News and Updates
Apr-09-2018
4-9-2018 UPDATE
Last inventory we clocked in 244 birds.  Since that inventory we discovered a bird who must of injured it's wing while outside the loft, AU DALLAS 2120.  This bird has been removed from the older group who are loft flying and was placed with the young birds who will be released in a week or so, breeder was emailed.  

Today we turned out 243 birds, most trapped in quickly but there was a group who decided they just did not want to come in when called like a bunch of rebellious kids!  They eventually all got in and the very last bird 19406 must of got spooked or something because it acted spooked all morning.  First it landed on our other loft about 100 yards away, then the neighbor's house about 250 yards away, it took some real persistent whistling for that bird to finally trap in.  If something got after it today, we sure didn't see it happen and we were out here the whole time supervising them.  

Weather is really turning nice out here and the birds are enjoying it.  The bath pans were out in front of the loft and several birds took baths today, probably the ones who took their sweet time going in when they were supposed to.  

We could not be happier about the current health of the birds, lets hope it stays that way!  

Supposed to get a bunch of birds in this week, going to be a busy one.  

Rick & Olga
Apr-08-2018
HAPPY SUNDAY

The birds are outside the loft playing in the wind this morning, some taking baths who did not get one yesterday.  We add some Virkon S to the bath water so that disease spread is nipped in the butt if one happens to drink the dirty bath water, which we have all seen. 

While the birds are outside the loft this is what we do daily. 

Completely clean the loft.
Spray down with Virkon S and let it dry before they reenter the loft.
Disinfect waterers and feeders.
Provide fresh grit.
Provide fresh feed.
Provide fresh water with Pigeon Primilac with vitamins and minerals added. 

We work very hard on fast trapping which you will notice once we post a few loft flying inventories.  When the birds seem to get tired of flying around the loft we call them in to fresh feed which is waiting for them after giving the whistle signal.  We start to whistle to the birds from the first day they arrive when they are fed.  This helps to reinforce fast trapping on the races and really helps in settling birds.  The first time out of the loft we can have a bird land on the neighbor's barn which is about 100 yards away, start to whistle and they shoot right to the loft.  Late in the evening if we have a bird hanging out we can whistle and birds will sometimes come from nowhere.  So when you see your birds trapping very close together on loft flying days you now know why that is.  In our opinion, it is all about control, control, control.........especially when it comes to reinforcing good habits in young birds. 

All of the birds in the loft have been settled with the exception of the birds from the last two weeks, a total of 98 birds two of which are in sick bay.  If you look at the loft flying inventory and do not see your bird having trapped then just go to the last bird trapped and you will see all of the other birds in the loft below.  If the bird shows on that loft flying report then it means your bird is still safe and sound. 

We had one breeder who sent birds last week who we figure was trying to save on shipping by not putting any shavings in the box with the birds.  Needless to say, when those birds arrived they had pigeon crap caked up on their feet, on their feathers, quite the mess.  Come on breeders, think about what it cost to enter your birds with perch fees and entry fees combined, don't be cheap by trying to save a few bucks on shipping by not putting a little shavings in the bottom of the box just so you can save on shipping. 

One little tip that some of the top One Loft Race guys have shared with me. 

Ship just a few birds in a big box.  When breeders do this I notice that the youngsters come in looking much fresher and are less thirsty than those birds which are packed in a small box.  When birds are overcrowded in a box and I open the box you can just feel the birds heat hit you in the face.  When someone ships just a few birds in a big box the inside temp of he box is cool and smells fresh. 

If you use really fine pine shavings in the box it can get really dusty inside the loft and if overcrowded, the birds will sometimes come in with their nostrils caked up with dust and mucous.  One tip would be to use straw, or even pine needles which down south is called pine straw.  This will eliminate the dust in the box and make it easier on your birds to breathe while they are in transit. 

We do vaccinate the day your birds arrive, and they do get a booster 3-4 weeks later.  However, if you vaccinate at least 2 weeks before sending you are not only protecting your own birds and increasing your odds of doing well in a race, but you are protecting everyone else's birds as well. 

We will be receiving a lot of birds this coming week, seems everyone got a late start on breeding this year. 

Thanks everyone!

Rick & Olga

  
 

Apr-07-2018
BATHS TODAY It was rainy this morning and windy this afternoon.  We put bath pans out in front of the loft and the birds enjoyed a day of playing in the water and flying around the yard.  All are in the loft at the time of writing this and they have been fed. 

We have received a lot of calls this week from breeders letting us know they will be shipping this coming week.  It is not necessary to call us ahead of time, but you can if you want or if you have questions.  We only ask that you remember to ship on Monday or Tuesday only so that way we are receiving birds on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  We separate birds in the loft based upon when they are received.  Birds that come in each week are kept apart from the other birds for at least 2 weeks to make sure that new arrivals do not bring something in with them that we don't want the rest of the loft to catch.  It is much easier to keep the birds healthy if they are only coming in two days a week versus all week long, thus part of the reasoning for wanting you to ship on Monday and Tuesday.  Each section has a sliding wooden door and the walls between sections are wooden as well.  Each section has it's own aviary and there are wooden partitions between each aviary.  Once the birds are settled and flying well the partitions are removed so that when they are outside the loft trapping is smoother and faster. 

Hope all of you have a great weekend and look forward to receiving birds from those of you who plan to ship next week. 

Rick & Olga
Apr-06-2018
FIRST LOFT FLYING INVENTORY

As promised, we finally got our first loft flying inventory completed this evening after struggling with the clock all day.  Looks like we are going to need a few more sections of cable for the clock to work the way we want with a few boosters in between. 

Currently there are 218 breeders signed up with nearly 1,200 perch reservations.  This evening we let the birds out for the second time today and ran them across the traps to see if everything was working correctly.  Out of 246 birds 244 clocked.  We removed two birds from the loft this week so we are thinking these were the two who did not clock in, just forgot to remove them from the list before we ran the inventory. 

There are actually 346 birds in the loft.  The last 100 birds we have received are still in the settling stage before they get to go play outside of the loft.  We like to keep them in the loft for a minimum of 3 weeks before they get to actually go outside and after about 3 weeks this is when they get their booster before they get to fly.

Sorry it took so long to post our first inventory.  We will be posting loft flying inventories at a minimum once per week and probably more often than that just as long as the weather cooperates.  Once training starts we will be posting all training tosses leading up to the races as well as the trainers between races. 

Thanks everyone for your continued support. 

Rick & Olga 

All of the birds who you see on the inventory we posted this afternoon were given a booster this week.  It took us all day but we conducted a chip check on each bird and gave them a booster for PMV and Paratyphoid.  We were actually surprised that none of the birds were unhealthy, none were light, all had clear throats!  Usually when you handle nearly 250 birds you find just one bird or two who are not feeling right, this was not the case and we are thankful that health is where it is at this stage of the game and we hope it continues.

 

    

Apr-06-2018
4/6/18 UPDATE Every bird which has been here for 30+ days received it's booster for PMV and Paratyphoid yesterday and we did a hand scan to make sure the chips are working.  We will post our first loft flying inventory in the next few days, may even get it in today.  We are just about done with modifications to the aviaries and inside hallway and the installation of the new traps which has delayed us getting a inventory posted.  Sorry for this delay.  Rest assured, the birds are in optimal health with only two birds being removed permanently this year, one treated and returned, and two currently in sick bay. 

Thanks for everyone's patience and thanks for your support. 

Rick & Olga
Apr-01-2018
HAPPY EASTER!
Happy Easter everyone, hope you all are enjoying time with the family today.

We have had a few breeders asking about when we will start posting inventories.  We redesigned the inside of the loft as well as added aviaries on the front with windows and a trap for each section and simply do not have the antennas and cables set up for the new traps.  We have four groups of birds which are kept separately and they are flown separately and from doing a headcount each evening which is easy to do due to the small size of each group, we are not missing any birds other than two which we had to put down due to sickness and one bird in sick bay.  So that means no lost birds thus far due to settling.  

This week we should have our first inventory posted on Wincompanion.  After we get everything working correctly we will have six traps with three holes each for a total of eighteen access points.  Once everything is working smoothly this coming week we will be posting loft flying inventories at least once per week.  

Sorry for this delay everyone, we are on top of it.  Promise, no missing birds thus far other than two sick birds which we put down.  

Rick & Olga 
Mar-28-2018
3/28/2018 UPDATE
We sent out a email a few days ago that all of you should of got.  We will not always send out email updates, most will be posted here.  From our email stat counter it seems that the emails are being opened by 55-60% of the receivers, so we can only assume that the rest are getting their updates here.  It is ten times easier to post updates here, so please keep checking in.    

As of today we have 280 birds in the loft and should be over 300 by the end of the week.  New breeders are signing up near daily and we have well over 200 breeders signed up and getting close to 1,200 perch reservations.  Do not miss out on one of the biggest races in 2018!  

Health is great, knock on wood!  As we mentioned previously, one bird was put down because it was just not going to ever come around.  One bird did respond to treatment and was returned to the loft, and we have one currently in sick bay who has a respiratory infection which should clear up shortly.  

When your birds arrive they are put in a section away from all of the other birds in the loft, they are kept separated by week.  We ask that all of you mail on Monday and Tuesday at the latest, this means the birds arrive on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  These birds are all vaccinated for PMV/Paratyphoid, then given a Trizole tablet which treats canker and Coccidiosis and this tablet is supposed to give them protection for 30 days.  They are kept separate from the other birds for at least 3 weeks, then sections are merged.  After a few days of the birds getting used to the loft and going out in the aviaries, the birds are put in the aviaries early AM and left out there until at least after lunch.  This gives us time to scrape the loft, spray the perches down with Virkon S as well as the floor and all nooks and crannies, as well as the waterers and feeders and shows them where home is.  Fresh water is given each day with Pigeon Primilac and vitamins added, fresh grit and the finest feed.  When the birds are allowed back in to the loft through the traps they are whistled do which teaches them to trap fast on race day, no hanging around.

This weekend we will be giving boosters to those who have been here for at least 3 weeks or more.  

Thanks everyone for sending such healthy pigeons thus far!

Rick & Olga Mee 




Mar-16-2018
TENATIVE RACE DATES
A few of you have asked, so here are the tentative race dates.  All races will be held on Mondays and for a couple of different reasons.  Main reason being that the Blue Bucket and the Crooked River are 150 miles south of us and we want to take no chance of your birds getting mixed in with theirs since our birds basically fly right over their lofts.  Another reason for not having races on weekends is because our combine races young birds on Saturdays, Sunday if the birds have to be held over not to mention other clubs/combines who race weekends out of WA, OR and CA.  Our nephews are young and strong and they work Mon-Fri jobs and are available for helping on the weekends.  They also help during the week by showing up early AM to help load birds for training which consists of Olga and I inside the loft running the birds in to the hallway and through the chute at the end of the hallway where the crates are on the outside of the loft.  We had the crates made special to where the ends slide up guillotine style.  Once we have about 20 per crate they tell us from the outside they have enough, we close down the door which leads to the outside and they close the guillotine ends from the outside, load the crates on the trailer and we start the whole process over again until done.  We can load up 1,000 birds in 15-20 minutes once the birds have got used to the system which only takes a few times.  For the races each bird needs to be handled and hand scanned which is quite time consuming and since our helpers work during the week, we load for races on Sunday and will race on Monday, with the exception of the final race which we are tentatively planning on racing Saturday October 13th.  Come to think about it, that is my Dad's birthday, and by the way it is mine today.  He would of been 91 on that day and I am 51 for those wondering.  Spent 20 years in the US Army, retired 10 years ago out in TX, moved back here where I grew up 5 years ago and somehow got the urge to start a One Loft Race!  Sometimes I ask myself if I am a bit off my rocker!  
 
Here are those tentative race dates.  Remember, they can always change due to weather so if you do plan on coming to the final and we have to hold off a day or two please be understanding.
 
Sept 10th, Shaniko, OR 112M Activation Race
 
Sept 17th, Redmond, OR 161M 
 
Sept 24th, Lapine, OR 209M
 
Oct 1st, Paisley, OR 267M
 
Oct 13th, Alturas, CA 351M
 
As of today we are right under 200 birds in the loft.  When it is all done and over with we should have around 1400-1500 birds to start training with which will make us the 2nd largest race in the US for 2018.  If all goes well, we have big plans for next year so please cross your fingers along with us so we can make that happen not only for ourselves, but for you the flyers as well!
 
Oh, health is absolutely beautiful right now.  We pulled one bird a few days after it arrived and it died a few days later, looked like it had a viral issue like pigeon herpes.  Two others were acting puny so we put them on Baytril for 7 days and now they are on probios and vitamins, their droppings looked about normal this morning and a few more days on the probios and vitamins and they should be back to normal.  We closely watch the birds in the fly pens and in the loft when they eat and if one looks "off", it is immediately removed.  Out of close to 200 birds we are very pleased with the health thus far, so keep sending healthy birds!
 
Rick & Olga
 
 
Mar-12-2018
APPLE CUP SHIPPING ADDRESS
The address under the contact tab is the correct shipping address, and yes it is a PO box and we have no problem accepting birds at that address.  The post office is just a few miles away and they call us around 6:30 AM to pick up birds before they open their main doors at 9 AM.  

Apple Cup
PO Box 313
Moxee, WA 98936

254-247-9504

Rick & Olga

 
Mar-08-2018
BIRDS STEADILY ARRIVING.
We are right under 100 birds in the loft as of today and there will be many more arriving tomorrow.  The weather has been warm and sunny lately and the birds are enjoying the sunshine.  The first group is ready to take to the sky and we will let them out shortly and start running inventories on Wincompanion.  Health is great thus far, no issues so cross your fingers!  The birds were vaccinated for PMV/Paratyphoid when they arrived and given a canker pill.  Ever since they have been on a good probiotic daily with vitamins added to the water.  They get fresh red mineral grit daily and a high quality feed with lots of safflower and they look and seem happy and healthy.  They are locked out in the aviaries for several hours each day starting early in the AM and around lunch time they are allowed back in the loft to eat.  They are signaled in to the loft with a whistle and believe me, it only takes a few days of repeating this before they learn that the whistle means chow time.  Anyone who has been here on race day knows that we do not have birds hanging outside the loft on race day, we whistle when they arrive and they shoot right through the traps.  The first group will get their booster shots next week, we like to wait at least 3-4 weeks.    

Keep sending healthy birds everyone, we are very impressed so far with your birds!

Accepting birds until end of May, replacements until mid June.  

Rick & Olga 
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