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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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


With the cold weather coming on in many parts of the country, it is time to adjust the feed for poultry accordingly. The trick is to provide enough fat content to allow the birds to maintain their weight during extemely cold times without allowing them to put on too much weight

Using extra corn in the diet will provide the needed fat content but it should be used carefully.


It is a very well spent few moments to periodically check the security of fences and pens. Check for rotting wood, rusty wire, etc. Underestimating the local predators can be very costly.


There is no more foolhardy way to save a few bucks than to skimp on the quality of feed one supplies to either waterfowl or chickens. Cheap feed will invariably produce inferior results.


In my experience, selecting "target faults" to correct  in young fowl is only effective when one zeroes in on 1 or 2. If you select several, chances are you will not be truly successful in correcting any of them. Prioritize your target faults and attempt to select against them over a series of years.