News and Updates
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
Mar-18-2017

Good Morning,

 
Birds are enjoying the warmer weather, but are staying in today due to high winds. This week had 47 birds arrive and they are settling in well.  I moved the 5th group of birds over to the racing loft this morning and they are currently figuring out the trapping system.  
 
The 4th group of birds got to go out on Thursday and were doing well until a red tailed hawk flew a little too close for their comfort and scared a bunch of birds off. I currently have 3 of those birds missing in action (breeders have been notified). Friday I did another loft fly and this time a male prairie falcon cruised through but this time the birds held their heads a little better and many of them ran into the loft rather than taking to the sky.  Birds are doing well and some small groups are taking some nice flights and learning to flock together.
 
I finally, got some results back on the bird I sent in for necropsy.  The bird died from fungal pneumonia (aspergillosis)...these spores are everywhere and usually don't cause an issue unless birds are stressed.  These infections usually occur in areas of high moisture (this bird was from a very wet area and my vet said that most likely this bird arrived with a mild infection and then with all the stress the infection took over).
 
I hope this finds everyone well and thank you all for sending such quality birds.
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Mar-13-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
This week I had 72 birds arrive bringing our total number of birds to 271.  Our reservations are at 734 and will remain open.  As a reminder, we will be taking 720 birds this year and will close entries when we reach that number of paid perch fees.
 
All the March birds are now combined in one group and are getting to go out together.  The 4th group moved over to the racing loft on Saturday and started trap training.  I had to update some chips in the clock so the inventory hasn't been completely accurate on the newest group. This should be updated and I will get a new report up today on the newest group trap training.  All the birds are color coded by the month they arrive, that way I can easily see if a bird doesn't belong in that group.
 
I will continue loft flying the March group this week, weather permitting of course. Please keep an eye on the inventory. I am usually good about seeing missing birds, but if you see your bird hasn't clocked in a couple days give me a shout. Birds however, will not show up on the clock for at least 7-14 days from the time they arrive due to quarantine and trap training.  
 
Health has been good.  No birds are currently in isolation and they are continuing to get Primalac and Ropa B in the water.  
 
Thank you for all the support and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.
 
Have a great week!

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

Good Morning Flyers!

 
I hope everyone had a great weekend.  This week we had 76 birds arrive bringing our total OLR birds on the property to 195.  I also saw a few more reservations come in bringing total reservations to 707 birds! It is shaping up to be a great season.
 
The first and second groups of birds were combined and have been out loft flying a few times. They have been closely watched by my Australian Cattle Dogs Sookie and Marshall, along with my 2 free flighted macaws (Barty and Fergus) that give an alarm call whenever a raptor flies over.  The 3rd group was moved out of quarantine and has started trap training.  Many of you have probably already seen the clocking on Wincompanion.  Remember, that the birds spend at least 7 days in quarantine before they go into the racing loft, so they will not show up on clocking for at least the first seven days.  
 
Health update...last week's update saw two birds that were in isolation due to illness.  One of those two birds died on Sunday night and was sent directly to the University of GA for necropsy and cultures...still waiting on the results.  The other bird looks to have made a full recovery.  All the other birds are looking great and molting like crazy.  I have been adding some flax oil and more hemp seed to the mix to make sure we have good feather growth.  
 
The weather here has been chilly, but we get a few days of sun here and there. This morning the wind is coming strong out of the south and they are predicting some snow flurries for us today and tomorrow. The 3rd group will trap train today, but the main group will have to stay in due to the wind. During these early stages I like the birds to have nice calm days to learn to fly, they will have plenty of time to hone their abilities before the races.
 
Thank you to everyone that has already shipped birds to me, they have been arriving in great shape.  The post office has been doing a good job for us so far getting many of the birds here in just 1 day.  I hope this continues. Have a great week and I will keep you all posted.  Pictures and videos get posted on the Crooked River Challenge Facebook page regularly.
 
Take Care,
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Feb-26-2017

Good Afternoon Flyers!

 
This week we had 44 birds arrive here an the Crooked River Challenge, bringing our total to 122 birds. The second group of youngsters were moved out of quarantine on Saturday and are happily learning the trapping system.
 
I have been wanting to get the first group of babies out flying, but the weather is not cooperating.  It is currently trying to snow on us again and the few days of sun brought some 30 mph winds this past week.  I pulled two birds from the 1st group of youngster and placed them in isolation on Friday.  They are a bit under the weather and are currently on antibiotics to clear up any bacterial or secondary infections, if it is viral.  The two owners of course have been notified and I will see how they respond over the next couple days and will reassess. I did fecals on both birds and did not see any parasite issues.   All the other birds are looking great, but I will be keeping a close eye on everyone.  I'm sure the cold damp weather isn't helping much.
 
Just as a note, when birds get sick or injured I will notify the owner and discuss a plan of action.  I like to keep an open dialogue with the  owners, so we both can make an informed decision on what is best for the bird.
 
I should be able to do some more live clocking this week with the new clocking system.  I am waiting on a software update to fix some duplicate number issues and the disabling of an alarm.  As many of you remember from last year, I like to run my clock daily, so everyone knows their birds are still here...even during trap training.  There is an alarm that sounds on the new Topigeon clock if a bird has already been clocked and since these birds are learning they stand on the sensors for extended periods of time and are able to go in and out at will....so it sounds like a very loud alarm clock going off in the loft.  It should all be fixed soon and I can go back to live clocking.
 
Good luck to those that have started Old Bird racing already.  We are still about 6 weeks away from the beginning of our season.  Hopefully, March will bring some nicer weather.
 
Thank you all for your support!

 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Feb-19-2017

Good Morning Flyers,

 
This week we saw 28 youngsters arrive and have a total of 674 reservations for this years race.  All the birds are currently happy and healthy.
 
I moved the first group of youngsters out of holding and into the racing loft on Friday.  They immediately went into the settling cage and had to enter the loft through the traps. They are settling in well and are learning the routine quickly. The birds will trap train everyday through this week and depending on the weather will be able to be let out to stretch their wings next weekend. I am doing some clock testing to make sure bands are all working correctly.  If you go under training you will be able to see these trap training tests. 
 
Congratulations to everyone in the Central Oregon Racing Pigeon Club.  We had our awards banquet last night and it was great to recognize everyone for their hard work.  Special congrats to Tim Wogoman and Paul Rueter for putting in a great showing and making us all work harder.  Thank you to Don Chapin for making this all happen, I definitely appreciate all the hard work and time you put into keeping the club going. 
 
I had a great showing in Old Birds with my late hatch group taking some awards and winning both the 400 mile and 500 mile races.  I could not have done it without the support of some good friends Roger Teeters, Captain Chuck, and Donald Chapin for providing me with the late hatches. I wasn't able to breed in 2015 due to the move and these guys stepped up and provided me with some great birds.  Thank you. 
 
Reminder that tomorrow is President's day, so no shipping of birds.  
 
Thank you all again for your support and I hope spring is starting to find many of you in the Northern Regions.
 
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Feb-11-2017

Good Afternoon Flyer,

 
We have a beautiful sunny day here in Madras and the OB team is out enjoying the weather. Current Crooked River Challenge bird reservations is at 648!
 
This week there were a total of 48 birds that arrived and are settling in well.  As many of you already know, the birds spend about a week in the holding loft before they enter the racing loft.  All the birds came in good condition with only a couple needing a little extra TLC to find the water and food.  
 
I would like to remind everyone to tape the bottom of their boxes.  I had a couple soggy ones this week and I would hate to see someones birds get loose at the airport.  Also, please make sure your babies are eating and drinking well on their own. There is no rush to get the youngsters here and I believe they ship, transition, and are better able to fight off diseases if they are a bit older.  Please send perch fee payments with your birds...birds with unpaid perch fees with not enter the racing loft.
 
I am proud to announce that we will be the first one loft race in the United States to use the Topigeon clock for this years race.  Thanks goes out to Don Chapin and Terry Gilmore for getting the clock functioning properly with Wincompanion.  It is exciting to get some newer technology into the pigeon clocking game and allowing for some more options here in the US. 
 
I will also be working much more closely with a Certified Avian Veterinarian this year to make sure that when problems arise, we are able to catch it early and treat accordingly with the proper medication.  Good Avian Vets are hard to come by and I am excited to have one on board this year.
 
Thank you all for your support and I am excited about this season.
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac and Topigeon clocking system
Feb-05-2017
SPRING LIKE SUNDAY!

Good Afternoon Flyers,

 
Today feels like spring here in the high desert of Central Oregon.  It is currently 53 degrees, sunny with a 20 mph wind out of the south and I'm loving it.  The forecast for the next week is looking at day time temperatures in the high 40's and low 50's and more sun later in the week.  The snow is almost gone and my hens are out enjoying the wind. 
 
We currently have 637 birds reserved for this years race, with several new flyers signing up this past week. One of the greatest joys this race has brought me is the opportunity to talk with flyers that I have only heard/read about and the overwhelming encouragement from from many of you. 
 
This week I will get to meet our first Crooked River Challenge race arrivals. It is warming up nicely, so it will be a bit easier on those babies coming from warmer climates.  
 
Thank you again for all your support and as always, feel free to give me a shout with any questions.
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac
Jan-19-2017

Good Morning Flyers!

 
We are only two weeks away from receiving our first birds in for the 2017 season. This winter has gone by so quickly for me and I feel like I just shipped birds back from last year.  The weather has warmed considerably here in the high desert and the majority of the snow has melted in the last couple days.  I'm excited to get this season going.
 
Currently, there are 559 birds reserved for this years race and I want to welcome many of the new breeders that have signed up.  Thank you to everyone that will be joining us again this year, I appreciate all the support and your efforts in helping grow this race.
 
I want to give a big thank you to Terry Gilmore and Don Chapin for configuring our new clocking system for this years race.  I'm excited to try the new clock this year with all new equipment.  I have installed 4 new antennas on the loft with one on the outside of the trap and one on the inside.  This way each bird has to go over a sensor twice before it enters the loft to ensure proper scanning.  Terry and Don have spent hours getting this clocking system going for me and I really appreciate it.  I will give more feedback on this clock as we start using it.
 
Just as a reminder, birds are vaccinated against PMV & Paratyphoid upon arrival and treated for Canker,Coccidiosis, and internal/external parasites.  Birds stay in a separate loft for at least 6 days and watched closely to make sure no signs of illness are present.  Birds are entered into wincompanion and chipped immediately upon arrival.  I'm a big believer in probiotics and oregano, so we will continue using Primalac and Ropa B oregano again this year.  
 
Please let me know when your birds are shipped, so I can keep an eye out for them.  I always call, text, or email when your birds arrive.
 
Thank you for considering the Crooked River Challenge for 2017!  
 
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac
Jan-02-2017

Happy New Year!

 
I have been wanting to put together my final numbers for the first year of the Crooked River Challenge and since it is snowing this morning I got them done.
 

2016 Crooked River Challenge Race Statistics

 

356 birds entered which included all replacement birds


322 birds started road training at the end of June (90.4%)


295 birds went to 1st 150 mile race (82.8%)...birds road trained over 1100 miles before first race which included two 100 mile tosses.


262 birds went to 200 mile race (73.6%)


213 birds went to 250 mile race (59.8%)


208 birds went to 300 mile race (58.4%)


207 birds went to final 350 mile race (58.1%)...144 birds home on the day with winning speeds of 1456 ypm and 179 birds home by the end of the second day.  


50.2% of the all birds that were entered into the Crooked River Challenge made it home from the 350 mile race by the end of the second day.

 
Hope this finds everyone well.
 
-- 
Lucas Cramer
503-510-2661
 
Crooked River Challenge is a proud user of Primalac