News and Updates
Aug-14-2017
AUGUST 14TH UPDATE

We will train again tomorrow from the 15 mile spot.  We like to toss from the same spot at least twice before moving them.  It looks as if we are missing some birds today but I am confident that they are here and must have piggy backed or missed the clock system.  Please remember these tosses are still short and when the birds come home they want to stay out and play.  They are creatures of habit and usually go out every morning at 6:00 am until noon.  Once the tosses get longer this habit will break.  I received a few emails on how to get the birds trapping better.  I appreciate the advice, however this is training at this point.  Trapping will not be a problem in about a week when the birds are taken further. 
They look great, and the older ones are slicked up and the younger ones still need a few weeks to finish up the moult.  It looks as if we will have rain on Wednesday or Thursday.  If it is not good conditions we will not train.
We received a few calls about next years race.  It is true...we are in the process of building a very large loft and this will be for next years race.  As far as details go we will let everyone know very soon.  We still have a lot of work to do for our 2017 series! 

Thanks,

Jim

Aug-10-2017
TRAINING UPDATE

We did not train today because it was a very frustrating morning.  Weather was perfect, but I pulled something in my arm/shoulder loading crates on the trailer.  I think its time to start working out!  And if that wasn't bad enough a crate door opened and now we had birds loft flying.  At that point I declared it amateur hour and threw in the towel..I gave up!  We will resume training Saturday as they are calling for rain overnight and cloudy skies in the morning.  Birds are coming along well.

Jim

Aug-07-2017
AUGUST 6TH UPDATE

We did get the birds out 2 miles this week but I forgot to set the clock.  We will go back to 2 miles tomorrow and if weather stays good training will be as follows this week:
Monday - 2 miles
Tuesday - 5 miles
Wednesday - 5 miles
Thursday - 10 miles
Friday - 10 miles
Saturday - 15 miles

Again this is all contingent upon the weather.  Birds look great and have been flying great.  I must have handled over 50 birds today just walking through the loft and the feathers on these birds are so soft.  We feed a high quality feed but my sons spike the hell out of it with safflower and flaxseed.

Please remember on these short tosses that the birds will continue to fly around once they are home. 
Lets hope we have a good week.

Take Care,

Jim

Jul-31-2017
JULY 31ST UPDATE

My son Ryan and I drove just over 2 hours this morning to Tri-County Vet Clinic to have a group of Hoosier Classic birds tested for canker and respiratory.  We stated before that we would do this before training started.  Dr. Zollars allowed Ryan (my camera man) to record our visit.  The recorded video were uploaded onto our YouTube page and is in 3 parts.  Long story as to why the videos are in 3 parts...did I mention my son was my camera man? 
The findings were very good with only 1 bird of the 10 we took showing slightly higher on the canker test.  Respiratory is not an issue at all.  Dr. Zollars spoke very highly of the birds and offered his medical opinion as to the overall health of the birds.  If you watch the videos you can hear Dr. Zollars say the birds are in "excellent health."  With this behind us we will continue the training on our property for a few more days and then move them out 2 miles to begin road training.  We don't plan to train on Sundays unless we have a few rain days during the week and absolutely need to make up some lost time.
The birds are looking great!  Flying is better every day.  As we stated in the last update the boys and Keith have the birds out of the loft by 6 am everyday.  I'm going to miss these boys in 10 days when school starts!  I sure do love the hell out of them and the older they get the more they are involved in the Hoosier Loft which makes it fun for me.

Thanks and have a good week. Make sure to check out the videos!  Links are listed below

Jim

Video 1     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19xeVIUQWXc&t=52s
Video 2     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASfKNqLF7z4
Video 3     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_j7GeW9CgM

*Medical exam and testing provided by:
Dr. Kevin Zollars
Tri-County Veterinary Clinic
920 Green Brier Rd,
Earlville, IL 60518

(815) 246-9545

Jul-10-2017
JULY 9TH UPDATE

We are happy to see the birds back out today after being locked up for 2 days.  Mr. Cooper stayed away as well!  The birds finished a treatment for canker on Saturday and were put on Vita-Pro Combo for the next couple of days.  We will resume flagging the birds later this week and we see the birds confidence fully restored from the hawk attacks.  Other then that things seem to be pretty good..we are slowly creeping up to the time when the work begins for training.

The baseball season is officially over in the Ward house!  Jimmy and Ryans team went undefeated only to lose in the first round of playoffs and Colin's team went to the championship game and lost.  I tell you all this because all three of the boys finished the season with a tough loss, however once they got home we heard them say we got and hour of daylight get your gloves and lets play catch.  Of course they play until its completely dark out and they can't even see the ball.  Sometimes I think we are literally living the "Sandlot" with how much they play ball.  Even though our season officially ended yesterday, we still had almost 5 hours of baseball today because Ryan and Colin made the All-Star team.  Five straight days of baseball and we are glad to see it over.

The boys and I plan on dipping all the birds this week and show a hands on inventory as well.  I hope to have this completed by mid week. 

Take Care,

Jim

Jul-06-2017
JULY 6TH UPDATE

The birds will be kept in for the next two days.  After two days of aggressive hawk attacks the birds are very nervous and need a couple of days to regain their confidence.  We know two birds that were killed by the hawk attacks as well as birds scattered.  We have seen birds coming back all evening.  This is not normal to see these hawks in July.  We will keep them in a few days and hope the hawks go somewhere else.

Thanks,

Jim

Jul-06-2017
JULY 5TH UPDATE

We hope everyone had a chance to enjoy the holiday.  After our morning chores we were able to relax with some family and friends.

What a difference a week makes!  The birds have really caught up to where they need to be by this time.  We loft fly every morning pushing the birds out by 6 am.  Today we seen flying resume to a 20 minute fly and several groups were routing off.  I am very pleased where the birds health is right now.  Wattles are snow white and feet are bright red!

With training only weeks away we are doing a precautionary treatment against canker.  Before we train we will take a group of birds to the vets office to be checked for respiratory and canker.

We uploaded a few videos on our YouTube channel, they can be viewed by clicking on the link below. 

Next week all birds will be dipped for parasites and a hand inventory will be done as well.  We will continue to post some loft fly inventories but please remember these are not always accurate.  With 1600 plus birds there are always some that the antennas miss.

Update again on Sunday evening..

Enjoy the rest of the week,

Jim

Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3dJMlT1_9g&feature=youtu.be

Jun-25-2017
JUNE 25TH UPDATE

I attempted to post today's loft fly and accidentally knocked out the power cord to the docking station.  We will post tomorrows loft fly and hopefully do it right this time.  Needless to say only 195 birds posted before I knocked out the power.

The birds have been out everyday this week except for Thursday.  We are seeing a little more flying each day.  I noticed a couple of wet eyes so we are treating with Doxy-Tylan.  We will resume with Vita Pro Combo after this treatment.  We have had some cooler temperatures and the birds really enjoy the early morning loft fly.  Looks as if the temperatures will be staying that way this up coming week as well.  We still have about 20 birds to settle from the last week of replacements that came in and I can't wait to have all sections merged into one. 

My wife and I had a rare day today with none of the kids being home, and what did we do??  Spent the day in the loft cleaning and vacuuming followed up with delivering our team to John Nelson for the Victoria Falls race.  I don't think we know what dinner and a movie are anymore.

Have a great week and remember we will post tomorrows inventory.

Thanks,

Jim

Jun-19-2017
JUNE 18TH UPDATE

First of all I hope all the Fathers out there had a Great Fathers Day! I was blessed with one of the greatest dads a boy could ask for.  Growing up my dad hated the pigeons, however he would always help me build new lofts and drive me to the pigeon club on Saturday evenings.  Looking back he knew the birds would kept me out of trouble and he would do anything to keep me safe.

As for the birds, flights continue to come in and the moult is in full swing.  I pulled 2 birds out showing signs of Pox.  These will be isolated for a few weeks.  We did vaccinate for pox and this only proves nothing is 100% effective.  We had Mr. Cooper pay us another visit and he was swiftly chased out of here.  We have had a few birds stay out over night.  We have moved the feed time back an hour and I hope to solve this issue quickly.   The test results came back from Dr. Zollars for this months testing and were negative.  We have posted a copy of last month and this months test results. 

Things are fairly quiet here for now.  We will begin to start flagging the birds here in 3-4 weeks to fore them to fly. 

PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY MORE REPLEACMENTS.  JUNE 15TH WAS THE DEADLINE.  We will now work on getting this final group of birds settled. 

Take Care,

Jim

Jun-19-2017
JUNE 11TH UPDATE

Quick update on this past week.  Overall the birds are looking good!  We have had very hot temperatures move in over the weekend and looks to be here for a few days.  Extreme temperature swings are usually not to good for the birds.  The silver lining in this is that it has been very dry here.  A reminder Thursday the 15th is the last day for accepting replacements. 
We are only 30 days away from really needing these birds to start flying better then we have seen.  Tails are coming in nicely and the start of the 9th & 10th flights are starting to pop through.  A video was uploaded of the birds eating their dinner tonight.  You can watch this by clicking on the Video tab which is on our photo page.  Or by clicking this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbLjGey0090

We
will be sending droppings off tomorrow to Dr. Zollars.  We will post the results once we get them in.

Hope everyone has a great week,

Jim

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