11-07-09 - Young bird season would normally be over by now, but that is not true. We're about half way into the season. Why? Because for some ungodly reason we decided to hold off for two weeks because of dove season - an obstacle that has exsisted for as long as everyone's raced pigeons. Although they did change the opening day starting time, that doesn't mean we couldn't have just skipped a week and raced on the Sunday of the second week. Or just race both weeks on Sundays. Anyways, enough with that rant.
So far I have raced one race. It was the first one. Sent 24, got one back after a couple days. Then one was returned to me from up north. And another trailed in a few weeks later, in magnificent shape. I wish I knew who'd been keeping it hostage so I could smack'em around a bit for not letting me know! Unless they tell me they are caring for them (cause you never know, the bird could have been in horrible shape when it was found), I consider it stealing. That's not very nice :(
Since I only have 3 birds back from the only race I've flown, this season is not fun at all. Almost everyone I know has had a relatively crappy season. I don't think I'll fly this direction again. It's harder for us to train past 10 miles on the NE course, and the birds end up paying for it. Anyways, I plan to fly next weekend, which is the shortest race we'll have from now on. I'd rather not send the birds who didn't get to go at first, to a 250+ station.
Thanksgiving is almost here, which means breeding season is getting closer. I can't wait. Unless we go NE again, in which I'll just about want to quit racing for a while. Anyways, I got a pair of breeders from Mark Raymond, so I'm excited to see how they do for me. I was also given a Sion cockbird to try out with my 'Scion' hen. That should be interesting as well.
In addition to getting more (and hopefully better) breeders, I'll be getting rid of some too, so they'll be on the for sale page soon. I also now have two pairs of Satinettes (FINALLY George has a mate, after him killing the first and the second being carried away by a hawk), and three (soon to be 4, maybe) pairs of Indian Fantails. I have a hard time settling with just racers, so I'm glad to have something to play with, and to sell babies for some extra money. Within in a week or so we'll have a gazebo converted into a loft just for the fantails and doves :)
That's about it for updates. It's been a while, but I haven't even thought about the websites until tonight.
03-19-09 - The Old Bird season officially starts next weekend, but we're having a club training 'race' this weekend. My grand total of 6 Old Birds will be going. We'll see how things go with these guys.
We've got about 35 young birds already. Most in the loft, flying around. We're also in the process of building our new young bird loft. In order to get good use of the breeders, I'll probably end up with a lot of birds. Hopefully I'll get the numbers down by donating to all these auctions going on. Our club is having one, as well as another club in the combine AND a 'Dash For The Cash' auction thing for the whole combine. Anyways, that's about it for updates right now. Not much has been going on to talk about!
01-10-09 - Well my old birds are mating up and laying eggs. I've already got all my breeders paired, with most on eggs and one pair on a couple babies :) This whole month is basically dedicated to pigeons, since every weekend is taken up by either a combine or a club event. I've been working on the club site so this one has been a bit abandoned. I've got some more pictures to put up on here, but even then I'll have a little more work to do on the site.
11-06-08 - The last race this season was on the 1st. Out of all 5 weekends, we only shipped on three. The leftover birds will hopefully do alright in OB season. We won the first two 'A' races on the club level.
Congratulations to all the winners this year :)
10-04-08 - Today was the first race of young bird season. It was from Greenville, SC, which is almost dead on 120 miles for us. I'm happy to say that we won the 'A' race today in our club! The race overall was a smash; a lot of people are missing a lot of birds. I think it's partially because of the Piedmont Combine releasing from Salisbury, and flying right against us. The weather was great. I'm hoping more birds come in tomorrow. We clocked our first bird, IF 08 TRC 40, at 11:24. Needless to say, I was the happiest girl in the world this morning :) Now I'm just waiting to see the combine results!
9-1-08 - Dove season started today at noon. It's been an hour and a half, and I've heard several shots off in the distance already. Just a reminder to everyone in the racing sport/pigeon hobby, to be careful during the next few months. Next week I believe starts all day shooting. We'll be racing during those full days, but hopefully we'll make it through alright. If you're training, I'd suggest go on Sundays and avoid Saturdays unless you plan on going as early as possible. Many people simply do not care what they're shooting at, whether it be a dove, blackbird, or pigeon. Living out here in an agricultural area, many wide open fields lay between us and our release points. In fact, most of them are on the roads around our house. In the direction the birds should be coming from, they should be a little more safe but you never know. There's nothing you can do once the birds are in the air, but you can use your common sense and good judgement to help give them a better chance. If you have any hunting clubs near you or know people who hunt, please ask them to not shoot any pigeons they see, and that they most likely belong to someone. We wouldn't shoot their dogs, so why should they shoot our birds?
We're down to 50 young birds now, which I think is pretty good...or better than I expected. 5 of them are late hatches I've caught up and should be able to fly. So if you count them in, I started with 61. We've got the older young birds to 30 miles, late hatches to 20 miles. I jumped the late ones but they handled it like I knew they would. I just hope nature keeps sifting out only the ones I didn't want for their weak/bad quality, and leave me with the good ones :P
Gas prices and rising feed prices is really starting to hurt. It's hard to train as much as I'd like, but we do our best. Everyone's having the same problems but I think we'll be alright. To save on gas, and even help the birds, you may want to find someone close to train with. They'll learn to break and it'll help you with money, right?
That's about all I've got to say. Good luck with training and racing, and tell your birds they better fly high over those hunters!
7-21-08 - Just a few things I'd like to update on. First off, I now have the TRC site done, minus a few things I'm still waiting on to add. Second of all, I finally got the pair of young birds yesterday, after they had been on the road since Wednesday. They were fine though, surprisingly, and were as active and healthy as any other squeaker :)
Also, we got to have our pigeon promotion set up on Farmer's Day this year. It was so much fun, and I got to talk to a lot of people about pigeons. I also set a goal the night before, that I'd get at least one person into pigeons by the end of Farmer's Day. Well I did it! I've got two people's phone numbers I need to call about getting them some pigeons, and I could tell a few kids were also interested. Jeff, a member of TRC, was also there to help me with the tables. In all we had 17 birds on display in show cages. I brought a Lahore, two Indian Fantails, 4 Racing Homers, a Flight, a Runt, and my Satinette George. Jeff also brought 5 Racing Homers, a Show Roller, and a Fantail. We also had a table with a TV, with The World of Pigeons and Share The Blue Sky going the whole time, so anyone could sit down and watch it. We also had on display: a few books and magazines, a trophy one of our club members won a few years ago, 4 pigeon paintings, a racing pigeon clock and seamless bands from different organizations. Jeff had a few white birds he released at 10:30, which I was glad to see a family wait just to see it. There were so many people that came in to see the birds, most of them kids of all ages. My Satinette got a lot of attention; I let almost every kid that came in pet him. Many people said the 3 Fantails were their favorite, but almost everyone was amazed by how big Runts are. Me and Jeff both answered many questions and repeated how pigeon racing works many times throughout the day. At one point a lady and 5 children came in and sat down in from of the TV to get a little 'lesson' on pigeons by Jeff. To end our 'lesson', I gave each of them a seamless NPA roller band I had left over from this year. A few other people who stuck around and seemed interested the most got bands as well.
Overall I was really pleased with how everything went. Even as we were packing up at 3 a few people still came in to see the pigeons left in the cages.
This was something I had been wishing for, for years, and now I finally got to go through with my idea. I'm hoping next year we'll get to do it again, even better than this year. I'll be more prepared and have some different birds, and MAYBE get to raise some money for the club with a little donation jar.
Well that's it for today's updates,
7-14-08 - Not much to update on. I've started on the club's website and should have it pretty much done by the end of the week. Once I've got all the info I'll hyperlink it on the front page and add it to my links section. I guess after the club's is done, I'll probably end up making the combine one as well.
Still trying to get everything up on this site. Things are just going slow I guess. I'm trying to do a lot at once.
We still have 53 young birds. I'm expecting two more from my friend Matt to come this week. The cock (or what we think is) will be stocked and the hen will be raced. Can't wait to get them :)
Yesterday we took 44 young birds to 15 miles for the second time. Took them 30 minutes to get back. A big improvement from their first time at 15, which was Saturday. That took them a little over an hour. Yesterday we also took Team 4, the remaining young birds, and some old birds to one of our 'stations'. Our stations are basically just small distances we take the young birds to get them used to flying over the trees around our house to get back home. It helps them build up their muscles, get good flock formation, and get used to the crates and flying back to the loft from somewhere other than the yard. The first station is a place I call 'Thunder Hill' (long story) and it's literally right behind our woods. Not far at all, and if they get over the trees, they see home. Next stop is the first intersection on our road. Probably a minute down the road from the first station. There they learn to fly over a few houses without landing on them, and they get to see the fields of crops the farmers have. And finally the last station is the second intersection down the road. Probably not more than a minute from the last station, but they have to fly over a lot of trees and more houses and barns to get back home. By the time they get here, they are flying good enough for me to feel confident in starting their real training at 5 miles. If everything goes well I only have to take them to the 3 stations once, but once they start the real training, they go to each point 3 times at least before moving to the next spot. Team 4 are our last youngsters for the year and because it got so hot while they were still in the nest, it took a lot out on them and the parents. Because of that a few had a rough start but now they're flying like champs. I'm hoping we'll have them ready to at least fly the last Greenville race.
Now that I've shared more of my training 'secrets', I think I'm done with today's update.
6-21-08 - Didn't get all the pictures done like I planned. It takes a while with this crappy camera and the weather. I took some more today though before it rained.
The 19th we had our combine meeting at the clubhouse. As far as I know, we're doubling up some races to save gas. This is good for us since we'll start later. Give's us more time to train, so our later birds may have a chance. Also at the meeting, we got a squeaker from Warren.
Today our bird from Wyoming arrived. I thought we were going to get a young bird, but this one is an 07 BC. Pretty bird, pretty pedigree :) Came from Tell Burns, the guy we bought our Quartz clock from. I'm putting this bird with 5042 if it is a cock. If not, it's going with 3K. I'm going to get a clutch from them to at least try out next year's OB season.
6-12-08 - I sold 19 rollers and flights at the last Pigeon Extravaganza, so now I'm using the roller half of the loft for my young birds. Such a relief! I still have about 5 pair of Flights and a few pair of Rollers left I'll be needing to sell. Many of the Flights are currently on eggs, but once those are hatched and out of the nest, I'll keep them ready to leave at any second so I can easily sell them if someone offers.
Also at the Pigeon Extravaganza, I got a pair of Bud Sprinkle's birds and a pair of Frank Zeidler's for breeders. They're all gorgeous birds with great eyesign. We're letting them breed two rounds, one for us and one for our friend for next year's old bird season. Once they get those out of the nest, we'll split them up as the rest of the breeders are now. I also adopted a little 08 racer from Lovebirds Loft, who had an injury as a squab and cannot fly properly. The little girl seems very happy down here and has warmed up to "H-3", one of unpaired breeders. I was surprised that she found a boyfriend so quick. I don't know if she'll give in and lay some eggs, but if she does, we'll let her raise a round and split them up. The babies will then join the other late hatches in training for the OB races next year.
We ended up with a nice number of 53 young birds this year. 10 of those we received from other people in the combine. I had no idea we'd end up with that many from our own loft, or even get that many from other people. I'm praying by the time this is over, we'll at least have about half left to race. I'm really confident in my birds and I think they'll do well in the training. So far we've gotten about half up to the 5 mile mark. Now that school is out, I'll be yard training them all to get the youngest in the habit of flying instead of taking their time flying from tree to loft to ground. With the heat it will be frustrating for me and hard on the birds, but we'll manage. I just weaned a pair two days ago, and I'll wean another pair tomorrow. That leaves one lone baby who was set to be weaned today...but with the heat I guess that slowed down the parents and the growing process. The little guy and the newly weaned ones all took a little bit longer than normal to get ready to be moved to the big loft. I'm not sure if they'll be too late or not...we'll just have to see. I'll have them all up and flying in two weeks, and within a week after that, routing hopefully. I could sit here and take up pages talking about how I do things here, haha. That won't be necessary until we start winning though :)
One last update, I'm in the process of taking pictures of every member of our YB team, as well as the few OB's/Breeders flying in the loft with them. I'll be adding them pictures here and in my Picasa album so check back to see. I also plan on taking pictures of the breeders that say "Pic coming soon", so you can put a face to their descriptions. After all of that is done, I may start on an even bigger project - making a layout for the site. These premade ones are a bit boring, so hopefully I'll be able to code something more interesting and pigeon related.
That's about it for today. Be sure to check out all the pages on the site before you leave. They're fixin' to go through some changes :)
5/10/08 - Updated the site a bit. I currently have 28 young birds weaned, 1 auction YB I got April 27th (IF 08 TRC 882) from George Diroma, and 4 YBs I got last night from Rick Smith. The bird from George is out and loft flying. I'll start him on the road next weekend. The other 4 I'll let out next Saturday. I also now have a cute young dropper I named "George". He's a red laced Old Style Frill (I just call him a Satinette for short). I got George from Smith Johnson at the YB Auction.
Breeding season for us is coming to an end. Once all the eggs and babies are finished, all my breeders will be split up until next year unless something happens. Now we must focus on training and getting the birds ready to race their hearts out. Good luck to everyone in September and good luck to everyone who's racing in the Old Bird Season now. Next weekend is the last OB race, so make it your best!
I'm trying to sell all of my flights and rollers but a couple pair. I'll breed and sell the babies out of my favorite birds, but the rest are gonna to have to go. I could really use the roller section of the loft for my racers.
2/16/08 - I am now an official member of the Tarheel Racing Pigeon Club, as well as an IF member. I also decided to re-name my loft "RKM Lofts". Why? Because it is not only shorter, but both mine and my dad's initials are RKM. So there is a reason behind it, haha. It was previously known as "Birds-Of-A-Feather Lofts".