News and Updates
SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018

   It may have been fathers day, but for me, it wasn't a quiet one. With all the birds out and while we did our Sunday clean up, The Coopers continually haressed the birds. It is time to bring in the army, or at least someone who can focus on the target.

  Tomorrow we start hand inventory and the correction of our mistakes and replacing a few bands that didn't read properly. It was great seeing so many birds fly, just would have been better if they had gone up when they were ready, not because of fear. 


   We have completed the banding process and uploaded all the info to our site. Unfortunately, you can't see it untill the birds enter the trap and are clocked. All of the birds are settled except for about 70 late ones. They will join the flock on Sunday and then all will enter the traps. Untill then, I  can tell you that as of last evening there were about 918 birds in the loft. Sickness, hawks and losses off the roof took care of the rest.

   There are definetely mistakes. We are off by a didget or made a typing error here and there and some, the identity names were wrong. That we can't fix untill the birds go in by the traps and then we do hand inventory. Next weeks job.

   All the birds were outside on Friday including the last 70 in their settling cage. The Cooper made sure all of them did a lap or two around the farm. 

   The molt has come a long way. Most look like yearlings now and now spend an awfull lot of time in the corners calling for a mate. 



Hi All: 

      We are almost complete with the banding of the birds. We will upload the list , probably today.      There are two people with handicaps doing this work. One has failing eyesight and is going deaf and the other is deaf with failing eyesight. There are mistakes! As soon as things are up, we will be corecting them so you will see numbers go off into thin air, but they will be back. No panic please untill all is complete and has the stamp of approval. 

Thanks for your patience, Rick



  On Sunday past, all but about seventy birds, the last to arrive, spent the day outside. It was a fun sight to see. It took an awfull lot of flapping and hopping and skiping about before they all managed to get into the air. Then it was chaos. By afternoon, all of them learned it was easier to go with the flow than against it. 

  On Monday, we started the process of giving them their chip rings. It is a pleasure to handle so many excellent pigeons. Every time I picked up a bird, I would say to Linda " this is the winner". So far, 202 of you are first.



      The sound of silence is wonderfull. Actually, for deaf people { me } there is always noise. It sounds like a strong wind blowing in one ear and out the other. Maybe that,s what it is. Anyway, the phone has stopped ringing, emails have disappeared and the airport is no longer where I eat my dinner on Thursday evenings. The shares of Burger King dropped dramatically last Friday. 

     Not  all the birds have been processed or are in the mothership. There are still some at the border waiting for their hall pass and there are still a few in the holding pen waiting for me to record their numbers and colours before they join their brother in arms. Hope to have all that done on Friday. Most have been settled and now go out everyday. They are still not pushed out and won't be untill the final group has settled in. 

    There have been a few health casualitles and hawk issues but not nearly as many as I expected. The birds produce an enormous amount of down feathers and now there are an equal amount of flights blowing around. Each week, Sunday mornings, my trusty helper and I fill the bags and take them away. Mating has started and the first eggs were laid on Wednesday. 

    Feeding, each day, takes the better part of two bags and the amount of grit they consume, if compressed into bricks, would build a brick wall around our property. 

    Linda is the star of her guild's quilt show this coming weekend so she has put a halt to our banding of the birds till Monday, Jume 11. That's when the process will start and when inventory will begin. We hope to have everything done by next weekend and that includes settling the birds, giving them their electronic bands and showing them what life will be like under the big top.

Talk to you next week.


 PS    My memory facilities are as compeitent as they ever were. They are just a little bit quicker to leave my noggin. Some linger for ever, others are gone before I reach the door. The winners of the pillows were Suzanne Bedard and Francine Groulx. The T shirt, Bernie Bedard. Apparently everything can be found on the internet. Linda Gale Broere, for those who wonder.


     This week has been a joy, of sorts. Meeting folks is always more fun than working. Unfortunately, I am behind in all that I needs to be done.

     The birds are in great shape and with almost all the birds here, their daily lives will shortly become more regimented. It will be eat, exercize, play a bit, eat and sleep. Sounds perfect to me.

     Pick ups on Thursday will be in Hamilton at Tim,s on # 20 and at Toronto Airport. If needed, a special stop can be fit in. Call me on my Cell.

Thanks, Rick 




     The end is near. Only two weeks or so left before the deadline is here. The birds are doing well. They were confined to the settling cage for the better part of last week but now, about seven hundred are out. Flying is sporadic, but soon enough,  they will be travelling around the neighbourhood.

     Yhursday, I will again be at Toronto airport at my favourite Burger King. I won't be there much before 7 PM, I also have a late  afternoon stop in the Bradford area. I will be in Hamiolton and Niagara Falls thr following week. Call me please for pickup times. I am without my wife this week so please call my cell. You'll have a better chance at catching me. 905 269 2348   



   One pillow gone. One to go. Rick

PICK UPS MAY 17, 2018

     I know that a lot of down feathers is a good thing, but sometimes, a good thing is a pain. There are times when I stir up the corners, they float in all directions. A bit ago, I did my morning chores and decided to hit Tim's for a snack and a coffee. A sweet young thing stared at me and with a very soft voice asked if I had birds. I said "yes, I have racing pigeons". Without batting an eye or cracking a smile she said" Did you kiss them goodbye this morning, you have a lot of feathers in your beard".  Every old geezer in Colborne is in Tim's for their fix at the break of dawn and I made their day. 

    I gathered up all these down feathers, had them steamed and sterilized and made into a pillow. Two pillows as a matter of fact. I've also had two pillow cases embroidered with the Empire Logo and now two lucky people can win them as a prize. Just email me the full name of my wife, and two of you will be the lucky so and so. As a bonus, two really lucky people will win a T shirt with our Empire Logo embroidered on it. So send it in, quick as a bunny!

    On Thursday, I will be in Woodstock around 10 AM and will be there till 11 or so. Then it is off to Badens, Bill Wiema's and then Burger King and the airport. Several folks have already made arrangments. If needed, make yours.

Rick Broere

PICK UPS MAY 10,2018

Good evening 

   Hope you enjoyed the wind. Friday was a white knuckle ride for me. Towing a trailer on the 401, stuck between transports, all dancing to a different tune. It was fun! No hydro till Sunday at 5pm and to stop the food from going bad in the fridge, I ate it all. When I lay on the couch, I look a bit like a beached Beluga whale.

   Group one, about 250 birds are out and about on a daily basis. Group 2 joined them today. I don't force them out, but their curious side can't help but sneak a peak out to see where the bright light is coming from. By the end of this week, about 450 will be flying. Next weekend, if all goes well. last weeks babies will get their turn. With so many on the deck, it becomes very easy to settle them.

    The hawks have been very supportive. They are attacking my neighbours birds and leaving us alone. Hopefully, they will stay away.

   Health problems have been minor and for that, I thank my lucky stars.

  The numbers are climbing and as of today, if all goes as planned, 1st prize at the 340 main race is $ 42,750.00.

   Pick up this week will be at Burger King and the airport. If any others are needed, phone my cell. 905 269 2348

Thanks, Rick

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