no more birds arriving at the Apple Cup for 2019!  It is always a big sigh of relief to finally be able to close the doors, get all the birds settled and flying, and take a "semi" break just conducting daily loft flying and pigeon maintenance.  Picking up birds at the post office several times a week, taking them home and processing pigeons all day, well no pun intended but it is for the birds!  Honestly, it is a real labor of love since both Olga and I have been around pigeons our entire lives.  Opening the boxes from all of you and handling birds from some of the top lofts in the country, many relatively unknown, is a real thrill.  So I should not of said that the processing of the birds is "for the birds", it is just a lot of work and we look forward every year to just getting all of the birds through the initial stages and actually flying.  Getting up early each morning after all of the birds have been settled and letting them out for their daily exercise watching them cover the sky up high......well it is just a little bit of heaven in our own backyard. 

A few stats for the year thus far. 

The last two days we have run the clock and the birds have went throught the traps several times.  The way our traps are set up so we should not miss any birds, but just to be sure we ran a two day inventory just to make sure none got missed.  We clocked in 701 pigeons and have 22 in quarentine who were the last week's arrivals, together this makes 723 pigeons.  We have 733 pigeons entered in to the race, so this means that 10 birds are missing.  We had very few sick birds this year and when we did have a sick bird it was in most cases replaced.  On our bird list it is showing 740 pigeons checked in this year.  If you deduct 733 from 740 that is 7 pigeons that were removed from the race and not replaced.  

Actual pigeons accounted for 723

Pigeons not showing up on inventories due to loss during settling, bad chip, or were removed and not replaced, 17.

So if our math is correct, we are currently sitting at a 97.7% retention rate, which is actually probably closer to 98% since some of the chips invariably need replaced.  Once we get these last 22 birds settled we will do a chip and health check before pulling the 9th and 10th flights. 

Here is central WA we have extremely dry, and hot summers.  This makes it easier to keep the birds happy and healthy and we could not be happier at the moment.  As we have said several times, lets all hope it stays this way!

 

Rick & Olga

 

Jun-07-2019
LOFT FLY/TRAP TRAIN 6-7-19
Good afternoon Apple Cup breeders!

While I write this we are conducting a inventory today.  The birds who are already settled were loft flown and the last group of birds to be settled, minus the 22 birds we unexpectedly received this week are being trap trained.  Most of the birds who are in this last group to be settled have never been through the traps, so please be patient and hold the phone calls.  It will take a few times of going through the traps for these newest birds to get it down pat, then we have to add on to these the 22 who we received this week.  Hopefully by the middle of this month we will have all birds settled and boosted for PMV/Paratyphoid. 

We were going to wait until we had all the birds settled to post the next inventory but decided to run one today, minus this week's arrivals.  We participate in One Loft Racing ourselves and hate it when there are no updates, no inventories, so this is for all of you. 

Next few inventories the birds should be trapping much faster, please be patient while we work with your birds in showing them the ropes. 

Everyone have a great weekend!

Rick & Olga
Jun-04-2019
JUNE 4 UPDATE

Everything is going great at the Apple Cup loft.  We have received a lot of birds lately and have focused on entering new birds and assigning chip rings.  Our laptop serves as the clock so we can not run inventories and enter birds and assign chip rings at the same time, thus the lack of loft flying inventories lately.   We will start posting inventories again which will be a combination of trap training the new birds and loft flying the birds already settled.  By mid June all of the birds will of been settled and loft flying daily, weather permitting.  

Health is holding and the birds get to loft fly daily, they are flying high and for a long time and starting to route.  We plan on having all of the latest arrived birds trap training later this week and all birds will be settled by 15 June.  Once all of the birds have our system down we will conduct a chip and health check around the first part of July and pull flights at this time, road training will start the first part of August and the activation race after Labor Day. 

Big thank you to all of our participants, new and old, we could not do this without you!

 

Rick & Olga

 

May-24-2019
ONE MORE WEEK TO SEND BIRDS

Hello breeders,

We are quickly coming to a end with the acceptance of new birds and replacements for this year's Apple Cup.  If you have not yet sent remember that next Monday is Memorial Day.  We like all of the birds mailed on a Monday or Tuesday, but since next week is our last week and Monday is a Tuesday it is fine if you ship on Tue or Wed, do not risk sending past Wed as we have mentioned several times, our post office is closed on Saturdays. 

PLEASE, look at the last inventory published on 20 May.  All of the birds in the loft were on that inventory with the exception of birds which arrived last week, as well as this week.  If you are missing a bird, please get us a replacement next week. 

If you have a bird that shows up missing BEFORE our first training toss, we will give you a free perch for the very next year.  Once training starts, perch fees are non-refundable. 

As of today, we are sitting at over 660 birds.  Get those last minute entries in to us and replacements if need be, lets see if we can crack 700!

Everyone have a great Memorial Day weekend!

 

Rick & Olga

 

May-18-2019
OFFICIALLY OVER 600, HEADED FOR 700+
We processed 82 birds this week and have over 600 pigeons entered in the race as of today.  Counting pre-paid perches and the conversations we have had with breeders sending the last two weeks we will be over 700, may even hit 750. 

Health is holding this year very well.  We have had to replace due to sickness or loss during settling about 3%, we will take this any year!  Cross your fingers that this continues!

No need to contact us before mailing.  We just ask that you mail your birds on a Monday or a Tuesday so that we can process all of the week's birds on Wed/Thur.  This makes things easier on our post office, on ourselves, and allows us to start new birds for the week on our medication program all on the same day.  New arrivals are separated from the rest of the loft for a minimum of three weeks.  If a bird looks off, it is removed and put in sick bay and if it does not recover fairly quickly it is removed permanently and the owner is notified so that a replacement can be sent.  Once the birds have been here for a total of 3 weeks they are boosted for PMV and Paratyphoid, they have already been treated for canker and bacterial diseases, trap trained, then they are allowed to go in to general population.  It seems to be working this year, so we will stick with this method. 

Mail birds and make checks payable to:

Apple Cup
PO Box 313
Moxee, WA 98936
254-247-9504
May-17-2019
VERY BUSY WEEK AND NOT OVER YET!

The last two days we processed 71 new birds for the race and invariably, a few misrouted boxes will probably show up tomorrow.  We are right under 600 birds and if we have similar numbers the last two weeks we are accepting birds then we will be well over 700 pigeons entered for this year, may even hit 750.

The birds got spooked several times today and we are down a few pigeons, hopefully they come in tomorrow morning.  A few birds have been removed from the loft due to sickness which could not be cleared up and there are 6 in sick bay, another injured.  If they do not show signs of improvement within 5 days of treatment then we can only assume that the birds have a viral issue and they are removed.  We are running a pigeon race, not a pigeon hospital.  If your bird has to be medicated then chances are it will not perform well once the races start anyway, so better to replace the pigeon anyway. 

Put the word out, we are accepting new birds and replacements through May, we will not accept birds in June. 

Plan is to get all these birds settled and flying well, then around the 2nd or 3rd week in June we will pull flights and do a chip check.  Training will start early August with the first race about 30 days later, sometime after Labor Day.  

Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day, and that you have a great weekend!

 

Rick & Olga

 

May-09-2019
CHECK TO SEE IF YOU NEED TO SEND REPLACEMENTS.

Please check the last inventory to see if you have any birds missing.  If you do you have until the end of the month to send replacements, as well as new birds. 

Rick & Olga

May-06-2019
ACCEPTING BIRDS THROUGH MAY

Hello breeders, just a quick update. 

We boosted 230 birds yesterday and let them out for the first time today.  Tried to run a inventory but the clock was showing no sensors.  Tried everything and finally had to start troubshooting.  It turned out to be the sensor mechanism that connects to the computer and the cord which receives signal from the antennas which the birds walk across in the trap.  Finally got it figured out late this evening so will start running loft flying inventories again next week which will include all birds in the loft. 

Remember, we are accepting birds and replacements through May so do not get left out.  We have a lot of pre-paid perches and breeders we know of who are definitely sending so expect 800+ birds this year.  

Knock on wood, health is absolutely outstanding this year!  While giving the birds boosters yesterday for PMV and Paratyphoid each bird had a throat inspection.  I am happy and honestly, quite proud to report that none had canker or anything going on in the throat or upper respiratory tract.  There were two birds who showed a bit of a watery eye but I believe it looked like a scratch which they sometimes can get while at the food trough and it looked recent.  Nonetheless, these two birds were separated and I will keep a eye on them just to make sure they do not have a issue before they get put back in the loft.  The number of birds who have had to be permanetely removed due to illness is less than 2%, I will take that any day, any year!  As far as I can tell, only a handful have been lost during settling.  Please look at the next two inventories and if you have a bird show up missing twice, please send a replacement bird ASAP and write REPLACEMENT on a note taped to the inside of the box.  

Thanks everyone for your support, Olga and I have a very good feeling that we are going to have a great race this year!  

Rick & Olga    

May-01-2019
ACCEPTING BIRDS THROUGH MAY

Accepting birds and replacements through May.  If you have already sent, please keep a eye on inventories to see if your birds are all still here. 

All birds being inventoried today except the birds that arrived this week. 

 

Rick & Olga

Apr-29-2019
TRAP TRAINING TODAY

We are trap training all birds today.  The birds who have been out of the loft several times trapped very quickly today, those who have not been trap trained are coming in very slowly.  The birds are not out of the loft, extremely windy today and we make sure that the birds are trap trained at least 5 times and coming in on command before we let them out for the first time. 

Health is excellent this year!  We have removed 6 birds this year and two are in sick bay, if they do not recover quickly then they will be removed as well.  The owners of the 6 birds removed were emailed today to send replacements.  If sending a replacement, please put a note in the box that it is a replacement so we do not get confused. 

 

Rick & Olga

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