Articles

  1. The Benefits of Molasses

    For many years, molasses has been an important part of livestock feeds. In some cases it is used as a binder to hold feed components together and in other cases it is used to increase palatability. It is also used in water during cold months to encourage drinking by adding a good taste to it. Since molasses is sweet, it appeals to animals that are desirous of sweet tastes to enjoy. Molasses has more advantages than its taste and binding abilities, however. In moderate amounts, it offers...
  2. Treatment Options for Stargazing

    Stargazing is a term that refers to a condition where a chick is unable to hold its head upright. Instead, the head of the chick flops backward and rests upon its back, giving the impression that the chick is looking at the sky, or stargazing. This condition is the result of a progressive paralysis that starts in the feet and works its way up through the legs and wings to finally affect the neck. If you have a chick with this condition, leg function will be impeded and the bird may even...
  3. Treating Vent Gleet

    With chicken ownership comes experience in dealing with unpleasant illness and disease, and vent gleet is no exception. Also known as cloacitis or thrush, vent gleet is a fungal infection that, as the name suggests, shows its presence at the vent. This illness, which can affect digestive and reproductive systems, is luckily not contagious amongst birds with the exception of birds who are mating as it can be spread through sexual contact from hen to rooster. Additionally it can impact birds...
  4. 9 Comb Types Recognized by the American Poultry Association

    One of the most noticeable parts of a chicken is the comb. One purpose served by the comb is to regulate the body heat of chickens and variations in comb styles exist largely based on the place of origin of different breeds. For example, combs on chicken breeds from warm climates will be larger than breeds that are native to cold climates. Having a small comb if you are a cold climate bird is also useful in the fight against frostbite as there is less comb present to become frostbitten....
  5. Giving Shots to Chickens

    It can be tough to give a shot to an animal for the first time. In some cases, the animal probably will not take it as badly as the person giving the injection. At least that was the case with me; when I gave my first shot, I felt terribly guilty and apologized profusely for doing so. Fact of the matter is, however, you are doing a good thing for your chickens when giving them shots. It only hurts for a second and it improves their well-being, so there is no reason to feel guilty or put off...
  6. Deterring Hawks with Fishing Line

    At a time of year when so many of us have chicks to protect, hawk attacks are even higher than usual on our list of concerns. While the chicks are safe in the brooder, the concern of a hawk attack may only be lurking in the back of your mind. However, as the time comes to introduce growing chicks to the outside world, hawk threats need to move from the back of your mind to the forefront. Hawks and other birds of prey are an unfortunate part of life with which chicken owners are forced to...
  7. 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...
  8. The Barred Plymouth Rock

    One of the most highly regarded breeds of chicken you will see today is the Barred Plymouth Rock, which is named for its feather pattern which includes alternating bars of black and white. Not only is this breed a dual-purpose breed that is good for both meat production as well as year around egg-production, but they are also a Heritage Breed dating back to the 1800's. In addition to being dual-purpose, they are also hearty birds that thrive in many different environments and their placid...
  9. Repurposing Milk Crates as Economical Nesting Boxes

    In keeping with the trend of saving money while raising chickens, it makes sense to also consider the ways in which you can save money on nesting boxes. Since nesting boxes are something you will need several of, they can get pricey if you were to buy or build individual ones to acclimate your entire flock. Instead of spending money on lumber and materials or buying something prefab, it is possible to score something from your local grocer that can be used as a nesting box with little to no...
  10. Heritage Breed Profile: Silver Grey Dorkings

    Another example of a beautiful Heritage Breed with a great temperament is the Silver Grey Dorking. Historical accounts suggest that these birds date back to 54 BC at which time they were introduced in Britain by the Romans. From that day forward, this breed has been present in England and is a bird renowned for not only its demeanor but also its delicious meat. Silver Gray Dorkings, which are thought to be among the oldest known breeds of domestic poultry, have been categorized as an...
  11. Rose-Colored Chicken Glasses

    Many moons ago it was thought that chickens incorrectly needed to be outfitted with rose-colored glasses. The reason for this was to prevent chicken cannibalism, as the sight of blood on a chicken caused a violent, aggressive reaction in other chickens who saw that blood. In response to seeing blood, other chickens would peck at the bleeding chicken, often until dead, which caused a large casualty rate amongst flocks. Because of this, farmers sought to prevent chickens from being able to see...
  12. How to diagnose coccidiosis in chickens

    What is coccidiosis? Coccidiosis is an internal parasite, which rapidly multiplies and then damages the lining of the chicken’s intestine. The parasite bloats the intestines and can even take no symptoms before the shock of it’s death comes. How do I prevent it? What are the symptoms? droopiness and listlessness, loss of appetite, loss of yellow color in shanks, pale combs and wattles, ruffled, unthrifty feathers, huddling or acting chilled, blood or mucus in the feces,...
  13. Mareks Virus- The Big Informational

    This was written by a friend of mine Jennifer Miller, who gathered the most correct information I know. This FAQ has been checked over for accuracy by a group of people who are known to be very very knowledgeable about Marek's Virus and have spent hours/years researching information from the best resources in the world. Still, there are many unknowns. The Great Big Giant Marek's Disease FAQ BY Jennifer Miller Nambroth By: Nambroth (user name) Posted 10/25/13 Last updated 9/18/14 87,115...
  14. Critically Endangered: The Barred Holland

    It may seem odd to consider the possibility of a chicken breed going extinct, but it has happened in the past and could very well happen again. In fact, according to the Livestock Conservancy, the Holland chicken is number five on the list of the Top 5 Endangered Livestock Breeds. While it is hard fathom a chicken breed going extinct due to the plentiful nature of chickens, it all comes down to breeding. Chickens with desirable traits are bred while those that do not have as many of that...
  15. Omphalitis: Preventing Mushy Chicks

    Omphalitis is a disease responsible for a lot of chick deaths during the first week of life. Also referred to as Mushy Chick Disease or Navel Ill, Omphalitis is essentially a navel-yolk sack infection in which a plethora of bacteria could be present wreaking havoc on affected chicks. Affected chicks may die as soon as 24 hours after the infection sets in or can live up to 7 days with bacteria such as Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Proteus, and others ravaging their bodies. The reason this...
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