Acorn Hollow Bantams
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Getting Started

  1. Why Wyandottes?
  2. One Judge's Perspective: the Snowy Call
  3. Calls: Are We Perfecting Them to a Dead End?
  4. Chick Raising 101
  5. Pet Peeves of a Veteran Exhibitor
  6. New- Random Thoughts on Breeding Philosophy and Many Other Topics
  7. Frequently Asked Questions About Poultry Shows
  8. It has Been a Great Ride
  9. It Has Been a Great Ride Pt2
  10. Ashbrook's Notes on Fitting Chickens for Shows
  11. It Has Been a Great Ride Pt 3
  12. Avoiding Pitfalls
  13. So, My Duck (or Goose) is Laying Eggs- Now What?
  14. A Return of the Urban Chicken
  15. A Range Shelter will Keep Showbirds Fresh
  16. The Leg Color Problem in Embden Geese
  17. Raising Ducklings and Goslings Step-By-Step
  18. Zimmerman Bantam Duck Brooder
  19. Winter Equipment Maintenance
  20. Wyandotte Type Illustrations
  21. Winter Flock Maintenance
  22. Using Artificial Lighting to Stimulate Egg Production

Winter Flock Maintenance

Even though the winter season is a period of relative “down time” for waterfowl breeders, there are some “flock maintenance” items that need to be addressed. Early to midwinter is an excellent time to administer wormers to flocks of ducks, geese or chickens because the birds are not being stressed by either breeding or showing activities. That is important since most wormers involve stressing the birds while the worms and eggs are killed/expelled from the bird’s bodies. By the way, most wormers recommend a repeat treatment a week or ten days after the initial treatment. Do not neglect to follow that recommendation if you want the wormer to thoroughly cleanse your birds of those parasites.

Even if the flock is on range, do not neglect to supply a form of grit for those periods of the year when snow cover makes what they would pick up naturally unavailable. If the birds are not laying (or about to begin laying) do not supply oyster shell because the consumption of too much calcium can harm birds not using it to form shells.

Both waterfowl and chickens are subject to louse/mite infestations and that is particularly true if the waterfowl do not have access to open swimming water. Ivomec is a good dual purpose product to administer since it will worm and eliminate external parasites at the same time. It does require handling each bird but in my opinion, it is a good product.

As mentioned earlier, the presence of swimming water for waterfowl is a big plus. Not only does it allow the birds to cleanse their plumage and kill some parasites, it also allows them to minimize the mucous buildup around their eyes.
Such buildup not only is unsightly but it harbors bacteria that can cause an ongoing low grade infection. Daily bathing will minimize or entirely eliminate the problem in otherwise healthy waterfowl.

Last but not least, I would like to recommend the regular (weekly) use of two products: water soluble vitamins and probiotics. Both products have the ability to help the birds withstand the rigors of extremely low temperatures and fight off potential health problems. Read the labels on whatever brands you use and follow them. Even vitamins can be toxic if given in excessive amounts. More is not better.

Originally published: 02-09-2005
Last updated: 03-01-2008