News and Updates
May-22-2017

Good Evening Flyers,

 
I apologize that it has been over a week since my last update. I unfortunately, took a spill off my horse and had to stay in the hospital for a couple nights and just got home. I have a few broken bones but nothing too serious and I should make a full recovery.
 
I am very fortunate to have family and friends taking over much of my workload. I get to be the supervisor for a few weeks :)
 
Birds finished up there canker treatment and are looking great.  Summer weather has arrived and the birds are loving it.
 
Last week I had one bird die suddenly in the loft and another that died in quarantine.  The quarantine bird looked have a swollen head with the initial gross necropsy showing some type of bacterial infection in the ear and sinus.  The other bird from the main group did not have any visible injuries, so a full virus panel is being done. Once I get the full results I will let everyone know.
 
Loft flying will begin again tomorrow. I hope this finds everyone well.
 
 
Lucas
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
May-13-2017

Good Evening Breeders,

 
I want to give a big thank you to you all for sending birds this year.  We reached our goal of 720 birds this year and are full for 2017!...replacements and prepaid perch fees accepted through the end of the month.  
 
There are currently 615 birds loft flying and another 34 will be joining the flock on Monday's outing.  The weather has been a bit of challenge, it starts out nice in the morning and then the winds pick up with rain and even snow blowing through.  Good weather for growing grass though...the grazers are happy.  I have been able to get the birds out and called back in before the wind really picks up.  I had one bird go into the injury ward this week with a possible broken wing and 2 birds that came out and are back with the main flock.
 
Overall, the birds are looking really good.  Many of the February arrivals are all glossed up like my old birds.  I did pull one bird this morning from the main group that looks to have canker...as most of you know the birds receive a canker pill on arrival and again when they go into the racing loft. This bird also received a pill on April 15th when I did a hand inventory.  I also have one bird I pulled from quarantine that looks to have canker....this bird also received a canker pill on arrival.   The common denominator is that I tried a new canker pill this year called  "Tri-Coli Stop" and needless to say I don't think it is a very effective product.  
 
I have started all the birds on Ronidazole (including my personal birds) and they will be on it for 7 days. I was able to catch these 2 birds early and they are already acting a bit better than this morning.  They both should make a speedy recovery.  
 
Thank you all again for the support and I am excited to see how this season goes.  
 
Take Care

Lucas
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
May-06-2017

Good Morning Breeders,

 
All is going well here at the loft.  We had some good weather this week that allowed for loft flying and we even saw two 80 degree days.  The birds seemed to really enjoy the heat.  I will be receiving the last of new entries this next week and then we will continue to accept replacements through the end of the month.  Birds will stay in the loft today and tomorrow due to local races and the Apple Cup flying through today.
 
Health has been good with the continued use of Primalac and Ropa B.  It looks like I dropped a couple older birds on a loft fly this week, which surprises me, but I think they must have routed a bit too far or got in with another flock or wires.  It is hard to watch these young birds figure out how to fly all together.  I have seen several head on collisions with the flocks and had one bird died from injuries this week.  They are figuring it out though and are doing better each time out.  
 
Sunday I will be doing a hands on inventory to check bands, pull the 9th flight, and boost PMV vaccinations on those that are due. Please, check that inventory for any missing birds that I may miss.
 
Thank you to all those that attended Captain Chuck's funeral yesterday, it really meant a lot to the family to see that he had so many people keeping tabs on him and helping him out. I took 14 of my race birds over to release yesterday and all were given to me by Captain Chuck in 2015.  They didn't beat me home but were all home in one group before night fall. I was really surprised because the mountain range they had to fly over was socked in and rainy when I drove through. 
 
Good Luck to those in the Apple Cup today!
 
Thank you and have a great weekend.
 
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Apr-29-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
One loft race birds are staying in and having a bath today.  It is a beautiful and sunny morning.
 
Birds are doing well and flying more and more each time they are out. Thank you all for being patient while I work through some of the clocking issues. Yesterday everything worked perfectly and I think it will only get better from now on. I dropped a couple birds this week from loft flying...so keep an eye on the inventories.  Two birds are coming out of the injury ward and one went in with a wing injury yesterday.  I had one bird from group 9 (trap training group) die yesterday, but everyone else looks and feels in good shape.
 
Last day of Baytril treatment and then back on Primalac and Ropa B...they will also get some Provital.
 
We are getting very close to being full, so if you have not prepaid your perch fees and still plan on sending birds.....you need to contact me before you ship.
 
Please, if you are shipping birds this coming week, ship on Monday or Tuesday.  I will be going to Portland for Captain Chuck's funeral on Friday and will not be home to pick up birds.  Portland folks, if you need to get birds out this way please contact me before Friday.
 
For those that have have birds with me or Old Bird races, we should be live on wincompanion today.  CORP Lakeview A and B race.  
 
 
Going out to watch for birds now.
 
Take care
 
Lucas
Apr-24-2017

Good Afternoon Flyers,

 
Today was windy and rainy, so the birds stayed in. We have 640 birds here on the property with more arriving this week.  
 
Yesterday group 8 was able to go out and test their wings for the first time and they did great.  I did have a male prairie falcon cruise through while they were out but they did good and didn't loose their heads.  
 
I have been having some issues with the Topigeon not sending the data on to wincompanion this week.  All of the clock data gets sent to Taiwan before it gets sent to Terry at wincompanion....for whatever reason it is getting stuck in Taiwan. Should be fixed in the next day or two.
 
Bird health has been pretty good.  The bird that I pulled and placed in isolation last week didn't respond to treatment and passed.  Currently, no other birds are in isolation. I started the main group of birds on Baytril on the 20th because I was starting to see some minor respiratory issues.  We are on day 5 of that treatment and will continue through the end of this week. The birds are feeling good and have been flying around quite a bit when they are out. 
 
For those breeders that left birds here from last year here are the links to the race results from this past weekends race.
 
 
 
Both races were incredibly fast...the birds came from way up high and were able to pick up an incredible tail wind.
 
 
Have a great week.
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Apr-19-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
We now have over 600 birds here at the Crooked River Challenge!  The weather continues to be cool and wet, but we are continuing to loft fly.  There seems to be a bit of a window each morning to be able to get these youngsters out flying.
 
You may remember that last week I pulled two birds out of the main group and placed them in isolation.  Unfortunately, those two birds did not respond to treatment and both succumbed to their illnesses.  The symptoms point to viral so I am definitely keeping a close eye on all the birds. I did pull one bird from a younger group yesterday that isn't feeling well and placed him in isolation. 
 
The main group of birds is flying great and with that has come some injuries. The 3 birds that were in the injury ward are now back with the main flock but have been replaced with others.  I had one bird break a wing yesterday that had to be euthanized, one bird came in with a broken leg a couple days ago (should heal up fine), and two bird with some wing injuries that may knock them out for the race season.
 
Group 8 is currently trap training and should be going out for the first time late this week.
 
I did a hand inventory on Saturday (boosted PMV vaccines on those that needed it and gave everyone a Tri Coli Stop Canker pill).  The birds all felt in really good condition and I did not see any signs of canker in their throats/mouths. Since we have been cool and wet I wanted to make sure I caught any canker before it started. I only found one chip that wasn't working and that has been replaced.  The molt is coming along nicely with many of the February arrivals already looking like old birds.
 
The Topigeon clock seems to working well and the double sensors are catching all the birds as they enter the loft.  
 
I hope this finds everyone well and have a great rest of  your week.
 
 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Apr-13-2017

Good Evening Flyers,

 
I just got in from doing the last of my chores and it is raining like crazy.  The weather has been cool and wet with intermittent sunshine all week. I have been able to get the main group of birds out loft flying most days and more and more of them are taking flight.  I currently have around 600 birds here at the loft and more are steadily arriving. As a reminder I am only taking the first 720 birds or paid perch fees and then I will cut off entries.
 
Group number 7 will be allowed to loft fly by themselves tomorrow morning as long as the weather cooperates and group 8 will get moved over to the racing loft to start trap training.  
 
I pulled two birds from the main group this afternoon that were looking a little under the weather and placed them in isolation.  I found one bird that had hit the side of my house and broke it's neck today.  Three birds are in holding that sustained injuries last week, but should return to the main flock in the next couple days.
 
I am planning on doing a hands on inventory of the main flock this weekend to check bird health and make sure all the chips are correct.  This will also give me a good opportunity to mess around with the new clock and make sure I know the ins and outs before the races start.  Birds continue to get as much food as they want and have free access to loose pink mineral and a variety of grits. They really like the Natural Mineral and the Jovati Grit. I have used many products in the past but these two in particular seem to be a favorite of my personal birds.  
 
Thank you all for the support and as always feel free to give me a shout if you have any questions.  Good luck to everyone flying old birds this weekend.
 
Lucas
Apr-06-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
Wind and rain here today, so no loft flying of one loft birds. The forecast tomorrow looks even worse with winds over 30 mph.  I have already seen 52 birds arrive this week with more expected this afternoon and tomorrow.
 
The main group of one loft birds is really starting to fly and small groups are starting to take off out of sight.  Group 6 which consists of 86 birds is still trap training and if the weather cooperates then they will go out by themselves on Saturday.  Since the main group is starting to route I really want to make sure these younger once don't get caught up in the mix and get lost on their first couple times out.
 
The one bird that I pulled from group 6 that had a respiratory issue did not respond to antibiotics (which makes me think it was fungal) and the decision was made to euthanize.  I had a couple birds come back that were missing for a few days.  One came home in good shape, just a little thin, while the other looks to have been grabbed by a raptor.  The injured bird should make a full recovery quickly. Yesterday I had one bird come in with a chest wound from hitting a wire or building and required a suture...and another that has a slight wing injury. Breeders have been notified.
 
Overall, the health of the birds is still holding and I continue with Primalac and Ropa B in the water. Birds continue to get lots of good food and I am adding flax oil once or twice a week to the feed along with a bit extra hemp seed.
 
Hope this finds everyone well and thank you again for the support.
 
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Apr-01-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
I just wanted to do a quick update for everyone.  Birds continue to come in steady with 42 birds arriving this week bringing total birds on the property to 460. 
 
I pulled one bird from the trap training group and placed her in isolation for a respiratory issue this week. Other than that the health has been great (fingers crossed). We have had some nice weather the last couple days allowing loft flying. Thursday the birds did great and all birds trapped in just fine after being out for a couple hours.  Yesterday was not the case.  I had a couple ravens get too close to the loft and birds scattered everywhere.  I am still out 8 birds from yesterday, but hope to see most of them back today.  I will let breeders know if there birds are not back by the end of the day.   
 
Birds get marked missing after two days of not trapping.  Please keep an eye on these loft/settling flights, so replacements can be sent.
 
As a reminder birds that do not have paid perch fees do not get settled into the racing loft.  
 
Good luck to those folks that have birds in Big Andy's race today.
 
Have a great weekend.
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Mar-27-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
I had a busy week bringing in 85 birds, which brings our total to just under 400 birds here on the property. Reservations continue to grow with 792 birds reserved.
 
Group 6 was moved over to the racing loft on Saturday and started trap training. Group 5 joined the main flock on Saturday with a couple of stragglers trapping in late and one yesterday.  It looks like we are still missing one from Saturday's loft fly.  I should be able to fly again today as long as the weather cooperates and will inform that breeder if the bird does not return today. The weather has been wet and has limited the amount of loft flying I have been able to do.  Hopefully, this week will bring some nice sunny days.
 
This week was also busy organizing the dispersal of Captain Chuck's birds and some of the pigeons supplies.  Special thank you to Roger Teeters, Dennis Watson, and Howard for meeting me on such short notice to help sort pigeons. If anyone local would like his lofts, please contact me ASAP. The house will be going on the market and the lofts need to be moved.
 
Health has been good (knock on wood and cross my fingers). I continue with Primalac and Ropa B in the water.  No birds are in isolation at this time and the birds arriving are all looking great.  
 
Thank you for the support and good luck to those that are flying old birds.
 
Lucas
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