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Lou's Tips


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1/04/2015

When providing calcium for egg production, it is better to supply it free choice rather than to rely on what is in the feed. Doing so allows for some birds which need more to obtain it.  Crushed oyster shell is normally used to supply clacium to poultry.

12/28/2014

Concerned about fertility? Try adding Wheat Germ Oil to your bird's diet a couple of times a week. It comes in soft gel form which is popped into the bird's (especially the male's) mouths. It also can be obtained in liquid form which can be fed by coating whole corn with the Wheat Germ oil. It may take two to three weeks to begin to help so start before you need those fertile eggs.

12/21/2014

If your birds are not on free range, they will need supplementary grit to aid in digesting their feed. By the way, I have found that the small granite grit is a big help in eliminating slippery situations during the winter in the bird areas where one does not want to use salt or other chemicals.

12/14/2014

Do not wait until the last minute to put matings together in either waterfowl or chickens. Best fertility will be obtained when the birds are comfortable with each other. That is especially important in geese and Mandarins.

11/30/2014

Now is the time to complete winterizing your outside pens for waterfowl.

Heavy mill plastic covering at least the west and north sides of the pen is a good start. Add a submiseable stock tank heater to their drinking/bathing water will greatly simplify caring for them. Deep straw or pine shavings in their shelter will help the birds handle even severe cold.

11/23/2014

There are two very good reasons to wash chickens. Of course one should wash birds one plans to show. One should also wash birds one plans to offer for sale. Trust me; they will sell more quickly and for more money if they look their best.  See my article on fitting birds for shows for specifics.

11/16/2014

Both ducks and geese need to be able to wash their heads in clean water on a regular basis to avoid low grade eye infections. waterers which only allow them to dip their bills into the water are, therefore, not ideal.

11/09/2014

There is a high correlation between poultry feed consumption and their water consumption. That is especially true in waterfowl. it is vital during the cold winter months to keep unfrozen, clean water in available to the birds as much of the time as possible.

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.