Thursday, July 28, 2011

on the 3rd day of training

I dropped another yesterday.  I had two weak fliers this morning.  Not sure what is going on.  I left back Aqua so I only too out 40 this morning.  I'm giving up on Aqua.  The black hen 5381 is acting pretty weird.  Her and a pied blue bar flew up in a tree.  After the others left they took off each by themselves toward home.  I will medicate them and hold them back when I jump up to 6 miles tomorrow.  The other 38 looked real good.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And then there were 42

Sad and strange.  A first.  While dropping the birds from their first training release I found a dead bird in the basket.  It was 5380 - the one that seemed to be having problems after vaccines Saturday.  She felt a little light but had been flying.  I sure didn't expect to find her like that.  I basketed just before 6am and released just before 8am.  I have administered that vaccine nearly 200 times in the last 4 years and never had a problem.

I held back one: Aqua.  The one with the freakish obsession for drinking bath water.  He has, no doubt, picked up something  from that bad habit.  He was seriously light this weekend but I administered some meds and he's feeling better.  He has always been strangely tame.  He flies up on our shoulders when we go in to feed.  I keep meaning to hand feed him.  I think he's going to be a pet instead of a racer.  (Sorry Phil - yep, he's one of yours).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Least favorite part is done

My least favorite part of this hobby is administering the PMV vaccine via syringe.  It takes a long time and I always feel bad about it.  This time I had two incidents.  I hit a vein on one and it bled a bit - not too much but that still bothered me.  More scary, one of my blacks was having what appeared to be an anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine.  I didn't notice until I was closing them up at night.  First I noticed he was not in his roost.  Then I noticed he appeared to have a cough but, under closer inspection, I decided he was having some breathing difficulty.  I watched him a bit, considered administering Benadryl, but then decided he was not in immediate danger and left him alone.  Sure enough, he was fine this morning.

While the birds were waiting in the boxes in the A/C (their first time being boxed), I cleaned the loft, put down litter, fresh water and feed for their return.  After two syringes (12 birds) I'd drop them off and freshen the feed a bit (since the early birds would fish out all the good stuff).  I was after 4pm when the last batch was dropped off.  I put the bath pans in and they became very excited and stopped feeding and came up for a late afternoon bath (it was miserably hot).  After the bath - they we wondering why they were cooped up.  So, I flew them.  I'd say 2/3rds felt up to some flying.  The next morning - all of the regular fliers were ready to go.  I have a few who always have to be tossed out and one black hen who is nesting.  So, things looked back to normal today. 

I will begin training Monday morning.  I have exactly one month to get my 19 training drops in (three each 2.5 miles, then 6, 12, 14, 24, 42, 64 and one at 82).  I can (and often do) squeeze the 12 & 14 down to 2 each and forgo the 82 mile at the end for a total of 16 drops.  If I thought I were really pressed for time, I'd drop the 3rd 2.5 mile and drop from 64 miles only one. 

If I get ahead of schedule, I continually drop from 42 miles because it is a convenient location.  It's just off the Interstate and it takes me just as long to get to the 24 mile as it does to this drop.  The 14 mile also takes longer than it's worth but I want them to know that area well and hopefully break no later than that.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kitting Nicely

I was worried about the younger half but they are all kitting now.  I had to shoo several out.  The Alaska birds seem to not like our 115 degree heat index and prefer the cool loft (amazing design - it stays pretty nice in there - I need to put a thermometer in there to see how cool). 

I can't wait to start taking them down the road.  It's going to be fun!