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Lou's Tips


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1/03/2010

Bantams in particular can find it difficult to maintain proper weight in extremely cold weather because of their small body mass and high metabolism. It is important to provide them with grain such as corn which is high in fat at such times. one third of their ration in whole corn during at least January and February would be wise in cold climates.

12/27/2009

Be sure that your waterfowl as well as land fowl are treated for external parasites after the show season. Shows are likely places for birds to become infested. Ivomec is a good treatment for external and internal parasites.

12/20/2009

The smaller a domestic bird is, the more vulnerable it is during periods of severe cold. They simply do not possess the body mass and fat reserves to survive long periods of severe low temperatures unless their housing is equipped to protect them.

12/13/2009

The most important thing you can do for your waterfowl (or chickens) this winter is to see to it that they have an uninterrupted supply of unfrozen and clean water. Their feed consumption and therefore their health will depend upon it.

12/06/2009

It is important to sanitize water cups and even pools regularly, especially during warm weather. Chlorine bleach (20%) and water is effective and cheap. Oxine also works well.

11/29/2009

Consider using thermostatically controlled heated water dishes for both ducks and chickens during the winter. Dishes designed for dogs work well for both chickens and bantam ducks in my experience.

11/22/2009

After the fall shows and well before the breeding season is a great time to worm waterfowl.

11/15/2009

 Colored zip ties used as bands are becoming popular because they are inexpensive. Be sure, however, to cut the excess off at the lock. Otherwise, the zip can continue to tighten and will cut off circulation.

11/08/2009

A great way to fortify poultry which are weak from sickness is to feed Meal Worms which are the larva of a beetle and easily obtainable at most pet stores. They are high quality protein and will sustaina weak bird while it heals.

11/01/2009

Some spray treatments for mites/lice will stain white birds. One I know that does not is Adams Flea Off brand.

10/25/2009

When returning from a show, treat both chickens and waterfowl for mites and lice they may have picked up at the show.

10/18/2009

One of the possible causes of lameness in waterfowl is an infestation of worms.

10/11/2009

Whole or cracked corn should not constitute a large part of the diet for waterfowl unless they are being prepared for market. It is relatively high in fat and low in essential nutrients.

10/04/2009

Do not make a practice of encouraging your ducks to eat earthworms. They can be intermediate hosts for Gapeworms.

9/27/2009

Be sure to clean and disinfect carrying coops prior to the start of the show season. Do not jeopardize months of hard work by carrying good birds in dirty coops. Be sure not to crowd them, either.

9/20/2009

Do not be "coop blind when it comes to seeing the quality in others birds. Being realistic about the flaws in one's own birds is important if one is to make progress from year to year.

9/13/2009

If you intend to worm your birds, do not do it during their moult or during the show season if they are being shown. Both activities are stress producers.

9/06/2009

Don't expect young birds to show well if they have had no coop training. They should be used to being in a show coop and used to having a judge hadle them. A little time put in prior to the first show can pay big dividends.

8/30/2009

Some liquid sprays for mites and lice will stain white plumage. Spray the show birds about a week before the show, a day or two prior to washing them.

8/23/2009

Never wash a bird within 48 hours of an upcoming show- always wash them 3-4 days prior to the show.

8/16/2009

In the heat of summer, gut problems can occur suddenly with waterfowl. Do not let soil in pens sour and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Turn the top layer of the soil occasionally and spray with a 10% bleach solution to kill bacteria.

8/09/2009

When fitting either waterfowl or chickens for a show, do not forget to attend to toenails and beaks (on chickens). Trim them before washing the birds. if toenails are very long, take small amounts off a couple of times rather than taking a chance on cutting the vein.

8/02/2009

Now is the time to remove broken or frayed feathers  on birds you plan to show at early fall shows. It can take 6-8 weeks to fully grow in a wing feather.

7/26/2009

Remember to keep Buff waterfowl and chickens out of direct sun if you plan to show them. The sun will quickly fade plumage. In old birds finishing their moult, the sun will cause a checkered look to the plumage.

7/19/2009

The importance of providing fresh drinking and bathing water to growing young waterfowl cannot be overstated. It promotes bathing and preening and greatly improves appearance and overall health.