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Noel Young

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since Oct 12, 2019
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Recent posts by Noel Young

There's a newish product called gladskin that I learned about via a podcast on eczema and am trying out. This page explains how the product works. Basically it selectively targets and combats  staphylococcus aureus (implicated in eczema studies) via endolysins. It's not cheap so probably not for large areas of skin but may be useful for aggravated patches. I only ordered some recently so I can't really personally vouch for it's efficacy at this point. Reviews look promising.

Chlorine in city water or hard well water can contribute. Filtering bathing water could potentially help if you don't already. Household humidity especially with winter eczema would be worth considering too. I find 40-45% to be the sweet spot personally. This requires running a humidifier for us. These two environmental factors may be easy to address if relevant to your situation.
1 day ago
Maybe crocs?? I love that they can be hosed off. Not sure what the drop is and most have some degree of toe spring but they aren't even remotely rigid. They have more than the standard classic croc these days.
4 days ago
When last I looked into this for our fowl this blog was the best I could find from someone who managed to do the pond thing successfully with a handful of ducks.

We do similar to Nicole with concrete mixing tubs and dump them regularly under the fruiting trees.

I might try a pond one day... maybe it would work if the birds were given limited access allowing the filter to keep or catch up?

Curious, Nicole, when you tried it did they have unlimited access during the day or day/night?
4 days ago
Depends on the breeds. Vent sexing can be done on day olds but it's not foolproof and takes practice. In my experience goslings are easier to do than ducklings. Some breeds of ducks and geese can be sexed by bill or coloring at birth or as they feather out. Welsh Harlequin ducks are fairly reliably sexed by bill color at hatch from a good breeder. Cotton Patch and Pilgrim geese are both sexed by down coloring I believe. There are probably other breeds those are just examples I'm familiar with.

As to geese, two lady gossies raised alongside the ducklings is a good call. That doesn't guarantee no problems but it's less likely. Waterfowl are less brutal about pecking order in the flock than chickens but they do have an order.
3 months ago
Any possibility this weird chicken hatched from an egg laid somewhere out of the ordinary? Is it a different breed/type than your birds? Do you have other surviving chickens in this same pen? Neighbors with chickens?

The straw sounds suspect to me. Ditto the others saying to remove it and clean. I wonder if it was sprayed or had something spill on it out of the ordinary and possibility something poisonous to multiple species if ingested.
4 months ago
We do a deep litter of woodchips from the power company and leaves in our duck/goose run. Sometimes straw/hay goes in too. We turn it regularly and add more as needed then pull it out after about a year. I might consider it at least partially vermicomposting as the compost is always loaded with earthworms. I'm in the process of pulling last years compost out and rebedding them for winter now.
4 months ago

S. Bard wrote:

Noel Young wrote:We determined after several fortunately not very serious incidents at night that they should not be enclosed together overnight for the ducks' safety and split their quarters.

Thanks for your insights Noel!
Might I ask what incidents you had between the ducks and the geese at night when you kept them together?

Ducks getting roughed up. Not critically BUT enough to warrant concern. (Feathers missing and bloody on back and neck.) No incidents since separating during lockup hours. The geese definitely view themselves as the superior branch of the flock family. It does somewhat depend on how many geese, how they're raised, their age etcetera but bottom line is they are significantly bigger and capable. Breeding season is the worst with hormones surging and the lady ducks are serious flirts even with the geese. The lady geese would probably overnight fine but with a gander I'd advise against it.
4 months ago
I raise American buffs so I can't speak specifically to Sebastopol but our geese are penned at night separately from our ducks in an adjoined run/shed that is completely enclosed with welded wire. They range in the daytime with the ducks in electric netting. We determined after several fortunately not very serious incidents at night that they should not be enclosed together overnight for the ducks' safety and split their quarters. Both waterfowl tend to favor sleeping in the run at night over the shed unless it's very cold and windy. Domestic geese do not generally fly, especially Sebastopol with their quirky feathers, so they are vulnerable. My geese can clear a 4 ft fence with sufficient motivation but that's about it. Foxes, coyotes, raccoons, owls, eagles... all could be potentially problematic. In the daytime they do fine in the netting and probably do deter overhead predators from bothering the ducks as well as sounding an alert. Hope this helps! Also be aware ganders can be a handful in breeding season.
4 months ago
We had a lot of hornworms early in the season this year. The parasitic wasps eventually showed up but I picked many before I saw any sign of them. After I saw one hornworm with the little wasp cocoons I saw no further hornworms of significant size.
5 months ago