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Lou's Tips


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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.

7/12/2009

Be careful about the protein content for waterfowl once they begin to grow in their flight feathers since I believe that protein much over 16% increases the tendency for them to develop slipped or angel wings.

7/05/2009

As far as I am concerned, the single best whole grain for either waterfowl or chickens is oats. Birds often must be taught to eat it, however, since(like kids and candy) they would much prefer to eat corn which puts weight on them and should be restricted in their diets.

6/28/2009

When moulting after the laying season, both ducks and geese are run down and need speciall attention. Access to pasture and clean bathing water will do wonders in conjunction witha good ration of duck grower.

6/21/2009

If ducklings or goslings get soaked in a storm, they may appear dead but often are not. Warm them under strong brooder lights or even on a door of an oven set to it's lowest setting. Often, they can be revived.

6/14/2009

Until their down has been completely replaced by feathers (including their wings) thunderstorms are a threat to goslings and ducklings. Even access to a shelter may not help if they become terrified during a sudden storm.

6/07/2009

Both ducklings and goslings of all ages benefit from access to pasutre, even if the pasture is mostly weeds. Even young ones should be put out on sunny days to graze and chase bugs.

5/31/2009

Keep your ducks and geese away from muddy pools of water in their pens. Such puddles can often be a way certain bacteria spread. Use sand or pea gravel to eliminate puddles.

5/24/2009

Remember to stop feeding oyster shell to your waterfowl when they stop laying. Too much calcium at such times can do organ damage.

5/17/2009

If you weed your garden and do not use weed killer on it, give the weeds to your ducks and geese but only when the weeds are freshly pulled.

5/10/2009

Once they get beyond 6-8 weeks of age, ducklings and goslings should be switched off of the higher protein start/ grower and on to a feed such as duck grower which is 16% protein.