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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Crumbleized feed if properly manufactured should remain in crumble form. If there are large amounts of fine dust at the bottom of the bag, it is significantly less nutritous and there is a lot of waste as poultry will not eat such dust.


Feed which is pelletized is probably the best for your poultry because each pellet contains the proper mix of ingredients. Pellets which do not contain the right amount of binder can fall apart. Do not tolerate such feed from your dealer.


Begin giving oyster shell to breeder waterfowl at least two weeks before egg production is expected. Do not give the birds the oyster shell after production is ended- it can cause organ damage at those times.


Mouldy feed can be fatal to all types of poultry. Protect your feed by storing it in dry, sealed containers such as garbage cans and always store it in a building.


Every poultry raiser should have some basic medications on hand. They would include a broad spectrum antibiotic, mite control sprays, anti coccidiosis meds, etc. Waiting while supplies come in the mail may cost the lives of sick birds.


Poultry supply sellers are to be found at most shows, especially the bigger ones. Make a list of needed medications, bands, etc. and pick them up at the show saving the cost of shipment.


Many experienced exhibitors bring both feed and water (in gal. jugs) to shows to speed up the adjustment for their birds to a new situation.


If one has a choice, always choose to arrive at a show the night before it begins rather than just before coop in. The birds will usually show better once they have gotten accustomed to their new surroundings.