I will be picking up birds at the airport on Thursday, April 27,17. I can meet anyone along the way to and from Toronto. Please call my home phone, 905 355 1804 or my cell phone, 905 269 2348.
By special request, there will be a pick up on Monday in Cornwall, Ontario at 11:30 AM at the Irving Truck Stop, at the Ottawa/Cornwall Exit, number 789, Road 138.
The birds are fine, about 160 have been out and for the most part are trapping well. A couple have a bit of sawdust in their noggins and find it difficult to see the difference between the front of the loft and the back side. Another blast of wind, and they'll be fine.
Happy Easter to All
Today, 100 birds had a great time flying out and about. About 75 spent a considerable time on the wing and the other 25 pretended to be helicopters, flapping like crazy but not going anywhere. One hundred went out, one hundred came in. Soon, the balance will join them.
All are healthy. No issues have surfaced. I thank you for the quality birds that you have sent. They are all on the Ropa program and in the few months that I have been using it, I have become a happy camper. Down feathers float every where and all droppings are fine.
This week, I will be in Hamilton, Thursday afternoon. I will be at Tim Hortons, Hwy 20 and the QEW at 2 PM. I will also be at the airport in Toronto after 5 PM. I can meet anyone there, just call and let me know what time you are coming.
HI I will be at the airport Thursday evening on April 13 and can meet you there at most any time. Please call to make arrangements. Thank you, Rick
I will be at Pearson Airport Cargo, West Jet, on Thursday, April 6. I will be at Burger King on the corner of Britania Ave and Dixie Road at about 6 PM. I will stay there untill 8 PM. If you want to meet me, please call and leave the time you will be there. Thanks, Rick.
The cost of a 5 bird team for Amercan fanciers is $ 855.00 US. This includes loft fees, entry fees and taxes. Any extra birds you want to send, include the perch fee which is $ 80.00 US per bird. These birds can be your replacement birds incase of losses, saving you the cost and work of shipping later. After July 1st, any extra birds can be activated for $ 80.00 US. Also, if you pick your Master Breeder, include $ 80.00 US, your entry fee. Don't forget to call Dale and give him the details of your shipment. Thanks, Rick
The time to ship is fast approaching. I will be near the airport on Thursday, March 30,2017 and for those who need to ship now, I will meet with you then. Please call to make arrangements with me. For those that are shipping from far away, you may add an extra bird, just remember to add the extra perch fee and the 13% tax. This saves shipping costs and the bother of sending replacement birds if any are lost in the future. I will be at the airport Thursday evenings as needed, just check with me and the message board for times, etc. I will also meet you along the 401 corridor. Again, check in with me. Those shipping from the USA, please call Dale Zehr to make arrangements. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon, Rick.
I am not computer literate. Three times I have accidentally deleted everything that I typed out. I don't know how I did that. I would like to find out which key I touched so that I could put a piece of tape on it and write don't touch. What I write down now is a quarter of what I wrote the third time which was half of what I wrote the first time. If I delete again, I will just print my name and say " Hi".
March is here and if you're anything like me and anticipating the 1st of April, you're not sleeping at night either. The daytime is not so bad. We're renovating the loft and giving it a coat of paint. There's plenty to do and it keeps your hands and mind busy. At night, it's just pace, look out the window and then pace some more. Sometimes I wish I smoked.
I will be going to the airport every Thursday evening starting the 1st week of April. Please let me know ahead of time and email me the Bill of Lading. Please send the birds to me, Rick Broere, not to Empire Classic Triple Crown. Those that want to meet me at the airport or along the 401 must also call and make arrangements with me. Please make all chegues out to Empire Classic Triple Crown.
Amercan shippers please inform Dale Zehr when you plan to ship. Remember, you have only to ship to Dale and we cover the expense of importing the birds. Please make your checks out to Empire Classic Triple Crown.
I hope your breeding program is going as planned and I hope to see you soon.
When I started this message, I had the January blahs. Now I have the February blahs. It really has nothing to do with feeling down and out, it's to do with being impatient. Three days of cold weather and that's enough of winter and now I want it to be spring. Breeding has started and I am ready to race. I have all my ducks in a row I am ready to move forward.
In the one loft we will be using the Ropa-B as part of our feeding program. Since it was new to me, Silvio, our supplier, suggested that I should use it in my own loft. I have and I must say that I am very happy. This year, I have not had any problems with winter sickness in any birds. The amount of down feathers in the loft are such that Linda is making a new down comforter. If down keeps the birds warm, they'll keep me warm.
Our feed supplier will be Baden Feeds. The birds will be fed various feeds that will suit the demands that will be placed on them. High protein diet at the beginning, more carbs as the training begins and higher fat when the miles stretch out. I know some of you think that they are only competing against each other in a one loft setting and that special feed isn't needed, but I believe that if you want them to fly 300 plus miles, everyone of them needs to be filled to the brim and primed to go all out.
We will also be using a combination of minerals and grits from different suppliers. Different companies with different mixes hopefully covers everything that a bird needs.
We are very lucky to have a local vet who, although not a bird speciallist, is very willing to be on call and help sort out any problems, should the need arise. With all the new and strange problems floating around in the pigeon world, I hope to be prepared for the unknown.
I know most of you are now breeding or have already banded your future charges and I wish you good luck with them all. I thank all of you who have entered the Empire Classic Triple Crown OLR and would like to nudge those that haven't yet, to do so soon.
We live in a small piece of paradise. Our property is secluded, wooded and has a stream with brook trout in it that has never ever frozen over, at least not in the ten years we have lived here. We have an old mill, an old dam, a cute cottage and fabulous breeding and racing lofts. We also have more hawks than I can ever hope to shake a stick at.
In 2013, I decided that I would try something different when it came time to train my young birds. I gave them a couple of very small tosses from the top of a hill east of our property and then began to loft fly them three times per day. It took a bit of time adjusting the feed so that they would fly for an hour or so and still come in when I called them. They responded very well and everything was tickety-boo. Two days before the first race I started to have my doubts that untrained birds would be able to race and do well, infact, I decided to only ship half of them. They all made it in race time and none were lost. The following week, all went and none were lost. The whole season went well with very few losses, however, we did not win a race. We did place second or third several times but the birds were never sharp enough to top the combine. It was an interesting year but I would not do that again.
In 2014, we were offered the chance of a life time and have the use of a working ranch in Nye, Montana. On May 27, Linda and I, our dog LuLu, our Motorcycles and thirty or so sqeakers set off for the wild west. We arrived on Friday at 5 pm. By monday evening, I had built a small, 8x9 loft with a landing board and settling cage. On Wednesday morning, I removed the cage and my babies learned how to navigate in mountain winds. It blew constantly, from one side of the mountain to the other. Most of the first day was spent just learning how to land into the wind.
I wanted to try something I had read in De Duif, a Belgium Pigeon paper. A fancier trained his youngsters at a very early age and found that they learned to orient much quicker and that his losses were minimal. On Thursday, I took them for their first toss. It was only 1000 yards but it was on the other side of a juting cliff and they had to either fly around the end, or go 1000 feet straight up. They went straight up, saw the loft and were in the loft before I could navigate my way through the rocks. I spent two weeks taking them from spot to spot in the valley untill I got to 12 miles and then I walked them along the Stillwater River into the mouth of the Beartooth Mountains and let them go one at a time. Their choices were simple, climb straight up 2000 feet over the cliff or fly 3000 feet down the river. They went up, each and every one of them and they were all home, inside and fed before I got back. Point is, they were very young and they learned well, winning the first race by 220 yds per minute.
In 2015, our 80 foot spruce trees started to encroach on my racing loft to the point that branches covered the rear section of the roof. I didn't pay attention and left them alone. Big mistake.
The first day on the landing board became total hell for my sqeakers. While I was standing there, talking to them, a Red Tail hawk managed to scoot around the trees and grab one right before my eyes and scatter the rest into the surrounding country side. They were all day coming home and they weren't happy. Two days later, it happened again. On the fifth day, when I pushed them onto the board, they didn't wait for the hawk to show up. They immediately flew up into the centre of the trees and stayed there till the end of the day. I tried three more times and each time had the same results, out of the loft, into the trees. My problem was simple. the birds needed to fly and once flying, hopefully, they would have better luck with the hawks.
The next day, I caught a basket full of sqeakers and walked to the other end of my neighbours property. The distance was about 600 yards to my loft and because of the trees, it was mostly out of sight. At this time, the youngsters were for the most part 40 days old or less. I let them up one at a time and waited untill I thought they were at the loft before the next was released. All made it home. I did this untill every bird had their turn. They were fed but needed a drink of water. That was their motive to get home. The next day, I took them around the corner to a school yard. They were only half a mile from home but they were a hundred feet or so higher than our place. I single tossed again, releasing each bird only when I thought the last one was over the loft. All made it home. The next toss was 2 miles, again single toss, and from that point on the birds were released in small groups. We had an excellent year flying our young birds winning combine races and the Ace young bird for the season, but they would not loft fly. It was train twenty miles every day in the morning and in the evening, once a week fifty miles just to get them to fly a little longer.
I moved my lofts in 2016. Now we are 30 feet from the trees. The hawks have a tougher time sneaking up on the birds, and once again they loft fly except the ones born in 2015. They will fly, only not as much, and, they still head for the trees before coming into the loft. Our young bird season was almost perfect winning combine races and being 2nd and 3rd in the Oshawa Open race.
I enjoy telling you what I have done but there is a point to all of this. With the Empire Classic Triple Crown, I will use some of my unorthodox methods. I will not wait untill all the birds are here before I start to let them out and while I do not expect the same hawk problems, the loft is in the middle of a large field, I do want to start them early and force them to fly and use their noggins. I have all the time in the world and will use it to constantly train small groups of birds at various distances. As they go out, marker bands will be placed on their legs. Two trips, two bands and when they all have two markers, remove one on the next toss and so on. By the time August comes around we will be ready to stretch the distance and all can join in the fun. We will use the clock and we will have the elecronic bands on at the start.
Come join the fun.