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Brand new show coopoing has a type of graphite on it to protect against rust. Do not put white birds into such cooping without being sure that the graphite has been removed. Do it yourself if necessary.
Birds at a show show not be fed anything but a treat prior to judging as feeding tends to distort their crop and makes them listless. Feeding them small amounts of a treat food once in a while will get them when a person (judge) approaches.
Mice and rats should not be allowed to become established in outbuildings housing poultry. They can spread disease and will consume a surprising amount of the bird's feed. Rats can even become predatory.
Straw works well as bedding for waterfowl or chickens during the winter but it must not be allowed to become wet and matted down.
Even the toenails of young birds grow fast enough to adversely affect how the birds walk and should be trimmed periodically.
One good substitute for the spiral colored bands is a small size of colored zip tie. They will not cut into the bird's leg as some spirals do.
If you must use colored spiral plastic bands on waterfowl, check them frequently to assure that they have not become too tight. Such bands can cause leg injury when allowed to cut into the leg tissue of ducks and geese
Provide greens to waterfowl as far into the winter as possible. A supply of rabbit pellets (unmedicated) during the winter which makes up no more than 10% of the diet is a good idea, especially for geese.
Waterfowl should have their nails attended to by their keeper periodically. Toe nails which are allowed to get too long will affect the bird's ability to walk.
Waterfowl are not safe from West Nile Virus until after at least one killing frost in the fall. Young birds are most vulnerable.
Whole oats is probably the most complete single grain for growing chickens or waterfowl but they must be taught to eat it as they would favor less nutriious corn if allowed to do so.
As the show season approaches, potential show birds should be examined carefully and any damaged or broken feathers should be removed. Flight feathers can take as long as six weeks to fully regrow.
In the hot summer months, little or no corn shoulf be fed. Whole oats is the best type of whole grain to be fed. Birds must be taught to eat oats, however, since it is not naturally a grain that they prefer.
The Buff varieties of chickens, ducks, and geese must be kept out of the sun to prevent bleaching of their plumage.
Shade is very important for both chickens and waterfowl during the summer months. The best kind of shade is so-called green shade, which is provided by trees, grape arbors, etc.
Water in cups, bowls, and pools for poultry of all kinds should be changed frequently in hot weather to prevent it from becoming a source of illness.
Ducks and chickens are also suseptible to external parasites, especially when they are kept with chickens and/or have no access to swimming water.
Chickens must be protected regularly with inscticides to keep mites and lice from becoming a problem. A severe infestation of mites (which suck blood) can weaken or even kill a bird.
Before ducklings or goslings are put in a brooder, it should be wiped down with a powerful sanitizer. Bacteria can exist on wooden surfaces in particular for long periods of time. For more on health, see the article More Frequently Asked Questions.
Never set eggs that are misshapen or which have poor quality shells. Such traits tend to be passed down from mothers to daughters.
Dogs can be predatory to waterfowl and they will operate during the daytime. Never leave flocks in an unfenced area unless soeone is around to watch them.
Try not to disturb waterfowl any more than necessary when the heat is extreme as they are subject (as we are) to heat stroke. Left alone, they will naturally remain relatively quiet during the heat of the day.
Try to group growing waterfowl by age as long as possible to prevent bullying of larger youngsters. Removing of the bully to a group of even larger young birds often stops the bully in his tracks.
In the heat of summer, it is important to keep bathing and drinking water clean and fresh. Daily changing of water in small pools/bowls when the heat is extreme is prudent.
Shade is a must for waterfowl in most parts of the country during the summer. The very best kind of shade is green- that of trees or plants.