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Lou's Tips


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11/02/2014

Corn is to poultry what cotton candy is to us: fun to eat but not much nutrition. Supplement your feed with corn when you expect severe cold but remember that it is high in fat and low in protein. 

10/05/2014

Allow 4-6 weeks for birds to replace frayed or broken feathers prior to a show.

9/28/2014

West Nile Virus can be contracted by waterfowl until a killing frost kills mosquitoes for the season. Most affected are young birds which can die within 48 hours of showing symptoms. Chickens and turkeys can be infected but do not show symptoms.

9/24/2014

All types of poultry normally need their toenails clipped at least 1-2 times per year. Remember that long nails include a vein that also grows longer.  Keeping the nails trimmed will reduce the risk of cutting that vein.

9/21/2014

All types of poultry normally need their toenails clipped at least 1-2 times per year. Remember that long nails include a vein that also grows longer.  keping the nails trimmed will reduce the risk of cutting that vein

9/14/2014

When washing chickens for an upcoming show, do so 3-5 days ahead of the show and let them air dry (except Cochins and Silkies) if at all possible. They should be kept in a clean show cage until they leave for the show. If kept in clean pens, waterfowl should never need to be washed. Allowing them to bathe in clean water should suffice.

8/31/2014

Gardeners: your chickens can quickly turn used bedding, leaf debris, etc. into compost when it is placed in their pens. Top dress that debris with whole oats and add green feed to their diet even in a pen with no actual pasture.

8/24/2014

Work smarter, not harder. Minimize  extra labor while giving your birds the best care. Do more than one task when handling the birds. Example, spray for mites while you are moving birds from one pen to another.

7/27/2014

Poultry meds usually have an expiration date which should be observed. also, be careful to store meds propery. Storing in sub freezing temperatures, for example, will ruin some medications.

5/25/2014

It is easy to allow one's pens and fences to deteriorate over time. Wood rots, and metal rusts. Since predators never stop testing for ways to reach your birds, that mistake could prove costly. Years of breeding work could be lost in one night if fencing,pen doors, or roofs fail to protect your birds. 

Make it a habit to periodically inspect your facilities and replace or repair suspect parts.

5/04/2014

Not everyone has pasture available for breeding and young stock to utilize. There are, however, wys to give the birds the benefits of greens without pasture if one has gardens and lawn to weed. Many weeds found there will be gobbled by chickens, ducks, or geese. Just be sure that the greens have not been treated with herbicides.

4/27/2014

Probably the most common cause of death in chicks, ducklings and goslings in their first two weeks of life is Salmonella bacteria. Taking simple steps such as dipping hatching eggs and regular sanitization of incubators and brooders will greatly reduce such losses.

4/20/2014

I have found out through personal experience that spiral plastic bands are dangerous to use due to their tendency to cut off circulation in the bird's leg as time goes on. that can happen with both chickens and waterfowl.

4/20/2014

I have found out through personal experience that spiral plastic bands are dangerous to use due to their tendency to cut off circulation in the bird's leg as time goes on. that can happen with both chickens and waterfowl.

3/23/2014

One should allow 3-4 weeks between when matings are set up and when the first hatching eggs are expected.

3/16/2014

Cull chicks as soon as possible to avoid wasting space on those that have no value. Look for comb and leg/ foot deformities within the first week after hatching. Also check older chicks/ducklings/goslings for deformed backs.

3/09/2014

It is always preferable not to wash off the protective coating on waterfowl hatching eggs. That can be accomplished by either using a dip of 10% bleach with water warmer than the eggs or by going over soiled spots with fine grain sand paper. Really filthy eggs should probably not be even set.

3/02/2014

I cannot emphasize enough how important regular sanitization is for incubators and brooders if one is to maximize hatchability and minimize losses. Those places are ideal breeding grounds for harmfulbacteria. A simple 10% bleach/water solution will work well.

2/16/2014

Longer daylight hours will stimulate poultry to lay even during the winter months. The ideal length of daylight seems to be about 14 hours. Light should be increased gradually so that the 14 hours is arrived at over several weeks. Timers can be used effectively to control the light. Add daylight at the start of the day rather than the end.

2/09/2014

Keep in mind that for best results, a breeding formula should be used to produce eggs for hatching rather than a "lay mash" which is designed to maximize eggs to be eaten, not hatched. The breeder feed should be introduced 4-5 weeks prior to the start of egg production.

2/02/2014

Contrary to popular belief, hatching eggs do not need to be turned as often or for as long. Three turns per day will be more than enough and only for the first two weeks of the incubation cycle. The embryos need to get themselves in position to hatch so eggs should never be turned for the last week of incubation.

1/12/2014

Baby chicks, ducklings, and goslings are most vulnerable to infection in the first few days after they hatch while they finish absorbing their yolk sacks. I put a anitbiotic like Neomycin in their drinking water for the first week to protect them.

12/15/2013

Winter feed consumption in all forms of poultry is closely tied to the availability of unfrozen water. Birds can go downhill rapidly in terms of condition and overall health if they do not have access to water for good portions of the day.

12/08/2013

With cold gripping much of the U.S., keep in mind that freshly layed eggs pull in the surrounding air as they cool. In zero temps, eggs can be cold damaged in as little as 20 minutes. Check for eggs in cold weather as often as practical.

11/17/2013

With the hatching season still weeks or months off, now is the time to service your incubator(s).

Replace wafers, oil the motor, and sanitize the interior of the machine.

A solid state thermostat is far superior to the wafer system: consider changing to one.