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Issue 78 June 2011

In This Issue:

  Blue Ribbon Photo Contest!
  Diet Recommendation for Soft Eggs
  Zinc Toxicity Revisited
  Visiting Feathered Angels Sanctuary
  Majestic Newcomer!
  Majestic Sponsorship
  Recommended Reading!

To Make a Donation, please click here:  Donation

Have You Seen Our Video Clips at Myspace?


Sanctuary videos change throughout the month, so keep checking back to see the latest!

Visit us on Facebook Too!


Log in, click on "Find Friends" and then type:  Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary into the "Search for People" field.

Send us a friendship request (be sure to include a note that you are a friend of ducks & geese!)

Visiting Feathered Angels TN!

Mac & Fanny stroll the grassy shores!

Hello again, Pickles!

Dutch enjoys the scenery...

Lucy scratches that itch!

Adoptable ducks: Willie, Blondie & Freckles

Tell us what you really think, Skynyrd!

Isabel & Skynyrd... best friends forever...

Thank you for the laughs, Mary & Jenn!

Majestic Newcomer!

Moon's new girl River (and Kat!)

Majestic Sponsorship

If you can’t adopt, please consider sponsoring a duck or goose in our care by visiting our sponsorship page.  

Recommended Reading

Tails from the Duckside Presents: Monster Ducks

Monster Ducks

Product Description

In her latest full-color book, Madam Driveby Duck tells the tales of Monster Ducks: Count Quackula, The Headless Duck-Thing of Sleepy Wallow, King PeKong, The Creature from The Quack Lagoon, Duckamuck meets Godzilla, Quacks Attack and others.

Click here to order.

* For our full recommended reading list, click here. If you order from Amazon by way of our website, Majestic receives a portion of the proceeds!

Contact Us

Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary
17 Barker Road
Lebanon, CT 06249

Our Newsletter

The Majestic Monthly is published 12 times per year. Previous issues are available in our Archives.

Blue Ribbon Photo Contest--Last Chance!

Pet lovers, this is your last chance to enter your duck or goose's photo in our 2011 Duck-Duck-Goose Photo Contest!

This year's contest closes on June 15th at 12:00 midnight. All photos and entry donations MUST be received prior to this deadline in order to be included in the judging.

Remember, three GORGEOUS Blue Ribbons will be awarded for Most Photogenic, Most Comical and Most Mallard!

Winning photos will be permanently displayed in our upcoming July 2011 Newsletter and on the Winner's Circle page of our website.

A framed and personalized Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary Winners Certificate will also accompany each of the 3 Blue Ribbons awarded!

Please visit our Rules Page for photo entry guidelines!

Our 2010 Most Comical Winner "Olga" poses with her Award!

Dietary Recommendation for Soft Egg Issues

We tried a new feed product last month and wanted to share our results. Rescued Muscovy duck Bella has been laying soft eggs since her arrival at our sanctuary. We switched out her Mazuri food with a 100% ration of Nutrena® NatureWise® Layer Feed with amazing results. Within one week of her dietary change she began consistently laying hard-shelled eggs.

While the remainder of our ducks and geese continue to thrive on the Mazuri diet, Bella is doing fantastically well on her new specialized diet.

For those of you with ducks or geese who consistently lay soft-shelled eggs, we recommend you give this Nutrena® product a try in place of their regular layer/breeder formula. While we can't guarantee it will work for everyone, we're hoping it will help some of our feathered friends. Please email us and let us know if this product helps alleviate your duck or goose's soft egg issues!

Bella admires three of her hard-shelled eggs

Remember, Nutrena® NatureWise® Layer Feed is recommended for mature laying hens. It comes in both pellet form or crumbles, which is very convenient for those ducks or geese who have broken bills and who often fare better on a smaller consistency food. Be sure to use all contents within 60-90 days of the date stamped on the bag (within 60 days being preferable).

As always, a separate feed dish containing calcium chips or oyster shells should also be made available to your egg-laying duck or goose 24/7.

For more information on this and other Nutrena® products check out our May Newsletter and visit Nutrena's website: www.nutrenaworld.com.

Nutrena® NatureWise® Layer Feed

Expertly designed and formulated for natural, balanced nutrition to support production of fresh, hard-shelled eggs.

  • A complete, nutritious vegetarian diet—no need for supplementation
  • 16% protein and fortified with vitamins and minerals to promote hen health and egg production
  • Contains a proprietary blend of nutrients to naturally support the immune system and overall health of the bird
  • NO added antibiotics or hormones
  • Added marigold extract for golden yolks
  • Added prebiotics, probiotics and yeast culture that support digestion
  • Available regionally in a pellet or a crumble form. Check with your local Nutrena® retailer for availability in your area.

Layer Pellets (green bag) / Layer Crumbles (red bag)

Zinc Toxicity Revisited

Poultry Normal Range: 1.0 - 3.4 ppm (parts per measure) as confirmed by blood test. Test results usually take 7-10 days.

Crystalloid Solution

In cases where zinc toxicity is low and the source has been removed, vets may attempt to increase your duck or goose’s urine flow with a crystalloid solution to flush the zinc out.


If your duck or goose's zinc levels are high enough to warrant intervention, a chelating agent is commonly prescribed. Injections of C-VT Calcium EDTA solution is the most common and effective treatment.

C-VT Calcium EDTA is a heavy metal chelating agent. It is injected into your duck/goose or given as an IV treatment. It goes into your bird’s body and binds with heavy metals. The agent then leaves the body through the urinary tract, taking some of the heavy metals along with it.

Side effects include diarrhea and vomiting. Since it also removes other minerals from the body, excess loss of calcium (hypocalcemia) can result. Calcium levels should be closely monitored—especially in laying hens, who rely heavily on calcium to produce their eggs. Calcium sources (such as oyster shells or calcium chips) should be removed during treatment and for a couple hours afterwards, and then reintroduced again.

Vets will commonly inject EDTA intramuscularly twice daily for five days. After this, they stop the treatment for four days. On the fifth day, they begin the treatment again for another five days. After two weeks they retest your duck or goose’s zinc levels by drawing more blood.


A less effective treatment is D-Penicillamine (or Cuprimine). It is dosed orally and also helps draw zinc out of the body. The trouble with this drug is it can be near impossible to get your hands on. You have to go to a human pharmacy to get it and most pharmacies don’t stock it and will not special order it due to the low demand and high cost.


If neither of these treatments are readily available where you are, your vet may instruct you to purchase over-the-counter DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid), which can also be found online. DMSA is also a good option to get your pet started on a chelating program while you wait for a special order of C-VT Calcium EDTA to come in.

Our vet prescribed a dose of 25-35 mgs DMSA daily for every 2.2 pounds of bird weight.

  • This means a 15 pound goose with high zinc levels would do best on a dose of 240 mgs daily, while a goose with lower zinc levels might do better on a dose of 170 mgs daily.

  • Similarly, a 7 pound duck with high zinc levels would do best on a dose of 110 mgs daily, while a duck with lower zinc levels might do well on 80 mgs daily.

DMSA is often given to your bird on an empty stomach for maximum absorption. Side effects may include nausea, so it is advisable to divide capsules and space them out over the course of the day. Instead of giving one dose per day, most vets will advise you to split the dosage into two, three or four doses (with three or four being most preferable). You can either dose morning, noon and night OR you can dose every eight hours over a twenty-four hour period.

If nausea and loss of appetite become an issue you may need to reduce the overall dosage a bit. Discuss this possible outcome with your vet before beginning a treatment regimen, so you are prepared for any scenario.

Although you may be tempted to pull capsules apart and sprinkle them over your pet’s food, understand that it has a very bad taste (and odor), which may discourage your pet from eating. For this reason, it is advisable to purchase some empty gelatin capsules, which will enable you to divvy up their daily dosage into 3-4 equal parts and spare them any "fowl" flavor.

DMSA is often administered with rest periods in mind. Birds are often dosed for 3-5 days depending on their zinc level, their recommended dosage and their individual tolerance. Most vets will go with a three-day dosage period; however, if your duck or goose is having exceptional difficulty tolerating DMSA (which is rare), they can be dosed every other day for five days.

Following this 3-5 day treatment period comes a 3-11 day rest period (with 11 days being ideal). Not only will this give your duck or goose time to recover from any nausea experienced, but it will allow their body time to recover from the loss of glutathione (which is their body’s natural chelator that helps push heavy metals outside of their cells). Once glutathione is naturally restored to their body, the next dosing period of DMSA begins.

Basically, you want to ensure your pet’s dosing cycle provides them with enough medicine to counteract their high zinc levels without risking their overall well-being.

Their health in mind, an experienced vet will advise you to give your pet a special mix of vitamins during the rest periods between DMSA dosing. These supplements will restore those healthy minerals that are incidentally bound and removed from their body along with the zinc. They include: iron, calcium and magnesium.

REMEMBER: All of the above-listed treatment options draw calcium from the body, so  calcium levels in laying hens should be monitored closely.

Calcium sources should be removed at dosing times and then re-introduced a couple of hours afterwards, or in the case of DMSA treatment, their calcium should be removed during their 3-5 day dosing cycle and then reintroduced during their 3-11 day rest period.

       Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee in connection with any guidance provided on this website. Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use or for the violation of any federal, state or municipal law or regulation with which such guidance may conflict. Any guidance is general in nature. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any specific circumstances.

© Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary 2011