We patched up one of the old pools for the Geese. This little busybody Miss Chinese Geese was the last in and gave her 100% approval. So did the rest.
We patched up one of the old pools for the Geese. This little busybody Miss Chinese Geese was the last in and gave her 100% approval. So did the rest.
Many of us think the ‘certified organic food’ we cough up good money for buy has been tested for pesticides. But the ‘organic certifier’ here is the Sarawak Agricultural Department and I dare say bet they some most spend most of their time shuffling papers and auditing the files of those pitiful few farmers for records indicating that forbidden chemicals weren’t used instead of making sudden unannounced spot checks on the farm and sampling of the produce. But I get extremely frustrated when I see farms whose “organic” vegetable fields look the same are as green and pest free as the conventional fields. Honest Conscientious farmers go through a lot of trouble to be organic and they worry about competing with cheaters who just want the price premiums that an organic label can command. Again the Sarawak Agriculture Department should make very routine surprise pesticide tests to catch these arseholes cheaters.
What a lot of us are unaware of is just how the organic system currently works. Organic farmers must prove they are not using synthetic fertilizer by documenting that they are using composted manure applications and weed their vegetable beds by hand. The inspector’s job, besides having a quick look around the farm, is focused predominantly on examining these records which, for all one knows, is completely fabricated. So can we trust an organic label in Sarawak?
The Ducks have always been allowed to hatch and brood their own eggs. What is strange is that as the flock of Ducks grow the egg production falls from 9/10 to only 5/10 daily. Nesting boxes added before the onset of new females and space in the Duck house expanded. I am at a loss for an explanation unless it is because of the ducks’ nervous tendencies?
Or is it because someone something is stealing helping itself to the eggs?
The supposed period for Geese laying their eggs is in the spring around the period of August to September but our Chinese Geese breeds lay all year long. Fertility will be up to 15% higher and hatchability up to 20% higher when you use mature female geese than with a matured 1-year-old male Gander.
Geese usually lay in the morning so don’t be a lazy goof collect eggs late in the morning to reduce the chance of egg breakages. Since most eggs are laid early in the morning it will be a good idea to not give your Geese access to swimming pool facilities until late in the morning, otherwise eggs may be mia lost in the pond/pool. Geese usually lay a clutch of 12–15 eggs and then go into a bad mood broody. When this happens look for somewhere you can keep her apart from the gang like in a pen.
To reduce the incidence of egg breakages, provide nest boxes and encourage their use for laying. Line them with suitable nesting material, such as wood shavings, dried grass, and allow one 50 cm × 50 cm nest box for every three geese in the flock. It is best to have nest boxes in the shed and throughout the yard if you have a large yard.
In our experience natural incubation produces the best percentage of Goslings hatched. But using Geese to hatch out their own goslings is expensive and wasteful as Geese are not laying more eggs while they are sitting on their own eggs. Turkeys and Muscovy ducks may be used satisfactorily to hatch out goslings with the best results obtained from Muscovy ducks (which are really geese). Goose eggs can be hatched artificially, but results are better if Muscovies are used.
Eggs should be collected at least twice (preferably four times) daily, and, as geese lay most of their eggs in the morning, the bulk of the eggs will be collected in the morning.You should store eggs for incubation in a cool room at 15°C. Turn eggs daily. The longer the eggs are kept over 7 days, the poorer the hatching results. Select only uncracked eggs weighing at least 140 g and no more than 200 g. Clean those eggs that are dirty by lightly rubbing with steel wool that you can swipe from the kitchen (don’t let the wife know) and wiping with a clean damp cloth again don’t let the wife know. Eggs will need to be handled and stored in this manner regardless of the method of incubation. Eggs can be disinfected by fumigating them immediately after collection. The actual period of incubation of goose eggs varies slightly with the breed. Some eggs from the lighter breeds may start pipping after 28 days, while eggs from the larger breeds may take 35 days. It may take up to 3 days for hatching to be completed.
Huge Difference in The Size, Goose & Chicken
Depending on the size of the bird, 4–6 eggs may be placed under a broody hen whilst a Muscovy duck may sit on 6–8 eggs. Since the eggs are too large for most hens to turn by themselves, you have to turn the eggs by hand daily when the hens leave the nest to eat and drink. After 15 days, eggs should be sprinkled with lukewarm water each time they are turned. Candling, that is, passing eggs under a bright electric light to view the contents, can be carried out on the 10th day and all infertile eggs removed. Where a Goose is to be used for hatching out the eggs, 10–15 eggs may be placed under her (the number of eggs depends on the size of the eggs and the size of the goose). If Geese have access to swimming facilities, the eggs need not be sprinkled with water.
Unless machines are properly managed, goose eggs do not hatch very well in artificial incubators. Hatches often are no better than 40% of the eggs set, even though fertility is about 90%. This is because of lazy fellows calling themselfs farmers poor management and because most incubators cheap skate homemade like mine available are not manufactured specifically for Geese.
With forced-draught machines, maintain a constant temperature of 37.5°C throughout the incubation period. The desired humidity will be obtained if the wet bulb thermometer is kept at a reading of 32.2°C to the 29th day. Then increase it to 34°C for the rest of the incubation time, using moisture trays and adjusting the ventilation. Incubators with a slow air movement over the eggs will hatch goose eggs better than those with a fast air movement. Slow air movement ensures complete distribution of air over all parts of the egg to maintain uniform and equal evaporation.
A Fully Automated Incubator/Hatcher On My Wishlist
Best results are obtained if eggs are turned over completely at least four times daily, that is, through an angle of 180° (as shown in the diagram at right) and not 90° as with chicken eggs. Best hatching results are obtained if eggs are set horizontally. Eggs must be spaced evenly throughout the incubator if the machine is not full. The temperature of the machine should be 0.2°C higher when the machine is less than 60% full. Because goose eggs require high humidity, they should be sprinkled daily with warm water. After the 15th day of incubation, eggs should be completely submerged every second day in water kept at a temperature of 37.5°C and then daily in the last week of incubation, for 1 minute. Alternatively, fine nozzles that spray water at 37.5°C when needed can be installed in the incubator.
Eggs should be transferred to the hatcher on the 27th day of incubation unless experience shows eggs are hatching at less than 30 days of age. Eggs should be dipped or sprinkled with water, as previously described, only once after they are transferred. Temperature in the hatching compartment should be kept at 37°C and relative humidity at about 80%. After the peak of the hatch, reduce to 36.5°C and 70% humidity. Leave goslings in the hatcher for 2–4 hours after the hatch is completed, then transfer them to the brooders.
The sex of day-old goslings can be identified in a similar manner to that used for chickens, by examining the vent. Day-old goslings can be identified by holding the legs firmly between the first and second fingers of the left hand, with the neck between the third and fourth fingers and the breast away from you. Then press gently with the left thumb on the abdomen while at the same time pressing down on the tail with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand. Do this quickly to remove the contents of the bowel, making examination easier. The vent is then everted by pressing gently down on the abdomen with the thumb of the left hand near the vent. Simultaneously place the first finger and thumb of the right hand close together on the opposite side of the vent and slowly separate with a gentle but firm pressing motion, stretching and everting the cloaca to expose the penis if the gosling is male.
Sexual Organ Of Matured Gander
Sexual Organ Of Mature Goose
Mature Geese (over the age of 7 months) can be identified by physical examination. The identification is made easier if two people are available. One method of exposing the penis is by pushing back the tail towards the head with one hand and exerting a steady downward pressure on the abdomen with the other. The vent will then be everted and the organ exposed. The penis, spiral shaped and white, is just over 1 cm long in immature birds but up to 4 cm long in mature ganders. The colour of the area inside the gander’s vent is pink and the surface is smooth. The illustrations of the exposed reproductive organs of an immature male, a mature male and a maturing female will assist in sex identification:
It is difficult to distinguish the sex of growing goslings and mature birds other than by examining for the presence of the male’s penis. These characteristics may also help you to distinguish sexes. The Gander has a high shrill voice, Slightly larger body, Slightly longer neck, Larger head, a Knob at base of top beak in Chinese geese and moves to outside when flock is approached. The Goose has a harsh, hoarse cry, Soft abdomen and wide pelvic bones in those layers.
Tonight All Lights Off From 8.30 – 9.30 Except For Incubators.
A small flock of ducks can be kept in your garden for peanuts at a low cost. What you need for the first week are that the basic infrastructure and equipment needed to get started are a simple structure, like a partially enclosed shed, a home made brooder, inexpensive fencing, a feeder or home made trough made of wood and a simply constructed watering device. The Duck house shelter should be located on a well drained area of your garden. Naturally sandy or porous soil is preferred as so that it does not sog up and leave you wondering what is that wonderful stench about it drains well. The floor of the sheltered portion should be bedded with dry absorbent material like padi husks or sawdust. Low fencing is good enough for Pekins since they do not fly, but not for Muscovies which are rather adept to making their escape flight.
Ducks can be kept successfully on open ponds, provided a nearby dry sheltered area is available. Ducks kept on ponds may obtain part of their food from plant and animal life in and around the pond which include like snails, plus small amounts of insects, leaf material, prawns, crabs and frogs. You probably need to offer supplemental feed only when the food supply in the fields is inadequate. In our farm we combine duck raising on ponds with fish farming. Ponds are stocked with fish such as Tilapia and Catfish which are raised for our own consumption.
The duck shit dropping’s provide nutrients for growth of animal and plant life which the fish consume. You will need to limit the number of ducks kept on ponds as to prevent an over-supply of nutrients causing an overgrowth of plant life which will in turn stink up cause depletion of oxygen in the water and kill your fish.
Information on brooding chicks, available in poultry textbooks and other sources on the internet, can be applied to ducklings. If ducklings are hatched artificially, rather than by a broody duck, then you must provide the newly hatched ducklings with a warm dry brooding area free of drafts, with a source of heat, such as radiant or hover-type gas brooders or in our case a 25 watt bulb, and feed and drinking water located near the heat source so that the ducklings learn to drink and eat soon after they are placed in the brooder. We remove the heat source when they are 1 week old.
If ducklings haven’t learnt to drink within a few hours, it may be necessary to dip their bills in the drinking water in order to coax them to start drinking. In the case of earth or cement floors, the brooding area should be bedded with clean dry litter such as wood shavings, chopped straw or padi husks. Newspapers can be put down on wire floors for the first few days to guard against drafts. Ducklings should be allowed access to more of the floor area of the pen as they grow older.
Overcrowding ducks can be extremely detrimental to their health, growth or egg production. Please provide adequate floor space at each stage of development is basic to successful duck raising. While under crowding is not usually a problem, it is better to stock ducks at near the recommended density in cold weather so that body heat will help warm the room in which the ducks are confined.
Floor Space Allowances For Ducks
Age of days = Space/Duck (sq ft)
You should avoid flooring that will or could injure the skin covering the feet and hock joints of ducks. The smooth skin of ducks is not as tough as that of land fowl, and is more susceptible to injury when ducks are confined on surfaces that are too rough, or abrasive. Slats, wire floors or cage bottoms may cause injury to the feet and legs of ducks, unless these surfaces are smooth, non-abrasive, and free of sharp edges. Stones, mixed with the soil covering the duck yards can also cause injury.
Ducks drink and excrete more water than chickens or turkeys, their droppings are over 90% moisture. It is therefore necessary to take extra measures to maintain litter floors inside sheltered areas in a dry condition. This will require regular addition of fresh bedding, on top of the bedding that has become soiled or wet, and when necessary, cleaning out the old litter and replacing it with fresh litter.
Under semi-confinement growing, in which case ducklings spend most of their time outdoors during the day (after the first 3 weeks), waterers should be located outside, as far away from the house as possible. This will reducing tracking water to the litter. Duck yards should be maintained in a clean condition by removing the upper few inches of soil and replacing it with clean soil (preferably sand) whenever necessary.
As they grow older they are able to store increasing amounts of feed in their esophagus at each feeding, and thus need to eat less frequently. By about four weeks of age, Pekin ducks can easily consume 100 grams or more of pellets at a single feeding. It is important to provide about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of feeder space per duck for about the first 3 weeks. Afterwards this can be gradually reduced to about half this amount so long as there is no crowding at the feed hoppers. Developing breeders that are being fed an allotted amount of feed each day should be allowed plenty of feeding space so that all birds can eat at once, which requires about 4 inches (10 cm) of linear space per duck.
As a general rule, ducks need twice as much feeding space as hens. Flock feeders are the most satisfactory types of feeders for ducks. Provide each duck with a feeding space of at least 12 cm (the equivalent of four 2 m flock feeders per 100 adults).
Waterers designed for chickens and turkeys are usually satisfactory for ducks, as long as the size of the duck’s bill is considered. Troughs, can’s or jar-type waterers can be used so long as the drinking area is wide enough for the duck to submerge its bill. The same requirement applies to automatic trough, cup or Plasson waterers. Nipple waterers, if properly adjusted for the duck’s height, are also satisfactory. If waterers are located indoors where the floor is bedded with litter, waterers should be located on a wire-mesh screen to reduce wetting of the litter.
Swimming facilities are not essential. However, pools can be made available where outside runs are provided. To limit wastage of eggs, it is advisable to prevent outside swimming until about 10.00 am, when most eggs will have been laid (most ducks lay their eggs in the evening and early morning). Although swimming water is not necessary, ducks do need plenty of clean drinking water. Birds should be able to immerse their heads completely and hence clean and prevent blockage of their nasal passages caused by food and dirt. Keep drinking containers shaded at all times. To prevent damp litter, place drinking vessels outside the shed or on a wire grid. Provide about 3 cm of drinking space for each adult bird.
The length of the laying period of ducks can be increased considerably if supplemental lighting is provided. If supplemental light is not provided, egg production will be seasonal and dependent on changes in natural day length. Adding artificial light to extend the daily light period to 14-17 hours, and preventing any decrease in day length, will provide adequate light stimulation for ducks to lay continuously for 7-12 months, depending upon their ability to lay, and other conditions.
If your ducks are confined to a building at night and allowed outdoors during the day (or if confined to non-lightproof housing), the usual practice is to turn artificial lights on at a set time before sunrise, off at a set time after sunrise, then on again before sunset and off after sunset, maintaining a constant light period (14 hours, for example) and a constant dark period (10 hours in this case) each day. Such a lighting regimen is usually implemented with the aid of electric time clocks that turn lights on and off at set times.
A light intensity of about 10 lux at the duck’s eye level is sufficient to stimulate adequate sexual response in both drakes and ducks. In practice, however, breeding and laying ducks are commonly lit to provide 20-30 lux at duck level. Artificial lighting is less important for growing ducks. Ducks are nocturnal, and can find feed and water in the dark. However artificial light is important the first few days to assist ducklings in getting started drinking and eating.
Encourage ducks to use nests because cleaner eggs result and fewer breakages occur. Furthermore, eggs laid in nests are not exposed to sun or damp. This may be difficult with breeds other than Muscovies.
Nests should be clean, dry, comfortable and only large enough to be used by one duck at a time. Build them from timber and place them in rows along the walls. A suitable size is 30 cm by 30 cm by about 40 cm deep. Nesting material should be placed in the nest to a depth of about 7 cm. Use shavings, sawdust, sand or shell grit. Broody ducks will further line their nests with their own body feathers.
The area selected for sheds should be gently sloping. If the site is too hilly, sheds will be difficult to build, if the site is too flat, drainage will be impeded. The shed should face north to north-east and should be at least 2 m high at the back, to give enough head room. Since ducks are very susceptible to excessive sun, provide adequate shade. Allow for housing growers and adults separately, and make sure there is no drainage from the adult housing area to growers. Whatever housing is chosen, a cheap and effective type of shed is one with a skillion roof.
The ideal method of housing breeding stock is in a building which has both litter and slatted or wire floor areas. This greatly reduces the amount of wet litter and improves overall production. Feeders and waterers are placed on the slats. The litter area is used by the ducks for mating and for laying eggs. A combination of litter and slats prevents possible leg damage to heavy breeding ducks, which may occur if they are housed on slats only.
Ducks are comical characters and are bound to make you smile as they go about their antics everyday.
Rabbits can fun to raise except when you have to enjoy the smell of their urine when the wind blows your way simply for enjoyment. I think there is huge potential too as a business as in the pet trade not forgetting for the laboratory, meat, and fur market. Personally I would rather forgo the laboratory and latter 3 bit. They are just way to cute for that. Well at least until the wind blows your way.
I did not expect to make money a profitable business raising rabbits to sell as pets. Here in Kuching there is only a very small number of those who raise rabbits making a living out of it. I just consider it as an enjoyable activity that has amazingly actually more than helped pay for itself. The thing is once you’ve eaten some rabbit had some rabbits, you want to keep them around and add more and more. I found out the hard way that out when I was raising too many and was reluctant to sell them being so cute and all didn’tell any, the rabbits were eating me poor! Now since i have begun to sell them and they are making some extra cash for the Farm! They go for RM30.00 a head at the Sunday Market!
The weather has been very sticky exceptionally hot these past few days after all the very wet weather and has begun to bring out the Pythons, unwelcomed killers visitors to the farm where they seem to have taken to the notion that there are ready made dinners is a buffet spread out for them every night. We have lost countless farm animals over the years, everything from chicks to young goats.
I think the catch and release policy is not working in our favour. I think it’s time we develop a taste for phyton soup.
I still get excited a kick out of watching eggs hatch.
I am noticing how hard it is it is so very important to keep yourself from crying in good spirits while slogging like a dog working. Farming is the biggest mental game I have ever had to endure play. The grass is not always greener somewhere else, as much as my mind would like to tell me that. Come rain, shine or Valentines the animals living beings at the farm have to eat.
Happy Valentines All!