News and Updates
Sorry for no updates lately folks, but not much new to report. Birds health is good and when we DO have a bit of sun they fly high and long. Most days it is gloomy here lately with a daytime high around 40 and nighttime in the high 20s. This means the snow just will not melt, and even when it does the ground will be too wet for awhile out around the loft to be able to drive the truck and trailer out there to load birds up to start road training. This is highly UNUSUAL for us in this area, happens only about every 20 years.  Last year we had just a couple of inches and not many days below freezing that we can remember.  This year it started to freeze in November and just recently we started to get above freezing temps during the day.  It is miserable for the birds, and it is miserable for us.  Thus the reason we are switching to a traditional young bird series starting next year, no more late hatches for us. 
Good thing with not accepting birds this year is we have no pressure trying to get this race out of the way so we can get them mailed back making room for new arrivals which we typically take starting in May.   We were supposed to start training 1 March but if we have to push that back then it just means your birds will have a bit more age on them, this is a good thing. 
Wish we had better news.  When the weather breaks and the ground dries out we will tear up the road training, we promise that.
Rick & Olga 
PS:  If you are going to enter One Loft Races this year, PLEASE vaccinate your birds for PMV at least 14 days prior to sending.  It is necessary that your birds get their first vaccination 14 days prior to shipping so when they arrive at the OLR they will get their second vaccination which acts as a booster.  If you do not vaccinate, or if you vaccinate right before sending, then the vaccination your birds get at the OLR you send them to will not act as a booster.  This is VERY important and is only being responsible and courteous to your fellow breeders. 
We conducted our 2nd loft flying inventory today.  Clocked in 594 birds the first time around.  Knowing we must of missed some birds when they were all trying to get back in the loft at the same time, we ran them back out of the loft.  Some trapped immediately once we unblocked the traps, some trapped a hour later, then there was a group who just wanted to fly all day long of about 35 birds.  So if you see your birds trapping in later than most be assured your birds are not sick, did not go on a training toss, they were just out enjoying some "decent" weather today and they did not scan the first time they entered the loft.  If your birds were the last to trap today, keep a eye on them because we are here to tell you they are flying machines! 

Weather is supposed to get better starting next week with temps slightly above freezing during the day.  Today it got up to mid 30s and FINALLY started to melt some of this snow off.  This winter is comparable to the one we had in 1996 which caused a lot of flooding and damage.  Hopefully this snow melts off very slowly and not all at once.  

As we mentioned before, if this snow melts off soon we may be able to start training this month.  If we have to wait until 1 March, which is when we were planning on starting anyway, then we will still have plenty of time to get these birds down the road and ready for early April racing. 

Rick & Olga  

Remember the kid's rhyme, rain, rain, go away, please come back some other day. Well, substitute the rain part for snow and you will know just exactly how we feel.

We rarely have snow this late in to the year and these below freezing temps. While writing this we are fogged in yet again, this really sucks. We attended our local combine meeting Sunday and we mentioned that this was the worst winter we have had in 10 years, many there said it has been much longer than that.

We are scheduled to start training around 1 March.  Was hoping to get started earlier, but if it keeps up like this then we will start as advertised and start the races around the 1st of April. 

We will conduct another loft flying inventory this week providing we get a clear morning.  Right now we are fogged in and most mornings have been like this lately.  We have been waiting until early afternoon to get the birds out but can't do that today due to prior commitments so will have to get it done later this week.  Hopefully we pick up the 20 birds the clock missed last inventory.

Remember, if you are missing birds prior to us starting road training you will get a free perch per bird next year.  We will start accepting birds Feb 2018, that is next year folks.  We will transition over to a young bird series accepting birds Feb through probably May, then have our races in September.  It is so much easier to keep the birds healthy and happy when it is warm and sunny out.  We have had a terrible time trying to keep these birds healthy up to this point due to the damp and cold conditions we have had for a considerably longer time than is usual for our area.  We are absolutely certain, and has been the case with the Apple Cup the last two summers once we got all the birds in and settled, they will do much better health wise when it is warm and dry, opposed to cold and wet. 

So stay tuned folks, things will get rolling for us soon enough.  Once the weather breaks and it warms up a bit we will start working the birds down the road a bit.  We will get the birds out to 100 miles before the activation at least once, maybe more than once if the weather cooperates. 

Rick & Olga Mee 
615 birds went loft flying today while we worked on getting the clock set up for their trapping.  595 clocked in so obviously 20 got missed, be assured they are not missing.   If you are missing one of these 20 who got missed, look for them the next loft flying inventory we conduct they should clock in then. 
Originally scheduled for 1100 AM, we had to postpone it until this afternoon when the weather cleared up a bit, just too much fog.  It also took a few calls to Terry Gilmore to remember how to start a race in Taurus and Wincompanion, thanks Terry for your help as always. 
It got warm today, snow finally starting to melt.  Lets hope this continues because the new trailer will be here Wednesday and we want to get these birds road training.  We will post pics of the new trailer on Facebook, just like we post lots of pictures and videos.  It just takes seconds to post to Facebook from our cell phones while out with the birds.  If we try to upload a picture to our site, or a video it is a long process, frustrating, and we are usually on the go taking care of all of these birds and chasing our last teenager around.  If you are not already a friend of ours on FB then please send a request to Rick Mee and we will add you.  We will be posting some training flights and the races like last year just for your info.   
We are relieved that we have finally got to this point, we hope you are as well.
Check out the iPigeon auction this week and go to Baldwin/Tilson benefit auction for Curtis Hansley.  Curtis is the brother in law of Thomas Baldwin and has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  We donated two groups of 6 perches for our next Apple Cup in 2018.  This is a good cause folks, please take a few minutes to check it out. 
Rick & Olga     
I just typed up a long post and somehow it got lost, will try later when more time.

It has started snowing again and we have freezing rain to go with it.  Will try to run the birds out of the loft tomorrow and get them across the pads. 

The birds on the bird list under the trainer on Wincompanion are all the birds we chipped.  Look over the list to see what pigeons you have left in the loft. 

Rick & Olga
We chipped a little over 600 birds.  I put a call in to Terry Gilmore to assist us in moving this hand scan through TAURUS over to Wincompanion so we can use it as our first inventory which would be more accurate than running them out of the loft and having them trap and scan.  Once this inventory is posted we will do Loft Flying Inventories periodically until we start training down the road.  Trailer is supposed to be here next week so if the weather is good we may jump start our training, however WE do not really need to start road training until 1 March since our first race is not until the first part of April.  We have had the worst winter in 10 years, finally is starting to melt off a bit starting today.  If the roads clear up and it warms up we may start a bit early.   
After you the breeders see which birds you have, or do not have, you will invariably have questions.  Do not hesitate to contact us. 
Remember, if you have a bird missing when this first inventory is posted you get a FREE perch next year.  No we are not happy about the loss of any birds, but we do offer FREE many offer that???
Rick & Olga Mee
After a rocky start due to equipment problems we were able to start chipping the birds today.  We weren't able to get the equipment working until later in the day so were only able to do 28 birds total.  Now that we have the kinks worked out, thanks to help from Terry Gilmore no less, we should be able to make good progress tomorrow.  Hopefully by this weekend we will have our first inventory posted. 
We are having one of the worst winters in at least the last 10 years.  It keeps snowing and the temps have not risen above freezing for several weeks, so of course the snow just keeps building up more and more.  We were hoping that the snow would melt by 1 Feb and provided our trailer arrives on time, we would get a jump on training which is actually scheduled for 1 March with races in April.  Now that we have decided to not accept birds this year in preparation for a young bird race in 2018 and will start accepting birds again next February with races in September, we have lots of wiggle room for training and races.  In other words, if we have to wait a few more weeks or even a month to start training due to weather we will still get the races concluded in April or May. 
Today while handling birds we found the birds to be in great feather condition with a full wing.  Even though there are MANY struggles in hosting a late hatch race in comparison to a young bird race there are a few benefits to the birds and you the breeders.  The birds have a full wing, a mature body, which will equate to a more even race than that of a young bird race where the older birds usually have the advantage. 
Hope you all are staying warm, we are freezing our butts off!
Rick & Olga Mee
Below is the lab report. 
01/04/17:  This confirms my telephone report and extensive discussion about disseminated protozoa, Trichomonas infection.  Is an incredible case and I have seen this only other time before but it was in a feral pigeon.  There are different strains of Trichomonas sp. some of which are very virulent or pathogenic.  They cause necrosis and ulceration of the oral, esophageal and crop mucosa, from there they gain access to blood stream and disseminate to various organs like described in this case.  Some times the protozoa even invade the brain and causes severe encephalitis resulting in neurological signs and death.  I am doing immunohistochemistry to confirm Trichomonas sp. which is just a formality.  The birds have no underlying viral infection like herpesvirus, adenovirus or circovirus.. The birds are negative for salmonella and chlamydia.  If you have any questions please give me a call. 
I called the doc and we had a very long discussion.  I was quite surprised that it was simply a form of canker because the birds have been acting weak and lethargic for weeks and nothing seemed to work.  It was only after recollecting on last year's birds and remembering that some birds were acting the same and showing the same symptoms and using Acidified Copper Sulfate did clear it up, so I decided to give it a try again.  I assumed it was pigeonherpesvirus because the batter in the throat did not look the same as canker I had seen in the past, most who died just had fluid in the throat, and other symptoms led me to believe that it was some sort of yeast infection.  Good thing I decided to put them on Acidified Copper Sulfate because ACS is a cure for not only the pigeonherpesvirus, it also is very effective on canker.  So even though my diagnosis was incorrect, at least I had started them on the right stuff to start clearing it up.  Today there were zero losses in the loft.  It got down to around 0F last night with wind chill, strong north winds coming out of Canada.  It is supposed to be 0F again tomorrow with more wind.  If the birds can make it through the next few days, then they are hard as nails! 
The main reason I did not even believe it could be canker was because I had run the entire loft on Berimax in October for 10 days, followed up with probiotics.  They looked great and have been flying great, that is up to just a few weeks ago when all this started.  I did have a feral pigeon get in to the loft about 3 weeks ago which may of been carrying canker, possibly infecting the race birds.  This was also about the same time that it got severely cold here, thus the perfect storm for a pigeon disease to pop up, makes sense. 
We apologize for the loss of some of your birds, believe me we lost a lot of sleep over it.  At least now we know EXACTLY what it is and can treat accordingly. 
Remember, we are different than most One Loft Races out there.  If your bird does not make it to the first training toss, you get a free perch the very next year.
Thanks to all of your for your thoughts and prayers through this ordeal. 
Is anyone crazy enough to start a One Loft Race? 
Rick & Olga
The Acidified Copper Sulfate definitely is doing the job.  The last few days has been the worst weather we have had with incredible winds blowing out of the north with snow and the coldest temps we have experienced this year.  Today even with this recent weather we had zero losses in the loft and none of the birds look like they are having issues and they are currently out enjoying their free time out of the loft.  Finally I believe we are done with this crud! 

The lab report should be in today, patiently waiting by the phone.  We do believe it is/was pigeon herpes virus but still want to hear from the experts. 

Thanks to those of you who have caught up on your perch fees.  I sent out emails last night and a few have already responded.  We will give the remaining breeders who have not paid their perch fees until the 15th of January to do so, after that date if they are not paid the birds will be removed from the bird list and the breeder will no longer be able to enter the ACYC in the future. 

Rick & Olga
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