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Lou's Tips


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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.

5/03/2009

I am not a big fan of routine vaccinations for chickens but if you live in the Midwest or Eastern U.S. and if you exhibit and or bring birds into your flock, consider vaccinating for Larynotacheitis. It is highly infectious and can kill quickly once it gets into a flock.

4/26/2009

Take great care to insure that starter/grower rations are fresh and dry. Old feed loses it's vitamin potency and mould will kill ducklings, goslings or chicks quickly.

4/19/2009

The number one cause of loss in ducklings and goslings is overcrowding in the brooders. for bantam ducklings, overcrowding can lead to the loss of the smallest, most prized ducklings.

4/12/2009

For Mandarin ducklings, a few meal worms fed when they are 1-2 days old will usually jump start their eating reflex. That is especially important for the White Mandarins. It is not usually necessary for the domestic ducklings but they do love them.

4/05/2009

Be sure to have spare parts, bulbs, etc. on handfor incubators and brooders before thestart of the breeding season. Entire batches of eggs, ducklings or chicks can be lost if one has to wait for parts to arrive.

3/29/2009

Be sure to spray your breeding birds regularly for mites and lice. This is especially important prior to the breeding season. Do not assume that because they have access to swimming water, that waterfowl will not be bothered by those pests.

3/22/2009

Do not worm waterfowl just before the breeding season as it could cause temporary sterility. Do not worm them in extremes of temperature as the worming adds to stress levels.

3/08/2009

If you plan on showing at any spring shows, now is the time to go over potential show birds and remove any frayed or broken feathers. It can take 8 weeks to regrow a flight feather or other large feather.

3/01/2009

Remember that medications, antibiotics in particular, may lose effectiveness as they age so pay attention to expiration dates. Also, be sure to store the meds properly.