Management at the 2000 Alberta Classic


General care:

00-05-02: The first group is outside already. Some of these youngsters are not that young any more as they are already cooing. Nevertheless, there are no losses off the loft yet.

00-05-09: The first feathers are falling already.

00-05-14: Received 2 entries yesterday with 2 flights molted already. Entering birds like this does take courage not to lose them off the loft. At least I don't have to teach them how to eat and drink ;-) . Some of the little guys which came, probably straight from the nest, a couple of days ago still have no feed in the crop. This is not the best way to make winners out of them!

00-05-20: The birds are still healthy and I am not aware of any losses off the loft.

00-05-23: A bird was entered today which threw already 5 flights. It is questionable whether this bird will stay in this loft or look for home somewhere else.

00-05-28: I noticed some vomited grain in the quarantine loft. Some birds obviously arrive in ill health already. Nevertheless, they begin to look pretty good by the time they go to the main loft. One needs to be vigilant and all alarm bells are ringing once I see vomitus.
All birds will go to the big loft today where a 5 day treatment against canker will begin. This marks the beginning of darkening even for the last to arrive.

00-06-07:Most of the birds are already up and flying when I let them out for a couple of hours every evening.

00-06-12:The monsoons are finally over. The birds went out today but a goshawk went after them. CH 14389 is still alive but it has no tail and a hole from the talon in the chest. ( Now, that's fast molting ;-) It may recuperate. I just hope that the rest are all back.

00-06-14:All birds had to go up today. Some would probably just sit around forever if one let them.

00-06-15: I was looking forward with some trepidation to entering the loft today but to my pleasant surprise found no dead bird and only 3 perches with vomit which I removed as soon as possible because the other birds are after it as if it were a delicacy. But let us not be too joyful as the 3 birds which no longer eat will eventually die but they also have to do this themselves. Please have another look at the article written by Dr. Marx.
0435 flew into a fence and is dead. 0435 arrowfuneral

00-06-16:Found vomit on only one perch. It's not very difficult to find the ones ailing from E. Coli: They head for the fresh water just like a bunch of drunken sailors heading for a bar.

00-06-17:Did not find any vomit on any perches although I kept the 4 most affected birds in a basket overnight to facilitate my giving each of them two IM injections of Baytril 12 hours apart.

00-06-17:Did not find any vomit on any perches today neither although all stayed the night in the loft. The ones receiving the Baytril do not seem to benefit from it. This is the problem with antibiotics treating an outbreak of E. Coli: The antibiotic removes the normal intestinal flora which is a direct competitor to E. Coli. This favors the proliferation of E. Coli, something one tries to avoid. It may very well be that the best treatment involves "flooding" the intestine with a good normal flora, the "friendly bacteria" (in e.g. yogurt) and prevent the spread by adding chlorine to the water as a disinfectant, something which was done inadequately in Walkerton / Ontario.

00-06-20:It does look like the storm is over. There are no new cases of E. Coli and even the handful which was in dire condition are with one possible exception eating again. Gone are the vomiting and the green slimy droppings made up entirely of bile and mucus. Nevertheless, the ones affected are still "under the weather" and we still could have the odd fatality from that group. I would have never thought that they could survive until now and actually get better.

00-06-21:Almost all birds go up by themselves now and the majority stay up for extended periods of time. Today was the first day for some education on using the trap proper which consists of a Tauris pad as the bottom of a downward slide. This is a modification of the trap we used last year and should insure that every bird gets registered. (We had to help manually last year to make sure that all birds which entered also got registered.)
About half of the birds entered through this trap today but this number will increase every day until all will trap in a couple of minutes.
Everything still looks good as far as health is concerned. 3 of the small group of sick ones are still not feeling great but they will have to do the healing or dying all by themselves. The drugs I used did not seem to improve their health and "help with dying" will never exist at the Alberta Classic.

00-06-22: The following birds were put into the quarantine loft for ease of management. The birds certainly can do without being forced up and the other birds' risk of infection is lower:

3348arrowhospital
0280arrowhospital
3715arrowhospital

Approximately 3 dozen birds arrow did not return from their exercise. Either a hawk spooked them or they flew further away than they should have on their own.

00-06-23: 3715 arrowfuneral
12 birds came back from last night: 00CH26328, 2000 CU ALGOMA 226, 2000 CU LADYSMITH 0093, 2000 CU EDM 0758, 2000 CU EDM 3824, 2000 WPG 8167, 2000 CU 38413, 2000 CU NRBC 0564, 2000 CU CHWK 0295, 00CH14388, 2000 CU ALGOMA 227, 2000 CU EDM 3494.

Like most of you, I often wonder about the quality of the birds which get lost off the loft like this and also about the quality of the birds which do come back. This is the reason for my recording as much as I can. Perhaps it may contribute in a small way into answering some of our questions.
The bird 336 arrowhospital was added to the quarantine loft as it has one of those episodes of muscle weakness. I have no idea of what causes this problem. The last time it had these problems it recuperated but not this time.
A few hours later, 336 arrowfuneral

00-06-24:Another bird returned: 2000 CU CHWK 0293
34003 has difficulty breathing : 0.3ml LiquamycinLA IM arrowhospital

00-06-25:Another bird returned: 2000 CU CHWK 0286 who is still squeaking. It seems that some younger ones go for a long fly with the older ones and find it difficult to get back. Nevertheless, look at 2000 CU CHWK 0286!
34003 arrowfuneral
2901 and 1636 arrowhospital
1636 : 150 000 IU penicillin IM

00-06-27: hospital released 3348 and 0280. Congratulations!

00-06-28: 2901 arrowfuneral

00-07-01: 2000 CU EDM 0785 broke its wing arrowhospital
The birds are beginning to scout since we started letting them out at noon.
What a couple of days! One hurt wing (045), one broken wing (785), one bird with the top beak into the lower one (778), some limping birds and perhaps some who could not even make it home.... I hope that the days ahead are better!

00-07-06:The birds stayed locked up yesterday as it was raining. Today they took to the air but a handful is reluctant to fly. They may be hurt and I leave them. They know how to fly if they want to. Nevertheless 045 really would like to fly, takes off and lands 2 or 3 feet below. I had to catch it with a fish net until today when it finally managed to get back to the roof.

00-07-12: 045 is now joining the group which is exercising well. Otherwise the birds are healthy and molting well.

00-07-15: The time of light is reduced to 8 hours. I am trying to stop the molt of the flight feathers but my attempt is probably futile as some birds keep molting right through the winter if they are healthy.

00-07-20: 0074 died accidentally. arrowfuneral

00-07-24: 34348 had an accident.arrowhospital

00-07-30: 0715 returned with a common pigeon. arrowhospital A common pigeon usually accompanies one of our lost friends.

00-08-03: There is no longer any darkening. Lights are on until 10 PM and even this was stopped Aug. 23rd.

00-08-11: The best exercise ever and right in afterwards without me having to call them.

00-08-30: The twice daily exercise is preceded by a 15 km toss from now on. Should the weather be too poor for this or should they not be ready, they should not go out at any rate. Feed is left with them in the loft all day right from the time they arrive back from the race. They sure enjoy flying now since this system was adopted.

You may check the status of any bird by going to the "Entries" and click on the brackets (if any) behind the band number. An absence of any bracket means that there is nothing unusual about the bird's history prior to the first race.

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