Management June 2002
General Management May Training August
The last of the entries arrived this weekend. The final entry list stands 147 birds. Of these 3 have not responded to our health management system and no longer are on the team. Two youngsters remain in quarantine and the prognosis for them looks positive. Another is nursing a hurt wing. A couple became victims of the hawk and a couple more were lost around the loft and hopefully will return. I suspect the hawk had something to do with these departures. I am pleased to report that the hawk has not been seen for over a week.
Managing the Le Tour entries has been a challenging experience because birds have been arriving over a 6 week period. I am quite encouraged with the general health of the birds. Morning droppings are firm and compact. There are some loose droppings but they are very hard to spot and don't look too menacing. Very few birds have thrown up their feed. More than half of the birds are in a heavy molt and some of the earlier arrivals look quite impressive as they move into the latter part of their molt.
June 2nd Birds were vaccinated for PMV
June 9th This morning, with a little encouragement, about 2/3 of the birds were up flying . Most of the earlier arrivals are flying strongly around the loft. Some of those that are molting heavily are reluctant to fly and the later arrivals still do not have the confidence to test their wings. For the first time today all birds trapped quickly and none stayed outside to tempt the hawk to return.
June 10th With a little encouragement over a 100 birds tested their wings this morning. A group of 50 stayed aloft for an hour. The birds were called down to feed and for some unknown reason 10 refused to land for another 30 minutes. They swooped over the loft many times but were reluctant to land. Eventually they landed on the roof of the loft and trapped immediately. Unfortunately they will have to wait for another day for their meal.
June 11th All but 25 birds flew today. A group of 50 consistently fly for 30 minutes or better during their morning exercise period. These are the earlier arrivals.
June 14th Yesterday and this morning a group of 50 youngsters disappeared from view for over an hour. Most of the birds are exercising well. There still is a small group that are reluctant to test their wings. These are the later arrivals.
June 16th It rained all day so the birds were kept in. It was a good day for an inventory. 129 birds out 147 entries remain. Five birds succumbed to sickness and the rest were lost around the loft. I suspect the majority of those lost around the loft were due to a few hawk visits. It scared up many of the younger birds that weren't flying and they did not return. If it's any consolation to those that have lost birds, its first victim was a Rosehill bred bird entered for another fancier. I am very please to report that the majority of the remaining birds are in excellent health. Droppings are firm and appetites are great. Many of the earlier arrivals are finishing up their molt and are well muscled and corky. Even though the weather has not been cooperative this spring this is the best looking group of young birds that have been entered in the Le Tour.
LOFT PICS (Click on thumbnail for larger view)
HEALTH & DROPPINGS
June 17th The birds were let out to exercise at 6:30 am. A group of about 100 flew for an hour. At 8:00 am a group of 20 were still refusing to land even when I called them in to feed. At 8:15 I sped off to work and noticed the last bunch land on the roof of the loft. I was late for work.
`June 23rd The birds were taken off darkening at the beginning of the week. The youngster became a little lazy during the earlier part of the week and were reluctant to fly. It's amazing what increasing the barley content can do. By Friday the birds responded by exercising well. For example, this morning they were let out for exercise at 7:30 and most were still airborne at 9:00. A small group of 15 continued for another 10 minutes. This evening they flew strongly for an hour. Unfortunately there is still a group of 20 who are not exercising well and some have been here since early May. These I call "bad attitude adolescents". They are lazy, defiant, unmotivated and all they want to do is eat and sleep. I am quite familiar with this behavior. I see it every day at school.
Here I have a much easier solution. Training will begin next week.
General Management May