Saturday, April 11, 2015

Unfortunate circumstances

Unfortunately, in Janurary of 2015, our flock caught Avian Influenza from the wild mallards that landed in our field every night.  They all had to be euthanized.  The USDA was very helpful and caring with both my family and all the birds.  It has been a tough thing to go through, but we are surviving.  I cannot go through this heartache again, so I have decided to retire from raising any birds for right now.  I have gotten 2 mini-donkeys and am raising a huge garden this year for new hobbies.  I miss my birds very much but I do not mind continuing to answer questions and give advice about raising birds. I wish you all the best of luck with your birds!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2014 falls pics of geese

Here are the goslings I kept for growing out or bought to add to my flocks.  Most of them are breeders for next year.  I am having so much fun with the colors!

2014 Updates

Hi all, sorry I haven't been on in so long!  I had trouble logging in to this account and never took the time to solve it until today.  So welcome back!

I have had many changes on our little farm since I last posted!  I sold my Mille Fleur cochin banties to a friend that lives near me.  I just needed to have a few less breeding pens to take care of.  Last winter the weather was cold for several weeks at a time and made for lots of bucket carrying to fill water bowls.  Then I also sold my Crele polish.  I bought tolbunt polish for a short time, but they were silly and barely a chicken.  They would just sit in the rain and I had to physically put them in their coop every night.  They are just pretty, that is all!  And I bought a trio of Mandarin ducks.  They are very pretty too.

They didn't end up hatching any babies in the spring and my daughter had moved out so I had lots more chores to do with the birds.  So I needed to downsize.  I have since sold everything except a good sized laying flock, a small flock of call ducks, about 40 muscovies, 40 seb geese, a quad of royal palm turkeys and a hodgepodge flock of runners and mallards that run together.   Much more manageable.  I will still be hatching other people's hatching eggs and of course my water fowl., but I had to downsize the farm a little.  Thanks for watching!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Goslings, goslings, goslings!

Hi people, I have goslings hatching left and right!  The 24th one for this year is working it's way out of the shell!  And I just put 10 more eggs into the hatcher!  They are all white sebbie goslings hatching.  A few might turn out spalsh, I will keep these to see how they turn out.  Here are some pictures for your enjoyment!

These guys are for sale if you cannot live without one...or two....or three.....or ten!  te he

Feeding goslings

Many people ask what to feed their new goslings (or ducklings).  Here is what I do and why.
I use a grower food with 20% protein (Like Purina flockraiser), and mix it 3 parts grower, 1 part rolled oats and 4 pinches (about a tsp each) of brewer's yeast.  The grower is a pre-mixed food for growing birds.  The rolled oats are to reduce the protein level to avoid angel wing.  Angel wing is a common disorder in water fowl.  You can read more about it here;
I add the brewers yeast for vitamins and niacin that waterfowl babies need for healthy legs.

When the birds are 1 week and older, I start to mix a couple of handfuls of organic scratch n peck ( brand layer food into the above mix.  This is a high quality food and is important for good feather development.

When geese are grown, you can feed them a layer crumble with 16% protein.  I prefer to feed a little higher protein when they are molting and growing new feathers.

**Remember that geese, especially developing goslings are supposed to have 1/2 to 3/4 of their diet in grass!  If you keep them penned up then you will have to pick it for them daily.

Please do your research on feeding what is right for your birds so that you can raise the most healthy birds you can.

Shipping goslings

If you are interested in buying goslings from me and having them shipped here are some FAQs.
  • Here is the box I use when they are young and small;
  • This box can fit 4-6 young goslings in it. 
  •  I provide gro gel and straw bedding to keep them comfortable.
  • I have had several goslings shipped to me clear across the United States successfully. 
  •  I ship using only USPS Express shipping.  This takes overnight to the west coast and 2 days to the east coast.
  • Shipping birds is a risk, but I have not lost any yet.
  •  I ship to the U.S. only.  I cannot ship to Hawaii.
  • All goslings must be up on their feet, eating, drinking and thriving before I will ship them.
  • I can provide a shipping box for you, if you need it.  This cost will be included in your shipping fee.
  • You will be charged actual shipping costs.  I can give you an estimate, but you will need to pay exact shipping costs.

How to brood goslings (or ducklings)

Many people have asked me how to successfully brood goslings.  For the first week after hatching, my goslings live in an under the bed box on the kitchen counter.  The bin is about 6 inches tall and 3 ft long and 18 inches wide.  I have a heat lamp with a 100 W light bulb in it for heat.  I just clamp it to the side of the bin.  I provide food and water in short tupperware containers.  I also pick fine grass from the yard and cut it up in 1/2 inch pieces with scissors and add to their water bowl.  This keeps the grass from drying out under the heat lamp.  You can also give them lettuce. I fill their food and change their water daily or more often, if needed.  I use old towels for flooring.  I change them daily and wash them in the washer.  Here is a picture of my set-up:

At one week old, they get moved to the garage brooder, they get too active and big and can jump out of the bin on the kitchen counter.  I have made this brooder out of a child play pen, similar to a dog x-pen.  I split it in half with some plastic hardware cloth.  Each pen is 3' x 6'. I usually have about 4 goslings in each pen.  I use straw bedding here, I have had goslings eat shavings before and get sick.  I use a large rubbermaid bin lid to put the food and water on and it helps keep the mess a little cleaner.  I use a larger water bowl, one they can get into to bathe.  They also get a few large handfuls of picked grass.  I keep them supplied with it at all times.  A gooses diet should be 1/2 to 3/4 grass! I have a 100 W heat lamp about 1 ft off the ground. I fill food and change water 2 x a day and spot clean bedding daily.

At 2 weeks old, they go outside during the day in a dog x-pen (it is 4' x4'), as long as the weather isn't windy, cold or rainy.  I will warn you that ducklings will not enjoy being picked up 2x or more a day. The x-pen is covered with shade cloth so that aerial predators cannot hurt them.  I move the pen daily to fresh, clean grass.  They get a small cat litter box for a water bowl.  Then they come back into the garage brooder (the side with no heat) at night.  Here they have food, water and a huge armload of picked grass.  While they are out during the day I clean their pen.

At 3 weeks old, they go into a larger outside pen with a larger food and water bowl and stay the night in my greenhouse with a 100 W heat lamp on at night.  They stay out here 24/7 now.
When they are 4-6 weeks old I start to introduce them to the older geese, usually on the other side of a fence at first.  Then supervised visits, then they will live with them, if I am keeping them.