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Blue Egg Chicken: Ameraucana or Americana?

Ameraucana-Eggs

How do you spell the chicken breed that lays eggs with blue shells: Ameraucana or Americana? If you said Ameraucana, you are correct. So how did this breed get such an oddly spelled name? To answer that question requires reviewing the breed’s origin.   Araucana In 1925 a breed of chicken discovered in Chile was […]

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Chicken Breed Spotlight: Australorp or Black Jersey Giant

Jersey Giant

Australorp and Black Jersey Giant chickens look and behave a lot alike. Both are good foragers, and the hens of both breeds tend to become broody and raise their own chicks. Both breeds have a bright red single comb, red earlobes, a black beak, and dark brown eyes. Australorps come in one color — black. […]

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Why Does a Chicken Lose Feathers?

Chickens lose feathers for any number of reasons, some of which are seasonal, while others can occur at any time of year. Here are the most common reasons chickens and other poultry lose feathers and what you can do to help your feathered friends remain feathered.   Feather Picking Feather picking is most likely to […]

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Gender Bending LED Incubator Alters an Egg’s Sex

Egg Gender

A Minnesota firm has obtained a patent for an incubator that can alter the sex of an egg before it hatches. Naturally hatched eggs result in about 50 percent females and 50 percent males. Anyone who has ever hatched eggs hoping for a majority of laying hens knows the problem — too many roosters. To […]

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Can I Legally Keep Chickens in My Backyard?

Girl with Chicken

In many areas local ordinances prohibit keeping backyard chickens, but regulations vary from one place to the next. Before bringing home your first chickens, check applicable zoning regulations, municipal codes, homeowner association rules, and lease restrictions. You will learn whether you can keep chickens at all, and, if so, what restrictions might pertain to your […]

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Does a Snake Eat Chickens and Eggs? You Bet!

Rat Snake

Rat snakes are often called chicken snakes because they hang around chicken coops. Their intent is to eat rats and mice, but after they’ve cleared out the rodents they look around for something else to eat. Bird eggs are often on a rat snake’s menu, and poultry eggs are no exception. Young poultry are also […]

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Goose Eggs Are Delicious

Goose Egg versus chicken egg size

Goose eggs are delicious! Just one egg makes a formidable omelet, although goose eggs are less often used for culinary purposes than for hatching or — because of their large size and thick shells — for creating goose egg craft items such as Christmas ornaments and decorative jewelry boxes. Yet goose eggs may be used […]

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What Causes a Duck to Limp and Go Lame?

ducklings

A duck’s legs and feet are made for flying and swimming, not walking. Ducks have structurally weak legs, and the most common affliction of ducks is lameness. A duck may start to limp and eventually go lame for any number of reasons.     Injury Ducklings brooded on wire can get a tiny hock caught […]

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Keeping Chickens in the Garden — Good Idea, or Not?

Keeping Chickens in the Garden — Good Idea, or Not?

Keeping chickens in the garden may be picturesque, but chickens can do a lot of damage in a surprisingly short time, especially to freshly planted seeds or tender sprouts. A couple of chickens roaming in a large garden after the plants mature may do little damage, but in a small or newly planted garden just […]

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