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How Long Does It Take for an Egg to Hatch?

Three different eggs from various species

Precisely how long an egg takes to hatch depends on a lot of factors including species, breed, strain, conditions under which the egg was stored prior to incubation, and conditions during incubation. But whether you plan to hatch eggs in an incubator or under a hen you need a more definitive answer the question: How […]

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What Causes Wry Neck in Chickens?

Visual Examples of Wry Neck in Chickens

Wry neck is a neurological condition in which a chicken’s head turns to one side or to some other abnormal position. Also called crookneck, the technical word is torticollis, from the Latin words torquere, meaning “to twist,” and collum, meaning “neck.” Wry neck in chickens takes on different forms, including these (illustrated) five: Head tilted […]

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7 Ways to Help Your Chickens Stay Cool in Summer

Chicken Drinking Water to Stay Cool

Preventing heat stress in your backyard chicken flock involves a combination of commonsense management measures. The following seven simple strategies will help your chickens stay cool in summer. Heat Tolerant Breeds If you live in a climate that’s warm year-around, you might consider keeping a heat tolerant breed. Some chicken breeds naturally tolerate warm weather […]

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16 Chicken Breeds that Tolerate Warm Weather

Warm Weather Tolerant Chicken Breed

Chickens have no sweat glands, so chicken breeds that originated in hot climates have developed other features to help them stay cool. One is to grow a large comb and wattles, through which blood circulation increases in hot weather to help dissipate body heat. Another warm-climate adaptation is to avoid trapped heat by developing sparse […]

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How Chickens Keep Themselves Cool in Summer

Chicken Panting to Keep Itself Cool in Summer

The air temperature range at which chickens maintain the best health and productivity is between 70°F and 75°F. As the temperature rises above this range, physical adaptations — such as a large comb and wattles — help some breeds release body heat. All breeds also engage in behavior modifications that allow chickens to keep themselves […]

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5 Bantam Breeds that Tolerate Warm Weather

Silkie Chickens

In addition to the miniature versions of large warm weather chicken breeds, five other bantam breeds also do well when the temperature rises. Of those described below, four of the five bantam breeds that tolerate warm weather are true bantams. Bantam Chickens The history of bantam chickens follows that of the Industrial Revolution. As families […]

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Why Chicks Peep Before Hatching

Hatching Chick

Chicks, ducklings, and babies of other barnyard birds are precocial, meaning they are able to feed themselves almost from the moment of hatch. Precociality is the reason why chicks peep before hatching. The word precocial comes from the Latin word praecox, meaning early to mature. A fancier word for precocial is nidifugous — from the […]

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5 Chicken Breeds that Have 5 Toes

Salmon Faverolle Chicken

Most chickens have four toes on each foot. Of the chicken breeds found in the United States, five breeds typically have five toes on each foot. The condition is technically known as polydactylism — from the Greek words poly meaning many, and daktylos meaning a finger or toe. The trait of having five toes represents […]

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6 Pros and 6 Cons of Raising Peafowl

India Blue Peacock

Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) are large, attractive birds that originated in India and Sri-Lanka. They are about the same size as turkeys (Meleagridis gallopavo), to which they are closely related. The term peafowl denotes the species. The male is a peacock, the female is a peahen. The babies are peachicks. Like everything in life, raising peafowl […]

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