Articles

  1. Caring for Chicks with Spraddle Leg

    Spraddle Leg, which is also known as Splayed Leg, is a condition that can affect chicks after birth. When a chick hatches, sometimes one or both legs begin to fall to one side. This can result in an inability to stand or walk and must be addressed immediately. By taking proper precautions, Spraddle Leg is usually avoidable, but if it does happen, knowing how to treat it is key to fixing the problem as soon as possible to prevent malformation of muscles. The main cause of Straddle Leg is poor...
  2. White-Faced Black Spanish

    An interesting chicken I recently discovered and wish to someday add to my flock is the White-Faced Black Spanish (WFBS). They are extremely unique to look at, having a white face and low-hanging white earlobes. This look does take one or two molts to appear, but when it does, it is very captivating and stands in stark contrast with the rest of their bodily color and black feathers. As a result of having a white face, they are sometimes known as the "Clown Chicken" since their faces look...
  3. Since When is Vegetarianism Good for Chickens?

    Have you ever been perusing the egg selection at the grocery store and noticed labels professing that the eggs contained in the carton were laid by chickens that ate an "all vegetarian" diet? Granted, most of us here probably do not pay attention to the eggs in the grocery store as we are hopefully collecting enough of our own to sustain our families, but if you were to look, you might be surprised at what you will see. Chickens, by nature, are not vegetarian, so it is hard to fathom why it...
  4. Pros & Cons of Concrete Coop Flooring

    Coop cleaning is one of those tasks that is never much fun but must be done regardless. If you have a dirt floor, the job can be even more tedious as you cannot really do much with dirt other than slowly scoop up feces and food waste. An alternative to the work associated with a dirt floor would be opting to install a concrete floor. Concrete floors have both pros and cons associated with them but the benefits seem to far outweigh the disadvantages. Because of this, considering the addition...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  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. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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...
  14. 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...
  15. 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...
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