Race 4 (334 Miles) from Deeth, NV will be flown tomorrow Tuesday November 7th. Expected release time is 6:55 AM and it will be very cold at release about 17 degrees. Forecasted conditions are mostly sunny skies, light east winds, and temperatures reaching upper 50's to about 60 degrees at the loft. Based on the conditions I expect a race in the mid to upper 1400 YPM range so the window for bird arrival is probably around 1:45 to 2:30 for the first birds.
Lunch will be served around 12:45 and there will also be plenty of desserts, beer, water, coffee, etc. If you are attending the race/lunch I would suggest you bring a jacket as it will be cool in the shaded areas.
Loft Address is:
6120 Chrysler Circle
Garden Valley, CA 95633
Thank You to everybody for supporting the race again in 2017 and good luck to all those with birds going into the final race of the 2017 season tomorrow.
Warm Sun was the story of Race 3. It turned out to be a good race, the bright sun and warm day adding a different element to this race. Jon released the birds from Crescent, NV (267.657 Miles) at 7:40 AM. The birds were released in clear skies, calm winds, 34 degrees. The course would remain mostly mild with clear sunny skies and calm to very light 3-5 MPH east winds. In Nevada temperatures were only to reach the low to mid 70's but the last 30 Miles was forecast to be a little warm with temperatures around 80-82 degrees when birds arrived. The birds really have not been flying significant miles in anything above 80 degrees so the warmth of this day combined with the 267 Mile distance was going to be somewhat of a challenge.
Race 2 was flown this past Sunday and it turned out to be tougher than Race 1 but overall a good solid race. Jon released the pigeons South of Winnemucca from 212.6 Miles at 7:45 under partly cloudy skies (with plenty of sun), 37 degrees, a light south wind. The forecast was for a light headwind for about the first 75 Miles and then calm winds from then on. The actual conditions ended up being light 5-8 MPH headwinds all the way through the first 130+ Miles before they finally dyed out around Reno. No major headwinds but enough to slow the birds down a little and make them work. The last 70 Miles or so of the course was very calm.
Race 1 was flown this past Saturday October 14th. It turned out to be both a good race and good start of the four race series. Jon hauled the birds and released them @ 7:35 from Coal Canyon (165 Miles) which is about 8 minutes past Lovelock off I-80. Conditions at release were 33 Degrees, Clear Skies, and a 10-15 MPH ENE Wind. The birds left the release point great and were gone in less than a couple minutes headed towards home.
Race 1 (165 Miles) from Coal Canyon, NV will be flown tomorrow Saturday October 14th. Expected release time will be 7:35 AM and I'm thinking a good time for bird arrival would be sometime just before 11:00 AM to right around 11:00. Forecasted weather is mostly sunny with east winds 5-15 MPH and temperatures reaching about 80 degrees for the high. I think it will be a 1400-1500's type of race but we'll see.
Training will begin in Mid August, probably sometime around 8/12 to 8/18 since the first race doesn't start until the middle of October that gives us plenty of time. In the week or so before the first training toss the birds will be loaded into the hauler to get them used to the process. We also like to take them down to the mailboxes at the end of the street and release them from the hauler for loft flying.
The 2017 Gold Country Challenge is now closed to new entries and we ended up in the mid 400's which was our goal and a comfortable number for the loft. Thank You to everybody for supporting the race again or for the first time in 2017.
New entries continue to arrive steady every week and as I write this we have accepted just under 300 birds with more arriving over the next few days. We expect to take in around 400-425 young birds this year for the 2017 Gold Country Challenge. Low 400’s was our goal as that is a good manageable number that keeps the birds comfortable as well. The loft will hold over 500 birds.
If you have not sent your entries yet, you still have about 1 more month to do so. Our races do not start until October which gives even the May entries plenty of time to finish the body moult. Every year pigeons that arrive to the loft in May and sometimes even June perform great in the races, so if you still have not sent your entries don’t let the later arrival date discourage you as they have just as good a change as any due to the races being in the fall. Replacements will be accepted through early June.
The first section of about 100 birds has been loft flying regularly (when it’s not raining/windy) and some of them are flying in a flock already. Younger batches of birds continue to be settled and added into this group with a new group going out later this week after the last of a series of storms we have had. This has been a very wet and stormy winter/spring with the rainfall and snowfall totals way above average this year. We even had a dusting of snow here at the loft less than 2 weeks ago, but mostly just a lot of rain and wet ground that will seemingly never dry out.
There are 6 birds that are missing from loft flying and we will run the clock inventory one more time this week to confirm none of these came back. We know for sure one was killed by a cooper hawk and another was killed by an owl after it stayed out overnight. I suspect the hawk and owl are probably responsible for at least a couple of the other missing birds but will never know. The cooper hawk that was giving the GCC birds and my own youngsters problems over a week ago seems to have moved on from the area.
Overall health has been excellent so far despite all of the cold wet weather. As I write this no birds have been lost due to sickness yetbut there are a couple birds that we just had to take out of the loft and isolate that didn’t look so good. These may end up being the first birds lost to sickness but will see in the next few days if they. When you bring in hundreds of youngsters from all over the country it’s inevitable that you are going to end up with a handful of sick birds. We’ve been fortunate the last few years to keep that number in the 15-30 range which is a pretty low percentage. Quarantining them on arrival definitely helps as well as using multiple immune boosting and probiotic based products to help build and support their own immune system. Most of the birds stay strong and healthy from start to finish and I do believe as a general rule that pigeons who get sick were not going to be champions anyway.
The moult on the older birds is progressing very nicely and some of them that really moulted quick are starting to look like yearlings. In a couple of weeks we are going to pull the 10th flight on all of the birds that have been here a while and then a couple weeks later do another batch of birds. Right now the birds are on about 20 hours of late per day and at the end of May we will go back to natural amount of day light. This transition usually helps accelerate the body moult on some of the birds that were not moulting the body much.
When youngsters arrive here to the loft they are given a PMV-1 vaccine shot and a single dose canker treatment. They then go into quarantine cages (in small groups of 4 to 8) on the porch area where they get a good view of the property and can also see the loft. They remain in quarantine for about 7 to 12 days in most cases. The quarantine process is really more to make sure the youngsters are less stressed and eating/drinking well before going into the main loft. Quarantine is probably not going to prevent a seemingly healthy carrier of a virus from getting into the main loft…….but it will help ensure all of the birds are stronger immunity-wise when they do go into the main loft. We use about 4 or 5 different supplements that are immunity builders and while none of them are miracle cures, when combined together they do seem to help quite a bit.
To be continued……