News and Updates

Good morning from the sunny, dry, and very hot Yakima Valley here in the heart of Washington state! 

We had a unusually cool June, however this July has broken all time records here.  It will be near 100 F for the next few days, hopefully it will cool down toward the end of August when we will start road training providing the birds are routing again by then and there is no smoke in the air along the course which we struggle with this time of the year.

The birds are liberated every day so they can stretch their wings a bit, getting them outside of the loft daily also helps maintain health within the flock. 

The birds are watered twice a day, AM and PM and provided fresh grain and grit each morning after their fly time.  With these temps, they are also given the opportunity to bathe daily to help keep them cooled off.  

So that's it for now from the Apple Cup, we look forward to road training just like you do.  


Rick & Olga 


Good morning everyone!  Nice and sunny here today in central WA, we are taking advantage of some tollerable temps before it gets crazy hot again this weekend!

Called Terry Gilmore this morning to help us fix what we messed up yesterday insofar as not having any clocking times yesterday, even though the birds did clock in.  Take a look at yesterday's trainer if you want to see how many of your birds clocked in and at what time.  Keep in mind this was just a loft flying inventory, some of the birds took their sweet time coming back in, probably some of the stronger ones who would rather fly then eat.  We see this every year, some birds have great appetities and seemingly would rather eat than fly, then you have the birds who just love to fly and seemingly just do not require as much feed to keep themselves for the aforementioned on the longer races!

We will run another inventory in a few days.

The birds will get to take baths daily while they are growing back in their flights and loft flown as well. 


Rick & Olga


Good afternoon Apple Cup Breeders!

Today we let the birds out for the first time after having pulled their 9th and 10th flights last week.  They were not forced out, at the time of typing this there are over 1,200 birds in the loft so MOST did go out on their own today before we shut the windows and forced them to reenter through the traps.  Tomorrow we will force them all outside so we can pick up and clock in the birds who did not go out on their own today. 

Sorry there is no numerical clocking, we did not have a number of birds listed therefore when they started to clock in they do not show a number to the left of each bird clocked.  We will not make that mistake again.  

The birds will not be forced to fly for the next 5-6 weeks, after that we will start to flag them in preparation for road training. 

The birds are provided the opportunity to take a bath several times a week and most do so with exuberance!

Keep in mind that after the 350M final race, we will be offering a optional 400M race.  Breeders will be able to pick the birds they want to enter and fees will be due 7 days after the final 350M race.  We will separate the birds going to the 400M from the rest of the birds and only after the 400M will we start to mail birds back to the breeders.  That is the nuts and bolts to the optional 400M, however as we get closer stay tuned for any changes that we feel may be necessary to pull it off.  The entry fee will be $200 per bird, we will have a payment tab set up for those of you who prefer to pay via PayPal instead of sending a check.  

Everyone try to stay cool!

UPDATE:  As of writing this 1,310 have trapped in today so most did go out of the loft on their own and the rest will clock in tomorrow when we force them all out and make them clock in again.  


Rick & Olga



Good afternoon Apple Cup breeders!

Today we completed the pulling of the 9th and 10th flights along with a overall health examination.  We went through the birds with a fine tooth comb and removed a few who needed to be removed due to health.  Each bird was scanned individually to make sure their chips were working, we found 5 birds who needed new chips assigned and they are as follows. 

17027 UCDJ, Zapopan-Palomar-Ayon Loft

21018 LAKE, Furlano & Rotiroti

405 CBS, APT/CBS 2

503 3 STR, 3 Stars & A Sun

371 YAK, Dennis Martinnen

The birds for the next 5-6 weeks will be loft flown daily but not pushed while their flights are growing back in.  At the end of about 6 weeks we will start flagging the birds to make sure all are flying for at least 45 minutes before we start road training.  We are getting days near or at 100F and this will go in to August, by time we start road training which will be late Aug to early Sept it will of cooled down and it will be easier on the birds.  We are not in a big hurry, we will do what we feel is best for the birds and what we feel will insure a great activation race and final. 

If you have any questions please let us know. 


Rick & Olga


Good morning everyone from the high desert of central Washington State where it continues to be sunny, dry, and very hot!  

Yesterday after finishing the second day of our first complete inventory which started Monday the birds got a much deserved bath.  Today we saw three birds outside, one on the landing board, one on the roof of the house, and one flying around which seems to be afraid of the loft.  We decided to run another inventory in hopes that we can pick up a few birds that may of stayed out the last two days that were most likely in the very last group that was let out for the first time on Monday. 

Again as mentioned yesterday, game plan is to start pulling flights on Monday along with a chip and health check.  If a bird is injured or it's chip was not working, you will be the first to know. 

A few breeders have let us know that their birds were listed under the wrong loft.  This usually occurs when you send birds, or have a friend send birds, and the loft name that you want them listed under is NOT SOMEWHERE ON THE BOX OR ON A NOTE.  If you just put your first and last name and have not already registered, then we have to go to  Wincompanion and do a search for you and we can only register your birds under the name we find.  It is imperative that when you send birds you put your loft name on the box EXACTLY how it is listed on Wincompanion, this eliminates a lot of confusion.  When you correspond with us, refer to yourself by your loft name not your first and last, this makes it a lot easier for us to know who you are.  

The birds will get another bath after they trap today, it is hot out here and across much of the country!


Rick & Olga


Good morning Apple Cup breeders!  Nice sunny and breezy day here at the lofts, the birds are enjoying their morning play time outside the loft. 

Starting Monday we will start to pull the 9th and 10th flights on all the birds checking health and chips along the way.  If you have a bird who is in poor condition or has a bad chip we will let you know. 

We will catch up on all of our accounting shortly and will identify those of you who may still owe us for perch fees.  If you know that you do, save us the phone call and put a check in the mail or pay via PayPal, there is a link on our site under PAYMENTS. 

Health remains to be good, have not pulled out a sickly bird in several days.  If they have made it this far once all the birds are in and settled then we typically will not have any issues from here on out other than injuries that may occur from birds hitting eachother while loft flying or training once training begins.  We kept the sickness down to about 5% this year, pretty proud of that, best year yet! 

Everyone have a great day, back to disenfecting waterers and pouring more feed to the birds trapping. 


Rick & Olga



Good morning everyone, hope everyone had a great Independence Day yesterday for those of you who are from the USA.

Today is the first inventory of the year of ALL BIRDS in the loft.  If you are missing a bird please wait until tomorrow to see if it shows up.  We will continue to run the clock for at least a second day to pick up any birds that may of got spooked their first time out and stayed out over night.  We have yet to have a Cooper or Prarie Falcon chase the birds this year, in fact have not even seen a Cooper this year and we do have Prairie Falcons, however they have not chased the birds yet.  We do have an abundance of Red Tail Hawks and they pretty much keep all of the Coopers and falcons out of here, however today our resident Red Tails did spook the birds this morning.  So if missing a bird today, see if it comes in tomorrow. 

Next step is to get these guys loft flying and trapping a few times before pulling flights, chip check, as well as overall health check.  Once the flights grow back in and they are routing we will begin road training sometime in August.  

Rick & Olga



Today we kept the clock on from yesterday's inventory to see if we could pick up some birds that may of stayed out overnight or the clock missed.  From watching the birds come in over one of the pads it appears that we need to do some adjusting of one of the traps to keep birds from being missed, this will happen before the next inventory. 

From our calculations and without running a lost bird report, we have lost 37 birds this year during settling.  Today we had 1270 trap in thus far, there are 110 birds still being trap trained, and we have 1417 birds entered.  If you add 1270 + 110 this = 1380, meaning there are 37 birds unaccounted for which were either lost during settling or were injured while out flying and unable to return, or on rare occasion were caught by a hawk which we have only witnessed recently by a Red Tail.  We mention this because out of all the birds we took in this year, we are pretty darn proud of only having 37 pigeons unaccounted for and many of those were pretty old or were flown before we brought them in. 

Next step is to get the last 110 birds settled and merged with the rest, next inventory should be in about a week. 

Temps in the 100s all the rest of the week, next Tue they are forecasting 113F.  The birds are flown early AM before it gets too hot and watered twice a day. 


Rick & Olga


We hope everyone had a great Fathers Day weekend.  We took a much needed mini vacation to Lincoln City, OR and hung out at the beach for a few days.  We got back home last night and am back to work and have been hard at it this morning. 

It is already in the 90s today and is supposed to be close to 100F this week, when it is hot like this the birds get watered twice a day with fresh water. 

We settled another group of around 140 birds this morning.  Some are still lingering around and trapping in slowly.  We had our first hawk attack today near the loft, a big Red Tail Hawk took one that was sitting on the ground, probably one of the new birds out of the loft for the first time today and of course we have no way of knowning exactly whose bird it was.  We will let these newly settled birds out of the loft a few more times before running a inventory which will consist of all birds except the last two weeks worth of birds and a few replacements that came in after these.  If the weather cooperates we will have all of the birds settled within the next 10-14 days and will start running inventories more regularly before pulling the 9th and 10th flights in early July.  Training will start in August when we feel the birds are ready after their flights have grown in and they are routing again.  

If you are missing a bird BEFORE THE FIRST TRAINING TOSS you will be given a free perch for next year.  

We will be going through our records to see who did not pay their perch fees yet.  Anyone who has not paid their perch fees yet please do so at this time.  

It is starting to get hot around the country so try to stay cool, as we try to keep your pigeons hydrated and cool!


Rick & Olga 


We are no longer accepting birds for this year, please do not mail any birds unless sending replacements and we communicated last week. 

We are in the process now of settling the rest of the birds.  This means that the birds already settled stay in the loft while the younger birds get to view their new surroundings and learn to go through the traps.  We are taking a much needed vacation later this week and we have a pigeon person staying at the loft and looking after the birds.  We will get the new group which are the birds that arrived 3 weeks ago settled next week and coming in on their own a few times before being combined with the older birds.  What we are trying to say is please be patient, we will run our next inventory next week probably mid week and in the coming weeks all birds in the loft will be on every loft flying inventory. 

Early July we will individually handle each and every bird to make sure chips are working, health is good, and will pull the 9th and 10th flights. 

Mid August we will start road training, providing they are exercising on their own and the weather and smoke cooperates.  Last year we were delayed due to smoke from NW and CA fires, hopefully this year it will not be as bad but predictions are that it will be worse.  This simply means that the races will start later and the final race will be later in the fall, which is actually a good thing because your birds will of had more training and be older and more physically mature.  Most of our final races have been early November, and remember this year we are adding on a optional 400 miler.

Thanks again to those of you who continue to support us year after year and to those of you who are with us for the first year.  The health is the best this year that it ever has been and we have more breeders and birds than ever before, so we must be doing something right!  Lets all pray, cross your fingers, toes, what ever you need to do, so that we can have our best race series to date. 

Everyone have a happy Father's Day weekend!


Rick & Olga




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