Articles

  1. Small, Bold, and Mighty: The Malaysian Serama

    With their puffed out chests and small stature, the parts of the Malaysian Serama come together to create a specimen that is both bold and proud in appearance. Although they are small, being a bantam breed, the Serama certainly appears mighty. This breed, also referred to as the Malay Ayam Serama, has been around for approximately 50 years although they were nearly wiped out due to exposure to bird flu a decade ago. It is thought that this bird is the result of a cross between Japanese and...
  2. 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...
  3. The Legal Realities of Backyard Chickens

    If you read the news you will see that backyard chicken laws are being changed and adopted all over the country. As people fight to start keeping chickens or even to keep the ones they already have, the law has been the focus of many chicken owners. While from the outside looking in, it may seem black and white, the fact of the matter is that there is more to many laws than meets the eye. The law is never as simple as yes, you can or no, you cannot have chickens. There is much more to it...
  4. 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...
  5. Chicken Socialization

    It is important to take the time to socialize young chicks so they become good citizens. Having animals that are well-socialized means that if you have visitors, it will be safe for them to move about your yard and property without worry that a chicken might come after them or cause a ruckus. Socialization is also useful when it comes to providing care; if a socialized chicken were to become injured, that bird would be much easier for you to collect and treat than a bird that is not...
  6. Baby Chick Care

    If you've recently hatched or acquired baby chicks, congrats are in order first and foremost! Now that your babies are here, it is up to you to ensure they get the best start in life possible. This means attending to their care needs and keeping them safe and comfortable as they grow. There are many things you will need to do, provide, and monitor as your chicks mature, all of which will be worthwhile and enjoyable as you are rewarded with growing babies every step of the way. The first...
  7. Incubating and Hatching Chicks

    Hatching your own eggs is an interesting experience that many of us are tempted to partake in or may have already done. For 21 days, we wait and watch excitedly for baby chicks to appear, eagerly welcoming them when they finally do. Options for hatching include letting the hen act as a natural incubator, incubating eggs laid by your own chickens in a manmade incubator, or incubating eggs purchased elsewhere and possibly shipped. Whichever option you prefer, the end goal is the same: baby...
  8. Interesting Egg Facts

    How much do you know about the incredible, edible egg? There is a lot to know about the wonder that is an egg, both of a factual nature and that which happens to be old wives' tales. Eggs are likely the most interesting of all foods we eat, regardless of from where the stories about them may have originated. Some intriguing egg information is as follows: If you need to know whether an egg is raw or hard-boiled, give it a spin! Hard-boiled eggs will spin easily and fluidly whereas raw eggs...
  9. Choosing Coop Bedding

    Having bedding in the coop that works for both you and your chickens can make housing them comfortably just that much easier. While the natural inclination may be to go with the most inexpensive and easy to clean up options, there is more to consider than those things alone when choosing bedding. For example, you want something that will go the distance and be pleasant for your chickens without causing any harm to their health. With various coop bedding coop criteria in mind, there are a...
  10. Managing Marek's Disease

    One of the most detrimental diseases a chicken can face is Marek's disease, which is also known as fowl paralysis. Over the years this disease has been responsible for decimating flocks small and large, but it is most likely to affect chickens that are 4 months old or younger. This is due to an ability of older birds to develop a natural resistance to this disease through contact as they age. Marek's is named after Jzsef Marek, the Hungarian veterinarian and scientist who discovered it....
  11. Encouraging Hens to Hatch Eggs

    Chicken owners talk a lot about broody hens. In most cases, it is discussing ways to discourage broody behavior. Since many of us want eggs from our chickens, a broody hen can be a setback to the egg program. Not only do broody hens stop laying for the amount of time it takes to hatch an egg (21 days) but it can also be time consuming to get them to start laying again, even if the eggs they were trying to hatch were not allowed to do so. With all of this in mind, who wants a broody hen?!...
  12. 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...
  13. 5 Ways to Save Money When Raising Chickens

    A lot of people tout raising chickens as an economical way to provide eggs and meat for your family. While this is true and the benefits of raising chickens do outweigh the expenses, the misconception seems to be that chickens require virtually no investment and will produce unfailingly, which is simply not the case. Chickens need proper feed and health care as well as safe, sturdy housing, all of which costs money. For people who are new to the chicken world, such needs sometimes come as a...
  14. Chicken Toys and Other Entertainment

    Just like us, chickens get bored and need entertainment. It is common to see people using food as a boredom buster for chickens, such as a hanging head of cabbage or some other food item that swings and takes a little bit of work to access. While food is a good stimulant to a degree, too much food can lead to obesity, which can then lead to death in chickens. This brings with it a need for us to find other ways to keep our chickens entertained so their boredom does not lead to them getting...
  15. Got Swimming Chickens?

    When you think of swimming animals, something graceful probably comes to mind. Perhaps it is a swan gliding gracefully across a still lake or maybe even a dog paddling its way through a swimming pool. Whatever type of vision you get, it is probably not very likely that the image of a chicken swimming flashes through your head. The debate over whether or not chickens can swim seems to go back quite a while with arguments on both sides of the fence. While some have posed many arguments have...
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