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Pointers, Hints & Tidbits

  • I get a lot of emails. I don’t always have time to answer the ones that require a lot of thought. Most of those are general care questions. The books recommended on my site are great. They were my starting point. 

  • Supplements-Most breeders feel that the bagged duck or poultry feed is a complete diet.   And it really does offer the correct balance. I have experimented with several supplements this past year to boost my birds performance. The first product I tried is Calf Manna which is a pelleted supplement. It prolonged my breeding season last year and also added overall “bloom” to my birds. I am also using oats and cracked corn.   My birds are getting thru winter with more weight on them than usual.  They will hit the breeding pens in great condition in March.  I vary the supplements depending on the season. I will eliminate the corn when the weather warms.

  • I also give my calls access to feed 24/7 during late fall and winter. This will not result in huge birds, genetics determines size.  However, I did have some calls that I bought turn into mallards after a few weeks of good food.

  • Smaller birds may be good to show, but they won’t produce for you. The BV and RV Jr Gray Call hens shown in the slide show will never produce an egg.

  • My birds are outside in water everyday unless the temp is below 20 degrees or cold and windy.  The birds need water to stay clean and keep their feathers oiled.This also promotes hardiness. I rarely lose a bird due to weather.

  • I have culled hard on birds that exhibit sinus infections. I will treat them with Baytril once, and the second time they go to the auction. I will not sell a bird that has a sinus infection history.

  • Keep the birds with round heads and wide bills. It’s also important to look at the birds from the top.  Long skinny birds are not keepers.