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Dealing with Scaly Leg Mites in Chickens

The scaly leg mite (Knemidocoptes mutans) is a tiny pale gray round creature, only about 1/100-inch in diameter. Despite its small size, in large numbers it can cause big problems by digging under the scales of a chicken leg and deforming the shank, feet, and toes. Unfortunately, dealing with scaly leg mites is a common […]

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Why Does a Rooster Have Wattles?

A rooster’s wattles come in flexible pairs that dangle beneath the beak, while its comb is a single structure prominently affixed to the top of the head. Researchers have determined that hens base their choice of mates, in part, on characteristics of the comb. But when it comes to wattles, they scratch their scholarly heads […]

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The Origin of Modern Chickens

Since the 1800s humans have believed chickens were domesticated from red jungle fowl of Southeast Asia. The main reasons for this assumption are that red jungle fowl (pictured above) look similar and can interbreed with modern chickens. However, we had no real proof of the origin of modern chickens until the advent of gene sequencing. […]

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Two Ways to Brood Cornish Cross Broiler Chickens

Brooding Cornish cross broilers is similar to brooding any chicks, with the notable exception that the hybrid Cornish broilers get bigger faster. They eat almost constantly, and rarely move far from the feeder. They also drink a lot of water to wash down all that feed. So they need plenty of room to accommodate their […]

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No Guarantees When Ordering Hatching Eggs by Mail

Eggs that are sold specifically for hatching are called, fittingly enough, hatching eggs. They cost more than eating eggs but come with no guarantee they will hatch. Too many variables are not under the seller’s control. Even eggs laid by your own hens, or otherwise sourced locally, are not guaranteed to hatch. But when hatching […]

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