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The prevention of muddy puddles in pens often eliminates a major source of disease. Sand is an excellent base for pens but it must be refreshed regularly.
Feather picking is usually the result of boredom and overcrowding in brooders. Young birds on range seldom feather pick.
Both ducklings and goslings will thrive if given access to pasture within the first few weeks of their lives, weather permitting.
Growing ducklings and goslings should not be kept on Starter/grower much beyond six weeks of age. Switch them to a lower protein duck grower feed after that time.
Dandilions and other weeds are a wonderful treat for ducklings and goslings even before they leave the brooder. Be sure, however, that no pesticides were previously sprayed on the weeds. Sprouted oats also are a favorite treat.
One must avoid allowing very young ducklings and goslings in particular to run out of drinking water for any length of time. If it does happen, supply warm water and take it away every few minutes so they do not drink too much at once.
The biggest single cause of loss in growing ducklings and goslings is overcrowding. One must allow for the amazing growth rate of young waterfowl by moving them to larger quarters regularly.
Candle eggs in the incubator weekly and remove dead embryos. One egg that explodes due to gas buildup within the egg can contaminate every healthy egg in the machine.
Incubators need to be cleaned weekly and fumigated regularly to keep harmful bacteria in check.
Ducks which are kept in cages or in buildings instead of on range need a steady supply of grit for their digestive systems.
Always take the oportunity to provide fresh greens to your growing young birds. Weeds pulled in the garden such as dandilions are excellent supplements to their diets provided no pesticides have been applied to them.
Always be sure that the breeder feed you are providing is just that- a breeder feed. Some raisers mistakenly think that a Layena is the same as a breeder feed. It is not. Vital nutrients are missing for the embryo are missing in layer feeds.
Collecting eggs often during cold months is important. In zero weather, a freshly laid egg can freeze to the point where the embryo is killed in as little as 15 minutes.
The only goose that may lay an egg daily is the Eygptian which is not a true goose. All others lay on alternate days.
It is vital to provide oyster shell while birds are producing eggs. What some people do not realize is that providing it at other times can cause organ damage.
Hatching eggs should not be set with dirt on the shells. Such filth contains bacteria which quickly multiply in the heat and humidity of an incubator.