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Back to General Management 2004

Diary Calendar

May 1 - 15

By the 15th of May 186 birds had arrived.  Virtually all the birds were in excellent condition upon arrival.  Once out of the shipping crate they were put into a separate section until I was positive that they were eating and drinking well.  However, the major concern was that some birds were too young to be shipped.  The squeakers were fed only peas and corn to ensure that they wouldn't become only small seed eaters because when they are put into the main loft, they will have to compete for their daily ration.  The older birds have learned that the quickest way to a full stomach is by eating the larger grains first therefore leaving very little to eat for the younger slower eating birds. 

Most birds arrived weaned well and were put in the main loft by the second day.  Some birds arrived directly out of the nest and their progress had to be monitored closely.  A few went several days without drinking and eating.  The beaks of these youngsters had to be dipped in the water fountain several times a day to ensure that they would not dehydrate.  So far all but one have responded well.  This little fellow has spent over a week in the new arrival section.  It has lost considerable weight and has just recently started to eat.  I am afraid that when it is put in the main loft the older more aggressive birds will overwhelm it.  Young ones should be eating and drinking well on their own before they are shipped to any futurity.

The birds ration is about a 15% protein mixture.  It contains the following grains roughly in these proportions: 10% each of  peas, sunflower seeds, pellets, breeding mixture, wheat and 20% each of corn and barley.  The balance is made up of slight amounts of milo, safflower and flax.  The birds have been fed liberally since their arrival to ensure that younger birds receive their portion.  This has resulted in the older birds getting rather fat but at least it gives me the comfort that the younger birds are getting enough to eat.  I try to look at this situation positively.  Some birds arrived rather old and are growing in their first flight.  The added weight may discourage them to go up and fly the first time they are let out therefore giving them the opportunity to become more familiar with the outside surroundings.  Besides it may save me the trouble of soaping some flights.

During this past week Sambu Elderberry concentrate was added to the drinking water.  I have no idea if this stuff does the birds any good but it makes me feel better giving it to them.  Hopefully it will ward off some young bird sickness (YBS).  Last year the birds were given an 18% protein mixture for the first month.  I suspect that this higher percentage of protein may have contributed to more YBS. 

Presently the health of the birds is considerably better than at this time last year.  I believe the much dryer and warmer weather has helped.  Just to give you an example we have had 2 extremely warm days this month.  The temperature reached 29 C and 32 C.  And I would like to believe that I am a little bit smarter when dealing with health issues.  There are some wet droppings but for now I attribute it to the stress of relocation.   I realize that this could lead to more serious problems so as a precautionary measure the birds will be given a 5 in 1 treatment for canker, coccidiosis, worms and respiratory ailments after all the birds arrived next week.

Goto: May 16 to 31

Diary Calendar