Articles

  1. Salmonella--Coming to a School Near You?

    Two news stories in one week about salmonella outbreaks...wow. First it was Foster Farms, which was shut down due to cock roaches and antibiotic resistant salmonella and this time it is Tyson, who has recalled 34,000lbs of tainted chicken. The Foster Farms chicken made more than 400 people sick and the Tyson outbreak has made seven people ill so far. Foster Farms has since re-opened; it was closed on Wednesday and allowed to open the following Saturday, which is a short time to rectify a...
  2. Would You Eat a Fake Egg?

    The incredible, edible egg...we grew up eating eggs for breakfast as did our parents and grandparents before us as well as our children after us. Deliciously rich cakes were made with eggs. Eggs were deviled. I even put an egg in hamburger meat before cooking it. Where would we be without the egg? That is a question that could soon see an answer. For quite some time there have been complaints regarding the treatment of egg laying hens in commercial facilities. The battery cages in which hens...
  3. Dust Bathing

    When it comes to chicken bathing, they do not rely on Calgon to take them away. Instead, their preferred method of bathing is to wallow in loose dirt. This is known as a dust bath and is the way chickens keep themselves clean and free of parasites such as lice and mites. By coating their skin and feathers in dust, chickens make their bodies less favorable places for parasites to live and feed. Dust bathing is a practice that should be encouraged, and you can do this by creating an area for...
  4. Chicken Foot Care: Bumblefoot

    If checking your chickens' feet for issues is not part of your care regime, incorporating a foot check in your routine is a good idea for the early detection and care of conditions such as Bumblefoot (plantar pododermatitis). Caused by a bacterial infection or abscess, bumblefoot causes the formation of "bumbles" or lesions on the feet of chickens. This can be quite painful for your chickens in addition to being difficult to treat and eradicate. It is acquired when a foot is injured, such as...
  5. The Benefits of Oregano

    There are many naturally occurring herbs that are beneficial to both humans and animals. In fact, the vast majority of these herbs have something positive to offer, and many are used in holistic medicines around the globe. One such wonder herb with many great offerings is oregano, a member of the mint family which can be purchased in both a dried, crushed plant form and as oregano oil. Oregano makes for delicious Italian foods, but that is only the beginning. It has been reported that...
  6. Aggressive Rooster Handling

    A few years back an adult rooster came to live on the farm. He was purchased from a flea market mostly out of pity because he had a healed leg injury that resulted in a limp. It did not seem to affect him too terribly much; he still got around fine, albeit a little bit slower than the rest of the flock, and his gait had a hitch to it that gave his movement a sort of lumbering quality. The plan was to give him a place to live out his days ruling the roost, and he did just that. He also...
  7. Michigan Law Change to Affect Backyard Chickens

    All across America, backyard chicken coops have been popping up left and right. People have chosen to raise their own chickens, be it for eggs, meat, or both due to concerns about the chemicals used in mass produced eggs and meat. A lot of these backyard chicken dreams come to be a reality on small acreage. While chickens can be managed on small parcels of land, objecting neighbors have frequently voiced unfavorable opinions about these practices. City Councils have raised the issue and in...
  8. Turning a 5 Gallon Bucket into a Nesting Box

    Raising and caring for animals in a proper fashion, regardless of the type of animal in question, can be costly and expensive at times. Because of this, we all try to cut corners where we can to make up for monies spent. Never one to want to compromise on care and jeopardize the health and well-being of my animals, I am always looking for ways to create more economical shelters, feeders, fences, etc. Every cent I am able to save in those areas will enable my dollars to go further in other...
  9. Reasons for Soft Shelled or Misshapen Eggs

    Have you ever gone out to your coop to collect eggs and found one that was distinctly...distinct? From time to time, eggs that look or feel strange can happen. These soft shelled or misshapen eggs can have odd shapes overall or can even have strange textures or ridges. In order to diagnose the exact cause of misshapen eggs occurring in your flock, some detective work can be necessary. There are a lot of reasons why this can happen as well as contributing factors. Ruling out reasons...
  10. Japanese Bantams

    One of my favorite chickens of all time was a Japanese Bantam hen. In a way, she was everything I wanted to be-feisty, self-assured, and independent. She was also rather beautiful to look at, I must say, standing out against all of the other chickens nearby. When I saw her, I knew immediately she would be coming home with me. This little hen was also one of the best mothers I have seen to date. She was an occasional free ranger during the day and disappeared one day, so naturally we assumed...
  11. Chicken Recall Resource

    Chicken has been in the news a lot lately. In fact, it has been in the news far too much for all the wrong reasons. Contamination by cockroaches and anti-biotic resistant salmonella are just a couple of things that come to mind. These events are scary and troublesome and have resulted in recalls. While it is great that companies do take steps to recall tainted items, a recall is only as good as its reach. Not only do people need to have not already consumed the recalled products, but they...
  12. Managing Rooster Spurs

    It is no secret that roosters have spurs. Some of us are rather well acquainted with those spurs, having been greeted with them a time or two. While I personally have managed to dodge them successfully, I have seen firsthand others who were not so lucky. A spur wound can be quite nasty and may bleed profusely. It is also highly likely to be at risk of infection due to the location of a rooster's spur; since spurs are low to the ground, they are exposed to ground-level bacteria and may have...
  13. Genetic Modification, Coming to a Chicken Near You

    Male chickens, or roosters, are often an undesirable acquisition. Since they do not lay eggs and can be quite aggressive, many producers would rather not deal with having more than one around. Because of this, there are many roosters sentenced to death every year. The means by which this is done can be quite awful and terribly painful for the roosters, which are usually killed around a day or so old, as soon are they are sexed. It is unfortunate to be born male if you are a chicken. Since...
  14. Five of the Top Egg Laying Breeds

    The reason most people start raising chickens is for eggs and meat. By raising your own chickens, you can keep track of what they are fed and closely monitor their health, ensuring the eggs they produce (and that you consume) will always be up to your own personal standards, which is more than we can say for a lot of grocery store eggs. Plus, there is no comparison in taste between a home-raised egg and a store-bought egg. The differences in color, quality, and taste are astounding. Those...
  15. 300,000 Chickens Lost in Egg Farm Fire

    Chicken coop fires have come up many times in recent news. With winter upon us and frigid temperatures with snow and ice running amok, attempts have been made to warm chicken coops with fatal results. Some of these fires have resulted in not only loss of the coop and chickens contained within, but also loss of homes nearby. This is sad but avoidable reality for some as the heat lamp debate rages forth, especially when you consider that heat lamps are responsible for many coop fires. Fires...
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