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Can a Rooster Lay an Egg?

Rooster laying an Egg

The earliest documented instance of a “rooster” laying an egg occurred in Basel, Switzerland, in 1474. The “rooster” was sentenced to death for the “unnatural crime of laying an egg.” A similar event took place, again in Switzerland, in 1730. In the United States, in 1922 a brown Leghorn “rooster” in Madison, Wisconsin, began laying […]

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Feather Loss in Baby Chicks

Chicken Feather Loss

A chick’s baby feathers are delicate and vulnerable while the bird grows a complete set of adult plumage. Until then, unsightly feather loss in baby chicks may be caused by rubbing or picking. Sequential Molting When a chick reaches the age of three and four weeks, its body feathers grow and fill out. By the […]

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What Is the Definition of Poultry?

Poultry

If you would wonder what the word poultry means, you might think first to look in the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection. At the front of the book is a glossary covering 8-pages of terms from “A.O.C.” to “yearling,” but no “poultry.” So, what is poultry? Definitions of Poultry Even though the Standard doesn’t […]

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18 Weeds that Are Toxic to Chickens

Corn Cockle Weed

Chickens that free range may occasionally encounter weeds that are toxic. Even so, most toxic plants don’t taste good, so chickens are rarely tempted to eat them. Besides, birds peck a little here and a little there to get variety in their diet. A bite or two of a toxic leaf or seed will rarely […]

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The Importance of Keeping a Flock History

Flock History Paper

If your poultry flock experiences a health issue, suddenly all those little details you thought you’d never forget, but now you can’t quite remember, become immensely important. In such an event, you’ll be happy you previously understood the importance of keeping a flock history and took a few moments to write down incidents as they […]

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Chickens Disclosed How Our Immune System Works

Baby Chick

Until the 1960s, no one was able to determine the function of a chicken’s cloacal bursa. That year, in an attempt to find out, Ohio State University graduate student Bruce Glick performed bursectomies on some chickens. But it didn’t seem to make any perceivable difference. Unintended Consequences Then a fellow graduate student, Timothy Chang, borrowed […]

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Using Two Incubators to Optimize Egg Hatching

Baby Chicks Hatching

Whether or not using more than one incubator makes sense depends on how much hatching you plan to do and how many different chicken breeds or poultry species you wish to hatch. Most incubators for home use are designed for batch hatching. Sometimes, though, you might not want to wait until the eggs hatch before […]

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Can Eggs Hatch Without a Rooster?

Pullet Egg

Most chicken keepers know that a hen will lay eggs whether or not a rooster is present. But a rooster is needed in order to get fertile eggs that will hatch. Less well known is that eggs can hatch without a rooster. Virgin Birth Virgin birth, or parthenogenesis, is the process whereby an unfertilized egg […]

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Raising Ringneck Pheasants

Ringneck Pheasant

Ringneck pheasants are traditionally raised to be released as game birds. But people have plenty of other reasons for raising ringneck pheasants. They are also raised for their excellent meat, tasty eggs, gorgeous feathers, or simply for their awesome beauty. Game Bird The ringneck pheasant is a native game bird in China. Since the late […]

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