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Messages - Paul

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Exhibiting & Promoting / 2018 ABC National Meet
« on: September 14, 2018, 08:42:26 PM »
Good news!
Amanda Heitzman said "The deadline to enter the ABC national at the Dayton Fancy Feather Club Show in Greenville, Ohio has been extended to September 21, and she will take e-mail entries!  Angela and I entered 6 pullets (1 each of black, blue, blue wheaten, wheaten, white and self blue).  They were put into conditioning pens on 9-11.  Its been way too hot to risk any earlier by caging them.  A few weeks ago we saw 114ºF!  The early males are not in any condition to show.  Hopefully we will have some ready for the later shows.  Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

  Paul Smith

Exhibiting & Promoting / Re: South-Central ABC Meets
« on: August 27, 2018, 05:21:30 PM »
  We are not going to as many shows as we did last season.  Presently we are undecided which ones we plan to show, other than our ABC national in Greenville, OH., and our SC district which is the first self blue qualifying meet at the Shawnee, OK. APA national meet.  Angela booked our room last week.

  The extreme heat wave has had an adverse effect on the birds and most fanciers.  We saw it 114ºF a few weeks ago!  Presently we only have 2 blue pullets caged for the shows.  Its still too warm to risk them.  They need to be caged at least 8 weeks before the show.  Our national is less than 6 weeks away!

Exhibiting & Promoting / South-Central ABC Meets
« on: August 26, 2018, 09:21:51 AM »
  Jacob Bates called me last week to ask if the ABC would like to place a meet at the HOTPA-double judged show in Fayetteville, Arkansas on November 3-4, 2018.  Does any ABC member want to request this show or any other shows in the district?  The deadlines to be listed as a meet in the show catalogs are nearing for most shows!

  Presently we have booked

Red River Bantam Club,-Gainesville, TX.
Bluebonnet Classic-College Station, TX.
Missouri State Poultry Show-Sedalia, MO.
North American Poultry Breeders-Shawnee, OK. Our district meet and first self blue qualifying meet
Pelican State Classic-Haynesville, LA.

I may be contacted by e-mail:  or call 940-768-8405 to request an ABC club meet.


Paul Smith

 We set our first fall incubators for 2018 on Monday August 20.  Five hundred-sixty eggs of self blue, wheaten/blue wheaten/splash wheaten, white, black, blue and splash were set.  They will be due to hatch September 10.  We have several chick orders but should be able to supply more than what is presently booked.

  We have learned the past few years from experience that the fall hatch rates are usually a very low hatch percentage.  This is due to the heat wave causing the males not to breed.  Also when a cock is in molt he is temporarily sterile.  A hen doesn’t lay while she is in molt which decreases egg production.

  We were at 114ºF a few weeks ago.  The eggs were gathered three times a day during the heat wave.  They were literally baking inside their shells.  The hatching eggs are stored inside a freezer that has had its thermostat replaced with a thermostat from a window AC unit.  This will allow the freezer to be set at 62ºF to 64ºF which is ideal for storing hatching eggs.

  Even though all the adversities causing low hatch rates, the ones that do manage to hatch do extremely well that time of year.  They are fresh and ready to show in March and April for our late shows.  They also start laying early in life usually in March.  Also if an older cock which is in a breeding pen goes into molt, a September cockerel can replace him!  Needless to say I like raising September chicks, so we set as many hatching eggs as possible.

  If someone wants some of these September chicks or from our later hatches, order information maybe obtained by e-mailing or call Paul at 940-768-8405.

This will be an ABC meet for both shows.

Housing, Health & Hatching / Re: Over 2 decades of experience
« on: August 08, 2018, 09:29:24 PM »
                                                       Vaccination Program

  Time has gotten away!  I can hardly believe its been almost two years since I have shared on this thread.  Plan to do better in the future.

  Summer is an excellent time to start an annual vaccination program for your flock.  As the temps get high, the interest in purchasing birds gets low.  Its too hot to ship birds and the incubators are shut down, so ceasing all movement of birds doesn’t disrupt much.

  We vaccinate our entire flock for LT when the last retained hatch of our hatching season is four weeks of age.  Laryngotracheitis is a viral respiratory disease that infects chickens (normally 14 weeks or older) pheasants, peacocks, chickens and turkeys.  Each state animal health agency has its own rules dealing with LT.  Texas’s rules are , if you get LT in your flock, your flock will be euthanized.  Pennsylvania and Georgia use to require that the birds must be vaccinated before they can be shown.  We had the misfortune of losing out flock in 2004.  The Texas Animal Health Commission worked with us to allow us to save hatching eggs so we could retain our genetics before the entire flock was destroyed.  The large commercial flocks do not want to have to vaccinate for LT, so the plan is to keep LT out of the state.

  There are two kinds of vaccine for LT.  The only one that should be used in a breeding show flock is LT-IVAX which is a highly modified live virus vaccine that will not cause the vaccinated birds to be carriers of LT.  It is intended to be an eye drop, but should be dropped into the bird’s nostrils so it will not cause eye infections.  The instructions say it may cause eye infections, remove the doubt; it will cause eye problems if dropped into the eye.

  A second round of LT vaccination must be administered six weeks later.  The entire flock is vaccinated again.  A few weeks after the first round of LT vaccinations, the entire flock is vaccinated for fowl pox.  Fowl Pox is caused by a virus which is carried by mosquitoes.  A poultry person doesn’t have to go to a show or anything to get fowl pox.  The mosquitoes will bring it to your birds.  White sores normally will appear on the birds’ combs and waddles (if they have waddles), and red parts of their face.

  Pox vaccinations are administered with a double needle applicator which comes with the vaccine.  The applicator is dipped into the vaccine which charges both needles.  Spread the birds wing.  Remove fluff feather from the underside of the web (about the size of a dime).  Then push the needles through the birds web missing any large blood vessels, bones and the wing muscles.  Continue the same process until all birds are vaccinated.  The chicks need to be at least 8 weeks old for the pox vaccine that we use.  Some pox vaccines allow 6 week old chicks to be vaccinated. 

  A test can be preformed to see if mosquitoes are in your area.  Put about 2 inches of water in a 5 gallon bucket, then place a gallon jug inside the bucket.  Place the 5 gallon bucket with the water and jug in the area you want tested, in the early afternoon or evening.  The next morning remove the gallon jug and watch for mosquitoes to fly out of the 5 gallon bucket.  I have performed this experiment with rain water, well water and chlorinated community water with very little to no noticeable difference in the number of mosquitoes in each bucket.

  There are several diseases which infect poultry.  Many diseases have vaccines to prevent them from infecting the birds.  Each state has its own rules dealing with each disease.  Texas doesn’t allow several of the vaccines to be used.  Check with your state’s animal health agency for information on which diseases your flock should be vaccinated for protection in your area.

  I use to have the attitude-”Why vaccinate if you don’t have a problem?”  The answer is, so you will not have a problem.  The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure” comes to be true when dealing with poultry diseases.”

Housing, Health & Hatching / Re: Breeding pens
« on: June 30, 2018, 05:17:06 PM »
  Cardboard vision blockers are often used at the shows when cocks or cockerels need isolation to prevent fighting through the wire coops.  This works in cages also!  I've seen clear plastic sheets tried, but it doesn't work very well.

Exhibiting & Promoting / Re: ABC Meets for South-Central District
« on: June 27, 2018, 08:52:53 PM »
  Meets can only be requested by ABC members-show secretaries are not eligible unless they are an ABC member.  This is a rule that the ABC has, so the show report will not return-reporting none shown.  The ABC member who request the meet is expected to show at the meet. I know sometimes things happen that can prevent an exhibitor from showing, especially when the meets need to be requested several months in advance of the show to be listed in the show catalog.  I know you are an ABC member.  This was shared for others who may not be a member.

  To request a meet, contact your district director and ask that the show be an ABC club meet.  Your director is Larry Clionski.  Then the director completes the forms and sends them to the show secretary, Susan Mouw, the ABC secretary, and Temple DaSilva the ABC meet coordinator. 

  We are now accepting orders for our fall 2018 spring 2019 day old large fowl Ameraucana chicks in black, blue, splash, wheaten, blue wheaten, splash wheaten, white, self blue and self blue splits.  We plan to have one hatch in each month of Sept., Oct., and Nov.  Then one hatch every two weeks starting Jan. 7, 2019 ending May 28, 2019.  Order information may be obtained by emailing

 Paul & Angela Smith

Exhibiting & Promoting / ABC Meets for South-Central District
« on: June 19, 2018, 08:18:56 AM »
  It is time to start requesting ABC club meets!  I had an e-mail from the Red River Bantam Club show secretary asking us (the ABC) to place a meet.  The show catalog goes to the printers July 15.  Angela and I have requested the RRBC meet several times in the past years, as this is our local poultry club.  This year it is the same weekend Oct. 6, 2018, as our ABC national meet in Ohio.  Angela and I plan to go to the ABC national, so we need a Texas ABC member to request this meet if ABC members want to have a meet at it.  There are several shows in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri and Colorado that have been set as ABC meets in the past.  Any show that ABC members plan to show can be requested as an ABC club meet.  Our SC district meet is set for the special APA national meet in Shawnee, OK. On November 17 & 18, 2018.  This show will be our first qualifying meet for large fowl Self blue Ameraucanas!  We must have a minimum of 5 exhibitors in each of the four classes (C, H, K, P) and a minimum of 25 head shown.  The 5 exhibitors must be APA members to be counted.   The Oklahoma State Poultry Federation show will be Dec. 8 in Shawnee, OK.

  We need request from ABC members to set meets!  This is ABC policy so the meet reports will not report none shown, as the ABC member requesting the meet is expected to show.  I know sometimes things happen that can prevent an exhibitor from showing, especially when the meets need to be requested several months in advance of the show to be listed in the show catalog.

  Thanks in advance for your participation and help in making the Ameraucana breed and ABC great!

  Paul Smith

Housing, Health & Hatching / Re: Worst hatch rate yet
« on: May 20, 2018, 01:05:15 PM »
  I recommend opening each egg that did not hatch to check for fertility first.  Then to see if the chick drown, which is the results of too much humidity in the incubator.  Fertility can be a problem early in the hatching season, especially in a breeding pen where an old male is used.  Early in the season (Oct. through Jan.) we had a lot of fertility issues, even though lights were on our breeding pens.

  Later we had drowning problems.  I covered half of the water pan with aluminum foil to decrease the humidity in the two older GQF incubators with slow speed fans.  The 1502 which has a high speed fan was kept the same-full size pan without any cover.  The drowning issues was solved when we quit putting the 2nd pan at 18 days.  We put 3 tablespoons of bleach in each gallon of water that is put in the incubators.  This helps keep the air clean inside them!

  I was very surprised to have a high humidity problem as we run a fire place inside our house.  Also we had very little moisture-(rain/snow/sleet), fall, winter and spring.  We have experienced high humidity issues in past years when it rained a lot in the spring.  I remember setting some of the older GQF incubators without any water until day 18.

  This time we would remove the foil at day 18 and only use one full pan.  The 1502 would have the paper filter placed in the pan as usual.

  One more suggestion is to thoroughly clean and disinfect the incubator with 6 ¾ ounce of Oxine in 1 gallon of water after each hatch.  We also wash all eggs in the same solution.  A bad bacteria inside an incubator can cause the chicks to die inside the eggs.  Hope you get the problem resolved soon.  We know how devastating a poor hatch can be-especially when the chicks are sold in advance of hatching.  Normally we hatch about 2,000 a year.  We are way behind at 1,336 with only 2 more hatches to go.  Our next hatch, May 29, is only half what we normally set due to caught-up on some varieties orders.  Our last one may be even less than half.  I think the weather conditions has had a lot to do with low number of orders this year.  Normally we send 10 or more to the Houston area-only 1 this year.  The flood caused a lot of devastation.  The record snow falls in the North hasn’t helped neither.

  We tried sunflower, flax and white German millet seed in the past.  I didn't see any difference in the performance of the birds.  We gave it at least a year's trial before quit adding it to their ration.  The major difference is the cost of feed.  If I remember correctly the flax was almost $50/50 lbs., white German millet $20/50 lbs. and sunflower seed $25/40 lbs.

  We also took corn chops out of the birds ration.  Corn can and will cause purple on black birds.  We now feed, whole wheat, whole oats, soybean meal, fish meal, Vita-Ferm-Cattlemans blend, corn oil, commercial layer mesh/crumbles, grower grit and oyster shell.  We try to raise watermelons and tomatoes to give the birds as treats.  This year has been very adverse growing conditions.  Looks like the watermelon isn't going to preform.

Ameraucana Marketplace / Re: Large fowl chicks
« on: May 16, 2018, 09:10:44 AM »
  We should be able to supply black, blue, splash and the 3 wheaten varieties from our May 29 hatch.

  We are still accepting orders for our last hatch of the season June 11.  We should be able to supply self blue along with all the above varieties.  They need to be ordered by Sunday May 21, as we plan to set according to what is ordered.  We have plenty chicks to keep our flock progressing without anymore at this time.  We keep what is left after chick orders are filled.

  E-mail or call Paul at 940-768-8405 for order information.

Ameraucana Marketplace / Re: Large fowl chicks
« on: May 04, 2018, 05:58:11 PM »
  Our last two hatches for this hatching season will be set Tuesday May 8th (delayed one day due to Memorial Day) and Monday May 21st for a June 11th hatch.  The last two hatches will be set according to chicks which have been ordered prior to set date.  We can supply large fowl day old chicks in black, blue, splash, white and possibly a few more wheatens (all 3 varieties) and self blue (incorrectly called lavender by some).  We may be able to supply more black, blue, and splash from our May 14th hatch, than what is already booked.

  Chick order information may be obtained by contacting Paul Smith or call 940-768-8405.

Ameraucana Marketplace / Re: Large fowl chicks
« on: April 25, 2018, 02:05:54 PM »
  We should be able to supply more black, blue, splash and white chicks than what we have orders, from our 11th hatch on April 30, 2018.  Contact Paul at or 940-768-8405 for order info.


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